I imagine that there are myriad tools on the internet for runners and exercisers to use, and I’m just barely even aware of what’s available. But what I’m using right now is working for me, so it’s worth sharing.
First, I’m using a simple google docs spreadsheet to track the miles on my shoes. I’m told that this is important, because it helps keep us from running in bad, broken down shoes that have lost their cushion. As of today, my shoes (and the rest of me!) have gone 30.45 miles. I keep hearing estimates in the neighborhood of 400 miles for good running shoes, so I have a ways to go yet.
I’m also using a website called Fitocracy as a motivational and tracking tool. There are a many things I love about this site. First, it plays to the nerdy and geeky folks. There are points (like experience points in a game) and levels. I’m level 7! There are also quests that can be completed and achievements that can be earned. Additionally, after posting a workout, other users can acknowledge your workout by giving you “props”. I find this to be really helpful. It’s really nice to have someone, even a stranger who lives far away, acknowledge my workout, usually within a very short time period after I post it.
There are also a huge number of groups that people can belong to. Some are very silly, some are groups of like minded individuals, some are discussion groups for folks with a specific goal and others are serious groups that create challenges for the members to compete in. A few of the groups I belong to are: Fit Geeks, Geek Girls Go, The Evil League of Evil, Weight Loss, Future Me, The 1200 Mile Club – Running, and Where is the pink monkey, he stole my watermelon.
Weight Loss and Future Me tend to have the most discussion of the groups I belong to, and the most newbies in them. When I log in, I make sure to give props to anybody I happen to see on my main page or in any of the groups I go look at, who has worked out, completed a quest, earned an achievement or joined a funny or useful group. I especially try to give props to any lower level members, because they’re the ones who need the most encouragement. I’m pretty sure that a lot of people on Fitocracy do the same thing.
I also blog about what I’ve been doing. That is going to happen here now, but I did use my personal blog from June through a few days ago. I decided I wanted to have a more public blog for this, though, so here I am. I find that blogging about my training is really useful. If I’m feeling as though I’m not progressing fast enough, or if my motivation is suffering, just going back and reading older blog posts can make a world of difference. It also helps keep me honest.
In the future, I think I’ll probably use Jeff Galloway’s website some as I really get my feet under me in my training plan. I’ve also found some useful information and suggestions at the Runner’s World website, particularly for newbie runners. And an online friend linked to a training website that I haven’t entirely decided whether to use yet, but I like the idea of it a lot. It’s the 100 Pushups website. Pushups are on my list of things I should probably be doing, and the plan at that site looks like something that could work for me.
And now for an actual update! I did my long run yesterday, rather than waiting for today and I’m glad I did. I went 4.7 miles, which is .7 miles farther than my previous long run. I tried out a 120 second run to 60 second walk split for the first 1.5 miles (approximately) and found that to be a bit too much for me, so I switched back to my 60s/60s split for the rest of my run. I may have also gone a little faster, but it’s sort of hard for me to tell.
Only 181 days to go!