Tracking numbers is something that I enjoy. I have a spreadsheet that has tracked my/our net worth since the year 2000. I check my Fitbit application a few times a day to see how I’m walking. My Inbox at work must have no more than 15 e-mails at the start and end of each workday.
I just love numbers, so it should come as no surprise that I keep track of my workouts.
My routine is to run at the gym , and I started keeping a log (in a spreadsheet, of course) of how often I’ve been running. I also keep track of my pace, my distance, my estimated calories burned, etc.
I thought it would be interesting to compare this year to last, and as it turns out, I’ve completed roughly 25% less runs than I did as of the same date last year.
To date, I’ve run 41 times, compared to 55 times last year.
That sounds pretty bad, right?
At first, but see as a numbers guy I’m here to tell you that it’s really not so bad at all. Why? One word.
See, last year, I started off strong. Between January and March, I ran on average every 2 days, and in April, ran on average every 2.5 days. That was all well and good for awhile, but it turned out to be really bad in the long term.
Around the middle of April, I noticed a soreness in the bottom of my feet, and started slowing down a bit, taking longer between runs. I continued slowing down in May and June, but it wasn’t really getting better. Every run made it worse. I did some checking around and it was clear that I had plantar fasciitis, and the only real way to solve this was to completely shut down running for a while.
In my case, I stopped regular running for roughly two months. After that, I resumed running but at a much slower pace and also with greatly less frequency.
Because of all this, I ended up running a total of 111 times during 2015. So, I ran 55 times in just under four months, and 56 more times that took over eight months to accomplish.
Projecting The Numbers
So, what this means is that while I’m currently behind the pace as far as the number of runs, I will start quickly ‘catching up’. Right now, I’m averaging 11 runs per month. This seems to be working out well as I am, on average, going two times per week before work and once on the weekend, with one week somewhere that I skip a day. This gives me enough rest, along with the fact that I’ve drastically slowed my pace, increased my stretching, and have started wearing inserts in my shoes as needed to keep things stretched out.
With all of this, I’m comfortable that I can continue the pace of 11 runs per month throughout the year. Knowing that I go less during the summer, due to going camping and what not, I’ve subtracted 2 runs per month for June, July, and August, and another 2 runs in December as the holidays tend to make things a little crazier as well.
If that were to hold, I would actually end up with 124 runs throughout the year. Yes, I would actually end up with 12% more runs this year, even though I’m currently 25% behind.
It’s all about projections!
Readers, do you use projections to keep track of things over a longer period of time so that you’re not making more adjustments than might be necessary? Where are some areas where this practice has helped you?