What’s your worst incident in an event that has either slowed you down or caused you to DNF? Depending upon how long you’ve been in the game, I’m sure that there might be one or two reasons (or many). So how do we avoid such issues in future?
We can do this by running a pre-mortem on future events. A pre-mortem is a strategy in which an athlete imagines that a he/she has failed, and then works backward to determine what potentially could lead to the failure in an event or training.
Athletes can reduce the chances of failure due to overconfidence and poor planning by analysing the magnitude and likelihood of each occurrence and take preventative actions to protect oneself from suffering an untimely “DNF” or failure to perform.
A pre-mortem comes at the beginning of a race or race plan rather than the end, so that the event can be improved rather than analysed.
Post-mortems of events, on the other hand, are seen the world over in post-event write ups all up and down the Internet: GI Distress, mechanicals, crashes, extreme weather, poor fitness, poor event planning, etc. etc…..
But while that’s useful for the NEXT event, it’s a bit late for the one you trained so hard for..
How do we do an event pre-mortem ?
Why is the pre-mortem so successful? Because, as mentioned by Daniel Kahneman, “the beauty of the pre-mortem is that it is very easy to do”.
Here are the few steps to follow to conduct a successful premortem. Prior to your next event, create a race plan. Then, follow these few steps:
- Imagine the worst things that can happen in a race: Review your race plan
- Identify Reasons for Failure: Visualise when & why they happen
- Create Solutions: Go through them in your mind and practice them
- Apply list to your race plan: Race Plan complete
- Review: Start all over again
Finally, you should regularly review the list, as these items will be relevant for your next event and beyond! So even minor things such as a puncture or nutrition accidentally dropped/lost on the bike, we can practice resolving them and removing them as inevitabilities. Practice makes perfect!
Need some help, contact Rav@alohatri.com.
(Photo courtesy of ridgewoodtriathlete)