I think I'm in the same boat as lots of other folks here. I will admit that I've fantasized about banging out great early season races and outside of pure running it's not in the cards. Along those lines I'm committed to lots of pure TT events until the season kicks off in earnest.
So, I've got my eye on some races and *if* I get into one or another shapes the rest of the spring/summber/fall.
So here's what's cooking:
Leadville 100 MTB, I watched Race Across the Sky this fall and entered the lottery. I really like long-distance MTB racing because of the parallels with Triathlon, it's primarily a race against one's self.
A few years back I did an event in Corvallis, Oregon called MudSlinger, it was a traditional XC race, I raced Sport class on an XL sized frame, rode waaaay off course all with poorly set-up C'dald headshock and got my clock cleaned but I had a blast and I was wiped out at the desk for the better part of the next work week. I found out about an event put on by the same folks in the same neck of the woods called Test of Endurance, a 50mile race. Twice as far as Mudslinger!
It's never quite fit into my calendar because it's traditionally held in mid/late June and so conflicts with Triathlon, but not this year so that may factor in.
If Leadville doesn't shake out I'm fairly certain I will head to Oro Valley, Arizona for Duathlon Nationals in late April.
July, August, September? Sort of a crap shoot. I can guarantee: more of the same and a few new things. It's a wish list:
Whiskey Dick Tri
Rev 3 Pdx
Crater Lake Century
That's a good start.
October: Victoria Marathon. Speaking of which I should probably register for it now.
So about building training metrics:
Typically what I do is ask: what would I like to do (time, place) accomplish at said event? Is that realistic? If yes, then I look at how long I have to get in that shape based on where I'm now.
This is one of the reasons I almost *never* race early in the season! While I have good fitness, I don't have race sharpness.
And so based on those questions I'll typically build a monthly schedule with week to week variance with built in "wild card" days, e.g. recovery time. I log everything as well, sorry I don't publish it anymore.
There's more of course, like the details on where to place the high intensity workouts, when to do the long stuff, how much long stuff relative to short stuff and what about the dreaded Z3? (Hey, I think Z3 is not something to be completely avoided).
And I know, I know. With lots of the season undefined how can I possibly set up my training metrics!? Well, good run, bike and swim fitness gets me 70% of the way there, I can call audible so-to-speak upwards of six weeks out to get aligned for the event.
What are you doing this season?