Tag Archives: race calendar

My 2016 Triathlon Life: Updates and Race Schedule

All right, folks. The time has come to talk watts 2016 triathlon. The 2015 campaign seems like a distant memory, and thanks to Coach Pat, we made some solid run progress during the off-season with a focused block. And after an epic Sloth Week that coincided with Thanksgiving, I felt rested, recharged, and ready to enter my fourth official swim-bike-run season.

2016-ootd-watts

Always, always, always about watts

In my most recent triathlon-focused post, I reviewed off-season progress and identified a few factors worth noting about 2016, specifically the addition of a triathlon coach to oversee and plan my schedule. If you’ve been following along for a while, then you know I’ve become a regular at Tailwind Endurance. Almost immediately, I knew Earl would be the person to lead me through my first 70.3. (False alarm: I am not making the jump just yet.) That is absolutely still true, but I couldn’t wait another three or four years to enlist a knowledgeable coach.

Although last year’s “piecemeal” plan worked, my biggest challenge centered on balancing the three disciplines. It turns out, all those times Earl jokingly asked, “Carrie, did you do speedwork yesterday?” before a threshold ride or a brick workout, he was actually making an excellent point: key workouts were being logged, but their scheduling was not ideal. Overall, I was not giving my body adequate recovery time. Since I’m a relatively young athlete, I was able to get away with it, but it isn’t a sustainable training model, especially because I plan to keep doing triathlons as long as I can.

Another factor to consider includes my training load. First, I didn’t undergo an official base building period. As a short-course triathlete, I didn’t see spending significant time in zone two worthwhile. After all, I race in the red—so I should train there, right? But in order to truly tap into top-end speed, you need to have a solid base, and that’s something I lacked across the disciplines. Today, even though I give Earl some grief about all the zone two time, I know it’s what I need to be doing—and I trust the process.

Second, my volume across the disciplines was fairly consistent and proportional last year. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in order to make notable gains—and give my body some extra built-in recovery time—we will be implementing various swim-, bike-, and run-focused blocks during the season. This is really exciting because off-season run blocks have worked very well, so it makes sense to transfer this principle to my in-season programming.

Overall, Earl will be in charge of my triathlon life, and we’ll continue to outsource workouts (i.e. I will still swim with the Bearcat masters and run under the direction of Coach Pat). The major benefit is now I have someone responsible for planning my schedule (i.e. “Carrie, you need to ride Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, and the weekday rides will be threshold-focused …”), keeping track of the data on Training Peaks (I’m a “real” triathlete now!), and ultimately guiding me through this journey for the foreseeable future.

Earl and I have talked short- and long-term goals, and although there is something alluring about the 70.3 distance, we will continue focusing on short-course races for the next few years. Thus far, the 2016 season includes two tune-up races and a LAKE PLACID training trip before I take on USA Triathlon Age Group Nationals in Omaha, which will be my “A” race.

Seneca7

Date: Sunday, April 24

Distance: 77.7 miles (split among a team of seven)

Priority: “C”

trajectory-2012-seneca7

Throwing it back to 2012: Some things never change.

Back before my corner of the blogosphere came into existence, I ran this race my senior year of college, and I also served on the race committee. This unique perspective—both planning and running the race—not only affected my career path, but it also led to one of the best days ever. Seriously, when “The Run-On Sentences” (hey, I ran with a bunch of folks from my Writing and Rhetoric department) took on those 77.7 miles, we had so much fun, and I’ve wanted to do this race again ever since. However, it usually coincides with the South Beach Triathlon, but I decided to opt out of the Miami trip this year and do the Seneca7 instead. I rounded up a bunch of my NYC runner friends, so watch out, Geneva!

Rev3 Quassy

Date: Saturday, June 4

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “B”

This is why I need a coach: because even though I’ve refused to register for this race, he told me I need to do it. And I’m a good athlete, so I’m following orders. Full disclosure: I have never completed a Rev3 event, but this course will be very similar to the disastrous Pat Griskus Triathlon during which I drank all the lake water. Rev3 puts on top-notch events, and this will be a tough and humbling outing thanks to hilly bike and run routes—and the competition will be fierce too. This will be my first official check-in, so we’ll use this race to make sure everything is on track.

Lake Placid Training Camp

Date: 4th of July weekend

lake-placid-mirror-lake-sunset

Always chasing that paradise

Placid paradise, here I come! Last year, the WorkLiveTri training camp served twofold: not only did I get some quality headspace while swimming, cycling, and running in the Adirondacks, but I also found my triathlon mojo after sustaining a bike crash. This year, this group will most likely link up with Tailwind Endurance so there will be at least 15 of us there.

HITS – Kingston

Date: Sunday, July 10

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “B”

hits-kingston-run2

Strong visor game. The run split? Not so much.

This weekend proved to be a pleasant surprise of 2015, and again, this race will serve as my final tune-up before Nationals. The bike-run combo especially will be a great opportunity to execute my Nationals race plan and ensure we’re working with accurate wattages, paces, and data.

USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships

Date: Saturday, Aug. 13

Distance: Olympic

Priority: “A”

USAC3123-20x30

Sometimes I run.

Like the past three years, Nationals will be the “A” race in 2016. Although I never managed to crack the Milwaukee course, I’m excited to head somewhere new (has anyone been to Omaha?) and face a new venue. As always, this will be a humbling outing, and the goal will be to execute the most perfect race possible. Concrete goals TBD.

It’s highly possible I jump in a few running race during the next few months—and maybe a training weekend trip here or there—but these tris are part of the target plan.

Which 2016 event are you looking forward to the most?

2013 Race Calendar Updates

Happy Hump Day, friends!  It’s an absolutely gorgeous day in New York City today—plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures.  Dare I say spring has finally arrived?  But this favorable weather doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy warm beverages, right?

city-bakery-hot-chocolate

Say hello to the city’s best hot chocolate.  I met Jen at The City Bakery this morning for a super-secret brainstorming meeting.  We have an exciting announcement to share tomorrow!

And in unrelated news, I officially added two more races to my calendar:  the Stamford KIC It Triathlon on June 30, another Olympic-distance event.

stamford-kic-it-triathlon-registration

And the USAT Age Group National Championships in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

usat-age-group-national-championships-registration

Yikes!  Honestly, it still feels somewhat surreal, but signing up confirmed the facts:  It’s real, it’s happening, and I’m determined to show up on race day prepared to the best of my abilities.  I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, which was further confirmed when our official Race of Truth times were released.  Five groups were formed based on the results of the six-mile time trial in Central Park (group one being the fastest riders, group two the next fastest, etc.), and yours truly will be riding in group four.  You have to start somewhere, right?

When it’s warm outside, do you stick with cold beverages?  Or will you still order warm drinks?

My 2013 Race Calendar

Good morning, friends!  How’s your Monday shaping up?  Since getting a job at JackRabbit, I’ve finally written down my races in my planner and developed a clear idea of which weekends will be devoted to traveling and competing.

june-2013-races

I signed up for a lot of these triathlons a while back, but I haven’t taken the credit-card plunge for others yet.  So even though my calendar isn’t 100 percent solidified (in terms of monetary investment—ha!), I do have a clear idea of how many races will constitute the 2013 season.

According to this schedule, I have four definite races for the 2013 campaign:  two sprint and two Olympic.  It’s highly likely, though, that I end up doing five or six tris.  There are also two non-triathlons on the docket, and if a bunch of my teammates decide to do shorter road races (like 5- or 10-Ks), then it’s possible I may sign up too.  But as of right now, I have zero “straight up” road races that are goal races.

Speaking of goal races, I want to say that although doing four (or potentially five or six) short-course events may seem like a lot to some and not enough to others, I’m not sure what my triathlon “sweet spot” is yet.  I’m still so new to this swim-bike-run world, and I don’t know how many tris I can race, train through, or just do for fun while I avoid injury, fatigue, and burnout.  And as you’ll see below, I do not plan to “race” each one.  Don’t get me wrong; I love training and racing, but it’s important to prioritize every event, so each has a letter grade:  “A,” “B”, or “C.”  These ratings are pretty self-explanatory:  an “A” race means I will truly be racing it with the goal of meeting specific times, splits, and speeds; a “B” race means I will use the event as a dress rehearsal for its corresponding “A” race; and a “C” race means I will focus on having fun and enjoying the experience, aka no concrete time goals in mind.

Nautica South Beach

Date:  April 7

Distance:  Classic (0.5-mile ocean swim, 19-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

nautica-south-beach-triathlon-medals

Wait, did this really happen one week ago?!  This Miami-based event proved to be a great “C” race.  I had so much fun putting my training together and kicking off the race season.  Plus, I learned what specifically I need to work on during the upcoming months.

MuckFest MS Boston

Date:  April 27

Distance:  5 miles (of obstacles)

Priority:  N/A

muckfest-ms-mud-run

[source]

T-minus two weeks until I get super muddy for a great cause!  My fundraising efforts went better than expected, and there’s still time to donate.  Anyway, this will be my first mud run, and I can’t wait to experience the hype.  My team registered for a non-competitive wave, so this event will be all about having fun.

Escape to the Palisades 5-K

Date:  May 5

Distance:  5-K

Priority:  “C” race

escape-to-the-palisades

Oh, teammate peer pressure; gotta love it.  It will be interesting to see how this bike-run-bike-eat-drink brick pans out.  The race itself could easily become a “B” event since teammates from my pace group have registered, so we may end up using it as a short tempo run.  We’ll see.

Mighty Montauk

Date:  June 8

Distance:  Olympic (1-mile lake swim, 22-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

mighty-montauk-triathlon

Registration opened earlier this month, and I took the plunge and signed up for my first Olympic-distance event—ekkk!  Even though I will technically train through this event (especially in terms of nutrition), I do want to push it and determine ballpark times and splits for this distance.  Essentially, I’ll use this race as a dress rehearsal for the New York City Aquaphor in July.

Stamford KIC It Triathlon

Date:  June 30

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim in Long Island Sound, 40-K/24.8-mile bike, 10-K/6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “B” race

stamford-kic-it-triathlon

So I haven’t made up my mind about this one yet.  Clearly, it’s on my radar, but I haven’t signed up.  Full Throttle Endurance usually has a strong presence at this race because it’s only about an hour outside of New York City, but my main uncertainty lies with its timing:  it’s two weeks before my “A” Olympic-distance race.

Aquaphor New York City Triathlon

Date:  July 14

Distance:  Olympic (0.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

aquaphor-nyc-triathlon

Honestly, I still can’t believe how lucky I was to score a spot in this race!  People don’t seem to love it, though:  the swim in the Hudson grosses out some (but I’m thinking of the faster-than-usual split because of the current!), the bike is tough and leaves lots to be desired (in terms of scenery), and my coach said point blank this will be the hardest 10-K run of the season.  But you can’t beat an event that takes place in your backyard.

Sherman Triathlon

Date:  July 27

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 12.5-mile bike, 4-mile run)

Priority:  “C/B” race

sherman-triathlon

Here’s another race I haven’t made a decision about yet.  Since our head FTE coach organizes this Connecticut-based event, it’s essentially a private, FTE triathlon—ha!  There are two issues regarding timing to consider:  First, it’s one week after the NYC Aquaphor.  Two, it also takes place the weekend of Ironman Lake Placid, and I may make the trip to volunteer with one of my teammates.  At the same time, though, I would really like another tune-up sprint before Cazenovia in August.  Decisions, decisions.

Cazenovia Triathlon

Date:  August 11

Distance:  Sprint (0.5-mile lake swim, 14-mile bike, 5-K/3.1-mile run)

Priority:  “A” race

cazenovia-triathlon

Not to get sappy, but this race will bring my triathlon journey (thus far) full circle:  it was this event I trained for last summer, and it was after crossing the finish line of this event that I became totally hooked on swimming, biking, and running.  I’m so excited to travel home, do this race again (especially the bike course that proved to be my demise), and blow last year’s time out of the water.  As an “A” race, this event will be all about racing, pushing, and seeing how much I’ve improved.

Timberman Sprint Triathlon

Date:  August 17

Distance:  Sprint (0.3-mile lake swim, 15-mile bike, 3-mile run)

Priority:  “C” race

timberman-sprint-triathlon

Yet another event I’m undecided about.  A ton of my teammates have signed up for the Timberman 70.3, and even though they’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to get me to do the half-Iron too, I’m seriously considering the sprint, which takes place the day before.  I don’t know how smart it would be to do another event one week after an “A” race, but I definitely want to make the trip to New Hampshire to cheer on my teammates.

Do you prioritize your events and races?  How many times do you race each year?