You can even take the old-fashioned approach of using a physical running journal! Famous runner and coach Jeff Galloway released a fantastic running journal that’s filled to the brim with tips and tracking tools! A regular calendar or notebook will also work.
Running journals can be simple if you’re only tracking your running distance and total time covering that distance. However, they can also be extremely detailed! Every detail of our daily lives can dictate our energy levels when we go out for a run. That being said, some runners might prefer to track details such as total sleeping hours, weight, water consumption, calorie intake, which shoes they used (and how many miles they’ve ran in those shoes) and even stress levels in order to identify patterns in their running efficiency!
WHAT INFORMATION SHOULD I TRACK?
If you’re using a Garmin watch (or similar) you probably have more information than you know what to with! Most of us don’t even know what to do with all of the information our smartwatches provide! So, here’s the important stuff you should keep track off:
And that’s it. With this information alone you will be able to effectively track your effort in that particular training session and eventually, if your average speed has improved.
INCREASE YOUR PERFORMANCE
Lots of runners don’t think about their runs, they just run whatever distance they feel like running on that day… that’s a dangerous choice! It’s extremely important to have an easy effort run on the day after a really hard run/race, this will help you avoid injury!
So, by keeping a running journal you will be able to analyze what kind of run you did yesterday and make a conscious decision on what kind of run can do today.
TRACK YOUR PROGRESS
There is nothing more motivating than knowing you have improved. Imagine running a 5:35 minute kilometer, looking back through your journal and noticing you used to run a 6:20 kilometer a few months ago!
Or noticing that your long runs used to be 10k’s and now you’re up to 20k on your Sunday long runs! We can easily forget our past efforts – reviewing your running journals will show you how hard you’ve worked and how much you’ve progressed!
KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED
We’ve all had that day where we feel drained, not motivated and don’t really have the energy to run… your journal with help you! Down days are inevitable so it’s always good if you build strategies to give yourself a little energy boost by looking at how much you’ve improved over the last few weeks/months/years.
By looking back and analyzing your past runs, you might be able to identify why you became injury. Maybe you’ve been running on nothing but pavement for the past few months? Try running in the sand/grass/trails. Maybe you’ve been doing nothing but hard runs for weeks? It’s time to take it easy and reduce your efforts in order for your body to recover. By tracking your runs you’ll be able to notice all of these patterns and avoid repeating them in the future.
THE NEXT STEP
If you’re feeling bold, you can try keeping track of as much data as possible. That’s where the real magic begins! You’ll begin to see patterns you’ve never noticed before! Sleeping only 5 hours might drastically increase your mile average, while sleeping 8 hours makes you feel like you’re running on clouds! Here’s an example of useful data to track:
But don’t panic! Your journal will also be very useful if you decide to stick to the simpler approach of total distance and time. A journal entry could simply look like this:
There’s no right or wrong way of keeping a running journal. Just track the data that you feel is useful to you and review that data every once in a while, trying to find patterns and connections that will benefit you in the long run (pun intended)!
With all this tracking, you'll need a place to save all your race information, photos and details! That's where RunPage comes in! Build your Runner Profile and add a RunPage for each race you finish with your own photos, results and achievements. Now all your race memories can be conveniently stored in the same place! Get all your race photos and results added automatically to your RunPage. Ask your race organizer for Pic2Go race photography!
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