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How to remember your runs

To get faster you have to run faster. Thus today was a fast day.

My joggling training went like this.

10 minutes of joggling on the treadmill at 7.8 pace

4 x 0.5 miles running at an 11.3 pace. After each half mile, I ran another half mile at a slower pace (7.0)

I finished the workout with a 5 minute cool down run.

Total time: 38 minutes, 5.32 miles. 15 minutes of joggling.

Listening to: Marathon music mix (American Girl, Somebody Stole My Gal, Mean Eyed Cat, etc)

If you’re anything like me you like to keep track of how far and how much time you’ve spent running each session. If you don’t, you should. Creating running goals and writing down progress is one of the most motivating things you can do.

But right after a workout, you usually don’t have a pen and pencil to write down the exact milage and time and it’s easy to forget. Unless you know some memory tricks. Here’s how I remember my numbers for a treadmill run or even an outdoor one.

According to memory expert Harry Lorayne in his classic book The Memory Book you can remember numbers better if you turn them in to words. So the system works like this, you substitute sounds for numbers and then you create an outrageously memorable picture in your mind that links the substitute sounds to your numbers. Let’s look at how you do that.

1. Substitute all numbers for sounds.

Sounds are much easier to remember than numbers. Numbers are abstract. Sounds are more tangible. So the first step is to substitute each number for a sound. Lorayne puts this list.

Number Substitute Sound
0 S or Z
1 T or D
2 N
3 M
4 R
5 L
6 SH or CH
7 K
8 F or V
9 P or B

Only consanants are used. Vowels don’t count.

So, if you had a number like 32 you would remember it by using the word MooN or MoNey. The consanant sounds are important, not the vowels. For the number 74 you would use the word CaR or CoRe.

2. Create an outrageous picture in your mind linking the running to the numbers.

When I run on the treadmill and want to remember the distance and time traveled I convert the numbers to words and visualize a crazy picture. Let’s look at today’s example.

5.32 miles, 38 minutes

5.32 = L , M , N = Lemon

38 = M , V = Movie

To remember it, I just picture a gigantic Lemon running on a treadmill while holding a Movie film. The crazier the picture, the more memorable it will be.

Later when I’m writing down my progress in a spreadsheet, I just think of the picture and convert it back to the numbers. I definitely create some crazy thoughts but rarely forget.

Try it, it’s fun. Just like joggling.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Perry 11.3 this flying. This week has been pretty good for me. Actually feel like I am getting back into it. See how the 12 goes tomorrow.

  2. Yeah, I almost fell off the treadmill! But I was happy that I was able to finish each half mile without stopping or slowing down. Someday I want to be able to do a 10K in 37 min.

    Good luck with the 12 miler. I’ve got a 15 miler planned this weekend (and a shorter 7 miler on Saturday).

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