In praise of the training diary

I reported a few weeks back that I’d been diagnosed as having either a cyst or “thickening of the sheath” of a major ligament on the top of my left foot. I got a cortisone shot and the problem went away. Until the other day, when it cropped up again after a fast 16 miler.

Enter the training diary. I looked back over my notes concerning when the problem first appeared (10 miles into another fast mid-length run), and when it had flared up over subsequent runs. The common factor turned out to be a certain model of shoe: the Asics Speedstar. I have two pairs of these that I don’t wear all that often, as they are just “okay” shoes. I have other lightweight models that I prefer (the current favorite being the Pearl Izumi Streak) for faster running, so the Speedstar tends to be the neglected stepsister who only grudgingly gets taken out every few weeks.

I hadn’t worn them since the cortisone shot until the other day, after which — wouldn’t you know it — my top of foot pain was back. So I’m going to stop wearing them until after the marathon, and even then I may retire them if they aren’t suitable for shorter recovery runs either (I hate to throw away perfectly good shoes before their time).

I track everything: resting HR, running HR, distance, speed, weather, calories, weight, sleep hours (and quality of sleep), mood, shoes worn (and mileage on each pair), pains/niggles, and the quality of every run. Some may say this is overkill but it truly pays off at times like this.

7 Responses

  1. I hope the foot’s OK for Sunday. Do you always wear lightweights for speed sessions, or mix it up a bit?

    • I use the lightest shoes possible for everything. Here’s what I currently use:
      Saucony Grid Tangent 3: Recovery runs and regular long runs
      Pearl Izumi Streak: Mid-length runs, tempo runs, progressive/fast-finish long runs, races 10M and up
      Saucony Fasttwitch 3: Intervals 800 and up, races 15K and down
      Asics Dirt Diva: Intervals <800

      I just started trying the Nike Lunar Trainer, which is so-so. I probably won’t buy it again. But I want to try the Lunar Racer.

  2. Isn’t it nice to be able to pinpoint those kind of things?

    If all else fails, you’ve got a pair of walking-around shoes … I’ve given up more than one “new” pair though. Sigh.

  3. So glad you could track it down without much ado. Yay for training logs! Hope the cyst goes back into hiding.

  4. I hope the foot feels better by Sunday!

  5. I’ve bought odd stepsisters like that. Not wasted though – they’re put to use in the garden, or walking.

    Have you tried the Nike Free? I think they’re the best shoe ever – light, flexible, fast and good for my feet!

  6. Training logs are great for exactly this reason!

    It’s good you were able to pinpoint the problem.

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