Tracking Your Training

24 Feb

Everyone has their own preference for tracking their training. Some people keep it all in their heads. Others have complex, color-coded spreadsheets with different columns and rows for every minute aspect of their lives.

I’ve posted what my training plan looks like before but here it is again for your viewing pleasure:

Basically, I take Hal Higdon’s plan, put it into a spreadsheet, rearrange the workouts so that they work for my schedule (I take Wednesday off because we always have care group or ladies’ night), and make it pretty. Pretty simple.

What happens afterward:

I print the plan out and hang it on the inside of my bathroom closet door.

I stash a pencil in my closet and cross off every workout as I do it with a big X across the box.

If I skip a workout, I scribble it out.

I’ve used this system for all of the races I’ve ever done. I like the paper because I can look at it easily when I’m home (and I can look at the electronic version at work); I get to cross off my workout when it’s done (my Type A personality loves that!); and it’s easy for me to keep track if I switch days. If I do Thursday’s workout on Monday, I cross off Thursday. Then when I get to Thursday, I can easily see which workout I have left to do. There are plenty of weeks when I do every workout on the wrong day. But I’m really trying to not do that this time around because I do plan my workouts in this order for a reason.

After my workouts, all of my stats get recorded on

I’ve also used this program since I started training for my first half marathon in 2008. For each workout, I can record the time of day it was, what the weather was like, my effort level, how I felt, and add notes.

I’ve looked into other websites like Running Ahead and Daily Mile but I just really like MapMyRun. And now that it shows you splits from iMapMyRun, AND they’ve added the Gear Tracker back in (so that you can easily track how many miles are on your shoes), I will never leave. I am a person that if I find something that works, I stick with it. I see no need to keep reinventing the wheel.

{Side note: This sometimes is not a good thing. For example, yesterday, when I put on one of my favorite outfits, I looked in the mirror and saw it with “new eyes” – my cords had gotten a hole so I sewed it up with thread that wasn’t quite the right color and the sweater is from junior high so it has a quite a few pills and looks a little ragged. I realized that these might not be considered “work appropriate” but eh, I wore them anyway. It bothers me when perfectly good clothes have to be thrown out or not worn because they get holes in them. Although that probably disqualifies them from the description of “perfectly good.”}

Anyways, I love MapMyRun. The only thing I wish were different is that you could easily choose which Month/Year you want to view. Right now, you have to scroll back using the arrow button, which works but is time-consuming.

And last but not least, my Polar heart rate monitor produces a fun little report for me every Sunday night at midnight of the week’s workouts. It shows how many workouts I did, how long the cumulative time was, and how many calories I burned. Lately, those numbers have been pathetically small and since my chest strap needs to be replaced (which may not happen any time soon, considering it’ll cost me $35), my “calories burned” has been zero. Which makes a tiny bit sad – even though I know I am burning calories with or without my heart rate monitor, I like to see the numbers! Not having a chest strap also means that I can no longer view my heart rate during my runs. So I’ve been running them by feel.

Speaking of which, last night I headed out for my tempo/hill run after work. The dogs are always super hyper when they get to go on a run, especially after being cooped up all day, so they usually pull me along faster than I want to go and I have to keep yanking on them to rein them in. Well yesterday, my legs felt good. I was tempted to rein it in because What if I go out too fast and screw myself later? Then I thought, Negative thoughts be damned. If I feel good, I’m going to run fast.

So I did.

The last half mile was a 9:09 pace! The hill I ran seems so challenging in the moment but when I look at it on a graph like this, it looks like a negligent bump. In reality, it’s a 100 foot gain in .2 miles. So it’s not the worst hill ever but it’s decent. Add some ice and snow to the sidewalks, two impatient dogs that can run fast on ice, and you’ve got a challenging run!

When I got back from that, I took my laptop to the guest bedroom and biked 7 easy miles while watching The Biggest Loser. Meh. That show is just ok. Too much drama for me. I like to see their workouts and what they’re recommended to eat but that’s about it.

My 30 minutes on the bike revealed that my seat problem might not be totally fixed. It’s definitely WAY better but not 100% resolved. But I wasn’t wearing tri or bike shorts (just my running pants) and I was on a trainer (which just like a treadmill, exaggerates every tiny discomfort because it’s all you have to focus on). The real test will be this Sunday – I’m going to wear my tri shorts and go for an hour. Can I do it?

How do you like to log your workouts?

Are you a fan of The Biggest Loser?

One Response to “Tracking Your Training”


  1. Training Recap: 2/20 – 2/26 « - February 27, 2012

    […] mile tempo hill run (36:32, 10:24/mile); 7 mile easy bike (30:00, 14 mph); 10 min […]

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