My number one goal in this sport for 2012 is the same as it has been for the past few years: Make a living in the sport. I've been doing so for a couple years now but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed to happen in 2012 or beyond, I have to make it happen. Whenever I'm helping the athletes I coach to form a race schedule I always try to push them towards the races that will give them the best chance of accomplishing their goals for the year. With making a living being the number one goal for me, this is what I take into consideration the most when planning my race schedule. Prize purses, race distance, course type, travel distance, race enjoyment, these are all variables I take into consideration. In the end, what it comes down to is a balance between which races give me the best opportunity to get good results and make money while minimizing travel time and costs as much as possible.
For 2012, I've currently decided that it is the Rev 3 series which gives me the best opportunity to make a living. The series has expanded to 10 races with prize money in each and a pretty substantial additional payout to the top-5 athletes in the series at the end of the year. The Rev 3 series is a good choice for an Indiana based pro as 7 of the 10 races are within driving distance whereas those based further west would have to fly to nearly every race. I'm very much considering going "all in" with the series, doing every race, and skipping the Ironman circuit entirely for 2012. It's a bit risky to do so though, as I'd be skipping the "local" Ironman races in favor of traveling for Rev 3. For the time being though, Rev 3 is the mindset I'll take into the 2012 season and this is the race schedule I'll pursue until I have reason to stray from this plan. I very much like the idea of supporting Rev 3 over Ironman as they are two different series I see heading in opposite directions with how they value and treat the professionals in the sport. Here is my race preliminary schedule.
3/18 Rev 3 Costa Rica?
I want to race Rev 3 Costa Rica, but probably won't make the trip solo. Thus I'll probably only go if I can find someone to travel with. Anyone want to travel to Rev 3 Costa Rica with me?
3/25 Powerman Alabama Du AL
Regardless of whether or not I race the weekend before, I plan to be at Powerman Alabama. This will make for the earliest I've ever kicked off the multisport season.
4/15 Carmel Sprint Tri IN
My traditional local season kickoff. Won overall past 5 consecutive years, going for 6 in a row this year. Only age group race I have on the schedule right now
5/6 Rev 3 Knoxville TN
Very fun, challenging course, with a tough pro field. I plan to actually be in shape for this race this year.
6/2 Rev 3 Quassy CT
Probably the toughest course I'll race all year, toughest field I'll race all year, biggest prize purse of the season. What more could I ask for? Got my butt kicked here last year by both the course and competition, can't wait for this year.
6/8-10 Triathlon Camp Muncie
Looking forward to working with Muncie Multisport at this camp. For $155 campers will get the 3-day camp plus entry into the MuncieMan Tri (3k/60k/15k). The camp is open to anyone, the main focus will be on preparing for a half distance tri. Perfect opportunity for those racing the Muncie 70.3 to train and race on the course, learn the ins and outs of the race, and work with a coach to develop a race plan.
7/8 Rev 3 Portland OR
Tough call here. My "hometown" pro race, the Muncie 70.3 is the same weekend. But the Rev 3 series is my main focus for the year. So do I give up a short drive and inexpensive trip for a long expensive trip across the country to do a race with the same purse? Right now that's the direction I'm leaning.
7/22 Ironman Lake Placid NY
Another tough call I'm still not sure about. LP is my favorite race and favorite venue I've ever raced, the emotional side of me wants to be there in great shape. But I'm not sure if the race makes logical sense. With the prize purse being cut this year, a long trip, and my focus being the Rev 3 series this year I don't know if this race will remain on the schedule.
8/12 Rev 3 Wisconsin Dells WI
First year race, don't know anything about the course, but the venue looks to be another Rev 3 hit. Bretscher Multisport will have a large contingent at this race
8/26 Rev 3 Maine ME
Another first year race for the Rev 3 series, and I've always wanted to visit Maine. What a great reason to visit.
9/9 Rev 3 Cedar Point OH
For the third consecutive year, my biggest race of the season. The race itself has big points towards the overall series, hopefully I can stay on course this year.
10/7 Rev 3 Maryland MD
Race just announced a few days ago, don't know many details on it except it uses the same venue as Columbia which is a pretty fun, honest course
10/14 Rev 3 South Carolina SC
Second to last race in the series, I was unable to race in 2011 due to injury, but it sounds like the course is not short on challenging, just the way I like it.
10/28 Rev 3 Florida FL
Rev 3 series finale, big points on the line, and a big season long series prize purse gets awarded at this race. Hopefully I can have the season I strive for and take a slice of that pie.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
I've made a new friend this winter, a borrowed Trek 4300 mountain bike complete with badly worn platform pedals, kickstand, and wheel reflectors. Brand new this is a $400 bike. I acquired this one far from brand new. In addition to the worn pedals the front suspension is completely frozen and not functional. The back of the saddle also appears to have been the choice snack of some household pet at some point. But even given all of these annoyances the temporary acquisition of this bike has been great and has energized my winter training. Never have I ever put in anywhere close to the outdoor riding hours in a December that I logged last month. I've really enjoyed the change of pace, offroad riding, and general change in routine. I've found offroad riding to be very challenging, there's no way to coast or ride easy through loose gravel. I'm sure my heart rate stays far higher on a mountain bike ride than an easy spin on the road bike. Having never spent any real time on a mountain bike before this winter I have no idea how this training will translate to my tri racing next summer, but I'm excited to find out.