Keeping a journal is one of the simplest ways to inspire you to get out and run, but it does a lot more than that.
Write down everyday what kind of running you did – or even any exercise (I also do yoga to a dvd – I write it down, if my girls and I go for a walk – I write it down). It may seem menial and useless in the process but it really isn’t and there are other benefits besides inspiring you to continue.
Whether you use a computer, notebook or something else (your phone?, an app?) just write it down. Even if you did nothing – write it down.
By writing down you did nothing, it forces you to admit you slacked that day and hopefully motivate you to run, or do something the next day. It’s a reminder of your goal, or that you have a run coming up.
Write down how you felt, the weather, who you were with (this can be really revealing) what shoes you wore (good for keeping track of your shoe’s life) and of course what you did, how far, and how fast. Go into detail.
You can even make yourself honest by publishing it on Facebook, an app like Runkeeper or somewhere others can see what you are doing.
Benefits of a Running Log
- Logs can act as a real motivator. To really make this work, total up your weekly mileage, number of crunches, push ups, anything else. Whatever you include in your log, total it up for the week and compare week to week to watch your improvement grow. Or, if you are staying stagnant at a certain amount, use it to challenge yourself to do more or change things. When you write you did nothing one day it should be motivating to go out and do something the next. On the flip side, when you write down your great days, it should be motivating to see those and want to repeat them.
- It can reveal a lot about your training and your body. Always write down everything physical you do. If you find yourself plateauing, injured or feeling bad in some way, look back at your training and see where you start to feel that way. Analyze it to see if you need to back off or change things up. It can also indicate what may have caused an injury you received and you can use that information to avoid making the same mistakes. If you run in any races, they can be a great way to look at your training and what helped/didn’t help.
- It is a real journal. For those who really don’t like journaling or writing in diaries (like me) this is a way to do that without it seeming like a diary. Sometimes I will include something from my life randomly. I have no idea what I might use these for, just as any diary, but I still have my logs from high school and college!
Don’t feel like you have to buy a specific training diary or use a specific one from a website. I use those $1 composition books and that’s it. I try to fit an entire week on two facing pages, so I can see a week at a glance. Just give it a try, you may find it addicting.
I read many years ago about a woman who began writing her runs in a log and one New Years Day she decided to use the log as a motivator to make sure she ran every day for one year. She actually did that and more by running (at the time) every day for several years!
So get out there, and do it! Then, write it down!
Also, if you want more motivation, you might want to follow my Pin Board ‘Run’!