Since bringing on board our latest crew of 100+ members and now with the launch of our OutSeason® training plan sales, we’ve been fielding a LOT of season planning questions and discussions. Specifically:
“My head is currently at X, I’m racing Y, when should I start my OutSeason® and how/when should I then move to my “InSeason” half or full Ironman® training plan?”
I’ll answer these questions by presenting you with four common case studies that we see across our Team.
But first, let’s address the head space issue:
One common comment we are seeing from new members is that they have turned to EN after realizing the limitations and iffy results of their current training protocol. They come to us for a change, to get much faster with a much smaller training time investment. We get that and we’re happy to have them on board.
But we tell them that our OutSeason® training plan is tough. It will redefine “work” for them. We advise them to ask themselves “is my head in a place right now where I can commit to 20wks of hard work to get much, much faster?” If the answer is “not yet,” then we encourage them to come back to us when they are ready.
So, the starting point of your OutSeason® isn’t a simple backplanning on the calendar of 20wks of OS + 12-20wks of IM/HIM training = Race Day. Rather, it’s “am I ready to do the WORK, starting on Date X?”
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s explore season planning by presenting you with our case studies. While there are certainly exceptions and special cases, these scenarios probably cover 90% of the scheduling issues we see daily with our team:
May (or Earlier) A-Race:
Cali, New Orleans 70.3, IMSG, Wildflower, IMTX, etc.
- OutSeason: Begin Monday, October 4th
- End OutSeason: Sunday, February 20th.
- Begin A-Race Training Plan (IM or HIM): after transition, 12-16wks out from your A-race
- “Warm Winter Athletes,” ie, folks who can ride outside all year, may consider following our “outdoor volume guidance” included with our plans in mid-January or so, to “lean forward” towards the higher volume shift coming when they begin their in-season plan.
- “Cold Winter Athletes,” stuck on a trainer: stick to our volume guidance. No need to ride longer than 2.5hrs on a trainer, ever.
June or July A-Race
Coeur d’Alene, IMUSA, June or July HIM’s
- OutSeason: begin October 4th or November 1st, depending on where your head and ’10 season is at.
- End OutSeason: 20wks later, just follow the plan.
- Begin A-Race Plan: at the end of your OS. However, if you’re an Ironman® athlete and have an HIM in route to that race, you’re going to do our Ironman® training plan and insert your HIM into your Ironman® training plan.
- Warm Winter athletes: Ok to do an April or early May (if racing Coeur d’Alene) or early June (if racing IMUSA) HIM.
- Cold Winter athletes: prefer you to not do a May or June HIM in route to June or July Ironman. You’ll be coming kinda late to the Ironman® volume party and we need your training to be very race specific, without a 7-10 day messiness caused by working your training around a scheduled half Ironman.
IMLou, Canada, September, and August-September Halfs
- Begin OutSeason: October, November, or January. Really, it’s more a function of where your head is and can you put events on the calendar before your A-race that will encourage you to keep your eye on shorter term goals. For you, there really isn’t the Warm/Cold Weather concerns above. Rather, you’re faced with a long season and we need you to focus on shorter term stuff so you don’t go nuts.
- Begin InSeason: at the end of your OS plan, but:
- Warm Winter Athletes: we like to see you peak for a May or June race, rather than focus on one event in August or July for months and months.
- Cold Winter Athletes: sorta the same as above but probably not as important for you because your season is generally shorter.
Kona, Soma Half, IMAZ, FL, Cozumel, etc
- Begin OutSeason: January
- Begin InSeason: DEFINITELY encourage everyone to have a split season, with a May – June or July A-race(s) and then transition to the last 12wks of our HIM or Ironman® training plan.