When I coach an athlete, I am coaching a person, not a Garmin or other GPS/HR monitor device. Along with the downloaded data, it is important to log subjective details such as your RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort), how you felt, training location, how much sleep or how rested or not rested you felt.
For your own accountably, if you track your progress, you can look back to see how far you have come, instead of looking ahead to how far you have to go. It is also a way to pinpoint something that may have influenced an illness or injury.
Here’s why logging is important:
- It gives you a record of how you feel and perform during each workout. These two things, although one might argue otherwise, are very difficult to remember on an ongoing basis. Who can remember exactly about your energy levels during their run one week ago? The weather, your sleep hygiene and nutrition before during and after, how you felt, good or bad RPE? The likely answer is that you probably can’t – but knowing these things and being able to adjust your routine accordingly is extremely important in progressing towards your fitness goals.
- You can see the progress you’re making (or the lack thereof). Track progress and fitness. It’s gratifying to to see a lower RPE at a heart rate when at that heart your your RPE used to be high. Or comparing RPE from one race to another when the data is exactly the same.
- It gives you an extra degree of accountability, especially for those that are self coached with the training plan as their guide. If your are having to write down your workout, your probably less likely to miss it or put in a sub-par effort.
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