How To Log Your Workouts

Logging your workouts:

Let’s start off by talking about what I’m looking for when I read your logs.   Most importantly I want to make sure that we’re giving you the correct “dose” of training.  We want to give you challenging enough training to help you improve, but not so much that you’re overly fatigued and not recovering / and not improving over time.

For individual workouts, I’m mostly looking to see (a) what you did; (b) how you felt; and (c) generally how well you performed.   For the most part we don’t need to look at your workouts in too much depth (i.e. usually there is no need to open your workout file / analyze the data of any single workout).  Occasionally if you do a workout than is a good measuring stick or benchmark, I’ll want to make a note of your numbers so I can compare your performance over time.

When I look at your logs I look at:

(a) weekly totals: hours, miles, yards, etc.

(b) the time and “IF” of each workout (IF is the average % of threshold you held) and usually average run pace and normalized bike power.

(c) special workouts and how you performed (e.g. benchmarks, long rides or runs)

(d) your description in the “post workout comments.”  (see below).  I ONLY SEE NOTES IN THE “POST WORKOUT COMMENTS”, NOT UNDER “DESCRIPTION”

Step #1: Upload Your Data:

  • upload your device data to Trainingpeaks via the Trainingpeaks device agent.  (If you have issues with TP contact their customer service, which is usually pretty good.)
Open Trainingpeaks and:

  • Change the title if you did something different.  If you did something entirely different from what I suggested, change the title.  E.g. change “steady ride” to “hard ride with friends”. (not that I encourage doing something different from what’s in your plan!)
  • Note how you felt during the workout (great, good, horrible…) or even before / after your workout (stressed out, tired, irritable, sick versus lots of energy, feeling great).  It’s KEY for me to get a feel for your fatigue versus freshness so I can see whether the training load is too high or whether we need to give you some rest.
  • Tell me how you performed / pull out any key intervals / stats you noticed (e.g. “was able to hold 8 min per mile at 150 bpm during the middle of the workout”  ”for threshold intervals I did 250 watts for #1, 260 for #2, 250 for #3– number 3 felt very hard”, “the last 400 of the set took me 6 minutes”).  I’ll occasionally make a note of these #s for future reference.  It’s also great for  you to note these so you can easily look back on your logs from time to time.  For your own awareness you should be tracking these numbers.
  • If you want to use TSS / Performance Manager Charts, be sure to have a reasonably accurate TSS number for every workout.  If you didn’t upload device data, then be sure to estimate the TSS for the EVERY workout if you want us to be able to analyze your performance manager chart in TP.  These numbers.
  • Make a note of anything else (life stress, lack of time, lack of sleep) that’s affecting your training.  These things absolutely impact your ability to train and you sometimes have to adjust and roll with the punches when life get’s tough (dial things back, but keep the ball rolling with your training!)
  • if you skipped the workout make a note of why (not getting enough sleep & worn down so I skipped the workout & slept in).  Write “skipped” in the title.
  • No notes?  If you don’t write any notes for the workout but you uploaded data, I’ll assume that: (1) you did the workout as written; (2) heart rate, pace or power was within expected boundaries; and (3) you felt fine (unless the summary data for the workout indicates otherwise).  Obviously, no notes & no data uploaded and I’ll assume you skipped it.
  • Feel free to add any questions that come to mind.  Of course, if you have any urgent questions, you can contact me sooner  (bronze members should alway post questions on the Q&A forum since I don’t review your logs / notes in depth), but feel free to add any questions into your logs as well.
  • Try to keep it to the point. The TP user interface makes it hard for me to read long descriptions from my typical screen (results in scroll bars within scroll bars within scroll bars).   Plus, if you ever look back at your logs you’re going to want to be able to read through them quickly.
Superstar loggers and some samples:
  • Andrew “Mankini” Sellergren.  He’s a master of giving me everything I need very concisely.  e.g. this Wed.  “Flats effort I held at 200w. Hills effort was 215. Only did 1 of the hill reps and went for 1.5 hours, but felt good the whole way. HR didn’t rise.”   Monday: “Did 20-minute reps at about 190w. Felt strong the whole way. Tried out a nutrition strategy consisting of Ensure x 2 for the first hour (500 calories) plus nuun + salt tab + water. No stomach problems, but will need to test on longer rides.”
  • Nicki “Tremendes” Hemenes.  Like Nicki herself, her logs are bursting with personality, but also give me what I need to know.  Last week’s 2 hour run: “Wanna know what sucks? I had to do this on a treadmill. Suck massively! Was definitely getting tired towards the end. I didn’t bring any fuel in between workouts and was working on empty. Not a good feeling.”
  • In my own log I try to put key info into the title so I can see it at a glance when I look at my calendar:

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