Reviewing your training and racing performance

Posted on: May 17, 2018

Reviewing your training and racing performance

To all athletes who have been competing recently, especially those who have recently taken part in Immortal Sport “Immortal Half”, Stourhead – review your performance!

A great quote for such an instance:

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana – Philosopher and poet

In August 2017 we wrote a blog about race reviewing. It was an important exercise then, is important now and will be going forwards!

Triathlon and life
For most, triathlon is a hobby – for fun and fitness and fitting around work, family, friends, etc.

Races are there to provide targets, motivation and for a bonus fun session!

Just because triathlon (training and racing) is done for fun, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the opportunity to assess your development in serious light occasionally, to learn how you can enjoy it even more.

So, what should you review and why?

Reviewing progress
Setting aside 15-minutes for a review of each race in your triathlon journey can help reveal strengths and weaknesses to your approach – no matter the importance of the race, it can and should be assessed.

A 15-minute review can illuminate many factors, for better or worse; where you wisely spent time training, where your investment of equipment helped, or what happened because you changed nutrition brands too close to (or worse still, on) race day!

 

Honesty is the key
To be effective and useful, honesty and an objective take on events is the key to learning for future gains. Record the negatives as well as the positives – both will help you plan for future gains.

Try to complete your review as soon as possible after the race, whilst it is still fresh in mind and you still remember all the small details.

What to assess?
Start with a general assessment of the race: how prepared and motivated were you leading up to the race; then consider whether your performance was good, bad, indifferent – rate it accordingly, out of 10 if that is easiest.

The key areas to address in your general preparation for the race:
• Travel arrangements – did you arrive in time, did it affect your performance, etc
• Sleep – the week and night before
• Eating habits – the days before the race, the day of the race
• Kit preparation – for the travel, for the race, was it appropriate for race day weather conditions

The key areas to assess when reviewing your race performance:
• The race itself – did you recce the race venue, learn the race arrangements, the swim, bike, run routes and the transitions, etc.
• Pre-planned strategies – did you stick to the right effort range?
• Fuelling and hydration – did you have a strategy; did you successfully follow it?
• On the “fly” choices – did you make any decisions during the race – if so, why, and were they successful?

The key areas to assess when reviewing your race preparation (training):
• The training approach – consider whether your training had prepared you for the race and if not, what areas need to be addressed in future training (for swim, bike and run, plus any other highlights).
• The nutrition and hydration plan – did you allow your body enough time to get used to the fuels and hydration aids used on race day, or did you experience gastric distress?
• Your coaching – did you have a coach supporting you? If so, communicate your evaluation with her/him for any changes to future support and strategies. Should you seek advice from a coach for future training?

Learning and growing
Every race will present something new to learn from – big or small. Spending 15 minutes after each race will highlight these learning points.

Once you know your strengths and weaknesses it will allow you to adapt your future training appropriately. You will progress throughout the season, continually adapting and overcoming obstacles.

After all, we all want to be doing the things we love for as long as possible. It’s an interlinked affair; training smart, racing smart, assessing performance, adapting to train SMARTER, race SMARTER, assess.

It continuum leads to continual achievement and continual enjoyment! Season after season.