By Terri Rejimbal, RRCA certified Run Coach
You spend months training and preparing for an event. You cross the finish line, hang the medal around your neck and in the days that follow, most of us will either bask in the glory of our performance, or feel disappointed with our time or placement.
Whether your performance met, exceeded or fell short of expectation, take time within the first day post-race, when details are still fresh, to honestly and objectively evaluate your performance and the factors affecting it, both negatively and positively.
Think of completing a Post Race Assessment (PRA) as just one step in your recovery process. If your training went well, you “planned your race and raced your plan”, or finished feeling stronger than in a similar race or conditions, make note of those key details. If mistakes were made leading into the race or during the event, learn from it so you don’t repeat them.
There is much to be learned from great performance as there is a poor performance. Ask yourself: Ask yourself did I give 100%? Did I go out too fast? Did I go into the race over-trained? Undertrained? Did I underestimate the weather or the course? Did I “zone out” and lose pace as the miles wore on, or was I sharp and in control throughout?
If your performance did not meet your expectations, do take the time to acknowledge your feelings of disappointment. Just be mindful though to not dwell on those feelings for days. Give yourself a set amount of time to complain, make excuses, be angry, etc. Then put it behind you, so you can evaluate your performance objectively and move your running forward.
A PRA should be completed after each and every race, regardless of the result. Use the following thought starters to help in your analysis:
By investing time in a PRA, you can make the necessary adjustments in training, and become a wiser runner in the future. No matter how your race goes, every race is a learning experience.
Terri Rejimbal is a competitive Masters athlete, a 3-time winner and 8-time Masters champion of the Gasparilla Distance Classic half-marathon; 6-time Disney Masters marathon winner, 6-time Florida USATF Athlete of the Year, and a New Balance product tester. Terri is a RRCA certified running coach and available for consulting or coaching services. Contact Terri at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook/terri.rejimbal, Twitter @trejimbal, or Instagram @bayshorerunner.