Journaling Can Be A Great Training Tool

Anna Boom

Tip for any runner, including me:
Use a Journal every day!

Runners World had an article that I picked up on last month, “How to Learn From Your Race Experience: Analyze the details of your key events to improve your performance next time.” (

The title intrigued as me I thought of some of my past races and how I could take the bad and make it into good. The very first tip is to Record The Facts! That is a component I have lacked for awhile now. Right after I read the article, I began to use my WOOT running log to write what I ate and how soon before my run, the distance to run and the workout. As soon as I finish my run, I write down how far I ran, how I felt and how the workout felt. This has helped me tremendously to improve my training runs over just a few short weeks.

The article also recommends the week before a race, to write everything down including how much you slept, how and when you drank, what clothes you wore. Once you have all the data, you can separate out things you can control (give away that hat that keeps flying off your head!) and repeat the things that did work (eating early and light).

Other great things to note in your journal after every run is the weather. This has a huge impact on your pace and how you feel, along with how much water you drink. As we know the summers and humidity can be brutal here in Oki.

One of the contributors to the article, Tom Holland, author of The Marathon Method, comments that using a journal allows you to note your feelings and if anything brought you down and out. He says, “Stress is a choice. It’s a process, and it’s often unnecessary.”

When your Garmin dies, or your playlist gets messed up or somebody trips you, control your reaction. Instead of letting it blow your whole race, take that bad moment for what it is: a small hiccup in the life of a runner.

Remember all the work and effort you have logged in your journal that got you to the start line. And change your mind to be positive. And note the bad thing in your journal so that if it is something you can control (charge that Garmin the night before!), that you do the next time.

We all know how hard it is to remember what we ate for breakfast much less how all our training runs went over months of a training cycle. Writing it all down gives you the opportunity to put all the pieces together for a great race. 

Have a great run and write all about it!

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