Quantifying Endurance: Decoupling and Aerobic Endurance

Moving into the winter months, it's a good time to think about base miles. The question is, how to meter those long steady distance miles in such a way as to improve overall endurance and build a foundation for the crisis training that is to come.

Joel Friel's article on decoupling and aerobic endurance provides some pretty good ideas for getting bang for the buck. So as the winter rides progress, a close eye can be kept on the march towards aerobic endurance.

Home Brew

It gets hot here in the Texas hill country. Windy hot. Dehydration hot. Cramp inducing hot.

So it came to pass towards the end of last season when I grew tired of cramps impeding my ability to finish strong, I set off in search of the perfect long training ride/race nutritional concoction. Now, having tested said concoction, I am ready to unleash the beta-recipe on the world, seeking feedback and suggested tweaks.

Ingredients needed:
  • 2 GU or similar flasks (one will do for the sub 3 hour race-ride)
  • Honey
  • Sea Salt
  • Sport Legs tablets
  • Beta Alanine (PrimaForce)
  • Citrullene Malate (PrimaForce)
  • BCAA (PrimaForce)
  • Water

Into each flask, mix the following proportions of ingredients:
  • Fill the flask 1/2 way with honey
  • Add 1 scoop each of the Beta Alanine, Citrullene Malate, and BCAA powder (the scoops PrimaForce provides are very small)
  • 3 pinches of sea salt
  • 3 Sport Legs capsules opened into the flask

Add just enough water to help the honey mix in with the ingredients and give each flask a good shake.

After the post shake head has subsided, top off each flask with water. Now you are good to go!

FTP Pacing Planner

Restraint, composure, self-discipline. I'd like to think that these traits go a long way to characterize me and maybe, in some settings, they do. However, when it comes to practicing restraint and self-discipline during a 20 minute FTP test, I tend to loose my composure, overspend, and fight for survival towards the end when in fact I should be thriving into a strong finish.

To help me and others (if there indeed are others that struggle with this issue), I have developed the FTP Pacing Planner. Go ahead, give it a try. BONUS! If you can't remember your four quarterly targets, you're probably overdoing it and the hypoxia is impairing your memory.

Here is a shot of a planned FTP test with a built in 3rd quarter fade (built in because the fade has emerged as a pattern over several tests for the subject at hand):

And, in case this post descends into oblivion, the planner is permalinked over in the links column.


Mojo, drive, motivation, stick-to-it-ness. Sometimes you've got it, sometimes you don't. Doldrums, funk, listlessness: pretty sure those are the opposite and those last descriptors kind of fit me where I am now.

Or maybe I have been attacked by a swarm of laziness.

Anyway, I've been here before and I am pretty sure I will be here again at the forge, tempering such traits such as persistence, self-discipline, and determination...if only I felt like it.