Keeping a Running Training Log With a Running Diary
When it comes to thinking about running gear, typically running shoes, running clothing and heart rate monitors come to mind. Yet one piece of running gear that every serious runner should consider having is a running training log.
There are some real advantages to recording key running training data from completed workouts in a running diary or workout log. Experienced runners know how important that historical data can be for planning running training programs and improving racing performance.
Running Training Log Uses
Having access to running training performance data and metrics is valuable for many reasons. The information is useful for planning future training workouts and for determining what kinds of workouts have offered the greatest benefits. Keeping a running workout log is also important for the prevention and management of running-related injuries. When a runner has an injury, a review of past weeks of training can often provide important clues to why an injury occurred and help avoid repeating the same mistakes.
Many runners also find that keeping a running diary can serve as a motivational tool. There is just something satisfying about looking back to see how many miles you have completed over the weeks, months and years. The same can be said for improvement in training paces, personal records for various race distances and changes in heart rates. The act of recording the data from a daily workout can become something to look forward to and just another small reason not to skip a scheduled workout.
There is yet another, sometimes overlooked aspect of keeping a running journal and tracking mileage. That information is useful for staying on top of the mileage accumulated in your shoes. This helps a runner to know when it is time to replace them. Helping to avoid injuries associated with worn-out shoes.
Types of Data to Record in a Running Diary
Some of the key information that should be recorded daily in a running journal include:
– Date and time of the run
– Type of workout (e.g., easy run, intervals, hills, tempo, etc.)
– Running route information and distance covered
– Beginning, average and highest heart rates
– Total time of the workout and running pace
– Weather conditions
– Shoes worn
In addition, other information like weight and accumulated mileage may also be recorded and tracked on a weekly basis. Race finish times can be recorded to help track personal records at various race distances.
Formats for a Running Workout Log
The most important aspect of choosing a format for a running workout log is choosing something that best fits the individual. Some runners set up a spreadsheet using software like Excel. Many websites often freely share their own Excel-based “Running Log” design by making it available as a download to interested runners.
Inexpensive spiral notebooks can also be utilized as a simple, low maintenance pen and ink format for running logs. Commercially produced running workout logs like the Runner’s World Training Journal (Rodale Inc. New York) are available at most major bookstores for around $10.
For the runner who prefers to keep an online training log, a free running log can be maintained at numerous running and fitness sites on the web. Many of these online running journals are packed with usual features like automatic pace calculations, charts and graphs. They can also provide automated running performance reports that can be easily viewed or printed with the click of a mouse.
Runners that are more serious with their training tend to use TrainingPeaks for this. TrainingPeaks is the leading online running log for serious runners. It allows you to record your training, as well as plan out workouts and upload data from your heart rate monitor or GPS watch.
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Best Online Training Logs
Some of the best online training logs require a small monthly fee to get the most benefit out of them. But most of them offer a free version that has limitations. Some of the most popular online training logs are:
Regardless of the format selected, serious runners should keep a running training log. The few minutes a day required for recording daily workout information will be time well spent. It will be a great help in running training planning, management of running-related injuries and will serve as one more simple motivational tool to help runners maintain a consistent running training plan.