Spreadsheets & Footfalls

Sunday Runday, and I’ve been hiding in my basement from the brutal cold, focussing on cross-training which is never a replacement for actually getting out on the trails.

Not in quality of workout nor in the enjoyment of the effort.

I’ve also been reflecting on the last year of pandemic lockdown and realizing that I’ve let a few things slip. I used to be particularly diligent in how I recorded and tracked my fitness. Used to be, being the operative words.

Last year, for example, I completely neglected using the tracking tools I’d built for myself over the last decade. Before using Strava as a tracking crutch, I was meticulous in how I tracked and recorded my runs. I had built and refined a simple but useful goal-based spreadsheet for time and distance that calculated a few other factors in keeping myself on track. How much did I run. How did it compare. How much did I need to focus to catch up or get on track with an annual distance goal… that sort of thing.

I also made it available to others for a few years in a row on my previous website:

So, since I’ve started using it again and I’ve put in the effort of updating it for 2021, please make a copy and use it. It’s mostly simple, but I’ve always preached that in running (or life in general) information and data are powerful allies.

Spreadsheets can be for more than business and budgets.

They help track goals and progress.

They highlight gaps and changes in routine.

They offer insight into trends in your training.

And they provide an ongoing overview of what can be accomplished by day after day after day of hard work which is motivational and can often give that extra nudge towards improvement.

I’m neither fast nor competitive, but that also means I don’t have the benefit of a coach or endless access to resources that could improve my training. I’m just a guy who likes to get out on the trails, but that doesn’t mean it’s none of it is worth tracking. It’s worth it to me, and a spreadsheet is a simple and low-cost way to track it all.