How do I collect & track my data

In my last blog I wrote about my training data into this Ironman and compared data to my past Ironman a year prior. Since then I’ve had a couple of questions pop up asking about how I track everything.

One thing I have fallen in love with is at the end of each week, I sit down and start formulating everything together. This will tell you what I am doing as I often have a smile on my face as I start looking at everything.

The main data collection tools I use are:

  • Old fashion diary, pen to paper
  • Spread sheet
  • Final Surge (I have been playing around with Today’s Plan as well but mostly from a coaching point of view).

Yes I know there is an a lot easier ways for me to collect all my data and track it. Final Surge alone can track just about everything I want, but there is something about me working it all out with pen and paper and putting it into a spread sheet that makes what I have done through the week more real.

It is like going grocery shopping. At the end you present your card to the cashier, pay and go with the trolley full of groceries without really thinking too much about it. However if at the end if you had to start peeling off $20 notes and hand them over, you would probably start looking at each of the items you are purchasing a little closer.


My Diary:

I have been keeping a good old fashion diary for years now. Every day I write

  • Sleep
  • Diet quality
  • Stress level
  • Motivation level
  • Work times
  • Training (time, miles, average)


Spread Sheet:

The main spread sheet I have always starts 52 weeks out for my main race.  I log the weekly number of sessions per discipline, total kilometers per discipline, total time for each discipline and I will also note anything I may want to look back on and know like illness, extra family commitments, overtime at work, etc.

On this sheet, I am logging:

  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Running
  • Strength & conditioning
  • Mobility sessions
  • Oxygen deprivation sessions
  • Swim cord sessions
  • meditation
  • Foam roller or body maintenance
  • Rehab (if needed)
  • Body weight every Monday
  • Waste size every Monday
  • Gut pinch every Monday
  • Total hrs sleep throughout the week
  • Total amount of steps throughout the week
  • Resting heart rate taken from the week
  • Motivational levels (I give each level a number and total for the week)
  • Diet quality (I give each level a number and total for the week)
  • FTP number every 6 to 8 weeks


Final Surge:

Final Surge is my online diary that my Garmin automatically uploads to so I don’t need to do much to this apart from analyse my session/race data.

I really like Final Surge over Training Peaks, Strava, Today’s Plan even though I keep an active account with all the others as well but it is mostly because I don’t want to be left behind from a coaching point of view.



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