When you spend hours and hours training hard, it makes sense to devote some quality time to planning your race season. Now is the ideal time to get stuck in. Here’s how…

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Setting Goals

Before you start training categorise your 2016 races as A, B or C events. Breaking them down into these categories increases your chances of peaking at the right times.

The A races are the ones you really want to do well at. These are your main focus for the season. You can only do three or four in a season, as it’s not normally feasible to be at your absolute peak for more than six weeks at a time.

Therefore you might realistically aim for a mid-summer peak and an end of summer peak. B races are events you still wish to do well at, but they are not quite so important. You’d still taper for them, but you wouldn’t build your race season around them.

That leaves us with C races, which are events that you’d do either for training or simply enjoyment. The aim of your B and C races is to build relevant experience and fitness for your A races.

Race recovery time

There’s no black and white answer to how much recovery time you need between races as this as it depends on how personally fatigued you are after each event.

For sprint triathlons the bare minimum recovery time is one week. For an Olympic distance triathlon it’ll take you at least two weeks. Whereas you’re looking at two to four weeks after an Ironman 70.3 and anything from four to 12 weeks after a full Ironman.

For some people, it may require longer. There’s no shame in that and you shouldn’t shortcut your recovery.

Over racing can be stressful on your body, your wallet and even your relationships.

Which races should you do?

There are so many races out there that narrowing them down can be difficult. Here’s a simple five point tick list to help you decide. Every time you answer yes, add a tick. The more ticks per event, the better.

Picking your races by these criteria will help make your season more exciting and also more fun for your family.

1) Is the event somewhere you’d like to visit even if you weren’t racing?

2) Does the race suit your strengths and weaknesses?

3) Is it an event that you’d really look forward to?

4) Is there potential for a meaningful outcome such as a PB or a new distance conquered?

5) Is this race practical in terms of travel, route and accommodation?

Click here for Part One of our 2016 preparations

Click here for Part Two of our 2016 preparations