It’s not vital that everybody have a training log of some sort, but ever since I started tracking my mileage and workouts on www.dailymile.com, I have to admit that it is nice to know how far I have run this week/month/year. It’s great to be able to save routes and know how far I ran. I also really like to keep track of how much exercise I do generally, so I know how active I have been lately. It also adds up my weekly mileage and lets me check in with my friends and see how their training is going. Overall, I would say DailyMile is an excellent site, well organized and easy to use.
I recently signed up for a challenge that a blogger I know is doing. It’s a biggest looser style challenge – whoever loses the highest percentage of body fat wins. I don’t have much to lose, so I’m not terribly concerned about winning, but I am expecting that a lot of people won’t be able to stick with such a long challenge – it’s until August. Anyway, as part of the challenge, we had to sign up with www.dailyburn.com which doesn’t have as nice an interface as DailyMile. DailyBurn also creates diets, workouts, and supposedly tracks nutrition, but so far I haven’t been very pleased with any of these features.
For tracking my diet, I recently switched to the MyFitnessPal app. It has a pretty good list of foods, so I don’t really need to add anything custom, but some of them the nutrition facts are not correct on at all. It adds up what you have eaten and tells you how short you are for your recommended daily values and what you will need to add to them. Since the only really proven method of dieting is to track what you are eating, I tend to subscribe to it. This approach doesn’t feel restrictive to me, and most importantly, as a vegetarian, it helps me keep track of my protein/carbs/fat intake.
I’m also looking for some physical challenges for this year – and now is when I have to start training if I want to be able to do them this spring and summer. I would like to run a half marathon this spring, preferably in under 2 hours. I would also like to do a century bike ride in the summer, and possibly a half-ironman in the fall. The half-ironman seems pretty daunting to me right now, since I have been sluggish and unmotivated lately, but I’m going to wait until after I’ve found a stable job to decide if I’m going to be up for it. I like to use races to keep myself motivated, and I could really use a new challenge – last year, I didn’t do anything that was harder than stuff I did the year before, and I’d really like to push myself this year.
I’m hoping to figure out if either of the fitness tracking exercises will integrate a training plan, so that I can check it off when I have completed it, etc. DailyBurn has programs that you can get to if you pay for the site (but $10 a month is a lot for something I can just put on my google calendar). DailyMile doesn’t seem to, but I might be able to hack it a bit. At the end of the day though, these tools are just tools and the fitness trackers have very little to do with whether I exercise or not, or whether I reach my goals or not.