This past week while many people got started one their New Years resolutions, I finally started drafting my 2014 race schedule. Most notably, 2014 will mark my first attempt at a full Ironman triathlon. I have done several half Ironman triathlons to date and at this point, there is no where else to go but up. Admittedly, I get nervous just thinking about it because it’s a new distance for me and overall the longest endurance event I’ve ever set my stakes on. But even still I am reminded that this is how I used to feel about the half Ironman distance. I also know that with the proper amount of training and planning I will make it happen. It won’t be easy, especially given the fact that I work full time and am in graduate school part time, but I like a challenge and a challenge this will definitely be!

One major key to a good schedule is to incorporate the right amount of prep races, all while making sure you peak at the right time and above all avoid burning out. For me and many others, this means I need to train in cycles where I gradually ramp up mileage and intensity and then follow up these periods with some recovery and down time. This doesn’t mean I get any significant time off but rather, an extra rest or two and periods of less mileage and intensity.

To figure all this out, I work with a coach. In actuality it’s one of MANY reasons I work with a coach but this is something my coach knows how to do better than I do. Why? Because he looks at me holistically, examining my training and race data, crunches some numbers and is able to map out what I need to do and when. Every race I have trained with him he has been spot on and for me, this makes working with him extremely beneficial. This isn’t to say I don’t sometimes look at the schedule he’s mapped out for me or found myself racing in a race he suggested I do as prep work and curse his name, because I absolutely do. But the bigger picture is I always succeed and am glad I listened to him, because he’s ALWAYS been right!

So what does my race schedule look like so far? As of Wednesday of last week, this is my initial draft:

 

Date

Race

Planned or Optional?

3/30/2014

Philly Love Run (Half Marathon)

Planned

04/13/2014

Princeton Half, NJ Half Marathon

Optional

05/04/2014

Broad Street Run (10 miler)

Optional (If I get in via lottery)

06/15/2014

Rev3 Williamsburg Half Ironman

Planned

07/11/2014

MusselMan Half Ironman

Planned

07/20/2014

NJ State Olympic Triathlon

Optional (If I don’t do MussleMan)

08/19/2014

Ironman Mt Tremblant

Planned

 

Of course, all of this will depend on a number of factors such as weather, my ability to travel, my work and school schedules, how my training is progressing, etc. The perk of planning out a race schedule in advance is that doing so makes it more likely that this becomes less of a draft and more of a set plan. Just like with training, the more time you spend putting together a schedule upfront, the more likely you are to meet your goal.

Do you gave a race schedule yet? If so, what does it look like?

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