Nerdy? Perhaps. Useful? Certainly. Just those three stats alone plotted against my marathon PB (2010 4:31, 2011 4:17, 2012 3:56) will show you that more miles doesn't always make faster races.
But where do you keep track of all these miles? When I first started out running I used a good old fashioned pen and paper [pictured]. All I needed to know was how far and how long I ran for (that's pretty much all I still record) and this showed me how I was improving.
After I filled my notebook with treadmill miles logged I upgraded to using an Excel spreadsheet. The benefit of this is that you decide what data you want to record - time, distance, heart rate, what you've eaten if you want that much detail - and away you go. The downside is you have to know how to use excel. I realised I don't know how to use Excel, so I hunted around for something else.
There's a host of online tools for logging mileage, but I signed up for Fetch Everyone. You plug in your miles and they do the maths - they'll even make you some snazzy graphs as well. Last year I was lured away from Fetch to try Daily Mile, mainly because a lot of the people I connect with on Twitter were using it. While Daily Mile is good for interacting with other runners, it doesn't satisfy the stats geek in me.
As we come to the end of the year I wanted to know my yearly mileage, but even this simple piece of information escaped me (though it would tell me how many donuts I burned this year). There's a total mileage on my profile (870) but this includes swim and bike miles too - I just wanted miles run. It was time to move on again.
A couple of more hardcore runners and cyclists I know use Strava. Katie at Cake of Good Hope has called it "OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE FITNESS FACEBOOK CRACK." Which may or may not be a recommendation. We're checking her into The Priory this weekend though.
For now, I'm back on Fetch Everyone where, after much faffing that involved Daily Mile transfers to Excel and then uploads to Fetch and a whole lot of shouting at the computer, my yearly mileage totals make sense again. In conclusion changing your training log provider is up there with moving house and getting married. Don't do any of these things too often if you want to keep your sanity.
Where do you record the miles you're logging?