Today, we go over some of the short forms and terminology you will see. You may want to bookmark this page or print it for your journal or training diary. Many athletes use this as a jump-off point to start learning more about sport, science and health.

A paper journal to make notes for your Daily Performance Routine (we will talk about this tomorrow) and race experiences is an invaluable tool and healthy habit generally.

Common Short Forms

  • WO – Workout, as in Main Workout (or main set). This is the focused part of your workout.
  • WU – Warm Up – This may be prescribed or expected that you will warm up sufficiently to do the main workout (Main WO). For a normal warmup, 20-30 min easy, building your pace over duration and 3-4 sprints or hard efforts ranging from 10-45 sec is most common and effective.
  • BW – Between (as in recovery 5 min BW the intervals)
  • Cadence – Also known as RPM (rotation per minute) how quickly your pedals are going around. If you do not have cadence meter, count 1 RPM every time one of your feet hit the bottom. If you do a low RPM hill interval where cadence is supposed to be 60 RPM, you can count 1 right foot revolution for every second on a timer. Counting for 10 second periods periodically can help illuminate your rough average cadence. 85-95rpm is typically goal range for endurance road riding.
  • MHR – Max heart rate. This is taken from your training and racing data typically. Do not use 220-age but rather use a collection of training files. If you do not have a max heart rate yet we can discuss how to gather data and/or how to use RPE (feeling)
  • RPE – Feeling or Rate of Perceived Exertion. We use scale of 1-10 with 10 being maximal and 1 being very soft pedaling on a downhill.  (This diagram can be helpful )
  • Zones – You will always have guidance on what intensity to ride. If in doubt ride 65-75% max heart rate (MHR) for endurance ranges.
  • MTB – Mountain Bike
  • TT – Time Trial (best avg effort for distance / time) and as in TT Bike (time trial bike)
  • Max – best pace you can FINISH set/race/workout (always assume equal lap times unless says otherwise). So 5 minutes max doesn’t mean sprint for 10 seconds and that fade to a crawl but rather your best effort for that day held steady for the duration.
  • HR – Heart rate
  • MHR – Max Heart Rate
  • Maf – Maximum Aerobic Fitness test developed by Phil Maffetone. A 30 min test done typically at 180-age, a submaximal test that gives us a workload we can track over time at a set Heart Rate. An easy way to track improvements in fitness. Not to be confused with MAP (see below)
  • Vo2/MAP – basically intervals 2.5-7min long. Usually 15-21 minutes of total work. These are very hard efforts requiring full focus. (not to confuse with MAF aerobic work as above)
  • FTP – Best power for 40-60min, defined as “the highest power a rider can maintain in a quasi-steady state without fatiguing.” This is often estimated from a 20 minute effort (Cp20) and also from training and race data.
  • CP20 – Critical power / best power for 20min.
  • CP – Critical power. CP3 is 3 min best average power and cp60 is best power for 60 minutes.