2016 Race Plans

2015 wasn’t great for me from a Triathlon point of view. A plantar fasciitis injury in the first race of the season put me out of action for the rest of it. I did manage to compete in the British Champs a month later and qualified for the 2016 European Champs in the process, but after that I didn;t start running again until recently so did no other races. I’m slow, I’m out of practise, I’m unfit and I’m heavier than I should be, so now that I think I can run again its time to get in gear and get ready for 2016.  The dates of the qualifiers for the various European and World champs have been released, which means I’ve been thinking about which races to do next year andhow to plan my season.

In the past it has often taken me quite a while to recover properly from races – I know it sounds stupid for an event that only takes a little over an hour but my resting heart rate has been elevated by around 10 bpm and my HRV subdued for 4 weeks or so after a race… With that in mind, I have 1 of three choices.

  1. Don’t race too often so as to have plenty of recovery afterwards.
  2. Race often but hold back and don’t got flat out.
  3. Man up, race often and try to get used to it so that I train myself to recover quicker!

The dates of the various sprint races next year are:

European Champs in Lisbon which I have already qualified for: May 26th

World Champ Qualifiers are:

  • Eton – 22nd May,
  • Glasgow – 5th June,
  • Llandudno – 19th June

Euro 2017 Qualifiers are:

  • Nottingham – 28th May,
  • Glasgow – 4th June,
  • Peak District – 3rd July

I’m also hoping to do…

  • Fishguard Half Ironman – 23rd July
  • Cozumel World Champs (if I qualify and can afford it) – 11th September

Which kind of means that a mixture of option 2 ‘hold back’ and option 3 ‘man up’ is my only choice!

So…. I’m thinking of maybe doing the following in chronological order:


  • March / April – Maybe one or two fairly local low-key events that I’ll do as training sessions just to get my equipment sorted, practise transitions etc. I’ll have to be disciplined not to go too hard in these, lets call them ‘C’ priority races / training sessions.
  • May 22nd Eton – 1st chance at world qualification and a ‘B’ priority race as I will have to fly out to Lisbon pretty much straight after the race if I’m to get there in time for it.
  • May 26th Lisbon – European Champs so a fair bit of pressure!
  • June 19th Llandudno – 2nd chance at world qualification so an ‘A’ priority race, unless I’ve already qualified at Eton.
  • July 3rd  Peak District – Chance to qualify for 2017 Euros. ‘A’ priority race unless I pre-qualify in Lisbon.
  • July 23rd Fishguard – Half Ironman so a new distance for me – I’ll be aiming to complete rather than compete.
  • September 11th Cozumel – World Champs if I manage to qualify, but I might get distracted by the turtles, whale sharks and bikini clad girls, not to mention the Tequila, hotel buffet etc!

That should mean an initial peak in form for Eton on May 22nd which will hopefully carry over to the race in Lisbon less than a week later.

I’ll then have 2 weeks of low volume, high intensity speed training and a taper week to prepare for Llandudno followed by a recovery week and a taper week before the Peak District. That’s quite a lot to fit into 7-8 weeks, but if all goes to plan it’ll then be recover and start building in some low intensity / high volume work in prep for my first Half Ironman.

Well, that’s the beginning of a plan for race season, no doubt things will change between now and then and I’m not signing up to anything until I’ve been running for a couple of months and can at least do some longer distance runs. But if that works out, it’ll be time to refine the plan, make the all important plan for the next 6 months leading up to it and then EXECUTE!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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