Is race season really here? While you can race triathlon year-round these days if you’re willing to travel, we are very close to the Season kicking off.
I think it is critical that we all understand the value, approach and lessons to be gained from the initial races of the season. For athletes that race throughout the spring and summer and even autumn months, building out a season of races, you should be aware that you cannot expect or hope to hold your top performance through an entire season.
I urge all athletes to maintain a wide-angle view on your personal seasonal progression. The vast majority of athletes have key races in May to July and/or August to November time. This means that early season races need to play an important part in your journey progression and be viewed as stepping-stones.
For most athletes, March is not the time to be firing on all cylinders, so ensure you view your early races in the correct lens. Their primary roles include:
* Refine pacing strategies and allow lessons to arrive from them.
* Test fuelling approaches.
* Use as a fitness booster and mental skills development (the perfect simulator of a KEY race).
* A benchmark of current fitness and performance – note that this is different than a judgment of training success!
Your success is determined throughout an entire season, not through early season races. However, you DO want to make these early races as specific and valuable as possible. You should also aim to integrate positive habits that will feed into the key races upcoming.
Here are some SISU Racing race approach tips:
* Race day protocols: Follow your key race day protocols with respect to pre-training, pre-race dinner and breakfast, fueling and hydration approach.
* Nail pacing: While it might all be a little slower, set yourself up for success with conservative pacing that mirrors the pacing strategy you would implement for a key-race.
* Racing Mindset: You still want to retain a mindset of racing and high effort. Just because it isn't a goal race, doesn't mean effort should drop.
* Arrive prepared: Course knowledge, equipment readiness, emotional readiness. It is STILL a race.
You can race with a smile and without pressure.
You have nothing to lose at this time of the season!
Best wishes for your races!