Running Back

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Every year since 2000 I have used the outstanding running log devised by fellow running geek David Hays. It’s available free for download at his website. Not only has this digital log provided me with the instant gratification of seeing my running miles pile up, it has allowed me to calculate any statistic I can think of (even some that I don’t have any use for). I think the calculations that I do understand provide a good yardstick for how my running year went last year and what my goals for the next year should be.

In 2003 I made running 1000 miles my goal. The closest I had previously come to that mark was 826 miles in 2000, when I spent much of the year training for the Philadelphia Marathon. On December 30, 2003 a three-mile run gave me 1001 miles for the year. On December 31, 2003 I realized that I had mentally burned myself out.

For 2004 I made the somewhat humbler distance goal of 800 miles. My intention was to do shorter runs at a faster pace in the hopes of bettering my 5K times. It didn’t quite work out that way - first from the burnout, then from nagging injuries. So mid-spring I switched plans and decided to concentrate on October’s Long Beach Island 18 miler. In 2002 and 2003 I had trouble finishing this race, walking quite a bit at the end. I decided for 2004 to try to train with fewer miles, hoping to have the fresh legs needed to finish the race running. This plan had the added benefit of giving me more time at home with the family. Thus, I dubbed it the Considerate Training Program™.

Unfortunately, the Considerate Training Program™ didn’t get me through the LBI 18 without some walking, but I did have my best race and fastest finish of my three LBI runs. Due to an unshakable autumn cold I finished the year with 719 miles – 81 miles short of my goal. I’m pretty happy with that. I’m more upset with the weight I’ve put on. I think that keeping my weight in check would help improve my race times just as much as miles run.

For 2005 I am once again setting 800 miles as my distance goal. I want to use the spring and summer to work on speed for shorter races, than switch gears and work up endurance for the LBI 18. That means sticking with the Considerate Training Program™ again, which should make the missus happy. It also means that watching what I eat will play a big part in my training this year. That won’t please the missus since it means tracking calories and fat grams in a notebook, and I tend to get a little anal around numbers. You may have noticed that. And if you haven’t noticed that, here are my numbers from 2004, with 2003’s numbers in parentheses:
Total miles run: 719.5 (1001.1)
Number of runs: 137 (172)
Number of races: 12 (12)
Median of runs: 5.25 miles (5.29)
Mode of runs: 5.46 (5.09)
Mean of runs: 5.25 (5.82)
Standard Deviation of runs: 2.0 (2.35)
Average miles per day: 1.97 (2.74)
Average miles per week: 13.76 (19.2)
Average miles per month: 59.96 (83.42)
Total time spent running: 4 days, 4 hours, 28 minutes, 21 seconds (5d, 19h, 29m, 7s)


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