My first season as an Endurance Nation team member

Posted: October 18, 2012 in cycling, Ironman Lake Placid, Running, Syracuse Ironman 70.3, Training, Triathlons, Weight Loss
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For all practical purposes, my first season back to the sport of triathlons and as an Endurance Nation Team member has come to a close. Still on the calendar is NYC Marathon, and maybe a club fun run here and there. After NYC Marathon, I’ll be training for the 2013 season, with the ultimate goal of crossing the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid.

Before I dive into it, up front I’ll tell you that I am biased, spoiled in many ways, and of a skewed opinion. Reasons for my perspective:

  • First year back returning to triathlons.
  • Picked great races that were well ran, and quality events.
  • Effectively nipped in the bud- impending health issues.
  • Actually sought real training resources.

Technically, I have been with Team EN for 8 months, but have done a full North East Regional season under their coaching guidance. Granted my goals were not complicated, or too lofty. Train well enough to complete Ironman Syracuse 70.3 and look reasonably well doing it. Gotta look good for the pictures 🙂

I know that people go from zero – 70.3 every year, and finish in impressive times. For me, I felt it was daunting, and felt somewhat scared. I did one 18 years ago, at 155 lbs and 34 years of age. Last October I was 51 years old, and just under 200lbs. Of course I did it back in 1994 by the seat of my pants, and lucky to finish it unscathed. Anyway, my zero to 70.3 endeavor was a big deal for me. Truthfully, it qualifies as a life changing event.

Joining Endurance Nation was a key decision for my season. Very economical in an online group coaching environment, as opposed to one on one coaching. I was looking for general guidance, and once in awhile specific answers to things that cropped up. The online team forum was also very helpful and friendly. The closest way to describe it: cloud team coaching. It is overwhelming at first with the volume of information and resources they offer. Once you get past the first few weeks absorbing the training approach, it quickly starts to make sense. The results show quickly.

The team is very big on return of investment, and that all this stuff should be fun. Best viewed as a game we all enjoy to play. It is clear as you dig deeper, that these guys are in for the long haul, and wants it’s members to stay in the sport, not burn out and flame out in a season or two. Coach Rich & Patrick lead by example, and the training plans constantly evolve as things are learned and fed back by the team itself.

As to my results, I went from running some, to in a single year: 1-half Ironman, 4- half marathons, 2 sprint tris, 1-olympic tri, a bunch of club events, a pile of shorter road races, and soon to finish a marathon in two weeks. My weight bottomed out with a 54 lb loss (over two years), about 15 lbs of it with EN. My running VDOT went from 32 to 41.

Aside from the big jump back in, the biggest gain from all this is from the improved head space. Hence my previous comments on being biased, spoiled, etc. Seriously, much of the credit for this comes from being on Team EN. I became empowered by the resources and training methods that the team promotes. This is profound in the fact that here I am 18 years later, much slower, but enjoying it oh so much more, not loathing the slower paces, or dreading the longer times out on the race courses. Will get even better as I feel better, lose more weight, and get faster.

As I run , bike or swim, I have in the back of my head, a basket full of tools to deal with whatever comes up during the race. Things to try, or choices to make to better improved either my race execution or at least my race experience. “Conductor/engineer of your own train” is the best way I can describe it.

There are the performance tangibles to look at as well. I expect the upcoming season to see more weight loss, improved paces, power output, etc. Next July is the big brass ring. I have to say, that it is every bit as daunting and scary as it was last fall, jumping back into the sport and going big. I’ll have a full 40 weeks of guidance getting to Lake Placid, with a complete season plan that will drop into the final 20 weeks of the Ironman distance plan. I’ll blog soon about the new Master Season plan, which I will be partaking in. It is comforting that Team Endurance Nation, and Coaches Rich & Patrick will have my back on this one.

  1. Rich Strauss says:

    Hey Mike, congrats on a great season and thanks for the props! A pleasure to have you on the squad. {coaching hat on} Do me a favor and take the Season Planning Survey so I can plan your season for you. Your marathon puts you in a little different place than we described in that Master Season Plan. Thanks again! Rich

    • mookyj says:

      Hey Coach, already submitted for 2013, and got your season plan for 2013! I know you have got to be up to your eyeballs getting out season plans for the team

  2. Rich Strauss says:

    Yeah busy, but it’s a very good busy 🙂

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