How Often Should I Race?
One of the great things about doing triathlon events is there are so many different races to choose from, from beginner options such as Tri Pink through to Ironman and Ultra distance adventures. Our sport gives us the chance to challenge ourselves in different ways. Most races are held at some pretty cool locations so you can make a holiday out of it too.
Initially, when you look at the race calendar it can all be a bit confusing. There are so many. Which ones do I do? How much are they? What if I come last? The list goes on. Before we look at any of those questions in detail, remember this is your journey and it can become very easy to start comparing yourself to others. Select races which excite and challenge you and try not to sign up for an event just because everyone else is.
Triathlon Events on a Budget
Racing costs money so if you’re tight on funds then look at options like club events and even Park Run. Some clubs put on great local races for their members. A top example in Queensland is the Noosa Triathlon Club. For years now, they have been hosting races at minimal cost in one the best training and racing locations in the world. The roads aren’t closed but it’s a fantastic option for someone looking for a good hit out without the price tag. Race event companies are businesses that run for profit. Closing roads and providing staff and infrastructure costs money. Hence registration fees which can range from $50 up to $800 for an Ironman event.
The Benefits of Racing Triathlons Regularly
From a performance perspective, regular racing is a great thing. Familiarity breeds confidence and if you’re someone that struggles with nerves at races then becoming more familiar with racing will only help. Racing short events, such as a super sprint (400m swim, 15km bike, 4km run) or a sprint race (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) allows you to theoretically race every few weeks without impacting training.
Longer triathlon events take a lot more out of us physically and mentally. Olympic or standard distance races of 1500m/40km/10km require at least two hours of movement which can take a good week or two to recover from. I would recommend racing this length 2-3 times per year at most. If you can race every few weeks during a season over shorter distances, then you’ll find you will improve. It’s not so much racing that you’ll lose motivation. Plus racing every few weeks gives you regular short-term goals to help you stay in that all important training routine.