FastCamp: Pre-Camp Questions and Discussions

Coach Patrick McCrann at Ironman® Kona

FastCamp Update:


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FastCamp: Pre-Camp Questions and Discussion

We’ve been fielding pre-camp questions from registered participants and thought we share them with you, to get everyone on the same page:

What distance triathlete is FastCamp appropriate for?

FastCamp is not distance specific, ie, it’s not a short course, half Ironman, or Ironman® training plan. Our intent is to:

  • Show you how simple and powerful it is to WORK, and get much, much faster.
  • Introduce you to how we work with and coach our athletes. “How in the hell do two guys coach a team of 600 athletes by themselves?!” We’ll show you!
  • Once we’ve made you FAST, we’ll turn you loose on the rest of the season, whether that’s short or long course triathlon.

In short, FastCamp is the “build FAST” portion of our “Build FAST, then FAR” season structure.

What minimum fitness do I need to have before FastCamp begins?

The key events in Week 1 of Fast Camp are:

  • Swim, bike, and run tests to establish your training zones and set fitness/performance benchmarks, which you’ll then crush in Week 8.
  • A 1:30-2:30 long ride and about a 1:00 long run, depending on ability.

How does FastCamp work within the context of an Ironman® season?

Go here to see a FastCamp-to-Ironman® Canada season plan that Rich created for a participant

Do you have any other questions for us?

Please ask in the comments section below!

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150 comments
  • Eric
    REPLY

    I am planning on three sprint triathlons this summer with a month separation between the first and second, and an additional month between second and third.
    How would I train those additonal two months for races of the same distance? I am new to triathlon and going to try have the majority of my preparation done before the first, hoping then improve speed and comfort over the next two races.
    In the past, I seem to arrive at races without enough rest to really push myself.
    Thanks.

    • patrick
      REPLY

      @Eric, you could easily repeat the final 4 weeks of your plan, modified to allow for some rest and to include any lessons learned from your prior races. That sounds like the best “plan” but note that your fitness might progress differently as the races come along…and you might want to get faster in a particular area as well after seeing how you race. If you’ve done some good hard work early on, you’ll have the bandwidth to adjust!

  • Eric
    REPLY

    I am planning on three sprint triathlons this summer with a month separation between the first and second, and an additional month between second and third.
    How would I train those additonal two months for races of the same distance? I am new to triathlon and going to try have the majority of my preparation done before the first, hoping then improve speed and comfort over the next two races.
    In the past, I seem to arrive at races without enough rest to really push myself.
    Thanks.

    • patrick
      REPLY

      @Eric, you could easily repeat the final 4 weeks of your plan, modified to allow for some rest and to include any lessons learned from your prior races. That sounds like the best “plan” but note that your fitness might progress differently as the races come along…and you might want to get faster in a particular area as well after seeing how you race. If you’ve done some good hard work early on, you’ll have the bandwidth to adjust!

  • Michelle Powers
    REPLY

    Hi, I have races of all different distances planned this year from sprints to 70.3’s. FIrst, however, I need to get past Boston (marathon) in mid-April. When your fastcamp starts, I am still pretty committed to my Boston plan…but I know I need to get in the tests. I also work my training around the schedule of my 4 young (ages 3-10) kids. I have been able to do this pretty successfully over the past year as I am also going to age-group Nationals in August, so I guess my question is, Is there a time restriction on the testing? In other words, could I delay one (or more) of the tests until after Boston?

    • patrick
      REPLY

      Yikes you are busy!!! 🙂 I think that you can delay the tests for sure, but if you are half as active as you sound, you’ll probably have a really good sense of your baseline fitness….and that’s what’s required to make sure the plan is going to work for you!

    • LEslie
      REPLY

      I don’t know you Michelle, but it sounds like you need to get rid of the kids and train full time. Rather than Boston, you should make FastCamp your priority, it’s the only way you will succeed at Nationals. Also, you must stop baking things and posting their pictures on-line, it could cause break-ins and raids upon your cookie jar!

  • Michelle Powers
    REPLY

    Hi, I have races of all different distances planned this year from sprints to 70.3’s. FIrst, however, I need to get past Boston (marathon) in mid-April. When your fastcamp starts, I am still pretty committed to my Boston plan…but I know I need to get in the tests. I also work my training around the schedule of my 4 young (ages 3-10) kids. I have been able to do this pretty successfully over the past year as I am also going to age-group Nationals in August, so I guess my question is, Is there a time restriction on the testing? In other words, could I delay one (or more) of the tests until after Boston?

    • patrick
      REPLY

      Yikes you are busy!!! 🙂 I think that you can delay the tests for sure, but if you are half as active as you sound, you’ll probably have a really good sense of your baseline fitness….and that’s what’s required to make sure the plan is going to work for you!

    • LEslie
      REPLY

      I don’t know you Michelle, but it sounds like you need to get rid of the kids and train full time. Rather than Boston, you should make FastCamp your priority, it’s the only way you will succeed at Nationals. Also, you must stop baking things and posting their pictures on-line, it could cause break-ins and raids upon your cookie jar!

  • Sukhi
    REPLY

    I’m racing a half Iron on May. 26. Should I adapt/change the training during fast camp. Please let me know. FYI, I just PR’d a half marathon and am very capable of going the half iron distance. I had a podium finish at this race last year.
    Thanks

  • Sukhi
    REPLY

    I’m racing a half Iron on May. 26. Should I adapt/change the training during fast camp. Please let me know. FYI, I just PR’d a half marathon and am very capable of going the half iron distance. I had a podium finish at this race last year.
    Thanks

  • Tige
    REPLY

    I have the Saint George Iron Man on May 5h ( less than 10 weeks! Yikes!) and a few other shorter tris in the summer, and a maraton in october to finish my season out.

  • Tige
    REPLY

    I have the Saint George Iron Man on May 5h ( less than 10 weeks! Yikes!) and a few other shorter tris in the summer, and a maraton in october to finish my season out.

  • Eric H
    REPLY

    I’m doing an Olympic on May 28th, possibly Boise 70.3 June 9th, and am doing IM CDA on June 24th. I’d love to know how to use this to adapt to my CDA trainig plan especially. I have your 2011 adv. Ironman plan to work off of as well too. Thanks!

    • rich
      REPLY

      Eric, you’ll want to start that IM plan no later than 12wks out from the race. Until that date, FC would be a good solution for you. Comments on your race schedule above: Memorial Day weekend (I’m assuming that May 28th date) is a prime opportunity for a big volume weekend. I’ve raced CDA 3x and that’s what I’ve done. That would be a better use of that weekend vs racing Oly, though you could wrap the Oly into an epic training weekend. Don’t recommend you do Boise, as it’s too close to CDA. Look at your training plan and see the schedule for the last 4-6wks. We put a LOT of thought into that and you really don’t want to mess with that too much (with the exception of my epic weekend idea). June 9th is just way too close to CDA to be racing a half Ironman.

  • Eric H
    REPLY

    I’m doing an Olympic on May 28th, possibly Boise 70.3 June 9th, and am doing IM CDA on June 24th. I’d love to know how to use this to adapt to my CDA trainig plan especially. I have your 2011 adv. Ironman plan to work off of as well too. Thanks!

    • rich
      REPLY

      Eric, you’ll want to start that IM plan no later than 12wks out from the race. Until that date, FC would be a good solution for you. Comments on your race schedule above: Memorial Day weekend (I’m assuming that May 28th date) is a prime opportunity for a big volume weekend. I’ve raced CDA 3x and that’s what I’ve done. That would be a better use of that weekend vs racing Oly, though you could wrap the Oly into an epic training weekend. Don’t recommend you do Boise, as it’s too close to CDA. Look at your training plan and see the schedule for the last 4-6wks. We put a LOT of thought into that and you really don’t want to mess with that too much (with the exception of my epic weekend idea). June 9th is just way too close to CDA to be racing a half Ironman.

  • Russ
    REPLY

    “Training begins Monday, March 12th and ends Sunday, March 6th” – is that actually “May 6”?

    My first A race is Patriot 70.3 in Freetown, MA on 16 Jun. This has been a hot and humid race at times in the past. Your messaging covers the importance of Race Execution – which is great, and clearly relevant to a race where I will probably finish the run under a very hot mid-day sun.

    A recurring theme at EN is to not overspend on the bike and early run – racing inside “the box”. Sounds good. Taking this as strategy, I now need to learn how to set the specific power/speed/pace/rpe values that define “my box”. Will the training help us to develop a deeper understanding of pacing, and how to adjust for conditions?

    Thanks!

    • rich
      REPLY

      “Will the training help us to develop a deeper understanding of pacing, and how to adjust for conditions?”

      Yes, we can work that in!

  • Russ
    REPLY

    “Training begins Monday, March 12th and ends Sunday, March 6th” – is that actually “May 6”?

    My first A race is Patriot 70.3 in Freetown, MA on 16 Jun. This has been a hot and humid race at times in the past. Your messaging covers the importance of Race Execution – which is great, and clearly relevant to a race where I will probably finish the run under a very hot mid-day sun.

    A recurring theme at EN is to not overspend on the bike and early run – racing inside “the box”. Sounds good. Taking this as strategy, I now need to learn how to set the specific power/speed/pace/rpe values that define “my box”. Will the training help us to develop a deeper understanding of pacing, and how to adjust for conditions?

    Thanks!

    • rich
      REPLY

      “Will the training help us to develop a deeper understanding of pacing, and how to adjust for conditions?”

      Yes, we can work that in!

  • David B
    REPLY

    I’m going to be traveling the entire first week of FastCamp. While I can probably get in any running that week, I won’t have access to a bike or pool. I just PR’ed a 1/2 marathon last weekend, so I have a good running benchmark. However, I haven’t really tested anything on the bike or swim recently. (And by recently, I mean that I’ve been somewhat sporadic with training in those two disciplines the past six months.)

    Can FastCamp still work for me, or does missing the first week put me too far behind?

    • rich
      REPLY

      You’ll be fine, as we can use that half marathon as your “start of the camp” benchmark, could even SWAG a 5k time from that and measure against that in your Week 8 test. In week 2 of FC, when you’re back, you could do the bike and swim tests in place of the scheduled sessions.

      • Joe
        REPLY

        Rich,

        I’m in the same boat as David B…. traveling for business on March 12th, returning March 17th. I do not have a significant time in a race or training session to use as my benchmark for the following weeks training plan though. My question: I do have time this upcoming week to complete the test sessions. Is there any way that I can start early and complete those this upcoming week, 3/5-3/11?

  • David B
    REPLY

    I’m going to be traveling the entire first week of FastCamp. While I can probably get in any running that week, I won’t have access to a bike or pool. I just PR’ed a 1/2 marathon last weekend, so I have a good running benchmark. However, I haven’t really tested anything on the bike or swim recently. (And by recently, I mean that I’ve been somewhat sporadic with training in those two disciplines the past six months.)

    Can FastCamp still work for me, or does missing the first week put me too far behind?

    • rich
      REPLY

      You’ll be fine, as we can use that half marathon as your “start of the camp” benchmark, could even SWAG a 5k time from that and measure against that in your Week 8 test. In week 2 of FC, when you’re back, you could do the bike and swim tests in place of the scheduled sessions.

      • Joe
        REPLY

        Rich,

        I’m in the same boat as David B…. traveling for business on March 12th, returning March 17th. I do not have a significant time in a race or training session to use as my benchmark for the following weeks training plan though. My question: I do have time this upcoming week to complete the test sessions. Is there any way that I can start early and complete those this upcoming week, 3/5-3/11?

  • Rachel C
    REPLY

    I have a 1/2 Ironman scheduled for July 15th, will this plan work well into your regular 12 week program, or should I just focus on using the workouts in the 12 week schedule? Would also like to possibly throw a 1/2 marathon in there at the end of May. Just wondering if this will all work? Thanks.

    • rich
      REPLY

      Yep, would work well. Do FC through the end and then transition over to the last X weeks of the 12wk HIM plan. Yes, half marathon at the end of May will work well, as the long runs in the FC plan are about 1:20-30. You could either add some volume to that in the last 3-4wks of FC, or wait until May.

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Rachel, you have enough time to:
      * Do FC
      * Add some long run volume to it prepare for your May half marathon
      * Then transition over to our 12wk HIM plan.
      Thanks for your training plan business!

  • Rachel C
    REPLY

    I have a 1/2 Ironman scheduled for July 15th, will this plan work well into your regular 12 week program, or should I just focus on using the workouts in the 12 week schedule? Would also like to possibly throw a 1/2 marathon in there at the end of May. Just wondering if this will all work? Thanks.

    • rich
      REPLY

      Yep, would work well. Do FC through the end and then transition over to the last X weeks of the 12wk HIM plan. Yes, half marathon at the end of May will work well, as the long runs in the FC plan are about 1:20-30. You could either add some volume to that in the last 3-4wks of FC, or wait until May.

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Rachel, you have enough time to:
      * Do FC
      * Add some long run volume to it prepare for your May half marathon
      * Then transition over to our 12wk HIM plan.
      Thanks for your training plan business!

  • Jason Smith
    REPLY

    I just signed up! I am doing Hawaii 70.3 this year and am 3 months away! This should work great! I am doing the SuperSeal Olympic on the 18th of March, just because I am in the area and need some competition. I have done IMAZ twice, 2007 – 13:30, 2008 – 11:30 I am a turtle in the water (around 2:00 per 100) ugh. I am really working on technique. This is my 7th half-iron distance, my PR was at 2009 Clearwater, a 5:06. In everyrace I have done, I have leg cramps the last few minutes of the swim, or upon being vertical while transitioning. Last years Oceanside 70.3 was 5:30. However, I bested my swim and run by 5 minutes, but the last 10 minutes of the swim I was cramping, and it continued through the first 10 minutes on the bike. Couldn’t bend over in the Aero. It went away, but I lost time on the bike. I want to go fast!
    I don’t have a full IM scheduled this year, If I could I would later this season, didn’t get in to AZ quick enough. I may do the SuperFrog half in Sept, or a local race. I have also thought about the Vineman, but its probably too soon after Hawaii.

    I look forward to working with you. If you need any info from me let me know.

    Thanks,
    Jason

  • Jason Smith
    REPLY

    I just signed up! I am doing Hawaii 70.3 this year and am 3 months away! This should work great! I am doing the SuperSeal Olympic on the 18th of March, just because I am in the area and need some competition. I have done IMAZ twice, 2007 – 13:30, 2008 – 11:30 I am a turtle in the water (around 2:00 per 100) ugh. I am really working on technique. This is my 7th half-iron distance, my PR was at 2009 Clearwater, a 5:06. In everyrace I have done, I have leg cramps the last few minutes of the swim, or upon being vertical while transitioning. Last years Oceanside 70.3 was 5:30. However, I bested my swim and run by 5 minutes, but the last 10 minutes of the swim I was cramping, and it continued through the first 10 minutes on the bike. Couldn’t bend over in the Aero. It went away, but I lost time on the bike. I want to go fast!
    I don’t have a full IM scheduled this year, If I could I would later this season, didn’t get in to AZ quick enough. I may do the SuperFrog half in Sept, or a local race. I have also thought about the Vineman, but its probably too soon after Hawaii.

    I look forward to working with you. If you need any info from me let me know.

    Thanks,
    Jason

  • Lisa
    REPLY

    I’m coming off of a foot injury (metatarsal fracture) and am only now starting to run, slowly and a mile at a time (I’ve been cycling and swimming for the past three months). I’ll probably have to sit out many of the run workouts, at least in the first 4 weeks. Can you make any suggestions for how to adapt FastCamp to be more bike/swim focused? I’m planning on a 70.3 on Aug 19. Thanks!

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Notes:
      * Your run injury is your run coach, not us or your plan. We can work with you in real time to help you adapt FC to your wheels but the bottomline is that you listen to your body and be smart.
      * We’ve generally found that athletes in your situation do well if they add a 4th bike to our schedule, as a repeat of one of the intervals sessions. 5x becomes counterproductive.
      * The addition of a 4th swim (FC = 3x swims/wk) often has a huge admin cost. It’s often better for you to tack on 15-30′ of water running to your existing pool swims, if you can fit in the time but…it’s March, your race isn’t until Aug 19th, not sure you need to incur that mental and time cost now for a race so far away. Better to just be smart and fix your wheels, keep your other training short and focused.

  • Lisa
    REPLY

    I’m coming off of a foot injury (metatarsal fracture) and am only now starting to run, slowly and a mile at a time (I’ve been cycling and swimming for the past three months). I’ll probably have to sit out many of the run workouts, at least in the first 4 weeks. Can you make any suggestions for how to adapt FastCamp to be more bike/swim focused? I’m planning on a 70.3 on Aug 19. Thanks!

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Notes:
      * Your run injury is your run coach, not us or your plan. We can work with you in real time to help you adapt FC to your wheels but the bottomline is that you listen to your body and be smart.
      * We’ve generally found that athletes in your situation do well if they add a 4th bike to our schedule, as a repeat of one of the intervals sessions. 5x becomes counterproductive.
      * The addition of a 4th swim (FC = 3x swims/wk) often has a huge admin cost. It’s often better for you to tack on 15-30′ of water running to your existing pool swims, if you can fit in the time but…it’s March, your race isn’t until Aug 19th, not sure you need to incur that mental and time cost now for a race so far away. Better to just be smart and fix your wheels, keep your other training short and focused.

  • robert
    REPLY

    I will be starting this season with the ITU SAN DIEGO ( olympic distance ) on may 12 th. I have been inconsistent with my training this past winter due to a neck stain back in november. only been doing spin classes to keep my cycling legs and lungs under me . my runs always seem to be a little rough , but overall I love them (just a bit slower than I would like) . just got back into the pool a week or so ago – turned in a 34:45 1500 m yesterday and have an open water training course scheduled for march 11 at INGRID LOOS MILLER from fearless swimming at newport dunes harbor. This is my second season racing and last years race times are clearly unacceptable . By the way I AM 45 and very competitive (at least with myself ) . Looking forward to working with you guys. Improvement is a must for me . Thank You

  • robert
    REPLY

    I will be starting this season with the ITU SAN DIEGO ( olympic distance ) on may 12 th. I have been inconsistent with my training this past winter due to a neck stain back in november. only been doing spin classes to keep my cycling legs and lungs under me . my runs always seem to be a little rough , but overall I love them (just a bit slower than I would like) . just got back into the pool a week or so ago – turned in a 34:45 1500 m yesterday and have an open water training course scheduled for march 11 at INGRID LOOS MILLER from fearless swimming at newport dunes harbor. This is my second season racing and last years race times are clearly unacceptable . By the way I AM 45 and very competitive (at least with myself ) . Looking forward to working with you guys. Improvement is a must for me . Thank You

  • Kevin
    REPLY

    I registered for FC. I’ve got my A race, Timberman, on August 19th. I’ve got a 1/2 marathon on May 6 and then start triathlons in June with sprints/olympics. Timberman is the focus and I’m using the other races as a way to prep myself. Will I need to modify fast camp at all to accomodate the schedule? Seems to me like most things will fit in well?

  • Kevin
    REPLY

    I registered for FC. I’ve got my A race, Timberman, on August 19th. I’ve got a 1/2 marathon on May 6 and then start triathlons in June with sprints/olympics. Timberman is the focus and I’m using the other races as a way to prep myself. Will I need to modify fast camp at all to accomodate the schedule? Seems to me like most things will fit in well?

  • Patrick
    REPLY

    I’ve mostly signed up for Fast Camp to do it after IMCdA since I’m not sure how the Fast Camp schedule will fit into the EN Outseason and Ironman plan I’m already following. I hope that won’t be a problem.

  • Patrick
    REPLY

    I’ve mostly signed up for Fast Camp to do it after IMCdA since I’m not sure how the Fast Camp schedule will fit into the EN Outseason and Ironman plan I’m already following. I hope that won’t be a problem.

  • Bill
    REPLY

    I am registered for FC. Yea.

    Do you think this training can work ‘as-is’ for a sprint tri May 19 and an olympic trin on June 24th? Thanks!!

  • Bill
    REPLY

    I am registered for FC. Yea.

    Do you think this training can work ‘as-is’ for a sprint tri May 19 and an olympic trin on June 24th? Thanks!!

  • Giles
    REPLY

    Rich and Patrick,
    I am training for ITU olympic distance in San Diego May 12th. I am already into my second week of training using your short course plan. I have already done the 40 min TT and established my LTHR as well as my 3mile run and LTHR. Where would I start with Fastcamp? I willl also be racing the xterra series as well a 70.3 later this summer.
    Thanks, Giles

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Giles, you’re probably better off sticking with our Short Course plan, as it will have race rehearsals and other stuff, but you’re welcome to register and play along at home 🙂

  • Giles
    REPLY

    Rich and Patrick,
    I am training for ITU olympic distance in San Diego May 12th. I am already into my second week of training using your short course plan. I have already done the 40 min TT and established my LTHR as well as my 3mile run and LTHR. Where would I start with Fastcamp? I willl also be racing the xterra series as well a 70.3 later this summer.
    Thanks, Giles

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Giles, you’re probably better off sticking with our Short Course plan, as it will have race rehearsals and other stuff, but you’re welcome to register and play along at home 🙂

  • Chad
    REPLY

    I’m doing the KC Olympic tri the third week in March as a tune-up for the Kansas 70.3. Will FC work as a training plan/tool with this somewhat of a condensed timeline? Thanks!

      • Rich Strauss
        REPLY

        Chad, you can do FC until about 8-10wks out from KS, then transition over to our HIM plan. 8 or 10wks is a function of your HIM experience and the training you’ve been doing this winter, ie, do you need 8wks of HIM volume or 10wk.

  • Chad
    REPLY

    I’m doing the KC Olympic tri the third week in March as a tune-up for the Kansas 70.3. Will FC work as a training plan/tool with this somewhat of a condensed timeline? Thanks!

      • Rich Strauss
        REPLY

        Chad, you can do FC until about 8-10wks out from KS, then transition over to our HIM plan. 8 or 10wks is a function of your HIM experience and the training you’ve been doing this winter, ie, do you need 8wks of HIM volume or 10wk.

  • Mike
    REPLY

    I have IM Texas 5/19 and IM Louisville 8/26. Although I swim 4x per week, the cold northeast has not helped my bike and run training. Could I mix this plan with some of my long training days to increase my bike and run fitness?

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Mike, I have/am transitioning all of our IMTX people out of our OS and into their IM plans. You’re definitely within the window of IM-specific training and should stick with that, though you’re welcome to join FC and get some ideas for the rest of your season and/or next year!

  • Mike
    REPLY

    I have IM Texas 5/19 and IM Louisville 8/26. Although I swim 4x per week, the cold northeast has not helped my bike and run training. Could I mix this plan with some of my long training days to increase my bike and run fitness?

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Mike, I have/am transitioning all of our IMTX people out of our OS and into their IM plans. You’re definitely within the window of IM-specific training and should stick with that, though you’re welcome to join FC and get some ideas for the rest of your season and/or next year!

  • David
    REPLY

    Hi, ok I’ve signed up for FC and I’m hoping this will give me a head start for when I start my HIM training later this year.

    I want to run my first marathon on 1 July and I’m going to use a 16 week plan which incorporates cross-training.

    FC takes place during the first 8 weeks of the marathon plan, do you think I can combine both?

  • David
    REPLY

    Hi, ok I’ve signed up for FC and I’m hoping this will give me a head start for when I start my HIM training later this year.

    I want to run my first marathon on 1 July and I’m going to use a 16 week plan which incorporates cross-training.

    FC takes place during the first 8 weeks of the marathon plan, do you think I can combine both?

  • Douglas
    REPLY

    I was just released to bike again last week after a shattered clavicle toook me off the road for eight weeks. I’m 11 weeks out from IMTX, and this weekends long workouts were 13.1 run and 56 bike.

    I’m wondering if I’d be better off now just getting my volume up and try the EN approach for my November HIM?

  • Douglas
    REPLY

    I was just released to bike again last week after a shattered clavicle toook me off the road for eight weeks. I’m 11 weeks out from IMTX, and this weekends long workouts were 13.1 run and 56 bike.

    I’m wondering if I’d be better off now just getting my volume up and try the EN approach for my November HIM?

  • Biggi
    REPLY

    I am also interested in finding out how FastCamp can work for my racing schedule and what you recommend. I will be racing Boise 70.3 on June 9h and then Ironman Austria on July 1. I am still skate skiing 3 times a week so won’t be doing much more than a weekly spin class for March (still too cold and yucky on the roads around here). Ironman is 17 weeks away now …

  • Biggi
    REPLY

    I am also interested in finding out how FastCamp can work for my racing schedule and what you recommend. I will be racing Boise 70.3 on June 9h and then Ironman Austria on July 1. I am still skate skiing 3 times a week so won’t be doing much more than a weekly spin class for March (still too cold and yucky on the roads around here). Ironman is 17 weeks away now …

  • Thomas
    REPLY

    I used the EN 20 week HIM training for my first HIM last year at Patriot Half on my 49th birthday and finished 6:16. I plan to do the Patriot Half again this year (right before my 50th bd). I’m excited about using FC to really improve my HIM time. You guys know the Boston area weather, can the FC bike sessions be done on a trainer (in the pain cave) until the weather improves?

  • Thomas
    REPLY

    I used the EN 20 week HIM training for my first HIM last year at Patriot Half on my 49th birthday and finished 6:16. I plan to do the Patriot Half again this year (right before my 50th bd). I’m excited about using FC to really improve my HIM time. You guys know the Boston area weather, can the FC bike sessions be done on a trainer (in the pain cave) until the weather improves?

  • Scott Tritt
    REPLY

    I have signed up to do your ” Fast Camp” I have also been training to do the Triple T ironman on May 18-20, 2012 at Shawnee State Park in Portsmoth, Ohio. How will the Fast Camp help me in my final eight weeks of training for the Triple T. I have averaged three swims aweek(2500yds each 1:40/100yds)biking three days a week( 75 plus miles/ avg 16 mph) and running (25-35 miles/ 8:10 per mile) I work 12 hour shifts a mixture of days and nights, so some times it is not possible to do some ” planned” workouts due to being up all night and then having to work day shift the next day. So sometimes I cannot exercise for two days. I have done pretty well with my training, weak spot is biking, biking in 25 degree weather does take a toll on you not just physical but mentally because of the coldness. Thanks for any suggestions, Scott Tritt

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Scott, when we’ve worked with T3 athletes in the past we’ve had them do our Ironman training plan and then turn down the long bike and long run volume a hair. So, that said, FC can work for you, but you’ll need to modify the length of the scheduled long bike and long run to suit your training needs.

  • Scott Tritt
    REPLY

    I have signed up to do your ” Fast Camp” I have also been training to do the Triple T ironman on May 18-20, 2012 at Shawnee State Park in Portsmoth, Ohio. How will the Fast Camp help me in my final eight weeks of training for the Triple T. I have averaged three swims aweek(2500yds each 1:40/100yds)biking three days a week( 75 plus miles/ avg 16 mph) and running (25-35 miles/ 8:10 per mile) I work 12 hour shifts a mixture of days and nights, so some times it is not possible to do some ” planned” workouts due to being up all night and then having to work day shift the next day. So sometimes I cannot exercise for two days. I have done pretty well with my training, weak spot is biking, biking in 25 degree weather does take a toll on you not just physical but mentally because of the coldness. Thanks for any suggestions, Scott Tritt

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Scott, when we’ve worked with T3 athletes in the past we’ve had them do our Ironman training plan and then turn down the long bike and long run volume a hair. So, that said, FC can work for you, but you’ll need to modify the length of the scheduled long bike and long run to suit your training needs.

  • Eric
    REPLY

    I would be interested in your “Fast Camp” but I’m not really sure it is right for me right now. Quick info about me: as of July 2011 I was just shy of 230lbs and couldn’t run a mile. I started running (following a half training plan) and did a 10k turkey trot then a half marathon at the end of January (at 208lbs). I enjoyed running for the first time but I’ve always been more of a cyclist at heart so I decided a tri would be a fun challenge. I swam some when I lifeguarded in high school but I really need help with technique as I’m pretty slow now (about 12:40/500m). I haven’t done a triathlon before. I don’t really have an A race but I’m eyeing Captex in Austin on May 28 as my first attempt, likely as a sprint. I have been following a 16 week Olympic dist plan (2x/wk balanced) and working in P90X strength workouts as well (3x/wk). Now down to 203lbs.

    My primary goal is losing weight and having fun. My wife and I are expecting our first child at the end of July so anything past that is hard to plan now since I have no idea what I’m getting in to. My “plan” has been to work on getting stronger with P90X strength workouts and adding fitness with my tri workouts – and figuring I would work more on tri specific training in time. My longer term goal is to do a 70.3 in 2013 (at a lower weight – ideally 170-180). Would this be a good fit for me now? Sorry this turned into an essay!

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Eric, I think FC will teach you the value of focused, time efficient, no nonsense training. If you search this blog you’ll find several posts on improving body composition. But I can tell you from experience that it will be challenging to integrate P90X into the FC training plan. I did P90X for about 8wks 2yrs ago. My rule was that I didn’t do anything that I felt was going to compromise my bike and run workouts = I didn’t touch/do any of the leg workouts. I also gain muscle mass very easily so the net of my experience was that, yeah, it works but it’s very difficult if not counterproductive (from a triathlon performance perspective) to pair P90X with triathlon training in general, our higher intensity model in particular…unless you totally blow off all of Tony’s leg stuff 🙂

  • Eric
    REPLY

    I would be interested in your “Fast Camp” but I’m not really sure it is right for me right now. Quick info about me: as of July 2011 I was just shy of 230lbs and couldn’t run a mile. I started running (following a half training plan) and did a 10k turkey trot then a half marathon at the end of January (at 208lbs). I enjoyed running for the first time but I’ve always been more of a cyclist at heart so I decided a tri would be a fun challenge. I swam some when I lifeguarded in high school but I really need help with technique as I’m pretty slow now (about 12:40/500m). I haven’t done a triathlon before. I don’t really have an A race but I’m eyeing Captex in Austin on May 28 as my first attempt, likely as a sprint. I have been following a 16 week Olympic dist plan (2x/wk balanced) and working in P90X strength workouts as well (3x/wk). Now down to 203lbs.

    My primary goal is losing weight and having fun. My wife and I are expecting our first child at the end of July so anything past that is hard to plan now since I have no idea what I’m getting in to. My “plan” has been to work on getting stronger with P90X strength workouts and adding fitness with my tri workouts – and figuring I would work more on tri specific training in time. My longer term goal is to do a 70.3 in 2013 (at a lower weight – ideally 170-180). Would this be a good fit for me now? Sorry this turned into an essay!

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Eric, I think FC will teach you the value of focused, time efficient, no nonsense training. If you search this blog you’ll find several posts on improving body composition. But I can tell you from experience that it will be challenging to integrate P90X into the FC training plan. I did P90X for about 8wks 2yrs ago. My rule was that I didn’t do anything that I felt was going to compromise my bike and run workouts = I didn’t touch/do any of the leg workouts. I also gain muscle mass very easily so the net of my experience was that, yeah, it works but it’s very difficult if not counterproductive (from a triathlon performance perspective) to pair P90X with triathlon training in general, our higher intensity model in particular…unless you totally blow off all of Tony’s leg stuff 🙂

  • Frank
    REPLY

    I am registered to race IM Lake Placid on July 22, 2012, as well as your Fast Camp starting next week. I have been following a short, intense workout plan over the winter and am 20 weeks from LP. Should I focus on longer distance training for the next 20 weeks or can I combine the 8 week FastCamp with a 12 IM plan?

    I appreciate any comments.

    thanks
    frank

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Frank, I’m dropping our IMLP squad into the last 12wks of our 20wk IM plan 12wks out from the race. So FC would be a good fit for you, but recommend you add volume to the scheduled long bike and long run to get a head start on that IM training. We can discuss this in more detail when we start up next week, as I’m sure many others are in the same boat as you.

  • Frank
    REPLY

    I am registered to race IM Lake Placid on July 22, 2012, as well as your Fast Camp starting next week. I have been following a short, intense workout plan over the winter and am 20 weeks from LP. Should I focus on longer distance training for the next 20 weeks or can I combine the 8 week FastCamp with a 12 IM plan?

    I appreciate any comments.

    thanks
    frank

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Frank, I’m dropping our IMLP squad into the last 12wks of our 20wk IM plan 12wks out from the race. So FC would be a good fit for you, but recommend you add volume to the scheduled long bike and long run to get a head start on that IM training. We can discuss this in more detail when we start up next week, as I’m sure many others are in the same boat as you.

  • Frank
    REPLY

    I am registered to race IM Lake Placid on July 22, 2012, as well as your Fast Camp starting next week. I have been following a short, intense workout plan over the winter and am 20 weeks from LP. Should I focus on longer distance training for the next 20 weeks or can I combine the 8 week FastCamp with a 12 IM plan?

    I appreciate any comments.

    thanks
    frank

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Frank, I’m dropping our IMLP squad into the last 12wks of our 20wk IM plan 12wks out from the race. So FC would be a good fit for you, but recommend you add volume to the scheduled long bike and long run to get a head start on that IM training. We can discuss this in more detail when we start up next week, as I’m sure many others are in the same boat as you.

  • Nick
    REPLY

    I am currently training for a 13.1 at the end of March and then will transition fully into my tri training for the season. I have AmZof (short course) and Patriot Half as my key races for the year. I was planning on doing the 16 week HIM plan but with AmZof smack in the middle I am curious as to how I should arrange my workouts during this time period. Also, I am planning an assault on IMFL in 2013, any advise on what to do after my season is done this year to transition into IM training for 2013?

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Nick,
      Email me at admin@endurancenation.us. I can share with you a doc we have to show people how to integrate a race into their plan.

      Regarding 2013…don’t worry about it. Recover and reset your head after your season is over, then do our OS plan, then move on with your season. In general, we prefer to only have the heads of our athletes in that “I’m training FOR Ironman” for about 12-16wks max. Until that point we keep them focused on short term goals and getting faster!

  • Nick
    REPLY

    I am currently training for a 13.1 at the end of March and then will transition fully into my tri training for the season. I have AmZof (short course) and Patriot Half as my key races for the year. I was planning on doing the 16 week HIM plan but with AmZof smack in the middle I am curious as to how I should arrange my workouts during this time period. Also, I am planning an assault on IMFL in 2013, any advise on what to do after my season is done this year to transition into IM training for 2013?

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Nick,
      Email me at admin@endurancenation.us. I can share with you a doc we have to show people how to integrate a race into their plan.

      Regarding 2013…don’t worry about it. Recover and reset your head after your season is over, then do our OS plan, then move on with your season. In general, we prefer to only have the heads of our athletes in that “I’m training FOR Ironman” for about 12-16wks max. Until that point we keep them focused on short term goals and getting faster!

  • Gavin
    REPLY

    Am a complete beginner to triathlon and am going to be using your 20 week plan for my first Olympic distance at the end off August – this means the last 4 weeks of FP cut into the 1st 4 weeks of the plan (I live in South Africa, before you start wondering why there’s a race in what is essentially the start of your off season, I would imagine). Is this alright – I presume because those weeks focus on Threshold that it should be okay. Also, having only just started equipping myself, I only have a HR monitor – no power meter, no pace meter, no GPS etc (a little backward, I know!). I was going to try and adapt the training plan accordingly – doing TT’s and trying to adjust a vDOT score and cycling parameters to HR – but am not to sure how well it’s going to work. Will it work and will you help in this regard? I think it might be hard to get to grips with cadence and pace with only a HR meter. Thanks. Gavin

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Gavin:
      * You’re fine combining the FC plan and our OS plan, though FC is likely a bit more “hot” than the first 8wks of the OS plan? Depending on your current fitness you may need to turn FC down a bit? Just ask us in the comments on these FC blog posts and we can help you that way.
      * You’ll be fine with just a heart rate monitor. You can also train with pace, for intervals, on a marked course. That would be our preference and is what I do. I have a GPS watch but I do my interval training on a stretch of road where I’ve marked off 1mi intervals. The GPS just tells me what pace I’m running at NOW within that interval, but you could just do the same with a marked course. If you go this route, pace for these intervals is your primary measurement, HR is secondary.

  • Gavin
    REPLY

    Am a complete beginner to triathlon and am going to be using your 20 week plan for my first Olympic distance at the end off August – this means the last 4 weeks of FP cut into the 1st 4 weeks of the plan (I live in South Africa, before you start wondering why there’s a race in what is essentially the start of your off season, I would imagine). Is this alright – I presume because those weeks focus on Threshold that it should be okay. Also, having only just started equipping myself, I only have a HR monitor – no power meter, no pace meter, no GPS etc (a little backward, I know!). I was going to try and adapt the training plan accordingly – doing TT’s and trying to adjust a vDOT score and cycling parameters to HR – but am not to sure how well it’s going to work. Will it work and will you help in this regard? I think it might be hard to get to grips with cadence and pace with only a HR meter. Thanks. Gavin

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Gavin:
      * You’re fine combining the FC plan and our OS plan, though FC is likely a bit more “hot” than the first 8wks of the OS plan? Depending on your current fitness you may need to turn FC down a bit? Just ask us in the comments on these FC blog posts and we can help you that way.
      * You’ll be fine with just a heart rate monitor. You can also train with pace, for intervals, on a marked course. That would be our preference and is what I do. I have a GPS watch but I do my interval training on a stretch of road where I’ve marked off 1mi intervals. The GPS just tells me what pace I’m running at NOW within that interval, but you could just do the same with a marked course. If you go this route, pace for these intervals is your primary measurement, HR is secondary.

  • Gavin
    REPLY

    Am a complete beginner to triathlon and am going to be using your 20 week plan for my first Olympic distance at the end off August – this means the last 4 weeks of FP cut into the 1st 4 weeks of the plan (I live in South Africa, before you start wondering why there’s a race in what is essentially the start of your off season, I would imagine). Is this alright – I presume because those weeks focus on Threshold that it should be okay. Also, having only just started equipping myself, I only have a HR monitor – no power meter, no pace meter, no GPS etc (a little backward, I know!). I was going to try and adapt the training plan accordingly – doing TT’s and trying to adjust a vDOT score and cycling parameters to HR – but am not to sure how well it’s going to work. Will it work and will you help in this regard? I think it might be hard to get to grips with cadence and pace with only a HR meter. Thanks. Gavin

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Gavin:
      * You’re fine combining the FC plan and our OS plan, though FC is likely a bit more “hot” than the first 8wks of the OS plan? Depending on your current fitness you may need to turn FC down a bit? Just ask us in the comments on these FC blog posts and we can help you that way.
      * You’ll be fine with just a heart rate monitor. You can also train with pace, for intervals, on a marked course. That would be our preference and is what I do. I have a GPS watch but I do my interval training on a stretch of road where I’ve marked off 1mi intervals. The GPS just tells me what pace I’m running at NOW within that interval, but you could just do the same with a marked course. If you go this route, pace for these intervals is your primary measurement, HR is secondary.

  • tom smith
    REPLY

    5th year of tri’s for me this year…distances from halves, olympic, and a majority of sprints… first race is March 18th….with a lot of winter weight still on….

    I’ve been training, will only a few runs per week…. looking for some direction to keep me motivated throughout the season (8 sprint races planned for now)

    Thanks!

  • tom smith
    REPLY

    5th year of tri’s for me this year…distances from halves, olympic, and a majority of sprints… first race is March 18th….with a lot of winter weight still on….

    I’ve been training, will only a few runs per week…. looking for some direction to keep me motivated throughout the season (8 sprint races planned for now)

    Thanks!

  • tom smith
    REPLY

    5th year of tri’s for me this year…distances from halves, olympic, and a majority of sprints… first race is March 18th….with a lot of winter weight still on….

    I’ve been training, will only a few runs per week…. looking for some direction to keep me motivated throughout the season (8 sprint races planned for now)

    Thanks!

  • Ole Jorgenson
    REPLY

    Looking forward to abandoning the BORING LSD plan and trying EN!

    A few questions to get ready for next week:

    To do the 40 minute lactic threshold ride at “time trial” pace, is that all out for 40 minutes? Preferably on flats, or does that matter?

    and

    Am not doing tris, my running days are over, so for aquabike half IM and IM races starting in late June how do I adjust (or, DO I adjust) the bike workouts you’ll give us considering that I will swim and do core, weights, etc. but won’t be doing the running?

    Thank you!

    • Ole Jorgenson
      REPLY

      To clarify that first question, Coach Patrick’s video said to find a course that’s flat with no wind, but then at one point he said a hill would be great . . . I have a 40-min. climb with no traffic and little wind, otherwise everywhere I ride is windy. Should the hill be the test? Pretty steep (9%-20%), probably mostly in the 55-70 rpm range, 5-12mph. Thanks again – Ole

      • Rich Strauss
        REPLY

        That hill would be perfect for testing and for your intervals. I have a similar setup near me, with a 3.2mi hill at 5-6% exactly 14′ from my door. I’ve been going up and down the damn thing for 6yrs, and it’s an excellent training venue to measure improvements in fitness and body composition.

        However, if you’re doing your races on a tri bike with aerobars, you’ll want to suck it up and do most of these interval in your aerbars, so that your effort/watts/times up the hill are specific to your position.

        In my experience, even though you’re not running, you can add just one more bike to our schedule for a total of 4x/wk. This assumes they are all our EN-flavor of intervals. I did something similar to what you’re doing, in ’10, and found that >4x/wk was counter productive. I got MUCH stronger when I limited myself to 4x and leverage the non-cycling days for recovery.

  • Ole Jorgenson
    REPLY

    Looking forward to abandoning the BORING LSD plan and trying EN!

    A few questions to get ready for next week:

    To do the 40 minute lactic threshold ride at “time trial” pace, is that all out for 40 minutes? Preferably on flats, or does that matter?

    and

    Am not doing tris, my running days are over, so for aquabike half IM and IM races starting in late June how do I adjust (or, DO I adjust) the bike workouts you’ll give us considering that I will swim and do core, weights, etc. but won’t be doing the running?

    Thank you!

    • Ole Jorgenson
      REPLY

      To clarify that first question, Coach Patrick’s video said to find a course that’s flat with no wind, but then at one point he said a hill would be great . . . I have a 40-min. climb with no traffic and little wind, otherwise everywhere I ride is windy. Should the hill be the test? Pretty steep (9%-20%), probably mostly in the 55-70 rpm range, 5-12mph. Thanks again – Ole

      • Rich Strauss
        REPLY

        That hill would be perfect for testing and for your intervals. I have a similar setup near me, with a 3.2mi hill at 5-6% exactly 14′ from my door. I’ve been going up and down the damn thing for 6yrs, and it’s an excellent training venue to measure improvements in fitness and body composition.

        However, if you’re doing your races on a tri bike with aerobars, you’ll want to suck it up and do most of these interval in your aerbars, so that your effort/watts/times up the hill are specific to your position.

        In my experience, even though you’re not running, you can add just one more bike to our schedule for a total of 4x/wk. This assumes they are all our EN-flavor of intervals. I did something similar to what you’re doing, in ’10, and found that >4x/wk was counter productive. I got MUCH stronger when I limited myself to 4x and leverage the non-cycling days for recovery.

  • Ole Jorgenson
    REPLY

    Looking forward to abandoning the BORING LSD plan and trying EN!

    A few questions to get ready for next week:

    To do the 40 minute lactic threshold ride at “time trial” pace, is that all out for 40 minutes? Preferably on flats, or does that matter?

    and

    Am not doing tris, my running days are over, so for aquabike half IM and IM races starting in late June how do I adjust (or, DO I adjust) the bike workouts you’ll give us considering that I will swim and do core, weights, etc. but won’t be doing the running?

    Thank you!

    • Ole Jorgenson
      REPLY

      To clarify that first question, Coach Patrick’s video said to find a course that’s flat with no wind, but then at one point he said a hill would be great . . . I have a 40-min. climb with no traffic and little wind, otherwise everywhere I ride is windy. Should the hill be the test? Pretty steep (9%-20%), probably mostly in the 55-70 rpm range, 5-12mph. Thanks again – Ole

      • Rich Strauss
        REPLY

        That hill would be perfect for testing and for your intervals. I have a similar setup near me, with a 3.2mi hill at 5-6% exactly 14′ from my door. I’ve been going up and down the damn thing for 6yrs, and it’s an excellent training venue to measure improvements in fitness and body composition.

        However, if you’re doing your races on a tri bike with aerobars, you’ll want to suck it up and do most of these interval in your aerbars, so that your effort/watts/times up the hill are specific to your position.

        In my experience, even though you’re not running, you can add just one more bike to our schedule for a total of 4x/wk. This assumes they are all our EN-flavor of intervals. I did something similar to what you’re doing, in ’10, and found that >4x/wk was counter productive. I got MUCH stronger when I limited myself to 4x and leverage the non-cycling days for recovery.

  • kim mickalonis
    REPLY

    I am a total and complete newbie to this, could you please point me in the right direction in establishing my “zones” . I am sure that it has been explained, but I am having trouble getting started and documenting my progress. I have completed all of the three activities and I want to ensure my documentation is correct. I am using a garmin 910xt with a heart rate monitor for data collection. I understand that the zones are identified in the initialization of the garmin, but these were just based on the age formula. Thank you for your help! Kim

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Kim, sorry for the delay getting back to you. Please see the links to the “Quick Start Guide” and the “Training Zones Calculator” in your most recent FastCamp email.

  • kim mickalonis
    REPLY

    I am a total and complete newbie to this, could you please point me in the right direction in establishing my “zones” . I am sure that it has been explained, but I am having trouble getting started and documenting my progress. I have completed all of the three activities and I want to ensure my documentation is correct. I am using a garmin 910xt with a heart rate monitor for data collection. I understand that the zones are identified in the initialization of the garmin, but these were just based on the age formula. Thank you for your help! Kim

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Kim, sorry for the delay getting back to you. Please see the links to the “Quick Start Guide” and the “Training Zones Calculator” in your most recent FastCamp email.

  • kim mickalonis
    REPLY

    I am a total and complete newbie to this, could you please point me in the right direction in establishing my “zones” . I am sure that it has been explained, but I am having trouble getting started and documenting my progress. I have completed all of the three activities and I want to ensure my documentation is correct. I am using a garmin 910xt with a heart rate monitor for data collection. I understand that the zones are identified in the initialization of the garmin, but these were just based on the age formula. Thank you for your help! Kim

    • Rich Strauss
      REPLY

      Kim, sorry for the delay getting back to you. Please see the links to the “Quick Start Guide” and the “Training Zones Calculator” in your most recent FastCamp email.

  • Rich Strauss
    REPLY

    THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG POST IS CLOSED.

    Please post all FastCamp question tothe most recent FastCamp blog post. Just click on the “FastCamp” category link under the title of this post (top of this page)

  • Rich Strauss
    REPLY

    THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG POST IS CLOSED.

    Please post all FastCamp question tothe most recent FastCamp blog post. Just click on the “FastCamp” category link under the title of this post (top of this page)

  • Rich Strauss
    REPLY

    THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS BLOG POST IS CLOSED.

    Please post all FastCamp question tothe most recent FastCamp blog post. Just click on the “FastCamp” category link under the title of this post (top of this page)

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