The 14th Law of Training: Keep a Detailed Logblog
post 5 emphasized the importance of a well-kept logblog. The essential information that should be included in the logblog are the date, the training route, the details of the training session, the shoes worn, the running time and distance, running partners, and the weather. This provides the basic descriptive data to which you will return over the years to see, for example, how much and how fast you are running in comparison to what you did in the past or to see with whom you have run over the years.
Nine additional pieces of information must be included in the logblog, not because they have any value initially but because they will eventually tell you whether you are overtraining.
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1. Note how each run feels. Pay particular attention to muscle soreness, the level of fatigue, and the intensity of your effort. The way you can use this information is described in greater detail in post 10.
2. Record the effort rating of each run. For this, use the new Borg scale (see Exercises 6.2). This information tells you when you are reaching your peak, because you will run at a higher perceived intensity but will feel less fatigued. In contrast, high ratings of perceived exertion during exercise of low intensity indicate that you are tired and need to rest.
3. Rate the enjoyment rating of each run (J.E. Martin & Dubbert, 1984). On this scale, a score of 1 indicates a very unenjoyable run; a score of 3, a neutral run; and a score of 5, a very enjoyable run. If your running sessions score consistently low on the enjoyment rating scale, then you need to analyze the cause. You may be running too much and may therefore be overtired, or you may be running at too high an intensity. If the running continues to be unenjoyable, the chances are that you will drop out and stop exercising. Urgent action needs to be taken if your running continues to be unenjoyable.
4. Record your waking pulse rate, that is, the pulse rate measured within a few minutes of waking in the morning. If your waking pulse rate suddenly increases more than five beats a minute above the normal value, you have done too much the previous day and should either train very little that day or rest completely (see post 10).
A refinement of this technique is to remeasure your heart rate exactly 20 seconds after first getting out of bed in the morning. Your heart rate increases when you stand up, and the degree of this increase is also used as an early indicator of overtraining (see Exercises 10.2).
5. Record morning body weight.
6. Record postworkout body weight. As described in post 10 (p. 416), Richard Brown, an exercise physiologist from Eugene, Oregon, showed that these measurements (Numbers 5 and 6) also indicate when an athlete is overtraining.
7. Record the time you go to bed and the number of hours you sleep. Again, changes in sleeping patterns provide another easily measured indicator of overtraining.
8. Record heart rate after each interval. This is important if you regularly perform speed work sessions.
9. Women should record their menstrual cycles. This helps a woman determine whether her performance is influenced by her menstrual cycle and, if so, whether she wishes to alter the timing of menstruation, particularly before competition.
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