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Friel vs Carmichel(7 posts)

Friel vs CarmichelScott Baryenbruch
Aug 27, 2001 5:01 PM
I have just figured out an annual training plan and completed a 30 minute TT to determine LT as described in Friels book (MTB training bible). When I computed the heart rate zones for Friels program I noticed they seemed somewhat higher than those presented by Carmichel on the old training page or in the Lance Armstrong Training Program book. What gives? Can somebody explain the rationale behind the different zones and why Friel's are higher? Or am I just nuts?
Scott Baryenbruch
re: Friel vs CarmichelJon Billheimer
Aug 27, 2001 8:00 PM

I had noticed the same thing. When Chris Carmichael was contributing cycling programs on Bicycling's website he was also asked a similar question. What he has done on the Bicycling programs as well as in the Lance Armstrong book is to assume a generally less fit cycling audience and adjusted the heart rate zones downward about 5%. In fact a number of years ago Chris wrote an article for USCF on heart rate zones as percentages of max. HR and his zones were 5% higher than the recommended zones on Bicycling. If you make that adjustment and compare to Friel's zones calculated as a % of LT they are very similar, depending of course on where your lactate threshold heart rate is.

I believe if you were to sign up for one of CTS' coaching packages, submit your testing data to them, you'd find the heart rate zones would be even more tightly targeted around your LT heart rate, and would approximate Joe Friel's zones even more closely. The only significant difference I've found, following both coach's published material, is that Carmichael targets tempo work and subthreshold LT intervals ("SS" or "Cruise")to an even narrower range relative to LT than Friel. But there's substantially no functional difference between the two. Each coach has publicly endorsed the work of the other.
don't let them tell you what your body is like.pmannion
Aug 28, 2001 10:40 AM
What I wonder, is why Carmichael (or anyone else) wants so badly to measure LT based on a percentage of maximum heart rate...When it is arguably easier to simply find out the LT by itself.
I also question the validity of using statistics to find a "magic number", when LT can probably be more of a range than a fixed number anyway.

The highest I've ever seen my heart rate go on a bike in recent months is 184, and that is with maximum effort. I can do a 3 mile CTS field test in less than 7:45 with an average heart rate of 168...This is over 91% of my maximum heart rate. I see no writings that say that it is possible for this to be my LT, but I believe my LT to be a higher percentage of MHR than most stats we read about.

Why use statistics based on averages (and risking cardiac arrest in the process) to determine LT based on max heart rate, when it is arguably easier to find the real deal with a simple time trial? Carmichael's own writings say that your average heart rates for two back-to-back 3 mile TTs are probably the LT numbers you seek.

Also, my LT seems to change by the day as well. Some days I hit LT and am just barely getting into oxygen debt and other days I've been in oxygen debt several beats below the LT number I use. Each day is a different ride.

anyone else have similar experiences?
don't let them tell you what your body is like.non-sprinter
Oct 31, 2001 5:18 PM
I've noticed it based on cooler days, I get to LT quicker. Quality of rest seems to make a difference also. I agree, no way can an assigned percentage of max. heart rate, be accurate. You have to find out as an individual.
Programs=more of your moneyCanidraftyou
Aug 29, 2001 5:55 AM
I also use the Joe Friel (Cycling Bible), but im the last person to say this is "THE BOOK FOR YOU." My suggestion is this, go to a Sports Doctor, im lucky that we have a Sports Clinic, and be tested for your LT. Then use Joe Friels or Carmichels program. You'll find that the most important factors are Following the program to the letter as close as you can but yet listening to your body. The object here should really be, can you learn to know you body. When race days comes. You need to know if you have it or not. One who knows their body can be involved in break aways or hold off and sprint for the finish.

Not just in Cycling, but you'll find most Programs set you up to make further purchases. They give you a taste and then ask for more money. Its a market, a money maker for some. My focus is not what others do. Only being the best that I can be, at my pace. You cant expect to train at Lances pace, and then perform with his results, because chances are come test day, you'll be over trained. Not every one peaks at the same time. I followed the Cycling Bible this last year. And found that I peak soon then scheduled. My peak takes place during the build II phase, both time frames this year. "Everyone is one's own." Get tested for LT.

Peace out
re: Friel vs Carmichelbuck
Aug 29, 2001 6:57 PM
please, please, please believe me when i tell you 99% of this "training" books / bibles are just marketing crap designed to seperate amateur riders from their money. It may take you days or years to realise this, but you will realise.
explain, buckspecguy
Aug 31, 2001 5:30 AM
So if Friel's book is just bunk and all marketing crap, what do you recommend? It's fine to disagree with this stuff, but you should back it up and say why. What are your credentials that give you the authority to disagree with such a respected coach?