As triathletes, we rarely (if ever) experience the perfect race. You may nail your nutrition but then have a nail puncture in your rear wheel. You may hit a personal best coming out of the water but later you may drink too much liquid during the run and have stomach cramps.
From a different perspective, there normally are aspects of each race that do go perfectly, even when you don’t meet your goals and expectations for the overall race. Maybe you figured out how to get your wetsuit off even faster or found a new piece of equipment worked well. All of these details are important to record — and quickly post-race before you forget!
Here are questions to ask to help you identify the lessons learned – both positive and negative. We are listing them as things you may have done positively, but also consider where you made mistakes and identify what you could improve on.
- Was there something you did to make travel easier on yourself?
- Was there a specific training session that helped you warm-up in the days before the race? (For example: maybe it helped to ride 90 minutes on Thursday instead of just 45 minutes)
- Did you set up transition in a new way that made it easier to find or get through?
- How much time did you give yourself to prepare on race morning and how did it work out?
- What was your nutrition and hydration prior to racing?
- How was it to swim with/without a wetsuit? Some athletes prefer wetsuit swims while others don’t.
- How much time did warm-up in the water?
- Where did you place yourself in the swim start? Where you on the outside, near the front of your wave?
- Did you experience any problems with your goggles? Was the lens color appropriate for the sun?
- How much nutrition did you take? Was it enough?
- How easy was it for you to access your food and water?
- Did you pace yourself or did you feel like you were dragging near the end?
- Did you race with or without socks on the bike?
- How was your nutrition?
- Did you feel that you got enough water on the course or should you carry water or a drink mix with you?
- How was your pacing?
- Did you have everything you wanted such as a hat and sunglasses?
- Was your kit comfortable? Any chafing?
- Were you burnt after the race or did you get enough sunscreen on?
- How did you feel in the days following? Were you able to get your feet up post-race and eat shortly after finishing?
We encourage you to analyze each race by writing a detailed report in your training journal. Before your next race you can revisit it and hopefully make improvements. If you have any questions, please contact us.