Plan the Perfect Triathlon Season
There’s a big difference between just training for a race several months away and deliberately planning out a triathlon season. At their cores, both of these goals involve workouts and racing. But creating a holistic plan for the entire season ahead of time means you’ll be able to be more competitive, dynamic, and likely to land sponsors.
Planning for a race doesn’t need to be an overwhelming undertaking dominated by alarms and reminders. Instead, just use a good old fashioned calendar with detailed information on each training and race date. You’ll find that simply writing down your intentions will help you follow through with them.
Also, it won’t hurt to bookmark some of our recommended resources that you’ll find at the end of this post.
To give you a glimpse into what a professional plan for the training season looks like, we’ll break this up into three parts: Racing, Training, and Nutrition.
Be Goal Oriented
You’ll only achieve a successful season if you set expectations right at the beginning – and work towards them daily.
Race Planning It’s better to start with planning races than it is to plan your training. Here’s why:
When you see each race on your calendar, you’ll feel excited. A calendar full of training sessions unbroken by shorter-term events, on the other hand – that can be pretty intimidating.
Budgeting for the season will be easier if you have an estimated number of races and their respective costs.
Your training should lead up to the big races, allowing for rest periods prior to each race.
Another good strategy for race planning: pick some “easy wins” early on in your calendar. An easy win doesn’t mean you’ll finish first place; it just means a race with less (or lower) competition. Starting off with a few low-competition races will boost your confidence early on and keep you motivated to work toward the big races on your calendar.
It might seem difficult to combine your personal workouts with an unpredictable club schedule, but you can simply choose a few set days each week to participate in whatever the club activity might be. Joining clubs is a great way to network – maybe even to get an “in” to represent or connect with a company that already sponsors the club.
In addition to your racing and training plans, you’ll need to have a solid game plan for your nutrition. Because nutritional needs vary dramatically from one individual to the next, we won’t say here what kind of plan is right for you. But we will say this: a healthy, clean diet is invaluable during training, as is replenishing your nutrients during intense training sessions and races.
You can also look at nutrition planning as an opportunity for sponsorships. Which brand of energy products works the best for you? This might require a bit of experimenting, of course. Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite gels or drink mixes, you can target those companies for requesting sponsorships.
If you’ve been a die-hard customer to a certain brand for years, try sending them proof (receipt copies, for example) of your loyalty and attach a letter requesting a discount for your upcoming season.
Don’t ignore the “all natural” movement going on with health food brands. A small, natural foods brand that’s growing could be very interested in working with you as an advertiser. You might have to work on your sales pitch, but it’s possible to bring a new nutrition company into the triathlon world. You’ll get discounted products, and the brands will get (essentially) free advertising: everybody wins.