QT: Pay Attention to Your Numbers Over Time

One of the things that I do at the end of every month for my business is check my numbers.

I write down how many people are in the FB group, how many people are subscribed to my email list, the number of athletes I’m currently coaching, and so on and so forth.

I have a chart on the wall next to my desk that I write my numbers on each month so I can track progress each year.

As I was writing down my numbers at the end of the last month, I got to thinking.

For the most part, things are moving in the right direction in 2019.

But what happens when I look at the bigger picture?

Zoom Out

I started writing down my numbers every month at the beginning of 2018.

So I pulled out my chart from last year and started last year’s numbers to this year’s.

And the difference? I’m a bit shocked, to be honest.

When you zoom out and look at the big picture, you can really see the impact that slow/steady progress can have over time.

What are Your Numbers Saying?

When was the last time you really zoomed out and looked at the numbers related to your running?

If you’re like me, you don’t very often dive deep into your data from a year or more ago.

At best, you might look at your mileage from last year to make sure that you’re on track to run more miles this year.

And while that may be a useful number to keep an eye on, it’s hardly the only number worth paying attention to.

If you’re on the HR training bandwagon, keeping track of you pace at a certain heart rate can be a great way to see how you’re progressing.

Tracking your paces for certain workouts can also help you see how much progress you’ve made.

The Numbers May Not Tell the Whole Story…

While identifying a few key metrics and regularly comparing your numbers over time can be a great way to keep track of how you’re doing as a runner, or in your business, it’s important to remember that the numbers don’t always tell the whole story.

Certain numbers, either good or bad, can be outliers and not exactly give us an accurate picture of how things are going.

And that is why it’s important to keep track of your numbers over an extended period of time. By looking at a wider range of numbers, it’s easier to spot the outliers and not be swayed by them.

There can also be extenuating circumstances that may influence your numbers.

For example, let’s say you signed up for a spring marathon.

Your training leading up to the race was spot on, but the weekend of your race there was a crazy heatwave in the area.

Instead of the typical cool race day conditions, it’s 20-30* warmer than you expected.

Odds are you’re not going to run your best 26.2 in such conditions.

So if you’re just looking at the numbers, this might seem like you had a bad race.

But when you factor in the weather conditions, it’s pretty clear that your race day performance wasn’t bad at all.

Coordinate Your Numbers and Your Goals

So which numbers are the ones that you should keep track of?

What are your goals?

You want to make sure that the numbers you decide to track are indicators of progress toward your goal.

Meaning, it doesn’t make much sense to track numbers that don’t matter in relation to successfully reaching your goals.

But the things that matter? Those are the ones that you should be tracking!

And the beauty of this system is that the numbers you track can change over time!

Anytime you’re setting a new goal, try to identify which metrics will help you stay on track as you work toward those new goals.

Those are the numbers you want to track.

Do You Track Your Running Numbers? How Often?

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