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How to Log Your Mileage – Part 2

Sunday 16th December 2012

In part 1, I looked at the different ways in which people record their training. In this post I will tell you about how I’m going to change the way I record mine.

I will still use this site for storing all of my training logs and will continue to post regular training summaries but these summaries will no longer show my annual mileage to date. The main reason for this is that I don’t want to get obsessed with hitting certain numbers by certain points of the year. It’s nice to know when I’ve passed 1000 miles, 2000 miles and so on but it isn’t really the point. This year I will probably end up running just short of last year’s total but have run quicker over just about every distance, the exception being 5k (I ran one second slower than my PB). Mileage serves a purpose but I want to do everything I can to encourage a quality-over-quantity approach. I will check every couple of months and at the end of the year but I’m not going to worry about it any more.

The second change is that from the 1st of January I am going metric. I have a friend who trains in metric and I’ve decided to do the same. The reasons are similar to those listed above. Although I know how to divide by 1.609 (and have in fact become quite good at it), this should stop me comparing myself to the me of one year ago. I also tend to get hung up on certain numbers; I like 70 miles per week because it is 10 miles per day, 90 miles sounds good because it’s near the upper end of my range. Hopefully that will stop now. Besides, it’s easier to put 100 in your training log if you’re doing ks and not miles. And it’s more logical.

So, a couple of changes to how I log my miles, sorry, kilometres. I just need to remember now that it’s how you run them, not how you record them, that matters most.

coming soon to this blog… running targets for 2013

How to Log Your Mileage – Part 1

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…