December 31, 2014

2015/2016 Race Calendar Discussion

I wrote it folks ”“ I know there is a ton here.   And, as our team and race calendar continue to grow your choices in what races you enter increase as well.   Its just not so clear anymore ”“ so I don’t blame you if you need help finalizing your race calendar.   All I know, for sure, is you HAVE TO HAVE YOUR OWN RACE CALENDAR.   Ideally it is picked from our events, so that your training is dialed in like clockwork.   But if you don’t have a race plan, you won’t train.   And you will leave the team.     I’ve only been doing this for 10 years so don’t fight me on it.   Spend a day or two and SET A PLAN.   Have a goal.   Setting the goal is the hardest part!   Ask me, your mentors ”“ ask ANY veteran Zr for their opinions.   Sooner than later this will all seem like alphabet soup vice latin.   J


  1. There is absolutely NO way you can expect to participate at all of the races that are listed on our race calendar (and subsequently discussed in this email.   By having such a diverse race calendar we achieve our goal to provide as many race weekend/opportunities for people to choose from as possible.   We are all types.   Some who want to travel, others that are limited due to family commitments and would prefer “day of” or local events.     We have ultra runners, ultra swimmers, and all levels of triathletes.     We have the most diverse race calendar ever built for this team.     I hope you find exactly what you are looking for.
  2. Also – just b/c this is our race calendar it does not mean you can’t do other races.   All our race calendar “means” is that there will be an effort behind an organized social type event (likely with trailer, tents, etc if possible/allowed).   I’m sure there will be plenty of Zrs racing triathlons/events that are not on our calendar – but we just can’t be everywhere all the time with the tents and trailer.   In addition, many venues make it extremely difficult (or impossible) to provide the trailer race (e.g., The Pentagon, National Park Service, etc).   I encourage you to consider your options now! Make your plan – and stick to it!
  3. This race calendar is finalized, ALL of our training event and race weekend events have been listed in the race calendar on the WEBSITE (not the yahoo group).   If you go to the race calendar you will clearly see a hyperlink to the registration pages.

Link to Race Calendar (with hyper links to each race website that is available):

Big Thank You to Lisa Folb for managing the update of our race calendar on line this year. It is not a quick task so thank her with a free bike, race entry, or new car if you have the time.   J


In this email:

Link to Race Calendar (with hyper links to each race website that is available):

  1. Discount Codes – Not available on this blog post; please consult the Yahoogroups forums for discount codes.
  2. New for 2015
  3. Relays
  4. Prioritize Entering Races
  5. Consider your budget ”“ travel vs. Drive Races, Camp vs. Hotels, etc
  6. What if you don’t go to a team race?   What will you do that weekend?
  7. Review of Key Training Weekends (recovery weeks, training camps, long rides/runs, etc)
  8. Coach’s Commentary on the season(s)
  9. Review of race calendar by event


  1. Discount Codes

If I have not listed it, I do not have the discount code yet.   We will be receiving a code for the Garrett County Gran Fondo when registration opens.

The race directors send me (not always, but often enough) a list of everyone who uses a Team Z discount code to enter a given race.   They ask me to audit them ”“ so, again ”“ please keep this in our family.   This is a privilege for us to be able to share with you”¦let’s not abuse it and lose future opportunities.

Edited to add:  Discount codes have been redacted from this blog post.  Please consult the Team Z forum at Yahoogroups to get discount codes (listed below are the races/series for which we do have discount codes.)

  • Garrett County Gran Fondo
  • Luray Triathlon
  • All VTSMTS Events
  • Charlottesville Marathon/etc weekend
  • Challenge/Rev 3 Discount Codes
  • Standing Rudy Project Sponsorship for Team Z only (we are required to audit sales, please keep this in the family).



  1. New for 2015

This season you will see a new series of events that are not familiar to our traditional triathlon race calendar.   There are a few mud runs, ultra-endurance running races, as well as progressively longer open water swimming opportunities.     If you are training for one of these events, you will still train on our normal training calendar ”“ but, there will be an advisor that is helping you to tailor the workout for the specific goal.   For example ”“ for the open water swimming events ”“ you would let Coach Mark (heading this up for us) that you are planning to participate in the Bay Swim, or the 5 mile Swim for Life.     Mark will coordinate the “extra training” needed for you to be successful with me ”“ and then we’ll disseminate.


  1. Relays

As we approach race season you will begin to see notes from me over the yahoo groups organizing relays.   Our team puts together a TON of relays every year, for any race that allows them.   The relays are great for many reasons.   Obviously if you are new to the sport and want to build confidence in one leg or another before you attempt a “full” tri on your own – this is a great way to get involved by volunteering to do the leg (or legs – you can do two) that you are comfortable with.   It is also a great way for people that are injured to be able to compete and have fun (example – can’t run, but can ride or swim).   Lastly – many of our event weekends are very cheap and take place over two days.   Some people will do both races on both days – but other people may find them crazy.   Doing a relay for fun on one day and racing the other is probably the biggest reason our relays are put together.   Are you an ex swimmer?   Maybe do the Oly on Saturday by yourself and volunteer to do the swim for a new Zr on Sunday at the sprint.   You get the point.   When I send an email asking about relays – just respond if interested.

Consider which events you would like to do a relay at when thinking about your race plan for the summer.


  1. Prioritize Entering Races

Some races will fill up faster than others – and thus should take a priority in terms of registration.   Other races are MORE IMPORANT TO YOU and should also take priority over others.   If you have the cash and can enter all the races you plan to do – I would highly encourage that you do so and soon.   I doubt there will be a single race that does not fill – aside from maybe the training events.

Races that are full:

  • Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga.   There are only charity slots left
  • Ironman Chattanooga.   There are only charity slots left


Races that will fill up soonest, are more important to enter as soon as you can:

  • Shamrock marathon, 1/2 marathon, 8k – WILL FILL SOON. if you plan to go, enter soon to be SURE you get your spot!
  • DC RNR Marathon – Will fill soon.   If you plan to go, enter soon to be SURE you get your spot!
  • I do not have experience with Charlottesville Marathon/1/2/8k ”“ keep an eye on it and don’t miss out.
  • Ironman Maryland ”“ can’t believe its still open so keep an eye on this.
  • Ironman 70.3 ”“ Eagleman.   Registration is open.
  • Events like the Bay Swim and the North Face Endurance Challenge I am unfamiliar with in terms of registration/filling up.     I can’t find info on registering for the bay yet, but there is a lottery that you must enter at some point.     Let me know if you find it.   North Face is open for registration for events ranging from the 5k to 50 miler.   Be on point for these events, don’t sleep on them.   Not only do you need to commit soon, you have to start training NOW.
  • Colonies Zones Swim Meet will fill extremely fast.   Registration opens on Feb 28 at 8am. Be ready! (
  • Mountains of Misery – Filled last year and people were left out.   I don’t think this is open yet.
  • Marine Corps Marathon 2015.   Yes we will have training programs for this race ”“ but BUT! If you decide to race this it becomes your A race for the summer.   The end of season A race triathlons will become a B race for you.

Races that will not likely fill up as fast, or have a second tier priority ”“ can wait a little longer…but filled up last year and people missed out.

*Note – not all of these races are open for registration yet – but you have to have them on your radar.   They will fill faster than most of our other events.

  • Kinetic ½ and Sprint ”“ The half fills fast every year.
  • Luray ”“ popular and it WILL fill ”“ but not for a few months. Great Team Z race ”“ fun ”“ you don’t want to miss it.
  • Savage Man (opens Jan 1) ”“ the ½ will fill before the Inernational.   Very popular.   If you want to race the ½ – be aware it is the hardest race in the world.   I’m trying to scare you on purpose ”“ the ½ Iron is NOT a joke.   The oly is challenging ”“ but doable for most everyone.   See below for more – but this is a very fun weekend.

Races that will likely not fill up for a while yet:

All others.


  1. Consider your budget ”“ travel vs. Drive Races, Camp vs. Hotels, etc

Local Pool Sprints/Events (Westfields, South Riding, Quantico Triathlon):   These races can be “expensive” to enter considering how short they are, however – they are LOCAL and when you consider gas and lodging, and convenience – they are very cheap. These are ideal for busy folks, parents, new athletes who want to gain experience in less intimidating environment (no mass start, no open water, can walk the swim if you like, etc).   You will be home by noon.   Special notes ”“ Westfields is to be run by Rev 3 (cool).   Quantico Triathlon seems that it MAY turn to an open water swim vice a pool sprint.

Drive to Races the day of:     I consider the following races “driveable” the day of.   Sure – you may have to get up early and t will be a long, long day – but you can drive to the event the day of, compete, and drive home.   (DC RNR, Charlottesville, Colonies Zones Swim Meet, North Face Endurance Challenge, Scope it out, Rumpus, ASF 5k, Monticello Man, Kinetic, Reston Lake Swim, Virginia Wine Country Half, Rock Hall, Bay Swim, Swim for Life OWS, Colonial Beach, Culpepper, Luray, Nation’s Tri, Marine Corps Marathon).

Camping Races:   (Kinetic, Rock Hall, Luray, Bath County Sprint, Wilderness/MTM, Gran Fondo, Savageman):   These are all races where we will have team car camping options.   Luray is FREE camping.   Wilderness/MTM is basically free ($10 or something).   Kinetic, Gran Fondo, and Savageman are state parks – where the facilities are outstanding for camping (warm showers, etc).   I would highly encourage you to invest in a tent and an air mattress.   I camp at most races if I can to save money – and I can bring my dog.   🙂   We have a ton of fun at these events.   Example – Rumpus – many folks will show up on Friday night and pitch a tent.   We eat off the grill and have a cocktail – hang out by the lake.   Saturday we have breakfast, race, then lunch and hang out on the lake all day – playing in the sun (sun NO RAIN).   Camp out again at night – wake up and relay the next day, hang out and have more fun.   Total cost if you have a tent?   For two dinners, two breakfasts, two lunches, and all the fun you can handle – $40 to the grub fund.

Travel Races:   (70.3 Chattanooga, Eagleman, Rev 3/Challenge Williamsburg, Gran Fondo, Rev 3 Pocono’s, Patriots, Savageman, IM Choo Choo, and IM MD).   These races listed plus All of the races in the bullets above that warrant it will have team group housing (we coordinate rental houses) and/or hotels/B&B’s, etc.   We work hard to offer affordable and less rustic lodging for those of you who don’t want to camp.   While I can’t guarantee prices – think around $100 to $150 for a 3 night stay in a rental house on a lake, or near a lake.   You get the point – group housing can be very much cheaper than a hotel room – especially when you consider that you can bring your own food and have a kitchen, etc.

Food:   If you can’t eat at a rental house – Team Z does a great job providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner at race sites.   Expect Grub Fund Donations of $5 for breakfast and lunch, and $10 for dinners.   Plan an extra $1 per beer.


  1. What if you don’t go to a team race?   What will you do that weekend?

As mentioned in many cases we will have local workout options if we can make them happen (staff, etc). In other cases we may announce an informal location/workout without staff (sags, etc).   Again – there is NO way we expect you to be able to participate in all of these races!   It just won’t happen!   So pick the one’s that interest you the most.   IF you don’t go – expect us to have a brick workout at home (example:   2 hour ride, 1 hour run).


  1. Review of Key Training Weekends (recovery weeks, training camps, long rides/runs, etc)

Note that all of the Recovery Weeks and Race Week dates below are MONDAY’S.   So that is the Monday that we will start the recovery week.   And”¦that is the Monday prior to the listed weekend ride or run. This is useful information in planning work travel, vacation, special weeks for the significant other who sacrifices so much for you and your participation in the sport.   Set these aside to do good things with them.

  • Race Weeks (less group workouts, you are on taper): March 9 and 16, Basically all of September (Patriots, Savageman, Choo, Md all on back to back to back weekends).
  • Recovery Weeks: Jan 5 and 26, Feb 16, March 30, April 20, May 11, June 1 and 22, July 13, August 3rd and 24th, Sept 14, Oct 5 and 12, November 2, November 23.

Training Camps:   These are for ANYONE.   Not just people doing these races.   This is always true, and has always been the case.   We encourage people with the time, money, and want to join in.   These are super fun weekends if you don’t have obligations that keep you home!

  • IM Choo Choo Training Camp:   This is the weekend May 16 and 17 IN Chattanooga. Same weekend of the 70.3 Choo Choo.   Either you are racing, or training on the course. We will plan group lodging.   This is not highly organized beyond group training opportunities and social events.
  • Ironman Md Training Camp:   This is the weekend of July 25/26. This will be in Cambridge, we will work on group lodging. This is not highly organized beyond group training opportunities and social events.

Key Long Ride and Run Weekends:   We are not committing to “which day” yet.   It could be Saturday or Sunday, though the general plan is below (and you can see more details in the weekend file which is up on the yahoo group).   Whether the rides and runs are on Sat or Sun (or both) is listed in the weekend file, but that is just a plan and it can and will change.

These “key” weekends   called out below are key for all Zrs – meaning they are big ride or run days for everyone regardless of if you are on the under 70.3 track, or the 70.3 track.   Even though I will call out the long ride number for the Iron crew – as you see this volume increase just know that if you were a half person you are increasing too, same with Oly.   For Iron crew -the mileage may vary slightly depending on the program you are following.

  • Long Ride Key Weekends: every non – recovery weekend from now until the end of the winter will be gradually increasing long run and ride volume.   Do NOT drag your feet and miss these rides or “catchup” will be difficult.     We expect you to be in shape when April hits.   This is the ride progression for the Ironman squad ”“ which correlates with key ride dates for the half and sprint/international programs.


o     April 6 ”“ 40-50 miles, April 13 ”“ 60 miles , April 27- 60 miles,   May 18 ”“ 70 miles, May 25 ”“ 80 miles, June 8 – Rev 3 Williamsburg half OR 4.5 hr ride and 1.5 hr run, June 15 ”“ 90 miles, July 6 ”“ 100 miles, July 27 110 miles, Aug 24 (YES THIS IS A RECOVERY WEEK ”“ WE WILL DO THE LONG RIDE/RUN ON THIS WEEKEND) ”“ 120 mile ride, August 31 ”“ 80 miles

  • Long run Key Weekends: same deal through April – get on your horse.

o     April 6 ”“ 7 miles, April 13 – 8 miles, April 27 ”“ 10 miles, May 18 ”“ 10 miles, May 25 ”“ 12 miles, June 15 ”“ 14 miles, July 6 ”“ 16 miles, July 18 ”“ 18 miles, August 24 (YES THIS IS A RECOVERY WEEK ”“ WILL DO THE LONG RUN THIS WEEKEND) ”“ 20 miles.   August 31 ”“ 16 miles


  1. Coach’s Commentary on the season(s)

The first step in planning your year is to determine what your focus races will be (otherwise referred to as “A” Races).   The team voted on which races we would focus on as “A events”.   In an ideal world, you will align your individual A race focus with those of the team.   This is not required ”“ but is sure does make life simple b/c your training plans will be dialed in exactly for those events.   Also ”“ it is simply a hell of a lot more fun to race at events with the team than a stand-alone event.   If you’ve not been to one of our team races, you will see why this coming season! I’m going to try to avoid discussing all the races here in this section b/c I do that below!

Guys ”“ these year we are offering so many events it is very hard/near impossible for me to write in this section “choose a or b” here and then “c or d there”.   There are just so many permutations ”“ keep in mind your mentors and coaches and veteran Zrs are wonderful resources.   Lean on them with your ideas.   Put a race list together, then throw it to us in an email for suggestions for feedback. Just remember that whatever you decide to do, whatever you decide”¦that is the right answer.   You don’t ever even have to race in my book.   I’m super serious about that!   I just want you to have fun! If that means racing, then so be it.   If not”¦that’s fine too.

Also remember that we will have practices at home if you are not racing.     Cool?   You do NOT have to race!   Hopefully this discussion below helps ”“ hopefully this does not confuse the issues!   J   DON’T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUAL RACE DISCUSSIONS AT THE VERY BOTTOM AFTER THIS SECTION.

  1. Under 70.3 program Overview for 2015:   If your goal is to train for 5 and 10k’s this winter as well as Sprint and International Distance Races next summer”¦

Winter A Races:   Choice of Shamrock 8k (Va Beach), The Scope it Out 5k (or both).   These races are on back to back weekends, and there is no reason you could not race both and expect to do well!   A week later is the Charlottesville 8k.

Summer, A Race Options:   There are many, many, almost endless opportunities to race at this distance all year long.   What I’d like for you to do if at all possible is to align your A race goals with that of the team.   So for the short course options ”“ choices include Nations Tri, Patriots Sprint, and/or Savageman International.   Nations Tri and Patriots Sprint are on the same weekend so you must choose between them.   Nations tri has its advantages (discussed below), but we can’t bring trailers/etc to this event.   So if you are looking for the post-race fun/Team Z experience/etc ”“ Patriots Sprint is a good choice.   You can’t go wrong either way.   Then you may also race as “a focus” the Savageman International.   It is a very hard race, but it is doable for most everyone.     The “easiest” course will be Patriots.   Then Nations, then Savageman.     You can race back to back weekends if you choose. Even for our newest athletes ”“ as long as you commit to following our training plans you can definintely make Savageman you’re a International.   Just be sure to brag more to your friends, b/c it is way harder than most other races of that distance.

Summer Comments:   All Races are in play for your program except for the half and full Ironmans.   Depending on your cycling background ”“ you could consider the Mountains of Misery and Gran Fondo ”“ but for most of you this will not be in play.   The better option for newer cyclists would be to participate in the Wilderness Road Ride (vice Mountains of Misery) and if you’d like to go to Gran Fondo ”“ they do have shorter options but all are challenging (and fun/beautiful).   If you are nervous in open water, Westfield’s Pool Sprint in April will be a HUGE opportunity for you, and there is another pool sprint in August (South Riding) which you would not want to miss.   Kinetic Sprint, Rock Hall Sprint (Definitely Rock Hall), Luray are all great first time sprint triathlon events.     Williamsburg International ”“ if you race this as your first race of that distance I know you will enjoy it a ton (This is the Challenge/Rev 3 Williamsburg event).   Luray would also be a fun first time International Distance Race.   You have so many options and you just can’t go wrong. To finish ”“ Patriots Sprint is the most beginner friendly of your options ”“ though I’m confident in any choices you make at this point in the year as long as you have “done the work”!

PLEASE consider doing relays.   We will help organize ”“ I promise.   Look to a few early season “run legs””¦or maybe “bike and run but you’d like a swimmer”.   Your call.

Folks ”“ do not let peer pressure push you into longer races.   Sprints are badass too.   You just race them harder and they hurt a little different!   What you WANT to do is the right decision, trust your gut.   Not your buddy’s gut.

You may participate in all of the races listed ”“ but that is obviously a ton!   My suggestion would be to sign up for (in addition to your A race) the Colony Zones Meet; either Kinetic Sprint or Monticello Olympic; Rock Hall Sprint or International and/or Challenge/Rev 3 International.   Finally choose one of either Culpeper or Luray.   You can do more of course, and you can do less ”“ but if you take my suggestion you would have 5 maybe 6 events between April and September.   That’s about 1 per month. Then you can sprinkle in other events as you find availability, or less if needed.   There is no right or wrong answer and nobody has to race at all!

  1. 70.3 program Overview for 2015 ”“ if your goal is to race a winter 1/2 marathon and/or Half Ironman Distance Races next summer

Winter A Races:   Choice of Shamrock 1/2 marathon (Va Beach) or DC RNR 1/2 Marathon, and The Charlottesville 1/2 (or all three).   Pick your poison.   All are great races.   Va Beach is flat.   DC is rolling.   Charlottesville I don’t really know but assume has more elevation gain and loss than the others.

Summer A Race Options:   We have a few options for you”¦ Patriots will be as flat as we get, a fun race ”“ and by far the best “newer triathlete option”.     I would not race Savageman half until you have seen it first, or if you are a masochist and very very experienced reach out to me or Alexis (or your mentor) and we can chat about the possibility.   It’s a great race, one of the best really. But it is SO HARD.     But ”“ don’t forget that there are also aqua velo options for most of these races too.   If the sprint is not your game, you can do the “swim bike only” version of these events as well.   Just an idea. Relays are also in play here ”“ consider doing “legs” of a half relay.   That’s a great way to gain experience!

Summer Thoughts and Comments:   All Races are in play for your program.   Depending on your cycling background ”“ you could consider the Mountains of Misery and Gran Fondo ”“ but for most of you (especially first time at the half distance or those who have sat on their rear ends all winter) this will not be in play.   The better option for newer cyclists would be to participate in the Wilderness Road Ride (vice Mountains of Misery) and if you’d like to go to Gran Fondo ”“ they do have shorter options but all are challenging (and fun/beautiful).   Track 1 and 2 people will be at 30-40 miles in terms of long bike rides, and Track 3/4 will be at 40-50 miles in terms of long bike rides at this time of year (MoM, Fondo).

Please please please remember that the Kinetic half is always a hard race for us.   It is so early in the season, we really have not ramped our volume up for this yet.   Track 1 and 2 will be at 8 mile runs and 40 mile bikes ”“ there is a big gap there.   Track 3 and 4 people ”“ It will still be hard for you.   It’s hard for everyone b/c it’s the first hot weekend of the year”¦it’s just early in the season!

There really is no way you could do all of the races listed!   My suggestion would be to sign up for (in addition to your A race) the Colony Zones Meet; either Kinetic or Monticello Half OR the sprint/international and then also/maybe do a long leg of the half relays the other day, eh?   Pretty smart I know.   J   If I were going to try my first half ever, I’d probably make that at Williamsburg Rev3/Challenge OR ”“ do the aqua velo (swim and bike) of that race to gain experience ”“ then first Half By Yourself Practice race at Rev 3 Poconos (not flat).     Your A race at Patriots (also in Williamsburg, but different course and race production company).   Patriots is a much better first A race Half Iron choice than Savageman ”“ trust me. Also just to re-emphasize be very careful of Kinetic Half ”“ Its ok to enter but it comes up fast and it can crush spirits easily.

So lets say you are in for swim meet, kinetic sprint (also maybe a relay leg of half), the jim mcdonald lake swim.   Then you go to Williamsburg and do your first half or half aqua velo.   I would also choose one or two of the sprint/international races that are in July or August.   Other than that you have you’re a race and anything else you’d like to sprinkle in.   Again ”“ 5 or 6 events is pretty solid.

You should choose between Eagleman and Patriots ”“ you should not do both.

You can race Patriots Half ”“ and then turn around and say do Savageman International the next weekend”¦take a look and keep that in mind.

  1. Ironman (Or Winter Marathon people) Overview for 2015



Winter A Races:   Choice of Shamrock marathon (Va Beach) or DC RNR marathon, and The Charlottesville Full Marathon.   Pick your poison with the half or full marathon. You do not have to run a marathon this winter to be ready for Ironman.   If Ironman is your goal this summer, its otally your call on the 1/2 or full marathon.

Summer, First Half A Race:   IM Chattanooga or Ironman Maryland

Summer Comments and suggestions:   All Races are in play for your program.   Mountains of Misery and Gran Fondo are in play for you as long as you heed my advice below about upping your mileage a little this winter.   But please understand that both Mountains of Misery and Gran Fondo are very hard.   They are NOT requirements to be ready for Ironman.   The better option for newer cyclists would be to participate in the Wilderness Road Ride (vice Mountains of Misery) and if you’d like to go to Gran Fondo ”“ they do have shorter options but all are challenging (and fun/beautiful).   Or just stay home and do our local training rides ”“ these supported bike rides are NOT required.

Again there really is no way you could do all of the races listed!   My suggestion would be to sign up for (in addition to Ironman) the Colony Zones Meet; either 70.3 Chattanooga, Kinetic Half or Charlottesville Half; Rock Hall Sprint or International if you are feeling frisky; and either challenge/Rev 3 Half or Eagleman.   None of these are A races ”“ you just have to make your call.   Eagleman is dead flat.   I would think that 70.3 Choo or Rev 3 Williamsburg Half would be your better choices for the Chattanooga course and Eagleman IS the ½ Iron course on the Ironman course. J

Your final prep race should probably be Challenge/Rev 3 Poconos.   That is 6 and 5 weeks out from both Ironmans.   IF you really want the flat course practice again (assuming you are a Md person who also raced Eagleman) ”“ you can enter the Patriots half as your final prep race for Md (not chattanooga).   I hesitate to even allow the Md people to do it b/c it only allows for three weeks recovery before your Ironman.   Yes ”“ that is enough time to recover. But what people don’t normally think about is that this last 3 week stretch of training is intended to be gaining intensity and focusing on going fast and feeling good.   Racing a Half Ironman to “kick off” your final three weeks can be devastation depending on who you are and more importantly ”“ how you race it.     The weekend of Patriots Half your workouts for Md will be 3 hr ride and 1.5 hour run.   Each year in the past we would have done 50 mile ride and 12-14 mile run three weeks out.     But”¦there is a big big difference between racing a half and doing a 50 and a 12 over two days in Z2.   Patriots is in play if”¦

  • You only do the swim and the bike.   Then a short run the next day.
  • You go so easy its like napping and your goal is just to test your equipment/etc.   This option is only available for badasses who have tons of experience under them.   A half Iron simply crushes most of us.

I would prefer that Patriots is left to the folks that are racing it as an A event.     I will welcome you if you are a MD person ”“ but I’ll expect you to race aquabike or maybe just 1 loop of the run ”“ we can talk about it.   This race is off limits for Choo ”“ unless you’d like to do the sprint for one more “in the water practice in a river swim”.


  1. Review of race calendar by event



Friday April 10th – Colonies Zones Swim Meet – This swim meet will take place on Friday night. It is at George Mason University – a very nice facility.   If you are a new triathlete, and more importantly a new swimmer – this is something that I would highly consider!   There will not be an intimidating environment – you don’t have to dive in, you don’t have to do flip turns.   You get your own lane, and a teammate or coach will be there to count laps for you!   This is a great (I can’t stress this enough) opportunity to prove to yourself that you can swim 1,000 yards or 1,650 yards (about the same distances as a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon swim) in a safe, and FUN environment.   Every year we send about 40 people (last year almost 100 of us) to this race and they always tell us how much fun they had!   Enter that 1,000 yard freestyle – you won’t regret it! IT WILL FILL UP!   Registration Opens on Saturday, Feb 28 2015.


Saturday/Sunday April 18 and 19 ”“ The North Face Endurance Challenge ”“ This will be a first for us.   There are “normal events” like the kids run, 5k/10k and half marathon.   For many of you, this could just be a super cool way to get in your training run. You will change nothing from your triathlon training plan/goals.

For others ”“ there is a 50k/50 miler/and a marathon (and Marathon Relays).     If you plan to run the longer races, please reach out to me and AND Nicolas Nouvel and Sally Kidd.   Nicolas and Sally are the Team Z designated “race supervisors”.   Since these events are off the mainstream we need to make sure that we deliver a quality services AND you don’t slip through the cracks. This starts with emailing us your intentions, and we’ll take it from there (socials, training plans, etc).




Sunday April 26 ”“ Westfields Pool Sprint ”“ It will fill fast so put it on your calendar.   Registration opens on January 1st.   This race is in Loudoun County – you’ll be home by noon!   Pool sprint, fast course – and fun.   Several Zrs have done it in the past and had a blast. IF you do not do this race we will have our standard workouts for the weekend.   This is a great race for anyone who has a hard time “Getting away”.   It is flat, and fast.   It is small and non-threatening – and the swim is in the pool   so it is awesome for newer triathletes to gain experience.   We will support it just like any other race!   New Swimmers ”“ WALKING IS ALLOWED in triathlon ”“ seriously.   Totally legal.   So this swim is done in a pool and you can rest as much as you need to on the walls, etc.   GREAT WAY TO GAIN EXPERIENCE FOR NEW ATHLETES.


Saturday May 2 – Arlington Science Focus 5k – This is a grass roots, no frills, local 5k which benefits a good friends elementary school phys ed program.   Proceeds go to improve the fitness equipment on the playground, etc.   This will be our group run option for this weekend.   For those of you who have longer runs, get in a 2-3 mile warm up (or longer), then do the 5k and call it a day!     Come out and help out a great cause ($20ish dollar entry fee, you do get a shirt and there are awards).   Very fun, great community feel.


Sunday May 3 Monticello Man Half and International ”“ This will be a first for us ”“ we’ve not been here before.   What I can promise you is that it is NOT flat.     I can also promise you it will be cool/cold water swim this time of year.     But..that is no different than the start to any of our seasons in the past.   Just be aware ”“ if you hate cold water swimming maybe you plan for a relay.   Just a thought and an example.     It’s always cool to do something new and this joint is only 20 minutes from Monticello and there are tons of vineyards you could visit before or after the race. The event is held in scenic/breathtaking Lake Monticello.   They say there are flat spots”¦but that might just be a lie. We’ll see!




Saturday/Sunday May 9/10 Kinetic 1/2 and Sprint – This race always seems “early” in the season.   Volume is just climbing and it is usually the first hot weekend of the year.   The expectation is that you are doing this race as a high quality brick workout in a race environment.   If you do not race with us, there will be a group brick workout on Saturday back at home.   There will be no workout on Sunday at home other than the race, so come on out and relay, hang out, race – just have fun!   This is a big camping race weekend – at Lake Anna State Park (very convenient, clean warm private showers, etc). If you want to camp – GET ON IT as the park fills up fast and early (reserve now). Under 70.3 people should race the sprint at Kinetic (and relay the half if you are interested).   70.3 and 140.6 people should enter either the half or the half aquabike at Kinetic.   You do not have to race, as always – it is your choice.   But we do have a 3 hour ride and 1 hr run built into your training for that day.   This race is early in the season so volume is not SUPER HIGH yet. So, you can do the half or the aqua bike – just understand that it is an early race and you should NOT set your expectations for the fastest day of your life.   Your performance at this race should be aligned with “long hard workout” and not “kick ass first 1/2 Ironman”.   Please reach out to me if you have questions about this comment.


Saturday, May 17th ”“ Chattanooga 70.3 Triathlon – This will be the first trip for us as a team.   Though Coach Alexis has been there to scout the place so we have some idea of the surroundings.     This will serve as our training camp weekend for the IM Chattanooga people.

We will have group planned lodging and events/meals.   It will likely not be a huge trailer type event thought there will likely at least be a tent.   For those not racing the 70.3 but are in town to train ”“ we will have planned group rides, runs, and swims (as allowed) in addition to team dinners, happy hours, etc.


Saturday/Sunday May 23/24- Reston 1 and 2 mile lake swims (and 5k) – You can’t do this and the MoM and Wilderness Road Ride.   You have to choose.   There will be a group ride on Saturday and a group run AFTER the swim with a social (bbcue) on Sunday.   You can do the group ride and run without entering the swim – or you can also do the swim before the group run.   You can choose the 1 mile or 2 mile swim, and wetsuits are legal/optional.   This is a great chance to practice your open water swimming.   IF you want to do the 5k swim on Saturday – be a monster.


Saturday and Sunday May 23/24 – Wilderness Road Ride and Mountains of Misery – This race falls on a work weekend – so it can kind of align with your current training.   You can’t do this race and the Reston Lake Swim.   These are not races, but supported bike rides with planned aid stations, stops, etc.   MTM will fill, but Wilderness Road Ride will not.   The area is SO BEAUTIFUL and the rides are just fantastic.   The lodging will be cheap – The hotels you’ll stay at will be at Va Tech – Blacksburg in the summer.   Tons of availability.   There definitely will be camping options.   We will also do group lodging/rentals as available.

The MTM rides are VERY VERY difficult and not for new riders.   The wilderness road ride is much more tame – there are rolling hills but it is not masochistic.   We had several new riders go and enjoy every minute.   The WRR is on Saturday morning.   Leisurely ride and pace – enjoy the beautiful roads and scenery.   Then hang out in the parking lot on the river with a tent, some grub, etc – head out to dinner as a group in BBurg and have some fun or kick it at the camp site.   Sunday – those not riding MTM will go and hike to the Cascades – a very scenic rock scramble (but dogs, etc can do it easily) up to a water fall.   After the hike – we’ll grab grub at a RIDICULOUS country diner where you can get ANYTHING deep fried.   I’m not kidding.   Entire Hamburgers I think.   Then we head up onto the mountain with beer and cheer to will home our MTM studs on the final climb of the day (very much Tour De France like).   Very cool.   The race ends at the famous Mountain Lake – which is where Dirty Dancing was filmed.

Under 70.3 Programs:   if you go you should do the Wilderness ride.   They have distances of 14, 29, 38, 58 and 78 miles.   Track 1 and 2 people will have done rides of 20-25 miles or slightly more in training by this point- and if being safe should consider the 29 or 38.   Track 3 and 4 people will have done several 50 mile rides – do the 38 or 58.

70.3 – Track 1 and 2 will have done 40-45 or so miles in training – consider the 38 or 58.   Track 3 and 4 will have done 50-60 mile rides – consider the 58 or 78. IF you want to try the MTM, I would strongly suggest the 100 miler and not the double metric.   To prepare for it – you will have to add miles to all of your long rides starting in April – Let us know if you need help.

IM – You will have done rides of 60-70 miles, Your assigned ride for that day is 70 miles.   Again, suggest the 100 miler and not the double metric.

If you plan to do the Wilderness Ride ”“ NO CHANGE IN YOUR TRAINING IS REQUIRED.

If you plan to ride the 100. You really should start ramping up your long ride mileage earlier in the winter.   So starting in Feb (maybe) March (Definitely) ”“ you would add 20 miles or so to each LONG RIDE ONLY.   This will build you to about 90 miles safely before the MoM – Let us know if you need help.


Saturday/Sunday May 30/31 – Rock Hall Sprint and Olympic – This race will be swum in a sheltered Marina on the bay – just over the bay bridge and to the north a hair.   Very convenient and pretty. It can be hot, but this is a great first timers race, and we have a blast every year.   This puppy is flat.   Think Crabs and beer on Saturday night!   There is definitely camping available and its discounted for triathletes.   Very affordable race weekend.

This may also be a special qualifier for the US National Championships (International Distance).   So if you finish in the top 1/3rd of your age group (pretty sure that is right), you will qualify.   We have a big group going to nationals this year, so come on out and give it a whirl.   We’d love to send a huge team to Milwaukee! Will confirm the qualifier when we get the word.


Saturday May 30 ”“ Virginia Wine Country Half – This will be another first for us.   I’ve heard it is scenic/pretty and it starts/ends at a winery which hosts a post-race music and wine festival.   I also hear there is a wine stop (in addition to water stops) on the course.

70.3 Track 1 and 2 people ”“ you will not have the volume to race this event.   Your longest run will have been 8 miles.   You must reach out to me in Feb/March if you want to do this race so I can help you plan in the needed volume.

70.3 Track 3 and 4 people and all Ironman people ”“ You will have the volume by this point AND you run for that day is “magically” somewhere around 12-14 miles.


Sunday June 14 Eagleman 1/2 Ironman 70.3 – This is a very flat and fast course – if the wind and heat cooperate.   The swim is in the choptank river which gets its name for a reason.   If the wind is up, the swim can be challenging.   As can the bike course.   So it is a fast course for the most part – but it is a very competitive field and not the most beginner friendly environment.   If you have a choice and are new to the sport – I would choose the Rev 3 half over the eagleman 70.3 for my first.   You don’t have to ”“ it’s just a suggestion.   Ironmman MD people should definitely do this race.   Choo people will have a 4.5 hr ride and 1.5 hr brick that day”¦soooo..up to you.   It matches well if you have the time/money ”“ otherwise keep it in the bank and do the team workout at home that weekend.


Sunday June 14 Bay Swim ”“ This is not the first time we’ve done this as a team, but”¦its always small numbers b/c of the lottery system for entry (wildly popular race).     I’m not sure when the lottery opens, but”¦we’ll share that info when I get it.   If you get in to this race ”“ you need to reach out to me and Mark Edmunds ASAP.   Mark will be your advisor for this race and will help with tailoring your swim program to ensure you are prepared for the race.


Sunday June 14 Challenge USA/Rev 3 Half and Olympic – All Rev 3 events are very family friendly and super beginner friendly.   Rave Reviews from people at this race last year on our team.   Some courses are tougher than others, and this one can be a bit hilly but it is not nearly as bad as the course from 2 years ago.   But the crew goes out of their way to make sure everyone has a good day.     Party it up!   This was not a flat course last year- and should not be compared to the Setup Events race that we have done before (Patriots – which is dead flat).   This is a different course from what Rev 3 hosted two years ago – and while it shares the same swim area – there will be a new course this year.   This is a great race for families (Colonial Williamsburg).


Saturday, June 20 Bath County Sprint Triathlon ”“ This is an awesome, awesome place to do a triathlon.   The water is the most beautiful of anything I’ve ever seen outside of the tropics.   This is a lake ”“ but the water is so clear you can see for what seems like forever.     We rent this awesome group campground for the race date, and the event is on a Saturday. So we are done by noon ”“ lunching back at our camp site, playing in the water ”“ and generally just chilling and having a good time.   Pack up the family, bring a tent and a dog ”“ and a raft or canoe/etc if you plan to come.   This is a LONG haul for just the sprint, so make sure you are a fan of camping to make it worth the journey (like 4 hrs).


Saturday June 27- Gran Fondo – Gran Fondo basically means “big social ride”.   This is not a race – but a well supported super challenging and breathtaking bike ride.   The shorter rides have hills and are very very very challenging – but trust me it is doable for everyone if you pace yourself appropriately and don’t try to race.   This should be something you just experience. And honestly guys ”“ it’s “God’s Country” out there.   SUPER pretty.

THIS EVENT IS ON A RECOVERY WEEK. So, it will require some small small changes to your training plan.   Remind me as we get closer and I’ll reiterate.

Ironman people ”“ The prior weekend you will have had a 90 mile ride.   I would suggest, if you prefer to do the mileage at the Fondo, that you cut the prior week short and take the weekend as a recovery week. the end of the recovery week you will do your Fondo ride and long run.

Half Iron people ”“ you would be in the same boat, having a 60-80 mile ride the weekend prior.

Short course people ”“ you should stick with the 28 or the 40”¦max.


Saturday/Sunday July 11/12 ”“ Colonial Beach Sprint/Olympic – Colonial Beach Triathlon Sprint and International Distance Triathlons – 2014 will make the 31st year for these races. The swim starts out with a swim in the Potomac river. This is then followed by a mostly flat bike course through mostly rural countryside. Upon your return to the beach athletes will embark on a flat, fast out and back run course.     We will do relays here, so don’t forget to consider staying and racing the “other day”.   Good first timers venue and race production company, this might be a good target for people’s first open water race on their own.   You can drive this day of for sure, but it’s a long drive.   I’d suggest lodging and if interested you need to jump on it EARLY as everything sells out.


Sunday July 12 – Merrell Down and Dirty Mud Run ”“ Like, I have no idea what to expect.   This is just about having some fun and taking yourself lightly.   This is likely not a good option for Ironmman or ½ Ironman people as your runs for that day will be long (long).   Short course people ”“ have at it.   Again here ”“ lets coordinate who is racing so let me know!   I’m so intrigued”¦


Saturday/Sunday August 1 and 2 ”“ Culpeper International, Sprint, and Gran Fondo.   This is another awesome first timer event.   Though it is pretty hilly ”“ still hear great things from rookies.   What’s new is that both of those races will be held on Saturday, then the Gran Fondo will be held on Sunday.     Again, Gran Fondo basically means “big social ride”.   This is not a race – but a well-supported super challenging and breathtaking bike ride.

I expect lots of racers from our short course program.   Then, we will have a group run on Saturday as well.   Sunday is the Gran Fondo which is aligned with another very long training ride for the ½ and Iron distance folks (110 miles).     This one will be very, very hard ”“ but an awesome ride and it’s so cool that it is supported.   With the race local ”“ it will feel like a training camp I think. Should be awesome.


Saturday Aug 8- Luray Practice Swim There is a practice swim in the Lake where the race is being held the next weekend.   The practice swim is on Saturday.   They also offer a “full clinic” or just the “swim clinic”.   Please enter just the swim clinic.   Saturday morning we will swim, then run on the Luray Triathlon course, then lunch as a team and lazy around the lake and campground all day long.   FUN PRACTICE WEEKEND and chance to preview the Luray triathlon course.


Saturday/Sunday Aug 8/9 – Age Group Nationals.   Last year we sent about 20 Zrs to Nationals in Milwaukee, Wi.   You must qualify for the International Distance race which takes place on Saturday.   The Sprint Distance Race which is held on Sunday is open to anyone who would like to enter.   We will send a trailer to the event and pop up our team presence again.   Last year, we had the CEO of USA Triathlon come by and spend some time with us as we cheered.   All accounts were that this is an incredible venue, and an incredible city, and an incredible weekend.   We’d love to see 40-50 Zrs go this year (or next?).   Try to qualify at Rock Hall this season (special qualifier I THINK BUT AM NOT SURE), and even if you miss qualification consider coming to race the sprint on Sunday.   They (USA Triathlon) do this event up right – it is a bigger deal and vibe.   Awesome time.


Saturday/Sunday Aug 15/16 Luray International and Sprint and camping trip – LURAY IS THE SAME weekend as the Rev 3 Poconos Race ”“ you have to choose.       There will be a brick workout at home this weekend for all of you if you choose not to race.   All I can say is that for some reason – this race is always just off the hook.   So much fun. We have the chance to camp for free, again – or it’s an easy drive from the city on the day of.   Please enter this ASAP as it will fill.   Plan to bring the family, the dog and a tent to this one.


Sunday Aug 16 ”“ Challenge USA/Rev 3 Poconos – this is a great option for the Half Iron and Iron distance folks.   This weekend you will all (short course too) have a long brick for your training/workout.     4.5 hr ride, 1.5 hr run.   So”¦.the ½ Iron at Poconos would be a great opportunity to race if you choose.     Short course folks ”“ your go to is Luray sprint/Oly which is the same weekend.


Sunday Aug 22 – Quantico Pool Sprint – Fair warning that this race MAY turn into an open water swim this year, the website has still not confirmed.   Great race either way”¦on the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va. So it’s an easy drive in and out ”“ home by noon!   Super good opportunity for a new triathlete ”“ this is a great first timer’s event.


Sunday Aug 23 – South Riding Pool Sprint – Registration typically opens April 1 for non-south riding residents, but keep your eye out.   It will fill fast so put it on your calendar.   This race is in Loudoun County – you’ll be home by noon!   Pool sprint, fast course – and fun.   Several Zrs have done it in the past and had a blast. IF you do not do this race we will have our standard workouts for the weekend.   This is a great race for anyone who has a hard time “Getting away”.   It is flat, and fast.   It is small and non-threatening – and the swim is in the pool so it is awesome for newer triathletes to gain experience.


Sunday Sept 13 – Nations Triathlon – This is an A race (taper) option for our short course people if you make it so!

As with every year for this race – it is an unsupported team event.   The National Park Service and local police are very much against “the world’s biggest tailgate” happening on the National Mall and/or Pennsylvania Avenue.   But every year you will see a good mix of Zrs racing.   But be clear – there is no team support for this event so you will be on your own race day.   It is not cheap to enter, but with no associated travel costs it is a great option, especially for people for whom getting out of town for a weekend is difficult.


Saturday/Sunday Sept 12/13 – Patriots Triathlon ”“ This is another A race option for our Half and Short Course Folks.   We have been here as a team and while the course is not entirely flat ”“ it’s pretty darn close.         With proper planning lodging is plentiful and affordable, and of course this is a great venue for family trips (colonial Williamsburg).

This is also a tune up race option for Ironmans.   If you are racing Choo ”“ it is 2 weeks in advance which is obviously a no go.   For Md people this will be three weeks out and POSSIBLY doable if you have your expectations level set. Normally we do a 50 mile ride and 12 mile run three weeks out from an Ironman.   So, yes, it is similar.   But stringing all three events together will be more demanding on your body and require additional recovery time.     So, if you do choose to this race ”“ it needs to not be HARD at high intensity.   I would love to see long easy swim, easy fun bike ride”¦.then go for a short run and maybe not even finish the race.   The point is, I’d rather see an IM MD person do that then dig deep to finish a half Ironman when they are tired. That type of effort could significantly impact your Ironman race.     Swim, bike, 3-4 mile run and beer brick sounds about right to me.   So there is a chance you could use this race as a tune up ”“ just KEEP YOUR FOCUS ON IRONMAN and don’t screw it up by burying yourself at this half.



Saturday/Sunday Sep 19/20 – Savageman Olympic and Half – This is another of our DO NOT MISS EVENTS and also an A race option for both the short course and half Iron programs.   I would encourage everyone to try and make it to this race at least just to have fun.   Plan on a relay for the oly at least, and volunteer/spectate for the 1/2.   For those of you racing this…the 1/2 Iron is one of the most difficult races in the world and it is not for beginners.   Please heed this warning.   The Olympic distance is challenging – but a very realistic accomplishment for most people on our team.   Be aware this is still a challenging course for the olympic – but it’s a great goal to work towards.   We should have a ton of relays for the oly and the half.   And even if you do not want to race – it is so worth the trip.   Normally watching a triathlon is not very much fun.   The half Iron at this race is something to see, no…behold.   It has a tour de france feel and energy – and some of the “hills” these riders climb will be lined with 100’s and 100’s of spectators screaming and yelling at them to not fall over.   The general feel of the event is that of a carnival – and it was voted hardest half Ironman by triathlete magazine.   DO NOT MISS IT!   Iornman people ”“ you are on hard core taper programs by now so come up and ride/run easy and then cheer with us on Killer Miller!


Sunday September 27 – Ironman Choo Choo and Saturday October 3 Ironman Md.   Whoop ass!   As always, Ironman is off the hook!  But I’m telling you – I’ve been to dozens and dozens of Ironman events as a coach/spectator.  So much fun at IM MD this past year – so much fun.  Would love to have you come (racing, or otherwise) and join us!   Choo ”“ a new experience for me this year and I’m really looking forward to it!