Keeping a training log and/or journal
Many of us have trained at one time or another for specific events or series of events. If you have taken your preparation seriously, then you have had to keep either a journal or a log or both. The major difference between a training log and a journal is the type of data you keep in each document before, during and/or after each session. Your training log will usually only contain statistical information about your workout such as the distance, time elapsed, the outside temperature, etc... While your journal will have information about your mental health and how your fell during your workout session. Let's talk about both in more details and see why each one of them is important for your training progress.
5 Reasons to keep a training log and/or journal
- Keep statistical data of your sessions
- Keep non statistical data of your sessions
- Prior data helps plan better for future events
- Prior data gives you confidence
- Helps you look back in history
Personal training logs help you track the most important statistical data . It is created from one of more templates that you fill to see if they meet the goals set prior to the training. For example, if you set the goal of running 3 miles Monday, 3 miles Tuesday, 6 miles on Wednesday, your training log will contain the actual achievements on those days. You could also information such as weight, time, weather information in this sheet to keep it more complete. In today internet and apps age, there are many tools that can help you track this information very well and for years. For runners, Strava is a great tool to keep up with your individual runs, distances, locations, weather, ... etc. You can even decide to share this information with friends and people in the same group and/or on social media.
A training Journal on the other hand will have information more personal to you such as how you fell during a session, what you ate and/or drank before, during or after the session. This information can be very important to you in the future, as you try to plan improve the effectiveness of your trainings methods and ultimately achieve better results during the actual events. A journal will also help you understand better what works best for you and put you in the best position to achieve your goals. It can also help figuring out reasons for injuries and many times of burnout.