How Do You Track Your Workouts?

I know I don’t have a ton of regular readers, but I’m hoping to find some inspiration from the ones I have! I had a terrible workout yesterday – my legs were heavy from the first pedal stroke, the wind broke my spirit less that 50% into the ride, and even though I struggled through and turned out a run too, it was slow, hard, and my stomach was giving me nothing but trouble.


Source

What I’m trying to figure out is if there is a pattern, or if this is just a one time issue. My problem is the way I track my information. I log my workouts on Daily Mile, but I hate their data retrieval system. Truthfully, I only use it because of the community aspect – it is fun to interact with other triathletes and runners here in Winnipeg.

I also log my workouts on a spreadsheet on Google docs. I track distance, time, calories, and log comments about how I felt.

I track my food on My Fitness Pal, the website and the iPhone app. I also add my workouts there, but the problem is, they only track time and calories burned – not distance, and there is no place for notes about how the workout went. You can look back at how you’ve eaten, but you have to look at each individual day, and honestly, I’m not sure how far back I can look.

Trying to put together a history of how my training has gone and what I’ve been eating when I’m training is incredibly difficult and time consuming. I’m trying to see if there is a pattern – better workouts after eating certain foods, or energy dips once a month; I already know that for about 3 days a month I only want to eat junk food, I’m sure that impacts my performance around that time.

At this point, I don’t know if there is an online tool out there that will do what I want; I’m about ready to start logging everything in a notebook! (Which just means I’d have to transfer it to a spreadsheet to build a graph anyway…).

So friends – how do you track our training? Do you track your food too? What tools do you use, and do you like them? I’m at a loss, and going to paper and pen seems pointless. Help!

Goals update: My workouts may have sucked yesterday, but I got them done. I cooked a fantastic dinner, finally – working late recently has really killed cooking. And I did get two posts written and edited. I also contacted a local recruiter and set myself up an interview with her for next Tuesday, so THAT was exciting! Good day except for not feeling too good.

Today’s goals:

1. Swim workout
2. Take son to allergist
3. Write 2 posts, minimum
4. Create a To Do list of the most pressing tasks
5. Bike or run workout

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5 Responses to How Do You Track Your Workouts?

  1. Carina says:

    I’ve done paper before, and that’s worked well for seeing patterns (I didn’t even need to put it in any kind of spreadsheet), and now I mostly use the Garmin connect site. I log food the night before a long run if it’s anything other than my usual.

    • Kris says:

      I’m battling my food right now – I have no normal anymore, and pasta is sitting so heavy that eating it just turns me off. Breakfasts pre-workout have been a challenge too. Better to fail in training, right?

      • Carina says:

        Exactly! Miles, endurance, fitness etc. is one part of training — the rest is figuring out what works and what doesn’t. Learning now so it’s smooth sailing on race day. I was turned off by pasta too for a couple years, and I used to make the same thing pre-long runs that was sweet potatoes, black beans, a little brown rice, salsa, and a few green beans. That worked really well — except I couldn’t eat it the night before a race if I was traveling, which ended up being why I went back to pasta with bland red sauce (and I was no longer sick of it).

  2. Gym workouts–I just track my calories burned in my calorie counting app (Cronometer).

    Runs — I have an excel spreadsheet for mileage.
    Cycling — Excel spreadsheet for mileage.

    I also use Google Calendar to track my workout days.

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