I’ll soon be starting my official training (TeamWILD’s 100 mile cycle program) for the Twin Cities’ (MN) Tour de Cure. Because I got a peak at the WILDfit Week 1 program (staff perk), I know that I’ll need to log my exercise, my diabetes and my nutrition to get the most out of my training program. I’ve long struggled with logging, but I’m committed to approaching it with my new guiding principle of practice.
To get ready for this new practice, I am assessing the tools I might use and I thought you might like to see what I’ve found or offer suggestions based on your experience.
There are online options:
FitDay.com was once suggested to me by a Personal Trainer. It offers a free account with a paid premium upgrade, a diet and weight loss journal and nutrition database. At the time of this writing, however, I was unable to get past the home page to give it a spin. I hope this means a lot of people are getting a great start on their resolutions.
TeamWILD’s communications director, Karen Lipinsky, uses Training Peaks. This site is targeted at athletes, whether training for one’s first event or the olympics! I was happy to see that the weeks on the calendar start on Monday since that’s how I organize my life. Data entry seems pretty straight forward. I expect there to be an effort curve on the nutrition side until my favorites get loaded in. My biggest complaint for all nutrition databases is that they make packaged and fast food really easy to find and select, but home-prepared, whole foods are more challenging to enter, at least the first time. Training and meal plans are available for purchase, but I’m sticking with my TeamWILD program for that.
A few friends have been using My Fitness Pal and seem to really like it. The website seemed most focused on weight loss.
And there are pen and paper options:
I am someone who took a long time to fully convert from a paper calendar to a computer/online version. I love notebooks and journals. So much so that I bind my own books. So I thought I should consider some notebooks, too.
There’s always an option for me to make my own notebook using the log forms provided by TeamWILD’s coaches. The trick here is that I may get too bogged down in designing the book and procrastinate actually using it.
I could get a cheap notebook and write in it as I see fit. The perfectionist in me struggles with this option as I think consistent format will help me get useful information out of the data I enter.
I have a copy of TeamWILD’s Mental Skills Coach, Ginger Vieira’s book Your Diabetes Science Experiment. She includes some great forms for the experiments. I might be able to tweak those to help me. I suspect these will feel better for specific tests than for ongoing logs of everything I do and eat.
I have used the Eat-Clean Diet Workout Journal before. (scroll down a ways on that link) I remember liking it a lot for logging my resistance workouts. At the time, I was fine not cluttering up the book with food journal pages I wouldn’t use. But now…
I recently came across fitlosopy inc’s FitBook. It is structured around a 12-week goal/plan and has pages for the overall goal, weekly plans and daily logs of exercise and nutrition. I like the check-boxes for food and water. There’s even a spot to record how much sleep you got. Cycle coach Nicole Freedman will approve of that! There really doesn’t appear to be room to record blood glucose checks or insulin. I might need to figure out a way to tape in a form for that.
My online selection (as you might be able to guess from the amount written above) is Training Peaks. I’ve created a free account and added the app to my phone for easier on-the-go logging. We’ll see how this works for me. I’m still debating the paper option. What works for you?
Note: none of the products above are specifically endorsed by TeamWILD, nor are they sponsors of our organization. These are my personal explorations and, as of this posting, no decisions have been made.