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Why You Should Be Using Food and Training Logs

by Levi Bloom

Ever had a perfect day of riding or racing where you felt strong the whole time?

Maybe you bonked one day?

Or maybe you are at a plateau or suffering from overtraining syndrome?

Well, food and training logs will help you keep track of all this. By writing down all of your training and eating habits, you can easily pinpoint where your problems came from so that you don't repeat them, and if you have a good day, you'll know why.

If you're not already familiar with the training log concept, here's a brief overview: In your training log, you keep track of all the information regarding your riding, such as ride time, mileage, and weather conditions. In your food log, you may include what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat.

I started keeping logs after reading about them in The Lance Armstrong Performance Program, which I recommend to any performance oriented cyclist. (And if you aren't inclined to do intervals all day, read It's Not About The Bike instead.)

You may be asking yourself, "Does the time spent filling these out everyday really pay off?" The answer: You bet!

The training log is great. After a while, you'll be able to chart your progress. If you are feeling strong or simply riding faster, you can look back and see why. And when you find something that works, stick with it! If you start suffering from Overtraining Syndrome (OTS), you can probably find out why if you check back through your entries. (The Lance Armstrong Performance Program goes into greater depth on this.)

Keeping a food log also allows you to track your progress. For example, if you keep track of your body weight in your training log, seeing how much you eat in your food log will give you some idea of why you are gaining, losing, or remaining the same weight.

All of that is good, but this is my favorite part. You've probably heard not to try a new diet on race day. But how do you know what you should or shouldn't eat to begin with? You see what has worked in the past! Your food log will reveal what meal put you on the podium... and which snack made you puke after an hour of intense riding.

Think about this: Once you have been keeping the logs for many years, you can flip through them when you're bored and recall all those fond memories of past rides!

Here's what you've been waiting for: (Right click and "Save Target As")

TrainingLog-bike.xls

FoodLogTemplate.xls

And for you runners:

TrainingLog-run.xls

Feel free to use them, but please be sure to credit bloombikeshop.com with their development.

Oh yeah, if you're looking for a list of calories in common foods, check this out.

 

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