Time to sort out my racing 🏃🏼♂️
Yesterday I wittered on about my training schedule for the year, so today I am going to get down my racing schedule, priorities, and goals.
I’ll use the same schedule table from yesterday’s article. It took me ages.
2021 racing schedule
|Boston marathon||Training starts||Training||Training||Racing (A)||Recovery|
|Terrex 50km trail||Reccy||Residual training||Residual training||Racing (C)||Recovery||Recovery|
|Ironman UK||Training starts||Training||Training||Training||Tapering||Racing (A)||Recovery||Recovery|
|Ironman Ireland||Training||Training||Training||Tapering||Tapering||Racing (B)||Recovery||Recovery|
|Ring O’ Fire 135 mile||Reccy||Residual training||Reccy||Residual training||Racing (C)||Recovery|
|London marathon||Residual training||Racing (B)|
In order not to burn out, athletes need to arrange their events in order of importance and organise them around the goals they’re aiming for within each race.
It’s generally advised to have 1-2 "A" races, a few "B" races, and multiple "C" races sprinkled throughout your year.
An "A" race is your most important event, with a clearly defined goal. It’s what you put the most effort into during training and sacrifice other, smaller, less important races for. The "A" race isn’t necessarily the longest or biggest race - it could be a sprint triathlon if that’s what’s most important to you and you want to do best at.
A "B" race is an event similar to your "A", used to test your physical and mental fitness and readiness for the main event. You’re not as bothered about the result here, but it’ll be a good benchmark of how you could do in race conditions for the big ones.
A "C" race is an event that you could do at any time - often within the structure of your training. For example, a 10km or half marathon race event, on a day that requires around that amount of mileage according to your plan anyway.
These are also used to test yourself, mentally and physically, and could be used to practice with new kit/configurations or nutrition techniques.🏃🏼♂️
Expanding on my race list:
Boston (UK) marathon
- When: April 18th
- Priority: A
This is an "A" race for me because I’m determined to crack the sub-3-hour marathon this year. Boston’s is the flattest course in the UK, so what better place to attempt this?
I want to somewhat poetically use this Boston UK race result to qualify for an elusive Boston (US) marathon entry.
My first race of the year, it also means I should be fresh and at my peak after the 12-week training plan and have ironed out any niggles.
- When: October 3rd
- Priority: B
This is a "B" race for me because although a prestigious race, and one of the coveted World Marathon Majors (it’ll be my 3rd), if I achieve my goal at Boston, I won’t be too fussed about my time and performance in London. I know I can get up and run a marathon at any point and should be able to run this one with the level of residual fitness I’ve kept throughout the year.
I just want to enjoy this experience and the legendary atmosphere in the big smoke on the day.
When: July 4th
This is my ultimate target for the year. It’s an "A" race for me because I’ll be putting my all into training for it and on the day too. I want to crack 10 hours - extremely ambitious for a rookie but I think I can do it with the right dedication in the coming months.
Although I’m determined and dedicated, I know that things don’t always go as planned, so am happy to demote this to a "B" race and aim for a 12-hour finish if something goes drastically wrong during training.
- When: August 15th
- Priority: B
This is a "B" race for me because similar to the Boston/London marathons, if I achieve my goal at Ironman UK, I can relax somewhat and enjoy this race. I’ll switch the targets around if needed - if at Ironman UK I don’t achieve my goal, I’ll rest up and give Ironman Ireland my all, switching it from a "B" to an "A".1An Ironman triathlon consists of a 2.4 mile (3.9km) swim, 112 mile (180km) bike, and 26.2 mile (full marathon - 42.2km) run.🚴🏻
I’ve learned something
Wait…what about those "C" races?!
It seems I had slightly the wrong idea about "C" races. I’d deemed the non-competitive, just-for-fun events as "C" whereas I should perhaps not even classify them. Instead, I’ll book smaller events for "C" races so I can practice in the run-up to a "B" or "A".
I already have plans to book a few 10km running races, sprint2 and standard3 distance triathlons in the spring as "C" races, so once they're confirmed I’ll rework my schedule and sprinkle them throughout.2A sprint triathlon consists of 750m (0.47 mile) swim, 20km (12 mile) bike, and a 5km (3.1 mile) run.3A standard distance triathlon consists of a 1.5km (0.93 mile) swim, 40km (25 mile) and 10km (6.2mi) run.😅
Well, this has been a useful exercise. I suppose I’d best go for a run.