How to Log Your Mileage – Part 1

Sunday 16th December 2012

Regular readers of this blog will know that I record my mileage on this very site, and usually post a weekly training summary too. Most of the time I don’t write much about my runs, unless something significant happens that I would like to be able to recall in years to come. But mine isn’t the only way of doing it. This post examines some of the other ways that my training partners record their training.

#1: The old school book.

In case you don’t know whether that’s old-school book or old school-book, don’t worry; I don’t know either but they amount to the same thing. Last year I witnessed the training logs of my friend Rob who was a very good middle distance runner in his day. There was something very charming about the hand written scribbles that denoted the runs he had done. This way of recording your training allows the athlete to record splits, distances and comments in whatever way he or she likes, and adds an air of authenticity to the training log. You can use any type of book you like, but the purist will always go for a blank notebook.

#2: In various places

This is another well known method of recording your training. My friend Mark has his training written down in books, word documents and spreadsheets and he informs me that he is currently in the process of standardising over a decade’s worth of logs to the same format. I look forward to seeing them.

#3: The ridiculously complicated spreadsheet

Another of the guys I train with does this. Tim sent me the latest version of his spreadsheet recently and it really is a thing of beauty. It contains details of every run he has ever done, every race he has ever completed as well as every run that he plans to do for the next year. The training plans are the best bit, colour coded according to the type of training to be done – blue for lactate threshold, orange for long runs, yellow for intervals, dark green for weights and conditioning… That’s about half of them. It also has a PBs page, where as well as times for standard distances you can also see how fast Tim ran for less common events. This is useful if you ever forget how fast you ran for 4.2 miles back in 2007, or if you’re struggling to remember what your beer mile PB is. I also like the mileage graphs which tell you what proportion of each week was spent doing different types of running. The ridiculously complicated spreadsheet is a sight to behold. I hope he has it backed up.

#4: Not recording your training at all

Another good friend of mine does this. I can see how it might be liberating but there’s no way I’m trying it.

part 2 to follow – metric vs imperial…

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  1. therealmince says:

    Very interesting topic Niceguy. And yes I may treat you to the standardised training logbook once i have got everything archived in one place and one format. Just need another few years to sort it out.

  2. There are other ways for logging your mileage that require zero effort! But would mean going to the darkside and starting to use a Garmin. SportTracks or TrainingPeaks can pull data from you Garmin and then log it on a sheet. You can set your heart-rate zones then you know whether you are running to them or not. Just google the names and you will see the websites!

    • I’ll probably be proven wrong, but I feel I can usually run according to feel without a HR monitor. I either run hard or run easy, with very little in between, so I guess I operate mainly in the upper and lower HR zones. It would be interesting to see how my perception matches up to what the HR monitor says. Good to hear from you Chris. See you at an XC race soon?

      • Hard and easy is the way to go! Otherwise too much junk mileage. Maybe you should run with the HR monitor and I will just have the watch – could be an interesting study!

        Yep, I will see you at Leamington on Saturday, and then at Sandwell (if that is where it is) the week after.