Whether you are newbie, or an experience runner, a training journal has many benefits. Until last year, I never logged my training. Sure, I had my Garmin. I knew my distance, speed, weekly mileage, etc. I also had my training plan printed out and tacked to my wall; I would cross off each day as I completed my run. I always thought that was good enough. Maybe you aren’t training for a specific race. Instead you’re training just to stay active and have fun, do you still need a journal? I am of the opinion that, yes you do. I have only trained for one race in 2016 so far (I seriously cannot wait to start training for Fall races!), however I log all of my training. Here are the top 3 reasons I have adopted and continue this practice:
1. Goal Setting
Setting goals to work towards can help keep things interesting, it keeps you strong, and helps you to continue to improve. Once you reach one goal, set another. Push yourself, maybe even more than you want to.
Feeling discouraged? Do you feel like you’re not improving? If you are keeping a training journal you will be able to look back and find what may be holding you back. On the other hand, training may be going great! If so, you can go through your journal to see what is working for you and keep it up. Logging progress can also help you to determine future goals.
Having a training journal can help to keep you dedicated when you’re having one of those ‘I don’t wanna run’ days, and we all have them! On days when I don’t feel like running I will read though my training journal. Remember that day you had a great speed work out? Or the long run where you ran negative splits for 15 miles? All of this info should be in your journal. Your ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ of training will all be there too, and it isn’t going anywhere. It will be right there waiting for you to complete it. It is like having an accountability buddy with you!
The first journal I purchased was the Believe Training Journal. This journal is AMAZING! It is 12 months, undated so you can start page one at any time of the year. They have everything from training tips to nutrition for runners. You have pages dedicated to your goals and to your races. It really focuses on offering a holistic framework for you to get the most out of your training journal as possible.
My only issue with this journal is that the pages are too small, or perhaps my writing is just too big. You can see each day I have recorded my training, how I was feeling and recovery. I also like to highlight what I do in different colors. It is easier for me to get a quick view of what I do on a weekly basis.
- Yellow = running
- Orange = strength training
- Blue = yoga, or massage
- Pink = physical therapy (you can see that one in my new journal since I recently started seeing a physical therapist)
- Green = race day
After recently filling up and retiring my Believe Journal, I purchased a cute notebook from Target. It has bees on it. That is really the only reason I chose it, other than it being bigger. If the Believe Journal made a larger version, I would get one in a second! I am super old school and I prefer writing out my training, but there are also apps like Strava that can easily record your training as well. The only thing I do keep on my phone for training is a notes app to log my shoe mileage. I have each pair of running shoes I own in the app; I log the date and mileage to date so I have a better idea of when I will need new shoes. A few of my family members think I am weird for doing that, but it is all a part of staying healthy and being able to run with out injury.
Do you log your training? If so what do you include?