Just like that 2019 is behind us and here we are gearing up for 2020. As we start to look forward to a new year of training and racing it is important to look back and give 2019 an honest look, diving deep into the highs and lows of your season and examining your previous goals while comparing them to the outcome on race day.
When reviewing your year I suggest looking at your MACRO GOALS first - the big goal. A few examples of macro goals would be finishing your first IRONMAN, Racing to a PR at your goal race of the year or staying injury-free for a year.
Now looking at your macro goal, were you able to accomplish it? Did you hit your goal time? Were you able to successfully finish your first time at a new distance? If so, congratulations! If not, what can be learned from your 2019 season? Coming short on your goals is not a failure and can be used as a learning experience. I will use myself as an example here. My goal for 2019 was to finish in the top 10 of my age group at the Xterra World Championships. Race day had its challenges as always and a deep cramp developed running downhill that didn't let me have the day I wanted. Yet I do not see this day as a failure, I once again learned more about my body and what I can do to have a great race at the Xterra WC in 2020!
After reviewing your macro goal it's time to hone in on what your MICRO GOALS were leading up to your big goal of the year. Micro goals can be thought of as benchmarks throughout the season as you build up to that macro goal. A micro goal for a first-time IRONMAN athlete can be racing a 70.3 in your build-up and feeling strong a course similar to IRONMAN day. Micro goals should correspond with your macro goal. For example, if your macro goal was to stay injury-free, a good micro goal would be to not miss any strength sessions. Using myself as an example here again my micro goal for the Xterra WC run course was to run is strong and my training reflected that - in a sense at least. I came into the course the strongest run climber I have ever been, yet the race showed me I did not give the downhill running the time it needed in training.
This is the beauty of reviewing your year! Taking the time to think about my season, goals and review the training helped me find little holes that I will be able to plug in 2020! For me, it will include more time on negative slopes.
Now if you find yourself in a situation where you hit your macro and micro goals you can still learn a lot about your year, yourself and what you want athletically out of 2020! Did you give yourself a goal that was possibly a little too easy to attain? Did you have an awesome year and learn that you are capable of more? Did it all simply come together great and now you know? No matter what the answer is, take all that experience you accumulated and put it towards your 2020 goals.
Reviewing your year should always be taken as a learning experience and be looked at from a positive perspective. Be honest with yourself and your goals. Setting S.M.A.R.T goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) will help you have a great year!