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Basic Training Load Monitoring for Runners


One of the biggest risk factors for injury in runners is inappropriate changes to training. This can be changes to equipment, type of training, training surfaces or training load; a combination or training intensity and volume. Making big variations in your training load doesn’t allow your body adequate time to adapt to and recover from the stresses being placed on it which may result in injury. Therefore, being able to accurately quantify,  monitor and modify your training plays a major role in minimising your injury risk.


In this article, we outline how to use and interpret our Basic Training Diary spreadsheet. This spreadsheet provides a platform to be able to accurately track your training and plan and adjust accordingly.


To use this spreadsheet, simply add in your daily training on the correct day in the “Training Log” sheet. Details to include are; a description of your run (eg. “Easy Run” or “Session: 10x400m”), total running time (in minutes) and total distance (in kilometers). The spreadsheet will then tally your total weekly distance, allows for training the number of weekly runs and will create graphs for weekly training volume. There is also the option to track your weight which will also be included in a graph. The spreadsheet will also calculate the percentage load increase from the previous week and will highlight in red if the load is more that 10% more than the previous week.


One of the most commonly discussed methods of managing training in runners is the “10% rule” whereby total weekly training load isn’t increased by more than 10% each week.This is a simple method and therefore is not perfect but does allow new runners to easily track and manage their training. Another load management tip for new runners would be to work on a 4 week cycle, where your load is increased for 3 weeks then reduced for the 4th week as a “recovery” week.


Hopefully this article and spreadsheet will provide you with a simple method of monitoring and managing your training load. Of course, this is meant to be used as a guide only and should not replace personalised advice. Assistance with training load monitoring and manage, together with the use of more indepth load analysis is available to our Physica Running members and clients. Please contact us for further information or if you require any further information.