It’s been a long season and you’re likely well into your rest period. Being the competitor you are, your mind’s already on the 2014 season. Doing a bit of analysis and giving a bit of thought to your season will help you put together your plan for next season and begin to lay the foundation for success. Now is the time to take stock of what you’ve accomplished, how you did it, and what you want to do next.
Assess Your Season
First, assess your season with an in-depth review. Review your goals – did you reach them or not? Keep context in mind – did you have to overcome unexpected changes to your schedule? Did getting sick set you back? Think about the flow of your season and take stock of where you felt best and where you could have been better. Write all of it down with an emphasis on the positive: what you regard as the successes of your season and how you think you achieved those successes.
Success vs. Training
Next, compare your success to your training. Figure out what in your preparation worked and what didn’t work. Did you hit your target events in peak form? Did you hit all your peaks? Look back at your training logs and data and note when you felt the fittest and when you felt the most fatigued. Think about how you might have reached an even higher peak. Did you not rest enough? Could you have done a few more intervals? As your experience grows and you mature as an athlete, it’s often possible to handle an increased training load. Keep this in mind as you plan for next year. Again, take the time to write your thoughts down.
Game Plan: Goals for 2014
Finally, think about your goals for the coming season. What do you want to accomplish and why? Write it all down. This does a couple of things: 1) it allows you to begin to embed your goals in your mind and 2) it gives you a platform from which to begin to map out your off-season training and build a plan for the next year. As you move into winter, it’s possible you’ll want to adjust your goals or set more specific training targets on the way to accomplishing them. Thinking about your goals now will give you time to really make the most of your off season preparation. If you’re unsure about how to do any of this, don’t hesitate to seek help from a qualified and experienced coach.