Everyone is so different, but naturally ya’ll know I plan and organize everything. That being said it should come as no surprise that I write all sorts of things down in my running journal every night. I even sometimes take it when we travel.
It’s important that you find a system that works for you, but I have found so many benefits to keeping a journal. Like a lot of others I use the Believe Journal and LOVE it. <— co wrote by runner girl next door and Lauren Fleshman.
Here are just a few reasons to consider keeping a running journal.
This might seem like the most obvious one, but it’s so powerful. When you write everything down you can be as vague or detailed as you want. I like to be specific so I can better track my progress. I like to indicate my splits, route, walk intervals, how I felt before and after and what time of day the run took place (a.m. or p.m.). It might seem like a lot of information to scribble down, but running is a slow sport. It can take a long time to see real progress so I like being able to look back and compare similar runs.
Tracking pain will help you determine what might be causing problem areas and triggers. Also, by logging your workouts you can look back and spot patterns. Maybe you aren’t stretching enough, getting adequate sleep or are doing too many higher exertion days back to back.
Previous Training Cycle vs. Current Training Cycle
If you keep a journal over multiple training cycles or blocks you can better evaluate your performance. It’s helpful to look back and see what you did to prepare for that new PR or spot areas to improve upon from the last training cycle if everything is written down. It’s easy to see what you started tapering for the last goal race and what the days leading up to the last race looked like.
While mileage may not be super important to everyone it’s helpful to see how many miles you are running in a week over the course of weeks or months. I always feel a sense of accomplishment when I can look back and say wow I ran X number of miles or I need to slowly build up to X number of miles a week by X date. I’ve found that by writing everything down it’s a lot easier to follow the 10% rule as well. If you write down which shoes you wore during each run you can also figure out when you need to replace them.
Pre Race Confidence
My favorite thing to do before a goal race is to look back at the training cycle. I always feel so much more confident going into a race when I see where I started. This goes back to the “Hay is in the barn” kinda thing. You can look back and see that you’ve already done the work and that is the best confidence.
Do you log your miles?