There is no right or wrong approach to that but there are some physiological parameters that are true and there is also a fundamental question that needs to be addressed to the athlete before any decision made: "How long is your goal race? How much and how well do you want to perform at that one race? Are you ok with a good performance or you want to be at your absolute best?"
I find that a lot of my fellow athletes are racing by wanting to do well at every single race. And this is great and if that satisfies them it is even greater! This approach however has a lot of pitfalls. At one race the training and rest may be at the right place and they race well. At another race something goes south and the result is not that good. Physiologically, the body can perform at its very best once or maybe twice a year. This of course does not mean that an athlete needs to race once or twice only!
The art of what distance, how much and how often an athlete should race depends on the athlete's and coach's approach to training and racing, on the actual distance of the goal race and of course, on the level of the individual athlete. Usually, the longer is the goal race the less frequently an athlete needs to race during the preparation. We believe that every single race in the calendar should be chosen for a reason that reason should be the ultimate goal race(s). This however, does not take away the fun or the frequency of the races - it is more of a realization that the body will not perform at its best at every single race. Period.
In my case this year, we really set up the training calendar in May. With so many ups and downs (especially at the beginning of the season) last year, Dave wanted to be 100% sure that I was starting healthy. This year, I do have a single goal race, and I am healthy. ITU World Championships, September 26. It is a long-distance race (very close to the Ironman distance: 4000m swim/86mi bike/30km run) and putting-in longer training days will give me more benefit rather than racing too often. So, one race every month for me and racing with fatigue till September!
I can't wait to race and ...
This year, you will find me at:
1. 2016 Southeast Regional Triathlon Championships(Chattanooga waterfront) -June
2. 2016 Georgia Games Open Water Swim Championships - July
3. 2016 Toughman Alabama (half-distance triathlon) - August
4. 2016 ITU Long Distance World Championships - September
Happy training, Happy racing!