Hi, Friends! I have a special blog post for you today because I am offering a reader appreciation giveaway. One winner in the US who is subscribed to this blog will win a new running journal! Running journals are great for goal setting, monitoring progress and celebrating our achievements.
Journaling takes it a step further than periodically reviewing your Garmin data history. It's smart to keep track of your distances and paces, but it's even smarter to document how you felt, what you ate, how you slept and what the weather was like so you can start to track trends in your training. It's also a good idea to track the miles on your running shoes, so you can replace them before they start causing you problems.
I am a writer at heart (hence a blogger) so journalling comes naturally to me. I like to write about how I feel, I call it my internal therapist. But even if the thought of writing brings back terrors of your third grade English teacher, a running journal can help you bridge that gap between staring at a blank page and just looking at Garmin numbers.
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5 BENEFITS OF KEEPING A RUNNING JOURNAL
Journals are a great tool when you are training for a specific race. Before you run your first step on your new training plan, you should set realistic and attainable goals, loosely plan out your schedule and make a commitment to yourself to follow through. If you take the time to set goals, think about why you are starting this new training plan, and map out your strategy, you'll start on the right foot (pun intended). Then, as the training becomes more challenging, you can periodically review your goals and remember why you started in the first place. It's an important part of the process.
TRACK TRENDS IN TRAINING
A journal can help you track trends that you may otherwise miss. If your legs feel heavy in the mornings, but your evening runs are light and energetic, keeping track of how you feel during runs can help you spot this trend over time.
If you had a bad run, but it was 85 degrees and sunny, you may have forgotten that last summer you had a handful of runs that felt the same way. It's not always you, sometimes it's the weather, your stress levels, what you ate or how well you slept.
Every summer I wonder why I suddenly suck at running, then I review my training journal from the same period last year and remember that the heat and humidity in Texas always slow my pace considerably. Oh yeah, this is normal. A journal can help you from freaking out about normal changes in training.
A training journal can help you monitor your running progress. Sometimes we improve but don't really notice that our easy pace improved by 15 seconds per mile or we can run farther with less effort. When we document our runs and more importantly, how we feel afterward, we can monitor progress. For example, your Garmin data may show you ran a nine-minute mile 10K three months ago and you may have run another nine-minute mile 10K last week, but the Garmin data won't show that first 10K was a hard effort for you and the recent one felt easy.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TRAINING PLAN
All training plans should be dynamic, that means they need to change as you do. It's important to continually review and customize your training plan as your progress through it. A training journal can help you see when you're pushing too hard or not pushing hard enough. If you miss a couple of long runs, your plan will need to change, we can't play "catch up" on missed miles without risking overtraining, which can eventually lead to injury. A journal can help you customize your plan along the way.
Are not seeing the progress or improvements that you expected? A review of your training journal can reveal the reasons why. Maybe you're not fueling properly, or not giving yourself enough rest and recovery. Maybe you've been inconsistent with training or haven't been pushing hard enough for hard-effort workouts. The journal has all the data that can be reviewed with your coach or on your own so a game plan can be devised to break through any plateaus.
Most of us (raises hand!) are too hard on ourselves. We look at the speedy times or long distances of our running insta-friends on social media and can fall into the comparison trap. A journal helps you celebrate your own achievements. Unless you are trying to win your next marathon, your only competition is yourself. Look back through your journal to see how far you've come.
Convinced? You can break out a spiral notebook and start taking notes or you can pick up a training journal that provides the format, helps with goal setting and has motivational quotes and useful information peppered in. I love this journal so much that I am hosting a giveaway for my subscribers so you can enter to win one of your own. If you are not a subscriber, you can subscribe by entering below or you can buy one here:
Rules of the Running Journal Giveaway
This is a reader appreciation giveaway, you must be a current subscriber at the time of drawing to be eligible to win.
Once you subscribe, you must opt-in when you receive the email to confirm. Yes, I'll check.
You must enter your name and email address is the form above to enter. If you are already a subscriber, you will not receive duplicate emails.
You must be 18 years or older and have a mailing address in the United States.
The contest is open from April 27 through May 7th, 2018 at midnight. Entries received outside of these time parameters will be discarded.
No purchase is necessary to enter or win.
I will contact the winner directly via the email address provided in the entry.
I will announce the winner on this blog post after May 7th.
The cost of the prize and shipping costs are covered by Lea Genders Fitness.
The prize will ship from Fort Worth Texas within 30 days of contest end date.
If the winner does not respond to email within three business days, a new winner will be drawn.
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