Value of Post-Race Reflection

Dec 01, 2020

If you compete in short distance races - 5K, 10K, or sprint triathlons, you could race several times per month. But if you go long, you will only do a few per year. In either case, every day and every race is a learning opportunity.

Paula and I not only encourage our athletes to build a race plan before a big race, but also a post-race journal to document the experience.

For a race plan template, click here.

The post-race journal should include how well your race plan worked on race day. Be sure to answer these type questions:

  • Did your nutrition work?
  • Did your pacing work?
  • Did your training prepare you for the weather and course conditions?
  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • Who supported you?
  • Who also raced?
  • What did you learn?
  • Etc.

In addition to the technical details you can use to improve next time, we recommend you capture those special moments that are memorable.

Memories from the Ironman World Championship 2016

When I competed in the Ironman World Championship, I clearly remember riding through  the lava fields along the ocean, running through the Energy Lab, and the thrill of running through the finish shoot with the crowds.  But other special nuggets from my experience include seeing Craig Alexander (Crowie) around mile 20 of the run as he was standing and cheering all by himself on the Queen K. I clapped his hand and he said good job in his Aussie accent. I remember passing a guy in my age group who I met at Ironman Texas. He was struggling so I gave him some of my nutrition to help him out. I remember being able to see fish in the clear ocean water.  I remember hearing a “clop, clop, clop” sound on the bike and thinking I had a flat. Turned out a piece of tape had somehow attached to my tire. I remember wondering where my wife and daughter were when I didn’t see them at the turn around in Hawi. (They were lost and frantically trying to get there before me). But it was great to see them several times other places. When coming through the finish shoot, I was shouting “Praise the Lord!”.

I could not have made it without Him or my supportive family. I was so excited to be accomplishing this long-time goal, that I ran right past my wife and daughter without seeing them. On the finish line, I remember trying to do a dance move I learned before my son’s wedding reception. I remember having a great time vacationing before and after the race.

Next Steps

Finish time and place are not the only things to remember about your race experiences. I’m sure you can think of stories from your training and racing. Take time to jot them down. Read back through your notes later and relive the adventure.

As coaches, we want to see your pre- and post-race documentation. Our goal is to help you improve.

If you are interested in coaching services, we are here to help.  Join our team.


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