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Friel Training Question... any expert advice???(11 posts)

Friel Training Question... any expert advice???funknuggets
May 9, 2003 7:49 AM
Ok, now Im nervous.

I have followed Friel's plan to the T so far this season with good results and am now in build phase 1... He has these interval workouts, like A2 and A3 that start in Build Phase 1 that tell you during an interval to work to the 5b zone... I can't seem to do it. His plans say that if you cant get to the 5b zone, then stop... you arent "ready" and doesn't give any indication of what you should do alternatively or what you should do to get "ready". For example, my 5b zone... if calculated the "range" correctly based upon that whole 220 minus age plus a few, I should be in the ballpark at 196-197 as the bottom HR for the 5b zone. However, when Im just hammering on flats on these intervals... or on the trainer.. the highest I can get is 186 or now what? Is it that I'm not forcing myself hard enough or what? At 186 on the trainer, my legs are flying and burning so bad (cause the cadence is supposed to remain above 90) that I'm not sure what to do. What would he mean by not being ready, through his 3 base phases and 1 Base R&R... I have like 2500 miles of base? I have to go BACK to base or base R&R???? Come on, that can't be the case. Plus, wouldn't you think I should be getting some positive benefit from the hard exertion intervals? Why on Earth would he say to stop immediately?

I can hit around 200 and in the 190's normally when hammering hills with the fellas, but I can't seem to get there in the flats or on the trainer, what is up? Am I just a patzy and need more discipline to push my body harder or does Friel and his "zone" based training need to be thrown out of the window? Any suggestions would be appreciated...

Thanks in advance:
5b: Go 'till you puke. That is close enough.Spunout
May 9, 2003 7:54 AM
What Friel intends, is that you not be overtrained, and have enough base and musculature to push your heart to that level.

If the A3 workout is the BT workout, then only do the A2 workout (less intensity) if it feels better. I don't use a heartrate monitor, see message header for my system.

I think adequate recovery and rest cannot be stressed enough. If you are tired, you'll never be able to get to that level. Always follow an intensity day with a recovery (E2) day. No questions.
First off..Dwayne Barry
May 9, 2003 7:55 AM
220-age is not an accurate way to calculate your max HR. Fix that problem and the others might be solved.
True enough, but...funknuggets
May 9, 2003 8:09 AM
Isn't that the primary reason for a "range"... As a lifetime endurance athelete... or well... I ran distance events competitively since 5th grade, and have cycled off and on competitively and not... since 18... Im 31 now, so I believe that the low end of the Friel range should be my minimum 5b zone... unfortunately, for whatever reason I cant even get within 10 beats of that 5b zone on these flat intervals, despite my intentions.

I guess I could adjust it downwards, however I am getting some phenominal results with just the base HR stuff I have done with the zones so far without any complications. I used several different "formulae" to calculate my Max HR, and ended up with a range and basicially averaged them, knowing I would be in a "range". However, I just thought that 10-12 beats off is relatively extreme, seeing as my max... looking at superthreshold is right on, and my resting HR is in the 40's. So, I guess I can just chalk it up to me being a panzy... dammit.

re: Friel Training Question... any expert advice???tigermilk
May 9, 2003 8:01 AM
And thus the problem with training with a heart rate monitor. If I went by Friel's methods with the HR ranges, I'd be missing out on the proper physiological response. Training by power is much better since it doesn't have the limitations of a HR based training program. If you are tired, you may not be able to get to the designated heart rate yet you are in the right zone. So while I wouldn't throw Friel out the window, I would throw his HR limits out and go by either perceived effort or get a power meter. To help with the perceived effort part, be completely rested, then do the Friel A2/A3 workout. Your heart rate, if you are indeed rested, will be higher.
re: Friel Training Question... any expert advice???sievers11
May 9, 2003 8:06 AM
I don't think you have your zones right. It sounds like you are using your max heartrate and not your LT heartrate.

The age thing, I think is stupid and an amature way to find out your max hr.

You need to find your LT. and set up your zones from there. (Friel plan)

CTS says you should find you max hr and go from there by doing a "stress test". Freil obviously uses the LT rate

Your LT will be somewhere between 86-92% of you max hr, but this will depend a ton on your fitness level and what you can mantain. I would suggest trying to figure out you time trial pace and use that as your LT and then reset you friel training zones.

Note: Your max 200 effort are amazing...but that is a really high max. I also think that 186 is a high LT. But if you max is 200 then 186 would be about right.

I TT at 175-80 and kill myself after 30 mins. You have plenty of "base" and your max shows you are in killer shape, it would be my opinion to rework you hr zones.

Hr zone can and will change through out the season and as you getting in better and better shape they will change.

Ex. My hr max was 185 over the winter, I got a cold and it went to 192 one day, my current hr max has been climbing as the season moves on to 190. And my resting hr has moved down to 42.
May 9, 2003 8:21 AM
I will definitely consider redoing my zones as all of you have claimed I may be off on my LT or my Max, which is negatively impacting my zone, but I dont want to go off willy nilly and decrease them, thereby reducing the effectiveness of my training if there is something else wrong... such as overtraining or a mental block issue that is impeding my ability to hit the desired zones.

As mentioned, I can hit these zones when climbing... but not aero and pushing on the flats... whether high cadence, or low and mashing. I just thought that being off by nearly 5% didn't sound right and I didnt know whether anyone else experienced this issue on the flats vs hills.

I do appreciate everyone's input, it is really helpful!

Thanks again
Yeah, do a 30 minute TT ; use avg. for last 20 minutes as LT.hrv
May 9, 2003 8:52 AM
Then look at the Friel charts for your zones based on the above LT. That's how Friel says to do it. Any other zone calc. and you're not doing the Friel plan. Forget about max.

never thought of thatDougSloan
May 9, 2003 8:56 AM
never thought of using the last 20 minutes; my average ove the last part is quite a bit higher than at first unless I start way to fast and blow up.
I will give that a whirl.funknuggets
May 9, 2003 10:18 AM
Thanks all.
HR max is variable: trainer vs road vs hillsskywalker
May 9, 2003 12:38 PM
One possible reason why you can hit higher HR numbers on the road but on the trainer is cardiovascular drift. It is a reasonably well established fact that heart rate drifts up 5-10 points during exercise. In other words, an hour into riding your heart rate will be 5-10 points higher than it was in the beginning of the ride even if the effort remained the same. The physiological reasons behind the CV drift are not established with absolute certainty. It is thought to be caused by exercise-induced dehydration and increase in circulating catecholamines, but nobody knows for sure.

It is possible that your CV drift (and therefore HR max) on the trainer is smaller because your exercise sessions are shorter, you drink more while on the trainer, and you just don't get as phyched about it (that's what brings catecholamines on). If climbing scares you--and it should ;)--you'll be awash in catecholamines, which will send your HR higher than anything you can achieve in a relaxed frame of mind. Oh, catecholamines=adrenaline+noradrenaline.

Another upshot of CV drift is that it renders zones unreliable, especially at the high end, where numbers get pretty tight.

Oh, Friel's zones are based on LT HR, not HR max. Do recalculate. You can survive doing the base training in higher than intended zones, but you'll blow up in higher zones. How were you going to train in 100-103% of HR MAX zone anyway? It is just like "giving it 110%"--it is mathematically impossible...