As a cyclist, you know that training is essential for improving your performance. But how do you know if your training is actually effective? One way to answer this question is to review your annual training data.
In conducting your review, I would suggest three rules to help develop actionable ideas to improve your training.
Yes and no - When reviewing goals and process goals, start with a simple and honest yes or no. Either you achieved the goal or you did not. This self honesty challenges us to search for improvement.
Determine the why - Yes, you achieved your goal? Great! No, you did not? Begin to break down the reasons why. I highly suggest limiting yourself to no more than three reasons you didn't achieve. Why limit? It's too easy to end up with a big list of items, and then it's hard to act on all of them. By limiting yourself to three, you will determine the three greatest barriers to your success.
Determine improvement actions - The final step is to build your list of improvement actions' that will directly lead to better performance and goal achievement in the future. These items are often behavioral.
Summarize your goals before you start. For example, let's say you had one big goal for the year, to win Rebecca's Private Idaho (RPI) Baked Potato. Record that goal and, more importantly, the three to five key process goals you focused on to achieve that victory.
Here's an example:
Goal: Win Rebecca's Private Idaho Baked Potato
Complete winter BaseCamp and complete over 90% of the workouts
Complete at least three other gravel events successfully as part of performance preparation
Complete RPI BaseCamp and complete over 90% of the workouts
Build gravel handling skills by executing at least two gravel rides per week
1. Now start with your Yes/No analysis. This part is pretty easy. Start with the main goal (win RPI) and work your way down through the process goals. Be honest with each point.
2. Once you have the yes or no, now determine why. For this step, it's really important to focus on the process goals, as this will guide you toward improvement via confirmation or critique. Write up your yes/no and your whys into a simple document.
3. Now that you have your personal goal evaluation, use the information to build some actionable improvement steps. The action steps should focus on further leveraging the things you did well this year while looking for ways to improve in the areas you did not do well. Be very realistic about what you can do and control and what you cannot. This realism is meant to take some pressure off and allow for improved planning of your upcoming season.
Plan Your Best Season Ever!
Now that you're armed with the analysis of your season, start thinking about your next season and how to apply what you learned to improve your results.