We all know the satisfaction of a good quality workout, and the frustration of a poor workout, when you just can’t get your act together. Here’s a simple method to rank the quality of your workout, and if you keep a training log, you can determine what you need to do to train …and more importantly…to race at your best.
Rank each workout using a simple letter designation: A, B, C, and D.
An “A” workout is one in which you covered the distance or total time of the workout, and your speed, heart rate, perceived exertion (PE) were exactly where you expected them to be. Your body felt strong and fast. It’s the kind of day when you wish it was race day because you feel so good!
A “B” workout may be just a little off your best. You covered the distance or time, but maybe your speed wasn’t quite where you wanted it to be. A “B” workout is a good workout, but not quite an “A”.
A “C” workout isn’t your best at all. Maybe you cut the workout a little short or didn’t hit your target speed or heart rate. Your legs or arms felt heavy. Maybe your PE felt higher than usual. One or several of these would be translate to a “C”.
A “D” workout is the one when you feel that you should have stayed in bed. You just didn’t have it that day, and nothing felt right. We all have days like this, hopefully rarely.
If you record your rank for each workout, and keep a log of things that happened before and during your training workout, you may begin to see a pattern over time. For example, make a note of what you ate and drank the night before and for breakfast; how much sleep did you get and was is restful or broken sleep; what was the weather that day; was it very hot or cold; has your resting heart rate been steady on the 2 or 3 mornings a week that you measure it; do you feel well; etc.
Over time, look for patterns. Do what works for you, and avoid what doesn’t help you train well. Little things may make a big difference in how well you train, and how well you perform on race day.