Rich and Patrick are committed to continuously improving the quality of the Endurance Nation triathlon training plans. They do this by combining their personal training and racing experience with the feedback and results from their training plan customers and TeamEN members.
In July, the coaches surveyed almost 1,000 training plan customers and TeamEN members asking for feedback on how to improve the plans. In addition, Rich raced Ironman® Wisconsin and Patrick raced Ironman® USA this season. Patrick took 5th place in M35-39 and earned a slot to Kona; and Rich placed 10th in M40-44 and turned down a roll down slot. The coaches used their own training and racing this summer as a laboratory to explore high volume training and other “fun” stuff.
RnP locked themselves in a small box for the month of September and applied these lessons to their rewrite of the Endurance Nation Ironman, Half Ironman, and OutSeason® training plans. These plans are now in their 9th generation of continuous improvement and will be on sale in October during our annual training plan sale and membership recruiting drive for the 2012 season.
Training Plan Improvements — All Triathlon Plans will be on sale at 20% off October 1-31st
Ironman® and Half Ironman® Improvements:
#1 — No (Weekend) Brick Runs
Our experience is that there is no magical run-off-the-bike running fitness that’s developed by running off the bike. We believe that running a brick off the bike is useful a couple times, as you learn what it feels like, develop a strategy to get your legs back, etc. But after that…you get it. Continuing to do brick run after brick run is, in our opinion, simply another opportunity to run slowly on tired legs.
“I know how to hit myself in the head with a hammer. I get it. I don’t need to practice, especially since continuing to hit my head with a hammer compromises my ability to run faster, more often.” – Coach Rich
In short, we want to create more opportunities for you to run faster on relatively fresh legs vs slowly on tired legs.
What??!! No bricks off the long bike?!! These guys are whack!
Look for a more detailed blog post from us in the near future but in the meantime we’ll leave you with this:
We can keep doing what everyone else does and giving you what you think you need, or we can sit back, reflect on the lessons learned from directing the training and racing of thousands of athletes, over 1000 in 2011 alone, and apply that experience to your training plans.
#2 — Race Specific Long Runs in Final Weeks
We have very effective half and full Ironman® run pacing guidance that has created massive run PR’s and negative split performances. In the final weeks of your plan, you’ll rehearse this strategy on every long run, building your endurance and significantly increasing your confidence in YOUR race day pacing and nutrition strategy.
#3 — Increased Run Opportunities
With the Long Run now more race specific and the advice to remove as many “brick” run opportunities as you can (according to your schedule), you have the option to add more running to your training week using the frequency approach. In other words, by separating your workouts we now have the ability to safely add a bit more run volume to your training plan.
#4 — Tweaked Weekend Long Bike Workouts
Using tools from the power-training world, we’ve calculated the training stress (power geekery term) of each weekend ride, tweaking them so that they are more appropriate and manageable for each ability level. This means we have made these workouts even more targeted and effective than the original versions — but not any easier.
OutSeason® Training Plan Improvements:
#1 — Tweaked Vo2Max Intervals
We’ve created a way to make these sessions more self-manageable by the athlete, based on their fatigue level, in real time.
#2 — Recovery Week Protocol
Based on the feedback from the Team and our training plan customers, we’ve created a Recovery Week that athletes can insert into their training plans whenever it’s needed.
TeamEN Membership Improvements — We will be recruiting new members for the 2012 season October 1-31st
Training Plan Improvements
All of the improvements above will be reflected in the plans we use to coach the Team, with the following members-only enhancements:
- Training Stress Score Calculations: Training Stress Score (TSS) is a construct of the power training community, an attempt to quantify the training stress that an individual workout imparts to your body, as a function of the intensity and volume (in time) of the training session. For 2012, we will calculate the TSS of every bike and run, and for the training week, display this next to their training plan. TeamEN members will be able to see, in unprecedented detail, the progression of their training plan across the season. They’ll then be able to use this information to adapt their training plan to their individual scheduling situations — need to shorten the Saturday long ride? No worries. Use the information above to see exactly how many TSS points you’re “missing out on” and consult with the coaches and the Team on how best to adjust your plan.
- Integrated Season Planning Guidance and Training Plan Stacking
- Race Survey: All TeamEN members will take a survey, outlining their race schedule for 2012. The coaches will then deliver to each athlete a personalized Season Plan, detailing the athlete’s movement from training plan to training plan across the season.
- Deconstructed Training Plans: the coaches have then broken down these training plans into much smaller units, allowing the coaches and athletes to apply much more details and individual training plan stacking guidance to their seasons.
TeamEN members will continue to have access to our exclusive and expanding suite of race execution calculators:
- Heat Impact Pace Calculator: the product of a member-initiated Manhattan project to analyze over 150,000 (not a typo!) Ironman® running splits against the weather data by hour for the day and create a tool to help athletes adjust their Ironman® running pace for the impact of heat. The tool has been spooky accurate since it’s debut, often predicting Ironman® run split to within less than 1%.
- Intensity Factor (IF) and Training Stress Score (TSS) Modeling Calculator: this tool allows our power training and racing athletes to model different pacing strategies for any race.
- Run/Walk Pacing Calculator: we strongly advocate a run/walk strategy to Ironman® racing. This calculator lets you model different strategies: run at pace x for a mile, then walk y seconds at z pace = _this_ resultant running pace per mile, _this_ projected marathon time, and _this_ is the number you should see on your Garmin during your running segments. Then, rehearse this strategy during your long runs (see training plan improvements above) and gain huge confidence in your race execution plan.
- Members-Only Race Execution Seminar
Our Race Director, John Stark, will take the results of the Race Survey above to better organize and improve the experience of our 15-45 athletes racing every US Ironman® and 70.3® event. To this end he, Rich and Patrick will create a Race Execution Seminar — members will register for the seminar about 20 weeks out from their 2012 AAA-race and each lesson will be delivered directly to their inbox. After four years and thousands of race finishes, the mass of race and race execution specific knowledge and resources developed by the community is just…massive. This system will ensure that EVERY TeamEN athlete, from 1st timer to grizzled vet, has the tools they need to race with the collective experience of the Team behind them!
This is just the short list of improvements we have made for our members. There are many smaller enhancements in the works as we continuously work to improve the value and quality of our members-only resources.
Interested in training with an Endurance Nation training plan or joining TeamEN for the 2012 season?
Look for our training plan sale and member recruiting drive announcement on October 3rd, or take one of our in the meantime to learn more about how we coach our athletes. We’ll even send you a FREE Four Keys of Race ExecutionDVD, a $37 value!