Running 101: Keeping A Training Log

It has been a very useful tool for runners of all skills for decades.

The training log is a runner’s tradition that has been around for many decades. It goes at least as far back as Alfred Shrubb, a legendary English runner born in 1878 who kept detailed notes about his workouts, and even published a book that shared his training methods.

The impulse to keep a training log is a natural one for runners. Running 20, 30, or 40 or more miles per week, month after month, is a significant accomplishment, but it’s not like building a house — we can’t see and touch our accomplishments as runners. If you’re like me you probably can’t even remember most of the runs you’ve ever done. By keeping a training diary, we make our running achievements more concrete and less ephemeral.

Pride is only one motivation to keep a training diary, however. There are certainly others. The simple effort to keep a training diary increases our mental and emotional investment in the sport in ways that may positively affect our performance. And, of course, the information that is recorded in a training diary can be practically useful.

There are five specific ways in which keeping a training diary will help you become a better runner and find more satisfaction in your running.

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