Every Sunday since I started blogging I’ve posted my workouts from the previous week. It was something I noticed a bunch of bloggers did weekly so I thought it was a good segment to add to my rotation. Almost every week since then I’ve had a mental debate before publishing those posts. To post or not to post? Are these beneficial? Self-indulgent? Does anyone care?
I think these workout recaps can be both good and bad, depending on a few factors. Those factors? They boil down to comparison on both sides of the computer: the reader and the blogger. The reader must take some responsibility to not compare their workouts to those of the blogger. The blogger must not think that every week is a competition, that every week must be better or harder or “good” for that matter.
I think a lot of people consider workout recaps to be a source of motivation. Whether the reader or the blogger, reading or writing a recap can provide workout ideas and inspiration to kick up or continue a routine. Those things can be good. We all need some motivation once in a while, right?
However, I believe these posts become a problem when comparison comes into play. Oh, she ran 30 miles this week and I only ran 5…I’m so lazy. She worked out almost every day and I took four rest days…I didn’t do enough. When that starts to happen, these recaps can lead to dangerous behavior and unhealthy mindsets. That is not something that I (the blogger) can control, but it is something I always keep in mind. I’m still unsure how to handle this situation, or if I even can.
Personally, I’ve found writing and reading these recaps to be beneficial for a few reasons.
1) I sometimes need workout inspiration/motivation. Running the same distance/speed or doing the same strength circuit every week can get boring. I often use other people’s recaps (like Jen at Peanut Butter Runner) for strength training ideas. If I’m ever in a running rut, reading about running sometimes spurs my desire to get out there (not that a running rut/break is a bad thing).
2) I use my OWN recaps to gain some perspective. Look, not every week is going to be “good.” But, guess what? Life goes on. Some weeks I feel great and others, like last week, I take more rest/easy days than normal. That balance (I tried not to use that word but it worked) keeps me healthy and happy. Plus, I try to note how I felt during the week to put everything in context for my reflection, if that makes sense.
3) It helps keep track of my mileage and what worked/didn’t work in training. A selfish reason for posting recaps. Also, it can be helpful to read about some tough workouts I had weeks/months ago as proof that I CAN do hard things.
My workout recaps from August – October (marathon training) are much different than they have been in 2015. Some people could view those months as “too much” or “too little” and the same goes for my more recent posts. I personally think variety is healthy, mentally and physically.
Also, a final (random) note: Let’s be honest. Not every workout is good. Even if you “felt the burn” or “pushed through” (my favorite description), some runs/workouts plain ol’ suck. Oh, and rest CAN feel good. Some people say that they were itching to workout on a scheduled rest day, which is fine, but so is the opposite feeling. #endrant
As a reader and a blogger, I see both sides of the issue. I will continue posting my recaps for now but I will always be cautious of what I’m portraying.
I’m really curious to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share them in the comments!