Training Diaries for Running

Unless you have an awfully good memory, it is a good idea to keep written records of your training. We all have ups and downs in our training, and it is helpful to identify the causes of our peaks and valleys. Did you have insufficient sleep during the past few days? Are you eating nutritious food or junk food? Was it raining or snowing during your run? Was the ground icy? Did your wakeup heart rate give hints that a slump was coming? Is it time to get a new pair of shoes? The list of things you should remember about your runs goes on and on. As I said, unless you have a good memory, you need to record the conditions during each of your runs.


There are two ways that most runners keep records about their runs. 
  • Special software to keep a diary or log of their runs
  • A blog of their runs

Diaries

The use of software that creates and maintains a log of your runs has one big advantage: you are less likely to forget to record particular data about your runs. There is one disadvantage, though, of using diary-software: you have to have the discipline to enter data about each run; it is easy to neglect the diary for a few days, and you may not remember some of the data that should be preserved. I've been told by friends that their diaries have data displayed in charts that make the data easy to understand and easy to compare from day to day and week to week. Some diaries allow you to import data from a GPS and/or a heart-rate monitor.

I haven't looked into this, but I expect there are programs that you install on your computer to provide a diary of your runs. However, most of the runners I know who keep a diary use online services provided by web sites.
Some of the online diaries are free. A little searching of the Internet will give you links to online running diaries.

Blogs

The use of a blog has one advantage: simplification. If you want to keep a simple diary and just record a few significant things about your runs, blogs are a nice way to go. As with the diary-software, you have to have the discipline to keep the blog current. I use a blog for my diary. I try to remember to comment on my wakeup heart rate, the weather, the temperature, and how I felt during and after the run. If I felt tired during a run, I usually remark on possible reasons why I felt that way. One of the categories in my blog is for recording the miles on my shoes.

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