The ABCs of Planning Your Season

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How do I plan my race season?

The ABCs of Planning Your Season

Planning your race season is the initial step to ensuring triathlon success. You may start the planning process by searching online or asking other triathletes about local races they could recommend. Depending on where you live, races may be held as early as March and may continue until October. After your races are planned, start defining your goals. If you are a beginner, goals will be quite different than they are for a more seasoned athlete. The goal for most beginners is to finish your planned events. Map out races so that you do no more than one or two events per month. This gives you plenty of recovery time between events. The main aspect of fitness needed to finish your race with a smile is endurance. You should slowly build up your exercise mileage for each sport to within 10-15% of race distance. If you are one of those athletes who needs the confidence gained from being able to swim, bike, and run the entire distance prior to the event then go for it; just realize that it is not necessary.

More seasoned, competitive athletes should set specific goals related to performance. You do not have to win your age group to be competitive. To reach performance goals you should prioritize your races as A, B, and C events.

  • C races—these races are fun events used to keep motivation and enthusiasm for the sport high during the season. You can train through these events, meaning you will not need much rest/recovery leading up to the race. These events are scheduled last.
  • B races--these events are important, but are not the ultimate goal races. B races are used to monitor your progress, improve races skills, and contribute in some fashion to your A race performance. For example, you might use a B race to try out your nutrition strategy or assess improvement in swim fitness. You may think of B races as organized training sessions.
  • A races---These are the goal races of the season. Choose no more than 3 goal races per season and during planning, place these races on your calendar first. All of your other races are planned around A races. The idea is to build your endurance, speed, and power up over a 10-12 week period so that you peak for each A race.



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