Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tri Talk Tuesday: Race Season Planning

It's Tri Talk Tuesday again! And, according to my schedule, it's finals week! So much going on!

Meanwhile, I'm linking up with Cynthia at You Signed up for WHATCourtney from The TriGirl Chronicles and Phaedra from Blisters and Black Toenails, to talk about Race Season Planning!

Why do it early - While it might not seem like it's all that necessary, there are definitely big benefits to planning out your season early in the year. It helps you plan your big goals, so you don't go into an early-season race feeling like you're not prepared. You can get early bird pricing on races before January, which can save a lot of money! Also, it helps prevent burn out from signing up for too much in too short a time. Also, when you realize there are two events you want to do on the same day, you have a little more time to think about which you would rather do. All good reasons!

How to choose - Usually I start planning by picking my one big "A" race, which is the focus of my season. This past year, I had a full marathon in March, then focused on Nation's Tri in September, and taking off the rest of the Fall. I knew the time in between would be super busy and a little uncertain, so I tried to find races that fit into my known schedule.

Once you have your big race penciled in, you can start filling in smaller races to help build up to that goal. If you're doing a half-iron tri, it's good to build up with a "tune up" race and maybe a few "B" races with less pressure on yourself, as well as some shorter running races. If you're doing a big event like a runDisney Challenge, you should definitely practice with shorter races leading up. Last year I managed to fit the Glass Slipper Challenge into my training plan for my marathon, and lined up my training plan perfectly. Let's be honest, it was probably the only long run I did that I actually hit my goal pace.

While you start looking for build up races, keep in mind your own non-racing schedule, and try to plan around that. It's easier to have support for your training and racing habit if you don't skip a family wedding to race. This was a rough summer for me, since it seemed like all of the three "B" races I planned on doing ended up coinciding with weddings and I had some choices to make (I always opted for the wedding and took a less ideal race).

What I have planned - For next year, so far, I have a few big races planned, and an alternative schedule depending on my health:

Depending on how my summer turns out (I still don't know where I'll be stationed, or how long, or what I'll be doing), FrogMan might not happen. But hopefully it will. If it does, I'll probably add at least two more shorter, local triathlons during the summer to prepare.

Have you started thinking about 2015?!


  1. Love your point about figuring your race season out early and getting on the early bird registration deals!! Good one!

  2. Great post - I'm really trying hard to think through this early but I find it so hard to determine what I'll want to do almost 1 year out for the fall race. I keep looking at whether to repeat Augusta 70.3 or do a different fall 70.3, or just stick to really getting a great solid Olympic in the fall with a fall marathon. I'm all over the place with it lately. But I will see you at Iron Girl Columbia - registration opened today!