Last Monday, I officially started my Endurance Nation (EN) Out-Season Plan. 16 weeks of Out-Season (OS) training, then it's 2 weeks of transition...8 weeks of basic training...12 weeks of race training and BAM...It's race day!!!
The out season is the plan before the plan. It's 16 weeks of HARD work. Now, I'm not saying that everyone else is not working hard within their plans....this is how EN defines their Out Season. EN focuses on interval training by pushing your threshold limits. Basically, if you train fast you will get faster. If you train slow, you will continue to be slow.
AND I am slow, especially on the run. It will be interesting if and how my time trials change over the next 16 weeks. Here are results for my first two tests (tests are done every 4 weeks).
Bike Test 2/10/09
Avg Speed 20.6 mph
LTHR 166 (Lactate Threshold Heart Rate)
FTP 177 (Power)
W/kg 2.6 (watts per kg)
Run Test 2/11/09
5K or 3.1 miles
(No swimming until after the OS period)
One thing I struggle with is my heart rate on the run. My Anaerobic Threshold is 176 bpm. I averaged 174 bpm on this training run....very close to my AT. To explain, I can maintain a very low heart rate while walking 110-120 bpm. The minute I start running/jogging my heart rate climbs and continues to climb until usually just below my AT (low 170's). In other words, I can't seem to find zone 2 and 3. I've asked the EN group for some insight on why my heart rate is so high. There were a few other people who experienced the same predicament and also questioned why this happens. Although no one could answer "why", they all seemed to agree that the EN OS plan helped them break through to their middle zones. They told me to keep running but focus more on my pace and/or my perceived rate of exertion instead of my heart rate.
With this in mind, I did my Sunday 1 hour run which included 15 minutes of warm-up and 3 x 800m at z4 with 2 minutes rest in between. The remainder of the run was to be easy. Ughh! That meant I had to run at a snail's pace...just a bit faster than walking and just slower than a jog. Hard to believe, but that was hard to do! It probably looked like I couldn't decide whether to walk or run.
I'm looking forward to the next 15 more weeks....I can't wait to notice some improvements on both the run and on the bike.
An EN mantra: "Pain is weakness leaving the body."
BTW, here's a funny little story:
I purchased the regular training plan from EN recently and requested the Beginner's version. One of the Coach's answered my email with the Intermediate version plan attached to the email. I kindly wrote back and said that perhaps I wasn't ready for the "intermediate" version since I had done only one half-ironman and no full distance triathlons. He wrote me back asking my race result since the levels are geared to fitness ability rather than experience. I sent him my HIM results from Steelhead 2008:
SWIM 20:23 (swim was cancelled and a 2.1 mile run was replaced)
OVERALL TIME 6:53:16
His response: "Beginner it is! See the file attached! "
I told you so!
First Decent Week of "Off Season" Training
6 hours ago