Saturday, July 23, 2005

I love my workout log

I keep my workout records on my own little Excel file - no fancy calculations, just columns for running, biking, swimming, and body weight, plus some comments. I've got the last 2 year's worth on this computer, but some of my older files were lost in the massive crash of the last computer.

Today was my long slow distance (LSD) run day, which I've unfortunately managed to miss for a week or two. I was dithering about how far to go - I wanted to do 10 or 12 miles, but it was hot, and one of my advisors was telling me to do 12km (7.5 miles). So I compromised a bit and did 9.0 (or 9.5 if you count some walking distance too). I went along my usual W&OD rail-trail, which has mile markers conveniently posted every 0.5 mile, except for the first couple miles right near my house where the markers are buggered up.

I was feeling a bit discouraged, thinking that I hadn't made much progress in my fitness in the last year, since my mile run times haven't improved very much. But I jogged along and recorded my splits every half mile, stopped for water, kept jogging, repeat, repeat, repeat.

What encouraged me today was when I logged my splits on my spreadsheet after I got back home. My average time per mile was slow, with some walk breaks in there - 12:56 min/mile outbound, 13:48 min/mile returning. HOWEVER, I was able to compare the splits to a similar longer LSD workout from a hotter day last July and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that my times were 2 to 4 minutes per mile faster this year. It may be that I was taking fewer walk breaks on a milder day, but if that's documented progress, I'll take it!

I have some girlfriends visiting with me next week and we may do a mini track meet among ourselves just for fun. I'll report on that later, since I'll have lots of extra time on my hands now that the Tour de France is finishing up! Maybe I'll even be able to get in the pool and do some laps again if they watch my girls for me, too!


Chris said...

Aren't training logs just awesome that way? Just when you're feeling slow and down, you can always look back and find times where you were certainly in worse shape than you are now.

Hope you had a good time watching the tour. I know I did! :)

jessie_tri_mn said...

Yay for progress!

And for training logs, I use a simple Excel spreadsheet as well, it does the trick for motivation, that's for sure!

Your mini track meet with frieds sounds like great fun!

A Girl Running said...

My training log is a notebook (I need to get with the times) and i love reading back on it. It really encourages me when motivation is low.

Downhillnut said...

Sometimes my log just holds numbers like distances or temperatures, but I like looking back on regular route times or total monthly mileages. It can remind me that yes, I've done this before. I can do it again. Sometimes it says to me "no wonder you're tired, you've never done this much before".