The best way to monitor your exercises is by using a running log. Based on the information on the running log template, you can determine what needs improvement, hone what works, and discard what doesn’t. The log will hold themselves accountable for any goals they have set. The log is also a useful tool to determine how the body adapts to the strenuous workouts you’re doing. Use it to identify, if there’s a need for one or two extra days of rest.
Running Logs Templates
The importance of a running log
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, keeping a running log can help you get the most out of your training. A running log, which is also known as a running log book, walking log or a training log template is a written record where you can jot down details about your runs, injuries, races, diets, and almost anything related to your training.
In essence, it’s a collection of observations, experiences, events, and suggestions. Here are the most common reasons why you should keep a running log:
- Keep track of your progress
Consider the log as a personal diary where you can write down events you can consider as milestones in your training. This log helps you answer some important questions about your training. Write all the answers down, jot down notes about each labor, and how your body felt after each.
These notes allow you to keep track of your mileage and will also serve as a memento to look back on and compare your mood, energy, and performance. This information helps you the next time you tackle something similar.
- Helps you find the reasons for the aches and pains you feel
There is always an enthusiasm when a new racing season is about to commence. You would try the limits of your capabilities and jump on every opportunity to log as many routines and miles as possible. But these sudden increases of changes in volumes or intensity might lead to unforeseen injuries even without you knowing it until much later.
Not all people respond similarly to adjustments in training. Logging your workouts is a good way to trace when an injury took place. Use the log to record anything related to your training and injuries. This way, through the log, you can easily find out when the injury started thus, giving you the necessary time to recover.
Over time, you will recognize a pattern like getting a familiar pain two days after doing a downhill race. Perhaps the pain comes from the speed intervals that may flare up a specific type of injury. Here, you can go back using your log and pinpoint what types of routines or training cause you to feel pain.
- Prevents over or under-training
The best way to maintain consistency in your training is to carefully keep track of your runs and you can do this with a running log template. Designate a day of the week to add your weekly mileage or totals. The totals serve as a gauge on whether your mileage jumps happen too fast or not fast enough.
This is particularly true for runners who take up trails or very long distances. Include in your log notes on how your body feels every day. Be honest with your numbers; otherwise you’re only lying to yourself and that’s not good.
- Gives you a confidence boost
Preparing for a race feels exhilarating but between the tapering and the starting line itself, your mind can become intimidated on thoughts that you might not do well in the competition. Keeping a running log book reminds you of all the hard work you put into in preparation for this race.
Reminiscing about all those countless miles and endless runs can help subdue your fears before competitions. It also reminds that the race should be the fun part.
- Gives you a clearer picture of your goals
A training log template isn’t only for recording the mileage and workouts you’ve subjected yourself to. You can also use it to define your goals and always keep them in sight. Moreover, when you monitor your running goals, make sure you are not increasing your mileage too quickly or too slowly.
Eventually, you’ll find that sweet spot for training in which you can constantly challenge yourself without having to hurt yourself.
- Makes you accountable
How you fare in your endeavor solely depends on you. The running log serves as a written contract between you and your health goals. It’s your pledge to give what it takes to accomplish your goal no matter what the price is.
Printable Running Logs
The best format for your running log
Is there a format for running logs? The short answer is no. It’s up to you to decide as there are several options to choose from. You can use a standard training manual, a notebook, an online log, an app or even just scrap pieces of paper. Honestly, there’s no wrong or right way to do it. The important thing is that it delivers. Here are some possible formats to use:
- The simple way
Select one that’s most appealing and most convenient for you. The log can be as plain as a mere notation on a piece of paper or a calendar. You can also start with an ordinary diary or a blank notebook since they’re so simple and you can carry them anywhere.
- Digital options
For the more technically inclined, they technical or digital tools. These are the practical tools which can facilitate the monitoring of your daily workouts and calorie intakes. These can provide you with other tools and handy aides which standard workout journals cannot.
If you want to use your computer, you can access and use the Microsoft spreadsheet or a Google sheet. If you find these too complicated, use the text editor on your computer as your running log book.
You need some computer skills for this and if you do, just go online, join one of the websites, start blogging, and create your own vlog or blog. All of these can help you keep track of your fitness and running results.
There are several options to choose from when it comes to your log format. As stated earlier, there is no right or wrong form. Just choose the form that suits you best and keep that day after day, month after month, and so on.
Running Log Books
The information to include in your running log
Now that you’ve decided on the form, you have to decide what data to include in your running log template. A good log contains information that you find important to your running routines. Here are the most important things to include:
- Actual completed run
- Average pace
- Date and time of your run
- Average speed
- Information about aches or pains
- Distance and splits (for speedwork)
- Running route
- The pre-run and post-run drinks and foods you consumed
- Heart rate
- Pre-run warm-up and post-run exercises
- Details about your running shoes
- Long-term and short-term goals
- Statistics about your cross-training exercises
- Virtually any other additional data you find relevant about your running routine.
Don’t get overwhelmed about all these suggestions. If you have time constraints on recording all these, just record the most important information. Most running log keepers start their notes by recording their times, distances, and nothing more. It is also more important to consider your pace per mile rather than the distance covered.
Other tips for using a running log
Goals for running or walking logs may vary. Some use it to prepare for marathon runs, others just to lose a couple of pounds. Whatever goal, the log can be a very useful motivational tool. It can be as plain or can be as complicated you intend it to be. Consider these basic guidelines on how to maintain a running log:
- Utilize columns for date, duration, distance, and route when setting up your log. You can use other columns for other relevant notes such as temperature, weather, mood, and what you felt during the run. If you don’t feel certain about the distance covered, use a running app to measure and track it.
- If you also want to keep track of your food/calories intake, set up another column for details about food where you can keep notes on what you eat, your meal times, and the approximate number of calories.
- Create a separate section for the results of your races if you enter a race or a marathon. Make sure to mention the name of the race, distance, date, pace, overall standing, and age group. If during the race, you needed to take splits, make sure to include those as well.
- A running watch with a stop-watch function should be a good device to record the duration of your runs. If you don’t have one, it’s time to get one.
- Maintaining a training log has many advantages but make sure to check back regularly as it serves as a review for your progress. It is an effective way to help you reach your goals or can even make you understand why you’re not improving as much as you want. It’s also a gauge on what food items work best in enhancing your performance.