"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Running Logs

In my previous post I referred to my running logs of the past 9 years. I log very detailed information about every run I do and I've been doing this since I started running in 1981. Unfortunately I don’t have my logs of 1981 to 1993 anymore. They were mostly in small diary style log books that we used to get at running and sports stores.

I do however still have all my logs from 1994 to 2012. I logged all my runs and races in A4 size exercise books from 1994 to 2000. I still have the books and they make for very interesting and entertaining reading.

My running logs from 1994 to 2000.

Towards the end of 2000 I made the transition to MS Excel. I created a very good log that keeps stats for anything you can think of. This log evolved into a huge maze of spreadsheets and graphs over the years, including detailed training plans as well. I also captured every run from my 1990’s books in this log.

My very detailed MS Excel Log

Earlier this year my wife bought me a Polar RS800CX watch with GPS and heart rate monitor and this added a new dimension to the stats and details I can log.

The Polar came with good software that uploads run data and produce graphs and other statistics. It also has good planning features and I am in general very happy with this.

Polar ProTrainer Software

However, I am a stats geek of very high proportions…J  I also log my training on dailymile. This is mainly for my virtual life as I use it to feed through to my blog and FB. I also enjoy all the friends I connect with on dailymile.

Dailymile is another great log!

Still, my stats-geek-ness  (no there is no such word) reaches a lot further than this. I keep extremely detailed stats of my races. I have run 1369 races since July 1981 and have the time, race time, date and every detail of each race logged. I can pull stats for any race related query in seconds. How many at what distance, PB’s for all distances and basically any race related query I may have.

The Polar ProTrainer software is not great for race and shoe history and stats. Having my runs logged in Polar ProTrainer and Excel is OK but far from ideal. I want all the info in one place.

So I’ve been searching the Internet for the best running log that can keep all the stats I want plus the info from my Polar watch…all in one place.

There is one more requirement I have. I must be able to access all info while offline. I want the info on my Laptop, not on the Internet. Living in Africa means Internet connectivity is not very reliable and usually quite slow.

I have tried many programs and I’m still experimenting. There are many good ones.

SportTracks is brilliant and there are many plugins available. Importing data from the Polar model I have is however a bit of a problem including many steps. I need some plugins but will certainly experiment with these.

SportTracks is very good but not the best for Polar.

TrainingPeaks have everything, but the offline version (WKO+) is not as great as the online version. It is expensive in comparison to the others as well.

TrainingPeaks is good but expensive.

Then there is Runner’s Studio…

This is a great app and with a great user interface. It is perfect for keeping and pulling my race stats from all the years and there is nothing my spreadsheet does that Runner’s Studio can’t do.  Runner’s Studio gives me everything my spreadsheet has as well as the info from my Polar.

Runner’s Studio is currently on top of my list.

I am trying Runner’s Studio at the moment and I am very impressed so far. The only thing I can’t view in Runner’s Studio is a route profile with altitude as this supports Garmin only at the moment. I view my route profiles mainly with Google Earth anyway as it gives all the information needed.

Google Earth is perfect for routes and profiles.

I am almost sold on Runner’s Studio and if I buy it I will do a full review as soon as I feel comfortable with it.

Do you keep detailed logs? Which application do you use?

Keep it going!


abbi said...

Wow, that's some impressive tracking! I use a spreadsheet but no where near as detailed as yours it looks like!

TR said...

Oh wow! That's cool!
If I really start to tackle this full marathon training stuff, I think I'm going to keep a written log as well!

Christi said...

Wow I thought I was a stats geek! You win on this one! I use a excel spreadsheet and daily mile.com

Jill said...

You are making me laugh - but in a good way. Freaks like us who has run for essentially eternally are so meticulous about going back and looking at stats :). I actually love the hand written logs I've kept (some were lost in a move - whaaa!); I love seeing old notes I wrote in pencil to myself...things that I don't write necessarily on an online log. I don't write as much as I used to back in the day but maybe I will again once I start running stronger again. It's hard to look repeatedly at "today sucked..." ;).

Karien P. said...

Wow, I wish I had kept a log of each race I've done to date too - one forgets so quickly! I guess it's never too late to start, hey?

Boston Bound Brunette said...

Wow I like it! I just use Daily Mile and I do have my own little spread sheets where I keep my training logs and track my plans for the week on.

Giorgio said...

I love charts about my running races. I use excell too!
Congrats on your 1369 races since July 1981 ... It's an average of about 44 races per year!

Michael said...

I just use Garmin Connect because it's easy and logs all my Garmin data. I can also add in ad hoc activities which is nice. I didn't start tracking until about a year and a half ago,maybe 2, but find that I love having the data

Robin said...

That's a lot of information...impressive. I use Dailymile too (as you know) and Nike+ site. Neither is very detailed though. I used to keep a manual log when I first started but it got to be too much. I do keep notes on my training plans though which are handwritten.

Jim ... 50after40 said...

Man Johann, I think I'm you - because you just described everything I do as well. You've just been doing it a lot longer. I use Garmin Connect, which is pretty good, but doesn't offer as much as I would like. I also have several spreadsheets that I've thrown together over the years to compare various times. And that's probably what I use it for more than anything - comparing how I'm running now vs. then - plus I'm a nerd and enjoy it! Ha. Have a great week!

ajh said...

I keep written logs. I Have them for several years. I wish they were more detailed but I have all the miles I do, where I go, miles per month, and other stuff I keep track of. I have an on line ap I use but mostly to keep track of my shoe mileage. I don't refer back to it much. I use my books. Then I have scrapbooks I use for racing where I have very detailed accounts, pictures annual goals and how I am doing. lots of stuff. I refer to those often and love them. Now I have started doing (2 years) photo books on SHutterfly of races too and biking. Those are simply for my remembering pleasure.

Char said...

I've kept years of records -probably not as detailed as yours - but they're all hard copy. I write about my runs on the training schedule my coach gives me. Makes it so easy to see just how slow I've gotten :-)

coach dion said...

I have all my Diaries from 1986, and from that I can tell you that I've only run 896 races (OK there are the CC and track races from the early days i haven't put on my spreedsheet)

Road races are another story! states like 11 x 6km ave time 19:56 or 204 x 10km race ave 36:17. I've now even started keeping splits of some training runs...

My Diary and spreedsheets are the most important, but I down load Ms 310 (garmin) in 5 differant places.

Unknown said...

Very interesting and impressive! I wish I had kept a log of each race done till date. This log also includes the detailed training.

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Cindy said...

This is a great topic...I tried training peaks the free version for Tri training, but I don't like all the adds. The nutrition tracking became too cumbersome. I use the Garmin software for stats and just keep a written running journal for the experience.

Unknown said...

I am totally fascinated by your log detail. It seems that many of these programs overlap. I am not very good with computer program stuff, but it seems that the main thing for you is that you need it without being online. I use runningahead.com- but I think you'd have to save the polar stuff to a file, have them import it regulary, since Polar does not upload like Garmin. They would do it for you, though. They moved about 3 years of stuff for me from another website pretty easily.

Unknown said...

I should add that I like RA also, because I can pre-map a route there (like google) , and look at the bottom of it for a course profile.

Molly said...

I actually write the details of my runs on my wall calendar, unless I'm training for a specific event. Then I print out the training plan, and check off each day as I do it. I guess I'm old school : )

Lindsay said...

that is quite the spreadsheet and record keeping! i stick to my spreadsheet. mine's actually gotten simpler though. i tried using a website but the spreadsheet is my tried and true.

Detroit Runner(Jeff) said...

Now that's some tracking! I use Garmin, DM and am pretty basic about it. Not many comments at all.

Anne said...

I've started written logs, but then I end up just using DailyMile. I love the idea of having all these logs to look back on, so I'm thinking of starting another one :)

Your stats are extremely impressive! Wow!

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