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Training Bible Studies with Joe Friel

  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published May. 22, 2002
  • Updated Nov. 30, 2012 at 3:12 PM EST

Joe Friel is author of the successful “Training Bible” series ofbooks, a regular columnist for VeloNews and Inside Triathlonand the founder of www.ultrafit.com.Friel also offers answers to a selection of questions in this weekly column here on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Friel in care of VeloNews.comat WebLetters@7Dogs.com. (Besure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)Q: My question concerns training for triathlons and bicycle roadracing.  Is there a way to effectively train for both and be successful. Will I have to sacrifice one sport for the other.  I have noticedthat the more training volume I add by doing two-a-days, the more I tendto get sick and fatigued, and as a result my performance suffers. Is there a comprehensive plan or method to train for both of these disciplines.—D.S.A: Training is a balancing act. When one aspect of fitnessis improving, another is likely not improving. The latter aspect may staythe same or even lose some robustness. Even within one sport this is evidentwhen, for example, good time trialists try to become better sprinters.This challenge is even greater when one tries to excel at two differentsports. Even though triathlon has a cycling leg, training for the triathlonbike leg is far different than training for road bike racing. It’s notimpossible to improve at both; it’s just very difficult. The key is todiscover your limiters (race-specific weaknesses) in each sport and focuson them.—Joe FrielQ: I am 37 years old and started bicycle racing about 18 monthsago and for the first six months I believed my max heart rate to be 185bpm.I then moved to Colorado (elev. 5280) from Las Vegas (elev. 2250) and jumpedright into a road criterium on a 94 degree day without altitude acclimationand reached a heart rate of 195 in a brutally fast paced race.  Myquestion is:  Is max heart rate truly the max heart rate reached underabsolutely any condition? Or should I use some other calculation?”—StevenA: For a given sport, max heart rate is max heart rateregardless of the altitude. It sounds like you merely pushed yourself harderin the Colorado race than you had done before–at least while observingyour heart rate. But bear in mind that determining heart rate trainingzones is best done by using lactate threshold heart rate rather than maxheart rate. Treat max heart rate as merely an “interesting number.”—JoeFriel


Joe Friel is author of the successful “Training Bible”series of books, a regular columnist for VeloNews and InsideTriathlon and the founder of www.ultrafit.com.Friel also offers answers to a selection of questions in this weekly columnhere on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Friel in care of VeloNews.comat WebLetters@7Dogs.com. (Besure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)

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