Take a peak at Training Peaks charts. For the uninitiated beginner, all this data can be intimidating. You may think you don’t need to bother with fancy data and tracking. “After all, I’m just a beginner”
While it’s true that you’ll improve simple by swimming, biking, and running more, there are several key reasons you should track your training, even if you’re completely new to the sport. Let’s explore a few.
Keep the Record Straight
You need data so you can see what you did, objectively. It’s too easy to misremember if you’re not writing things down How so? Our memories are fallible and typical memories of training are rife with hyperbole. “I used to run 40 miles a week” someone might say, then a peek at their training log reveals they ran 40 miles for one week back in 2010.
Why does it matter? Because instead of someday wondering how you were possibly able to run so far/ so much, you’ll be able to fact check yourself and get a more accurate picture.
Help Future You
Perhaps you’re currently not very ‘serious’ about training and you’re just running or cycling for fun. That doesn’t mean your future self won’t appreciate the data! There is nothing better than starting with a new athlete and finding that they have months or years of training data to reference.
Perhaps you had your best running year ever in 2014. What were you doing then? What kind of mileage, volume, and intensity made you so fast? Having a history takes out the guesswork. It also keeps you from mis-remembering details like we already mentioned
Keep Things Objective
Perhaps you missed a week of training due to illness and you’re wondering whether you have training in the bank to take on your next race. Having data to reference gives you a realistic perspective on other races you’ve completed with a similar training load and the outcome. Conversely, it can give you an objective wakeup call if you’re not where you need to be and need to refocus your training or change courses.