Example on how to integrate B & C races in your overall training plan


I am training for Ironman Texas in April, but I also love to Nordic Ski and will do both a Ski Race and run a marathon before my A race (IM Texas). Here’s what I’ve done with my plan.

I could add these two races as C and B races and choose the Triathlon Sprint race as my ski race as it matches well with the anticipated duration. I’ve decided not to add these two races to the overall training plan, as I treat these as fun training days more than as an important race. I will not taper for these per se as training reduction will come naturally as I travel and opt for some easy skiing for the ski race, and then recover for the marathon the next week, and I will take the time necessary after these two races to allow recovery as needed, using HRV, feel and sleep as a guide for recovery status. I will probably pull a recovery week to the plan after the marathon.

If you are like me who likes to race, and can treat the occasional 5K or 10K as a hard training day, without necessarily tapering for the race, you could opt for not adding the B and C races when you generate the plan. I would then add a threshold or tempo run on the day of the race and sync the race data file with those… Athletica will read the data coming in and adjust the plan afterward to make sure you are still on the right track toward your A race, most likely decreasing the load for a few days to allow recovery.

The caveat I see is your ability and confidence to listen to your body and take the necessary time to recover from hard efforts, just like you do from any other hard workout. I’m sure @Jesse @Phil and @SimpleEnduranceCoach will have good insights into this as well.

How do you treat occasional race “for fun”? Interested to hear your insights.

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Hi Marjaana,
I usually don’t have short gravel races, or the equivalent of a 5k!
But with my clients,I do exactly as you do and make the 5k or 10k a hard workout day. If there’s a strength workout or other challenging workout scheduled on Athletica the day before the race, I’ll move it to accommodate the race. Or I’ll move a hard workout to the race date.

Generally, races can provide a great training stimulus that we may not get in training, simply because we’re perhaps pushing ourselves harder in a race than in training! Races can also be a good time to test and see how you’re making progress in your block of training.

The key, as you said @Marjaana, is the recovery. I use - and recommend that all my clients use - HRV4Training or another HRV app to monitor their recovery. We’ll be doing a deeper dive into HRV (heart-rate variability) in an upcoming Athlete’s Compass podcast!


I don’t really do short events like a 5k or 10k. Well I don’t run for a start.

My shortest events are this time of year and are generally 4-6 hours. I’ve put them in as C events, though I could treat them as long aerobic. I do tend to push at these durations though as blowing up isn’t a big deal, I’ll still finish. I might do 4-6 hours of tempo for fun during these events. Think IF of 0.86 for these durations, if I’m in the mood.

From March my shortest durations are 10-13 hours and up to 40 hours ahead of my main event. Recovery is very much needed from those and I put those in as B.

I don’t worry too much about what the AI puts after my long events. I do like to see a good dose of intensity the week before my long events. As I know I’ll want to do less intensity the week after. In terms of scheduling I’ll push the high intensity work to later the week after and put short recovery or endurance rides at the front.

I too monitor HRV and that can get seriously perturbed after my long events. But I also know myself and will override if HRV says fine but my feeling is I need more recovery. HRV can be back to baseline within 3 days, but there’s still fatigue to shed.