Looking Back to Plan Ahead

The transition period is a good time to start planning for your upcoming season. You should have the time since you are "taking it easy" and the resources since the season is still fresh in your mind.

But, before you start to map out your ATP (Annual Training Plan) for 2013, you need to look back at the past season's goals, objectives, training schedule and race results. You need to critique the past before you plan for the future. Ask yourself the following questions to help you more successfully shape your upcoming season.

  • Did you meet your goals?
  • Did you follow your training objectives?
  • Did you address your limiters?
  • Were you able to stick to your training schedule?
  • Were you satisfied with your racing results?

Set Reasonable Goals

When planning the upcoming season, think about how difficult or easy it was to meet your goals during the past season. Were they reasonable, too easily met or beyond your reach?

Did your training objectives lead you to your goals? Training objectives are the stepping-stones to your goals and must be followed closely. Often your training objectives focus on your limiters. In order to improve, you must focus on your weaknesses while maintaining your strengths.

More: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself This Offseason

Avoid Over-Reaching

When looking back at your training journal, were you able to log in the hours that you scheduled? You need to set your training hours to blend into your daily schedule. Don't set yourself up for failure by scheduling more hours than you have available to train.

More: How to Tell When You're Over-Reaching or Over-Training

Create a Balanced Race Schedule

Did you feel good about your race results? Remember to think about your race effort and not compare yourself to your competition.

Did your race schedule fit into your life schedule? Not having enough races in a season can lead to seemingly endless training, while having too many races can lead to burnout.

Balancing your race schedule with a good mixture of one or two peak events (A races), several lead-in events (B races) and some train-through or practice events (C races) will keep you motivated to train and eager to race.

Looking back at your season and evaluating the good and the bad will provide you with solid data with which to begin designing your training plan for the upcoming season. So, break out a paper and pencil (or laptop) and ask yourself the above questions.

Before you know it, you will be on the road to a great upcoming season.

More: How to Plan Your Race Calendar

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