At the start of 2009, I decided that this was the year I would take up running. I’ve always liked the concept of running — all you need are a pair of shoes, a place to run, and some time to be alone with nothing but your thoughts — but had always found an excuse not to do it.
Well, I had grown tired of making excuses and my doctor told me that my cholesterol was higher than she wanted it to be, so I tied on shoes in January and hit the pavement.
The first five weeks of running were awful. In fact, my first day out I couldn’t run for more than a minute and a half without having to stop and walk. I was out of shape, and I felt physically sore and embarrassed about it. On the advice of a friend, I decided to track my runs in a notebook. I have room to write about the lengths of my runs, their speeds, and notes about the workout. I’m glad that I kept this log, because even though I’m not yet at my desired goals, it is very nice to see how far I’ve come.
I’ve learned about some upcoming 5K and 10K runs in my area, and have decided that I want to participate in a few of them. I’m a competitive person, and even though I know I won’t be the fastest person at these races, I want to see if I can finish these races in a time that is best for me. Getting ready for a race is a lot of work, but I’m eager to take on the challenge.
To help me get ready for these races, I’ve decided to start using my running journal to plan out a training schedule, as well as to track my runs. My methods are as lo-tech as they come, but I’m enjoying the act of writing down the information afterward and looking over it like an old diary.
Even though I’m not using them, I have come to learn about a number of online resources that you can use to help track your workouts. If you’re someone who finds the community of a website engaging, too, many of these programs have online networks to get you into touch with other people:
- LiveStrong.com allows you to track all healthy choices, in addition to exercise. It has a very large community and resource base.
- Nike + is a system that links an odometer to your iPod and then to the Nike + website. This is a wonderful setup for runners and walkers.
- FitTracker has fewer bells and whistles than the first two sites I’ve mentioned, but tracks your workouts all the same.
- Gyminee is an extremely user-friendly option in the fitness tracking realm. If you want pretty and easy, Gyminee can be a good option for you.
What system do you use to plan and track your workouts? Let us know about what you use in the comments.