A New Way to Measure the Quality of Your Workouts

Why does everything have to be defined by kilometres and minutes?

I’ve had it up to here* with our outdated system of measuring running achievements. Why is it that you have to run this many kilometres or this many minutes, and it’s those numbers at the end of a run that determine whether you met or exceeded your expectations. [*hand to chin]

Well, enough is enough. I’m taking matters into my own feet and am going to start expanding my metrics system for running.

From now on, I will not only use the traditional data points to evaluate progress, but also I will weave these terms, phrases, and tests into my training diary

The Shorts Sweat Line (SSL): The half-moon water mark just below my waistband is a given, but I know I’ve done something special if that bad boy can creep to the loin line. Full-on sopping equals Olympic gold! (Or 100-per cent humidity.)

Bleeps Per Minute (BPM): Heart rate, schmart rate. I know when a run is tough by the number of profanities ricocheting through my inner monologue.

The Smartphone Standard: What photo did you take during or after your run? The evidence will indicate its quality.

A+: You and your tribe after your workout
A-: You in front of an ocean, sunset, or plate of sausage links
B+: Any other form of gorgeous scenery
B: Shoes only
B-: Watch only
C: A freshly scraped knee
D: A “where the eff did that come from?” snake
F: Anything bloody that’s not a freshly scraped knee

The 2-Hour-Later Test: Exactly two hours after you stop, what are you doing?

Good run Maybe not a good run
Napping on the couch Napping on the footpath with caked drool on your chin
Still wishing you were running Still showering
Looking for races online Putting shoes up on eBay
Analysing your data Writing about how we should have different forms of data


The Food Imaging Factor (FIF): This is determined by what you visualise at the 80-per-cent-completed mark of your a run.

Easy run: Chocolate milk
Moderate run: Turkey BLT (with some salt-and-vinegar chips)
Hard run: triple serving of your favourite smoothie
Epic run: Somebody damn well better invent a burger with pancakes as the bun

Subscribe to Runner's World

Related Articles