Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Dork in Me

We all have something dorky that we do. Admit it, you do! (please?) Well, what happens when my runner and computer scientist counterparts meet? Way too detailed tracking of all my runs? You got it!

This whole running thing started off so innocently. I would just go out, start my watch, run for some amount of time, and be done with it. I didn't even write it down anywhere, keep track of weekly mileage, or know anything about proper training. I would just go out and run to my hearts content.

After getting injured a few times and wanting to see why, I progressed a little bit and started writing down my approximate mileage based on how long I was running. But then the trouble started around Christmas time when I got Nike+ to track my runs down to the hundredth of a mile. This is when I made the jump and stopped writing stuff down, all of it started going into Excel. With formulas. And graphs!

I started using the numbers to figure out other statistics too. Among these are miles this year, miles per week, percent increase from one week to the next, and an estimation of how many miles I'll run this year based on my averages. One thing I've found really useful is a graph which shows how many miles I've ran in the past 7 days. It shows the trends really well, and if theres a sharp increase, it usually corresponds to an injury! I think it shows a year in a nutshell really well, you can see every point I've gotten sick or injured, how I did my build up, etc.

Heres an example of all my numbers. I usually put in comments if theres anything notable such as races, injury, illness, etc.

Nike+ also gave me some approximate graphs of pace and stuff, but it just didn't cut it. Plus I had to have special shoes to use it, and that bugged me; I felt tied down to Nike. So then I got my wonderful Garmin Forerunner 305. Now this baby will tell me everything ANYBODY would want to know about their runs; pace, elevation, grade, where I've ran, time of day (imagine that, on a watch!), heart rate, and all my mile splits! I was hooked.

Thankfully I never included all this new information in Excel, but I pour over my splits after every single run, without fail! I'm a numbers person, what can I say?

So maybe I over do it a little bit with my tracking of my miles, but I can definitely tell you what works for me and what doesn't! If anybody wants to give in to their inner dork, I would gladly send out my Excel file!

Happy running,


No comments: