Benefits of planning your triathlon racing season

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Benefits of planning your triathlon racing season

Benefits of planning your triathlon racing season

People fall into three camps when we ask: ‘what are your physical activity goals this year?’
Camp 1: You are able to show your season’s races planned out till the off season in November
Camp 2: You have one or two races entered probably a big ‘A’ race like the Outlaw
Camp 3: You have some thought to entering some races
Obviously I’ve structured this list to favour the best option. Unfortunately, there won’t be many people in this camp from my experience.
You will have more fun if you plan your season.

Obviously I’ve structured this list to favour the best option.  Unfortunately, there won’t be many people in this camp from my experience.

You will have more fun if you plan your season. 

Triathlon ‘A’ Race

We divide races into A, B and C.  You will normally have 2 A races in a year.  Each will be a few months apart to give you the chance to recover and refocus. The A races are the main focus for your season.  You may be entering the Outlaw (a long distance triathlon) in which case your other A race might be a middle distance race like the Beaver middle distance triathlon.  You may want the excel in the age group qualifiers so pick two as your A races.  As a beginner your first triathlon might be an A race with a standard distance race later in the year as your second A race.

B races are races or activities which make good stepping stones towards your goal.  These might be run races like a half marathon or 10km.  Cycle sportives are good for building your cycling endurance.  It is useful to have some B races that you have done in previous years to compare your fitness.  Although weather conditions and many other factors can stop a direct comparison.

C races are the building blocks of your season.  Park runs, cycle time trials and club races have an important part to play in your season.

Beware the ‘big’ goal

Always plan for the full season.  So many people aim at a big challenge and then stop!  Job done.  They often don’t get going again till the next season.  Motivation to stay fit disappears. More importantly the A race gets blown out of proportion.  This is your focus for the year and it becomes a big issue.  Your stress levels before the race will be sky high.  Instead of hitting the start line in peak condition you will be losing sleep and anxious. Having other races lined up helps keep the race in perspective.

Using a calendar.  Plan your A races.  Mark the end of season as 1st November or close because you’ll need to plan your ‘off season’.  Choose your major stepping stones as B races according to when you’re a races fall.  Now identify the times when C races might happen.  These can be entered at the last minute depending on how your training is going.  Don’t forget to select some new races and challenges later in the year to keep you interested.

Author:  Dave Bradley British Triathlon Level 3 Coach Director of coaching at itriwetri.com