2016 marks the 9th year of Endurance Nation and…we can’t keep track of how many times we’ve rewritten our long course triathlon training plans across nearly a decade of putting over 1000 triathletes per year across long course finish lines. Coaches Rich Strauss and Patrick McCrann both extensively experimented with their own training and racing in 2015 and have applied those lessons to their 2016 rewrite of the Endurance Nation training plans. Below is a summary of improvements and tweaks they made to the plans:
EN*Full and Half Training Plan Edits
The coaches made big changes to the OutSeason training plans, adding a significant “run durability” component by adding running frequency. These changes were meant to better prepare our athletes for a continued run durability focus applied to the long course training plans:
- Split Long Run: in weeks 9 through 12, the long run is split into two Thursday sessions. The coaches experimented with this in 2015 and found they were able to run both runs a faster average pace and put up higher single day mileage, with less recovery cost vs a traditional one-session long run. Then then enables…
- Additional Friday Run: the ability to put in a run the day after the long run allows us to significantly boost the run volume, and therefore the run durability component, of the long course training plans.
- Saturday Pre-Ride Brick Run: this run, added to the plans years ago, remains a running staple.
- Sunday Post-Ride Brick Run: an extremely valuable session for helping our athletes dial in the critical first 4-6 miles of their running race execution strategy
Increased Cycling Volume in Last 5-6 Weeks
For the EN*Full training plans, we increased the cycling volume in the critical last few weeks of the training plan, most notably adding a final “camp weekend” two weeks out from race day. See below for more details.
Increased Swimming Volume Across the Plan and in the Final Two to Three Weeks
Coach Rich increased the overall swimming volume of the plans by 15-20%, and added frequency and volume in the final 2-3 weeks of the training plans. He also added a race rehearsal swim to precede the race rehearsal bricks scheduled in weeks 15 and 18, so athletes can hone their race execution plans with a comprehensive swim, bike, and run combined session.
Sport Specific Tapers
Finally, for the EN*Full training plans the coaches experimented in 2015 with sport specific tapers, reducing the volume and intensity of each sport at different rates:
- Run Taper: begins about 3 weeks out from race day, with the final long run about 18 days out.
- Bike Taper: begins about 2 weeks out from race day, with a final high volume cycling weekend scheduled for 14 days out.
- Swim Taper: finally, the swim has a minimal taper of race week only and we use the decreased running and cycling volume in the final two weeks as an opportunity to keep the swimming ball rolling much closer to the race.
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