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Coaches Blog

How To Plan Your Triathlon Race Season

It's still early in the year, and many people (like me) are still planning out this year's race season. One evening, I was busy looking up races when I thought, "I wonder if other athletes are still deciding on races they want to do this season? Probably yes…". So here's the process I go through as an athlete to decide what races suit my endurance and skill level. 


Do you already have an "A" race scheduled?

If you have a race this year that you really want to do, you can help yourself achieve that goal. Whether you are qualified for the world championships, are planning a "race-cation," or have family coming into town that want to see you race, your planning should follow a similar structure. You'll need to have races that build to the most crucial race in your schedule.


Have you used a race-specific website to search?

If you are not up-to-date on all the endurance races in your particular area (or if you recently moved to a new location), there are event-specific websites that cater to finding a race. Each website has a slightly different interface but has the same general input criteria: location, distance, type of race, etc. 


These websites can help you narrow race availability to find a suitable race that meets your needs. Here are a few of the race sites that I like to use to find races:


Since my husband has served in the Navy for our entire marriage, I've often used these websites to find races in new locations.


Have you sought the advice of other endurance athletes in your area?

One of the most organic ways to find the best races in a particular area is to ask what others have experienced. I suggest going to your local bike shop, run club, or master's swim and strike up a conversation. The benefit of this is that you are able to get candid and participant-focused opinions that no one but a participant can provide.


Do you have a specific goal in mind?

You may not have a specific race in mind for your goal; instead, you might choose some other objectives to focus on. 


For example, your goal this season may be to build your endurance. As your endurance grows throughout the season, you may want to increase your racing distance. Perhaps your goal is to find a 70.3-distance race with rolling hills on the bike and a flat run course.


Using these parameters and the race websites above, if you're willing to travel, you can likely find a course to help you accomplish those goals.


All in all, there are many techniques to plot your race season - have you used a unique idea to find a race?

 

Coach Becky Piper is a USAT Certified LII Paratriathlon and Triathlon Coach living in Michigan with her husband Sam and her dog named Moose. She is a paratriathlete, and paracyclist, and has plans to try her hand at para- dog sled racing. Her true passion is coaching athletes to reach their best selves - both in endurance sports and beyond! Coach Becky can be reached at becky@teammpi.com.

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