You put in the time and energy logging the miles and running the workouts. You ate well, you rested and peaked for optimal performance. You ran the big race and hopefully accomplished your goal and are satisfied with the result. Now it’s time to rest, recover and look ahead to the next training season.
But before you do, it’s important and valuable to look back and reflect on the past season of training.
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Take time to evaluate and assess what you feel you did well, where you could make improvements as well as how you’ll train differently the next time. Ask yourself the following questions. Think carefully about your responses. Be honest with yourself. Write down what comes to mind and where possible, come up with ways to improve for next time.
Did you accomplish your running, training and racing goal(s)? Why or why not?
What did you do on the day of the race that contributed to your success? Before and during?
How about the days and weeks leading up to the race? What did you eat? How much did you sleep? Did you taper your training?
Did you follow a carefully considered training plan? If not, how did you structure your running?
Did you run more or less than you planned to?Would you have liked to run more? Should you have run less?
What workouts did you enjoy the most? Which ones did you excel at? Struggle with?
Did you stay healthy and injury-free? What actions or behaviours contributed to preventing injury (or caused it)?
How much did you focus on diet, supplemental training, sleep and rest/recovery? What non-running behaviours could have better aided in your training?
How was your motivation throughout the training? What motivated you most? When did you lack motivation?
At any point did you feel overtrained or burnt out? If so, what do you think led to this?
Did you have a support team or network that contributed to your success? How did others (who were they?) help you and how could they have helped more?
How well did you balance other aspects of life with your running and training? How did you deal with non-running related stress?
What did you find most enjoyable about the past season of training? What didn’t you enjoy? What could make running and training more enjoyable?