Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Journal for Reluctant Journalers

Logging miles and workouts. Examining data, graphs, uncovering trends. Finding out what worked in the past, or developing theories on where things went wrong. Sound familiar? This is the obsession of runners. It's what occupies our minds when we are not out pounding the pavement, trails, treadmill, track.

I am going for a PR half marathon this fall. The goal is a big stretch . . . I believe it will come down to seconds or fractions thereof.  But according to my data, I've never trained this hard or felt this good. (Knock on wood.)

I am tracking every day of this training cycle in a training diary - you know the one if you are a runner-blogger gal! The Believe I Am Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan. 

Journaling runs in my family. My mom and grandma have both kept daily diaries for at least 30 years! I've tried journals many-a January 1st. But it has never stuck. With the endless possibilities that I could write onto the book of blank pages, I never knew where to start.

Now that the stakes are high - with a PR on the line - I've turned into a devoted journaler:  5 weeks and counting! I owe my success in faithfully recording my workouts to the methodology Lauren and Ro present in the Believe journal. A simple how to.

I record summaries of my workouts (or rest days) each day of the month.

But it is not only my workouts I record. If I want to write more about a day's workout, I put an asterisk next to the entry, flip to the back where there are blank pages and write away on my goals, beliefs, theories, worries, ideas about blogging, drawings of new yoga poses, outlines of weight workouts that I found effective, the crazy thing that happened on a run, the crazy things I thought, or whatever pops into my mind.

But certainly not every day warrants an asterisk and separate write up. And that's okay. That's the beauty of the journal. I am never overwhelmed by the task because any extra is completely optional.

Other handy dandy features are a two-year calendar to plan out future races and training cycles.

Goal pages where you identify your reasons for setting a goal, and the key steps to achieving it.

And check-in points to evaluate progression toward the goal. When I am checking in on a goal, I pretend I am looking at Penny's training log and am giving her words of encouragement and advice so that I am not too critical of myself.

The journal is very thoughtfully put together. It's full of inspiring quotes and anecdotes. And it's cute and pretty!! If you've been looking for a way to track your workouts, I highly recommend it!

Have you found an effective way to record your workouts? Please share!!


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