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thesonicson's picture
Joined: May 11 2008
Posts: 147
Multitple "A" races in a season???

So here I am planning (training) for next season, but have a question as to how I should proceed. I am wondering if it is possible to have multiple "A" races in a season, cause in my mind every race is an "A" race. Why pay money if you're not going to give it all you have.
This is what I am looking at for my main races: St. Anthony's in late April (olympic), Nations Tri in mid-September (olympic), Bay-to-Battleship in early November (HIM). While my main focus is St. Anthony's right now, after that race I want to focus on HIM distance, but am wondering if the Nations Tri will hamper training for B-t-B being only 6 weeks apart. As like most us, I go 110% on race day and deal with the repercussions later, but don't know if it will hinder me for a good performance at my last race. My thoughts are that if I am close to being peak at the HIM distance around the time I do Nations, then I should be able to go all out on that race with little set backs due to the shorter distance. Thoughts, suggestions?

jnrice's picture
Joined: Sep 5 2008
Posts: 1243
In a word "YES!" I used to

In a word "YES!" I used to think the same thing until I read the Triathlete Training Bible by Joe Friel (buy it today). A, B, and C races are all done at 100% but the difference is your training around them and how many of them you put in your season. Joe suggests something like 2-3 A races 3-4 B and something like 3-4 C's as a max. He also talks about the taper that you do before a race and how A races. There is some talk about how to put multiple races in a season.

Nobody's picture
Joined: Jan 2 2007
Posts: 397
This should help. In my

This should help. In my first season (last year) I did my first Tri--an olympic on 3/31, then my first XTerra on 4/1. A month later I did my first HIM, then a month after that did the One O One. Five weeks later I did my first Full Ironman, then 5 weeks after that I cranked out another HIM, which I PR'd (still stands as my best time ever by a decent margin).

In an attempt to be faster this year, I did everything "correctly"--meaning no crazy back to back races and plenty of time inbetween events. I consistently have recorded slower times in both Full and half distance IMs than I did when I was reckless.

Judging by how I ended up on a stretcher in more races than not I think you could say I treated every race like an 'A' race. ;)

tsilcyc's picture
Joined: Jul 2 2006
Posts: 859
At the end of this season, I

At the end of this season, I will have done at least 10 races, two of them A races... both IM's. I race all races hard but the difference is I will taper for the A races. On B and C races, I will try to front load my week in order to be as rested as possible but I don't reduce the load for them.

KitKat's picture
Joined: Jan 30 2007
Posts: 737
Yes, with smart training

Yes, with smart training this can be done. The Triathlete's Training Bible is an excellent book. Nice recommendation. I had your same question at the beginning of last season, turn out I PR'd my first HIM of the year then 2 months last PR'd my next HIM, shaved off 30 minutes in a year. I finished my year running my first marathon and qualified for Boston. I Aced 3 races.....all with smart training and tapers.

I think the real question is
"How Bad Do You Want It?"

lala2021's picture
Joined: Sep 17 2008
Posts: 444
Its Beach to Battleship not

Its Beach to Battleship not bay by the way. I want to do that race also it will be my first IM.
I live in SC so i will do alot of the races in the series(the close ones)and SC HIM the end of
sept as a warm up for B to B. As long as i stay injury free!See ya there!

jsk85's picture
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 1226
+1 to the training bible,

+1 to the training bible, and to all of the aforementioned.

A, B, and C races are designated to help set up your training. You show up on race day to go all-out just like every other race, BUT for B and C races you shouldn't be dissapointed if you don't have the performance of a lifetime since you should be going into those races with some fatigue from not tapering.

Also, you can pick multiple A races, but they need to be positioned well throughout the year. You can either have a couple of them real close (w/in 2 weeks of one another) or relatively far apart (6+ weeks). In the first case, you should be able to stay in your "peak" portion of your training for a couple weeks to cover both races. In the second case, you need enough time to back off to a place where you can build to peak again.

Basically, you're body just can't be ready to give its peak performance each and every weekend throughout the year, no matter how hard you try. That's why you set your pre-season performance goals and use them to determine which races you want to be your peaks (thus, your A's).

jonovision_man's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2008
Posts: 837
The other question that

The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono

jsk85's picture
Joined: Jan 17 2008
Posts: 1226
jonovision_man wrote: The

[quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

I think you'd be fine with 8 weeks...this is my 1st year using a Friel training plan and I have my 2 A races exactly 8 weeks apart. Granted, my first A race was an Oly tri and 2nd in a marathon. But I hit my goal of breaking 2:30 in the Oly, and feel very confident about breaking 3:30 next weekend in my marathon. I don't think the fact that one of my A's is a single sport event makes much of a difference...especially since I've still been working in all 3 disciplines. I feel like 8 weeks was plenty of time...1 week of recovery...then back to building for 5.5 weeks before my taper

and FWIW....I haven't put together my official plan for next year, but my 2 A races are 8 weeks apart again and are both 70.3s (Augusta and Steelhead)

KitKat's picture
Joined: Jan 30 2007
Posts: 737
jonovision_man wrote: The

[quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

I did it with one at the end of June and then mid August. Your base will already be built. With smart training you can do it.

TriSooner's picture
Joined: Dec 20 2007
Posts: 3376
jnrice wrote:Joe suggests

[quote=jnrice]Joe suggests something like 2-3 A races 3-4 B and something like 3-4 C's as a max.[/quote] Ah, this is an RD's dream. What a revenue stream. 11 races a year? Train more. Race less. [url=http://trifuel.com/people/tryscott/blog/2008/10/06/16066/things-i-should... had the simple yet brilliant idea of spending less money on races, and more on coaching.

Carlos Mx's picture
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 121
thesonicson wrote:This is

[quote=thesonicson]This is what I am looking at for my main races: St. Anthony's in late April (olympic), Nations Tri in mid-September (olympic), Bay-to-Battleship in early November (HIM). [/quote]

You can have St Anthony's and Bay to Battleship as "A" races. Nations Tri is perfectly positioned as a "B/C" race on your training plan for the HIM (of course, you will still go at 110%, but six weeks is good enough time for resting and then peaking)

You might even find a couple more races (look for something local) to prepare for those two. Consider them as a long training session that let you try your nutrition and race strategy.

+1 on getting Joe Friel's book. Also take a look at his blog:

http://www2.trainingbible.com/joesblog

sasquatch's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 188
jonovision_man wrote: The

[quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

I'll be doing IMC as well and am planning on a double century in early July as a "b" race, and a 23 mi mtn run in mid july. I'm working these into my training plan as both a long ride/run and a nutrition test. Both of these are more for fun though, not really "racing" for a PR. As such, they are part of my training plan for IMC, no taper involved. Personally, I think the main issue with doing other A races is the impact of tapering and recovery to your overall training plan.

I am contemplating a HIM in April or May as a second "A" race to complement the training and motivation, but am not sure if I can foot the expense. No HIM's in Alaska in Apr or May...

Good Luck

jonovision_man's picture
Joined: Jun 16 2008
Posts: 837
sasquatch

[quote=sasquatch][quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

I'll be doing IMC as well and am planning on a double century in early July as a "b" race, and a 23 mi mtn run in mid july. I'm working these into my training plan as both a long ride/run and a nutrition test. Both of these are more for fun though, not really "racing" for a PR. As such, they are part of my training plan for IMC, no taper involved. Personally, I think the main issue with doing other A races is the impact of tapering and recovery to your overall training plan.[/quote]

That's true... when I was laying out the weeks, the taper & recovery squeezed out some good July training time. I'm leaning towards demoting the 1/2 to a "B" just to get more spacing between "A" races. IMC is my big important goal next year, the rest was always gravy. :)

Good luck! Double century - nice. :) I was thinking of 200k, but I'll see what events there are around here in July.

jono

sasquatch's picture
Joined: Sep 10 2008
Posts: 188
jonovision_man

[quote=jonovision_man][quote=sasquatch][quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

I'll be doing IMC as well and am planning on a double century in early July as a "b" race, and a 23 mi mtn run in mid july. I'm working these into my training plan as both a long ride/run and a nutrition test. Both of these are more for fun though, not really "racing" for a PR. As such, they are part of my training plan for IMC, no taper involved. Personally, I think the main issue with doing other A races is the impact of tapering and recovery to your overall training plan.[/quote]

That's true... when I was laying out the weeks, the taper & recovery squeezed out some good July training time. I'm leaning towards demoting the 1/2 to a "B" just to get more spacing between "A" races. IMC is my big important goal next year, the rest was always gravy. :)

Good luck! Double century - nice. :) I was thinking of 200k, but I'll see what events there are around here in July.

jono
[/quote]

If you're using the 36 week plan here on the site, then those weeks in July seem like the key volume weeks. I had the same issue when I was looking at my race schedule.... If I had the option, I would look at a HIM in April or May... My problem is that our race window here in AK is very short. June-August only for races locally. The only HIM is in Mid July...
I may not do the Mtn run either due to the recovery time involved. Based on past experience with Cycling, the recovery time is much shorter because of the lower impact.

You'll have to let me know how the training is going for IMC. I'm nervous about being able to get it all in, and to be able to stay motivated.

KitKat's picture
Joined: Jan 30 2007
Posts: 737
jonovision_man wrote: The

[quote=jonovision_man]
The other question that comes up - how far apart? I was thinking of planning a 1/2 Iron in early July and my full is late August... it's about 8 weeks apart, which is the minimum that Friel suggests. Not sure if I'm being too ambitious, maybe I should find an earlier "A" race, even if it's not a 1/2?

jono[/quote]

Oh yea, forgot to mention. I'm doing IMC as well and doing a HIM the first week of August or the last week of July. It will be crest before hitting taper.

csaf31's picture
Joined: Feb 15 2006
Posts: 164
I did three A races last

I did three A races last year-Philadelphia, NYC, and Nations Tri. The first two were 4 weeks apart and then it was 8 weeks between NYC and Nations. I did two B races between NYC and Nations to keep me motivated. I don't know if anyone else has found this true, but my performance in my A races did not meet my personal time goals. Yet in one of those B races I set a PR and was so much more relaxed throughout the entire experience. Sometimes I think we put so much emphasis on these A races that we stress ourselves out and anything other than a PR is a disappointment.

ht001's picture
Joined: Aug 28 2005
Posts: 204
Like others have said here,

Like others have said here, I've found multiple A races with several B/C races to be quite possible and, in fact kind of rewarding in PRs, in any given season. And like others have said, the difference is not in how hard you go at each race, but rather in the degree to which you taper or don't taper leading into the event. I would reiterate the need to look closely at number of weeks between races and would also emphasize that because you will be going all out at the races you pepper into your calendar between A events you may find that you will need to build in a bit of additional recovery time after those events before ramping back onto your training schedule. Don't underestimate the power of rest in a long race season - the right amount of mental and physical rest is a crucial component of success.

Carlos Mx's picture
Joined: Mar 19 2008
Posts: 121
csaf31 wrote: my performance

[quote=csaf31]
my performance in my A races did not meet my personal time goals. Yet in one of those B races I set a PR and was so much more relaxed throughout the entire experience. Sometimes I think we put so much emphasis on these A races that we stress ourselves out and anything other than a PR is a disappointment. [/quote]

The same thing happened to me. I had two A races and several B/C races in the year. I set a PR in two of my "B" races and didn´t in the third because of two flats, but had my best run ever. Just like you, I didn't meet my time goal in either of my A races. I think I get too anxious, lose my sleep, and possibly overtrain for my A races, despite tapering as recommended, and separating them by 6-8 weeks.

Looking at my plan for next year, I am not sure what to do. What are you considering? I find hard to cheat on myself, but it is still a possibility.

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