“Why do I have to keep a training log?”
That’s a question I often hear. The runners I coach get it. It’s our key medium of communication. You let me know how you’re responding to the training, I learn about you and what works for you from that, then I adjust your training accordingly.
But what if you don’t have a coach? Does the training log still matter?
Why? Because, at the very least, you’re communicating with your future self.
Over time, we all have good and bad stretches of running. How do we look back and figure out why the good stretches went so well and the bad stretches didn’t? We look at our training logs.
We look at what workouts we were doing, what our long runs looked like, what our training volume was, what our easy runs looked like, what auxiliary training we were doing.
We look at how we felt (why I stress some comments on how the run went). At least as important as what we were doing is how we responded, physically and mentally, to it. Did our bodies get beat up or feel invincible? Were we bursting with confidence or doubt?
We pour over this information after the fact and put the pieces together. We look for patterns and consistencies in both what worked and what didn’t work.
Then we build our training plan going forward with the information we have on what worked and what didn’t in the past.
So how do you keep a good training log? There are many ways but I’ll share some thoughts on that next week. However, the most important thing is that you do keep a training log. In this case, something is clearly better than nothing.