Many new triathletes, or triathletes taking on a longer race or bigger challenge, hesitate to complete their registration, even though they are training for an event.The question is: Sign up now? Or wait until closer to the date when you are more confident you can complete the distance without injury?To be sure, people have lost (significant amounts of) money by registering for a race and then having a work emergency, family crisis or injury crop up that prevents them from arriving at the starting line.But let's examine the merits of registering anyway.
If you plan to achieve anything in life, you have to take a risk and go for it. Asking for a promotion, starting a family, telling your friends you are going to complete a triathlon ... these all require risking something AND committing to an outcome without knowing every single variable required for success.When we decide to have children, we have NO IDEA what we are in for. And that's a lifetime commitment. When we accept a new job or start a business, it very rarely turns out the way we imagined.So we do this all of the time. It's not crazy. You imagine the moment of finishing, and that guides all of the decisions and sacrifices you will make along the way until your reality finally catches up in time to your dream, and the two merge together at the finish line.
If you pay the money, you will put the race on your calendar, request the required time off work early, and inform your family and support network about the date. That's just logical. But by doing these things, you are actually creating the future. You are setting the state for success. And if you don't register now, it will be a "Maybe" until you do. A maybe on your own schedule, and definitely a light pencil mark for your support network of spouse/partner, family, friends, etc.Also most of us don't like to waste money, and we are not going to be deterred by poor weather or "feeling tired" the weekend before if we already paid.Further, for popular races, waiting too long to register may result in you being closed out of the race altogether.
It's much more likely that you'll create a training plan (perhaps here on BeginnerTriathlete?) if you have a firm race you've already chosen. Here's the sequence we recommend:Choose a distance that makes sense for your experience level. (i.e. Don't make your very first triathlon an iron distance one.)Check your calendar for big conflicts, such as weddings, work travel, kids' birthdays, etc. (If it's your kid's birthday, consider doing a destination race where you can have fun at a theme park the day before the race and your family can continue to ride the rides or relax on the beach while you race.)Sign up for the race. Pull the trigger. Click submit.Choose a Training Plan and import it here at BeginnerTriathlete, specifying your race date. Our system will calculate the dates backward for you and let you know where to begin.