Analysing Your Race Performance Is Key to Improvements
A post-race report or blog does much more than just entertain the reader, they help assess what went well, what went wrong and what you can do better.
A race report should be used as a tool to learn from. The most effective time comes post-race, the sooner the better.
If you are a coached athlete or a self-coached athlete, it is important to be truthful when assessing and no matter if it was a race filled with negatives or a never occurring perfect race, as long as the negatives are learned from, the negatives then become positives and progress you forward towards a better performance in the next race.
Key Components for A Race Report
Travel – Did travel affect your performance?
Sleep – Did you sleep well or were sleeping patterns effected in the days before the race?
Nutrition and Hydration – The days prior, the morning of the race, race hydration plan, race nutrition plan, execution of plans?
Mindset – How were you mentally feeling, nervous, anxious, excited, confident, motivated?
Kit – Were you prepared for the weather conditions, you can break down into swim, bike and run?
Warm-up – Did you warm-up, what did you do, how long before the start?
Pacing – Did you stick to a plan, did the plan go out of the window, what effected pacing, what were your splits, what do the splits show about performance?
Before sitting down to begin the evaluation process, don’t be afraid of detail. The more information provided, the more likely you are to identify components that can be learned from and affect future race performances.
The time taken to evaluate performance will help maximise and identify the things that most affect performance on race day. Once these limiters are addressed, you are already making positive progress and on the path to better results.
Evaluating Your Race Season
After a long and busy race season, it is normal for a triathlete to be ready for a post-season break and this is always advised to reap the rewards of the season and to start the path to a better following season.
Before you put your feet up and settle into some recovery, it is important to give an honest review of what happened and what didn’t happen during race season.
The aim of the postseason review is to allow you to build on the experiences and progress towards an even faster and more successful triathlon season next time.
Most athletes believe that analysis of a race or season is determined by finish positions or PB times. To allow the finish line clock or your finish ranking to determine your evaluation, this would be unfair to yourself due to many outside factors that could affect these results, race times can be effected from many variables like, weather, course changes, distances being inaccurate etc. Also, we all want to finish as high up the field as possible, but to set a goal which could be decided by others rather than your own performance, would be a wrong way to declare a failure to your season.
To help evaluate your season, here are some questions to help realise and assess how the season has truly gone.
- Did you set season goals and were they clear (could you have set them higher or were they unrealistic in expectations)?
- Did you achieve what you set out to do at the start of the year (often as you improve through the year, goals get advanced and the originals get forgotten)?
- What were you most proud of this season (was it the improvements you made in either swim, bike or run. Was it the dedication and commitment through the season)?
- What went well, what didn’t go well (learn from the positives and negatives)
- Are there any habits that you feel have held you back (can these be broken)?
- Did you miss any training (why and could this be avoided)?
- Be honest with yourself and put in writing what decisions you could make to progress you to having the best season yet.
Written by Zone3 Ambassador Alex Foster