Analyzing Race Results

I am very guilty when it comes to analyzing race results and getting down on myself.  I expect a lot and am my own worst critique.  You may recall my near breakdown when I reviewed my results at CapTexTri at the race site.  Instead of enjoying the PR that I just laid down, on a more difficult course, I criticized myself for my place.  I did not take into account that I cannot control who is in the race and just thought to myself that I worked so hard for that race to just place where I did.  I did not say to myself look at the 7 minute PR I just laid down. [caption id="attachment_4154" align="alignright" width="259" caption="The Finish Line....my race goal!"]ironman_triathlon_race_finish[/caption] With two triathlon races left in my 2012 season I have grown a lot since that day.  I only compare myself to myself and think about how I can improve in all facets of triathlon.  I analyze my swim times, bike times and run times to each other as separate disciplines.  The problem is that I am not comparing courses.  I am not comparing conditions.  Even if you race on the same course the next year you are looking at different conditions so it is near impossible to compare A to B, as there are always variables. I bring this up because on October 2nd I will be racing the US Open Championships in Rockwall, Texas and then on October 23rd I will be in Austin for the 70.3 Longhorn race.  I raced in Rockwall last year and finished in 2:53.  This was my first Olympic distance race and since then I have lowered my time to a PR of 2:38.  I am of the mindset that I can go below 2:30 in Rockwall this year.  Why do I think that?  I say that because I know I have improved year over year and my PR was a 2:38 without a wetsuit on the swim and a horrible run in extreme heat.  I know that I can take 3-4 minutes off of my swim from that race because of the wetsuit.  More importantly, I know my run will be faster because my nutrition/hydration has been dialed in. Then the last A race of the year will be three weeks later.  70.3 Longhorn is so different from 70.3 Oceanside that comparisons are nearly impossible yet I have a time of 5:29 in my mind.  I want to go sub-5:30 at this race and all signs point to me doing so, but again these two races are so different even though the distances are the same. This begs the question of how do you analyze your races with all the different variables.  Lucky for me, and now you, Active.com has an article to address this.  Here is the article for you to read in a condensed form.  If you wish to read the entire article click [HERE]: ====================

How to Measure Your Triathlon Race Results

By Eric Kenney EK Endurance Coaching

With racing season well under way, many triathletes are analyzing race results and assessing their performance. This can be a tricky process. Whether it's simply a training race or a more important event, there are many things to consider when looking at the numbers...and some things should simply be left on the course. With times, rank in each event, overall placing, wattage, run pace and more, how do you analyze your results and performance correctly? The first rule of thumb: Measure you and only you. Forget about everyone else.

The Hard Data

When it comes to the data, running pace is a big one. I recommend going by your GPS watch—it's the most consistent tool race to race. Plus, run course distances can be off more than you think which can skew times quite a bit. Be careful with swim times as well. I have never heard of an open water swim course that was perfect. Wind, choppy water and other extenuating circumstances can all affect your time. Which is a similar story on the bike: You should never use time to measure your performance on the bike. Miles per hour means very little when things as small as a gust of wind or new pavement can affect your average speed. Learn to measure your wattage and evaluate your performance based on that.

Analysis

Even when you have all the correct data, are you analyzing it correctly? If you are upset about your run time because "it was slow", have you assessed your goal pace recently? What pace are you really capable of running off the bike? Avoid choosing an arbitrary time: Set a realistic time goal for you.

Results

Look at your year-over-year results. Race times will vary throughout the year because of issues like the ones described above. Comparing results race to race within a year will not be as telling as looking at your results from years past.

Keep An Open Mind

Things don't always match up 100 percent. That is why we prefer to use well-executed races—and more than one—whenever possible. The more reference points you have the better.

Goals

Break down your goals. Create specific goals for each race? Then choose bigger goals for the season or year? Finally, have fun and do your best. Everyone should have the goal to execute the race to the best of their abilities on that day! If you did your best, that's all that matters. ==================== I have my goals for both races and both are broken down by discipline.  As we get closer to the event and I enter my taper training I will unveil my goal times for each race. For now I have to go run for 2 hours and 30 minutes in a very different way than I have ever run before.  Coach has included some different types of training workouts for me and they have all gotten me prepared for these last two triathlon races before we convert to marathon training for a shot at a Boston Qualifying time.
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Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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