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HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FIRST MIDDLE OR LONG DISTANCE RACE

Stepping up your race distance is an exciting prospect. There are lots to consider in terms of your training and nutrition, but what about actually selecting your race? It’s likely that whatever race you do, it’ll be an experience to remember, but how can we make sure that we get the most out of going long?

Cost:

Triathlon can be an expensive sport and it only gets more so with increased race entry fees for longer races. While Ironman have a massive hold over middle and long distance races, and for good reason as racing with them is an experience in itself, there are some amazing races you can choose that aren’t part of the M-Dot brand. For example, in the UK you have the Vitruvian, Outlaw and the Castle series offering some great middle and long distance races.

Climate:

Cost may also play a part when it comes to race location. However, there is certainly a big lure to racing abroad – warmer water, different scenery, better weather, and epic climbs. It also opens up your race choices to some iconic races such as Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, or Ironman Nice. The flipside though is that it can make it harder for friends and family to come and watch your cross that finish line.

Logistics:

For the majority of us balancing our triathlon with work and or family life. It’s important that we manage time effectively. This may also overlap into what races we’re able to do by the travel time required either side of the race if it means taking time away from work. In addition to this, transporting your bike can be stressful and expensive.

Course type:

This is where you can play to your strengths. While triathletes are often guilty of searching for the flattest, fastest course in search of a fast time, it can be more rewarding to look for more of a challenging course or one that plays to your strengths. For example, if you’re a good swimmer, a sea swim might put you in a better position. Smaller, lighter athletes may fair better on hillier courses compared to their heavier, powerhouse counterparts. One thing that’s also worth considering with longer races is the cut off times for each discipline. Training for months for your first middle or long distance race, only to not finish because you just missed the cut off is devastating. So if there’s a risk of this happening then you may be better off avoiding races with too challenging a course, for example, Ironman Wales.

For any triathlon enquiries, feel free to contact Phil on triathlon@athletelablondon.com