Tuesday, February 2, 2016

History and Reflection

by Marilyn Chychota McDonald

History and reflection are how we learn and move forward to bigger and better things. Keep record of patterns, habits and thoughts to look back on as you progress through each season so you can learn what works and what needs improvement.

It's important to take an honest look at your past season each year. After each race, training block and season remove as much emotion as possible and clearly outline feedback. Keeping a file of these responses can help you see patterns early and will help guide you to understand what needs work and what is already working well.

Key questions to ask yourself with each reflection period:

  1. What did we set out to do? What were the expected results? What were the CSIs (Critical Success Indicators) established? CSIs can be objective targets, subjective targets, or both.

  2. What were the actual results? Include performance (times), overall rank (placing), and percentage of personal best performance (if applicable). Discuss objective results and facts and subjective results.

  3. What did you learn (both positive and negative)? Focus on what you learned, not on what you will do next. What advice would we give someone starting out now? What strengths and weaknesses did you discover?

  4. What are you going to do? Exactly what will you do and when will you do it? Use SMART descriptions (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Based). Sustain strengths and develop weaknesses. Be sure to indicate how you are going to move forward.

  5. Who are you going to tell? Is your support team (family, friends, training partners, coach, work) aware of your goals and outcomes? What lateral learning methods will you use to pick up useful and relevant information to help you achieve your goals?

With the year winding down, now is the time to reflect back on your past season, before you start to dig into planning your next season.


Marilyn Chychota McDonald has been in elite sport since the age of 9, from show jumping to cycling and triathlon. Competing on an international stage in all three sports with an Ironman title, several podiums and state championships in cycling, Marilyn works with all distance and level of triathletes and cyclists. From beginners to elites; short course, bike racing, stage racing and long course triathlon, she has guided several athletes to the podium and to Hawaii qualifications.

Marilyn has open slots in her 2014 athlete roster. Contact her for help achieving your triathlon or cycling goals.

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