Write Your Race Report
Many of you have heard me talk about the importance of having a race plan. Planning your race weekend and days leading up to the race so you know where you need to be and what you need to do. It really does take a layer of stress off race weekend. Once you’ve practiced your pacing, your nutrition and hydration in your training, got it all written down in a plan, then the job is to execute as best as possible.
But does a race ever really go exactly as planned? Nope. There usually will be something that didn’t go quite right. Maybe the tried and true goggles leaked. Maybe there was a mechanical issue on the bike. Or better yet, maybe your legs were spot on and floating so you ran faster than you thought you would!
The race report allows you to think through those issues and analyze your race. Take a step back and look at it objectively. Were goals met? Look at time goals, but also look at ranking – race conditions may have been a factor. How did you feel? Hopefully you found your fun zone, but if not, what happened?
Analyze all aspects of your race because this is how you make improvements for the next one. Here are some things to look at when writing a race report.
- Did your schedule/non-race stuff work out? If not, what did you need more or less time to do?
- Compare your goal time (if you had one) to your actual time, and also take a look at your age group and overall gender ranking. Time goals can go out the window if environmental conditions were not what you thought they would be. For example, if it was a windy course, everyone was in the same wind so compare your performance that way. If expectations were not met (goal power/pace/heart rate) try to think about why.
- How was your hydration and fueling? Could you do anything different for next time? More or less or at different timing intervals? This is especially important to note if you are still testing out different strategies.
- How did you feel? Did you enjoy the experience? Were there tough sections for which you need to work on a different mental strategy?
Writing a race report doesn’t mean you have to publish on a blog, though many endurance athletes will do this. It’s useful to learn from others when preparing for the same race. A race report is really just a summary document of how it went, successes and lessons learned so you can improve in your next race.
Save these notes somewhere you will be able to access it in the future, either on paper or in an electronic document. I’m racing several races this season that I’ve done in the past and I’m finding it very helpful to review my race reports. They give me a lot more information beyond what my swim/bike/run/transition times were.
Did you also know you can put your race reports in TrainingPeaks? First, you can attach a file or url to a workout. Another way is to just write your report in the post-activity comments for the race “workout.”
Another feature in TrainingPeaks (premium feature) is the race report feature. In the Dashboard just select ‘add new chart’ and scroll down to Race Report, and drag it to your dashboard. Click ‘add new race’ and add results from your races.
It’ll calculate the paces for you and at the bottom (not shown) is a section for you to write comments. In that section I will add the link to my blog post that contains my detailed report. Once the race report is saved, the dashboard view looks like this:
It’s a quick way to see a summary of your races from the season. If you want to try TrainingPeaks premium free for 2 weeks and test this feature out, just use the code nicole13.
Do you write race reports? How detailed do you get?
Do you find it helpful to read race reports from others?
Happy racing and writing!