Friday, September 21, 2007

Endurance Nation Training Groups (ENGroups)

There has been a lot of talk in the forums and emails in our inboxes re: off-season training options, when will the resources of EN be made available, etc. Patrick and I are also at that time of year where we review what we've learned this season and consider how to improve the training of our athletes for next season. Add to that the transition to Endurance Nation and you have the perfect conditions for a paradigm shift in the coaching world. We would like to use this momentum to offer to you a unique training opportunity...

ENGroups: Off-Season '07-'08

Dates: Oct 8, 2007 thru Feb 3, 2008 (~18 weeks)
Cost: $189 (~$10/wk)
Register: Email Patrick

How will it work?
  • We will publish the schedule to the group 4-weeks at a time, as a shared Google Spreadsheet or Calendar (TBD).
  • Support will be provided via a private forum at Endurance Nation. This is where we will answer questions, issue guidance, and collaborate with you all to tweak each subsequent block of training. In other words, as the group gives us feedback on how things are working, we will incorporate this feedback into the next training block.
  • Likewise, as we learn from your and our own training and have valuable discussions with other coaches and clients, we will push information to you via the forum. In fact, we will be right along side of you, virtually, doing the training ourselves and pushing our feedback to you.

The Coaching Method?
Very simple: if you want to bike/run fast, you need to bike/run fast. Wherever possible, we will write workouts according to an evidence-based coaching philosophy: (1) you will test, (2) we'll determine pace or wattage results, and (3) together we use those results to frame your training. Want to ride 21 mph in your next race? Spend a lot of time at 22-23mph. Want to push 250 watts? See where you are now and frame your training in reference to your current and goal strength on the bike. Do you run 8:30 pace for a 10k? Use that to determine your optimum pacing for endurance and tempo runs. This is not rocket science.

Ability levels?
Intermediate and Advanced. If you have a season of consistent training under your belt, for any distance, you're good. However, this is not a "get in shape" plan. A relatively early off-season start means that you've maybe taken a few easy weeks at the end of the season but you're not a complete physical wreck. :-)

No thank you! All training will be extremely time-efficient, incorporating only the training you need to achieve your fastest shape ever by early February. The workouts will be delivered as the Main Set of the workout. For example, the Main Set for your Tuesday interval bike session might be 2 x 15' (3') @ L4 (for now, don't worry about what that means!). That's it, that's the workout. What you do around that set, as warmup, cool down, whatever, is entirely up to you as a function of the time you have available to train. This is how real coaches train real people in the real world. That said, the run training will be focused on a half marathon PR so you an expect a 1:30-2hr long run. But that's about the only volume goal that we - as coaches - have for you.

In line with this evidence-based coaching philosophy, we will measure and record metrics whenever possible. For example, the dates of the program are chosen as bracket events that Rich will use for his own training, below. You will be required to duplicate similar events on your own.
  1. 9 mile climbing time trial on Oct 13 followed by a 10k run on the 14th, to establish a w/kg and time baseline for the bike and a pace/hr baseline for the run. If you don't have a local hill like this, all you'll need is a trainer or a stretch of road where you can get about 20' of continuous hammer time, times 2.
  2. Repeat of the climbing TT (end of January) and a half marathon on Feb 2.
  3. Baselines for weight, pullups, pushups, crunches, etc, with testing repeated when you exit the training program.
  4. You will be strongly encouraged to enter your metrics into a public document / info sheet. This will help to keep you accountable and will help us keep track of your progress.

Heart rate monitor at a minimum, though we will push you to break out of the box of heart rate based training. A powermeter and GPS device are HIGHLY recommended. In fact, we will use the training group as a tool to bring your knowledge of how to train and race with these devices several years up the learning curve. If you don't have either of these, you will need a track or measured road for testing. Measured run courses for training would be great, so you can determine average paces. Again, we will resolve this with you once you are "inside" the Group.

Required reading?
Everyone: Scientific Training for Triathletes, Jack Daniels Running Formula, Off-Season Training, The Perfect Season
Powermeter Users: Must have a copy of CyclingPeaks, must read Training and Racing with a Powermeter.


In the last 12 months over 500 athletes have trained with our training plans. We've had many HIM and IM podium finishes and Kona qualifiers with a $150 training solution, but our athletes speak for themselves:
Ready to step up, do the work, and lay the foundation for a breakthrough 2008 racing season?
Email Patrick today!

Additional Questions

Tri-Club Discounts?
We feel this could be a valuable opportunity for your tri clubs: to get many people training on the same schedule together over the off-season. Here is what we are prepared to offer your clubs:
  • Your club members register individually at $189/person.
  • Have your club leadership email us the list of who has signed up.
  • If 10 or more people from your club register, we will refund $25 to each of these participants, making the cost of the program $164 for your members.
  • If you or club leadership have any questions, please have them Patrick at
How will ENGroups be different from the other training plans already offered? The training methods we will use will be cutting-edge stuff that has not yet made it into the training plans featured on TrainingPeaks. We don't want to confine ourselves to the tools available through We see ENGroups as a pilot program to explore the possibilities of a completely new and unique service tier within Endurance Nation: training groups with a specific start and end date, efficient support provided through a dedicated forum, podcasts, etc, using simple tools that allows us to collaborate with the participants to continually improve the training plan and training process. In short, if you have a CF Off-Season training plan, for example, it's an excellent solution. This is just a completely different service and product.

How is this different from ENCoach?
ENCoach is a customized training plan: your goals, your fitness, your schedule, your races, your everything, all incorporated into your individual training plan. Your relationship with your ENCoach is continually evolving, with feedback flowing both directions. The ENGroups Off-Season program is very different: no individual customization, no direct feedback or exchange with a coach, clearly defined start/exit dates, etc...However:
  1. The methods we use and the lessons we learn with this group model will be used in your training.
  2. ENCoach athletes will be allowed to participate in the closed Group Training forum.
Will I need a Google Account to access the training plans?
Yes, you will. If you already have a Gmail or other Google Service related account, you will easily be able to add the training resources to your gLife (or whatever you want to call it!). Folks who have not be Google-ified yet can easily sign up for a FREE basic account here:

Where can I track my daily workouts?
ENGroups is not a workout log (at least not yet!). As this is the off-season, there is no need to go crazy tracking everything you do. That said, data-conscious athletes are strongly encouraged to track their daily metrics using a desktop tool such as CyclingPeaks or by using another online solution (there are many quality free programs out there).

Is ENGroups: Off-Season '07-'08 only for long-course athletes?
Not at all. The off-season training focus is on speed and fitness - qualities applicable to triathletes looking to improve racing abilities at any distance. Note: The only distance requirement will be a half-marathon test in February.

I won't sign up until after 10/8/2007...will my plan shift accordingly?
Nope. The plan runs as is. If you want to mix the dates around on your end, that's fine. This set up is applicable for 95% of the folks our there, save for those racing Kona, Clearwater, or IM Florida. And if you are racing, all you have to do is rest up for a bit and you'll be fitter than most of us in the group!

I won't sign up until after 10/8/2007...will the cost be adjusted?
Nope - the registration is for full access to the plan.

EN Preview

Hi Folks,
First of all, Patrick and I would like to thank you all for making the EN forum such a valuable resource so quickly! We also appreciate your patience and hanging in there while we build the real site behind the scenes. We want to be sure you know that the forum you see here will be just a tiny piece of EN. To that end, I'd like to give you a little taste of what we have in store for you, using the screen shots below. A few caveats:

  • Ignore the design, or lack thereof. These are screenshots of the Alpha site, with no graphics. We should be getting the graphicized version soon and will tweak the look as well.
  • Not everything that will be on the site is yet reflected in the shots. The website consists of modules. Patrick and I have chosen what modules we want to incorporate into the site. Not all of them are plugged in yet.
  • The components of EN will be:
    1. This forum, open to the public.
    2. Networking platform, which I'll explain with the screenshots below, only available to EN members.
    3. ENLibrary: a tagged, searchable, sortable, rateable, reviewable library of written, audio and video content, created by us and by YOU. Parts of the library will be open to the public, other areas will be available to members only.
    4. ENGine: a basic training log and training plan feature. Our motto is "it's about the training PLAN, not the training LOG." The focus will be on making available to you a library of quality training plans (the ones many of you are already using). The training log side of the ENGine will be focused only on what you need: doing the workouts, not downloading every whizbang electronic gadget, tracking your shoes, etc. Our library of training plans, and sample training week templates for you to make your own, will be included in your monthly or annual EN membership fee. IOW, your choice of over 30 training plans, currently retailing for $100-$150, all yours for the price of your EN membership AND with all of these other features as well (see above).
    5. ENStore: a listing of physical and downloadable training products and tools.
    6. ENCamps: epically-cool and race specific camps.
In addition, we are negotiating with other smart guys/gals in the endurance world to create innovative products and services for you: our own line of sports nutrition products, sports apparel, web-based seminars, lecture series, ebooks, and any other out-of-the-box ideas we can come up with.


Landing page
This is the landing page ( Actually, it doesn't look anything like what it will look like, but I gotta start by showing you something . We think we'll include flash video tours of each component of EN. Light on the text, heavy on the interactivity, in other words. There will be a News section, populated by RSS feeds from various triathlon and endurance sports resources.

Member homepage
Below is Patrick's home page. From here he can:
  • Email other members.
  • Join/maintain his subscriptions to EN groups.
  • He can start a blog hosted on EN. Alternatively, he can have his posts from his external blog (Sheila ) fed into his blog. Other members (you) can then subscribe to receive updates to Patrick's blog on your homepage. So, potentially, you could have 20 blog feeds from your friends blogs directed into your homepage.
  • News: an admin message from us telling you the latest and greatest in ENWorld
  • MultiMedia: this is a place were you can upload and share your own photos, videos and podcasts.
  • New Members: profiles of people who've recently joined EN
  • My Friends: the profiles of people who've agreed to be Patrick's friend...likely a pretty small list...
  • User RSS feed: you can direct external feeds into this space: triathlon news, etc. Anything you want.
  • Comments: comments that people have made about Patrick's profile.
  • We will work with programmers to have summary training data fed into these spaces as well.

Member profile page
This is what you'll see when you click on Patrick's profile. This is where things start to get pretty powerful. Each item in his profile becomes a searchable tag. For example, under the Training header he can indicate what races he is doing, IMCDA'08, in his case. You can click on IMCDA'08 and see all of the EN members who've also indicated IMCDA as their race. Create a group called "IMCDA'08" and invite all of these people into the group. You can then network, exchange blogs, pictures, training information, etc. We can even feed your training log information, and everyone else's log information, into the IMCDA group so that when you visit the group room you can see something like "The EN members training for IMCDA'08 have swam/biked/run x/y/z this month."

This group tool can be duplicated for every profile item. So, for example, I indicate in my profile that I ride a Cervelo, run in Asics shoes, I have an Ergomo, I enjoy motorcycling, graduated from Emory University with a BA in Economics, have two dogs and like ice cream. I could, if I want, create/join the Cervelo/Asics/Ergomo/Motorcycling/Emory/Dog-slave/Ice Cream groups! If I'm traveling to Nashville I can see if there is an EN member in Nashville with a motorcycle. Maybe I want to hook up for a ride?

How much will EN membership cost me?
You'll get all of this: the networking platform, all the training plans, the training log, full access to all the forums, and all the cool stuff we can think of for....$9.99/mo or $99.99/yr.

We've been pushing the web developers pretty hard and it looks like we're on track for a site launch at the end of October. We'll be sure to keep everyone posted!

Again, thanks so much for your continued support!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Endurance Nation Camps for 2008

Endurance Nation (EN) Camps provide high volume and IM race-specific training opportunities in epic and scenic US locations. 2008 will be our third year of events with a full listing of epic, specific, and clinic training events. Full information is available online at

Epic Experience Camp Series
Excellent for athletes looking to boost their fitness with an early or mid-season volume camp. CA and GA camps are cycling-specific and the Lake Placid camp is more triathlon-focused.

  • Tour of California (February '08) -- 23 campers, SOLD OUT! 3 slots available at $1000 as ride half/work half. Email Rich for details.
  • Tour of Georgia (April '08) -- OPEN
  • Lake Placid, NY (June '08) -- OPEN
  • Tour of Utah/Kona-Prep/Do something cool with your '08 IM fitness (Sept '08) -- Coming Soon!

Race Specific Camp Series
Targeted training for athletes racing this calendar year. With over 8 hrs of Ironman-specific racing and training instruction, these weekend-long adventures will give you the skills and information needed to have your best possible race day.

  • Coeur d'Alene, ID (May 16-18, 2008)
  • Louisville, KY (May 30-June 1, 2008)
  • Madison, WI (July 11-13, 2008)
Early Discount for Race Specific camps available thru 12/1/2007
Athletes who want to sign up for an EN Camp have the chance to take advantage of an early registration discount. Interested folks should email Patrick for specific details.

Triathlon Clinics
Endurance Nation Power Meter Training Camp
NTC - Clermont, FL - Jan 18-20, 2008
Ready to take your training this season to the next level? Join triathlon coaches Rich Strauss and Patrick McCrann for two and a half days of power meter training at the USAT - National Training Center in Clermont, FL. Athletes will split their time between the road and the classroom, learning everything about training and racing triathlons with power. Don't miss out on this chance to get a serious jump on your competition!

Note: No discount is available for the Powermeter Tri Clinic.

Monday, September 10, 2007

IM Wisco Bike Course Pics

From my Treo...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Coaches @ lunch...

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

12:30 update...

It's still sunny but the wind has picked up...temp is 73. We found an all u can eat buffet on state street and are carbo loading for the rest of the day! :)

Race day energy food!

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

Sheila Sighting&Race Leaders @ mile 30+

Race pics...

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

IM WI Race Morning...

Is clear, calm & gorgeous!! No clouds & no wind! :) off for coffee & down to the swim start...

Saturday, September 8, 2007

IM Wisco Pics 4

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

IM Wisco Pics 3

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

IM Wisco Bike Pics 2

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

IM Wisco Bike Course Pics

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

Friday, September 7, 2007

More IM Moo expo photos...

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

IM Moo Expo

Coach * Author * Consultant
aim: pjmccrann
p: 617.513.3830

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

IMWI Pre-Race Talk

Endurance Nation coaches Rich Strauss and Patrick McCrann will be at Ironman Wisconsin this weekend to support their athletes and deliver a FREE pre-race talk to all participants.

When: Friday, 9am
Where: meet by the Gatorade swim bottle, near the swim start area. If the weather isn't cooperating we'll still meet here and then move inside the terrace.

What: Rich and Patrick will speak for about an hour, giving you the big pictures tools and perspective to ensure you have a successful race day. Their talks at IMCDA and IMLP have been attended by over 150 athlete this year alone, and by several hundred more over the years. We hope to see you Friday!

IMLP and IMKY Race Report Podcasts

We've asked two Endurance Nation athletes to share their Lake Placid and Louisville race reports with us. These are real ladies in the real world, getting it done, and giving us all some valuable lessons for race day!

You can listen to these and all other Endurance Nation podcasts here, on Odeo.