Although I’ve been running a long time, I didn’t start keeping a training log until January 1, 2010, just one month before my daughter was born. I wanted to track my fitness during the end of pregnancy to remember for future pregnancies and to just have something fun to look back on. In the back of my mind I know I also wanted some exercise accountability after giving birth and the running log was sort of like my journal.
Once I started logging my miles, I was addicted. Then came running with a Garmin. I started by mapping my runs on gmap-pedometer but it was time consuming and I had enough on my plate once my daughter was born. One day I remembered we owned a Garmin that we never used. I instantly fell in love with GPS running and have been obsessed with the thing ever since.
Since I do most of my running alone, my GPS is like my training partner. It tells me when I’m doing well, and when I’m having an off day and need some rest. When the Garmin messes up (very rarely, but it does), it gives me a little chuckle (oh you silly little thing, I know I didn’t just run a 4:30 first mile!) I have definitely become a better runner since using the Garmin and logging my miles.
For me, GPS running and logging miles go hand in hand. Seeing my true mileage build up day by day and adding it to my log makes me want to run more miles. Doing a great workout and seeing the splits reflected on my Garmin makes me want to do another great workout. When I look back at my training log, it makes me feel confident about racing. Seeing my workouts, exactly transferred into my running log, makes me have
no doubt as little doubt as possible about my peak race.
I’m what I would call a “precise logger”. I log EXACTLY what my Garmin says, no rounding allowed. For me, rounding is like cheating and it makes me less confident about the work I put in. At the end of a training cycle, I know at least one thing – I did everything in my log. I’m not saying this is the “right” way. I think it has been the right way for me and my personality the past few years. Lately, I’ve been talking with all sorts of runners who are more in the “round-it-out logger” category. They finish a run where Garmin says 5.76 miles and they call it a 6 miler. Initially, this gave me a very uneasy feeling. However, the more people I talk to who do this, (and still run well) the more interested I am in this approach.
So tell me friends, do you log your runs? Use a Garmin? Are you a precise logger or a round-it-out type? Will I ever change my precise logger ways?