One tip that I always read is that you should keep a running log. Now, I’ve been keeping a log of distances and times (and shoes) on RunningAHEAD.com since I started running. The site is amazing, and the workout logs have plenty of room for me to track things like weather, how I felt, etc.
But I don’t do it.
I also use DailyMile for tracking workouts, but it’s definitely a more social thing. I do track how I feel, but not necessarily the weather (unless it is amazingly good or bad), and I try to stay positive because it is a social site.
I tried the free log from Runners World that came with my subscription to the magazine. Used that for about two weeks, then forgot about it.
While cleaning this weekend, I came across a health and fitness log I started in a blank notebook in January of 2012. I made it through about three weeks. I think it may have been sitting on my kitchen table since then (but not anymore).
So for 2013, I bought myself something new – the B.I.A. Training Journal. So far, so good (yes, the photo is kind of old, I meant to write this post earlier).
What has worked for me is that it’s just a simple one-liner of what I did every day. If I want to write more, there is space for that starting at around the middle of the journal. So far, I’ve only written there twice, once after the marathon and once after a very sluggish day where I just needed to vent to myself. One thing I’ve noticed is that this forces me to take note of the days where I don’t workout. Since the marathon, I’ve been terrible about skipping workouts. I’m hoping my new triathlon training schedule prevents that.
While I love the B.I.A. journal, I’m not writing this post encouraging you to buy it (unless you want to). I bought it myself and am getting nothing for putting this in a post. But what I like is the simplicity. You could do that on your own, if you want. A blank notebook is really all you need. Or even just a blank text file on your computer, if you want to go the techie route.
Do you log your workouts anywhere? What’s your method?
I keep a Word document where I put an entry for each workout I do, and also make a note of days I don’t work out. I include what I did including weights and distances and brief comments (“too heavy,” “really hard!” “started out too fast/slow” or, like yours “[insert body part] hurt.”).
I started my current file along with my current training regimen on January 7.
My oldest running log is from 1987 in a small 6 x 4 pocket memo book I picked up at CVS for 39 cents (price sticker is still on it). It is the oldest of a whole bunch of running logs on a bookcase shelf here in my home office — 14 of them out of the 27 that should exist since I began keeping running logs in ’86) and I am sure that the rest are “around here somewhere.”
I can open that 1987 log and note that on this date (a Friday) I ran four and a half miles in the late afternoon after having taken the day off as a vacation day so that my wife and I could observe at a kindergarten we were thinking of for our daughter (said daughter, who is now a far better runner than I ever was, will mark her 31st birthday in May). That 4.5 miles brought my total for the week to 15.
It is so easy to pick up an old running log and get lost in it.
I am also keeping a 2013 book, keeping track of my workouts even though none have involved running — but my podiatrist told me this morning that I can now run (or do anything I want as long as I stop if it starts to hurt). It’s cold and rainy outside so I think I may let my first attempt at jogging this year wait until tomorrow when there is only a 40% chance of rain.
I also have a B.I.A Journal and I love it. Like you said, it’s an easy one liner and I feel like it keeps me accountable to myself. It’s also nice to look back and see how I’ve been doing and see how I felt during those trainings (which I just use a -/+ system). I too have empty journals and ones that I lasted a week or two into, but this seems to work for me! Thanks for your insight!