Planning Your Triathlon Racing Season
Updated: Nov 1, 2022
At about this time of the year, we start thinking about how many, what and when you want to race. You don't need to plan out every race of the entire season. However, as training becomes more race specific, it's a good idea to give your coach an indication on where you're headed in terms of what races you are targeting. And, it's a good for you to have some specific races and future glories in mind to help pull yourself through those hard training sessions! How often you race is largely up to the individual. Some triathletes like to race lots, some like to focus on one important event. Finances and family factor into the decision making as well.
Having a goal statement written down is a good place to start. Pre-season is a great time to update this. State your racing goals, be as specific as you can, and also include the training and lifestyle initiatives that will get you there. Make it your mission statement for the season!
If you're using Training Peaks there's a place for this under "Goals".
Simple as A, B, C.
There are a couple of guidelines that can help to construct a successful season and keep you motivated. Rate the importance of your races (Events) as "A", "B" or "C". I like to think one to three "A" races are optimal in a season. In the Northern Hemisphere there tends to be a glut of races around May and June and then again around September. Picking an "A" race for each mini-season can work really well from a training perspective. It allows you a long build up period using targeted preparation races ("B" races), then you can take a mid-season break before building up to the next "A" race. "C" races can be single sport races to keep you motivated in the off-season or triathlons purely for fun during the season.
We've put together a race calendar of triathlons local to Santa Cruz in Northern California to choose and compare races. I also encourage my athletes to consider USAT National Championship Events for a challenge beyond the local events.
The best "test" of your progress and fitness are the races. Plan and record your races in TriResults to be able to instantly review your progress (Training Peaks does race reporting poorly)