{Run Tip} Why You Should Log Your Miles

I’ve been tired all week after our NYC trip, and I felt especially tired yesterday when I came home from work. I had an interval run scheduled for the day and was debating skipping it or pushing it off, but I knew I’d feel better once I started running, and I knew I’d regret skipping the run. So I talked myself into lacing up and headed for the treadmill in our condo gym downstairs.

Grainy elevator selfie

IMG_20140813_163208_499 (1)
And you know what? It was a tough workout, but I felt pretty great afterwards! I’ve found that 95% of the time when I feel tired, it’s more mental than physical (hello, staring at the computer screen for 8+ hours!) so once I start working out, the exhaustion falls away. I finished my 4 X 800 meters with warmup and cooldown in 40 minutes, went back upstairs, showered, and took my statistics final online. I’m officially done with my summer classes and have a week off till I start my (part-time) masters program, woohoo!

Why I Log My Miles

I wanted to talk briefly today about the value of logging your miles in some form. I’ve been using Daily Mile for the past two years to track all of my runs by either manually entering the distance and time or syncing my Garmin. Here’s why I log my runs:
To keep track of mileage on sneakers – Daily Mile has a feature where you can add gear and then tag the gear that you used during a run. You can manage your gear under the Settings, and see how many miles you’ve racked up with each piece of gear. I use this feature to track mileage on my sneakers, which should be replaced every 250-500 miles – depending on the sneaker and your running style.

To see my improvement – I love repeating a workout and seeing how I’ve gotten faster or the workout has gotten easier over time! I use the notes section to write down my paces and how hard or easy the workout felt.

To remind myself that I can do it – Sometimes I feel nervous going into a run because I’m tired, or the goal pace looks fast, or it doesn’t feel like I can run x miles today. Looking back on my old workouts reminds me that I’ve done it before, and that I can do it again. The hardest part is walking out the door and starting the workout!

To keep track of what does or doesn’t work – I keep track of new things I try on a particular run (new gels, socks, new blister treatment) in the notes section so that I remember what does and doesn’t work for the future. It’s how I figured out what type of blister prevention to use for different distances, and what clothes to wear for winter running.

– And lastly – It confirms that I’m a runner. After nearly two decades of no sports and little exercise, I’m still getting used to the label of “athlete” or “runner”. And seeing a record of all of my runs reminds me that I’m a runner and inspires me to keep on running because after all, that’s what we runners do :)Screen Shot 2014-08-14 at 6.41.55 PM
So start a Daily Mile account, open a spreadsheet, or find an blank notebook lying around – it doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you can remember to update it!

Some good data to track for each run:

– date of run

– where you ran (outside, treadmill?)

– distance, time and type of run (tempo, hills, intervals, recovery)

– how the run felt (easy, hard, felt too hot, left knee hurt, got blisters, etc)

– sneakers used

Do you track your runs? What other data do you like to capture?

How do you motivate yourself to work out when you feel tired or just don’t want to get off the couch?

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5 thoughts on “{Run Tip} Why You Should Log Your Miles

  1. ahh, i wish i knew about the feature for tracking gear!! i use daily mile, too. makes sense to track those little details so that you can see what works. btw, how do you grab that image of your weekly training graph??

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