Ask Coach Bradley - Reflection & Goal Setting For 2022
Whether you are part of our CARA training programs, working towards your next 5k PR, or a beginning runner CARA Sr. Director of Training and Head Coach Tim Bradley is here to answer your training questions!
Q: I recently finished my marathon racing season and I am looking to set goals for the winter and for 2022. What are some key numbers I should look at when evaluating my season and setting goals going forward?
A: Here are some things to reflect back on as you evaluate your training and racing season, as well as focus on new goals for 2022.
End Result: Of course this one might seem obvious, but really take a hard look at your marathon splits, total time, and overall how you felt on race day. Even if you had a great race, you still want to look at what worked, what did not, and what you can improve upon. This process is, of course, a little more painful when you did not have a great race, but give yourself some credit and often you can find silver linings even in a challenging race. Also, make sure to take into account factors that helped or hurt your race including: fatigue level, weather, pacing and fueling strategies, etc...
Total Mileage: One of the most common numbers to look at. How does it compare to your last training segment? If you have been running for some time you can typically create a 2-5 year average to see if it is up or down compared to past years.
Miles Per Month: Not as common, but still an important number to look at and see how your season trended. You can look at how many total miles you have run in the last several months and look at your average per month over the course of your marathon training season.
Missed Running Days: Great number to look at to track consistency. See if you were steady throughout your training or had lots of missed days. What percentage of the planned runs were you able to get in?
Total Planned Days Off: This is taking a look at how many days off did you plan to rest? Did this number impact your end result and should you possibly, strategically, add more days off to your next training segment? Are you taking enough days off to avoid injury or burnout? Or can you possibly add runs to increase your total running volume.
Days Off due to Injury: Very important stat to look at and reflect on. Have you had to take any days off due to an injury? If so, what was the cause and hopefully solution to the injury?
Reflecting on your season and this information to set goals can give you a clear picture of what is working for you and what you need to work on. Take the necessary time to reflect and make adjustments to make your next segment even better and more rewarding!
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