I listen to a few podcasts related to cycling. Amongst them is one about time-trialling by a chap called Mark Florence and it’s called the Cycling Time Trial Podcast by Mark Florence. You can subscribe to it through a few different sources – I use iTunes here. Anyway, it’s a great podcast and he usually has guests who provide insight and information on a range of subjects, all related to time-trialling. If you’re reading this blog for that reason, you should listen to this guy.
So his last episode introduced a coach named Joe Beer. I have to say I’d not really heard of him but he’s been coaching endurance sports for a very long time – not just cycling. He has a white-paper available for download from his website (until 11/2) called Smarter Training – here. The crux of this paper, and his talk on the podcast, was about training “smarter” and was based on many years of accumulated evidence and data. I’m not going to reproduce the report here – read it yourself – but I was interested to compare my training approach to the rules that he lists. As an example, his rule 1 is that 75-90% of your total training time should be in what he terms zone 1. He defines this as “low lactate” or working at an intensity of 55-80% of your maximum heart rate, so it isn’t the same as, for example, Coggan zones. Now when I heard this on the podcast, I didn’t quite catch the definition of zone 1 so I thought it was very odd and certainly not something I do. However, when I looked on TrainingPeaks I realised that his definition of zone 1 encompasses zones 1-3 on the scale I use (80% of my HRmax is around 146bpm and zone 3 tops out for me at 151bpm). When I added those up I was surprised to find that since I started training at the end of September to now, I’ve spent 76.5% of the time in Joe Beer’s zone 1. Who am I to argue with that!
Like I say, listen to the podcast and check out the website/white paper. Very much worth your time in my opinion.