2014 Prep & Planning

I started a list of my races and my goals for each race yesterday, but decided to also tell how to I pick my races.   While the pros focus on A races and tune-ups, goal simulation races and points races, everyday athletes have a lot more options and more creative ways to go about planning our seasons. 

I pick one big race. Once again, I've chosen Beach2Battleship full iron distance as my big race. It's going to drive my entire season. All my training is going to progress and build to that one big race. But, that race is so far away! So, I fill my calendar with other races or events.

Pick a race you've done before - and do it better. Improve one aspect or the whole thing,  including overall time, the run pace, the transitions. Improve your nutrition or even the training leading up to that race. In addition to B2B, I am doing Patriot's Half Ironman in September again. I did it last year and loved the course and the event as a whole, but I didn't love my run. I want to see what I can do this year to achieve a personal best. 

Choose a race you've done before and do it differently. This year, my biggest event for the spring is North Carolina Tour de Cure. The Tour de Cure is a cycling event that raises awareness and money for people with diabetes. Last year I did the 82-mile ride from Cary to Pinehurst. This year, I'm upping the ante for a double century: 208 miles in two days!   

Pick an event that means something. The Tour de Cure falls into that category - as does the Azalea sprint triathlon. Our tri club is doing this event for a team member who passed away last summer. There are so many ways to race for someone or something that stimulates your philanthropic spirit. Team in Training and the Pink Ribbon foundations are the biggies, but you may find a smaller event that raises money for a cause you care about.

Choose a fun race. Choose something that is just for fun. Even the most competitive swimmers, cyclists and runners need events that are a relief from the pressure of performance or a personal best. Find a color run or an obstacle course or a team event that will allow you to go out and play. My play race is the Myrtle Beach marathon relay in February. My husband and two best friends are splitting up 26.2 miles to keep our training on target and to get a medal shaped like flip flops! 

Choose a new race. Look for new races or opportunities to test yourself. It's easy to get stuck doing the same races. This is your year to branch out and find a new distance or a race in a different place. I've chosen a brand-new international distance race in New Bern, NC. It's its first year and right now, there are less than 60 people signed up for it.