Triathlon Coaching Testimonials – An Annual Review

Are you ready for me Playa?

 

Every year we review the feedback from our Members and Training Plan customers. Part of it is for our annual training plan re-write exercise, where this input is used to improve the training plans we provide. But the other, more fun part of this process is to see just how our plans and the Team experience have helped people out. Below you’ll find all the testimonials we have received since May of 2011, it’s long but also great insight as to how Endurance Nation works.

If you want to learn more, visit Endurance Nation for our Triathlon Training Plans or our Triathlon Coaching solutions, both are ON SALE for the entire month of October, so please spread the word!

 

 

++++++++++++++ BEGIN TESTIMONIALS ++++++++++++++

“Just finished week 16 of beginner HIM training with Nathans tempe oly tri yesterday. Had a 28 minute PR over my first pre-En oly there in May. Big gains in the bike and run. Surprisingly little gain in the swim despite all the hard work. But, I placed 3rd in my age group, up from last in age group in May!”
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“Olympic distance PR yesterday! Beat 2010 time by over 14 min! Cut 3:33 on the swim, 6:06 on the bike, 3:42 on the run, and 1:02 in transitions. In 2010 I was 20th in AG, 2011 3rd in AG. Work works!”
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“When I joined EN in January my 5k pace was 11min/mile. Two months ago I tested for an 8:07 and yesterday was a 7:44 avg. Down 25 lbs too. EN-you rock my world!! 🙂 🙂 :)”

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“Hey EN Team! I wanted to let you know that I used the EN IM advanced training plane for IMKY last year (my first IM) and then again this year (my second IM). I had a great race last year finishing in 10:48:17 in very hot conditions. I went back this year in hopes if putting myself in position for a Kona slot in the 40-44 age group. Endurance Nation works!!!! I finished this year in 10:00:37, 9th in age group, and Got my Kona slot. So see you in Kona Patrick!!”

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“BOOOYYAAAHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! Just finished my scheduled FTP test in week 12 of the IM plan getting ready for IMFL. New norm power = 325 with a VI of 1.01 and a TSS of 93.1 (1.16). My last test was 280 FTP just three months ago. Hard to believe that one year ago when I started EN my FTP was 227! Work Works!”

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“Ditto for me this year on FTP. My first test after joining EN in Dec 2010 was 247, and in July 2011, I tested 329!! I could not believe the progress in one year of OS and HIM EN training. Rich and Patrick have a gold mine started here!

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1000 scy swim TT today while tapering for IMWI. While my 15:32 is not going to set the world afire, it is within 1” of my PR (started swimming again around age 40). The 15:31 PR was in 04/09, when I spent all winter working on my swim in prep for my non-EN attempt at IM WI. But by August 2009, I was up over 16′ again. While it would be great to be a faster swimmer, it is at least good to know that you can peak your swimming at the right time without spending all winter at it.” Edward Jay Shimon

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“I did the EN Outseason Plan from Jan-May, then have been using the Short Course Plan all season (mod’ing as necessary as I race a lot). So far the results speek for the plans – 8 races, 5 – 1st place age-group finishes, 3 – 3rd place age-group finishes. All bike splits in the top 5-10% overall, most races in the top 10% overall. All runs in the top 25% which is a major improvement for me.”

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“Went into yesterdays Oly not really motivated. Didn’t even use my aero wheels. Pulled out a PR of 2:06. 2nd in age group and 9th overall. Had my best Oly run ever (sub-40). Work works.”

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“Did the local Bangs Lake OLY this am. Work works. My first OLY racing since last summer and after a full EN OS and EN training/racing Coeur d’Alene. Went 2:24, a PR by 24 minutes. Got 2nd in M55-59 AG. 10 min faster in swim (29′ split), 14 min faster on bike (1:05 split), 1 min faster on run (45’split). I lost 1 min in transition due to long run in from water verus prior PR. Go EN!!”

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“Still hasn’t sunk it yet but I am an Ironman. The plan worked. Due to injuries, I was only able to do a total of 10 weeks of training using EN’s IM 12-week plan. Yet that was enough to get me across the finish line. I’m excited for next season when I can utilize the full Outseason and full 20 Week IM program 🙂 Just wanted to say thanks!” — Bert Van Den Brande

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“Hi guys, Just wanted to let you know that the Endurance Nation training plans have really made me faster and stronger. Finished in 4h36 in yesterday’s Antwerp 70.3® Ironman® race and improved on my PB by 9 minutes. This stuff really works ;-)” — Marc Geraldez

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“IM 70.3® Rhode Island is in the books….a slow non-wetsuit swim (41min)-2:20T1…a “holy rollers batman” bike course (2:50; 20mph) 1:42T2…and a hot run with a big hill (1:42 with one cramping walkthrough aid station at mile 3ish)…Total time 5:18 – a 21min HIM PR…10/80 AG and 250/1800 OA…Thanks guys your coaching is making the difference!” – Joseph Chip Lombardi

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“Special thank you to Rich for encouraging me through the race at CDA yesterday. Loved meeting my teammates and having so much support on the course. EN rocks!!” — Stephanie Siggard Stevens

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“Just wanted to say that using your training plans for the first time, I was able to PR at Pumpkinman Half last weekend and sneak onto the podium for my age group(45-49). For me, the most important thing I got was the focus on execution. In my other races, I always felt that I was better than the result but this weekend couldn’t have gone better from an execution point of view as I felt in control the whole way. Smooth on the swim, smart on the bike and strong on the run was my mantra. I had an goal of a 4:45 time excluding transitions and pretty much nailed it with a 29m swim, 2:32 bike(.8 IF) and 1:45 run. This is the first time I have gone under 5 hours with the prior PR being 5:28 at Mooseman in June. I followed the bike training real closely but deviated a lot from the run plan and instead concentrated on running 5 times a week minimum. This was mainly due being gun shy from having major calf problems which prevented me from racing anything other than aquabikes the last 2 years. I am going to work on using the outseason running plan for upcoming 5ks and see if I can increase the speed on the run and hope to come up with a 4:30. Hope to see another 30W gain on the bike again this year as well.” — Ian

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“I picked up your Four Keys DVD at a triathlon expo in Milwaukee this past spring. I watched it to prepare for my first ironman. I don’t know that I could have finished as strong, had I not known to focus on going slow and steady on the hills of the Wisconsin bike course. I was able to pass about 500 people on the run and I have you to thank!! I seriously ran past men walking and talking about their fast bike splits, just like you described in the DVD! In one season, I went from a being a sprinter to an ironman finisher(12:50). Thank you so much!!! ” — Sara Hess Kohler, WI

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I just want to say THANK YOU!  I had a great race on Sunday in Lake Placid.  I beat my Arizona time (last 11/10) by one and a half hours!  I know all IM are hard but I know that this was a more difficult course as well.  Yes, work works even though it sucks a lot of the time!  I loved wearing my EN shirt and getting so much support from the other EN athletes and the crowd.  Near the end I kept hearing “finish strong make Patrick proud!” I also believe that the training weekend was key to the success.  Riding the course several times and running and swimming the course was so important.  All the tips you gave really really worked.  I can’t believe I stayed aero for so long. So anyway you have a great program and I am so happy to have been part of it!”–  Karin Wollschlaeger

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Hi again!  Hope you don’t mind a 70.3® quick recap.  3 weeks after CDA, I competed in the ChelanMan Half-Iron, in Chelan, WA
Swam 33, Biked 3:19 (4,000ft of climbing), Ran 1:43. Swim was great, got a great start, then some a-hole tried to kill me twice.  Sucker damn near tried to swim through me.  But, got rid of him and all was well.  Ended up swimming #26 out of almost 200 entrants.  Last year swam 35 and change. Bike, discouraging to say the least.  Over 10 minutes slower than last year. Really don’t know why.  My only thought is that I did train a bit slower, if that’s the word on because of the long rides for CDA.  I did a 70.3, 3 weeks prior last year and my longest bike till then was only 2:30.   But..it is what it is.   Just stunk it up. Run…almost 5 minutes faster than last year.  I used the same approach that your 70.3® slide show discussed.  3-7-3.  I had 4 people FLY by me as I paced myself at 8:25, 8:15, 8:08, then I said it was time to run.  Average 7:50 for the whole run and passed 22 people along the way…9 after half-way.   Miles 6-10 were all sub 7:30 and miles 10-13 were all sub 7:45.  Mile 11 actually 7:14.   Ran the 21st fastest time.
Nutrition was not an issue at all, went really well.   Just wanted to say thanks again and I look forward to keeping in touch!” — Eric Hisaw

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“Just wanted to let you know about our Eagleman results. Under the same conditions as last year (hot and non wetsuit swim) I had a 21 min. P.R. and Carol had an 18 min. P.R. Needless to say we are both very happy. Started the outseason Nov. 1st then into the 1/2 ironman plan. Great stuff!! Now a little break then onto the Ironman® plan for Florida (1st one).” — Turby Wright and Carol Defazio

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“I must add my plaudits to the off season program: my 5k pace went from 8.25 to 7.43 mins per mile and my bike wattage increased 10 Watts per month. I start training for Texas next week, so the 20 week program is perfect.” —  Peter Foster

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“The $100 I spend now is producing a much greater ROI than that invested with a National team coach for the last few years.”  – Christopher Rabbat

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“I just wanted to let you know that I bought the outseason plan to maintain my fitness over the winter. I didn’t realize how challenging it was going to be, but after only 8 weeks on the plan, I have taken a minute off my 5k run time! I will definitely be interested in the 70.3® plan for next season and the IM plan for when I do Canada in 2012! Thanks so much!”  — Melinda

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“It’s been said many times, but the advantages of being inside TeamEN include:

  • A huge base of experience…to the point that it’s statistically relevant. You’re pretty fast – not so different than me actually – and I’m in a similar situation (though my kids are a little older…I’m 46). You and I benefit from there beign a lot of people in our situation and a lot of people that have tried a lot of things…and REAL DATA that back up the answers that you will get here.
  • Your local coach could be great. Don’t get me wrong… but what you are getting here is not the same. It’s not really 1-1 coaching. It’s more like self coaching with a huge knowledge base to draw from and plans that have evolved over the years.
  • If you bite on getting involved in the forums etc, than you get that same “club support” sort of thing (rah, rah sense…I’ve already addressed the knowledge issue) as long as you’e ok with it being n online thing.
  • There are people here who are older than you and faster…people who have been in your place and gotten better…. people who will never be as fast as you, but know a hell of a lot… and a lot of people just learning together, too.
  • Finally (at least on my list), you’re getting a method that works and is pretty darn time efficient. Again, maybe your local coach is That Good, but my guess is that s/he just doesn’t have the same experience under his/her belt as the plans and people here.
  • If you’re “inside”, you’ll find the coaches are able to help you manipulate your plan(s) in a way that’s efficient as most 1-1 coaches could do… I assume you know about both the “macro” and “micro” threads.
  • In addition to your club mates who may be doing your long course races, you’ll have teammates from EN, and a big presence at AZ for sure.

Several things which haven’t been mentioned, which I highly value in EN:

  • The customer service is over the top. Rich and Patrick not only continually update their training plans, but also are always accessible to an unbelieveable degree online for questions, feedback. They follow the precept – delight the customer by providing what’s needed, BEFORE we know we need it.
  • NO ONE knows how to execute a long course triathlon like the EN team. Knowing HOW to execute on race day is possibly MORE IMPORTANT than how fit you are, and no one teaches and demonstrates this better than the coaches and the athletes here – it’s why I joined.
  • We value smart, interactive people on our team. If you like to both learn and teach through talking with fellow athletes, you’ll find a home here.
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“Yes, I had one on one coaching before from an athlete/coach who has set 4 separate age group World Records at Kona. Tough credentials to top. He was a damn fine coach too. But I’m getting better value here and a much deeper focus on execution. I also feel part of a team and have access to far more resources.”
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“I was self coached x2 years before coming to EN. It was alright, I logged a lot of 2 hr zone 2 rides all through the weekends. Sure I got relatively faster. A few things stuck out that made me love EN. There is no real secrets here. Guys and gals are pretty open to what their goals are and they give you an objective number (ftp/vDdot). You know pretty much what it takes. Second, I learned absolutely nothing when I was 1:1 coached, nothing about race execution. If you engage yourself, read the wiki, blog posts, the forums, interact in the groups, you will be a smarter triathlete period. You will know how to train (efficiently) and how to race like a vet. I expect to see a higher level of improvement from the EN plans because they are tougher and smarter than anything I got from the local coach. His base of experience just could not compare to that of RnP. I considered other lower cost online coaching resources, but the reason I joined EN is that it is not buying into a black box. You can look at sample weeks, and listen to podcasts of their philosophy and know what to expect in their training plans. With other services, there was not a comparable transparency, so I would have had to make a leap of faith. I’d rather know what I’m going to get.”
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“Here’s my own perspective on EN:

  • The ROI focus here is huge for me. I am able to balance work/life/training and get the most bang for my buck at any point in the season. This is a concept that not many out there have quite gotten yet (although some are finally starting to come along). Anyway as folks above have said, even just buying the EN plans will go a long way in helping you on that front.
  • Having a community of knowledgeable folks who are all playing off the same sheet of music to turn to for help is priceless. Your own Tri-Club will certainly give you some of the “rah rah” stuff and may also be there for motivation during weekly training sets. But when you have a question about how to adjust your training due to issue X or Y, the feedback you get from those folks (or folks on any open tri forum) is going to be coming from lots of different points of view. It’s really helpful to be able to ask a question related to a training plan (EN or otherwise) and get a response that is consistent with the philosophy that plan was built upon.
  • I can’t say enough about the motivational benefits of training “with” other ENers. Accountability is one piece, but the other is that “we’re all in this together” feeling. So when the 2×20 feels like it’s gonna kick your ass, you know there are XX other ENers doing the same freakin workout that morning and somehow that helps you get through!
  • The race day execution guidance (and support from this team) is HUGE! Especially for a first timer. You’ll be racing your first Ironman® as if you already had a few under your belt. While lots of this guidance is out there in the DVD’s and on the EN Blog, I can’t stress enough how much more prepared ENers who are active in the forum and really absorb the EN Koolaid and then plan their races (getting lots of feedback from the team along the way) than any other first timer out there.
  • Finally, as you’ve seen, we are all about bringing folks into the EN Team who “get” us and want to be here. Deciding this isn’t for you and canceling a membership is a no hassle proposition. I’d encourage you to consider signing up and joining us in the January OS group. Just a few weeks of participating actively in the Jan OS should give you a really clear idea if this place is the right solution for you.”

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“I’ve purchased both the 20 week Out Season programme and the 12 week Advanced Ironman® Programme in 2010. I live in Western Australia and completed my first Ironman® on the weekend at Ironman® WA Busselton. I finished in an awesome time of 10:43:21 and I followed you programme and advice to perfection. Thank you so much for making my experience so rewarding.” — Jeff Grbelja

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“I wanted to thank you and the other EN folks on the run course. I was the guy with the tapped-up dislocated shoulder and busted up hip. Nobody plans on crashing on the bike, in fact, I haven’t crashed in 10 years … go figure it happened twice in one day (the wall of dust and wet cross walk paint). Well, I executed the plan as best I could. It was far from my planned 11:30 finish but I did get the “Finisher” t-shirt and amazingly I passed literally dozens of people at mile 18.Thanks for the great plan, I really enjoyed it!” –Michael Kichler

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“I can speak for the Endurance Nation Outseason Plan as I am in week 9 of 20 and so far, it is working. I have never been challenged more with workouts than I am now with EN. The best part of all is that I still have a life after training. Their program is geared toward real world working class people who also have a family.”

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“I am 7 weeks into my first EN OS plan and all I can say is it’s the hardest training I have ever done in 4 years of long course triathlon training. I was writing checks for a modest $125/month to a coach for 2.5 years and never felt as challenged (or fit) as I have with the EN OS plan.”

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“I went to AZ Hawaiian style, Alonna, as I am in the middle of divorce and kids are young. Team EN was GREAT!!! At drinks after the race, Rich asked me if I had any family with me, I replied that “team EN is my family” and I really felt that way with new friendships made. You guys run a class act and that all flows from both of your MoJo!!! Looking forward to more good training and good times with Team EN!” – Scott Dinhofer

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“I have gone the coach route twice. Paid anywhere from $125 to $175 per month. Just didn’t work for me. I joined Team Endurance Nation and I am training more efficiently in less time and faster than I ever was with a coach and I am still getting faster. So far, the best $99 per month I have spent on training.”

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“I thought that I would drop you a quick line because I “officially” became a believer at the Florida IM.  In Louisville 09 I did not know anything about race execution and did everything wrong but survived (barely).  This year I followed the race execution strategy to the “T”.  From counting strokes during the swim, to staying in the box for the ride (including JRA for the first 30 miles), to making the race about mile 18.  My time was 48 minutes faster and it was FUN.  I recovered quickly and can’t wait to do another.  WOW” — Larry Friedman

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“I’m SO HIGH right now!!! Saturday Week 6 of Oct OS… slept in and started at 5:45AM… 2×12′ (4′) [hit 106%, 105%], then 2×15′ (2′) [hit 85%, 85%] Then went outside and did 13 min just under Z2 and 12 min just under Z3! Just 3-4 months ago I had to work really hard to run 8 min miles… Now after crushing myself on my bike for 75 minutes this felt like a nice relaxing stroll in the park! I used to hate running and today it was quite relaxing! Wow! When I got home, my 4yr old was watching cartoons and my wife had just gotten up. I couldn’t quite explain why I was smiling from ear-to-ear! This is Awesome! I hope the rest of you feel the same. Thanks EN!” – John Withrow

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“Just did my second retest of my FTP yesterday. So I coming out of the VO2 max focus. Another 6% increase. That means since I started the OS program I’ve seen a 17% increase!!! I am stoked and motivated to keep on going with the training.
Thanks again for the workouts and all the support you guys give!”  –  Elliot Cunningham

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“I am writing to thank you for your programs which I have now used for a year.  I began training for the Longhorn 70.3® with the OS program last October and saw significant gains in my functional threshold and VDOT by Spring.  I then purchased a 70.3® plan and used that until I developed arm and shoulder problems that turned out to be a blood clot.  After having the clot removed in the cardiac cat lab, doctor put me on blood thinners, demanded that I not exercise, and later took out my first rib to prevent a recurrence. So maybe I wasn’t able to follow your plan to the letter, but I got back to training in August and essentially modified what you gave me into a crash 11 week plan.  I was only able to do six weeks six weeks of swimming, literally starting from scratch.  Your plans and materials gave me everything that I needed to train and then execute the race.  I finished well ahead of my expected times in the swim and bike and then right on my run target on a very hilly course, finishing in 5:42.  I thought 6:30 was possible, but not sub 6 hours after everything that happened this summer. Thanks for your product and your guidance.  I can’t wait to see what I can do next year!” — Philip

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“Just letting you know how much 4 keys helped me successfully get through Kona last week. Was lotto slot winner with only short courses under my belt. Was too late at the time to join EN for training plan, but used 4 keys approach, videos, blogs, anectdotal, etc…Incorporated keys as basis for entire race execution…finished faster, stronger than ever thought possible given tri background. ” — Chip Truluck

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“I know that this may be a little long of a post but as a new member since just this September I thought it appropriate to throw out a few props about PnR and En and the team members. First, the new My Training Plan page is awesome. If you haven’t been there, Go. And I cannot believe that anyone is really gonna nat to go back to the classic version. Who wants to go from Mac OS X back to Mac Classic 9 rally anyway? Next, I want to say that I am really tired and sore from the OS plan that I am doing, and I love it. Now I admit that because of my Type A personality ( I am a triathlete don’t forget) that I have added a bit to the plan ( I know, just don’t yell too loudly at me) but I love the philosophy and the pan of EN. For the first time since I was skiing in college, I feel like I have a “coach” that can help me get better. I have been doing marathons tris for years but all on my own. I have tried different plans and programs and coaches over the years but I never really seemed to improve much. In just 30 days of EN I ran my fastest 5k time ever by over 3 minutes. I feel stronger already. I have no doubt that I will be able to go sub 5 hours for my HIM’s this next summer with the guidance of this plan/philosophy/team. I love the feedback and the comments that I get that help me. While I am not the fastest or strongest 44 year old out there, who cares. this is a hobby for fun, and it is all about personal growth and competition against myself to make me better for me. I am confident that this plan works, alt least it sure seems so. Of course, I am a little stressed by the drastic reduction in endurance volume at this point. I do feel that I have lost my ability to go long, especially on the bike, but I am convinced it will come back. I will trust the plan. So, for any trial members out there that are still deciding what to do, stop waffling and JOIN the team. And for those out there that some times wonder if the plan is still working, it is. Keep going. Push yourself.”  – Michael Cohen

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“I got of the couch with 215lbs in summer of 2007 and self coached to HIM PR at the 2009 LC Nationals 4:39, 6th in AG M35-39. I also had 4:47, 4:44, 4:45……Plateau baby, big time. I have read and have every tri book under the sky and I don’t ridicule any coach, not even Joe Friel. JF’s approach took me to where I got, but I simply did not know how to go further. I knew what the limiters were, just did not know how much was enough. Then as I hit the plateau last Spring, and I mean bad plateau even overtraining deep, training 19hr weeks and getting worse every day, every week, I realized I had no objectivity with myself and that is where I read a bunch of EN stuff, made a lot of sense to me. Yes, you can get those training plans anywhere, but when it comes to adjusting them, bouncing ideas, asking serious training questions, being almost held accountable for completion by your team members, Endurance Nation proved invaluable to me.”

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“On September 19, 2010, 70.3® Branson EN helped me achieve my best, 5:05:16, 4th in M35-39, 39th overall, running athletes down in some pretty oppressive heat. I have to tell you, some of the EN long runs that took place this summer in brutal heat and humidity brought me almost to tears. But in the end it payed off. I did not used to be able to run over a distance like that, let alone running anything down in heat. That style of high intensity training made me mentally tougher so much more. I think yet, the biggest benefit is the time investment/management with EN, suits my life perfectly. These are all the reasons, why someone should consider EN Team, not just a plan.”

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“You are correct about Matt’s book, I have it. It is great, has excellent plans that will lead to success, no doubt, but again, I made a full circle back to this. I think, there is only one thing I would consider over EN, one on one coaching or a small, competitive, coached group of athletes. I do not have that near me, nor I have the money for it, nor I can match the schedule of 5 other people in life. So, here I am, another happy member of EN team since May 2010. I think you are giving a good advice, exploring options is very important, knowing what you want….I think EN just cuts it wright down to the point, saving time, money and effort.(well lying on effort, those FTP workouts and long runs are eyeball popping)”  – Aleksandar Tasic

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I just wanted to say thanks for the program this year.  I picked up the Outseason plan and then followed it right up with your Intermediate 12 week Half Ironman® Training plan.  I managed to shave 12+ minutes from my Half Ironman® race on the same course as last year under nearly the same conditions and even grabbed an age group qualifying spot for Clearwater.  Thanks.  Your program really works!  I’m putting it to use again this winter and might even pick up the advanced program for my next Half Ironman® training plan.” — Ed Hawkins

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“I am one of those guys who followed your posts all year and greatly benefited from a few key pieces of advice. Particularly the philosophy of Race Day Execution, which I used at Canada last weekend. Did the race in 1988 at 24, then stopped doing triathlons to have a family, work, etc. So Canada 2010 was my firs…t triathlon in 22 years. I set the goal of beating my previous time with a body that was probably not as fit as I was, but I knew I had to be smarter to race well. What worked for me was the advice to “just run/ride along” until mile 18. I rode my “should” split on the bike (5:45), but then I passed 150 people on the run, going 1:53 out/1:55 home, and finishing in 10:49, which was 5 minutes faster than I did as a fit twenty something. Smarter, not harder, got it done race day. Thanks for the great advice guys.”  – Ron Sherman

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“It’s all the good work of EN. Here’s the olympic progression with you guys: 2:54 last year, 2:40 early this season, 2:28 mid season, and now 2:23. Workworks!” – Greg Van

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I just finished Ironman® Louisville, my first IM, in the 16th hour, reverse slam-dunking the finish gate at the end!  One of the top-10 greatest days of my life! I am NOT YET a member of EN but plan to seek acceptance soon.  IM distance races are sure to occur in the remainder of my life and I believe your guidance will be a strong key to my success.”

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“An Ironman® friend of mine lent me your four-key DVD, and I watched it, listened to it, and trained to it dozens of times.  This DVD along…and my wonderful supportive family of 5, provided me a relatively comfortable, smiling, fun, “cutting-up” race from swim start to 16:02:41.  Why do I say all that?  Not that you need it, for you are the experts, your principles are so rock-solid and guaranteed me success, for I was able to follow them the whole way.  The line, much to my surprise, did not show up until mile 17.3!  I had that one thing, stayed in the box, executed my race differently from everyone else, and obviously set up conditions for a GREAT (for me – slow and steady and little walking) run. I honestly expected with my fitness, even following the plan perfectly, would get me to “the line” at about mile 6 of the run. Not that day!”

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“Thanks so much for your brains, wisdom and motivation.  I will be seeking membership in preparation for my next 140.6 event, Arizona 2011.  Your plans will likely suit a 43 year-old, Quality Assurance Manager, Assistant Scout Master, husband and father of 4.” — Mark

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Official results have me in at 28:05. 3/5 for my age group and 13/41 overall. I am now the proud owner of my first age group hardware! This result is even more surprising when considering my swim training. For 3 weeks, I have been on Endurance Nation outseason training. Our training is unique that there is NO swimming in the out season. Crazy you say, but….well there you go. Instead of plowing lap after lap in the pool all winter, I work completely on technique once or twice a week, for about 2000 yards. Using the nation’s training plan, I have gone from zero swimming ability (literally zero) to now in 2 years. Hows that for some Endurance Nation proof. Endurance Nation: It Completes Me. — Greg V.

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“YOU WANT RESULTS??? I found real results with Endurance Nation. In two seasons with EN, I went from being a corporate couch potato, where my heavy exercise sessions were walking to the next meeting, to real WORK the EN way. 76 lbs and 3 IM’s later I am going to KONA!!! RnP and the EN team I can’t thank you all enough!!!! This is a 25 year dream come true.
When my name was called, my wife, Sandra, stood up and screamed while I sat there trying to process what I thought was the impossible, tears of happiness beginning to form. The icing on the cake was some of the EN team was there to share my joy! Aimee H, Scott L, and Rick J. were there. Being part of the EN team made this possible and I it was such a joy to see their true excitement for me. RR to come.” – Matt Samojeden

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“Patrick and Rich, I’m not on the team but did purchase the Ironman® training plan. Just wanted to say you guys are awesome. I had an amazing first Ironman® in Louisville today, executed flawlessly from the Four Keys and your fab podcasts and tweets and flips and posts, etc. Thank you!!!”  – Lea Rolfes

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“What a great Ironman® experience. I want to thank the EN coaches and crew for preparing me for a very successful race. I met all my goals and owe it all to the race prep and execution by following the EN plan. Thanks again!!” – Rick Jansik

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“I won a 20 week program and am racing Rev3 Cedar Point Iron Distance on Sept 12th right along with all of the Wisconsin peeps!  I’m super excited to compare a Ford Ironman® event to the new Rev3 series.  My training on your program has been incredible(and manageable!) and I can’t thank you enough.  Keep up the great work!!” — Stephanie Byland

“As a new member, I think this really highlights why I signed up for EN. I had a previous Tri coach – received training plans, advice, shared training sessions and even came did some races together, and he’s still a good friend. But the knowledge source was only him and his partner – not the 400 other folks that can support you. Have been very impressed by the forums ans Wiki’s so far and the vast amount of info and the way others share their time by posting comments.”

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“It has been a sincere pleasure being a part of EN.  Many thank to Coach P and R and all the members of the EN House.  Thanks for getting me to the starting line of Coeur d’Alene the best prepared I could possibly be… getting to the finish was the easy part J.  Truthfully, without EN I do not think I would have been able to finish Coeur d’Alene within the 17 hour time limit.  I am still awestruck at this accomplishment.” — Mike Rudolph

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“I am writing to thank you and let you know how pleased I have been with EN and my training plan this season.
I am a 46 year old guy who always thought of himself as an earnest MOP type who earned anything much above the median through general bullheadedness and a willingness to read and apply reasonably scientific training methodology.  I’ve always been self-coached, and if there’s a book, I’ve read it. Before this year, I had done 3 half-ironmans and one full ironman.  Only one of the three HIMs was successful in my eyes.  My lone IM was Madison in 2009. Even contemporaneously in my “traditional” training for that event, I knew there was something wrong.  I was too tired; my FTP was sliding down as I got closer to racing; my swim times were getting worse;  I had put myself in pretty bad SAU deficit. I was ill that day, and didn’t have the best result (12:06), but by that time, I had discovered some of the EN literature and was able to execute the best I was going to do on that day. As a “life bucket list” thing, I had resolved to run the Boston Marathon in April 2010, having finally qualified.  By then I knew enough about EN to take the plunge and not swim all winter.  I focused on a run-intensive winter with enough short-hard biking to get some kind of strength back.  In early spring, I purchased a 12-week HIM plan and had some correspondence with Patrick, who was generous in his advice about both the marathon and the post-marathon transition.  I went ahead and took the plunge to join EN.  In part because of the general approach of EN (and Patrick’s MN venture) and execution advice, I had a great Boston.  I was seeded around 12,100 and I finished around 3900 and set a 9 minute PR. Within weeks, I was beginning my Advanced 12-week HIM plan.  My PR up to that point was 5:08, but my goal from the beginning was to break 5:00, and I was willing to work the extra part to do it, so I chose the advanced over the intermediate plan. Boy, were the first couple weeks of that plan a bit of a shock.  I felt totally trashed after half the workouts.  I realized quite soon that there wasn’t going to be any “just go for an hour run” any more – that every trip was going to be focused training and I better get used to it. By the time I got five or six weeks into the plan, I realized it was a lot more subtle than I had appreciated at first.  The rest was built in; it came just when I really needed it, and it was enough without being excessive.  I might not make every minute of every interval at every pace/power, but the targets were all challenging without being disheartening. The swim workouts were more fun than what I had been doing.  Furthermore, 12 weeks was enough.  There was no need for a super-long buildup. There is no doubt of two things.  First, the plan is very well designed.  Second, I put in the work.
The results during the plan speak for themselves:

  • Having not swum a lick from Nov 1 to April 1, my test swim times in workouts consistently improved during the 12 weeks, rather than peaking 3 months before my race.  Although my best test swim was “only” as good as my best test swim in the previous year, it was done just a few weeks before my big race, not a few months.
  • Instead of my FTP declining during the buildup cycle, it improved by almost 10 W.
  • Instead of my run speed declining, I took 13 seconds off my 5K tests.

The race was the piéce de résistance:  I demolished my previous PR of 5:08 by 20 minutes.  My time of 4:48 put me into the top 10 of the age group, 9th out of 148.  I had not dared think I would get that fast, even days before the event.  If not for a couple of race mishaps that cost me a few minutes, I’d have placed even higher.”

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“Your “execution” materials are the hook with which you sell EN, but I am writing to say the plans were just as outstanding, at least for me.  Of course, the expertise in the forums, from many many members and yourselves, is a huge third leg of the stool.
From the EN forums and community, I learned a number of things:

  • Key points about my swimming effort.  This swim was my fastest by 5 minutes.
  • Important advice on equipment selection for my bike.  My bike split was my fastest by 15 minutes, and faster (on an mph basis) than any other race I have ever done, regardless of length, and I still set a 1 minute PR on the run segment.
  • Multiple pointers on race nutrition and weight control
I also participated in the great tri-rally at Madison.  Having the EN community made that affordable via room sharing and of course, the great price…of zero!  I’ve had the chance to meet each of you in person now, and have gotten a lot out of each encounter.
The only bad thing I can say is that now I know I have potential and a responsibility for it.  I haven’t yet decided on goals for 2011, but now I know I’ll be spending some quality time in the Pain Cave this winter to meet them no matter what they are.
Again, thanks for a quality service and quality advice.” Sincerely, William Jenks
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Hello,
I am a big fan of the “kool-aid” and have been focussing on a lot of your tips/training suggestions in prep for IM Lake Placid in a couple of weeks. I also saw a bit of your pre-race talk on YouTube. When are you giving this in LP? What do I need to do to get into this talk. I have no doubt it will be a HUGE help and I don’t want to miss it.
Thanks -Colin
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Hello Patrick –
I was the guy who virtually accosted you in the post-race athletes food area after IMLP. I apologize, but as I’m sure you know I was overwhelmed with emotion and quite happy with a wonderful day. I wanted to write to let you know that you actually had a big part in that success. I am not a part of your EN team (yet), but  I read a couple of your articles about “execution not fitness”/4 keys and Lake Placid tips and “drank the kool-aid”. About 8 years ago I raced IM Florida and was a classic example of everything gone wrong. I walked the last 8+ miles with intermittent puking,  so I was very excited about your thoughts about finishing strong. I came to your talk at Lake Placid which helped solidify the mindset that helped me to one of my most successful races ever (of any distance).
My “mantras” throughout the day were:

  • “the race starts at mile 18 of the run – are you at mile 18 yet? no? then stop pushing – save “ricky racer” for later” – I was able to keep myself in check most of the day. I got away from myself a few times during the bike, but for the most part I was able to let people pass me and stay “slow”
  • “only control what you can – stay in the box”  This helped tremendously as I got to the race without my pre-race breakfast drink and my first thought was “disaster!”, but I was able to quickly let it go with the thought of “it’s a long day – control what you can and move on”. I noticed it as people were on the bike or the run complaining about a variety of things (course, other racers, bike tech, etc…) I realized how important and helpful this mantra is in keeping a positive mindset which in turn kept me focused and positive
  • at mile 18 I become the “undertaker” – collecting bodies walking on the side of the road” – this is based on one of your talks or articles about how many people are walking the last 8+ miles of the race talking about a great bike split. I have been that guy too many times. I was determined to exploit this fact to my advantage so I dubbed myself the “undertaker” and it worked! at mile 18 the “game” i played with myself was I would go from mile to mile counting how many people I passed. I was passing between 12-20 people per mile for the last 8 miles which means I passed over 100 people in the last 8 miles!
  • and finally “dadeeee!” – which is what my little girl says whenever she sees me. This is my one thing. Oddly I didn’t get to the point where I was hanging on to this like the life preserver I know it could be, but I did often refer to it in my head when I would get tired and it instantly put a smile on my face. It’s incredible what a smile did for me. It’s like swinging your arms to run up a hill – it automatically turned my mood for the better as well as it inspired the crowds to cheer more which in turn made me feel better. So it was a positive cycle in action.

My run splits were 2:30 for the first loop and 2:10 for the second loop. AMAZING! The biggest and most important thing was that the last 8 miles I couldn’t stop smiling. My face hurt I was smiling so much. I was able to see my family and feel proud that I was looking and feeling good. I was able to do what I said I was going to do (I wanted to finish sub-13 hr.) – I finished in 12:47. I feel like I really made the most of the fitness that I did have.
My IM Florida 7 years ago was an hour quicker (11:35), but I will trade that hour for the feeling I had of finishing this strong any day. I cannot begin to say enough about how much your “4 keys” as well as your highlights about the course helped me. I reiterate that I RAN the last 8 miles passing over 100 people with a smile on my face – that, to me, is the definition of success. I look forward to getting my fitness level up to a place where I may better exemplify the genius of your program of execution.
So again, thank you for being a big part of and helping me to a HUGE success. I have included below the “race report” that I sent out to friends and family which goes into much more trivial detail (although look out for a “shout-out” for you at the end).
Colin Walker Santa Monica, CA

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Hey Rich and Patrick,
I did Lake Placid this past weekend, had a huge PR, and it’s pretty much all thanks to your training plans. I did Placid in ’08 in the monsoon in 11:35. For ’09 Placid, I got myself a power meter and trained somewhat EN style based on reading Training and Racing with a Power Meter and did it in 10:38. For 2010, I got your OutSeason®  and then Advanced IM plans and ended up crossing the line in 9:51:00 last Sunday! It was hands down the best race I’ve ever executed.
I came up to Patrick after the 4 Keys talk last Friday, introduced myself and basically said thanks for putting out awesome products at a great value, but I wanted to just say thanks again. There’s no way I would have taken 1:45 off my IM time in 2 years and still been happily married if it wasn’t for Endurance Nation. I’ve had at least 15 people over the past couple of days ask me what the hell I’ve been doing to get so much better so quickly, and I always point them to EN and say it’s the best stuff out there for age group triathletes because I really believe that it is.
Thanks again! –   David

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Coach R&P: only got to meet Patrick briefly at the course talk Friday, but wanted you to know your program WORKS….Lake Placid finishing time: 11:53:07; previous best at CDA (ie easier course) 13:00:04. Thank you for leading me here!!  – Gus Field
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I just joined Team EN last week, and this weekend was my first experience with the weekend rides. I’m in week 3 of a 20 week IM training plan, and I was doing 12-18 hours a week under a typical Friel plan before joining. When looking at the hours for the weekend, I was confused and thought it would be so easy Wow was I mistaken. I don’t think I’ve been this tired or sore from any training weekend ever. After those two weekend workouts, I was fully sold on the Team EN philosophy. Now I’m really looking forward to doing my testing and following this plan!  – Adam Ainbinder

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For anyone who wants a leg up on IMUSA or IMWI, the EN Camps are a MUST!!! Be prepared to work hard, learn everything you need to know about the course, potential race conditions, execution strategy, nutrition, etc., and have an epic weekend meeting new friends – including Coaches R & P ! I just came back from Lake Pla…cid, and am a huge fan! – Gus Field
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I am not an EnudranceNation athlete, but I subscribe to your podcast and have read most of the free resources avaiable on your website.  I did my first 70.3® race (Vineman) yesterday, after listening, repeatedly, to your 2007 podcast on half-iron strategy. You were right, many times over.  I executed your recommended strategy on the swim, in transition and on the first half of the bike just like I wanted.  But I got a little aggresive in the second half of the bike (not ludicrously, but enough as it turned out), and the first 3 miles of the run.  I therefore dumped about 45 seconds a mile starting at
mile 5, basically just surviving to the finish.  Next time I won’t fry my legs before I hit 8 miles to go.  Thanks for the insight, even if I didn’t follow it as well as I planned!!  –  Michael

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Overall I’m very pleased with this latest effort. The final time 5:00:48, 115th overall (38th in age group) out of 645 starters, it’s a 54 min PR over my last attempt at this distance. The EN way is killing it for me this year!!!  – Wayne Young

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I can’t say thank you enough to Rich, Patrick, the CDA team and all of you watching us that day. It was really great to have this “family” to rely and lean on, especially on Sunday. While I was pretty quiet about all my personal demons that day, seeing all of you on the course helped keep me going – it really makes a huge difference seeing your teammates pop up all over those 140.6 miles. I have to say my biggest thank you definitely goes to Aaron – his motivation and encouragement through that marathon will mean more to me than he will ever know. He definitely saved my race and was the reason I made it to the finish line, and I will be forever grateful to him and EN for that. — Carly Morse

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I’m not a member (yet) but I did get a chance to say Hi to coach Rich at English Pt. on the Coeur d’Alene course.  Taking it easy on the bike really saved my day, even with my minimal training.  That was my first time biking more than 70 miles and running more than 13.1.  I just wanted to say thank you for the free tips and race execution that led to my first ironman finish: 14:34.   –  Daniel Oliver

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IMCdA was my second IM and first with EN. I got started with the program late and continued to train with heart rate and distance; I look forward to switching over to power and pace for future races. EN is by far the most professional training program that I have used; the attention to detail, available resources, and personal input from the coaches and other athletes will not be found elsewhere. It is a phenomenal product. – Glenn Cook

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Just wanted to thank you for helping me with my first ½ Ironman® (Patriot – Freetown).  I watched your Four Keys to Long Course Triathlon, and definitely heard your recommendations in my mind as I raced a smart race.  I was able to pace the whole day to set myself up for the run and completely enjoyed the whole day.  Ended up passing 45 people or so in the run and ended with the 11th fastest female run and finished feeling strong and happy.  My training paid off and my day execution worked and had me complete the race in 5 hours and 29 min (4th place… 2 min from 3rd place in age group). Thanks for your part in a successful first experience.   –  Debbie Rhines

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First of all I must thank Mike Biarnesen for hooking me up with Endurance Nation and to those coaches, Rich and Patrick. Though this is an online coaching and tri community, I could not be more pleased with my training and the wealth of information provided to me! I firmly believe they are the best source for triathlon training for long distance events! The value you get from them is second to none and their plans are very well laid out to avoid fatigue, injury and teach you how to execute a great race. I have been given all of the training and all of the tools I need to be successful. The rest is up to me!  – Lisa McCauley

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Rich  –  Thanks for all the great info and the support. I have had several coaches since starting my triathlon adventure, and I feel EN is head-and-shoulders above them all.   – Glenn Cook

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Memorial Day weekend I ran the Madison Half Marathon and despite not previewing the course, and a hot and humid day, I trimmed 13 minutes off my 2009 time and 3 minutes from my HM PR (flat course). Best of all, my chip time had me 5th in my Age Group…up from 30th last year! Bottom line…my running has dramatically improved since joining EN.
June 5th I competed in a local duathlon (3.1/19/3.1). I flatted 2 miles from transition, spent 6 minutes changing the rear tube, and managed to finish 2nd in my Age Group, only :41 behind the winner. The course had three big hills, but I kept an eye on my  Joule as a roadie passed me on each climb. Why did he pass me on each climb? Because on the downhills and flats I was passing him while maintaining the right wattage. Had I not flatted I would have rolled in minutes ahead of him. After getting off the bike, I caught and passed (buried actually) 7 athletes. The bricks work wonders!
I’ve trusted Patrick and Rich to the letter, and the improvement has been more than I could have imagined.
Martin Redman

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Linda Hopkins, Hawaii 70.3®  Finishes with 8.5 minutes to spare….
“Oh my gosh Patrick your “comments” mean more than you will ever know. I put so much of our talk in my head and just focused focused focused. On the run my “box” happened pretty quickly, started with 40 running strides and then walk and then my “box” became 10 running strides and then walk. All I could think about was yours and Rich’s HIM podcast when you spoke about your “box” becoming each mile marker and then from one milimeter to the next milimeter (those weren’t your exact words but you know what i mean) I went from a 13 min mile to a 17 min mile (not that bad but just about). I hope you guys really know what inspiration and help you give to all kinds of athletes. Started all your pre-race “tools’ the day before and then I woke up at 2:00 am and drank my 600 calories and then at 4:00 (never back to sleep) and all during the entire race…every little thing we discussed and every little tool EN provided put me through that finish line. There was no part of me that wasn’t going to finish…even if someone would have offered me $1 million to go faster on the run, I could NOT HAVE DONE IT. I know you know. My son was so very happy, there are some photos which will tell it all, there is also one of my husband and I that will put all my words into pictures. Whoooo hoo team EN!
PS I was so proud of my little EN race shirt too!”

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Hey there Rich! I’m back from Brazil and using the EN stock plan, I PR’s in Brazil by 1 hour, finishing time was 11:35. I took 6 minutes off my best swim, 35 minutes off the bike and 20 minutes off the run. Now I look to Kona. What do I need to do to get signed up now and get the training plan? Thanks so much…looking forward to a great race!
Monika

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Clock time = 1:39:48!! I was 1 second behind my buddy and he could not believe it. Another 10 yds and I pass him. For sure a negative split and PR by almost 12 minutes! Great confidence builder going into Coeur d’Alene. Run is coming along! Wow….WORKWORKS!!! Bryan Ogle

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To Coach RnP,
Not a question but a great big fat thank you for an outstanding outseason training !!! I made huge gains this year and I am really psyched for this season. Here’s some data:
FTP:  Start of Jan OS: 193 End of Jan OS: 249 Increase of 29% !
VDOT:  Start of Jan OS: 36 End of Jan OS: 39 Increase of 8 % ( before EN 2years ago i was at 33 )
W/KG:   Start of Jan OS: 2.86 End of Jan OS: 3.6
So thank you again for designing an amazing training protocol. It was insanely hard at times and I said WTF so many times but at the end of the day OS made me so much more strong and fast. I am giddy at the possibilities now ! I will continue to work hard during general prep and race prep. Right now taking a 2 week transition .
I heart EN !!! You guys rock !!
Nathalie

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Ealier in the year, I posted on this site, looking for a training program.  Somebody recommended EN training programs, and I am glad they did.
I am in the 9th week of a 20 week IM training program from endurance nation.  The results of the program, so far, are incredible, so I felt that I needed to share the experience with anybody that is looking for a program.
I have tried many programs over the years, mostly the long slow distance based programs.
Using the Endurance Nation program I feel stronger on the bike and suprisingly stronger on the run, even with less running than other programs (due to the bike fitness).
I just completed my first race of the season last weekend ( Olympic Distance) and dropped 25 minutes from 8 years ago when I did the same race.  This was without a taper and training through the event.
I am hopeful that the results to date translate into a PR at IM Louisville,
Thanks to Rich Strauss and the Endurance Nation team,
If you are searching for some guidance in your training, give the folks at EN a try!  – Zachary Aters

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Hi Patrick and Rich,
I’m just writing to thank you for your guidance as I prepped for St. George during the past few months.  I had to cancel my membership the other day, but that decision in no way reflects my feelings about the Endurance Nation program.  I’m a big fan of what you guys have built and I have recommended quite a few people to check it out.
I see a lot of idiotic training and racing plans out there, from people who do a workout just because Dave Scott did it 15 years ago to people who simply wing it by making up their own crazy schedules.  Endurance Nation seems to be the only well-measured expansive study of a critical mass of Ironman® athletes.  You guys might have the only real data on what works and what doesn’t in terms of power, pacing, training load and race strategy.  I’m lucky to live in an area where I am surrounded by dozens of EN success stories (like Carrie Chavez, Steve Cramer, Tom Glynn, Aaron Smith, etc), and I can only imagine how valuable your support system can be for people who don’t live near any likeminded training partners.

Without EN, I would have never had a good experience at St. George on Saturday.  Six months ago, I literally could not swim 25 yards across a pool without stopping.  I had coaches and friends try to help me and I was so discouraged that I wrote a letter to Ironman® asking if they would let me ride and run on the course if I voluntarily disqualified myself…haha.  They sent me a form letter response explaining how I could get a $150 refund by canceling my registration.  That was my motivation…I found a friend who watched me do the drills in the Swim E-Book and I had a “breakthrough” 50 yard swim in early January that started it off.  Together with the Outseason Plan (I held a weekly “Trainer Tuesday” get-together where friends would come over and spin in my garage) and track workouts with Team Chavez, I had breakthrough after breakthrough.  I ran my best 5K since high school, learned how to hone my race rehearsal per Patrick’s Crucible advice, and put on a wetsuit for the first time in April.
St. George started off with a 1:17:02 swim split which, while average, was much more than I ever dreamed I could do after learning to swim so recently.  My ride was also a small victory, with an IF score of 0.699 and lots of people to pass on the downhills and flats.  I really didn’t know how to gauge my run…adding 30 seconds per mile to my long run pace proved to not be slow enough for me (ended up walking Miles #18-25), but I’m still happy with the experience I had.  St. George was not only my first Ironman, but my first triathlon of any distance, my first open water swim outside lane lines, and my second bike race of any kind.  I thought I would never, ever feel like doing another Ironman, and now all I can think about is how much time I could shave off of that 13:31 if I pick a less sadistic course and continue my improvement on the swim and bike.
So, anyway, that’s my long way of saying…thanks again, I’m taking a break for now, but I’ll be back  ; )
Simon Mutlu

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Rich, I wanted to let you know that my race results this weekend show the value of the EN training approach even in short course events. I participated in a Duathlon this weekend and despite totally treating it as a “C” priority – I did a full three hour ride the day prior (TSS of 214), I won my Age Group (Men 40-44).
One of the biggest impacts from following your training plan (I bought both your OS and Adv IM 20 week plans) was my focus on having a very clear race strategy. Since I didn’t taper I knew that I needed to manage my effort correctly to avoid a disaster during the second run. I planned a first run (2 miles) pace of 6:30, a bike of 260 watts (20 miles), and second run (2 miles) of 6:30. I actually executed: Run 1 NGP: 6:21, Bike NFP: 258 watts (VI of 1.03), and Run 2: NGP: 6:26.
Thanks for all the experience and learning that you bring from the EN community into your coaching plans.
I’ll see you in Madison in July at the rally and again on September 12th.
Steve Dankert  (EN Believer)

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Keith Buell @ Pikes Peak 10k in MD
Well, I did it. I ran 39:18 on Sunday. I didn’t do anything all that special in training. I ran 4×1 at race pace a couple times, and otherwise pretty much tried to follow the General Prep program while fitting in the various races I did. I PR’ed in the 10 miler a couple weeks ago, and did an Oly last weekend. (That was ugly, though. My run time was about 45 min. after a very slow bike.) The one special thing I did was buy racing flats for the first time.

The race went well despite everything working against me. I had massive stomach aches all of the night before and all day after the race, but it let up during the race. I did a hard 3 hour bike ride the day before, so there was absolutely no taper. I programmed by Garmin to pace me with Virtual Partner to exactly 40:00. It’s been acting up recently, though, and I’m not sure whether I misprogrammed it or if it’s totally broken, but after I hit the lap button at the one-mile mark, it said “Workout Complete!” So I did the rest of the race without it, which was great in retrospect. Although each mile marker had a clock, I didn’t have any other feedback so I ran by feel. I know that if the Garmin had kept working I would have run exactly 39:59, so I’m glad that I was able to let it out and beat my goal by a full 42 seconds. Each 5k half was actually a 5k PR as well. The best thing is I blew past my dad’s 39:39 he ran when he was my age.”
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“Hi Rich
Some feedback on Ironman® South Africa.
Last year I was pretty well prepared and did 12h50 in my first Ironman® South Africa.
This year followed your 12 week intermediate Ironman® program as well as life allowed.  On the race also followed your calorie intake advice to the letter.
Improved swim in difficult conditions by 7 minutes.  Total transitions (T1 and T2, following your less friction advice) 06min30 (3min50 T1, 2min35 T2).  Bike did my “should” rather than “could” split and came in at comfortable 06h00.  (10 minutes improvement on last year).  Used all your run advice and pacing and did a great 04h25 marathon with negative split on last 10km!  Ran last 8km at marathon pace!  (30 minute improvement on last year)
So total time 11h49, broke the sub 12 barrier, and improved my standing in field from 47% last year to 28% this year.
I can honestly say all credit must go to Endurance Nation for your training program and Four Keys DVD.  That was the only thing that changed from last year to this.  Being a typical triathlete I already had all the gear!
It is also clear that distance is no issue with your internet based approach, here I am in South Africa and training just as well as if I am based in the States.
I suspect you are going to add a few more customers from South Africa as all my friends were amazed with my race and wanted to hear how I did it.
Now my goal will be to use your programs to improve my half Ironman® times to 05h15-05h30 and then once that is achieved have a go at Ironman® again.
Best regards and thanks again.”  –  Pieter du Plessis
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Summary of my only two triathlons (both 70.3) and the training protocols for each.
Rhode Island 70.3® 2009
– traditional approach (base building, then some speed and distance)
– avg 15-18 hrs./wk for 20 weeks
– 5:25 finish time
New Orleans 70.3® 2010
– EN training (16 weeks of OS; 4 weeks of HIM plan)
– avg 7-9.5 hrs./wk for 20 weeks
– 5:01 and I think I actually had 4:45 in my legs if I had better swim and bike conditions
There is no more volume elephant in MY room!  EN rocks!!!”   –   Stephen Anderson
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“Wanted to thank you for drastically changing my IM training racing. I bought the 12 week advanced IM plan last fall and have had a chance to see (and prove) the improvements your plan offers. By going harder (but shorter) training has become fun again. I just won my age group in IM New Orleans 70.3® (40-44) and will be doing St. George this weekend. looking forward to hearing your pointers at the expo.”  – Scott Shaffer

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“Quickly, I just wanted to thank EN tonight was the first night I broke an 8 minute mile for 6 miles in about 5 years. I used to be an okay runner, then my family started to grow and running just wasn’t my thing. I missed it, so started again. As a result, I’ve had 2 knee surgeries and the last one (microfracture) was major in the sense I have no articular cartilage left. I trained for an IM last year with the LSD in everything, and guess what, the race was long and slow. I joined EN during a trial period around xmas but could’t swing it then. I kept doing their workouts that I had for a 6 week cycle and just added a little distance and pace every 4-6 weeks. I’ve only been running maybe 1.5x/week and my vdot has gone from 37? to 46. Since I tested almost 2 weeks ago, I find that I can almost hold my vdot pace for 10k, not just 5k. I feel like my time has been well spent, and it has!! I may limp a lot, but my body has figured out how to run by adopting “Work is speed entering the body”. I love that I can almost run again! Best training advice I’ve ever heard.” Dan

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“I came to EN in October.  I am training for my second IM but basically starting over as I have been out of the sport for 3 years and coming back off a broken leg. Last time I did the long slow distance training and it did work out for me sort of.  I over trained, was tired and injured myself working up to a 1/2 marathon.  So I got a long run of 6 miles for my IM in 2004.  I completed the race in 16:09:03, very long and very slow.

The EN philosophy appleaded to be to build the fast then go far.  In 20 week I have build up good cycling speed and combined that with good running gains. A couple of the best aspect for me is that as mentioned you are on a plan that many others are doing.  The out season motivation was great.  Additionally the coaches and other members are responsive to quesitons no matter what you ask.  Finally in the short time I have been here Coach Rich and Coach Patrick have updated, added and continue to evolved EN based on needs of the group.”   – Gordon Cherwoniak”How many people get to train for their first IM, knowing they get to race with 17 other amazing ladies, and the impressive NIL (and beyond) Sleeper Cell support crew? And mention a coach in a pink speedo? I do!
Simply said, this place is amazing. I can ask any question and get intelligent, thoughtful answers from a number of perspectives. Because sometimes you need to hear Coach Rich, sometimes Patrick, and sometimes Linda and Nemo. One of my favorite things that happened here was John Stark conducting science experiments to find out how well the then new Garmen 310xt paired with a powertap because no one — not Saris, or Garmin, or any forum, had any insight on how these two things worked together.
This place is amazing at cheerleading squad, too. For being a virtual team, I saw teammates at every race I did last year — from Girls on the Run 5k to Steelhead, EN starred kits and spectator shirts were everywhere.
This place also has great book and food recommendations. And lots of cute pictures of dogs.”   – Beth Schwindt
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“First time ENer and IMer!  Joined EN to learn how to execute a long course race.  In all my previous HIM’s, I raced my legs off and died on the run….ALWAYS!  So, when I saw race execution on your website, I was compelled to check it out.  I joined in Oct of 09 and have learned so much from the coaches and all the other members from bike gearing to racing with power to being able to manage doeable training plans.  I love the EN philosophy of ROI= Return on Investment in everything we do from training smart, racing smart and buying gear smart!  And I need ROI because I am a mom of 5 with lots of life to live outside of triathlon.  The experience thus far has been worth every penny and so much more.  Thanks EN!” — Kathy Nelson
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“I too, am a first time Ironman® in training, and ENer. I came across EN on traithlete websites, or googling. I have done many sprints, a couple of Oly’s, and 2 half-Irons. (The halfs killed me on the bike, thus nothing left for the run!!) I couldn’t afford the one on one coaching with the ‘other coaches’, and liked the idea of the ‘team’ concept and open-ness of the team, via forums, access to coaches, etc. Aditionally, the podcasts, Wiki, and everything else RnP offer, were too attractive and smart to ignore! I joined in October on the free month basis, and haven’t left since! So many of the people in here, I have only met via cyberspace. However, some of the women with whom I converse in the women’s forum, feel like I’ve known them for years! It is nice to have others with whom you can share your experiences, ask (stoopid) questions, and no one laughs at your questions. There is such a wealth of knowledge everywhere, it is amazing! And Rich and Patrick are hands down, the best at what they do, in my humble opinion!  And I appreciate being able to still have a life, while training my tail off! I cannot wait to meet them and members of the Haus, in person! I think it will feel like a reunion!  Assuming I enjoy my Louisville in August, I intend to continue being a member of EN for a while to come…” — Barbara Spitler

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“Easy to join for me, since I knew Pat already. Being a busy age grouper, though, I wanted a network to answer my questions and just tell me what I needed to know. However, I didn’t want to feel like I invested in such a personal coach that any day of training I missed for life things, I felt like I let the coach down. EN gives you personal attention without smothering you.” — Clinton Fletcher

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“I think I first came across EN through Slowtwich.com.  I may have been reading a thread and what was being said about EN was making some sense.  I checked the website to find out that they were having a promotional free month trial with an option to join if there was room.  With nothing to lose I tried it.  Well, to be honest, EN has the most sensible, down-to-Earth explanations, reasoning, and time saving plans I’ve ever come across… there is no time wasted, everything here just gets down to business to give you the best bang for your buck so to speak with training.  It has also been a pleasure to be a part of a forum where people truly try to help, not simply make fun of you.  And, I’ve never seen a coaching site where 400+ athletes have unlimited access to their coaches.  Just ask a question or make a comment in the forums in regards to them and they get back to you.  Very user friendly, giving you all the resources possible to become your own best coach.  Absolutely perfect for the age group athlete with no time (I have a full-time job, with 3 children under the age of 6 and the plans are doable).  I am very happy, and comfortable here.  Thanks EN.” — Dan Forbes

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“I came to EN just after completing my first IM in 2007 at Lake Placid.  I had trained by myself using a plan from an old magazine and advice from Slowtwitch.  My goal was to get faster/race better as I ended up walking what felt like the entire second lap of the marathon, was registered for 2008 and wanted to do better.  I was not really motivated by any real time goal just thought that it could be done “better”.  While I certainly raced faster and “better” the folling year [took 50 minutes off the prior year and ran the whole thing] what I got from being apart of the Nation was much much more.  Although spread out across the country and the world, all of us were essentially doing the same workouts and posting about them in the forum.  It did not matter than many of us had never met, it was like being part of a real team.  It helped so much with motivation and accountability to know that there were others out there doing the same thing even though I was often up way too early running alone in the dark.  Also, made it much more fun.  When the team [or a small part of it anyway] gets together the Thursday night before an IM for the team dinner it is like meeting hanging out with old friends.  All weekend at the races, team EN and support crew are everywhere as are the Coaches.  As the Nation grows it just becomes more fun.  See you at the races…”
— Chris Gleason

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“I came to Endurance Nation after Rich’s race execution strategies helped me erase years of frustration at Ironman. If you are early into IM or HIM training and racing, the race execution strategies and practical knowledge here is worth the price of admission many times over, and is probably more valuable to a triathlete with less than 5 years of experience than ANY training plan or piece of equipment you can buy.” — Al Truscott

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“I am a first time IMer and ENer.  I found myself registered for Lake Placid with that ‘oh crap now what’ feeling.  I heard about EN from a friend on the team.  I figured since I had no plan to get me through this race that I would give it a try.  I got so much more than I bargained for.  For a newbie like me (a few sprints and one HIM under my belt) there is so much knowledge to glean from the members here, not to mention the coaches.  I’m not really a ‘joiner’ or ‘team’ person, but this seems to be the best combination of interaction, the forum, coaches hours are here if you want or you can just get your plan and go to work.  Serioulsy the best $ I have spent in prep for IMLP, which I plan to crush because of the support of EN!” — Carly Costanza

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After squeaking through two 70.3s in 2009 without any coaching and then registering for Lake Placid 2010 I knew I would need coaching and guidance if I was going to pull off a full IM. I had been invited to an EN webinar months earlier and what Rich and Patrick said made a lot of sense. I read all I could on the EN blog and from their Free Resources as well as listening to the podcasts and I knew that I could not do an IM any other way than using the EN approach. I quickly purchased the OS plan and then became a full member shortly thereafter. The OS works, my FTP is up 27% from the start of the OS to week 14 tests. Rich and Patrick are incredibly smart about training for and racing long course triathlons, and moreover the help and camaraderie you get from the other EN members is really the icing on the cake. EN has given me the confidence to know what I’ll be going up against on race day in addition to the tools to execute my best possible ironman.   — Cary Blanco

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I’m also an aspiring Iron Woman… and new EN’er (joined in December).  I’m relatively new to the world of triathlon, too having only 1 full season (after my first sprint and OLY in 2008) under my belt.  In the 2009 season I did a few OLYs and a HIM and had a pretty good run of it – improving to above the middle of the pack – and that was just winging it while training for a fall marathon.  I am hooked and tris and knew I needed to find the right/smart way to train to improve.
I signed up for my first IM (Florida in November) and knew I’d need a plan.  I asked a fellow DC Tri clubber and friend, who, BTW, had a fabulous season placing in 5 of her 6 races, what plan she followed for her first HIM last year (I did my first last year, but sort of winged it with a charity group, tweaking the program because I didn’t think it was spot on).  She told me about EN… I checked out the web page and bought 2 plans – the OS and the IM.  She encouraged me to join – for the info and the accountability but I resisted at first – because discipline has never been a problem for me; I knew I’d do the work on my own.

Anyway, in December the House had a membership sale and I figured what the heck… I’d had a bad bike crash in late August and lost some mojo and figured the support would do me some good – I’m not gonna pay and then not get my  money’s worth!  It was without a doubt the right decision!  I’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the amount of information on the webpage – not only the published plans and data but various forums with the EN team members weighing in on what works/doesn’t work.  I’ve also been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and encouragement…. I’ve never met any of my fellow January OS’ers (outseason training group) but I feel like they’re my close friends and workout partners.  When I’m dragging or having a bad day I log in and post a note and before I know it I’ve got 5 responses and my mojo is back… when I’m suffering through a workout I know that I need to get through it so I can post my results (to the cheers of my teammates).  There is something to be said for accountability… and in the House it’s a situation of all boats rise together… when one of my teammates has a great race or bumps up her VDot on a test it’s so motivating for the rest of us – we all share in each other’s success!
I’m really glad I signed up.  I’m still in OS now and it’s kicking my butt (and I’m loving it).  I’ll be transitioning to a HIM plan soon for a race in June, then doing general prep before the IM.  I am very glad that I have my teammates and the coaches (who have threads for Q&A) to lean on and ask questions – so many of these folks have been there and gone through it… and never make me feel silly for asking questions.  It’s been such a great experience for me!  — Becky HirseljI’ve been doing tris for five or so years, and last year did my first HIM. I struggled with training because I seemed to race better when I trained hard first and then added on distance, but almost all conventional triathlon wisdom says you put in a ton of time at a low effort. So, of course, I just winged it my way. And while I had a PR on the bike, I knew that I needed a “real” training plan that would put it all together for me, especially after I signed up for IMOO 2010 (my first IM). I also did not want to be doing ridiculous amounts of training. 25+ hours a week? Please. I would like to have a life outside work and triathlon.
After some furious Googling, I came across the EN open house. EN gives you the plan, and you execute it. But even better, EN also gives you the tools and knowledge to make adjustments based on the fact that things happen in life, and you have to adjust. And RnP are constantly making adjustments and trying to make the plan better. This isn’t your basic, here’s the plan, it’s worked for lots of people, do it and it will work for you. RnP are always listening to the ENers, and I think that’s a huge benefit to being in the haus. As for adding to your tri knowledge, there is always RnP and the rest of EN to help you out when you need it. I’m not a huge poster, but I love that when I do have a question, whether for RnP or for my fellow ENers, I know that I’m going to get an answer, or multiple answers, that I can rely on. The knowledge of this group is incredible, and unlike most other triathlon forums, there’s no sifting through to find the one or two logical answers.
Overall, I can’t recommend EN enough. This past winter, I had the choice to either upgrade my road bike to a tri bike or join EN. After really researching EN during my trial I gambled that joining EN would improve my race more than a new tri bike. I can honestly say after finishing only half the OS, joining EN was obviously the best choice. I’ve already make huge improvements in my bike and run, and that’s even after I had to take a month off for an injury. Add that to the knowledge that I get from my fellow ENers and it’s no contest this was the smart decision. I’d highly recommend joining the haus!   — Jennifer BurbattI was a closet ENer. . .  While deployed to Djibouti a friend of mine convinced me to sign up for Cali 70.3® and as I was leaving Ralph Butler who was in the haus relieved me as the general surgeon at the Navy’s Expeditionary Medical Facility on the Horn of Africa. He told me about EN, and encouraged me to check out Jack Daniel’s book. I got my hands on every free resource from EN, came home in December and bought a bike and trained quasi EN for Oceanside. As a big guy (around 200 pounds) and slow runner (vDot around 40) I did Oceanside in 5:44 with pretty good execution. But I had plenty of room for improvement.
Last fall I tried to get into the Haus and failed but purchased a training plan that allowed me to join EN around the end of November. I did about 9 weeks of the Outseason with the October group, 5-6 weeks of a HIM plan with no problems increasing the volume and was able to shave 22′ off of my previous time for the Cali 70.3.  I shaved 9 minutes off of the bike for a 2:47 bike split – on a windy day and was also able to improve my run time by 10′ to a 1:56. i also saved myself 1 minute on the swim and 1 minute on T1.
After the race I hooked up with fellow ENers – Brian Massey, Peter Carroll, David Ambrose, Matt Ancona and Coach Rich – and had some great beer and pizza.  Via the forums I also had the chance to hook up with Jeff Hansen  last weekend who was visiting from Illinois  for a conference and take him on one of my favorite rides in east San Diego county up Laguna Mountain.
I am now in the midst of preparing for my first IM distance event and enjoying the resources offered by EN.  As a fairly busy surgeon and father of three young children I appreciate the real world perspective of good time management, balance and return on investment that EN promotes ( I went from no swimming in the OS to 9000m a week with little difficulty).  I watch some of my friends who continue to train more than 20 hours a week (for a HIM) to qualify for Kona (and miss a spot by 2-3′) and wonder how they would do with a focused intense outseason and a more intelligent approach to race prep. Thanks Rich and Patrick!   — Tom Nelson
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I had been doing HIM for several years, just winging it on training. Lots of LSD biking and running, and disappointed that as I aged I was getting slower every year ( I was in my 30’s). I had no problem getting out the door to exercise, but I never had a plan.
Folks I had met were starting a local tri club and there I met one of the resident den mothers of EN, Linda Patch. She talked briefly about EN. I was intrigued. When a local iron distance race announced it’s debut event later that year (2008), I decided to go for it. I was terrified and wanted a coach. It was already April. I contacted a well known local coach, he charged $$$$$$$$. The response was that his roster was full and he would not take me on. So I checked into and signed on with EN. Best decision I ever made! Not only did the plan get me ready for the race, but it made me FASTER! (It’s all relative- I’m still slower than many, but I am as fast as I was 20 years ago in college).
I am a faster cyclist and runner. My swimming is very steady- again ROI. I have not lost any time/ speed despite not being in the pool for 1 year or swimming open water since 8/09.
This is my 2nd OS and 3rd race season with EN. Best dollar value anywhere. Everyday I thank my lucky stars that the $$$ coach was unavailable. – Michelle Cellai

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Marc Feldman: 5:16 at Oceanside — an 11 minute PR even though I was a bit sick.  I’m now in CDA and will be getting your 12 week plan, thanks!

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Bill McKinney: 10K PR…42:47…that would be a 2:13 improvement over my previous best and a 3:00 improvement over my time in the Thanksgiving race! I guess I can go on spring break now!

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You may want to look into Endurance Nation. In addition to people using their plans, there is a online team off about 400 members that complete ironman distance races with low volume training plans. The plans focus on return on investment and how to best use the limited amount of time many age groups have to train. The team and forums are there to support each other and help tailor the plan to your life.
I have a full-time job, am married and have have a baby daughter, and set a two hour ironman PR last year after putting in less training volume than I did for my previous PR (2 years before on the same course). To be fair this was a combination of learing to use a power meter, more effective training, better race execution and losing some weight…all four of which EN helped with. — Matt Ancona, 1st AG Ironman® Wisconsin 2009

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I didn’t follow the 3/7/3 to the letter, but it made me negative split.  Ridiculously packed the first 5 miles, which really slowed things down.  Therefore, I had to crank it the last five miles.  Last mile was a 7:29.  I think this is a PR for me at this distance.  Haven’t run 13 miles since September.  Speed work works.

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My sincere thanks go out to RnP!  EN ROCKS!
I did a very shortened OS last year, so didn’t see a ton of improvement.  I couldn’t believe how great I felt this past Saturday at the “Johnny’s”!
I used this 5 miler as my end of the OS vdot, although a week early, I wanted to get it in with a race.  It was cold and windy and pretty strong headwinds on the way back.  This is the 1st race I’ve worn my garmin for and I’ve only been training with it since christmas.  What a difference training and racing with pace!
I started off and, of course, everyone took off…I kept watching the garmin and kept telling myself…slow down now, and kept hearing RnP in my head “pace yourself when you start!”  Felt fabulous the first 2 miles.  This is when I noticed I was starting to pass people.
So, mile 3, I start passing A LOT of people, still holding my pace.  The last mile I kicked it in and didn’t let it drop below 9:00/mi pace.  I came in at 46:10, 5 minutes faster than last year!  Woo hoo!  My vdot only went up one, but I was so pumped!  Literally!!!  I felt great the whole time!   — Dana Sharp

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As you know I am very new to EN and I have never found so much support (in one place). Because we have this woman’s thread we can go to it any time of day or night, any day of the week. We often have “issues” (as do men) that we need answers to right away and this is the place. There is no judgement, there are no dumb questions and people come out of the woodwork to reach and and give multiple solutions or suggestions for the initial “thread”. I have found that I have been able to share and ask questions that I wouldn’t have the nerve to do in retail stores and other TRI environment. There is ALWAYS an answer to your question here. Women being vulnerable with one another allows other women who may have been “holding onto something”to go ahead and put it out there. If this forum doesn’t know the answer or the women think it is better asked in another forum they will be told “where to go” in a very respectful manner. These women genuinely care about each other, it becomes a family, and you begin to feel as if you have sisters, mothers, or whatever… that you never had in your “real life”. Again, it is not JUST about training, the EN family help each other with their psychological, mental, physical and even spiritual issues. It has been a godsend for me.  – Linda Hopkins

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Amy B: “Hey, I just want to say ‘work WORKS’! I just returned from the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon and set a PR by 6 minutes. Thanks RnP for a tough Out Season plan that actually works. I’ve never been emotional crossing a finish at any race but I was emotional this past Sunday. I was in a very serious bike accident last summer that required both knee and face surgery and the Mardi Gras 1/2 was my first race since the accident. When I started the October OS, I was basically starting from scratch, not having trained since before June. Imagine my shock to beat my pre-accident best by 6 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. As for the race itself, great weather (50ish at start), great city, and great on-course support. And not a bad way to cap off 20 weeks of OS hell. The only negatives were that the roads were not in the best of shape (you could feel every rut) and no pace groups. But if you have your own pacing device, no worries. I went conservative at the begining and then turned it up after mile 3. By mile 9, I was passing a lot of folks. Patience and discipline really are the key.”

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Hey – I just want to say ‘work WORKS’!  I just returned from the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon and set a PR by 6 minutes.  Thanks RnP for a tough Out Season plan that actually works.  I’ve never been emotional crossing a finish at any race but I was emotional this past Sunday.  I was in a very serious bike accident last summer that required both knee and face surgery and the Mardi Gras 1/2 was my first race since the accident.  When I started the October OS, I was basically starting from scratch, not having trained since before June.  Imagine my shock to beat my pre-accident best by 6 minutes!  I couldn’t believe it.  – Amy Ball

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They are 2 people, trying to service 400 athletes on the team, and also sell plans for self-trained athletes. We on the team (which is what is sold out) are paying for their quality experience, development of their plans, expertise and service. If they don’t have a cutoff at some point, they cannot administer all of the plans for all of the groups, the website info., answer our questions, tweak our plans when we ask for help, be on live chat with the team once during the week, and by the way, they travel all over the US to attend every IM race and cheer on their team members! Also, they hold free training ‘rallys’ for different parts of the U.S., which they attend and locate a hotel for those planning to attend. (i.e. Midwest, on IM WI course, Lake Placid) What other coaches attend every IM race for the atheletes they coach? Personally, if they didn’t have a cutoff, I think I would have to think twice about being on the team. I wouldn’t like it if there were 1000 athletes and I didnt’ get my personal answers! They also are open to suggestions from their atheletes regarding things (forum administration) that we may think could be done differently. We aren’t all started on the same plan at the same time. We list our A races and they actually answer us personally, with how to tweak our training throughout the year. They record podcasts for various training, etc.
The bottom line Verity, is we the team, are paying for Rich Strauss and Patrick McCrann, not some hired assistant coaches. I get the coaching personally from them, and look forward to seeing them and getting together with them pre-race, at Louisville. THAT is why they have ‘slashed out wording and lack of access’ currently. I am getting exactly what I paid for, no less. I hope this helps to answer your question. As I said I’m a noobie to IM and to the team, but I tell you, it is worth every penny in my humble opinion.  – Barbara Spitler

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Lung-splitting? All the time? Are my endorphins giving me rose colored glasses or am I right in saying that we don’t fall in the category of relentless hard workouts every time we swing our legs over the bike? I don’t think we can compare EN to Carmichael – I haven’t previewed the workouts, I’m just going by what’s written in this post, but this reads like Carmichael’s workouts are huge hammerfests and that is NOT what I’m doing every day on the bike. I feel like I’m strategically working the entire spectrum of my zones. So yeah, I’m flirting with the red on my 2 x 15s but then I get a reprieve in Z3 that, while not “easy”, is psychologically and physically a different animal than Z4 or 5, and certainly doesn’t split my lungs. And the only time I’ve ever felt prone to injury is when I’m a) ramping up (easy) mileage or b) doing the VO2 max block when I’m running and biking in Z5.
If I had to “hammer” for 60 minutes straight day in and day out, I’d probably be looking for a way to “accidentally” stab myself with a fork (or a screw, ha) to get out of the workout, but I LOVE what we do on the bike here. In fact, the variety of intensity is definitely, 100% without a doubt what is keeping me sane and on the bike this winter.  – Suzanne Kinsky

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Thanks a bunch!  I am enjoying exploring all the various resources you have.  For what it’s worth, it made it a lot easier for me to justify spending the money to buy the plan knowing that I’ve taken advantage of lots of information that’s already available…sort of like Public Radio I guess.  🙂
I’m looking forward to doing things with a somewhat different approach this year.  Will be a fun experiment and a fun season, I’m sure.

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I had a great race – with highlights including meeting the Endurance Nation coaches at mile 18 of the marathon with enough gas in the tank to keep going. Managed a personal record of 12:18 for the race, which is about 1:30 better than my previous best. Endurance Nation rules!  – Chris Bennet

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I signed up last year and used the system to train through the spring and summer. I am now in week 13 of the off-season.
To put it mildly, I have 2 daughters, a wife and am active in my church. I do not have the time to put in the super long runs and rides that a lot of you guys do on a routine basis. EN has allowed me to train and reach new levels of fitness while still being able to put the money in the bank with the fam for this spring when I do have to get out and ramp my weekly plan above the 10 hr. mark. I am a MOPer but they have plenty of athletes on the team that are Age Group qualifiers.
So if you want a great option that allows you to maintain a job, and semblance of family sanity I can’t think of another way to go. Triathletes already have the highest level of divorce amoung the sports and I was going that way quickly before I joined EN. Now my family is fairly happy and supportive of my training.

Thanks also for your IM WI product that I bought last year.  (I came to the party late…)  I got several very useful pointers out of it and a lot of mental confidence.  I was sick and had a tough run in large part because of that, but otherwise had a great level of confidence and execution.  Even when I ran into difficulties in the run, being able to “execute” the best I could at the time and “work inside my box” let me come out of the race feeling like I couldn’t have done any better than I did on that day.  So thanks again for that help.  – William Jenks, Iowa

I don’t want to waste ANY time during the outseason when I’m 8 or 9 months away from my race and kill any more brain cells or time than I have to thinking about training.   Everything I’m doing right now is at threshold pace – zone 3, 4 and above for you heart rate training folks.   Yes – I said it, THRESHOLD pace – as in near balls-out dying and tongue hanging out kind of stuff.   Everybody else is doing EASY zone 1 long runs (in the freezing cold or rain) or 2 hours on the trainer while watching TV  (WTF?!).   I’m crushing myself for 30 minutes to an hour doing intervals for my runs as well as steady state Z3 and Z4 for my rides.
Some say I’m crazy, but numbers don’t lie.  Test results in the lab as well as “functional” tests have shown that my hard work in the last 8 to 9 weeks (with Christmas holidays and a Vegas trip thrown in for good measure) has yielded the same bike test results as where I was in July ‘07 – after 5 to 6 months of traditional “do more base” training.   Now there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Zone 1 – you need that, you need the volume and you need to build endurance – but my point is – I don’t want to be building that NOW when I’m 8 months out from my A race.  I don’t want to fry my brain and kill countless hours getting to and from the pool, to and from the gym, to and from here / there etc etc  when I can just do some quality hard WORK right here in and around my home.
Having said that, I can’t swim worth a crap – I did a 1:34 and a 1:39  I think in my last couple ironman races.  Terrible – but you know what?  who cares?  If I were to swim EVERY DAY until Ironman, I would MAYBE take 15 minutes off my swim time.  So 200 hours of swimming to shave 15 minutes?  are you crazy?  that’s not good training ROI as far as I can tell.  However, if I put the equivalent amount of time right now into biking and running – do you think that might equate to a greater than 15 minute improvement overall?   damn straight it will. I’ll probably start swimming in March or April cuz quite frankly, I’m ok with coming out of the water 10 or 15 minutes behind the masses – it’s such a small part of the day and overall race,  I’m not too worried about it cuz everything I’m working on now will likely have me pass most of them at some point on the run if not the bike.   Hmm, that extra 100+ hours spent swimming in the “offseason” really did a lot of good didn’t it?  Guess we’ll see.
Anyway, whatever training method you are employing right now in the “offseason” – take a close look at how much time you’re spending noodling around in zone 1 and driving to and from the pool at 6:00am before work.  This could be time better spent preparing mentally for the LONG training months ahead and not burning yourself out before you get to the real training that starts in the Spring.

I’ll post on the forum later but wanted to thank you two first of all – just finished my Week 8 bike test and pretty chuffed to say the least.  Increase from 265 to 296w in 7 weeks of training aint bad going! – David Flint

+++++

I wanted to give you guys a big thank you.  I have actually been using a plan out of Matt Fitzgeralds book to prepare for a HIM. However, I’ve read about everything I can to help with this race. Last year I bonked like a big dog on the run and vowed that would not happen again this year.  I read your article on Active.com about proper pacing on the bike leg.  The following statement from your article really stood out to me:  “and don’t get caught up in fighting for three to five bikes lengths of real estate on some unnamed hill at mile 65.2 of a 140-mile day. It just. Doesn’t. Matter. ” I wasn’t racing a full but the point was still made.  My HIM was on a hilly course and it felt like the entire field passed me on the bike.  I just kept telling myself “It just doesn’t matter.  I will catch them on the run.”  I had also read your article about the LINE.  I kept telling myself I had to be able to get to mile 8 on the run then let it all hang out.  I can’t tell you how many people I passed on the run.  I nearly ran a stand-alone half marathon PR following the advice from your articles.  I actually biked ~ 5 min slower this year as compared to last year, but finished 50 minutes faster!  Thanks again for putting out wise information!

++++++++++++++ END TESTIMONIALS ++++++++++++++

Note: The photo for this post was taken from  photo credit: avidd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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AUTHOR

Coach P

All stories by: Coach P
2 comments
  • Mjohnson
    REPLY

    All I can say is that IMLOU 2011 when I was running, everyone with an EN jersey was running. Not the case for the masses, most were walking! I PRed 24 minutes after my 8th IM…I continue to get faster even though Im getting older!!

  • Mjohnson
    REPLY

    All I can say is that IMLOU 2011 when I was running, everyone with an EN jersey was running. Not the case for the masses, most were walking! I PRed 24 minutes after my 8th IM…I continue to get faster even though Im getting older!!

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