Congratulations. You've crossed the finish line on your first triathlon.
You might not realize it, but this is a critical period in your burgeoning endurance sports career. After your first race, you must be able to learn from your performance.
Follow this step-by-step system to analyze the key factors of your race and generate targeted goals based on those results.
Step 1: Find Your Results
Race results are typically posted within 48 hours of the event's completion. If you're serious about learning from your races, give yourself a reminder to check the race website, since you may not receive an e-mail notification.
Trifind.com, Triresults.com, and Athlinks.com are websites that allow you to search triathlon results for your times and splits, compare races, and find accurate data from previous years. Athlinks.com also allows you to compare your times and examine head-to-head match-ups against participants you frequently compete against.
Step 2: Examine Your Splits
In addition to reporting your overall time, many online race results now offer the following:
- Swim time, pace per 100 meters or yards, overall place, and occasionally, division place and splits for multiple loop swims
- First transition (T1) time
- Bike time, pace per mile or km, pace at specific checkmarks (such as when you cross certain timing mats on a longer race course) and placing
- Second transition (T2) time
- Run time, pace per mile or km, checkmark pace, and placing
From such detailed results, you can glean important and helpful information. For example, ask yourself the following questions: How does my open water pace compare to my pool pace? How does my open water pace change in choppy water versus smooth swims? Does it appear that I need more practice swimming in groups or in open water?
Are my T1 times slow compared to others (especially in my division)? How did my bike speed compare to others in my division? In longer races, were my bike splits consistent between checkmarks, or did I slow as the race progressed?
Do I rank lower in T2 than in T1, and if so, should I practice bike dismounts or changing into my running shoes more quickly? How are my run splits between checkmarks--did I come out of T2 too fast? Did my fueling strategies on the bike affect my run pacing early in the run, or later?