There are all sorts of running gadgets out there. Water belts, GPS this, fluorescent that, barefoot technology, I can see how it’s easy to be overloaded by all these “useful” tools.
I’m not exactly sure how all these tools help, but there is one tool that I think is worth investing in. Plus, it costs a lot less than some of these other things: a $1 notebook.
Your own personal training journal.
Since I first started running I have been keeping a journal of my daily accomplishments and failures. I have notebooks in every drawer in my room. Some are red and some are black. Some have lined paper and some are blank. Most days I’ll write only a few words (example: 60 minutes in the AM + 20 minutes of core), some days, like at the end of a season, I’ll write an entire page.
A training journal is useful for a few things:
1. It allows you to see your progression. It’s amazing looking at some of my journals from 4-5 years ago. I’m just in awe with what my body can do now as opposed to then.
2. If you get injured you can see what led to the injury. Injuries are usually caused by doing something your body isn’t ready for and a training journal is a good way of looking into the past and making sure the same mistake doesn’t happen in the future.
3. Memories! Oh, how a training journal is an excellent way to store memories. Your runs in other cities, those races when you run a personal best, those days when you had an awesome workout.
It’s a great way to leave yourself clues on how to run faster.
Some things you can write done:
There are tons of things you can keep track of but the key is to be consistent and just write it down.
If you have an unbelievable workout, then write it down!
If you have an awful workout, then write it down!
If you miss a few days of running, then write down why.
It’s a great training tool, it’s not expensive and the memories are invaluable.
Michael Del Monte is an accomplished middle-distance runner who runs for the newly formed Athletics Toronto club. With a Master’s degree in Theology in hand, Michael resides in High Park, Toronto, where he is training and working towards his PhD in the philosophy of religion. Whether through writing, music, photography or film, he is always challenging himself and creating new projects.