Ask anyone who races triathlon, and they’ll agree – Consistant year-round endurance sport training is only possible if you are severely obsessive-compulsive, or you’ve picked (AND REGISTERED) for a few big events in the upcoming race season. It is just too easy to get distracted without some form of internal or external accountability.
I’m a victim of the first form of accountability. I can wake up at 5 am any day of the year, lace up my racing flats, rain or shine, and head out to do whatever Coach put on the schedule. I wasn’t always wired this way though. In fact, the only thing that got me onto the starting line of my first triathlon was one small bet that I wouldn’t do it, and one big race registration fee. Call me a thrifty Yankee. I just hate to see good money go to waste.
Come every March, amongst all the multisport nutters I know, there is no shortage of persistant questions – “What are you racing this year?” “Did you know that Nautica NYC Tri sold out in 8 seconds last year??” “Hey, are you finally going to do an Ironman this year???”
Like I said, I don’t like to plan ahead. In fact, an impromptu taper to an unplanned race is my favorite way of getting out of a build block that I just can’t stomach anymore. But, loving wives and distant family members want to know – “WHAT ARE YOU RACING THIS YEAR??”
|Kona Swim Start|
The World Triathlon Corporation has done a number on us by making highly desirable races hard to get into, and very expensive. And, somehow, people are still staying up till midnight on November 17th every year to sign up for next year’s iteration of Nautica NYC… Or, paying hundreds of non-refundable dollars to get on a waiting list for Lake Placid, or Kona…
Here’s a little bit of advice from someone whose done that, and more, to ensure an ultra low race number and great bike spot in transition – Point blank, you can have a lot of fun racing if it’s something you really like to do. It doesn’t matter how big a venue, or how long a race. So this year, pick a few races that will challenge you. Get on the localvore movement and do something close to home. Or, get out there and do your 300 bike miles a week so you can compete for that spot at Kona. But whatever you do, don’t play into their game of raceday chicken. Race what you enjoy racing, and year after year you’ll keep coming back for more.
-Gered Dunne, USAT Professional Triathlete and UVAC Member since 2009