August is the month when most triathletes are focused on the key races of the season, with a sharpening then tapering phase within the training cycle. If your focused on a year end longer race (half or full Ironman) you may consider adding a sprint triathlon to you calendar as it offers many benefits during these tough weeks building up to your key race.
Sprint triathlons in most cases are easy to find near you home, as there are so many around the county. Also, because of the number and popularity you will be able to get into a race vs. the normal “full” status of many longer well-established races. Also, just consider entering one at the last minute and just sign up and be ready to race. No stress involved, not much planning, just toe the starting line.
Benefits of Sprint Triathlon:
- After weeks of buildup toward your key race and training only, it’s helpful to get back to the competitive environment
- A good time to practice new race strategies that you have been incorporating into your training.
- In 1 hour or so of intensity of the race it will not provide significant recovery because the length is shorter.
- Allow you to focus on the key aspects of positioning in the swim and the goal of negative splitting the run.
- For long distance athletes, the sprint triathlon will push the heart rate
- Creates a “mental cleansing” for many long distance athletes that are a bit burned out from doing the normal long ride and long run every weekend.
- Competition will get you fire back if you have been a bit burned out with training.
- It’s a great time to give back to the sport, by helping out before the race setting up the course, volunteer to help with the post race cleanup.
- Can be useful to add in the middle of a big volume weekend. Plan on going into the race fatigued and then race it hard to simulate the feeling of the longer goal race.
- The sprint triathlon is where it all started for most triathletes and it’s always nice to participate in a grass roots event and personal reflection.
Pull out your schedule and get a sprint triathlon on the calendar. Have fun and of course GO HARD, during your Sprint Triathlon!
By Wayne Kurtz
Wayne Kurtz is founder of RaceTwitch.com and Endurance Racing Report, he has a lifelong passion for racing in various endurance sport races throughout the world. He is also the author of: ‘Beyond the Iron, a training guide for ultra-distance triathlons.’