Racing is back! (Covid 2021)

It's back! While the total calendar might be a little reduced, there are plenty of options to get your game on. If it's been a while since you've attempted an hour long sub-maximal effort, here are a few reminders.

1) It hurts. A lot. If your training has been sporadic or a lot easier than previous competitive seasons, get ready for some suffering. You can start to remedy this by including more intentional tempo and threshold intervals within your workouts. For example: 3 x 5 minutes at 10k race effort (run) or at sprint triathlon race effort (bike). As you become more consistent you can lengthen the interval and/or increase the number of repetitions. Ultimately it would be good to be able to get back to 3 x 8-10 minutes for 10k racing and 3 x 15-20 minutes for olympic distance biking.

2) Don't forget where you came from. The pandemic made it easy for many of us to lighten up the load and hang the bike on the wall. Remind yourself how much fun and satisfaction you gained with triathlon training. Reconnect with your training buddies and get back out there.

3) Get your gear in gear. If it's been a while since you changed out your tires, your brake pads, or had a tune-up, now is the time. It's never fun to have a mechanical or flat due to problems that could have been prevented with maintenance.

4) You've got to start somewhere. Maybe you were just getting into triathlon and endurance races and they all went away. Find a local event or two, get back into a training routine, and make the magic happen.

5) Don't dwell on things you can't control. Sure, we lost a year of racing and we're all a year older (and for many of us, a year slower). Be the best 2021 you that you can be.

6) Fun. Fitness. Competition. Somewhere in the Venn diagram of those words you'll find the right mix of motivation and inspiration.

See you at the races!

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon coach who lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Marty has been coaching endurance athletes since 2002. You can read more about OSB coaching services at