Sunday, April 26, 2009

Endurance Nation Wisconsin Camp

Thanks to Endurance Nation and a few of the members in the midwest, I had the opportunity to attend a training camp in Madison this weekend. The idea of this camp came up late last year and through the EN forums a few of us figured out a date and decided to do it. Jim and Hayes then took the lead, organized the group, found a cabin to stay at and before we knew it we had 20 people from around the midwest training together for a weekend. Rich Strauss, one of the coaches and founders of Endurance Nation, even flew in from LA to ride with us and support us at a free camp. How cool is that?

I went to this camp with the intention to ride as much as possible for three days and no other goals. Thanks to the weather, that goal was limited a little but I left with a lot more then I expected. Instead of writing another novel, here are some thoughts...

  • I met a few more EN members that I only knew from the forums and had some great discussions with them. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the races this year and reading all of the great race reports.
  • This weekend was a humbling experience. At a little over 4 w/kg I was starting to consider myself a strong cyclist and I quickly learned I still have a way to go. My small size gives me a high w/kg and gets me up hills quick, but on the flats and downhills I can't hang with some of the guys with FTPs around 300. Just more fuel for the fire to keep me focused on raising my FTP.
  • Rich spent some time teaching us the rules of roadie rides and how to draft and pace line. For a guy like me that always trained on my own this was a great experience. At first I was pretty nervous and wouldn't get too close to others, but as the weekend went on I continued to get more relaxed and was even staying on someone's wheel in pouring rain at high speeds. I now have the confidence to give a roadie ride a try and more confidence in bike handing skills.
  • I already knew the weather in the midwest can change pretty quick, but Friday was over 80 degrees with 20 mph winds and some crazy gusts that would move we a few feet over. Saturday was in the 40s and 50s and pouring rain. The good news is I got comfortable riding in both conditions on parts of the actual ironman course. Another big confidence booster.
  • The first day I road for 5:15 at a little over my target watts and IF for the ironman and I was still able to finish strong and go for an easy brick run right after. That's a pretty great workout in April if you ask me... can't wait to see how much stronger I can get by August.
  • You can never have enough inter tubes, CO2 and practice changing flats. I ordered a few more tubes today (with long value stems) and if I don't flat enough this year in training, I will actually stop during a few rides to make sure I'm ready for race day.
  • I rode all weekend in only tri-shorts and had no discomfort at all, which is great because this year I want to race in tri-shorts from start to finish. The only problem was I lost about 10 pounds since last year and my tri-shorts were a little lose, so I heard about it all weekend from the guys. Rich, I ordered two pairs of smaller shorts today, but I'm still not shaving my legs.
  • I made the mistake of saying I had 3 more pounds to loose by IMWI to be at my goal race weight, and I never heard the end of it. Either way, the guys can continue to give me crap as much as they want, but I'm still going to try and drop the three pounds and start IMWI at the weight I think I need to be at to have a shot at a Kona slot. However, right after the race I'm looking for Noodle and will join him to eat as much as we can to put the 3 pounds and a few extra back on.
  • @Hayes - Thanks again for organizing the weekend and booking the place, you did an awesome job.

  • @Rich - Thanks for making the trip from LA to ride with us in the pouring rain and then answer questions for hours when we were stuck in a cabin because of the storms.

I can't wait to do this camp again next year and I think I might actually try to join a roadie ride now. This camp is just one more example of how EN is a good fit for me. If you are looking for the benefits of having a coach, plus the benefits of being on a team and are interested learning about your training and the science and methods behind it, check out endurance nation.

I'll include details about the rides I did when I post later this week on my Big Bike Week.


  1. You're welcome, not a problem on the organization at all and remember some more fiber and that 3lbs is gone in no time!!! :)

  2. Thanks for the Saturday run, Matt.

    Good luck with your training this summer. I'm sure you'll continue to nail your workouts

    Ron Gierut

  3. 3lbs is 3 lbs bro!! You rock With or without it!!!


  4. Hey Matt,

    Good riding with you this weekend! You have plenty of time to make more FTP gains so no worries there. Ride with Jim and just drag race with him!


  5. Hey Matt,

    Great to meet ya and ride with you over the weekend. I also realized as the Flatman now, know to get plenty of tubes and CO2 for rides. Just crazy how many times I fatted, but thanks to you all for pitching in and helping in the freezing rain and wind. Hope to train with you some more.


  6. We got in a solid weekend of riding. Like Rich said, you have plenty of time to make more gains on the bike. Since we're practically neighbors we can drag race just about any time. Just let me know.