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At the remarkable age of 80, Joe Friel is a testament to the power of staying engaged in the activities that bring joy and fulfillment. He is an active endurance sports coach, author, and a trailblazer in the realm of multisport coaching. From tackling the challenges of altitude training to the profound impact of lifestyle factors like sleep, diet, and maintaining a vibrant social life, Joe shares his wealth of experience.

Joe’s Story

Armed with a master’s degree in exercise science, Joe’s journey began as a marathoner and running coach in the 1970s and 1980s. Transitioning to triathlon coaching in 1983, Joe became one of the pioneers of the discipline, establishing one of the first triathlon stores in the world. Leaving retail in 1987 to focus on coaching, Joe has coached athletes ranging from novices to professionals, with a notable presence in the USA Triathlon Coaches Association, where he was a founding member.

A prolific writer, Joe authored 17 books on training, with “The Triathlete’s Training Bible” standing out as a worldwide bestseller. In 1999, Joe co-founded TrainingPeaks, an online training software for endurance athletes. Currently residing in the mountains of northern Arizona, Joe continues to contribute to the athletic community and is diligently working on his 18th book, dedicated to coaches.

Coaching as a Tool

So, let’s start with the first step: finding the right coach-athlete fit is the most important factor in achieving optimal results. It is not uncommon to experience instances of overtraining under certain coaches – which highlights the importance of effective communication. Joe and I broke down the costs and benefits of coaching for amateur athletes, including pricing varied service levels coaches may offer.

Joe stresses the transformative impact of coaching, asserting that a good coach can significantly enhance an athlete’s performance, making the investment worthwhile. Though, coaching fees can run on quite a spectrum – from $100 to $1,000+ per month – depending on the level of service and frequency of contact. This conversation provides valuable insights for athletes navigating the decision to seek coaching, emphasizing the potential for transformative growth and improved results under the right coaching guidance.

Aging, Fitness, and Adapting Training Methods

Aging has an impact on fitness and athletic performance – true. But are there ways to adapt? Also true! With insights from Joe’s extensive coaching experience, we discuss the decline in aerobic capacity around the age of 30-40 and the challenges faced by aging athletes.

We dissect the decline in aerobic capacity and the need for adaptation. Joe’s wisdom, grounded in his book “Fast After 50,” offers insights into maintaining peak performance despite the changes that come with age. We celebrate stories of athletic achievement at every age, emphasizing the powerful connection between exercise and mental well-being.

It becomes crucial to adapt training methods to accommodate age-related changes in technique and stride. Joe shares anecdotes of elite athletes adjusting their techniques to maintain form at slower speeds, emphasizing the need for a flexible approach to training as athletes age.

Personally, I believe that incorporating diverse activities into a training regimen can help stave off burnout and maintain motivation. I’ve picked up snowshoeing and trail running! Joe echoes this sentiment, sharing personal experiences transitioning from one sport to another in his 40s. Cross-training and trying new activities is highly beneficial, not just for physical health but also to keep training enjoyable and interesting. In fact, the exploration of new sports and activities can actually extend one’s athletic career.

E-Bikes: A Supportive Companion

As Joe narrates the tale of a cyclist friend who seamlessly integrates e-bikes into their rides, we explore the role of technology in supporting aging athletes. The inclusive nature of e-bikes begets massive potential to enhance social mobility and well-being. Imagine the positive impact they can have on the cycling community!

Joe utilizes an e-bike to join a group of younger cyclists in Sedona, and emphasizes that the e-bike enables him to stay with the group while providing a beneficial workout without exceeding his physical limits. This technology isn’t just limited to recreational cyclists – there are even professional cycling teams employing e-bikes for recovery rides.

I often see e-bike riders on my own rides, and I love it! I’m a huge supporter of any tool that can encourage group dynamics, ensuring that individuals of varying fitness levels can continue enjoying the camaraderie of cycling together. Even when they pass me by!

Aging Gracefully

Whether you’re an amateur seeking guidance or a seasoned pro looking for fresh insights, Joe’s journey from marathoner to triathlon coach brings forth valuable perspectives on coaching, self-regulation, and embracing the evolving nature of our athletic endeavors.

Here are Joe’s key takeaways:

  • Sustaining Career Engagement: Insights on maintaining professional engagement throughout a career, including valuable lessons on longevity and passion
  • Aging Athletes: Maintaining vitality through enjoyable activities, healthy eating, sufficient sleep, and sociability
  • Adapting to Age: Learn how changing expectations and utilizing tools like e-bikes can support sociability and routine
  • Coaching Considerations: Should amateurs seek coaching? We break down factors like the financial investment, the importance of being informed, and the transformative power of aligning expectations

Listen to Joe’s episode

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Episode Chapters

  • Mountain biking, moving to Sedona, and altitude. (0:00)
  • Athletic training, aging, and staying engaged. (2:45)
  • Aging, exercise, diet, and sleep for athletes. (8:41)
  • Sleep habits and their impact on athletic performance. (11:21)
  • The importance of coaching in athletic performance. (19:00)
  • Self-regulation in athletic performance. (24:34)
  • Coaching costs and benefits for amateur athletes. (27:37)
  • Training for endurance sports with a focus on self-coaching. (32:52)
  • Aging athletes and fitness decline. (40:23)
  • The benefits of exercise and mental well-being in athletes. (45:39)
  • Aging, fitness, and using e-bikes for support. (52:40)

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Transcript

Joe Friel 0:12
Yeah, well, I’m happy to be on on your on your podcast. I’m looking forward to it. As I was just saying to you, it’s been a number of years since I actually coached any mountain bikers. But I wrote one book about mountain biking back in like 97, or 98, something like that. That book is no longer around. It’s been a long, long time since I wrote that. However, I live in a little town as we were talking about earlier called Sedona, Arizona, which is like mountain by Kevin, it’s, we have something like 10,000 tourists a day in town, most of which are mountain bikers. So we’ve got mountain bikers all over the place here riding trails, and so forth. So it’s a great place to live.

Sonya Looney 0:54
What brought you to Sedona?

Joe Friel 0:57
Well, it’s a long story about my life, I used to live in Boulder, as I mentioned to you again earlier in our conversation, where you were also and we decided we wanted to live in Arizona, and we just got tired of the winters in Colorado. Some days, it’s difficult to get outside for for a workout, arrive, whatever it may be. And so we started shopping around this is like about 2001 decided to settle in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is down right next to Phoenix. And it turned out to be just the opposite. They’re so hot, you know, the high temperature average in the summers 108 degrees, and that the average temperature is 110 100 415 sometimes, and so we finally grew tired of that. Also, I wouldn’t get we got to find someplace in between. So we started shopping around and we started like a six state tour of city as we might like to live in. And the first one we went to was Sedona and we kind of liked it. But we went on to all the other cities we had on our list. Inside we really liked Sedona the most so we came back and and bought a place here that was like about four or five years ago. And we’ve been there ever since. And it’s kind of like a low altitude Boulder, in some ways are like 4500 feet instead of 5500 feet. But beautiful scenery, great places to ride. And lots of athletes to to pal around with.

Sonya Looney 2:22
I’m just laughing because I lived at altitude my entire life. And then I moved to sea level about 10 years ago. And now when I come back and race in Colorado, we’re just talking about the Breck epic it’s I used to think that altitude like oh people, it’s not that big of a deal. People coming from sea level and now I truly understand so I can see why the the lore of living at altitude still and and living in a beautiful place like Sedona.

Joe Friel 2:45
Yeah, it’s a nice place. It’s not again, not quite as high as Boulder, but it’s high enough that you get some benefit from it. You know, going back to your comment about going coming back to altitude experience, its difficulties dealing with it. You know, that’s probably the second hardest thing you got to deal with that most, the most challenging thing you can deal with is heat. Second most challenging thing is altitude. And so when you get both of those things rolling together, like you go to Boulder in the summertime, for example, it’s gonna be extremely difficult, you know, 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And you’re 5500 feet. We get a little bit warmer here but not quite as high. So we’ve got just a little bit easier time than that. Breck is a great place to race in the summertime when the weather’s he just not that bad. But you got to deal with the altitude is pretty dang dang high up there.

Sonya Looney 3:38
Yeah, like, I’ve actually done a couple of podcasts on heat training. But I haven’t really heard any good solutions on how to prepare for altitude when you live at sea level. So actually wanted to ask you about that. Yeah,

Joe Friel 3:49
there really is no good way to do it. The only way to really do it is to go to altitude. Because your body’s got to go through a deputation period. And there’s lots of lots of research out there on a subject and it kind of is you can buy you can get these you know, these altitude tents for example. I’ve personally got my questions about whether or not they’re as effective as actually being at altitude but there may be some benefit to it rather small, I would suspect but the biggest thing now is with for elite athletes is to have altitude homes, or at least altitude rooms within their home. And lots of national teams do this like the for example the Norwegian team as an altitude hold that their their athletes live in as they prepare for for the grace like the Olympics or something. And so that’s kind of a trend right now, but some countries have actually declared that to be illegal like like it’s banned in some countries, which is strange. But but not very many I’ve and I’ve forgotten the countries off the top of my head, but there’s just a few countries who have banned limited artificial Altitude’s as a way of preparing for competition. So it’s kind of a debatable topic, I guess also at the same time, but bottom line is you gotta go there to get the most benefits from it. Okay,

Sonya Looney 5:10
gotcha. How have you stayed professionally engaged in coaching and writing? Because Can you tell us how old you are?

Joe Friel 5:18
My 80th birthday was just last week.

Sonya Looney 5:21
Happy birthday.

Joe Friel 5:23
So I’ve been much over the hill now. Maybe.

Sonya Looney 5:26
But yeah, so have you stayed engaged after all these years? Oh,

Joe Friel 5:30
it’s just something I’ve always done. I started doing this when I was like, 12 years old. All this stuff I’m doing I was a runner refers. This is a long, long time ago. And I found that sport to me was the most enjoyable thing in my life. And so I did everything I could in high school, college to stay involved in teams, track and field, for example, was one of my favorites. And when I was in offseason, for whatever reason I trained on my own, nobody else did that I was the only weirdo in the entire college, I think I’d go out and run and do often Deloitte lift, and I started weightlifting back in, you know, when I was in college, and still do to this day. So I started doing this stuff at a very young age, when nobody else did it. Everybody else thought I was kind of strange, because I wanted to do these things. But I really enjoyed it. And it’s never, it’s never left me. I was in Vietnam during the war, the Air Force, and I continued to work out there I was running, doing whatever I could to stay active. And so it’s just always been that way, no matter where I’ve been in my, in my world, I’ve always tried to figure out a way to make sure I can do what I enjoy doing, which is working out.

Sonya Looney 6:44
Now, number one, thanks for your service. And number two, it sounds like being an athlete is such a core part of who you are, that it isn’t even necessarily a challenge to stay engaged with that because it’s who you are.

Joe Friel 6:54
It’s just you know, so I always talk about being like brushing my teeth, I just don’t think anything about it is gonna do it. You know, when we’re done talking here today, I’ll go out for a ride. And I rode yesterday and lifted weights and did some cross training with my wife. And so it’s, it’s, it’s just fun for me, I enjoyed I can’t imagine ever stopping but there’ll be some point in time where the end comes in, that’s gonna be the last of it. But it’ll be good. It was a good example. This is had a friend pass away. About four months ago, he was 92 years old. He opened the record for the 75 year old plus, at Ironman Hawaii. And continued did in racing there every year, for as long as I knew him, which is something like 20 years, he was always an Iron Man. And he finally passed away at age 92. A few months ago, the day he died, he went for a run and a bike ride. And he died later that day. And I always that that, for me, is how I see me coming into my I want to go out having to step my workout and still enjoying life. And that’s, that’s the end of it. I don’t want to live in a hospital bed for six months, dying slowly over nothing. I want to have it come suddenly like that. Have you finished very, very actively, like my friend did. I’m sure if I could talk to him. Now he tells me how happy he was to be able to end it that way. Knowing that he was so much like me that we have a lot in common. Great guy anyway, he’s gone. And I miss him. But nevertheless, you went out in the way I’d like to go.

Sonya Looney 8:41
Yeah, I’m sorry about your friend. And also, what a great example for you and for all of us to follow. I think that with aging, a lot of people have a negative view of aging, like even people lie about their age, they do all these crazy things to try to pretend like they’re not aging, because of this image of what aging looks like. And you’re somebody that is setting an example that aging doesn’t have to mean that you stopped doing the things that you love, that you can’t use your body anymore. And a lot of people have pain, like their joints hurt their knee hurt, like whatever, all these things start hurting. So how have you actually? Or what advice do you have for aging athletes to address some of these aches and pains that come up that stop them from moving?

Joe Friel 9:20
Yeah, there’s there’s three things that I’m a strong, maybe four things that actually the fourth one is not quite as strong as the first three. Number one is exercise daily, you got to be active. You got to do like my friend right up until you can no longer do it. You got to be very, very active all your life. And it’s, it’s gotta be fun. It’s not fun. It’s really you don’t have to whip yourself to go outside to do something like go for a run or whatever it may be. But you just got to be enjoyable. You’ve got to enjoy. This is number one on the list. If you do that, that’s the biggest thing of all the things we’re gonna talk about. That’s the biggest one. That’s the one that will give you the most Mmm healthspan you’ll be healthy for a very, very long time if you do that. Second thing is your diet, what you eat. I’ve, I’ve been very concerned my diet my entire life. I’ve always watched when I put my mouth because I realized it had a lot to do with how I performed when I was racing. So I was always very concerned about that. And I happened to be married to a woman who has exactly the same attitude. So she, she’s a great cook, and she prepares the meals. My job is to wash the dishes, Her job is to get the the already, so we’ve got to be share the burden of the meal. But she’s got she shares that same concern I have. So I always watch carefully when I when I put in math, it doesn’t mean I never eat something out of the ordinary. Like, we just went past Christmas while I was getting, I’m always given a box of chocolates for Christmas by somebody. And so I’m still nibbling away on those, and they’ll probably last another week before they’re gone. But it’s a little bit chocolates, okay, if this is I don’t want to be chocolate all day long, though. That’s the second thing. Third thing is sleep, which is what most athletes do not get enough of in our society, they may exercise great and have a great diet, but they don’t get enough sleep. And that’s really a very strong key to how well you hold out in life, how long your life is, how healthy you are, is how much sleep you get every night. Good and all the details there. But that’s one of the things that I always ask clients ask ask athletes when they ask me to coach them is to tell me about your your sleep habits and how that goes. And if they have terrible sleep habits, I really don’t want to coach him that it’s going to be a waste of time. Good sleep habits not only make you a better athlete, they help you to live longer and eat and be healthy in the process. And the fourth thing, which is probably down the list, by the way, some of the others, which have been reading a lot about in the last several months, I suppose is sociability just being around other people. And that works out with things like having training partners, people you go for, for rides with or runs with whatever you do, or people you meet for something or whatever it may be. Just having somebody in your life that you can, you can be sociable with has been shown to also improve your your health span and your lifespan. And I’m sure there’s a longer list than that. But I know that that’s that’s enough things right there to talk about those those seem to me to be to be the big four in terms of healthspan and lifespan. Yeah,

Sonya Looney 12:25
and I think that something that’s really interesting about this list that I 100% agree with, I’m also a health and wellness coach and mental performance coach. So these are things that I talk about all the time, is it you don’t see like vo two Max training or you know, zone two training which you need, you need to do all these different things. But these things are the fundamentals. And without these fundamentals, whenever you add on all of this structure training, it might not actually be as beneficial as you think it’s gonna be.

Joe Friel 12:53
Yeah, these things are all have to be taken in context, they’re every everything that goes into training, is a picture is is one is one piece in a big puzzle. And you can’t have all the same pieces, it takes a lot of these pieces to to be successful in sport. For example, you mentioned intensity tracking, like zone two, and so forth. Zone two is beneficial. And there’s no problem with that zone one is also beneficial, and zone four is beneficial and so forth. So they’ve all gotten benefits, just it’s a matter of using the right one at the right time is what it’s all about. And unfortunately, that’s where most self coached athletes fall down is they, I think the key is to always be zone four, zone five, zone six, zone eight, wherever they do, that’s the highest, that’s what they got to be at. And they tend to disregard the lower intensity zones. So that if if you can get if you can learn to do that, and you’re already doing the high intensity stuff, you’ve got to Nate, but if you ignore the low intensity stuff in favor of always doing high intensity, you’re never going to be a good athlete. It just doesn’t happen that way. I’m

Sonya Looney 14:02
laughing because there’s lots of times people want to go out for a ride with me and the ride as hard as they possibly can. And I have to ask them, Why are you riding so hard? Like we don’t I don’t want to ride this hard. I hear Yeah. So we’re gonna talk about sleep really quick. A lot of times, a lot of athletes listening to this are time crunched, they are working full time jobs, they have kids, they have to squeeze in the training wherever they can. And a lot of times that might mean giving up sleep to wake up early in the morning to squeeze in a workout. So how do you balance the time issue versus the sleep issue to make time with those early morning training sessions?

Joe Friel 14:39
And one of the things I always mentioned a while ago when I’ve whenever somebody wants to coach them. I have a series of questions I go through one of the questions is Tell me about your lifestyle. And what I’m what I’m really paying attention to is how many things they have going on in their life during the day. Now, when they get done and I found out they’ve got like a half dozen things they gotta get done every day. And they’ve got to cram it all in including their workouts, whatever that may be workout or workout. So it can be multiples in something like triathletes are really bad at this. But when they get through all that, and I’m basically shaking my head saying it’s not gonna work, you can’t have all this stuff in your life, because something’s gotta give and what’s going to give is sleep, you’re going to cut back on sleep, in order to get more stuff in. So I tell athletes, you can really only have three things in your life, you can have your family, we’re not going to do away with that. You can have your career, that’s important to you also. And you can have training and nothing else. You can’t volunteer to be on the HOA for your husband, for your wherever you live your your neighborhood, you can’t decide to take up golf, you can’t use there’s a whole long list of things you just can’t do if you have a high goal. And you really want to achieve that goal. Because the only way you can do that is sleep, you’ve got to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, everybody’s got to get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Some need more than that, the details on this, but you got to get to sleep. And if if you’re cutting back on sleep in order to fit everything in something else, and then then that’s a problem. And either I can’t coach you or else you’ve got to figure out what we’re going to leave out. And I hate to say it to people, but that’s just the way it is, you know, if you you want to qualify for the national championship, in whatever your sport may be, or you want to go to arm Hawaii, or whatever it is, you want to accomplish this really high goal, we have got to figure out a way to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. And we’ll figure it out. You may not like it. But that’s what’s necessary to do it because that’s what happens. Yeah, there’s not creativeness. The Workout only creates potential for fitness, the fitness isn’t realized until you sleep now is when you begin to realize the benefits of that workout you did today. That’s when all the hormones are released. And they’re released in waves all night long, like 90s 90 minute waves that go on all night. So if you cut it back to six hours asleep, or five hours of sleep, you give up at least one of those waves during the night. That makes you give up some of the hormones that go into rebuilding muscles and making you more fit. So it’s I always hate to bring the subject up. But it’s something that an app learn to cope with and totally wrong. Which is you’re not hurting yourself.

Sonya Looney 17:43
Can you see that last sentence because it was breaking up on my side?

Joe Friel 17:48
Yeah, the key to this really is finding out finding the coach, if you’re really not very good at coaching yourself, if you make bad decisions, like for example, doing things when you’ve already got too much in your life to begin with, then you need to hire a coach, the coach is the solution to your to your problems to get things back on track again and perform at a high level.

Sonya Looney 18:05
Yeah, I love that you actually brought this up. Because I think that in our culture, it’s always about adding in more like I need to do everything. And I’m going to add everything in and try to be good at everything. And the reality is that that that doesn’t work. So you have to choose what’s your priority? And like, how do you help athletes do that? Because if they have to subtract something in order to make time for sleep and training, you know, how do they make these decisions on what to cut out? I

Joe Friel 18:31
don’t know. I can’t I can’t answer that question. Because it’s their it’s their life, not mine. But somehow we’ve got to figure out what the problem is, and get to the root of it. So we can start getting more sleep. If we can’t figure that out, then really I just can’t do it for you. I’m not a you know, I’m not I’m not in psychology, I’m not in sleep behavioral science. I’m, I’m, I’m a coach. And I’m not that smart. I’m not really sure how to do all these things. So the athletes got to figure it out. I can be there to help them. But they’ve got to make the decision themselves.

Sonya Looney 19:03
So you mentioned coaching out there on your website and other places you can get training plans, or you can work individually with a coach, what are the benefits of having a training plan, that’s more of just like a generic training plan versus working with a coach working

Joe Friel 19:20
with a coach is 1000 times better than coming from a person who writes training plans, training plans, or you have to decide who you’re writing a training plan for. So it may not be you. In fact, it probably isn’t you it’s probably some amalgamation of various people, different athletes or various athletes based on all kinds of variables age, tied to how long they’ve been in the sport, how good they are, how they’ve trained in the past, how they react to training and all these things are sorts of things that really need to be taken into consideration when you’re actually writing a plan for a given out If you write a generalized plan that people can purchase, you’re getting somewhat of a much lesser type of plan than what you would get if you had rich actually had somebody do that for you, and personalized it. So what that comes down to is, is the athlete has to be their own coach, they’ve got to make a decision with the plan says do X today. And the athlete has to look at x and decide if is this right for me. So the athlete has to now become their own coach. And I found that most self coached athletes don’t do a very good job. They are they invariably make wrong decisions, almost always in favor of making things harder than they need to be. And so consequently, there’s a good chance, they’re just not going to perform very well. Although a plan is probably a generic plan is probably better than the athlete not having a generic plan and trying to come up with everything for themselves. That’s why I wrote, the books I’ve written about how to go about coaching yourself is to help you figure out how to do that. But it’s not it’s not as easy as it looks like it’s not just go out and do as hard as you can every day. It’s not the way you do it. There’s all kinds of things going on here. That’s why I can write, you know, 70,000 words about how to how to coach yourself. Because it’s a complex topic, it’s not a simple topic. So the best solution is find a way to hire a coach, that is the bottom line to becoming a better athlete at all levels. I don’t care what the level is thought hire a coach.

Sonya Looney 21:33
How can people discern what a good coach is, I’ll give an example. I’ve had multiple coaches across my career, I’ve been a pronoun biker, I don’t even know 15 years or something like that, maybe more. But a lot of times when I’ve worked with coaches, they’ve actually over trained me. So I find that I perform best when I don’t have a coach because inevitably, I get overtraining when I work with a coach. So like, how would I deal with that? And how could somebody else who’s like trying to find a coach, find a good coach, that’s a good fit for them.

Joe Friel 22:04
This was actually an athlete that contacted me a long time ago. Our road bikers woman, and she said that she wanted if I would coach her. And so I’m trying to whenever someone says that to be able to find out why. And what she told me what she just she just fired her coach because he would have her do. She either did one of two things every day either do a very, very hard workout, or take the day off. Those are the only two options. And so she felt like he was overtrained and undertrained all at the same time, because she was doing these extremely hard workouts. And the next day, she was totally off, didn’t ride her bike at all. And so she finally gave up on that. And you can find those types of coaches, they’re few and far between anymore. They used to be much more numerous than they are today. We’ve got a lot more things going on in the world now within sport that gets coaches on the right, keel to be doing the right things with their athletes. But there, you’ll still find coaches out there who don’t do a very good job with their athlete. Some coaches think their job is to entertain the athlete, they give them hard workouts and make him sweat and say boy, that was hard to coach. And that’s exactly what I want that athlete to do is feel like it was hard. But that’s really not the way it is. The good coach knows that the key really is to is to keep things as easy as we can down to the level of whatever this athletes unique needs are. That’s the key. I had an athlete write me two days ago. He just read my cyclists training Bible. And he’s in his first year in the sport. And he said he came across a sentence in my book where it said, If you are new to the to the sport, you shouldn’t do any high intensity interval training. Stay away from that for a couple of years. And he wanted to know if that was really true, but I changed my mind on that for him. And I said absolutely not that if I was your coach, you would not be doing any high intensity interval training. I would have you doing lots and lots of low intensity training to build your aerobic base. You can still go to the races occasionally. I wouldn’t expect it to be any kind of a great cyclists at this point. But that’s but it’s a process you have to go through the cyclists. Nobody started out being everybody started out being a poor cyclists or was that and had to learn to become a better cyclist along the insole but the last thing I said to him was, I know as an as a self coached athlete, you will pay absolutely no attention to what I’m saying you’ll go out and do it anyway. Good luck. That’s just the way athletes are they do not. They do not they’re unwilling to say I’m gonna do an easy workout they give in all it takes is one person to come along and join them and all of a sudden becomes a race. That’s just the way it always is with everybody in any endurance sport have ever found out or what sport is. Second person joins up and all of a sudden the intensity becomes a race So you’ve got to figure it out how to how to control yourself. What I used to tell people when I was coaching them, is if that happens to you, you’re riding along and somebody comes up beside you, and all of a sudden, you can feel it becoming a race. The next point, you come to the turn of some kind of intersection, make a turn and get away from this person, go back to your workout again, do not ride with other people who want to make it a race, you’ve got to make it easy. When it calls freezing.

Sonya Looney 25:21
Yeah, I mean, self regulation seems like a foundational skill when it comes to everything that you’re talking about, like, going to bed at the right time eating, like not eating the foods that, you know, may be harmful for you eating the good foods, being social, not racing people, when you’re out on an easy ride, like self regulation is such, it’s important, but it’s also challenging. Do you actually speak about self regulation as a skill with athletes?

Joe Friel 25:49
Well, skill is kind of a big word respose is, which is kind of like a talent. It’s kinda like something that’s embedded in the athlete. All of us who become athletes all suffer from the same problem. This is not unique to certain people. The mere fact that we want to be an athlete, and we want to compete, takes us to that level where we’ve got to make decisions about what we’re going to do every day. And that always lurking in the back of my mind, I want to compete, I want to be I want to be fast, I want to race well, let me show on a podium, whatever it may be. And we see the solution to that problem is being hard workouts. So it’s kind of like an intuitive thing that we have built into us that to compete means to work out hard. And unfortunately, that’s not the way it is, you can look at any of the best athletes in the world in endurance sports, I don’t care what sport is any the best indoor sport athletes in the world. And they don’t, they don’t train that way. They don’t go out every day and beat themselves in the ground by going as hard as they can. They have days in there that are very easy. In fact, they have more easy days, and they have hard days. But, you know, self coached athletes are unwilling to accept that as the way it is they just, they just don’t accept it. But I think it’s just a part of our nature as human beings. When we say we want to excel, that means work out hard. Therefore, every day, I need to work out hard, that kind of way they see it. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is. That’s why having a coach solves that problem, the coach is not gonna let you do that least a good coach, well, the good coach will let you do that. And they’ll have something drawn up for you, which really gives you lots of time to recover in business. And come back at the right time, it’s appropriate to a hard work not not day after day after day after day.

Sonya Looney 27:37
Now one of my coaching clients, is actually I think this would be a good conversation. He’s an amateur athlete, and he At first he thought I shouldn’t get a coach, because who am I to get a coach, I’m not a pro. And then second of all, we started talking about him having a coach. And it was something we talked about, like how coaches actually, their job for a lot of people is to hold their athletes back from doing too much. So can you help? Can you help us? Can you talk about the amateur athletes getting coaches, because I think a lot of amateur athletes think they shouldn’t have a coach, they don’t deserve a coach. But I think that a lot of amateur athletes really benefit from a coach.

Joe Friel 28:15
Yeah, that that notion I don’t, I’m not, I’m really not in a position, I’m not qualified, if you will, to be able to have a coach that goes back a long ways. I started coaching back in the 1970s. And I can recall, you know, I was the only coach around that was the only one as far as I knew in the United States. And those days I was I was, you know, a freelance coach, all the other coaches worked for plugs or universities or schools or something. And I was freelance. And that was unusual. And it was the same problem back then they people said, you know, I can’t I, you know, I don’t really want to coach because I’m not, I’m not that good. It’s for pros are the ones who have to have a coach. And that’s not the way it is at all. But even pros back in those days said the same thing. They didn’t want coaches either. So as long, long time ago now, now you don’t leave. It’s rare to find a coach and athlete who doesn’t have a coach that’s extremely rare for professional athlete, an elite athlete, that’s almost always the case that they have a coach. But that’s you know, that I can guarantee you guarantee any athlete, if you hire a coach and you do a good job of finding a good coach, that coach will produce a better athlete out of you then and anybody else, then you could for yourself, you’ll do much better. You perform much better if you do that. And you know, and it’s it’s 1000 times better than buying a training plan to have a real coach. And some coaches don’t charge nearly enough. This is when I talk to coaches and this is the conversation I have and then we don’t charge enough. And stuff you’re doing for people is really beneficial and has a lot to do with their self perceptions and how they how they do in life and how they perform and all this and yet you Charge next to nothing. You know, it’s not your slice, you’re giving your services away, so that I can guarantee an athlete, if they look around, they can find somebody who’s dirt cheap, who knows a lot about how to coach people? Is that going to be as good as somebody that you pay a lot of money to? I don’t know, it depends on there’s so many variables that I can’t answer that question. But I’m sure you can find somebody who’s inexpensive, who can help you to become a better athlete than you would on your own. And doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money to do it.

Sonya Looney 30:32
What does a price somebody should expect to pay? You know, of course, there’s gonna be coaches that don’t charge very much that are amazing, there’s going to be coaches that charge a lot that aren’t amazing. But what is something What’s like a cost, somebody should arrange

Joe Friel 30:44
something like what I see it like on training peaks, for example, it really comes down to how much services are is the is the coach offering, a coach you ask offers very little service, you know, I example, I just interviewed you. And from the interview, I write a 12 week training plan, and then you’re on your own from that point forward. That is something like in the neighborhood of maybe 100 to $200. For most people, I’ve seen doing that sort of plan for maybe a 12 week plan for $200. So that’s really not very expensive. The next stage app is usually the the athlete and the coach have some sort of common time when they contact each other. It couldn’t be as infrequently as once a month, that could be once a week, it really depends on on what the coach offers. And the price goes up a little bit from that more like something like about 200 to $300. For that price range for having somebody who contacts you on a regular basis, but not not real regularly, not daily, which is the highest level when the coaches is contacting the athlete on a daily basis, reviewing the athletes, training log every day, their diary, reviewing it getting back to the athlete perhaps on on the internet, social services or social media, whatever about how their training is going asking questions, and talking to the athlete, maybe via zoom, which is very common anymore once a week. Now we’re talking some of our more likely lines along the lines of 300 to $500, or even more. I’ve known coaches who are charged well over $1,000 for their services, but they give great services, they’re always right there. For the athlete, always dealing with their issues on a almost moment to moment basis throughout the day. They’re paying close attention to what that athletes needs are. So this there’s this broad spectrum of what you can pay to get coaching from 100 $150 up to 1000 or more dollars per month. So shop around you can probably find somebody that fits into your into your budget.

Sonya Looney 32:52
Thanks. Yeah, a lot of times people don’t talk about what people charge. So I think that I think that’s a really good place for people to start. And I’m intentionally not asking you a lot of deep questions about cycling training, because actually, a lot of listeners, a lot of them are interested in endurance sports, but some of them aren’t endurance athletes at all, that are interested in becoming them. So I’m trying to tailor this interview. So it’s useful for everybody. Sure, actually want to ask you about you. Have you had a new book The? Or is it a new edition of the triathletes training Bible that came out? You also have the cyclist training Bible? Like you’ve all these amazing books about how to integrate endurance sports and how to train endurance sports? How should people differentiate? Like if somebody is a runner, and a cyclist, or triathlete or only a cyclist? Like how does that change how somebody trains

Joe Friel 33:43
Yeah, hold changes a lot, actually. The starting point, you know, if, if the if it’s gonna be self coached, they really do need to read this and read this and study on how to coach themselves. If you’re going to hire a coach, you really don’t need to do that. That’s the coach’s job, but, but having some knowledge is never going to hurt you. So reading books, my books or somebody else’s, there are lots of good books out there about how to train for various sports. And the benefit, I think, is that it causes the athlete to, to think about what they’re doing and training. What I try to do my attorney Bible books, for example, is to walk the athlete through the process from step one, through all the steps that go into B to being self coach. And finally, by the time they’re done, they should be able to write a training plan for themselves and then be able to incorporate that training plan into their into their training. And that is not foolproof. Lots of athletes still don’t believe they should do the things that the author says in the book. Which is okay because there people are different some regards, I certainly understand that. But you’ve got to you’ve got at some point decide that you need to make some changes, otherwise you’re just doing the same thing you been doing all along, which has not been successful for you. You know, this is a time to do some training. The difference between the coach and the athlete in this case is the coach has been doing this reading this training for years, perhaps decades may have a degree that’s related to coaching, like physical education, or sports science or physiology or whatever it may be. And as coach, lots of people over the years, so has lots of stuff to draw upon as a source of information. The athlete typically doesn’t have these things. And so the athletes gonna start out and I know people do this start up, like trying to become more informed, so they can become a better coach. I know a guy who started out doing that back in the year 2000. He came to me as an overweight, a G, word poor condition, sort of guy who wanted to come a triathlete. And but he was very inquisitive. Him, flew in from the foreign country to spend a weekend with me just to talk to me about training, because he wanted to learn as much as he could. Now then he went off to come back to now in just a little bit, then he went on to become a professional triathlete. won lots of races became one of the best at ultra endurance racing in the world, ultra endurance triathlons, which go on for days. tremendous athlete. And now then, then he became a coach. Now, he’s highly regarded on social media, because his background as a as a coach and as a pro athlete. But this is a guy who did exactly what I just talked about, he decided he wanted to become smarter. So he trained himself, he began, he read and listened to, or watched and talked with everybody he possibly could. And now I would consider him one of the top coaches in the country in the field of triathlon. So anybody can do it. But it’s taken him more than 20 years to do it. That’s what you get when you hire a coach is you get all this knowledge, it’s already there, as always the form that instead of going to buying a book, and trying to figure it out for yourself, not that I don’t want people to buy my books. But that’s, that’s just the way the world is, you’re always gonna do that somebody experienced know what they’re doing, rather than trying to figure it out from yourself, unless you’re willing to spend 20 years trying to figure it out. But by that time, you may be over your, over the hump, but it’s not really make much difference anymore.

Sonya Looney 37:33
Yeah, I think that reading books is and having a coach is helpful. Because if you read the book, and you have a background, then you know, better informed questions to even ask your coach around your training.

Joe Friel 37:45
I certainly agree. I always enjoy coaching athletes who, who are smart, who have done the research and tried to understand and all they can about the sport is so much fun to talk with them. You can you can kind of help guide them and where they want to be going with their with their training with a performance. But they’re, you know, they’re, they are enthusiastic, they’re dedicated, and they’re informed. And that that for me is like, it’s like, it’s like so much fun to talk with an athlete who comes to me like that. Somebody who comes to me doesn’t know anything and thinks they can coach themselves is kind of like Ash you wish you wish you can do something to help this person. But as long as they’re willing, not willing to, to, to learn or even have a coach to help them do it. They’re kind of like stuck with their current level of performance is not going to make much change for them. So the informed athlete for me, I find to be tremendously enjoyable to talk with and to share ideas with.

Sonya Looney 38:48
So whenever you have a cyclist or a runner or a swimmer, they have a narrow focus on their training. And they might do some cross training in the offseason. But they’re primarily going to be doing the reps in their sport versus multi sport where you’re going to be doing lots three different sports, or maybe two different sports. So how does your training change whenever you start adding in different sports?

Joe Friel 39:10
Yeah, it really becomes very complicated. The triathletes training Bible was a real challenge to write compared to the cyclists training Bible. Just because there are so many sports there that we’re trying to balance. That’s not easy. Trying to get all these sports, balancing a person’s life. And with all with all the stuff they already got in their lives, their job, their family, and so forth, whatever it is they have in their lives. And then trying to fit in three more sports or two more sports on top of that is is really more than a lot of people can actually deal with it’s just it’s just way too, too challenging to deal with. So, again, the key there is find someone who knows what they’re doing, hire that person to coach you. That’s always it’s always a bottom line answer to how you deal with problems when you’re an athlete. But the bottom line is the athlete, if they want to self coach has to learn what they’re doing. They have to be willing to, as my friend did over 20 years, pay attention to what other people are saying ask questions, read as much as you can, and so forth. That’s, that’s the only way you can do it. He’s no longer a pro athlete. Now. He’s like, he’s like in his 40s. Now, late 40s, I believe. But, but that’s the way it is, you know, if you it takes you years and years and years to become well informed. And you you move beyond your precipice of your physical performance. By the time you finally know, what you should do is too late. So the best the best solution there is, is to hire a coach.

Sonya Looney 40:50
How should athletes change their expectations as they get older, because a lot of times they’ll think about, they’ll compare themselves back to the best they ever were. And if an athlete wants to continue racing throughout the duration of their life, they have to change their expectations, and, and even their approach to racing and training. So how, how do you help people work with that?

Joe Friel 41:09
Yeah, tell me about it. I’ve been there. Yeah, I wrote a book that talks about this somewhat is called fast after 50. And it’s about what I’ve learned, and what I’ve read on the subject of aging athletes, and how they can go about performing at a at a high level. But one of the things they have to give up on is feeling that they can somehow maintain their performance levels for the rest of their lives. doesn’t happen that way. There’s always going to be changes taking place. And the first time we noticed that typically is around late 30s, early 40s, people begin to notice that something has changed. I’m not quite as a perform quite as well as I did just five or six years ago. And that’s the first sign that something’s happening. And what they’re experiencing there is very common, it’s that’s when you’re vo two Max says somewhere around the early 30s aerobic capacity begins to go south. Not real fast, but is going down even for elite athletes. It’s starting to go down. And kind of scary for the athlete. But but sometimes it doesn’t show up until the it’s because they they become so smart by the time they’re in their mid 30s That they understand how to train and they understand how to race. And because of that, their smarts, get them through this loss of aerobic capacity they’re experiencing and they still perform at a high level. So they think this is going to keep on going like that for the rest of their lives. But it’s not around age early 40s That begins to wither a little bit. And now we we’ve got very few people after the age of 40, who wind up still being elite athletes, it’s extremely rare. Who was at one the Tour de France and therefore Vuelta a Espana. When he was 40 years old, I can’t give his name off top my head. But he’s 41 That one developed is like, four or five years ago. I think he was named probably later on. But he’s he’s an example of what has happened. That was his last race at the pinnacle of his career, and that point went downhill fast. And then he became an announcer on TV during Tour de France, Walter and so forth. So he, you know, he became a became extremely good athlete, and all of a sudden began to lose it. It’s very common. When you get older this this the I want to talk about beauty max or other indicators of fitness. Also beauty Max is is probably one of the more common things that people know about aerobic capacity. But if you stay active all your life, I mean active meaning you train like an athlete, if you do that all your life, you’ll lose your VO two max at a rate of something like about 7% per decade. So about point seven very much feel that prettier. For a job. If you quit exercising altogether, it’s become a lounge lizard, then you’re probably talking about losing at some some work the rate of about 15% per year. So one and a half percent, I’m sorry, 50% per decade. It’s about one and a half percent per year. Now because much more recognizable every couple of years. You realize walking around the block is becoming difficult when you’re back at age 55 or something where it wasn’t difficult five years before. So it’s little things like that. And in between you got somebody who decides not to compete anymore, but they also don’t want to just stop altogether they might do a little bit. They want to become like joggers. For example, a little bit of fitness By jogging every three, three days or a week or whatever, there’s someplace in between those though maintain their vo two max at a relatively acceptable level where like around 10% 11% 12% they’ll experience a loss per decade. So the end there’s been several studies on this longitudinal studies which have been shown this to be the case that if you stay active, your loss of vO two max and the other markers of fitness will go down at a very slow rate over the course of your life, my friend who died at 92 I have no idea what to do to Maxwell, but the guy is still going out for runs and bike rides in his 90s. He’s doing great. You know, he has been adapted athlete all his life. And that’s what happens. You can you can be an athlete up until the very end, you’re still an athlete. And you can do things that people probably in their 30s can’t do anymore. I’ve seen that happen so many times that are extremely old athletes. There’s a guy’s 105 years old, who broke the world’s record for the hour on the track. And he’s a French freshman. This is a few years ago, he wrote he wrote his one hour on the track he did 17 Miles was 27 kilometers, it was 17 Miles he did basically on the tracks age 105 In an hour that that’s, you know, 400 105 that’s really 13 miles an hour, 405 years old, and the guy lived us 109. And he was still doing bike rides every day and age right up until he died at 109. So it’s, it’s remarkable things you can do, if you stay dedicated to it. And it’s just pure fun. It’s just something you enjoy doing. It’s gonna stay with you for a long, long time, and you’re gonna be very, very healthy all the way through your life. It’s just amazing what you can do because of exercise. This

Sonya Looney 46:53
is why I’m so passionate about the mental side of sport. And you mentioned the number one thing is enjoyment. And there are so many different things that are tricks our mind can play on us or things that can happen that take the enjoyment away, putting too much pressure on yourself having too high of an expectation, thinking that well it has to be a two hour ride. And if it’s not a two hour ride, it’s not even worth going out in the first place or worrying too much about what other people are going to think of your results. Like there’s there’s an endless list of things that can take enjoyment out of the sport, and thinking about why you started in the first place like a lot of us get into it because we were just interested in it’s fun. And then we complicate it with all of these other things.

Joe Friel 47:31
Yeah, no doubt. Yeah, I used to sometimes I’ve given an athlete a workout. And that’s supposed to be an easy workout, like go for an easy run. So if that embarrassed you put a paper bag over your head. People don’t know who you are. Some there’s some guy with a paper bag on his head out running some that. But you know that it’s comes to comes to the core of who we are. We don’t want to be embarrassed because it’s going to slow. You down can remember, when I was coaching athletes who were who were pros, I would occasionally go for workouts with them. What I remember vividly was I coached a triathlete who was in the Olympics in 2000. And I used to occasionally go for workouts with him. And you know, at the time, I was like, probably what around late 50s 60 years old, right around there. And, you know, this is this guy’s he’s, he’s good. He’s an elite athlete. He’s qualified for the Olympics. And I can recall running with him. And he had to slow down for me, I could not speed up to stay with him. He had to slow down for me. And I was just became very important because I wanted to watch him to see what happens when he slows down. Does he does his form breakdown, then the answer is no, he what he did, but realize he began to make changes in his in his running technique to run at my speed. That was something different than what he did when he was running by himself. And the change he made was he shortened destroyed didn’t change his cadence, his cadence stayed the same. He still ran like 90 rpms. But now it’s drive that much shorter. And when I see aging athletes, who I tell them to go out for a run, for example, and I get to watch them, and they’re running slow. What I see them do is they change their cadence. They don’t change their length. So the company’s Gallopers was trying to run real slow. And that that that stood out for me is something I learned from this one athlete and I began to see it in other athletes along the same line that when they went really slow, they always seeds cadence. They never changed stride loud. They changed stride length, they never change cadence. And so that was the unique thing I learned from that one athlete that we all experienced as we get older. But and that’s happened to me you know, I don’t run to the same stride length and K things I used to run with that are now different, the cadence has stayed much the same, but the stride length has changed significantly over the years. And that’s that’s just the way life is. We’re going to see these things change as we get older.

Sonya Looney 50:12
Yeah, this is interesting for me to hear about. Because last year, I, I actually turned on my bike now about 50%. And I do 50% of the hours and then 50% of the hours are spent trail running. Good because I wanted to try adding in a different sport and having different adventures because I’ve done so much racing over the years. So it’s fun, because I’m learning about how to be a runner, which is a completely different thing. And even like stride length and what you said about changing your stride instead of changing or changing your cadence instead of changing your stride. Like these are all really interesting things.

Joe Friel 50:47
Yeah, interesting. I’m writing a book right now, for road cyclists primarily includes mountain bikers along the way. And one thing that I suggest in there is that they do a lot of prospecting in the early times I see trainees running, hiking, walk back on perhaps, snowshoeing, skiing, Nordic skiing, doing things that they don’t normally do, because it’s gonna benefit you in the long run, you’ll, you’ll become a better athlete, because of this, in many ways, part of is physiological, we’re going to make some changes in the way your body responds to training, we’re gonna build a better aerobic base. But there’s also a psychological point, which is that we’re going to do something different all together that we normally do, as kind of funds can, in later on, we’re going to get away from that go back to riding a bike all the time, whatever it may be. But in the meantime, I get ready to do I get to do two sports, or three sports or whatever it is, you know, I can do several different things during the day, just for variety. And variety is very, very good for us. You get to cut back on variety, the closer you get to the race, but it’s fun to have a central time and season.

Sonya Looney 52:02
Yeah, um, there’s something called psychological richness, which is one of the things for well being and one of one element of psychological richness is novelty. So for athletes, especially ones who have been at it for a long time, adding in some novelty can actually prolong your longevity in the sport, because it makes it fun and curious and intriguing to go out there and say, Well, I don’t know how to run like a really steep rocks lab, like I have to learn this new skill again, or what are these running shoes, like I know all the different cycling shoes, but I don’t know these running shoes, and it’s really fun. So I encourage people to try new things that are peeking your interest, but it can be hard when you’ve been so set in your ways for so many years, I have to do it this way. Otherwise, my performance is going to decline. Ya

Joe Friel 52:43
know, my son is a good example this, you know, my center for doing this because attorney bigs back in the back in the late 80s and 90s into the early 2000s. He was a pro cyclist raced in Europe for a few years, road cyclists and continue to road race until I was sometime in the mid 2000s. Late 2000s I forget exactly when then he decided to take up another sport. So he took up took a ski mountaineering which is a unique sport, he took a mountain biking, which is different also from being a road cyclist. And now he trains in, in three different sports. So he’s running, he’s skiing, he’s, he’s, he does lots of stuff on a daily basis. And he was just there with my, with my family for the Christmas vacation. And he his daughter came along who’s having her 21st birthday here in like about a week I think. And so he took her for a workout. And he was second to all the stuff that he does, you know, cross training sort of stuff, lifting weights and running and all this stuff. Trying to get her to think along the same lines. And the way he thinks is that you got to have variety in your life to really enjoy us to run. But he throws his way. It’s way too good for 10 Min. The sceptre very, very active for about an hour like that. And he’s kind of epitomizes this idea of a variety is good for an athlete

Sonya Looney 54:26
is something I wanted to bring up right before before we have to hop off. But I think this is a special thing to say. Or an important thing to say is that you mentioned put a paper bag over your head if you’re embarrassed because you’re going so slow. And this is something that I’m focusing on in my master’s degree is we think that we are only worthy or special if we are fast or highly accomplished at all moments in time. And a lot of people have this contingent self worth on how fast they are. And that’s a really dangerous place to put your self worth because, like you said not every single training ride or run or whatever is going to be fast one, and most of them won’t be. And then as you age, you’re not going to be as fast as you were at a certain point. So putting, putting yourself worth on how fast you are. So really dangerous thing to do

Joe Friel 55:11
is it’s hard to avoid. I’ve trained for the last several years here in Sedona, Arizona, with a group of road cyclists. And they’re all like 20 to 30 years younger than me. And I used to be able to at first got here, this is like five years ago, I was able to hang on, there were very, very hard workouts. For me, they weren’t working nearly as hard as I was. But they’re very hard workouts for me, but I, it’s okay, because I do two hard workouts a week. So it was always one of my two hard workouts every week and survived to these guys. Then it finally got to the point. This, this is only about two years ago that I really could not stay with them anymore on the climbs they were they were dropping me on the climbs. And we had to wait from the top. And that became embarrassing to be having a group of writers waiting for me at the top of every time and you’ve been to Sedona it’s extremely hilly here, there’s nothing flat. And so I’d make a decision, the first decision I made was to quit riding with them, because I was just I didn’t like holding them back. I couldn’t think about it, you know, I couldn’t improve my fitness or just what happens to as you get older. It dawned on me one day. And ride with when I ride with those guys use my Evo and lo and behold that that changed my world, I can still get a good workout. But you don’t have to have a thing in the highest setting all the time, you can change the settings. But now I can get just enough help from the eat from the motor, that I could stay with the group on a climb. And that that changed my entire perspective that they weren’t gonna drop me anymore. I was gonna stay with him. But which is okay, some people are embarrassed to ride any bike. But I see this is part of my life at this point in time. It’s just the way it is. But there’s some situations where riding an E bike is okay. Do I do it every day? No, I don’t I do it at times where I want to get a workout in. And I don’t want to have to force myself to my limits. So it works out really well. And I’ve encouraged other people to do that. I noticed one time a few years ago that in the Tour de France, one of the teams if that was when it wasn’t sponsored by a bike company. On the recovery day, both recovery days for their for their for the rest of that year. They had an E bikes brought in and they wrote e bikes on their recovery days. It struck me the time is now this is unique. These are the best riders in the world, the riot riding e bikes. So it kind of took some of the negative connotations of riding an E bike out of the out of the picture for me. And it made it easier for me when I decided that was my way of writing with that group that’s going forward. I can stay with them. Now until I’m maybe 90 years old, I can still be writing with that group. And it’ll still be fun. If that’s that’s the way one way of dealing with problems. There are other ways you can deal with other problems. But that’s the way I solve that problem.

Sonya Looney 58:03
Yeah, well, good for you. And I think that it is important to talk about E bikes. And we don’t have time today to go into it. But I think that there is a lot of practical and beneficial applications of E bikes and people can demonize them or people can feel like almost sometimes people apologize. But if they pass me on their email and bike, and I don’t care like that, that doesn’t impact me in any way. Like I’m happy they’re out there riding. And this brings up number four that you talked about when we first started sociability, social mobility and being able to still be part of the group. Because that is such a huge part of our well being and our longevity.

Joe Friel 58:40
Right, I agree. It says the high point of my week and I get to ride with those guys. Right now we’re not riding by the way because one of the guys has got a got a heart problem which is hereditary. He’s got a great diet. He’s a great athlete, he won the national championship several years ago. But he’s now dealing with a with a heart problem that he he’s waiting to have the doctors figured out how to help it. So in the meantime, we decide not to ride anymore because we don’t want to expel him from our group. So when he finally gets things taken care of which maybe in a couple more months, yep, I hope you get some fixed up. We’ll go back to writing together again. For right now we’re going like all supporting him on his his unique situation.

Sonya Looney 59:20
Well, Joe, thanks so much for coming on the podcast. I actually did not mention this on air, which I meant to is that back in, I don’t even know what year it was 2004, maybe or 2003. When I was first getting into cycling. The cyclist training Bible was the very first book that I bought. And it’s what taught me about endurance training because I didn’t know anything about it. And I was running marathons before that and also didn’t know anything about endurance trading. So it was really helpful to find that book. And I’m so grateful for that to help me become an informed athlete. And all the work that you’re doing out there in the world is making such a huge difference and the example and leadership that you’re setting for other people. So thank you.

Joe Friel 59:59
Thank you very much Sonya a very free time to say those things thank you for having me on your podcast also oh

Sonya Looney 1:00:05
it’s a great pleasure thanks so much

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