After a few years of slacking off to the point of jogging only one or two miles, once or twice a week, it became abundantly clear that my health was on a steady decline. And so, the time had come to take my training more seriously. I have made some good improvement within the past couple months just running on my treadmill. I’ve been keeping track of my mileage and time on a notepad I had lying around. But, that has already become cumbersome. It’s the competition against myself that inspires me to do better. So I’d like to expand on that. Now that I’ve joined the FLRC mailing list, the suggested training routines are much more complicated which don’t fit well with my present method. Can anybody suggest a charting system that’s more comprehensive and can handle a wide variety of training types? Any suggestions at all would be good! Printed or digital is fine. Free or subscription.
I would also like to add that I look forward to being a part of this very energized group. When I first found you guys, I kind of expected it was a small elite group, maybe a few dozen. Finding that it was many hundreds of involved and inclusive-minded individuals was an exciting surprise!
Great to hear from you, Tim, and I’m glad to hear that our efforts to provide something for everyone are paying off.
What are you hoping to get out of your training log? As a coach, the main thing I recommend is some way of tracking weekly mileage, mostly so you can avoid ramping up too quickly and causing injury. (Rule of thumb is no more than a 10% increase each week, though that can be a little too slow if you have running experience in the past.) That can also help you track mileage on shoes, which will give you a sense of when they should be replaced. (Personally, I would run 300-500 miles on a pair, but it all depends on what shoes you wear and how you run.)
The easiest approach to that sort of simple logging may be a free Strava account, coupled with a GPS watch. That way, all you have to do is connect your watch to Strava and every run will automatically be logged. Watches may also have their own web services, like Garmin Connect, which will do the same thing.
Of course, a paper calendar also works, but then you have to remember to log runs and do the math regularly.
And if you are not ready to invest in an expensive watch you can track your Strava runs with your phone, either real time or manually later. Then you can check the app or go online and see weekly totals (or monthly, yearly…the data is endless once you get started LOL).
Strava also tracks all kinds of other activities (swimming, hiking, kayaking, weightlifting …. I even made my own activity for a Kayak-Bike-Run triathlon I did) so you can keep track of just about anything you want. Obviously my app of choice, but there are other free ones out there like MapMyRun that do the same thing and are more smart phone based.
As I recall, I had a MapMyRun account several years ago. I’ll have to look that up again as I think it will fit my parameters nicely. I do a lot of my training on a treadmill during the winter (even though it’s been a rather mild one so far!) so a GPS based app isn’t going to help much. And, manually entering data isn’t a problem. I think one of the things I’d like to get out of this is to be able to see a chart that shows a direction in my levels, be it positive or negative.
Thanks, Julie, for the suggestion!
Good points! Thanks for the reminders. Yes, I’ve been running pretty much ever since junior high, but that was long time ago and I’ve forgotten a lot of what I was taught. I lived in Seneca Falls at the time and had Ron Fleury for my coach. Love that guy!
I’ll try a 10% increase and see how that works. What I’ve been doing lately is to just get going and see how I felt at the moment and adjust my speed and distance based on that. It has been working pretty well so far. I haven’t bothered tallying weekly totals, but I can see and feel that I’m making improvements.
I guess the issue I’m having most difficulty with is how do I log sprint workouts? Running sprints will have a different effect on speed vs time than, say, a 5 mile run. Or, does it even matter? My goal is to race in the sprints so I’d like to somehow keep sprint work separate from distance work.
Perhaps @becca-lovenheim or @Ian or someone who has coached sprinters can weigh in on how to record training logs for sprints and what to watch out for. I’m only a distance guy, so I hesitate even to make suggestions.