6 Tips for Planning Your Next Race Season

Fall is here and for most people in the northern hemisphere that means triathlon season is over. Some of you may opt carry that fitness into late season half or full marathon, others have chosen to take some time off from structured training to chill out and enjoy moving for the fun of it.

This is also the time of year that many people start planning their 2020 race season. Early bird pricing for many races means most people commit to races well in advance without giving too much thought to how to structure their training in terms of building and recovery between races. This can result in lacklustre performances in key races, which results in an unhappy athlete.

How do you avoid this?

1. Race Selection. When you sit down to plan out your season, pick your goal race. I have some tips on how to do that here

2. Where to start? Figure out where your fitness level is currently at. Be honest with yourself. Did you spend the last 3 months after your last goal race sitting on the couch and binge watching Netflix? Or did you give yourself a bit of recovery time and then resume some easy training? If you are starting from square one, then you're going to need a longer build than if you kept up some activity post race.

3. Work Backwards. Once you've chosen your A race and you've figured out how long you think you'll need to build towards it, work backwards to figure out your start date.

4. Other races. Most of us like to do more than one race per season. The key here is not to "over race". You have to allow for sufficient recovery between events. The shorter the distance, the less recovery necessary. Here are some examples of recovery times for various distance triathlons:

* Sprint: 1 week

* Olympic: 2 weeks

* 70.3: up to 5 weeks

* Ironman: roughly 8 weeks

If you're a runner:

* 5 km: up to 5 days

* 10 km: up to 5 days