Why You Should Use a Running Journal
Setting running goals, whether they’re bold or a bit more conservative, help us stay motivated and monitor progress against our training plans. We’ve previously shared our practical advice on how to set, plan and review goals.
Heck, we even shared a worksheet to help you get started!
As I planned for this year, I reflected on the two running accomplishments I was most proud of; completing one year of consecutive running and finishing my first marathon. I knew I wanted to build upon those goals and decided this year I will:
- Continue my running streak
- Log 1,500 miles
- Complete a sub-3:30 marathon
To reach my goals, I did what I usually do when I prepare to start each season. I created my annual race calendar, built my specific training plans, and entered it all into my TrainingPeaks account.
But this year, I wanted to try something a little different to capture the more subjective details of my workouts. I decided to take it old school and start using a running journal.
In my profession as a corporate trainer, I know that adults learn more effectively while writing. There is a whole science behind why, but at the end of the day,
Our brains are more engaged when writing than typing, which leads to increased cognitive functioning
I figured why not practice what I preach, pick up my favorite pen and actively engage my brain in my running goals.
Geared toward female runners, I purchased the Believe Training Journal created by professional runners, Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas.
I’ve been using the journal for almost four months and I’m loving it! Why?
The training log provides a format that allows you document basic details of your workouts, but still provides the opportunity to customize your entries based on your needs. I use my own notation system to track my hamstring injury so I can take a quick glance throughout my journal to see trends in my “flare ups”.
And, the pages dedicated to your annual training calendar and daily training log are date-free, meaning you can start using this journal anytime!
Spaced throughout the journal are 12 topics aimed at helping you become a stronger runner. While it’s tempting to search the journal and read all 12 topics at once, as I reach a topic in the journal it’s like opening a little present!
Last week’s topic “Turn the Screw” focused on training plans and outlined some great workouts; I mean who wouldn’t want to try “The OMG” speed workout?!
More than just a space for you to document your training – this journal is designed to guide and teach you about yourself as a runner.
The authors use the term “workbook” to describe the quizzes, checklists, reflection questions and oodles of other thought provoking exercises aimed at making you a more intentional runner.
It’ll Make you Happy:
What makes me really love journaling is the way it helps me clear my head and process my goals a week at a time. I recently read one of those “50 Things Happy People Do” lists and was pleasantly surprised to see “Journal for 5 minutes every day”.
So why not try using a running journal? I can guarantee it’ll help you reach your goals and may even make you a happier runner!