Planning Your Next Race Season


Posted by Coach Becky Piper

Off season is a time to truly enjoy your activities. Take a hike, enjoy some mountain biking trails, take a yoga class, or try water aerobics. While you are experiencing these adventures, it also is a good time to begin planning your next season. This process may seem daunting. In years past, I preferred to just sign up for whatever came across my path, but I have learned that planning will pay off in performance!

Here are a few simple steps to guide you through this process:

  1. Make a list of all (or most) of the races that you are interested in.  This can include running races, triathlons, duathlons, cycling races, swimming races, adventure races, and any other type of races you'd like to do. They may be big races or little races.  Maybe one or two have a strong emotional connection for you. Put them on the list! Just brainstorm, and don't limit your list at this meeting. 
  2. Set up a meeting with your coach or a trusted and knowledgable friend.  Include them in your decision making process because they may have some points or observations that you did not. Your coach may even have more faith in your abilities than you do. For me, this was the case. I now am seriously considering a very big race next season. 
  3. Pick your “A” race. Does one race speak more to you than the others?  Do you have a goal of making an Olympic distance, Half Ironman, or Full Ironman?  Are you a first-time multisport athlete with your eye on completing a certain race?  The “A” race (or races) is the event that is most important to you, and the highest priority. 
  4. Finalize your race schedule.  Decide your race schedule!  Take into consideration recovery time, how much base preparation you need for your races, and any forseen events (like weddings) that you must plan around. Keep in mind that no matter how strict your race schedule may seem, life may plan something different so be prepared to make adjustments.


Planning the next season can get us excited to start, but don't forget to relax and enjoy the off-season and the holidays first!  After all, Halloween is just around the corner!

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