Fitness Tracking in Notion

Fitness Tracking in Notion

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Last Edit
Mar 23, 2022 12:51 AM
Publish Date
Sep 20, 2021
Productivity In Notion
There are a lot of great tools out there for tracking health and workouts. Notion is not one of them by default, but thanks to its flexibility, it is able to add a great deal to a fitness tracker like Strava. Here's how.

My Notion-based fitness tracker is called Fitter. To give you a sense of what value it brings, let's start with the critical visual:
Fitter's performance vs. goals view
Fitter's performance vs. goals view
As you can see here, Fitter aggregates each week's workouts, and particularly in this view shows how well I've done relative to my goals for each week. In my case, I'm currently training for the Dallas Half Marathon in December, so this is the start of my training plan for that.
Thanks to Zapier's free plan, I am able to have it automatically sync any new workouts that come into Strava with my Workout Database that underpins Fitter. This sheet then is a view that aggregates workout totals by week and compares them to my weekly plan. With some slick formatting, I get one visual that shows progress toward each goal.
I've written about this in ðŸŠķDefeat the Ostrich: Go For Goals Without Getting Stuck in the Sand, but having visible data on our goals and how we are doing is critical to ensuring you don't fool yourself and in giving you the motivation to go that last mile or get one more workout in. While Strava and other running apps are great, they still don't do goal tracking quite as cleanly and robustly as I'd like. So I of course still use Strava for the tracking and social aspects, but my Notion app is the source of truth for how I'm doing on my training plan.

Beyond the view shown here, there are a few other parts to the Fitter app. There is obviously a calendar view of all my actual workouts, a view to set/adjust my weekly targets, and also a view where I can outline a plan for the week - if desired - to flesh out how I plan to get to the weekly targets. I've started to play around with the main page, which does now show a view both of my current week's performance and a comparison of today's plan vs. what was actually done:
Fitter's home screen: showing truncated week vs. target, as well as the current day's plan vs. actual.
Fitter's home screen: showing truncated week vs. target, as well as the current day's plan vs. actual.
So the holistic usage of this is as follows: create a high-level training plan with weekly targets. Have workouts synced over and track progress toward each goal and strive for those 5 green checkboxes each week. As needed, e.g. in particular for "Hard" weeks, map out a daily training plan that outlines the workouts done by day. That can be adjusted as plans (and weather forecasts) inevitably change, but it at least gives a roadmap and a starting point for what I should do each day.
Oh, and I'd be remiss if I didn't add one last benefit: as the data is now in tabular format, there is now an easy one-click option to export my workout data to a CSV file so that it could be analyzed in Excel or Python. While Notion does have an API and an export function, there is a level of ease with a quick CSV export that is tough to beat for any ad hoc analysis.

With this setup, Notion is a great complement to Strava for fitness goal setting/tracking. With Zapier automatically syncing new workouts, it is almost no work to maintain. Meanwhile the flexibility of setting and laying out weekly targets makes it ideal. As a comparison, Strava does allow weekly targets, but only for some metrics (you can't do "Long Run") and targets must be set individually each week, so you have to remember to do it each week rather than lay out a big plan in advance.
I'll be making a template from this soon, so keep an eye out if you are interested in setting up something similar!