Monday, May 28, 2018

Keeping A Training Journal

There's nothing like keeping a training journal. Journals can be online, on paper, shared with a like-minded group or for your eyes only. They can also be VERY eye-opening, if you're honest when keeping one. I began keeping a fitness/training journal about 3 years ago to track my progress in running and BMX, and I like to glance back through them at times for any difference in training, how that training differs from the present, and how I can improve current performance. Even though we may work out consistently, we forget the details in our busy day and it's nice to have a record.

There are SO many options when it comes to journaling. Below are some of my favorites:

Blank Journal

When I first began journaling, I used a simple plain jane style book with lined pages. I used each page for a different day, jotting down my BMX track workouts/finishes, running mileage, workouts, how I felt that day, sometimes what I ate, competition confirmation codes and information, etc.. I liked it a lot because it gave me something to be accountable for every day. I quickly filled up my first book and another one just like it.

My 2nd workout journal. I think I picked it up at an office supply store. 

This journal had WAY more room than I ever needed to write each day.

Believe I Am Journal

As a few years passed I heard about the Believe I Am journal, created by runner Lauren Fleshman. Aside from being a journal I could jot the date down in and everything I already had been doing, it was full of small inspiring and education articles about running. It was laid out in a clear and simple style and had blank spaces for extra tidbits like personal goals for the week and a mileage box. I LOVE this book. It has a beautiful and soft but durable front and back cover and is super easy to carry around with you when you need to. I didn't have the full page to write the way I had in my blank journal, like food and extras, but I didn't really need all that space and I really like that it's so focused on training, and that there are have good articles to read. I will definitely be getting another one of these journals again!

After I started writing in my Believe journal, I'll never go back to blank pages, but that's just my preference.

Daily journaling is tough, but I'm thankful I made myself write down what I did, even though it doesn't look too pretty :P

Alternative Journal

Recently I was out picking up a few things, and stumbled upon a different kind of workout journal. This one combines training and diet into each page, sort of a hybrid between what I write in my journal now and what I wrote in past past blank journals. There is a space to write down your goals, what you're grateful for, your inspirations, your workout, the foods you ate, things you LIKE about your body, and fitness tips. There is plenty of room to write, and you write the date in each page of this book as well. That way if you (GASP) skip a day (or two), you don't waste any pages. Since I have more than halfway filled up my Believe I Am training journal, I decided to pick one up, along with some colored pens to either color code or simply to make my pages more fun. It's bound in a way that allows it to lay open, and has a hard front and back cover. I love the saying on the front as well, "No goal was met without a little sweat", which is spot on, literally and figuratively. I can't wait to try this journal out!

SO true, especially when it's humid out! 

I love how the pages are focused on not only working out but nutrition, goals and self love! 

The top right has a new inspiration for each day.

I've got my colorful pens! Time to step it up on the art front. 

Option 4: The Future is Habit Tracking (dun dun dunnnnnn!)

In the future, one option I have recently been inspired to try is to create a habit tracker like one of my favorite runners, Colleen Quigley. Habit trackers are great and they let you keep track of any good habits you are trying to form. Some of Colleen's examples can be found here. Other examples can be found here. I think habit tracking would be really fun to try, and I'm hoping that my pen to paper artistic skills drastically increase beyond stick figures and jagged lines very soon.

Do you record your training? If so, what is your favorite way to go about it? 

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