“Yes I can see that your bathing costume fits you quite well Cousin, but you are not as fleet footed as Sir Richard Carlisle.”
Measuring Performance – Performance measures fall into two categories, task based and well-being measures. These concepts are not hard to grasp as most athletes are familiar with race results, personal best goals, their health status and their weight. Measurement for most is very informal and a result of being informal is that an athlete’s attention to these measures can be superficial (when considering race results) or far too obsessive (when it comes to measuring weight).
For many, now is the time to reflect over the past year and to plan for the coming year. Take this time to set out your performance measurement plan with depth and focus. Below are the broad categories that I work with as well as some suggestions. In the short-term, starting to measure and set goals will help you gain proper focus and give you the additional intelligence to fine-tune your training and preparation. Long-term tracking of measures will help develop perspective and also help you along with understanding macro trends to your annual training cycle.
- Tasks – Physical Tests (functional power test, time-trial) and Technical Tests (demonstration of skills acquisition)
- Races & Events – Measuring both where you were in the event ranking and your personal accomplishment
- Training Time – Hours spent preparing for your goals
To be most useful these task-based measures need to sport specific, relevant to your season goals and linked to your training plan.
Why track these? As important as being physically prepared for a race, these types of measures paint a picture of your health and well-being and provide additional understanding or back story to the task-based measures.
- Body Composition – Go beyond weight and look at muscle mass vs. fat vs. water
- Sleep – Both the number of hours and the quality
- Feeling of Wellness – Measuring illness frequency and duration and the varying degrees of wellness
- Perception of Preparedness – How well prepared you consider yourself