Guide to Racing a Full Triathlon Season
ESM Coca Cola Classic Series

Howdy and welcome to Exclusive Sports Marketingís 2003 Coca Cola Classic Sprint Triathlon series. This year the series will include nine races across the State of Florida and one in the Bahamas. As always, there will be some hotly contested divisions for overall series awards and plenty of athletes looking to beat you, then greet you, at the finish line. In this article Iíll give you a few ideas to think about as we head into the racing season.

Racing in the Coca Cola Classic Triathlon Series is not a simple task. It involves a good bit of travel and sprint triathlons are not as easy as people like to think. Theyíre pretty tough, in fact. However, it is personally rewarding, a lot of fun, and we all enjoy seeing our friends and rivals on race day. We get to go to a number of different venues, and the crew from ESM always does their utmost to put on a great show and make sure everyone has a good time. A good time after the races are done, I mean, since having a good time in the race is strictly up to you.

This year the series breaks down into six single-points races and three double-points races. You donít need to be a mathematician to figure out that it will greatly benefit you to do well at the double-points, or ĎAí - very important, races. Ideally, you will also be able to perform consistently at the single-points, or ĎBí Ė pretty important but not as crucial, races. But how do you manage this? How can you perform well consistently while also Ďpeakingí for the three double-pointers?

Thatís where planning out your season comes into play.

First, letís establish a few basics. If you are doing the series for fun and health and donít particularly care how you place, more power to you! Triathlon complements an active lifestyle and the Coca Cola Classic Series is a great way to do some summer traveling, visit your friends, and enjoy a few triathlons.

Second, if you are a beginner, keep things in moderation. Donít try to train twenty hours a week and think that that will make up for the ten years youíve been sitting at a desk. Start slowly and build into an active lifestyle. Enjoy your first year of racing and training. Relish the fact that youíre getting into shape. You can be competitive, but donít let that competitive fire cloud your sight of the true goal Ė recreation and fun, baby!

Third, assuming you know how to swim, bike, and run, and are reasonably proficient in each sport, letís talk about how to you can manage your time and structure your training so as to maximize your performance throughout the season. While Iím going to use the Coca Cola Classic Series races as examples, you can certainly take these ideas and apply them to other races you may be focused on this season.

The Coca Cola series starts May 4 and ends October 11. Thereís five months in between. The double-points races are June 7, August 30, and October 11. That gives you 9 weeks between Davis Island and the Bahamas, and 6 weeks between Bahamas and the Club Med Championship. In other words, itís a long season!

To get you through the season, here is my super-secret recipe for a consistent summer of racing and a series podium finish in October: