I’m sure you’ve said that to yourself at least once during your training or racing season. So how do we systematically review our past season so that we can set appropriate goals for the next?
In your break between race seasons, no matter how long or short it is (weeks or months), you should always review the previous season in order to make improvements on the next one. We train and race because we enjoy it, so time spent reviewing what went well and what didn’t is important to help keep it fun.
Here are some guidelines when doing your season review:
While faster race results are one component of a good season, there is a lot more to it than that. In addition to reviewing your race times, go back through your race results and race reports and check for notes about positive things that happened. Which races did you enjoy the most and why?
Did you set any PRs, or race a new distance or discipline? Did your threshold power or pace improve, or maybe you found it easier to stay near your threshold for longer? Did you improve technique, stay injury free, or just do some cool things?
It might be a good idea to keep a running list of these larger scale positives throughout your season, so when this time of year comes along, you can see everything that went well in one look, and also see the positives across multiple seasons.
Next, look at the areas you’d like to make make things better.
Personally, after each race I use a race report template, which has a section called lessons learned in order to write down what didn’t go so well. Writing these lessons down will help you to determine what you can improve upon so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Going back through these are great to find positives as well since you can also find what you were able to fix during the season.
For your season review, go through a similar process of reviewing lessons learned. Every level of athlete should set a few goals for each season (three is a good number). Did you meet these goals? Why or why not? Be honest with yourself when answering. Digging into the “why” can help to shed light on some things that might be holding you back from meeting your goals. Here are some types of questions you might ask yourself in addition to reviewing the big goals:
- Did you train as much as you wanted?
- Did you train too much or too little?
- Were you consistent in your training?
- Did you give good and appropriate feedback to your coach?
- How well did you adapt when life threw you curveballs?
- Did you respect the recovery you needed?
- Did you take care of the other things in you life (recovery, family, work, etc)?
From the data side, here’s a useful article to learn how to do a data-based season review. What was your CTL and TSB for your key races?
Obviously, a season review can consist of spreadsheets with performance goals and outcomes, benchmark test results, and all sorts of metrics that we track. But we get a better review if we remember to review the entire picture of our training and racing experiences.
Original post on NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness here