In training for a half-marathon, a marathon, or an ultra, it is imperative to keep track of one’s training runs, for several reasons. Some runners jot down their daily mileage in their calendar or appointment books while others write it on manila paper posted on their bedroom wall.
Recent trends now show that a lot of runners encode their mileage in Facebook applications or a running software. Whatever methods being used, there is a consensus that there is a need for knowing the details of a training run. How exactly does this help us?
One, it keeps us on track in our training. Seeing, for example, that we have run our expected distance for the week gives a good feeling inside, knowing that if we continue following our schedule, we will be more than prepared come race day.
Two, it will show us how far we have come, or how far we still have to go. Without a journal, it would be easy to forget how much work we still have to do to be able to finish well.
And most, importantly, keeping a running log will show our training errors. Did we push ourselves too much, or too little? Did we miss a whole week’s training, and tried to make up for it the week after? Did we focus too much on speed, and less on building mileage? Training errors result in injuries, DNFs (did not finish), or underperformance.
For my first marathon, I used the adidas Workout Log. I could specify the type of workout I did (e.g., long distance, semi-long, medium), the route I took, the distance I ran, the weather conditions, among others. It also analyzes the statistics, and showed me exactly what I did wrong.
How about you? Do you keep a running journal, and in what form?