I’ve been running for over 16 years but never got into the habit of tracking my miles. Never wrote them down, never added them up. Sure, I’ve had a Garmin since 2006 but until last year wasn’t very good about syncing it up and downloading my runs. I think the longest I went without syncing it was 6 months. Needless to say it took forever to download.
For my last marathon since I was on a pretty intense plan I started to track my training and I’ll tell you; game changer. I mean, I was uber-tracking. Pace, splits, Yasso’s, fast finishers, etc. It was a beautiful spreadsheet and I’d look back over the weeks to see how far I’d come and how I’d improved. It was helpful to see my running progress but what surprised me was that I gained a lot of confidence. Who knew it could be so powerful? Well, everybody, actually.
Apparently a running journal is a vital tool for training. Logging pace, distance, the weather, how you felt, if you had any problems during the run and even what you ate before the run becomes valuable insight for future training runs.
So I was on the right track. No pun intended.
When we rolled over to 2017 I decided to keep logging my runs to see how far I could run this year. Plus I was kind of curious to see if tracking my miles weekly would encourage me to run more.
So consider it an experiment.
Since I’ve got some races planned I have to plot out the week ahead of time in my calendar and write down my goal miles each day. This week, for example looks like this:
- Tues: 5 miles
- Wed: 3 miles
- Thur: 5 or 6 miles
- Sat: 6 or 7 miles
- Sun: 8K race
After my run I write how far I went. Just mileage, not pace or splits. Sure, I still use my Garmin on my runs and upload my data a few times a week because I love data. But a quick jot on my calendar works for this purpose.
Most importantly, having the miles planned for the week holds me accountable. And tracking them keeps me motivated. Both help me reach my training goals.
And listen, this isn’t exclusively for runners. You can keep track of your runs, walks, hikes or even visits to the gym. Aim for minutes, miles or visits. You may find it will take you to the next level in your training. What have you got to lose?
Now go run!