Monday, 1 June 2009

Training: How do I track my progress?

Chatting further with my friend we talked about the idea that you can burn as many calories experiementing with different exercises and routines as you can with existing ones.


My take is that you often burn just as much by experimenting. And since it's about mixing things up, keeping it interesting and finding what suits you it's often more motivating. so you tend to work harder. Also the body is generally most efficient at what it does regularly and efficiency is the enemy of weight loss. You actually want to be inefficient funnily enough. That's why changing things up is so important. 

The most important thing is that while there's plenty of info out there you've got to be making maximum use of every session and that means personalising everything. You aren't a carboard cut out so don't use cut out routines. Adapt it to you, your way of life, routines, strengths and weaknesses. That's the only way to maximise the impact it has on your body and your mind. 

In terms of measuring things it's only clear how best to do it once you've started doing it. That means just figure out your own way. It's also not always that easy cos it's hard to know when you've run a mile or even 100 metres. If you can measure it that can be a big help. I got a gps add on for my phone and my wife got a pedometer which measures how many steps she's done and works out the mileage. 

Otherwise  I just take a route that I know and use a map or something to figure out its distance. Failing that sometimes all I ever did was count lampposts. I would sprint for as long as I could and just see how many lampposts I had run past since they had just about the same spacing between them. I just aimed to pass more of those each session. I also begin to remember certain waypoints like road intersections where I got tired. I'd keep focusing on getting past them. The further I got past them the more improvement I'd made. 

So first off this won't make much sense to any one but you unless you've got something to measure distance. That's not a problem unless you want to compare. It's just important that you know what targets you have and have your own little markers in your mind for what you need to beat. 

To some this will be a little un scientific but for me it's just practical. Now that pedometers and other kit to measure distance is becoming cheap and usable it's less important but if you don't have any of this I just wanted to give some basic ideas about how to track what you've been doing and measure your progress as you go. 
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