The principle of progression, one of the 7 main principles of exercise states that: "Overload of exercise should occur in gradual progression rather than in major bursts".
This principle holds true because when you do something in excess too fast without building yourself up, you are priming yourself for a world of pain from injuries and burnout. By logging workingouts, you make sure to track how you are doing so far in numbers in contrast with how your body is feeling - so that you can move on to the next stafe when you feel you are ready. The sum of small efforts add up to a whole in the end.
As mentioned above, logging workouts ensure that you are not overtraining. Like a broken radio on record, always compare the numbers (kilometers run, speed etc.) with your body's condition. Don't be a blind tenant to what your body is telling you. When you're ready to have a go at it, make gradual increments like for example, not more than 10% increase in weekly mileage. Pull back when you feel something is not right.
Trial and error
After a successful 10KM and half marathon races at The Performance Series and Ang Kor Wat respectively last year, I always look at my training logs in Strava leading up to these races and find out what worked and what didn't. I haven't been that successful this year in my races yet - but by comparing the workouts I have done so far with last year's I am to analyze the mistakes I am making, what I am not doing and then make the appropiate corrections.
As above, I look back at these race logs every now and then. When I hit a rut or feel things are not going right, these logs serve as motivation that I am capable of doing better than what I am feeling in the moment. Additionally, the added social aspect of competition on Strava gets me going! Seeing my friends log their workouts while I haven't make my legs itch, and being able to analyze the stats of elite athletes serve as inspiration when the going gets tough.
Now that you understand the advantages of keeping a log of your runs and workouts, the next obvious question would be - How do I start?
For starters, there are a variety of apps out there like Nike Run+, Endomondo and RunKeeper, but the app that I have mentioned and currently using is Strava! It is available as amobile app and on your computers. It gets pretty handy because the app has sync functions with top GPS Watch brands like Garmin, Suunto and Polar, allowing for seamless and convenient exchange of run data across multiple platforms. You can join clubs, folow elite athletes and complete challenges! I won't do the app justice by summarizing its features here, so its better for you to go try it out!
If you hate technology and prefer putting pen to paper - then think of getting a simple planner - those 'unwanted' gifts you receive from your company at year end parties and meetings. Personally, I find it troublesome to have to write down what I did instead of being able to sync it. However, everything is private and accessible to only you. If you are the type of person who doesn't like sharing personal data on the web, go traditional!
What are you waiting for? Start loggin'!
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