Choosing a Race Calendar to Suit You

Many of us are starting to look at the race calendar for next season. With are so many great choices available year round — especially if you are willing to travel — there are a number of ways to approach your season and no way is right or wrong. You just need to know what works for you.

I personally like to go to key races off big builds. I need to feel like I’ve come into good form and am really excited for a special day. Not to tired and really fit.

I know several people who like to compete a lot over many months of the year, backing up race after race. There is a lot of value in choosing B events to practice racing and all that goes with it. I know many big hitter athletes that still like this “old school” approach. This style of racing typically suits people who gain fitness slowly and loose fitness quickly.

Even though I don’t do it myself, I understand how athletes should approach bridging together multiple close races.

This style usually suits people who have a huge base, are very strong, and recover quickly. If you’re thinking that you might want to try this style of racing next season, ask yourself three questions first:

  1. Do you recover quickly from races?
  2. Do you mentally have the mojo to push races close together?
  3. Do you hold onto fitness after huge training blocks?

If the answer is yes to the above, this racing style may suit you. Here is some advice for racing close together:

  • Get moving the day after a race: Easy short sessions; 20 to 30 minutes of activity. Do this for two to three days. The key is nothing over 45 minutes and nothing hard.
  • After 48 hours asses how you feel and add short efforts — 30 seconds up to three minutes.
  • Focus on quickness through turnover and recovering. Keep everything short.
  • Eat! Refuel those glycogen stores. You may be swollen and puffy, but don’t let that scare you out of eating. You need to eat well and enough to recover.
  • Most importantly remember when doing racing blocks you aren’t going to make any gains in fitness. You will need to go into a race block with a large training block behind you, followed by a plan for a recovery period and then another training block post racing. It’s key to know how many weeks of racing you can do off your training block before your performance falls and you need to go back and recover and train again.

Plan smart and choose your season wisely to maximize your year.

PlanningMarilyn Chychota