I am sure you have heard from so many places that December and January is the time to look back at the last year. Think about what went well and what didn’t! Then plan for the coming year. And that is great advice. It is a positive way to moving into the next season. In New Zealand we do this in winter rather than the New Year.
Anyway I have been thinking about this and I do think it has some very good points. No matter what you do it important to look to improve every season and not make the same mistakes over and over. In other words, have you got 10 years of experience or 10 x 1 year’s experience?
I see a major problem with having your evaluation once a year, rather than an on going evolution. This is the way most endurance sports are working now we are planning our year so far in advance. To do an Ironman you have to enter a year in advance to be in with a chance, so many Ultra’s you have to hope for a place in the lottery 10months out from the event. So even to think about entering you have to make plans one and a half years ahead at the very least. So this means we are forever looking to the future and what races we will do. Plus we make long term plans about 2, 3 or ever 5 year in the future.
Let me ask you a question.
It is January 2013. Who has been thinking about races to do in 2014?
I know I have. I have such a hard list of races to focus on this year, yet already I am planning next year. So what does this mean for doing the year or season review?
I believe the normal athlete needs to do this more often. Talk to your coach, see what is working, look at the results from the last 3 months. Are you progressing the way you should? Are you feeling fresh or burnt out? How is motivation? What is your head space? What is the goal for the next 3, 6 or 8 months? What training do you enjoy? What training do you hate? What training helps make you strong? Are you an athlete that backs up hard days of training well or do you need longer to recover? What mistakes did you make in the last period? What mistakes did you make in the last race? What did you do well in the last period? What did you do well in you last race?
Pick the important questions for you. Write them down, and the answers. It is very easy to say I have them in my head, yet answers change in your head. When they are on paper that makes them a perfect reminder of what was happening in that moment you wrote it down.
Then plan for the new season or part of your season! Your evolution as an athlete only every stops when your heart does.
Plan your races. Which are important and which are not? Write this down! So many people, and this includes me, have said “this race isn’t important” and then when they haven’t done well they are down about their training. Of course it didn’t go well when you didn’t taper well and used it only as training. Why forget that after the start?
Ok so plan and think about your training! It should always evolve.
More next time.