[box]Please Note: This guidance is for our 2012 or EARLIER OutSeason® Training Plans. The 2013 OutSeason® plans are 14-weeks long and do not follow this template.
[/box]Our OS Seminar and recent series in the blog have solicited several emails from training plan customers, inquiring about how to stack our plans across a season. Let’s discuss:
The Plans Themselves
We currently offer:
- 20wk OutSeason
- 12 and 20wk IM and HIM training plans
Low volume, high intensity solutions to make you much faster. Notes:
- 5-8hrs total volume per week
- Divided into 3 training plans: a FTP/Threshold/T-pace block, a Vo2Max block, another Threshold block.
- Swims are not scheduled into the plan, but the plan includes tables with 20wks x 2-3 swim per week x Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced options, so you can insert them into the weekly training schedule wherever you want, if you do chose to swim in the OutSeason.
Long Course Training Plans (HIM and IM)
- 20wk plans = 8wks of General Prep + 12wks of Race Preparation training. These are written from the perspective of “this person may be starting this plan without a good base of fitness = we start things out slowly and ramp up gradually.” Think you pick this plan up in January to train for Coeur d’Alene after having not done much organized training since your last race at the end of October…as an example.
- 12wk plans = this 12wk Race Prep phase above. That is, the 12wk plans are IDENTICAL to the last 12wks of the 20wk plans. In contrast to the 20wk plans, we assume that you have been doing at least 8wks of organized training before dropping into this 12wk plan. We drop you right into Race Prep training on Day 1 with no gentle ramp up.
Now, after this preface, let’s talk about how we recommend you fit all of this togther across season. Notes:
- The OutSeason® plans are our bestest tools for making you much, much faster while also keeping your training volume committment very low for a long time. This is a very, very good thing for you as an age grouper. So, whenver possible, we like you to default to this OS flavor of training because it’s so effective, the volume is so low, allowing you to preserve your head and your lifestyle committments for a long time.
- You are going to exit the OS plan very, very fit, even with it’s low volume requirement. You will exit the OS plan far more fit than Week 1 of our 20wk plan assumes you to be. For this reason…
- We prefer that our OS graduates only train for their A-race (HIM or IM) for 12 to 16wks. By this, we mean feet on the floor at 5:30am, head focused and actually training for this one event 12-16wks away. In our experience maintaining this focus for longer than 16wks begins to take a large mental toll.
Let’s now apply these thoughts to some annual schedule case studies:
Early Season (April – mid June) Half Ironman:
- Start the OS plan on whatever date of the calendar you can committ yourself to hard, but short, work for 20wks. We strongly recommend that you do not end your season and then drop right into our OS plan. You’ll want 2-4 or more weeks to decompress, pretend you’re a normal person, etc before you committ to making yourself much faster. So when exactly you start the OS plan is not as important as “is your head in the right place to start?”
- Next, back plan 6-12wks from your early season HIM.
- How does the end of your OS fit within this 6-12wk window? In our experience, you can go straight from our low volume OS right into the last 6wks of our HIM training plan and have a very, very successful race. Not so sure? Exit the OS plan at 8, 10, or 12wks out. Or you can add 30-45′ to the OS long run option and 1-1.5hrs to the OS long bike option, to give yourself a head start on the HIM plan volume while still keeping yourself in the OS plan…and making yourself much, much faster.
The guidance above works for a sorta early season IM as well, like Coeur d’Alene, for example, or IMUSA if you are cold-winter athlete.
- Stay in the OS plan until ~16wks out from your IM
- Consider adding volume to the OS long bike and long run, per above, if weather permits.
- Better yet, schedule an April or May HIM, doing:
- 20wks of the OS plan, or as much as you fit in
- Then insert yourself into the last 16wks or so of our 20wk IM plan, inserting your HIM into this IM training plan.
Late Season Ironan (IMCA, Louisville, WI, etc)
- Full 20wks of the OS
- 6-12wks of HIM training for a May or June HIM, then…
- Transition to the last 10-12wks of our 12wk plan in route to your Ironman
- If you find yourself with some messy weeks or just not sure what to do, your default solution is the OS plan.
Within this guidance there are many, many more considerations and we could talk this stuff for days. Questions?
- TeamEN: post your Q’s to the Macro Thread here
- ENFans: post your season planning, training plan stackin’ Q’s to this blog post and we’ll try to answer them.
By Rich Strauss