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Adding variety to your race schedule

Before getting into triathlons, many of us came from other sports, such as hockey, soccer and baseball. Some of us then found running, cycling or swimming, and then came upon triathlons. Although many of us may now see ourselves first as triathletes, that doesn’t mean you should just do triathlon races. Dedicating portions of your year to training for a non-triathlon event can benefit you mentally and physically.

Age group athletes at the start of the 2017 Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

Related: Triathletes winning spring road races

The winter is a great time to dedicate time to your swim. Entering a Masters swim meet or doing an indoor triathlon can give your winter training some added motivation.

Early in the year (spring), a quick 5K or an early season half-marathon can give your training focus between March and May. And because these events come well in advance of the triathlon season, you can invest quality training time into the run. Road races also help you get into the racing mindset.

Related: Break out of winter with a 5K road races

As the month June approaches, triathlons begin to ramp up across Canada, but that doesn’t mean you have to contain yourself to just the standard triathlon. Multisport events across Canada offer a variety of events, including duathlons, aquathlons, aquabikes, relays and cross triathlons. These other events can add variety to your season and help you focus on different aspects of a triathlon.

2017 World Multisport Championships in Penticton, BC.

Related: Triathlete to duathlete: Why you should do a duathlon

Emphasizing one specific discipline for a shorter period of time and having a race to focus that training on can help you realize your potential. Furthermore, by deemphasizing those two other disciplines, you can give those sport-specific muscles – and your mind – a welcome break.

Related: So close, but so far

This story was inspired by Kevin Heinz’s “Achieving Training and Racing Balance” in the March/April 2019 issue of Triathlon Magazine Canada