It is hard to believe but 2014 is right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning your 2014 schedule. A good athlete needs to start planning early. Why so early you ask? Well, if you do not start planning now, then your goal race will creep on you before you know it, leaving you scrambling to get in the necessary fitness and workouts in. Endurance races take a lot of time to prepare for especially if you are new to the sport or have a weak aerobic base. Even if you are an experienced athletes, it is smart to at least plan out some of your season to give your training direction and focus.
By setting a date, distance, and goal time, you can begin figuring out what cardiovascular system (aerobic vs. anaerobic) you should train, weaknesses you should target, and paces you need to be able to hit. Regardless of whether you are new to racing or joining the ranks of the masters, figuring out your season provides motivation.
Planning a season, however, is a daunting task, so here are the steps my coach and I always follow when thinking about the coming year:
- Choose your races: With the popularity of triathlons increasing at an exponential rate, races sell out within minutes especially the more popular ones. If you want to do one of these races then you need to figure out which one, see when registration opens, then sit by your computer hitting the refresh button. If these large races are not your style and you prefer to “race local, train global,” which do not sell out as quickly, it would be wise to figure out when they are so that you can…
- Figure out your training schedule: how to create a training schedule is tough, which is why I hire a coach who knows me better than I know myself and can give me an objective approach to my schedule and workouts. I tried planning my own schedule a few times and I always burned out, got injured, or both because I did too much, too early. If you do not want to pay for a coach, do some research and find a good training plan. TrainingPeaks has lots of great plans for sale that you can easily load into your free or premium account.
- Target your weaknesses: Once you have one and two set up, its time to do some soul searching and figure out what you need to focus on. Is it endurance? Your swim form? Your strength? Knowing these will allow you to fine tune your early season workouts (i.e. right now!) so when heavier training comes your body will be ready.
Once it looks good on paper, go out and do it!
Train hard and race harder
Coach Chris and Kev