Triathlon races are usually differentiated based on their distances; however, the length of the course isn’t the criterion that professional racers use to determine their race schedule. Instead, pro triathletes focus on the importance that each race has to them and how each race fits into their yearly training schedule. If this works for them, it is something that you should also consider.
Let me explain. Many triathletes that regularly engage in triathlon who want to improve and race well often divide triathlons into different tiers or types of races. One of the foremost authorities on triathlon training, Joe Friel, who wrote the definitive book on triathlon training explains how races can be divided into three different tiers:
Tier A – Top races for you. This is the one race where you really want to bring it and show off all your training
Tier B – An important race where you hope to do well, but it’s not the race you’ll be bragging about on your Twitter profile.
Tier C – Two or three races during the season (if you do five races) will probably be this type. During these races you might try out new techniques and tricks to see what works and what you could incorporate in your A and B races.
So when you plan your triathlon race schedule, you might want to plan out which one is your A race, which are your B races, and which are going to be your C races, because that will help determine how you train for your upcoming triathlon season.
So say for example there’s a race that you’re planning that you really want to do good at for whatever reason. Maybe you’re going to be doing it with a friend or family member, or maybe you really want to beat that one guy who beat you last year. You’ll want to center your training around that race, maximizing your potential to do well during that race.
By assigning values to each of your upcoming races, you can best plan how your training will center around building you up for optimal performance at the most important race of the season, whatever that might be.