Tri Talk Tuesday – How to Plan a Race Season

Hello Tuesday! It’s December and it’s that time again for myself, Phaedra, and Cynthia to team up and bring you another Tri Talk Tuesday link up. Today’s we’re talking all about how to plan a race season. Feel free to share your ideas on the topic or link up your ideas and plans for next year!


It’s the off season. Race season is over for the most part. A lot of us are slowing down, cutting back some, and possibly changing some of our focus in terms of what we’re looking to accomplish in our workouts. But this is also the time of year that many races release their dates for the upcoming year and open registration. This is the time of year that people start throwing money at races and loading up their schedules for the upcoming season.

But planning your next season is more than just picking a bunch of races you like and hitting that register button. When you don’t think ahead about your upcoming season, you might accidentally end up with a schedule that doesn’t quite work, like having four(1) straight(2) weeks(3) of races(4).

four tips for planning a successful race season

So when you start to think about your upcoming race season, there’s a few things to keep in mind before you start registering for races, in order to make sure you set yourself up for a successful year.

1. Pick your ‘A’ race and work around it- Your races should be prioritized, with your ‘A’ race being your most important. For example, this past season I picked two ‘A’ race, Ironman 70.3 Syracuse in June and Iron Girl Syracuse in August. I planned to make those the races I put at the top of my list and worked all my other races and training around those. Other races of lesser importance are used as training races for those ‘A’ races. Training is timed so that your fitness peaks right before these races. So make sure if you plan on doing a lot of races, that you don’t plan to race them all.

2. Allow for recovery- My four week racing streak sounded like a lot of fun when I registered for it, but it was only three weeks after my half Ironman. That might have been enough recovery time for one race, but definitely not for four. Depending on the length of your races you’ll need more or less time to recover, but make sure you factor recovery time into your schedule so you don’t burn out or injury yourself doing too much too quickly.

3. Map out your plan on paper first- Go ahead and register for that ‘A’ race if it sells out quickly, but a great way to actually plan your whole season is to get out a calendar and map out the races you want to run. This will let you get an actual visual on the time in between to make sure your giving yourself enough recovery time and not overloading yourself.

4. Have fun- Unless you’re out to KQ/BQ or competing at a super high level, remember why you race. Racing should be enjoyable. Painful sometimes, yes, but rewarding and fun none the less. Don’t get bogged down by over planning or stretching your goals and yourself too thin. Just go out there, enjoy how strong and capable you are, and smile when you cross that finish line.


How do you go about planning your race season?

Do you have any races for 2015 in mind yet?

Tri Talk Tuesday will be back on January 6, 2015. Our theme for January will be resolutions and goal setting! We hope to see you in the new year and linked up!

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8 Replies to “Tri Talk Tuesday – How to Plan a Race Season”

  1. I have the first half of my race season planned out! I’m waiting to see how my leg heals then in planning the rest! Either a few more halfs or a full!

  2. Good advice. I always plan for a longer training season than is “normal” knowing that there will be days I just don’t give it a 100% . The more time I give myself allows me not to feel too much pressure on those days

  3. Perfect timing since I have my calendar in front of me and am planning for 2015. I think a race per month is what I am going for. I am going to challenge myself in the Spring with a half-marathon and a running relay, then move into Tri season and then end with 1/2 marathon. I think this plan is doable, challenging and fun.

  4. Super helpful tips at the perfect time! I have a couple races I’ve signed up for already, and while I haven’t registered, I know what my A race is going to be. There are lots of the radar I want to participate in, so I’m going to take your suggestion of mapping them out before I hit that “register” button!
    Ariana recently posted…Holiday Thrive Guide: Party EditionMy Profile

  5. Could not agree with you more. I have picked my A race for next year and am building my schedule around it. Sometimes I won’t sign up for a race until last minute, just to wait to see how my body and mind feel. One of the most important things I learned this year is that recovery is just as important as training and building.
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Tapering Through The HolidaysMy Profile

  6. All awesome tips! I don’t have anything big planned yet for 2015, this was kind of my “big” year with Boston. I want to focus more on overall fitness, not just running this year, we will see how it actually plays out! HA!
    Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles recently posted…Weekly Wrap UpMy Profile

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