A Simple Way to Know if Your Running Plan is Working for You

Coach Jenny Performance Trends When I coach runners, I have them log a color that describes how they felt during the workout. I do this because it teaches them to tune in and be mindful of their performance, and it shows their body’s trend and whether it is adapting to the demands of the program.

It’s a simple way to identify if your body is on track, and if it’s not, it allows you to quickly make modifications to avoid over-training.

Here’s how you can track your training trend:

Yellow = I felt good or strong.

Orange = I felt okay, but nothing to write home about. I didn’t feel awful, but I also didn’t feel particularly strong either — somewhere in the middle.

Red = I was in the “bite me” zone for much of the workout and struggled to finish. I could have played the role of Grumpy in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs after this workout (and other self-defeating thoughts).

This helps you evaluate your performance and easily see how your body is adapting to the training load along the way. Some runners even print out their training to color in their workout trends. If you see lots of yellow and a few oranges, you are on the right track and your body is adapting well. If, however, you begin to see a trend in consistent orange and some red, something is affecting your recovery rate and you’re on your way to overtraining and need to ease back on the throttle to recover.

Improved performance has more to do with optimal stress progression and recovery than pushing harder or through pain. And when you learn the difference, you’ll be on your way to faster, longer, stronger runs.

Keep running strong.

Coach Jenny

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