Ask Angela Your Questions Angela Naeth Run Tri Bike Magazine
Welcome to Ask Angela where you have the ability to ask Angela Naeth your questions about training for a triathlon, gravel cycling or anything in between. Today’s questions and answers revolve around power meters for your bike, Hear Rate zones and using different workouts to build fitness.


I’m strongly considering a power meter so what’s recommended for a newbie? I have a lot of Garmin products but I’m not married to the brand.

There are a number of powermeters out there and they are all quite good. The key is to always use the same one, calibrate it daily and use those numbers as a reference – not comparing to others. It’s about repeatability. You will also want to do a threshold test to help you find your zones.  I personally have my athletes do a 20 minute threshold test that correlates to .94 of your % FTP watts.


I recently began training for my first 70.3. I’m following the 80/20 Level 1 training plan (Run Pace, Bike HR). I’m quickly finding that it’s difficult to gauge my effort by HR on the bike.

I am not sure your zones you are using for training so it’s hard for me to dial in your effort. The zones I use may help you. You will want to do a proper HR zone test.

Here are the training zones that I use for training and scheduling workouts.  You will have set your heart rate (HR) zones and/or power zones for each of these areas. Paces for mile splits will emerge but the focus will be HR until a solid foundation and fitness is accumulated.

ZoneR(Recovery)Very Easy. Think of it as simply moving your legs and arms without breaking a sweat. Like a stroll or spin around the park with a 2-year old.  The purpose of these workouts are to flush the system, recovery from your last session and/or prepare you for an upcoming run (if cycling) or hard day/workout coming up.

Zone 1: Aerobic Endurance. This is the zone where a huge chunk of your workouts will be in. It will transfer over to your Ironman pace/hr as well if enough time at this zone is accumulated over the course of a training program. The early part of any season will have most work spent in this zone.

Zone 2:  Endurance Tempo Zone.  Zone used for intervals, at the end of rides/runs and specificity sets. This equates to typically your half-ironman paces/hr zones for racing after a solid foundation of training. The amount of time in this zone increases closer to your races and after a good foundation of Zone 1 aerobic work.

Zone 3: Threshold Zone. This zone is used for increasing your pace/power relative to your Vo2Max. This will be seen in training programs the closer to your races and will help provide the ability to increase speed/power as you train for your A-race  These are typically short intervals up to 30 minutes.

Zone 4: BEST Effort.  The goal of this zone is short efforts that are best effort.  These help raise your threshold anaerobically and improve your efficacy. This zone is speed work and will be done 4-12 weeks out from your race. An example is 8×1/2 mile repeats with the goal of progressing the speed and effort to ALL out by the 8th one. No heart-rate or pacing is required for this.

MOD/MAD/MAX: This will be used occasionally in some workouts. It breaks down to working out at a moderate feeling effort, a mad-intense effort and an ALL out effort. I will use this occasionally and have athletes wear a HR monitor (sometimes) just to get the data. These are fun workouts because it really is about how you perceive a good effort and your mindset going into it. Caffeine is suggested 😉

Thoughts on running before cycling vs cycling longer? Is there a difference between a 1 hr run + 1 hr bike vs 2 hr bike?

It really depends on what your goals are. What race are you doing? Where are you in your training load. In general if you’re doing a longer race, I like to run after cycling in most cases, and also have days where I only run. Dependent on your goals for the workout, I would suggest to stay with your longer bike rides to help with aerobic fitness and dial in your running on opposing days. At the beginning, the brick workouts should be short. For example, a 2 hour bike with a 15-minutes run off the bike. From there,  build the time spent and effort.

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