Tag Archives: joe friel

TT081: Joe Friel & His Newly Revamped Triathlete’s Training Bible


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Joe Friel returns to the show and discusses his revamped and just released Triathlete’s Training Bible.  This is the best selling triathlon book of all time, with roughly 300,000 books sold, and instead of just updating it he started from scratch and rewrote it.Triathlete's Training Bible

We talk about the major revamps to the book. In addition to that we covered a wide range of topics.  Near the end of the interview we talked about his career as he went from teacher to running store owner to triathlon store owner to coach to author.

Joe started his writing for the Fort Collins newspaper and his column ran every single week for 20 years from 1981 to 2001.  He did not like writing when he started and now he has a passion for it.  He wrote his first book, the Cyclist’s Training Bible, and thought it might sell a few hundred copies total.  It sold 1000 copies the first month and 5000 copies the second month and now he’s written 16 books.

Joe is always a good listen so don’t miss this episode.

TT048: Joe Friel on “Fast Over 50”, High Intensity Training, & More

Joe Friel

Joe Friel recently released his 14th book, Fast After 50.  It’s geared to all athletes training and competing after age 50.  Most, but not all, of the interview is centered around the book, but there is much in here that will apply to all triathletes.  Topics discussed include sleep, high intensity training, recovery, and items listed below.  Joe also gives some insight into his research process.

Joe discusses three key factors in athletic success:

Fast After 50

  • aerobic capacity
  • lactate threshold
  • economy

As athletes age, economy tends to remain stable, VO2 max suffers the greatest loss, and lactate threshold declines more slowly.  Maintaining or slowing the rate of decline in these areas should be a focus of training.

Joe talks about three key factors that negatively affect aging athletes.  They are:

  • Loss of aerobic capacity/VO2 max
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Negative trend in body fat percentage

Part of the performance loss of the aging athlete is a result of a reduction of high intensity training. This leads to a decline in aerobic capacity.   Joe talks about the importance of keeping this in, or safely adding it back into, your training regime.

Joe generally defines high intensity as a 9 effort level on a scale of 1-10.  It must be added very slowly into a training plan to reduce the risk of injury, starting with short 15 second efforts and gradually increasing the dose.  For a more detailed recommendation refer to Joe’s book.

I asked for a specific example using high intensity training for a 55 year old triathlete training for an Ironman.  With a consistent and well planned training schedule, this athlete would include high intensity training throughout the plan, with a peak dose in the Base 3 period. This would be 12-16 weeks before the race.  After that it would be reduced to a maintenance level.

More From Joe?

I asked Joe about future projects, and he just started work on a new book that is slated to be completed in 2016.  The project is being kept under wraps, but he said “It’ll be my major work of my career as far as writing books.”  Bigger than The Triathlete’s Training Bible? “Yeah.”


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TT008: Joe Friel Interview Part 1 Talking Paleo, Consistency, & Intensity

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Big Show!  Episode 8 includes part 1 of an interview with Joe Friel. Joe is a long-time and well known coach.  His long list of books includes The Triathlete’s Training Bible and he is a co-founder of TrainingPeaks.com.   We discuss the paleo diet, the importance of training consistency, the key to periodization, and zone 3 training.

Before the interview I explain functional threshold power (FTP) and intensity factor (IF), two important concepts covered in the interview. Continue reading