With the weather heating up it’s time to start thinking about how to create your triathlon race calendar. I admittedly usually start planning my next season before the new year has even come, but with two little ones keeping me on my toes I was a little bit behind on creating this year’s race calendar. Haven’t started training yet? With the growing number of races available worldwide there is bound to be a race that fist your schedule and plenty of time to get race ready!
Where to find a race
There is currently no comprehensive list of all races but these two websites are a great place to get started.
Not all of the races on Trifind.com will be USAT certified, so if you want your results to count towards USAT ranking or if you are trying to qualify for national competitions you will want to stick to the USA Triathlon website’s list of races. There are many small local races that do not show up in any of the online databases, if you are looking for something with a smaller feel make sure you tap into your local triathlon scene to find out what races you might be missing out on. Stop by your local triathlon shop, they should have a good idea of what is going on in your area.
To learn more about USAT Sanctioned races check out 6 Thing To Consider When Signing Up For Your First Triathlon
How To Create Your Race Calendar
With the growing number of races there are just too many to do them all! Even if you stay local there are probably plenty of races to keep you busy all season long. To avoid burn out or injury it is important to prioritize your race calendar, let’s break it down.
Make a list of the name and date of ALL of the races you are interested in
Highlight the races that are most important to you. This is completely dependent upon your goals. For example if your goal is to complete your first Olympic triathlon this year and Olympic race would be one of the most important races on your list. You may also want to highlight races that you particularly like and would love to participate in again.
Identify your A and B priority races. It is likely you will only have one A priority race, although it is possible to have two if you time it correctly. Your A priority race is just that, the race that is the most important. Again going back to your goals, this could mean the race you plan to set a PR at, or maybe this means tackling a new distance. This race is more important than any other race on your calendar and your training will be based around this race. Next identify which races are your B priority races, these are the races that you would like to do, but they are not as important as you A priority race. The races that are left on your list at this point can still be a part of your race calendar but they are C priority races, this means you may end up participating for fun or using these races training sessions for your more important races.
Before you finalize your plans do a reality check. If your wedding is the same weekend as you’re A priority race you may need to pick a new race. Likewise you probably don’t want to race at a B priority race the weekend before you’re A race. Take some time to think about what responsibilities you will have during the season and make sure to account for any summer trips, even if they don’t interfere directly with your race date they may leave a gap in an important week of training. Your race calendar has to fit into your real life.
Now that you have thought everything through it’s time for the fun part, let’s make it official! Head on over to the race websites and get signed up. You not only get better pricing the earlier you sign up, this adds some accountability to keep your training on track. Once you receive that registration e-mail make sure you put your races in outlook, google calendar, or go old school and write them in your wall calendar. Count backwards from you’re a priority race set up your training plan!
Want to see what my race calendar looks like this year? Check out my 2015 Race Calendar
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