What can you learn from a post-race postmortem?

Should you warm up if you're "only in recreation mode"? Is it worth pushing to avoid bottlenecks? How do you eat when using poles?

What can you learn from a post-race postmortem?
Photo by Jan Kahánek / Unsplash

This is the weekly selection from our private training community. T. asked for feedback on his latest race. Below is part of that discussion.

No warm-up for me given that I was in recreation mode...

Always, always, always warm up. The aerobic system takes longer to get fully fired up than the anaerobic. And the anaerobic is like a macho know-it-all at a search-and-rescue course: once it has the mic, it's hard to get it to shut up.

...it might be worth pushing it a bit at the start to avoid the bottlenecks.

It's always a trade off. And another reason why a warm up is so important. If your aerobic system is fully online, you'll be able to recover better in between short bursts during the race.

I had to wait for folks at various points, and needed to hop between "lanes" where I could pass folks.

Never hesitate to ask to pass. In western Canada, the race briefings usually include a comment like, "Let a racer pass if you hear them say, 'Track.'" In Europe, they often have parallel double-tracks for each ascent. (The way it should be everywhere.) If neither, always bring it up during the race briefing to set the expectation amongst the other racers.

Nutrition is tricky when you’re carrying poles. On bootpacks is it possible to eat while moving?

I always (and only) "eat" and drink when I leave a transition. Heart rate is a little lower, so it's easier to swallow. Also, I wrote "eat" because I wouldn't take solid food for races of three hours or less. Over that, it's probably worth having something you can wolf down quickly when exiting each transition. Don't wait until you're hungry.