Why Feedback is So Important
The coach/athlete relationship is built upon communication. We use training peaks as a simple form of communicating with our athletes on a daily basis. The task of completing your workout, uploading it, and writing a review of that days efforts, feelings, and emotions can be easily done, with the simple clicks of a button, and a few minutes of your time. But what it gives your coaches is priceless.
Whether we see you on a regular basis, or just a few times a year, the feedback element is the same. The more details you give, specific to each workout, each effort, each pedal stroke, is completely reflective on the coach/athlete experience you will receive. For my athletes who give me detailed images of each effort, I can relive what they are feeling, what is missing, or what is improving. I can adjust training plans accordingly, based off the power data analysis, times, splits, and overall feeling. As we know, small changes can make a huge difference, in every aspect of cycling.
For those athletes who aren’t contributing to their feedback, you are missing on a critical part of your coaching experience. While we can prescribe workouts, there is no telling us how it is going, what is hard, what is easy, how is your mental state. Sometimes, we don’t even know if you are completing the workout, because something is left completely blank! The communication is minimal this way, and when you wonder why we aren’t writing any feedback pertaining to a file that might be uploaded, we have no feedback from you to respond to,…so what are you waiting for?
Let’s say you are doing the work – but we see nothing. I will assume you didn’t complete the workout, thus the week was not complete, thus there is no reason to move forward with your plan. This creates a circle with no improvement, whether you are completing the work or not. But on the other hand…let’s say you did do the workout, wrote feedback, and we responding, further adjusting your training plan, and moving forward towards more improvement, and more individualized needs…that is an upward progression, improvement, and no time wasted.
So what should be included in your feedback? Notes on each effort – how did it feel? What did you do well? What did you struggle with? Was there any interference from other riders, etc? Where was the wind coming out of? Did you do this outdoors? Inside? Trainer or rollers? Did you use the correct gear? Correct tire pressure? Did you eat well beforehand? Were you hydrated? What wheels were you using? …. this list could go on and on for hours. But you see my point?
Feedback falls on you. There is no excuse not to take 1-2 minutes in your rest period to record a few notes between efforts. Do it then, not a day later, not a week later. Do not get in the lazy habit of not writing any at all…unless you are fine going around and around and around the same carousel. We want what is best for you, and feedback is a crucial part of improving as an athlete. Help us, help you, by taking a few moments each day, to reflect upon your effort, and help yourself become the best version of you, you can be.