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Book review - Fast After 50 by Joe Friel

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Book review - Fast After 50 by Joe Friel

Old 02-23-19, 06:48 PM
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Book review - Fast After 50 by Joe Friel

Been wanting to do this since I first picked up this book last year but finally able to get around to it as my wife shocked me by actually going to the grocery so I have some unexpected time!

In this review, I'm going to focusing on the applicability of Joe's advice to ERG training.

Joe uses the relationship between power and heart rate as an indicator of improving aerobic fitness and as the basis for interval workout progression. This is in alignment with a number of reputable sources and translates beautifully to ERG mode where fixed power under controlled conditions further eliminates confounding variables and the need for normalization. Indeed, the linked source above states:

Internal:External-Load Ratio. The internal- and external-load measures available with today’s microtechnology (eg, GPS) mean that measures from these devices are becoming of increasing interest to scientists and coaches as a noninvasive approach to understand how athletes are coping with training and competition. The integrated internal:external-load ratio assesses the psychophysiological stress experienced by the athlete (ie, heart rate, RPE, blood lactate, etc) during training in the context of the external training load completed and can be used to infer on athlete training status. For example, an increase in the internal load to a standard external load may infer athlete fatigue or decreased fitness, while a reduced internal load (a lower heart rate or perception of effort to a standard external load) indicates that an athlete is gaining fitness and coping with training. Furthermore, this may inform on the consequences of training programs,59 identify fatigue during team-sport competition,60,61 and identify changes in fitness or fatigue status.62 However, while practically attractive, the implementation of this approach is limited unless care is taken in controlling and quantifying the athlete’s external loads and the environment in which the exercise is completed.

ERG training allows athletes to both control and quantify both external load and the environment.

Joe uses the internal-to-external load ratio as a measure of fitness in interval workouts and in his Aerobic Threshold and Aerobic Capacity Tests.

Joe also makes "dosing" and periodization easy with his tables for Suggested Training Details for High-, Moderate- and Low-Dose Workouts and Priorities of Workout Types According to Race Duration and Seasonal Periods for the Senior Athlete. These two tables, combined with the internal to external load ratio make Joe's approach to training comprehensive, accessible and ripe for application to ERG training.

One enormously glaring omission from this text, especially given that Joe has written extensively on the topic, is any mention of the application of aerobic decoupling to endurance training. As a key tool in an accessible, systematic and empirical approach to the determination of ideal endurance workout duration and readiness for higher intensity work, I found its omission puzzling given the book's other tools.
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