Race Course Evaluation

Here’s a great topic for any athlete that is going to a race needs to take a few minutes to evaluate the race course in order to develop a solid race plan. The 10 keys that we use with our athletes are as follows:

1. Location

Where is the race? Where in the country or world is the race in relation to where you live and train? The biggest concern here is traveling across time zones. Going fro East to West is always easier.

2. Time of Year

If you live in a colder climate during the winter months and are racing in the early spring, have you had enough time to train and account for the change in climate?

3. Weather Conditions

What is the climate where you live and what is the climate where you are racing? This can tie back into numbers 1 and 2, but we also need to take humidity or lack thereof into consideration too.

4. Swim Course

How is the swim course setup? Is it an out-and-back or is it a loop? Is it a beach start or in-the-water start? Is it a mass start or a wave start?

5. T1

How far from the water is T1? What facilities are available (Ironman races have full nudity changing tents/rooms)? What are the transition rules?

6. Bike Course

What type of terrain changes are we looking at? What about wind? How many aid stations and what are they stocked with? Are there special needs bags?

7. Special Needs (Bike)

If there are special needs bags, what do we need to put in them? What is our plan on getting items out of the bag?

8. T2

Again… what facilities are available (Ironman races have full nudity changing tents/rooms)? What are the transition rules?

9. Run Course

What type of terrain changes are we looking at? What about the weather conditions later in the day while your running? What type of surface(s) will you be running on? How many aid stations and what are they stocked with? Are there special needs bags?

10. Special Needs Bags (Run)

If there are special needs bags, what do we need to put in them? What is our plan on getting items out of the bag?

I just finished putting together the Ironman Arizona specific slides (Official USA Triathlon Approved CEU course) for our annual Ironman Arizona training camp this weekend. If you are interested in a pdf versioin of the slides, send me an email: ryan@breakthroughmultisport.com and I’ll send them over to you.

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