DO A RACE REVIEW TO IMPROVE PERFORMANCE!
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana – Philosopher and poet
Now the race season is in full swing, and you are seeing the results of your hard training paying off, it can become easy to train and race through the season without really thinking about how it all went…
Evaluating each race (click here for our review sheet) can help shape changes you may want to consider in longer term training as well as address any new or ongoing problems (nutrition, equipment, etc). Each race – no matter the outcome – should be treated as an opportunity to assess not only the race performance but to also consider how you raced: whether you had and stuck to a race strategy, your nutrition and fuelling during the race and simply your confidence or motivation.
Be honest with yourself…
To be effective and useful, you should be honest and objective with yourself so that the key learning points can be extracted – and applied to training and/or future races. Record the positives and negative!
Truthfully assessing your performance and how closely it matched your expectations will help determine whether training and race strategy need to be adapted – and identify any causes of problems you may have encountered.
Try to complete your review as soon as possible after the race whilst it is still fresh and remember to include as many of the small details as you can as these are likely to be the significant points.
Start with a general assessment of the race: how prepared and motivated were you leading up to the race and then was your performance good, bad, indifferent.
The key areas to address in your general preparation for the race:
Travel arrangements and timing, and whether this affected your performance, sleeping patterns in the days before the race, eating habits in the days before the race, your general stress levels leading up to the race, kit preparation for the race and weather conditions, etc.
The key areas to assess when reviewing your race performance:
The race itself, starting first with how familiar you had been able to make yourself with the venue, arrangements, etc. This is relatively easy to do and will make for a more educated – and so relaxed – approach. Consider whether you had researched this well enough and ask yourself what your thoughts were leading up to the race start, during your warm up (and whether this was effective), on the start line and how your motivation level was at this point.
Consider whether you had planned a race strategy, a fuelling and hydration strategy and whether these were a) followed and b) successful – and if not, why not.
Did your race strategy include pacing and if so how well did you manage this – split times will indicate how you did in the race; did you make any decisions during the race – if so, why, and were they successful?
After assessing the race, consider whether your training had prepared you for the race and if not, what areas need to be addressed in future training.
If you have a coach, ensure you communicate your evaluation with them so future support and strategies can be formed.
Every race will present something new to learn from, spend 10-15minute after the race to honestly review your journey (training wise and logistically) to the race and your race day performance. In doing so, you will allow for future development and growth.