analysis is crucial to your ongoing improvement as an endurance athlete.
Don't make rash judgments on your performance in the first 24 hours post-race. Let the emotions (positive and/ or negative) settle down. Then do an honest self-evaluation. What made the race a success? Did you hit your goal time? Was it a PR? Did you complete a distance for the first time? Was finishing the ultimate goal? Was your performance good considering race day conditions? Was your race day focus good/ bad? How was your training... really?
What went wrong?
- Did you go out too fast? This is the #1 error. Most runners go out too fast. Proper pacing takes a tremendous amount of discipline & patience. You learn this in training. Marathon Pacing Made Easy
- Did you pick a goal that did not realistically reflect your current fitness? What evidence from your training did you use to pick your racing goal? Was it sound and scientific? Or a wild guess? Breaking Through the Wall
- Did your ego/ impatience/ adrenaline get in the way? Happens to all of us. Don't compare your fitness, results or race pace to anyone else. Focus on YOUR race.
- Did you stray from your nutrition/ hydration plan? Sometimes we just forget to eat and drink. Many runners do not take the opportunity in training to figure out exactly what works for them. Marathon Nutrition Tips
- Did you think that lingering injury would magically disappear during the race? Did you think the rules of injury/ recovery don't apply to you? Runners Are Dumb
What went right?
- You hit your goal performance? If so, document everything in your training log and your race recap so you can repeat the formula next time. You obviously did many things right. You stayed injury free. You can tweak things with each training cycle as goals, fitness and experience change. But you have the basic blueprint for your own personal success.
Average weekly mileage
Injury prevention methods
Race goal & strategy
What would you do differently? Whether you judge the race "great" or "poor", there are always
things to tweak for the next training cycle and race.
- Do you need more race specific pace work?
- More/ less speedwork? Running Fast to Race Fast
- Tempo runs?
- More/ fewer long runs?
- Clean up your diet to get close to ideal "racing weight"? Every pound helps. Racing Weight
- Find the root cause of your injury and FIX it.
- Listen to credible sources of training & racing advice?
- Find a training group. There are many advantages to groups: advice, camaraderie, distraction, safety.
- Hire a coach to avoid many of the basic training and racing errors. Get a Coach (Or At Least Think Like One)
Learn from your races. Don't make excuses. Don't keep making the same mistakes.