Eats Squid
Can i just comment on one aspect - thats MHR zones versus LT zones.

As you know, MHR is determined and unmodifiable (within reason), so training in a zone when you are 50% fit is a different zone than when you are 100% fit - using MHR means that zone doesnt change.

Using LT however, is a point which changes with your fitness, so you may be able to move your LT up 4 or 5 beats in 6 weeks for instance, which then changes your endurance zone up 4 or 5 BPM. Whether or not you are trying to increase your LT, isnt the point, using the LT is about keeping zones relative with your changing fitness. You can still work on vo2 and trying to stretch it out, its just that you set your training zones to your Lactic Threshold.

The thing that I understand about LT, is its used because its reasonably easy to get an accurate estimate and picture of your fitness - ie without spending $$$$ having tubes sticking out of you.


Likes Dirt
Yeah Lt is a better gauge though I am only using HR at the moment.
I will eventually move to Lt but right now HR is my best gauge. I am coming off a decent time of been very sedentary so i don't want to go out 100% with a LT test. But in 6 weeks I will re-evaluate where Im at and will more than likely do a LT test.
Doing a LT test will give you the information you need. In a number of weeks re-evaluate.

The trouble with MHR based zones is you need to know your MHR accurately and the decide on whether you use a 4 or 5 or other zone system. Do you include PWE as well? I am being no help, but there are a lot of variables to work with.

If you are building up a base again maybe stay below your ventilatory threshold, which generally correlates well to LT. Joe Friels talks about this a bit in his books and blog. Have a look there.


Wheel size expert
Cheers joe friels book seems to come up in everything fitness on this forum I really should grab a copy.
Last edited:


Likes Dirt
Sorry DK, I just reread your OP. I would not have thought that you would have lost that much aerobic fitness in 3 months. Strength or power maybe but not fitness. My first thoughts are that you are being conservative with your workout times and work rate. Are you injured or do just want to build slowly to reduce the burn out potential?
I think that in terms of recovery time from specific workloads you might benefit for using a perceived work load or exertion scale. It would be a good guide to how you feel. Again this is in Friels book (go to booktopia!). The short short is that if you do an E1 workout for 30 minutes and it is a 5/10 effort and repeat the same workout some time later - call it a day or two - and the same workout is a 8/10 then the recovery has not been enough. That is one way of doing it, there are many more. If you do a harder workout with more effort then recovery needs to be increased. As I get older I realise that I must recover as hard as I train.

I hope that helps.


Eats Squid
DK, the following comes from not a whole lot of experience, but time reading this stuff recently - your own ramblings, MYI's, any thread mentioning Friel etc.

Firstly, some of the riders i ride with have extraordinarily fast times to very near peak fitness - ie for me, while its months of work, i ride with a guy who can step up 25% in 4 weeks - starts 6 weeks out (has long history of triathlons, etc, never carries excess weight either).

Next, the guts of a lot of stuff seems to be you get the best value training at around your LT or FTP, either 10min, 20min, or longer sessions (shorter ones obviously have rest intervals between). You train at these points because your max output in short intervals will improve towards your genetic maximum with this training, so there's no real benefit in doing really short max intervals - except in that it build a bit of muscle, but its not part of your cardio system that you can improve (ie i am slow over 2 minutes- i always will be, and have always been)

Overtraining - the guys i have read that depend on scientific study rather than what some coach said, seem to have a one day hard, one day easy kind of regime (this also came from a friend who is currently representing australia in xc running in europe). The Friels approach to the same problem is to monitor your resting heart rate in the morning - know what it is over a week, and monitor it - after a hard day (maybe a 40min FTP ergo session) it should be higher than normal by 8 to 10 beats - this is the signal that today is recovery/easy day - that is around 85% of FTP/LT or 75% of MY MHR (keep in mind that my LT is 89% of MHR - yours could be higher or lower. Conversely, if your RHR isnt out of normal, go ahead and train hard for the 45min or so where you get max benefit (law of diminishing returns seems to set in quite heavily at 45min).

So if you are looking for a level to train at to maximise your return over short training periods over a short length of time - do a test and figure out your LT FTP. If you just want to avoid overtraining, do your resting heart rate and track it - this will also be a score to track your improvments (1.5yr ago, mine was 68, now 50) so MHR - RHR = performance gap available for cardio system - bigger the number the fitter you are.

hope this isnt all too basic for you, but it summarises a whole lot of what i've read over the last little while