Around our latitudes the tri season is very shortlived. It begins end of April and before you´ve fully settled into your rhythm and feel like you´re on top of your game September rolls around and it is all over again. And as soon as you´re crossing the finish line at your last big event you hear the nagging voice in your head asking „what´s next?“.
So here we are. Hopefully with a big season behind us and an even bigger one ahead. Just like most AG athletes I do not have much spare time to dick around, but have to fit family, work, workouts and at least the shadow of a social live into a week of 168 hours. To make the most of our precious time, to avoid injury and burning out and to maximize performance come race day we need to plan our season weeeeeeeeellll ahead. To make our next season our best yet, it makes sense to sit down for a second and think about our goals. What is the one thing you really want to achieve? What else would be nice to complete or improve? And is there anything you can grab along the way for little extra effort? I call these my Want-, Like- and Free-Pizza-Goals. Want goals are dictating when your training starts, they accept no excuses and determine your seasons overall structure. If you´re a long distance athlete, this might be one race. If you´re an olympic distance racer or compete in a local sprint series, it might be your overall performance in the series. Whatever it is, this is the most important thing to figure out – What do you want to do with your life, time and talents?
In my case the Want is improving my 70.3 performance. I say performance and not finish time, because I won´t be able to do the same race as last year and hence comparing times is pointless. Still, I want to beat my old time, but the focus is on delivering a better race. I have signed up for IM 70.3 St. Pölten in Austria end of May 18. It is a early enough to leave room for one or two more big races later, but is still late enough to allow for some big outdoor rides and a few open water swims during training. The goal is to improve my swim (current PR 33:31), bike (2:33) and run (1:45). The bike will be a tall order on that hilly course, but more on that later. If I fail in St Pölten or get injured or sick I´ll have plenty of other options later in the yea for a second shot.
My Like will be to complete a full ironman distance. It is on my bucket list and by a lucky coincident two friends have signed up for IM Hamburg. How can I say no? IMHH is taking place on the last weekend in July, so from there the season isn´t over yet. To avoid tri induced burnout I am hesitant to schedule another 70.3 later in the year. If I feel like it I might do 70.3 Ruegen, but I´ll see to do some bike races as well just to keep the fun in it. There will the our annual local 100k road race in August which I really want to do – assuming I have recovered from IMHH by then. I really want to do one or two MTB races, enduro or marathon, but the dates aren´t out yet, so we will save that for later. Generally, I look to do the MTB in September and then finish the season off with one or two running races in Oktober. Maybe I´ll go for another marathon, maybe just a fast half. This will really depend on what my friends will be doing.