As discussed last millennium here *(cf. NoiseAndPredictability (1999-09-14), LongTails (2000-02-14), etc.)* **power spectra** are a valuable way to analyze events and understand patterns or the lack thereof. Completely random, uncorrelated activities produce a flat power spectrum, also known as "white noise". Completely regular, periodic activities make a sharply spiked power spectrum with all the energy at a single frequency. A random-walk staggering drift gives a power spectrum dominated by low frequencies — 1/f^{2} mathematically.

Also as mentioned many times here *(cf. JogLogFog (2002-06-09), etc.)* **variety** and **consistency** are both essential components of training to run long and/or fast. Do the same thing every day? Boredom sets in while improvement ceases. Try to ramp up distance too abruptly or run too hard without preparation? Injury and failure will likely result. *(The humorous "Up Your Mileage" prescription is not actually wise in real life.)*

So apply the concept of the power spectrum to the running logbook? The same mileage every day (or every week) is too regular and makes for a huge bump in the spectrum. Wildly varying day-to-day mileage is too chaotic. Perhaps the optimum is something in between, like a 1/f distribution?

Project: analyze the power spectrum of my running logbook over the past several years, see what kind of frequency distribution it exhibits, and explore whether a "spectral advisor" could suggest what distances to run in order to make the spectrum better.

* ^z* - 2012-09-09