I haven’t kept a written, traditional training log for a few months now. I started riding toward my 2014 goals with a green and white covered Composition Book that was the intended target for my ride notes: Time, Distance, A written description of the loop along with my general impressions of the ride. Sometimes story ideas would spring from these, but mostly it was just for me. Now Strava seems to be the catch all for my rides. More often than not without notes. I miss my written log a bit.
With Strava there is no need for me to take the time to write out the loop, time and distance of the day’s ride. What for years was a ritual part of my day has fallen to the wayside. All the info is already there on a fancy computer. Truthfully I prefer the old way of doing things, but with all the other things I have put on my plate I decide to take the easy way out, reduce the redundancies and let the ride exist in my legs and 1s & 0s in the cloud.
I kept a training journal through my climbing days because it was the easiest way to keep tack of reps in the weight room, routes and boulder problems. Often, I was given a hard time about log. My flagrant want for improvement would set people off, with the most common retort being “Stop making me look bad”. The log helped me managed the load, ensuring that each week was a bit harder than the week prior.
It also gave the workouts a sense of permanence. It gave me the ability to look back and see (somewhat) clearly my recent and eventually distant past. I could easily see and understand what worked and what hadn’t. Those logs, along with a near daily journaling practice, served as record of my life. When combined the two logs gave a complete record of how I spent my days.
Now I just upload the ride and occasionally write in a notebook about my life.
No descriptions of the sun light fracturing through the fog. No explanation of my body rising from the saddle and rocking the bike through the steep section of NE Perkins Rd. The moments are sometimes remembered, but never written down. Occasionally I doubt the rides were real, but that’s only on the good days. The bad days are always remembered.
Now I spend more time monitoring my writing hours than my riding hours.
This lack of attention to the writing of my life is, in part, due to the fact that I’m not racing. I once monitored my hours, and obsessed over my heart rate. Now I only take a short glance at my weekly hours and average heart rate zone for the ride. What was once used to measure fatigue is now used as a gauge for how much I’m aloud to eat. Four hours at 150 bpm and I might get some ice cream or a doughnut when I get home.
I’ve adjusted and lost the practice of writing out each ride. Sometimes the I give it another go, but quickly three or four days pass, and I’ve only logged one ride. I decide to read, or work on some writing rather than catch up. But still inscribing the words and numbers feel more real to me.