Joe Friel Answers Power-Meter Questions

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  • Published Apr 14, 2009
  • Updated May 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM UTC

Power levels aid in pacing for Ironman bike leg.

Coach and author Joe Friel recently dished some good information on Ironman training and power meters. Read on for insights from the man behind the “bible”—The Triathlete’s Training Bible.

Question: I heard in a discussion about the concept of using power levels for pacing in the bike portion of a half or full Ironman. I can’t remember all of the details and was wondering if you had any insight into this idea. For an IM race it was something like not exceeding 60% of your CP 60 power levels during the bike ride so that you wouldn’t burn out your legs prior to the run. I am not sure on the numbers but was wondering if you had any thoughts on this. I was also wondering if there were similar numbers that you could use for a half IM race.

Answer: I’ve had the Ironman athletes I coach using power meters to regulate intensity in their races for the last five years. It works well. A heart rate monitor may also be used but the excitement of the day usually creates inflated numbers the first half hour or so of the bike. This just happens to be the most critical part of the entire race, I believe. Go out too fast now and you run a very high risk of having a poor performance or not finishing. I see this happen at races all the time. It contributes to the stomach problems that so many IM athletes experience …

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