Measuring fitness progress with with a spirit level.

After my last post about my new fitness program, a couple of people asked me if I am keeping a log or record of my times, distances etc. You know, so I can track my progress and improvements.

Well the short answer is no.

If I was setting a goal of say running a half marathon in February or I was entering Australian Ninja Warrior in 10 weeks, then keeping some sort of log might be worthwhile.

Likewise, if I was seriously competing it would be a given.
These days with so many fitness apps and GPS tracking smart watches it has never been easier to accurately track & tabulate and compare this sort of information.

But for me at least: here there be Dragons.

It is so easy to get all wrapped up in your progress as a measure against others, or as a comparison against your previous performances.

I see so many people not competing at competition level who get so caught up in the data that they are generating that it completely sucks the enjoyment and happiness out of their fitness routines.  They end up repeatedly beating themselves over the head with a clock of their own making.

spiritscale

And even when they are logging improvements it only serves to shift the expectations up another notch.

Instead I prefer to borrow the zen approach of the goalless goal.
Fitness should be fun, not dependent on linear progress.
It should be one albeit important aspect developing yourself as a complete package.

So if I must track some sort of indicator of my progress, I would prefer to use something like this Training Spirit Level (which I just made up…but you get the idea).
I am not really interested about times or comparisons, its just about how good it makes me feel about life. I am more interested in vertical progress.

Instead of: shit, I had a time 3 minutes slower than last week, I really need to GRIND it today!!

Try: well I felt a little flat today. I wonder what I might have been doing different when I felt transcendentally awesome back last Thursday? Am I getting enough sleep? Am I overtraining? Diet?

Here, I am tracking something useful to look across over time. But it is subjective, non linear and certainly not self judgmental or self-beat-up worthy.

Did it feel good today? If it didn’t that’s OK.

Ill keep you posted of my progress with the TSL (Training Spirit Level –patent pending!) as I go along.

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