Monday, December 31, 2007

Eighth Day Of EN - Happy New Year!

On this Eighth day of EN, it's time to talk recovery. Remember those maids a milking... ringing in the new year may have you looking for the milk jug this morning. Lets talk about those post-hangover remedy / recovery drinks today. Follow up your blog entry with your best recovery beverage recommendation and recipe, if applicable. Post your drinks in the forum as part of our 12 Days Thread.
Hangover Run:
To keep with the theme of "Eight", you have to run 8 minutes for each drink you had on New Years, with the shortest run being 30', no longer than 96' (that's 12 drinks!!). Blog how the run was. Big bonus points for posting a finish photo!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Seventh Day of EN

On the seventh day of Endurance Nation we give you seven gifts of knowledge with the the ENLibrary, ENBlogs, ENMembers, the ENForum, ENNews, ENPodcasts, and ENVideos.
Connect, Learn, Achieve!
Blog on one new piece of knowledge you gained from browsing the EN Library, blogs, forum, news, podcasts, videos, or finding a new member.
Day Seven: Fit Circuit as 5-8 reps of the following seven - quick and easy as you prepare to usher the new year in:
5' spin on trainer
10 push ups
20 jumping jacks
30 sit ups
40" wall sit
20 burpees
10 push ups
Have a safe New Years Celebration!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sixth Day Of EN

On the sixth day of EN, it's time to hit the road for a long run. Nothing beats a good long run in the offseason, especially one on a new route. Do yourself a favor and start plotting a new place to run!
Do the right thing and stretch a bit after your workout. Either search the ENLibrary for a stretching resource or find one online and add the link to the ENLibrary yourself!
Resolution Run Recon:
A Group: 75' total run including 2x12' in z3 (8' z2).
B Group: 45' total run including 2x8' in z3 (4' z2).
Mini ReCap: we've given you six days of creating some fitness: some biking, some running, and we got you to the pool. 'And on the Seventh Day' expect something a little lighter so you'll have plenty of time to primp for an evening of Cheers!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fifth Day of EN

On the fifth day of EN - as we build you toward the start of 2008 and a new year of training and racing we want you to be mindful of common pitfalls to a successful triathlon season. Check in with Coach Rich's Primer for the Self-Coached Ironman Athlete. Resolution time is coming. Reflect on your recent training and racing season. Do you have a training or racing 'pitfall' you'd care NOT to repeat in 2008?
We also start pointing you towards preparing for next week's longer ride. If you are in a warm weather location, start scouting a cool new course; you indoor folks can start brainstorming a good video to get for the trainer ride.
Resolution Ride Recon:Outdoor Group: 2.5-3 hour steady ride.Indoor Group: 75' as 25' WU in z1-2, the twice through (15' @ z3, 5' @ z1, 3' @ z4, 2' @ z1).
Post a picture of your awesome bike; consider adding as one of the 10 pics you can have attached to your EN profile!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Fourth Day Of EN

On the fourth day of EN, it's time to hit the pool. We aren't huge fans of swimming in the offseason, but it's an easy way to workout despite the weather! Enjoy this preparation swim for next week's workout.
Resolution Swim Prep:
A Group: 3k total swim including 4x200 (10)
B Group: 2k total swim including 8x100 (10)
Watch some of our swim videos up on YouTube to help you focus on proper forum and technique!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Third Day of EN

On the third day of EN we give you some interval training on the bike and a chance to remind you that race day success is just as much about your mental preparation . Check in with Rich's article in the EN Library on:Mental Focus for Ironman. Blog reflections today on your own race day mental preparations or pitfalls.
The workout:In case you don't already know it, we are huge fans of intensity, especially on the bike. Trainer ride with 3-5 repeats of 3' intervals at Zone 4 with 2' of rest after each.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Second Day Of EN

On the second day of EN we give you the training wisdom of EN co-founder Rich for today's Brick workout.
Brick: 45' ride, 15' run. Blog how you used Rich's tips to execute this workout. Bonus points if you wear/use your new outfit/toy from Day 1's post and share a photo.
Read Rich's article on brick workouts in the ENLibrary here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

First Day of EN

On this first day of Endurance Nation we give you the home: A place to hang your endurance sporting hat, share your stories, make new endurance friendships,discover a new mentor, be inspired, train smarter, be faster!
Wishing to participate in the 12 days of Challenge? Go to the forum and find our forum thread on the 12 Days.. and post that your are 'in'. Your challenge today is to make a blog entry. While the ribbons and bows are still-a- liter under the tree ...tell us about your newest endurance toy, or outfit, share a photo!
Introductory Podcast: Listen Now

Sunday, December 23, 2007

12 Days of Endurance Nation to Start December 25th

Join us for "12 Days of Endurance Nation" Holiday Challenge. We'll start December 25th - check in here on the ENBlog each day for specific workout / task instructions. Each day we'll give a task or workout for you to do and ask you to make a blog entry in your profile on Endurance Nation (under Blog section). Twelve days = twelve blog entries.

If you are going to participate, be sure to "register" in the forum under the General Discussion/12 Days of Endurance Nation thread by putting your name and EN Username up so that other folks can keep tabs on you. The "12 Days of EN" challenge will help you learn more @ EN while you make friends and get fitter! Twelve days is a long time, however, and if you can get them all done, we gotta give you something!

Triathlon: Final Off Season Group starts on 1/7/2008!

Folks, this is just a quick note to tell you that our final OS training group starts up on 1/7/2008. This is a 3.5-4 month protocol designed to get you ready for a half marathon and boost your bike fitness as well. We have had over 100 folks participate in our Oct/Nov/Dec groups, so this is your last chance to get in on the OS mojo. Click here to read a testimonial on how the program works.

Signing up gets you:

  • online training plan
  • private forum access w/ coach + peer support of 100+ athletes
  • weekly podcasts
  • online data sheet to track your progress
Sign Up Today!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Training and Racing with Power Webinar Series

Training and Racing with Power, for Multisport, presented by Endurance Nation

  • Do you own a powermeter but have difficulty finding quality information on how to apply the tool to multisport racing?
  • Are you a power wannabee, interesting in learning more about these cutting edge tools?
  • Are you ready to take your power training and racing to the next level?

Endurance Nation announces a webinar series focused on the unique power training and racing considerations of multisport athletes. The presenters are leading authorities on power meter use for multisport athletes, with years of experience teaching age groupers how to use these tools to further their multisport training and racing.

In the end, any powermeter is only as valuable as the investment YOU make in learning how to use it effectively. Augment your $2000 whizbang gadget with our $99 webinar series and get the most out of your training and racing power investment!

Register for the series by January 15th and we will include a one year membership to Endurance Nation, a $99 value!

  • Open access to 25 training plans, proven across 3 years and 1000+ athletes, available in TrainingPeaks, WorkoutLog, or Google Doc.
  • Training plans include a wide range of power-based plans already used by hundreds of successful athletes.
  • Weekly podcasts and monthly webinars on a range of endurance training topics.
  • Advice from expert coaches with hundreds of Ironman finishers to their credit.
  • And more!!

Special Offer Registration, $99, expires
January 15

Schedule and Registration

Sunday, January 13, 2008, 5pm PST: Power Training, for Multisport, FREE

  • The specifics of power-training as they relate to multisport, with special attention to the concepts put forth by CyclingPeaks: Functional Threshold Power, Intensity Factor, Normalized Power, Training Stress Score, etc.
  • Everything you need to know, explained in a language you can understand.
  • Training protocols to make you a stronger triathlon cyclist.
  • Transcript and podcast of this event will be made available afterwards in the Endurance Nation Library.
  • Register Now!

Sunday, January 20, 2008, 5pm PST: Power Racing, for Multisport, $55
  • We will introduce the concept of your legs as a bank account, with successful racing simply an exercising in spending from that account wisely so you have $$$ left over to pay the Man on the run.
  • We will give you a proven power race strategy for your next event: from Sprint to Iron Distance, hilly or flat, windy or calm, we will explain the art of racing with power.
  • Register:
Sunday, January 27, 2008, 5pm PST: Analyzing Power Files, $55
  • Power files with their many lines and numbers can be overwhelming. We teach you how to analyze the data, from rides and races, so you get what you need, and only what you need.
  • Tracking performance over time is about analyzing data trends. We cover what a multisport athlete should watch and what it means for their training and racing.
  • Register:
Power Training and Racing, for Multisport, Full Series: $99, includes Endurance Nation membership, offer ends January 15th.
$89 for Endurance Nation Members
  • Special Offer Registration, $99:
  • Current TeamEN Registration, $89:

The Presenters

Rich Strauss, founder of Crucible Fitness and Endurance Nation. Rich has been training, racing, and coaching with power since 2001. Hundreds of athletes have use his power training plans to PR in the HIM and IM distances. Rich has distilled his experience into a simple, easy to understand and implement power training and racing system.

Jason Digman, Coach and Founder of Dig It Triathlon and Multisport. As an expert in power based training and racing, Jason coaches individual athletes of all levels and abilities in using power to its fullest advantage. Dig It athletes not only use the latest technology to train effectively, they have a good time doing it.

Kurt Perham, Coach and Founder of Personal Best Multisport Coaching . Kurt has trained/raced/coached with power since 2000 and helped to guide athletes from first timers, to Ironman World Champions. He specializes in integrating power data into the day-to-day training of his athletes.

Rich Ashburn is an age-group triatlete (M45-49) from Lafayette, CA, competing in all distances since 2002. He has been using power data in his training and racing since 2003, and has brought is day-job skills as an analyst to bear on some of the number-crunching aspects of using power data for training and racing.

Registration Process: after we receive your payment for Sessions #2, #3, or the series, we will email you a link to actually register for the webinar.

Refund Policy: Sorry, we have a very strict no refund policy. If you can not attend a webinar we can apply your registration towards a future webinar or Endurance Nation membership.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TeamEN Webinar: Off-Season

Join us for a Webinar on December 16

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar Seat Now at:

  • Did you come off a great season but wonder what to do now?
  • Tired of building your fitness 9mos a year, only to see it be torn down and need to be recreated from scratch...every...year?
  • Confused by all of advice that's about there about what exactly you should be doing this time of year?

Using the training and results of the ENGroups Off-Season platform as the model, TeamEN Head Coaches Rich and Patrick will discuss their thoughts on the elements of a successful off-season. They will be joined by TeamEN members, like you, who've "drank the OS Kool-Aid" and will share their experiences and observations with you. The presentation will be about 40' long. Rich and Patrick will then answer questions from the audience for 10-15'.

This webinar is FREE for all Endurance Nation members, friends and training partners. Please invite them to attend our FREE webinar.

Please also note time and time zone.

TeamEN Webinar: Off-Season

Sunday, December 16, 2007

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM PST

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista

Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Would you like to see more webinars in the future? Please post a comment and let us know what you'd like to see!

Podcast: Planning Your Triathlon Season

Podcast: Planning Your Triathlon Season

Coach Rich and Coach Patrick talk for 20' about how to lay out a proper triathlon season. The main points are:
  • Conserving Your Head Across a Long Season
  • Focus on Short Term, Consistency
  • Epic Weekends to Boost Fitness
  • Cool Events to Maintain Fun Factor
Please visit and subscribe to our podcast channel! Did you find our podcast helpful? Please leave a comment for us here or on our podcast blog!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Open House Invitation to CF and PTS Training Plan Customers

Thank you for purchasing a Crucible Fitness/Performance Training Systems training plan in the past. We wanted to invite you to participate in the next evolution of our focus on creating high value yet affordable training solutions for endurance athletes: Endurance Nation.

  • Membership in Endurance Nation includes open access to ALL of our training plans (25+ and growing) for only $99 per year. These plans have been honed through the results and experiences of 1000+ athletes, including YOU, over the past three years. Remember the 1-3 of our $99-150 plans you used to PR last season? You now have access to ALL of those plans--and many more--for only $99/yr.
  • Communicate and network with your fellow TeamEN members on our cutting-edge social networking platform. Join a race group, upload photos, start, share, and read member blogs, upload a video or podcast, or browse our library of over 400 quality training articles.
  • Leverage the TeamEN mojo on race day! We have team training and racing kit in the works, will conduct training camps on almost all of the North American Ironman courses (, and will be there for you with a pre-race talk and support for your family at IMAZ, CDA, LP, WI, KY, Kona and FL.

For the month of December we are hosting an Endurance Nation Open House. Come on in, take our platform and the community for a spin for free until December 31, 2007. If you decide to join during this Open House month, Membership is $89 vs $99 and you'll be designated an Endurance Nation Charter Member, complete with secret handshake and decoder ring!

If you choose not to join EN, no worries. You've still purchase a training plan through us, with our Crucible Fitness and PTS hats hats on, and we'll support that plan in the open forums at Endurance Nation.

Since our "super soft launch" on Thanksgiving Day we have quickly grown to over 200 members! We consider each of you to be inside our inner circle, athletes who have been an integral part of the Crucible Fitness and PTS experience for years. We sincerely hope you chose to join us in our new club house, Endurance Nation.

Sign up for your trial membership today and we'll see you on the inside!

Coach Rich + Patrick

Monday, December 10, 2007

EN: Four Keys to Ironman Execution

The Endurance Nation "Four Keys" To Ironman Execution

I'm flying home from IMFL, the last Ironman of the 2007 season, and the end of a long season of Ironman coaching, speaking, clinic-ing and spectating. I'd like to take this time to deliver to you, one last time, the end-all, be-all of how you should race Ironman. Frankly, because after six years of full-time Ironman coaching I'm tired of seeing people screw it up! We're absolutely, 100% convinced that what we're going to share with you works. Our observations this season -- and the results of our athletes -- speak for themselves. Note that we're writing this a little tongue in cheek, using humor to get our point across. This is the style of our live schtick, delivered to you in pixels.

First, our CVs...
Rich: Ironman coach since 2001, has personally coached 200+ Ironman finishers. Over 800 athletes have used Crucible Fitness training plans since 2005. I have delivered pre-race talks at 2-4 Ironman races per year since 2003 to about 50-70 athletes per talk. This year alone I've:

  • Conducted race specific training camps (ie, how to train and racing Ironman) on the IMLou, IMLP, and IMWI courses for over 70 athletes.
  • Delivered pre-race talks at IMCDA, IMLP, IMWI, and IMFL to over 200 athletes.
  • Ridden motorcycle support for IMCDA and then stood at the turnaroud at mile 7 for three hours. Rode the IMLP course backwards during the race, then stalked the run course on my bike. That is, I've seen, first hand, hundreds of athletes hammering up a hill at mile 60, and the same athletes walking at mile 10.

Patrick: Triathlon coach since 2002, with over 150 one-on-one athletes and 400 training plan athletes sucessfully hitting the finishline in the last five years. I have conducted over 15 race-specific and epic training camps. My personal best is a 10:01 at IMUSA and a 10:37 at Kona 2007.

In short, we have a lot of experience with what works, what does not work, and we've honed this message through the results of our athletes, our observations while being ON the course during the race, and the feedback we've received from pre-race talk attendees.

This is the official Endurance Nation Ironman Kool-Aid, we hope you enjoy it. Help us help you!

The Four Keys
  1. Execution, not Fitness. All you've done for 9 months is build a vehicle. Ironman racing is about how you DRIVE that vehicle, it is NOT about the vehicle. The majority of athletes on race day are fitness-focused (look at my T-shirt, look at my abs/veins/etc, look at how fast I can go in the first hour of the bike, etc.) As coaches we can make you stronger, but we can't fix stoopid if you decide to race your own way.
  2. The Line. Nothing on race day really matters until you reach The Line on the run. The Line is the point at which continuing becomes very, very difficult. You define success as simply not slowing down at The Line. EVERYTHING before The Line is simply about creating conditions for success for when the Line comes to you. Additional Kool-Aid flavored thoughts we'd like to put in your head regarding this point are:
    • A successful race = a good run. There is no such thing as a good bike followed by bad run, period. In our world, if you showed up with solid run fitness, had a "good" bike and a poor run, we will ALWAYS assume you boogered your bike pacing unless you are missing a limb or are in the ICU with an intestinal parasite.
    • If you think you can ride faster than we're telling you, prove it by running well off the bike first (preferrably not attempted for the first time on IM race day).
    • Ride your "should" bike split vs your "could" bike split. Your Could split is what you tell Timmy you could ride on a good day, when you're out together for your Saturday ride. If you say you "could ride a 5:50," your Should split is likely 6:00 and defined as the bike split that yields a good run (see above).
    • Don't eat the paste. Ironman in general, but especially the bike leg, is at best a special ed class: you only have to show up with your C game to be at the head of the class. If you find yourself doing the opposite of everyone else, you're doing the right thing. If Jimmy and everyone else is in the corner eating the paste, don't join them! Sit down, do what we're telling you, and don't eat the paste! Lots of people passing you in the first 40 miles? That's good, don't eat the paste. Going backwards through the field on a hill? That's good, don't eat the paste.
    • Think you made the mistake of riding too easy? You now have 26 miles to fix that mistake. Make the mistake of riding too hard? That mistake now has 26 miles to express itself, to the tune of X miles at 17-18' walking pace vs X miles at 8-10' running pace. Do the math. How is that bike split going to look as you are walking/shuffling the last 10 miles of the run?
    • Every time you feel yourself about to get stupid, look at where you are. Are you at The Line? No. Then sit down, shut up, do what you're told and don't be stoopid. Please. :)

3. The Box: all day long you are going to race inside a box defined by what you can control. Ask yourself "What do I need to do right NOW to create the conditions for success at The Line? Is what I'm doing right now counter to this goal? From what we've seen first hand on the IM courses this season, we believe you should ask yourself "Am I participating in some short-term tactical masturbation?" If yes, STOP!!

On the swim, the Box is the space your body occupies in the water: focus on your form and the rest will come. On the bike, the box is probably about one aid station long. On the run, the box begins as 2-3 aid stations long but often diminishes to "from here to the next lampost/manhole cover/mail box." Regardless:
    • Keep the box as big as you can for as long as you can.
    • Keep in the box only the things you can control. Let go of the rest.
    • Exercise this decision-making process inside your box: Observe the situation, Orient yourself to a possible course of action, Decide on a course of action, Act (OODA Loop).

4. The One Thing. If you swallowed the Kool-Aid we're serving you here, you will show up at the Line, in your Box, ready to git'erdun and simply not slow down. But we're not done yet. There is still some psychological stuff you need to address.

During the course of your race day, expect your body to have a conversation with your mind: "Look, Mind, you've had me out here slogging away for 132 miles. This is really starting to get old and very painful. You need to give me a good reason to keep going forward. If you can't give me a good one, I'm gonna slow down and you can't stop me!" Before the race, you need to ask yourself "Why am I doing Ironman?" In other words, you need to determine what is the One Thing that put you in this race? To finish in the daylight with a smile on your face? To run a 4:10? Whatever your One Thing is, be absolutely clear and rehearse your mind/body debate beforehand. But be warned: your body can be a helluva good negotiator at mile 18, especially if your mind hasn't prepared its rebuttal arguments beforehand.

Unity of purpose creates clarity of focus, yielding breakthrough performance.

What have we not talked about so far? The things you are likely most torqued about: heart rate, pace, speed, watts, how to eat, what to drink, etc. We believe that if you can keep yourself focused on the Four Keys above, the rest of the day is relatively simple and you don't need to worry about these relatively small details. In other words, all the whizbang guidance in the world can't help you if don't have your mind right about the Four Keys above.

But because you're a Type A Triathlete and you want the details, here they are:
  • The Swim: Swim only as fast as your ability to maintain form. When you feel your form go, slow down. Counting strokes is an excellent technique for bringing your mind out of the race and into the Box of maintaining your form.
  • The Bike: JRA (Just Ride Along) for about 45-60'. Then shift from JRA to Easy (5:45+ should split) to Steady (sub 5:45 should split). Guage how well you're doing by how well you're NOT doing what everyone else is doing. REMEMBER: Don't eat the paste!
  • The Run: Jog for 4-6 miles, with a jogging, do-no-harm pace and heart rate cap. Jogging is defined as a pace you could sustain for hours if we kept feeding you. After 4-6 miles, shift from jogging to "running," running comfortably, getting what you need, and preparing yourself for the Line, where things become very uncomfortable. At the Line, just suck it up and giterdun.

That's it, that's as complicated as racing Ironman needs to be and we can't say it any more simply. We've basically given you a Vegas betting strategy, having managed and observed many rolls of the dice. If you sit down, shut up, do what we tell you, you will have a good day. But as you stray towards the Ricky Racer side of the execution scale, you begin to rattle the dice.

Still not convinced?
The results and feedback of our athletes speak for themselves:

"First, the things Rich and Coach P preached were a lot of common sense, but somehow they seemed to hit home.
  1. There is generally not failure to train, but failure to execute an effective race plan. Test your plan prior to race day, know it, use it.
  2. Don't get caught up in other people's "stuff", e.g., trying new things 24 hrs before the race. Do the things you have tested long before race day
  3. Race your race. If the other guys want to blow past you on the bike, let them. You WILL see them again. Know your training data and use it.
  4. Prepare yourself mentally for the arguments your mind and your body are going to have toward the end.
  5. Swim: only as fast as form stays good.
  6. Bike: pace within your ranges (power/hr) ignore "speed"
  7. Run: start SLOWLY, you don't want to have to walk 26 miles,the real "race" starts @ mile 18
  8. Enjoy what you've worked for and know that while you are suffering Rich and Coach P are somewhere sucking down a Starbucks!!"--Gina

"I passed 20% of the field in my first Ironman marathon, and I am far from being an elite runner. I credit the EN masters with allowing this to happen. Simple, repeatable concepts & key words helped me to remain patient, focused, and detached from other competitors. Look out, ‘cause I’m taking another sip of their Kool-Aid in ’08." -- Dan

"Pre Kool Aid - I had completed 3 previous IM without Kool Aid. They were each about survival rather than completing the event with confidence. I walked the majority of the marathon in each of these events. I honestly thought that maybe I wasn't cut out to run the IM run.
Post Kool Aid - An hour run PR. I ran the whole run. Finished with confidence and absolutely "flew" on the second half of the run. Thanks to the EN pacing guidelines, I ran a 10 minute negative split. It seemed surreal, to think I could actually enjoy the IM run. What an incredible experience! More coaches need to preach execution just as much, if not more than the training phase." -- Alex

Have you had a great race after listening to or reading our drivel? If so, please post your comments and experiences!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

State of The Nation Address

Rich and Patrick team up in this (hopefully) weekly podcast about what's going on inside Endurance Nation. Riveting? No. Informational? We think so. Listen to it here or search for "Endurance Nation" via the iTunes Store on your 'puter.

See you on the inside,

Team EN

Monday, December 3, 2007

New Resourses in the EN Libary

An Athlete's Primer to Weight Management by Coach P

When an athlete comes to me and says they want to lose weight, there are a lot of things going through my head. Is this person losing weight for performance? For personal reasons? Do they have weight to lose? Is this the right time for them to lose weight? But when a person who wants to lose weight thinks about losing weight, they (typically) think of only one thing: counting/reducing calories to lose weight.
Aside from being a difference in perspective (me telling you how to lose weight v. you telling you), there are a lot of other things to consider outside of cutting calories.

For more on this topic join us at and checkout the Library articles.