Me? Obsessive?

This morning I was out by 7.25am for an easy 6miler before heading off for my swimming lessons.  The pavements were a bit icy this morning so I had to run on the road a few times.

I didn’t look at my watch at all and just aimed at keeping my breathing under control.  So a good steady run.  Tomorrow to finish off my easy week I’m going to have a run on the Braes and Steven is joining me so it will be good to catch up as we’ve not had a run for a few weeks!

Yesterday there was a little bit of banter on the Facebook 2014 miles in 2014 group. Tim made the comment ….

We need a man obsessed with spreadsheets to collate everyone’s miles for the whole year. Know anyone like that John?

Today as I ran it got me thinking about whether I am obsessive!   As far as my running goes I think for an ultra runner I’m fairly average. Last year I ran 2,086 miles which I know for some would look obsessive but there are plenty of runners who probably did double that!

But the comment was more to do with my recording of my running!  I must admit I think Tim probably has a point.  At the moment after each run I will record it as follows …

  • My own excel spreadsheet – I like to use this spreadsheet as it helps me plan ahead and keeps everything on one easy sheet.
  • Running Ahead – I’ve been using this online platform for several years now and like the graphs!  Also I’ve put all my miles run since the mid 80’s on it so reluctant to stop using it!!
  • Strava – I really like this online tool.  I’m a member of several clubs (West Highland Way, Hardmoors, Kilbarchan, The British Trail Running Podcast, Lakeland 50 100, Jantastic and 2104 miles in 2014).  The good thing though is you only have to upload your run once and it automatically adds your details to each group.  I love the segments it produces and the fact that you can see what others are doing!!
  • Jantastic – this is a Jan-Mar challenge organised by Marathon Talk Podcast. It’s really easy as you only put in the number of runs you’ve done.  I set up a team called Ultras Runners and we have over 50 members so it’s fun to see how we are getting on against other teams!
  • On this blog – Ever since I started this blog in October 2006 I have recored each and every run and race.  This will be my 1,959th post!!  Some are longer than others but it’s a great record (for me) of what I’ve done over the last 7 years.

I reckon it takes me 5mins or so to upload the stats to the various sites and another 10mins or more to write my blog so at least 15mins on top of the run!  Maybe I could use the time better by stretching or something but basically I really enjoy keeping the records.

So I’ll leave it to others to decide whether it’s obsessive behaviour but I really enjoy keeping a record of what I’m doing and to be fair it’s not just my running.  I’m well know for my spreadsheets at work as well!!!

I noticed that Marco, who introduced me to Strava, had started putting his runs on again. He explained that he has a utility which automatically uploads his data from a run onto Garmin Connect and Strava without him having to do anything!

Plus his new Garmin uploads the data to his computer automatically so as soon as he steps in the house it’s all done automatically!   Now I wonder if there is anything similar with Suunto??

Obsessive? – maybe but I can’t see me changing any time soon!!

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5 Responses to Me? Obsessive?

  1. Peter Duggan says:

    Whatever floats your boat, John… recording’s fine (and I do it too), but the idea of having everything I do automatically uploaded to the Web fills me with horror!

  2. You should wear your “Obsessive” badge with honour 😉

    The worlds needs people who measure, record and share, it’s how us humans have elevated ourselves to do amazing things. Science and engineering is based on people obsessively studying and recording seemingly insignificant things and then others learning form this and sharing their new understanding. It’s the foundation of scientific progress.

    Of course recording all your data is unlikely to cure cancer or resolve world conflict, but other ultra runners can learn from what you share. When I first stumpled upon your blog when working out how to prepare my first proper ultra I found your thorough approach really useful as no doubt many others have done.

    So please continue to be “Obsessive”, keep contributing what ever you feel interests you no matter how geeky or seemingly insignificant 😉

  3. Thanks Robert … I appreciate that!

  4. Colin Hardie says:

    The article here goes into a bit of depth around the services that sync Garmin data to various online sites. There is a bit of discussion in the comments section around support for Suunto so I guess it will only be a matter of time.

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