For us corporate types, July is the normal part of the year where we invest time doing mid-year performance assessments on our employees. It’s a great chance to look back at the first six months of the year, evaluate performance, discuss what has gone well, and develop plans to remediate anything that hasn’t gone so well. I think the concept plays out really well for triathlon too.
Over the past several days, I spent some time assessing my year-to-date performance in general as well as how my performance metrics stack up against the goals that I set myself at the beginning of the year.
The bottom line? It’s not pretty. Basically, my triathlon performance has sucked. Thus far, I have failed to meet the vast majority of my goals. Of course, I’ve got good reasons – some of which I’ll share below as I lay out my performance blow-by-blow.
The Goals: So back in January, I set 10 goals for myself. I put quite a bit of thought into my goals, and I thought that I could really accomplish them. Here they are, including how I’d grade each of them so far:
Racing: The good news here is that my year is back-end heavy in terms of racing. At the beginning of the year, I had nine events on my race calendar (some were tentative items). Only three of these were slated to happen during the first half of the year (Marineland Tri, Rev3 Knoxville, Beaches Fine Arts Sprint Tri). I didn’t hit the start line for any of them (missed one when I was on a youth-group mission trip, missed the other two taking my kids to swim meets). Looking at the back half of the year, I have Rev3 Cedar Point out there – it was a big tentative when I put it on the calendar – but it’s not going to happen. I’ve had a very hard time balancing weekend family activities (having a kid that swims year-round and another that plays premier soccer really consumes a lot of my weekends) with racing. For lots of important reasons, racing always plays second fiddle to family, and there hasn’t been time to train for a full iron race.
So what will happen in terms of racing? For sure, I’m doing the Hammerhead Olympic. I’ll also do Rev3 Florida. I’m planning on running two or three half marathons in late fall. I’m considering adding two sprint tri’s between now and October, but we’ll see.
Not having a race on the docket for the first half of the year has really impacted my training volume – so much so that it will be difficult to reach some of my goals. That said, I really think my three PR-related goals are still within reach.
Training: Compared to the first half of 2011, I am doing pretty well. I have swum roughly 31% more yards than the same time period last year. My bike miles are essentially flat to mid-year last year. My run is way down compared to last year (but remember that last year I ran a marathon in February). Relative to my mileage targets for this year, I’m performing abysmally. I’m roughly 16% behind where I need to be on my swimming, 18% behind plan on my bike mileage, and 30% worse than plan on my run mileage. Ouch. If I were rating myself on a 1-5 scale (with 1 being the best), I’d give myself a “3” for swim, a “4” for bike, and a “5” for run. Overall, a failing grade. Yuck! That being said, though, I have hit (or mostly hit) a few milestones: I swam 50 x 50’s by 4/1 and swam 50 x 75’s in May. I know I signed up for 75 x 75’s….I just didn’t get that done.
Overall Performance: It’s tough for me to give myself an overall grade, but it’s pretty easy for me to say that I’m trending poorly. I can still hit close to half of my goals (the three PR goals are doable, as is the 100 x 100’s and the sub-8 minute mile). I think I’ll come close on the swim and bike distance goals. I seriously doubt that I’ll hit the run goal. In fact, if I get to 75% of my target, I’ll be pretty happy. In order to actually hit my distance goals, I need to accomplish 8600 yards in the pool, 56 miles on the bike and 28 miles running each week, every week for the rest of the year. Possible? Yes. Probable? Not sure.