As we hit the halfway point of the season it’s a good time to look back and reflect on the races you’ve completed. There are a number of things you can ask yourself. You can analyze your various performances. You can evaluate the effectiveness of the training you’ve done. But one main thing you should be doing is asking yourself is am I enjoying the experience of the races I've been doing?
I suggest making a list of what you’ve enjoyed about the season.
Do you feel like you’ve jumped in and raced too much or do you wish you had a few more things on the calendar? Make notes and keep a list of what you’d have done differently if you could have, as this can be an incredibly useful planning tool for the future. Performances don’t always dictate enjoyment of racing. Be honest with yourself about whether or not you’re enjoying racing as this will ensure you continue to engage in the sport.
If you haven't enjoyed racing as much as you'd like, can you identify the reasons? Was it things you can't readily control, like personal or work stressors? Was it due to race day weather? That is also out of our control, but something we can be mentally prepared for.
Were your goals realistic and defined? Were you focused on finishing, placing, or qualifying? Were you familiar with the course? Did you target the types of courses and venues you most enjoy?
By considering these questions, you can be more prepared to ENJOY the races you schedule, and prevent burnout from repeating bad experiences.
I love racing, both competing and completing, and when I am making my schedule I start by asking myself these questions. By taking notes, reflecting, and factoring in how much you've enjoyed each race you’ll be able to set realistic, event specific goals. This helps to ensure that you will come out of a race looking forward to the next.