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Race season planning - tri in 30 days

Posted Aug 30 2013 8:10pm
Caitlin C. from Women's Health Magazine is continuing her journey of training for her first triathlon in 30 days. She is getting ready for the Iron Girl  Sandy Hook  sprint triathlon on Sept 8th and I have really enjoyed helping Caitlin prepare for this upcoming adventure. 

In case you missed her previous posts, here are the links





Since I LOVE helping athletes and fitness enthusiasts prepare for starting lines, I can't stress enough that training for any type of event (just like in life) takes time, commitment and an understanding that there will be many ups and downs and obstacles to overcome. The most important thing in any training journey is that you are enjoying seeing yourself make progress (in other words - you are making progress with your health, fitness and nutrition and not just checking off the miles). Caitlin C from Women's Health comes from a running background and accepted this triathlon challenge in 30 days because it was something that she wanted to commit herself to. I'm so excited to hear about her race day experience on Sept 8th. Keep up the great work Caitlin C!!

And speaking of Caitlin...

Trimarni Coaching athlete (pre-built plan) Caitlin Boyle from  Healthy Tipping Point  has been training for her first 70.3 triathlon which will be in Miami at the end of the October. I am so excited to watch her race as Campy and I will be there to cheer on Karel as he also races the half ironman in Miami.

Reading about Caitlin's journey has been wonderful as she shares the highs and lows of life as a mom, business owner and fitness enthusiasts as she dreams big and works hard for her 70.3 medal. 

Training for a race is not easy and it isn't for everyone. There is a right time and a place for the right race and it is important that you do not rush the journey. Here are my top tips for planning your upcoming A race
1) Time of the year - make sure your race falls at a time when you are not under a lot of stress in life (or you can minimize stress). 
2) Consider the race course -  Does the course excite you?
3) Prep - do you have enough time to properly prepare your mind and body, practice/perfect nutrition, get stronger, raise thresholds and accommodate for missed workouts due to life? 
4) Logistics - consider traveling, lodging, eating, race venue, spectating (family/friends), price, etc. Don't just sign up for a race because it is open for registration. Always do your research first. 
5) Set realistic short and long term goals - hopefully your next A race is not your last. There's nothing wrong with dreaming big but keep in mind that you are making investments for a future of racing (hopefully) and that every race builds off one another. Absolutely you can have a stellar "first race" experience but if you have the right coach/training plan, you can expect to get stronger and faster overtime so don't limit yourself for the future but do not put too much pressure on yourself at the beginning. 
6) Work hard, recover harder - not every body is designed for racing/training, especially swim-bike-run (or solo sports). Although hard work is required to arrive to the starting line with a nutrition and pacing plan that allows you to put all your training (8-12 weeks) to the test, be mindful that in order to race you have to actually get to the starting line. Discovering the "right" balance of training is very hard for athletes, especially if you are overly focused on miles or doubt yourself in training. Trust yourself that you can receive the most performance gains with the least amount of stress so long as you don't over-train yourself (especially in the first 3-4 weeks of training). 
7) Have a team - it takes a village to raise an athlete. Massage therapist, dietitian, coach, family/friends (Sherpa), PT, chiropractor, bike shop mechanic, running gait expert, exercise physiologist, etc. There are many people that you can involve in your training to help ensure that you will have a fun, enjoyable experience as you prepare your body and mind for your upcoming race. Do not feel you have to do it all alone as there are others who have knowledge to help people like you reach your goals. 
8) Don't take short cuts - nothing worth having comes easy or quick. Training for an event requires money for equipment/gear as well as time, patience and a good attitude. Enjoy the journey and remember that even if you aren't where you want to be on race day, you are probably somewhere that you weren't when you started. Never give up until you get what you want in life. 

Since I am all about season planning (since I typically do not race a lot but instead, make my races count), here are my big races for 2014-2015 (Karel will be racing a bit more than me) St. Croix 70.3 - May 4th (me and Karel) - I've wanted to do this race for several years. Time to make the dream come true.
Ironman Austria - June 29th (me and Karel)
(IM Austria is a trip to visit Karel's family and the Europeans that live over seas are too fast for either of us to qualify for Kona so we will enjoy our first international race). 

2015 - Either IM Canada OR IMCDA to try to qualify for Kona 2015.

Karel plans to do another IM in late summer 2014 to try to qualify for Kona 2015 so that we can both live out our dream of racing on the big island together. It will take a lot of work, patience and time but if life is going to pass on by anyways, we may as well enjoy every day of it with our triathlon lifestyle. Triathlons are not our life, but our lifestyle and we love to race to travel, travel to race. 

Whatever race you decide to do this year or next, be sure to consider what will make for a great race experience, not only for you but also your friends and family that support you. You never want to let a goal or a lifestyle negatively affect the rest of your life. You are not forced to be a triathlete, cyclist or runner but instead, life is about living a healthy and active lifestyle with your one and only body. 

Have a great, safe, fun weekend! 
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