Our Podiatry team has provided their top 3 reasons why runners, athletes, or casual exercisers should track their activity. Tracking involves consistently recording your activity which will explain things like the frequency, intensity, and so forth.

It’s important even if you’re not an elite runner or gym goer but someone who likes to train 2/3 times a week to track your activity.

Reason 1: Tracking is very important when discussing the prediction of an injury

For example, if you track consistently over a 3-month period and notice a sore knee/foot or hip, you can reflect on your last 3 months and it may give a clue as to why your injury has occurred. There may have been a 2-week period where you did not do much activity, then after that, you continued to do what you have always done. The body and soft tissue were not ready for the sudden return.

A recent study from Germany concluded that even 2 weeks of activity is enough for the tissues within the body to reduce intolerance. If we add this to the stress of life, some shorter nights of sleep, we can see how an injury can occur. So, tracking, it makes it a lot easier to identify, reflect and make the appropriate changes.

Reason 2: Your therapist will thank you!

If we can pull your data up on a phone/watch or read what you have written, we can get a better understanding of the load you have subjected your body to. We can also see if there has been a recent spike and as well as a thousand other things that may be present. This information makes it much easier for clinicians to construct and understand your management plan.

For example, if we know you run 3 clicks every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday around the same track which has some hills (which we can see on most tracking apps) we can modify that very easily during your activity.

We can look at the graph, identify some areas to change and modify (plus we know the data is 100% correct), and start our management plan. Accompanying this with strength and conditioning and you can see how the plan can start to come to light.

Reason 3: Motivation and planning your own training are made easier

If you know exactly how much activity you are doing week to week or even month to month it makes it easier for you to know how much you can increase or decrease or when you may need to have some time off. Plus, it’s always motivating and fun to look back and see how you are going with your training. An example I use is myself – recently coming back from an overuse foot injury I am recording each run and when I felt any discomfort (say 2km into a 3km run), the week after I noticed I could then run 3km before I felt anything.

Looking back and seeing my progression showed two things:

  • I was going in the right direction with my return to my running program.
  • I can now use that as a baseline for my next run.

Quick Tip!

I always recommend Strava! It is a free, easy-to-use app that works well with all phones. Another great feature is putting your shoes in as the equipment you use – that way you can see the Km’s you have done in them. The general rule of around 300-500km per shoe.

Strava is Swedish for “strive,” which epitomizes our attitude and ambition: We’re a passionate and committed team, unified by our mission to build the most engaged community of athletes in the world.