Conduct a Year End Assessment
You made it through another (or your first!) triathlon season. You’ve accomplished some goals, you’ve learned a thing or two (or twenty) about the sport, and you’re starting to look to the year ahead. This is a great time to do a head-to-toe, end-to-end assessment of some different things you can improve upon, or that you should tend to, in 2017.
Approach the list below the way an auto mechanic would approach a 20-point inspection: everything should be reviewed, but not everything will be fixed today. Identify those items that need to be addressed so they don’t cause near-term issues and/or those items that provide the greatest opportunity for improvement in the coming year. Don’t feel like you need to fix everything all at once – save some items for 2018!
Training & Racing Assessment
+ Review 2016 training and racing – what worked? What didn’t? What did you achieve?
+ Outline 2017 race calendar and set race goals
+ Identify changes in training – volume and/or intensity, overall and/or for specific disciplines – that will be necessary to achieve your goals
+ Is your bike due for maintenance? (Not sure? Check here: http://www.slowtwitch.com/Tech/Bike_Maintenance_Schedule_3877.html)
+ Are your run shoes worn out? (Rule of thumb: 250 miles for lightweight shoes, up to 400 for more durable shoes like Newton’s or Hoka’s.
Don’t know your mileage? If it’s been more than 6 months since you bought the ones you’re in, you probably need a new pair.)
Physiological Assessment (especially if you are injury-prone!)
+ Consider an overall physical therapy assessment to identify muscular weakness or imbalances that can be addressed through targeted
exercises and strength training.
+ Has your progress in the pool plateaued? Consider a swim stroke analysis to improve your technique – it will provide gains where
+ Do you have consistent hip/knee/back/shoulder pain on the bike? Time for a new bike fit!
+ If you routinely find yourself sidelined by injury as you build up running miles, consider a gait assessment to identify where
you’re going wrong.
Now that your inspection is complete, make the investment in your self and your season. Take the time to follow through with what you learned and set yourself up for a solid season of training and racing in 2017!
When it comes to triathlon, Coach Alison Freeman thinks it’s really important to look for a win everywhere. Committing to taking on a new race distance? Stretching yourself to tackle tough workouts? Sticking with a six to nine month training plan? They are all wins! And when you work around obstacles that life throws in your path, and you still make it to the starting line of a race? THAT is a really big win.