Back in the good old days, when I started running, in the 20th century, I bought a little red running calendar/log every year. It had an daily entry for your miles and lines for comments on how your run was. It also had a running tip on every page. This was before the internet power that is today, so it was my only guide to start running, since all the running magazines told you how to get faster or longer, this just offered useful tips. It was precious to me and when I wrote in it, I felt like a real runner! I was taking my running seriously and tracking my progress. These are things I put logged, and why:
Food: This was only a few words, but the most helpful: ‘9:00a.m. 3 miles. Terrific run.’ ‘5:00 p.m. run. 8 miles. Burger for lunch. Bad idea.’ ‘7:00 a.m. 17 miles. Bagel, cinnamon gummy bears and coffee. Feel good!!’
After some trials and mistakes, and then logging them, I nailed down what my tummy could tolerate and what food my running legs like. So now, I stick to that, and don’t veer off.
Miles: Keeping track of how many miles I run in a week is a great monitor, especially if I have a weekly goal. And when I am training, weekly mileage (your total miles for the week) shouldn’t ramp up more then 15%. Going over that opens up to injury or over training.
Workout: This is more of a pre-planning tool. Scheduling your runs on a calandar makes your running/workout MUCH more likely to happen. I am terrible planner, but I know if I fall out of love with running, mapping out a week of running and/or work outs and maybe some races, gets me all fired up and BAM, I am back, baby.
AND NOW, in this 21st century there are a million and one, apps, website, blogs, and watches to help you keep track. PICK ONE, and stick to it. More then one, will confuse, and then you’ll fall back on that couch. I like Strava to log in, and I am still fond of that little paper calendar.