Endurance training and racing – finding your goal

Define your main race

Now, with the knowledge about you as an athlete. It is time to set a goal for your endurance training and racing. The goal will be your main race, which we will call your A-race. So let’s start by defining that. If you don’t know which competition you will have as your A-race, take some time researching and find something that motivates you.

“Just be patient. Let the game come to you. Don’t rush. Be quick, but don’t hurry.” – Earl Monroe

When choosing a competition to have as your seasonal goal. Consider how much time you have for training. We think that these values function as a benchmark for your commitment to endurance training:

  • 6-10 Supersprint/sprint
  • 8-12 Sprint/Olympic/middle distance
  • 10-12 HIM/Long distance
  • 10-14 Long distance

See these numbers as recommendations. Some people can train less, some need more. And depending on your goal with the competition and your background in endurance training. it differs. 

Then quantify the goal and give yourself an honest chance to think about whether to participate (try it out), perform (personal best) or compete (win your age group). 

Example: To complete an Olympic distance triathlon in 2 hours, 40 minutes.

5 steps to successful training and racing

In order for you to juggle everyday life and to succeed with your training and racing, we have developed five steps, this being the second. This series will help you to define your starting point, your goal and the required training effort. We help you to answer how much, how often, and how hard you should workout. All of this is put together in an individual endurance training program.

In this series of articles, we will walk you through, 

  • How to start endurance training. With the knowledge of your mental and physical ability, you have a better chance to plan your season. We go through how you can make a self-assessment of your starting point.
  • Training volume in endurance sports. Your capacity is slowly but surely built up during the season by a series of training sessions. Hours spent on training is, therefore, a central theme. How much and how often should you workout?
  • Endurance training plan – How to periodize training. Again, it is not only about training but also about training with a purpose. This is where the individual plan, with the different phases, comes in. When do you train what?
  • Endurance training zones – Intensity in training. Whether you base your training on heart rate, pace or effect, your training zones are the foundation for all training and racing. How hard should you workout, and how do you know what is enough?

Training objectives and milestones along the way

To increase your chances of reaching your goal for your A-race, you need to work on your weak spots. When you did your athletic profile, you found some areas that you needed to focus a little bit extra on. And now it is time to take those areas and convert them into manageable milestones along the way. 


I need to work on my swimming. 

Milestone: I want to be able to swim 1 kilometer in under 20:00, and for that, I need to improve muscular endurance and technique.

In addition to the season’s regular testing, it can be a good idea to sign up for some preparatory competitions (B-races and C-races). The purpose of these is to test your sub-goals, but also to practice putting together all the disciplines. It is a thing of magic what a race bib can do for once performance. in the world of endurance, training and racing goes hand in hand. 

The three levels of going into a competition, as written above. Participating, performing and competing can also function as a build-up to your main goal. As said before, if you have the ambition to compete at long-distance races. It can be wise to train on competing. Few people have put the effort into winning at their first race. Most do a couple of races before committing to the task of competing at that level. 

“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the further you get.” – Michael Phelps

  • Background

  • Training

  • Enter the date you think you are ready to start with structured training.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • A rule of thumb: Sprint (6-10h), Olympic (8-12h), Ironman 70.3 (8-14h), Ironman (10-14h)
  • Racing

  • If you have not yet decided, enter an approximate date.
    Date Format: YYYY dash MM dash DD
  • Other


Start typing and press Enter to search

Training philosophy for endurance trainingIntensity levels of endurance training