Often, whether I’m coaching or at my own race event, I take a lot of notes to optimize each on-track session and to document progress. The notes will include information such as track notes, setup changes, and in-session details like lap times or weather conditions.
If I’m working with a coaching client, I’m most often making notes on a track map. This serves as a goal-setting guide, whether it’s for our next session or as a reference “homework” to study before the next day. What’s really nice is that by the end of the event, we’ll have a finalized track map and list of what we accomplished as well as a list of what we still need to work on the next time. Some of these notes can even include to-do lists beyond driving, such as car prep or upgrades that would be beneficial or other reminders.
Post-event notes are also useful. These are summaries that can include things to get done before the next event, things to start working on the next time, techniques that worked well and other to-do lists or insights from the event.
So what do you do with all of the notes after a track event?
Whether you take a photo of each page, scan them into your computer or even keep them in a binder, it’s important to have access to these notes for the next time because they can really come in handy.
For instance, when I have the opportunity to work with a client again, whether it’s at the same track or a different one, I reference those notes so we can hit the ground running. Reviewing the notes makes us more efficient and gives us a set of goals right from the start of the event, so we can make more progress.
Keep in mind that all of these notes need to be legible and coherent because they have to make sense when you review them weeks, months or even a year later!
You don’t need to review your notes too far ahead of the next event. The best schedule I’ve found for reviewing track-specific notes is to review them once during the week leading up to an event, and then review them a second time the night before the event starts. That way, if you forgot to do or get something on your list, you have a week to accomplish that. And by reviewing your notes the night before the event, you’re prepared and focused on the aspects that will help you get the most out of the next day.