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Log It!

When I was a freshman in high school, I went to a running camp.  One of the presenters at the camp spoke about keeping a running log and how important it was to record all your "data" so that you could look back and see your progress.  And so, like a good little runner, I bought a tablet and starting my very first running log.

The "data" that I recorded back then wasn't too useful, of course.  I mostly wrote about who I ran with (it was apparently very exciting on the days I ran with Stacey!) and what songs we played on the bus rides home from cross country meets.  I rarely kept track of mileage at that point, but I did usually jot down the times I ran in races.  By track that spring I started recording my splits during interval workouts.  The first time I ran under a 70 second quarter was highlighted to no end in that log (yes, I've kept them all) as were a few other feats that year.

By the time I was running in college for Penn State, my logs had come quite a ways.  GPS running watches still weren't a thing but we knew the distances of most of the loops we ran, so I often had pace recorded.  I also kept detailed accounts of how I felt, what hurt and didn't hurt, weight, resting heart rate in the morning and splits for every race.  I also used the log to keep track of how many miles were on each pair of my running shoes and racing flats.  

Once I started heart rate based training for triathlon, my training log migrated to an Excel sheet that had MANY columns.  Almost 10 years later, I have every single swim, bike, run and strength workout recorded that I've ever completed.  My very first swim workout?  8x50 yds at my local YMCA.  Each completed in :53-:55.  Every time I get frustrated with my swimming, I like to take a look back and see just how far I've come. 

My extensive training log collection has definitely been the source of more than a few jokes.  But I'm truly thankful for the treasures that they are.  I like to look back in my high school logs and remember the fun we had as youngsters, running through the neighborhoods and not having a care in the world.  My college logs are reminders of what hard work was all about - running 80-90 mile weeks, much of it very hard.  The injuries that plagued my college career make a bit more sense after perusing through those logs!  My triathlon logs are mostly data driven as I started HR based training but I look back in them OFTEN to remind myself of the progress I've made through the years.

Now if you are like most people, you probably aren't going to log every split of every workout you've ever done.  BUT, if you are going to start somewhere, keeping track of race results and your progress on race day, is a great place to start!  Luckily there are websites designed to help you do just this, and Beat Your Mark is one such website.  

Beat Your Mark (BYM) is a NEW advanced tool for triathletes and runners that includes race calenders with race results, news and most importantly, the opportunity to ANALYZE all of the above to help you achieve your best performances to date.  Ultimately the purpose of any training log is to help you get faster and that is exactly what BYM will help you do!  You can sign up for BYM for free (and even use Facebook or twitter to do so), at which point you can do the following:

LOCATE competitions and your previous results.

PLAN your season. Customize your race calendar and training.

ANALYZE your evolution with selective graphs.

STUDY your results. Modify and compare to set your future goals.

BEAT your mark by learning more about you!



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