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Coffee & Coaching Episode 17: How to plan your race calendar

Episode 17

Title: How to plan your race calendar 

Episode Length: 19 min (Can watch the episode or read the blog below)

About the Episode: 

In this episode we're going to chat about planning your race calendar. It can be hard to work out how often and when you should race in order to perform at your best when you need to. Spending sometime before the race season commences to plan things out is a really important step in having a successful season! 

Watch the Replay 

Or if you don't have time to watch the replay, you can read our summary of what's covered below! 

Difference Between A,B & C Races

  • Your "A" events are those that you'll direct your training efforts towards.
  • These are your main goals for the season and your training should gradually progress towards these races or events so that by the time they arrive you are in peak condition.
  • Put these in your calendar first 
  • We recommend having 1-2 A races in the year
  • "B" races are training events that you'd like to do well at, but aren't your main goal races.
  • B races are excellent warm-ups for A events.
  • They're an opportunity to test and hone your race skills without the pressure of an A event.
  • B events don't have to be the same format as an A event - e.g. they can be a different distance of triathlon, but should help contribute to your A race performance.
  • An example of a B event is completing an Olympic Distance race in the build up to your first Half Ironman or a sprint distance before your first OLY.
  • You don’t have a significant taper for these events, and you would want max 2-4 in a season. Aim to not have them within the last 4 weeks before your A race. 


  • "C" events are fun events you enjoy doing, but aren't goal related.
  • The purpose behind completing C races/events is to keep up your enthusiasm
  • They’re particularly useful during your base phase of training or even in the off season to help keep you motivated, having fun and on track
  • C events can be completely different from your A events. E.g. instead of a triathlon, a C event may be doing a 100km charity ride

How long to train for each distance & why

  • The longer the distance of race, the longer you need to train for it.
  • You need more time to train your body to do more - to swim/bike/run for longer distances & timeframes. It also takes time to build that endurance fitness that you need for the long events - you can’t rush the process.
  • When training for a sprint distance triathlon, we recommend allowing at least 8 weeks to train for your event
  • When training for an Olympic Distance triathlon we recommend allowing at least 12 weeks to train for the event.
  • When training for a Half Ironman we recommend allowing at least 16 weeks to train for the event.
  • When training for an Ironman we recommend at least a couple of years in the sport before tackling one of these. In terms of a program, you would be looking at at least 20-24 weeks. 

Planning Time

  • Start first by identifying your A race(s) and how long you need to adequately prepare for this event.
  • Then have a think about your B races - the milestone events that would be beneficial for you to complete in the lead up to that event. These should contribute to your progress towards your A-Race.
  • Once you’ve got those B races in place you can sit back and have a look at the C races you would like to include for a bit of fun.
  • Work backwards from your A race! And slot things in with that big A goal in mind.

The quote ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is quite a good reminder of the importance of identifying the difference between A,B and C races. If you don’t plan your season out properly and you enter 100 different events you’re likely to perform ‘average’ in all of them and never really peak.


Happy Planning! 

TriChicks have programs available for Sprint, Olympic and Half Ironman distance races for all ability levels. For more into on our programs to to take the quiz to work out which one is right for you, click here.

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