04 January 2011

Graphin' my FLOG!

I FLOG quite regularly. Honestly, if I flossed as much as I FLOG, my teeth would be much whiter and my dentist much poorer. But, alas, my priority lies with FLOG'in.

USMS provides a really easy to use online tool to log your fitness goals and accomplishments called the FLOG (hey, this is a family friendly blog, what did you think it meant). Every day after I swim, I post to it before I drive away from the pool. This FLOG powers Go the Distance, an event designed to provide me a free swim cap by early Spring. In 2010, I swam 120 miles. In 2011, I plan on 130 miles. This is easily tracked here.

But, what is even cooler is that USMS provides a fantastic spreadsheet that allows you to track additional details and provides a lot of fancy graphs and calculations. If you work this thing right, you can add other more detailed graphs as well. I won't bore you with my Excel-nerdiness but will show you two graphs that I am going to be tracking all year. I call them Free-scatter and Kick-scatter.

In Free-scatter, I will track MPH over the course of the workout against the percentage of freestyle swam. It will obviously show how much faster at freestyle I am than those "other" strokes. The interesting part will be just how much faster. Behold, my first two data points of 2011:

0.2 miles per hour seems like a lot, let's see how that changes over time.

In Kick-scatter, I will track MPH against the percentage of kick sets. The idea is the same, to see how much speed is lost when I stop using my spindly arms.

Notice the fantastic benchmark of my January 1 all-swim session? I can only go down from there I guess.

There are other methods to track progress against time but first I need to understand the correlation of speed vs. stroke. Then more graphs and more graphs and more graphs will emerge. That is the power of the FLOG.

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