My Training Graphs for Running

Two factors that are important to running injury free are a person's heart rate when first waking up and a systematic increase in distance via small increases. The wakeup heart rate is a good barometer of ones body-condition and can help the runner make a wise decision about the intensity of that day's training. Concerning distance, by making small but systematic increases in distance, the runner can increase the distance while insuring that the stress applied to the body will be small enough to not lead to injury. As part of my training a few years ago, I kept data about my wakeup heart rate and the distances I was running. I've put that data into graph form to give a picture of how those two factors vary over time.

Graph of My Wakeup Heart Rate

The graph of my wakeup heart rate (HR) shows that my heart rate is elevated when I'm tired. I can be tired from overtraining or from lack of sleep. The actual-values curve shows my HR on a day by day basis. The trend line, a seven-day moving average, shows the change in my HR over time. The relationship between the trend curve and the actual curve can be used as a gage of my body condition. If the actual curve is below the trend curve, I'm more rested than I was during the previous seven days. When the actual curve crosses above the trend, I'm tired and need more rest.

Another important observation to make is whether the actual curve is more or less steady or is flip flopping between higher and lower values. When I'm rested, the curve is more or less steady with smaller variations.

On May 19, 2021 I was in a serious auto accident. After four weeks in intensive care I had to learn to walk again. While I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital, my HR was in triple digits. During 10 days of hospital therapy after I left the ICU, my HR dropped to the high 90s. During a month of home therapy after I left the hospital, my HR came down even further. After I completed the home therapy, I began my running, doing 1/8 mile the first day. As I recovered from the accident and regained my strength, my HR continued to decrease, and it is now close to its value before the accident. This confirms my belief that HR is a good indicator of my body condition.

The graph shows that my wakeup HR increases with lack of sleep, colds, and surgery. My wakeup decreases with proper sleep and with consistent running. The graph shows that 9 months after I left the hospital, my wakeup HR was not quite down to the level it was before the accident, indicating that I still didn't have the energy level I had before the accident.

Graph of My Training Distance

graph of my distance shows that I followed the 10% rule in my training. Every week or so, I added approximately 10% to the distance of my training runs. I stayed at the new level until I felt comfortable with it. When my distance reached 6 miles, I added a fourth day as a light day.

On May 19, 2021 I was in a serious automobile accident. After 4 1/2 weeks in a hospital bed, my leg muscles had weakened to the point where I couldn't stand up much less walk. I was in hospital therapy for 1 1/2 weeks. During that time I progressed from a wheel chair to a walker, to a cane, and finally to walking by myself. When I left the hospital I could walk pretty good, but I needed a banister to go up and down stairs--the problem was both balance and muscle strength (I used the banister to pull myself up the stairs). I received home therapy for a month that focused on strengthening my legs and improving my balance. When I finished that therapy I was able to traverse stairs without using a banister. During the month of home therapy, my wife and I walked
several times about a mile each time. My first run was on August 12, 2021 and I did 1/8 mile at a slow jog. I was pretty tired at the end. The graph shows the abrupt stop to my running and the subsequent increase in distance as I recovered from the accident. I'm documenting in my blog my progress in running longer distances. I'm being careful to not overdo it.


Staying healthy and fit has a lot to do with good nutrition and exercising on a regular basis. Get great medical information on many topics such as exercise health and nutrition from this medical resource today.