Performance Self-Analysis by Marty Gaal, CSCS

Posted: July 27, 2011 in Information, Race Information, Training Information

Many triathletes are all really hard on themselves.  This is endemic to our somewhat OCD / Type-A sport.  It is a demanding and unforgiving sport when you boil things down, with lots of techniques, disciplines, and gear, and you are surrounded by equally motivated and self-demanding/achieving types.  There is nothing wrong with this.  However, your self-criticism must be balanced with a recognition of what you have done & continue to do well in, and what you excel in.

Not every race (or workout) is going to go perfectly, especially if it is not your big “A” race of the season.  You will probably be under-rested and a little beat up in most circumstances.  Take a moment to view your race day performances in terms of what went well first as well as what could be improved second.  Some of you view this in reverse – what went poorly with a negative self-assessment, followed by an after-thought of what went well, sometimes with prompting from outside.

Of course, as coaches want to know where you feel you could improve.  That is part of the racing and training process.

A positive attitude really makes a difference in how you view racing and training, and in my biased view it should be holistic – applicable across all aspects of sport. It is OK to be critical but it has to be balanced by a realistic view of your successful achievements in any given endeavor.

Bri and I have both raced at reasonably competitive levels, and personally nothing annoys me more than to have a person who finished ahead of me (or improved a lot, or won their division) start droning on about how they felt lousy or didn’t run well or missed a turn or whatever.  Give me and you a break.  Save it and revel in your victory or personal success.  Relax and enjoy the moment for Pete’s sake.  It is OK to enjoy personal success!

No matter where you are in your personal quest for fitness and competitive success, there is someone who is working very hard to get to where you are right now.  You can always look up and work to go up, but don’t forget to look down and back sometimes.  Some of you couldn’t swim a lick a year or two ago, or never rode a bike.  Now where are you?

Sometimes races will not go well, period, no matter your attitude or training. The great philosopher Forrest Gump sums it up well. (Warning: mild-bad language)

As coaches we work to create realistic training plans, adjusting things as situations change, as well as help you develop mental toughness and positive attitudes, which are big parts of race & workout performance.  Negative feedback loops quickly detract from performance, as quickly as dehydration or poor pacing can.

What I am trying to write is to stop and smell the roses once in a while.

Just not during the race. 🙂

Marty Gaal, CSCS, is a USA Triathlon and USA Track and Field certified coach and owner of OSB Multisport Coaching

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Comments
  1. tristacey says:

    Wise words from the most laid-back non type A tri coach I know. : )

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