Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tracking the miles

One of the things that has been drilled out of me over the past year is my reliance on a watch. For the majority of my training sessions the watch gets left at home - an exception was yesterday when my session was controlled by a watch. It was an interval training session 2 x 5 minutes, 2 x 4 minutes, 2 x 3 minutes at about 70% intensity. For something like that I'll agree that a watch is needed. But for all my runs of 8 miles to the Sunday long run of 18 miles its a watch free zone.

Now I'm in a stage where the mileage isn't as important to me as before. I used to be adding up my weekly mileage, getting worried if I did 50 miles instead of 55 but that seems to be past me. I'm training more frequently than I used to and probably with more intensity but what I'm not doing is worrying about the training.

Last year I used a little note book to store what I ran every day. I've had a new book every year and love being able to take a quick glance back at a given week and see what I did and how I felt doing it. One week in to this year and I haven't got a new little book but I have been pointed at an excel sheet training log by David Hays. The reason I pointed out how I don't use a watch while training is that I didn't think this log would be much use to me as it's all about heart rates and times, calculating paces and weight. A bit more detail than I need to be honest. But having started using it last week as I had no little book I'm now a big fan.

The things that it has attracted me over is the shoe tracker. Previously what I've done is when a pair of runners feel like they're getting a bit old I count back the miles in my training log and think "S***, I should have got a new pair weeks back". With the excel larky, you tell it what pair you were wearing for your training run and it keeps a running track of it for you. Genius.

Other than that it tells you how much you've ran each week, month, year. It's something I've never tracked past "week" but who knows come next December I'll be able to fill everyone in on how much I ran in 2008. It's also got a nice race tracker and loads of graphs and stuff that are of no use to me as I've no idea how long a given run takes me but they're obviously useful to others.

So that's my new toy so far... I'm sure I'll get my hands on a little diary again soon, but I'll probably use it as well as the excel sheet as the shoe tracker is simply gold!

P.S. After last nights run my runners are sitting on 112 miles!
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