Friday, December 13, 2019

Training Log Analysis: Part One

Since wrapping up my Crossroads series, I’m about to start another one of, you guessed it, not yet determined length:) This one is dedicated to analyzing my training log because although I’ve been keeping a training log, I don’t exactly do much of anything with the data. Here some of you may be saying “What, she doesn’t do anything with her data? If she analyzed it all better she would have won the Birkie by now!” I suspect most of you may be in the second camp though: “Phew, I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t analyze my training!”

A fun photo from last month backpacking in a much warmer place (Superstition Mountains in Arizona). Photo: Erik

In this first post, I’ll provide a synopsis of my current training logs and provide the analysis that I’ve done so far and then comment on some of my goals for training log analysis. 

Yikes! They have some big spiders in Arizona! Photo: Erik

My training log:

 

Not unlike many of you, I’ve been keeping a training log since I started endurance sports, sometime in the latter half of high school. My training log has evolved over the years. It began as a detailed paper journal with my actual training buried within a paragraph or paragraphs. Then it became very short entries with mostly only my activity and rarely what I was thinking. In 2008 I began an Excel Spreadsheet that has now morphed into a Google Sheet with over 10 years of data now.

I also keep my online Garmin log. I have both because I don’t always use my Garmin and like that the Google Sheet has better capacity for analysis than Garmin (note, Garmin has evolved over the years and it might actually be better but I’m not super talented in the tech world so have kept my Google Sheet). Hence, all my training goes into the Google Sheet but only the workouts in which I use my Garmin (which is over half) go into the Garmin log.

Here’s a snippet of what my Google Sheet looks like.


So the question is, what do I actually do with all this data? I’ve been pretty bad at really doing any analysis so have decided to use this blog as motivation to interpret my data.

First, let me describe my Google Sheet with some rules for how I input my data:

-I round to the nearest 0.05 hours (or 3 minutes); i.e. 0.30 = 18 minutes of activity
-if I have used my Garmin for the workout, I’ll include Moving Time only
-over the years I report less in distance and more in hours (this encourages me to train at the appropriate level)

Looking back on Superstition Mountain and the long ridgewalk/bouldering route we did on our first full day in Arizona. Photo: Erik

I’m obviously really good at inputting my data. Here’s the “analysis” that I’ve been doing so far:

-I do look at my weekly totals. This column is close to my data input and so I know that typically I train around 12 hours per week. This is a quick way for me to know if I’m training more or less than usual. 



-Usually I look at my heart rate data in my Garmin Log

-And that’s about the extent of things other than back a few years ago my bro (who has a Master’s in Stats), helped me come up with some annual data.

The really nice graph my data scientist bro made for me with my annual training volumes. 2008-2009 and 2015-2016 are both very low because these were partial years and 2012-2013 was low because I spent like 8 weeks canoeing and hiking that I didn't count and then buying a house!
And the yearly total hours by activities. Um, I'm not sure why the rollerski column is blank. That's a snafu in my analysis that I'll need to fix. Now if only I can learn to use Google Sheets well enough that I can add in the years since 2017 by myself!

In my upcoming posts, here’s some analysis I plan to do:

-assess my heart rate and training levels
-see what Garmin can do!
-manipulate my data better to see trends in strength, intervals, and different types of training
-figure out if I can actually glean anything from this data
-?????


And since no trip is complete without doing something a little crazy, we hit up Picacho Peak! Photo: Erik

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