I believe logging your runs (and all fitness activities) to be very important if you are serious about your training. In logging my runs for the past 6 years, I have really benefited from being able to go back and look over my history of running progression and various adventures.
Why You Should Log Your Runs and Workouts
Why is it important you might ask? A few reasons:
1. You can track your progress. If you train and work hard, you are going to get better. Logging your runs allows you to see this progression over time and can be a real confidence booster during tough times. You may go out for a 10 mile run one day and it is just one of those days where you aren’t feeling “it”, and your particular performance on that day can depress you. However if you have been logging your training for a while, you can look back and see that the 10 mile run you just did (despite feeling like a bad run), was actually much better than a 10 mile run you did a year ago while feeling great!
2. You can monitor the effects different variables have on your runs. With my running log I make note of how I am feeling that morning, what I ate prior to my run (and perhaps the night before), and what other activities I may have done the evening before. This way if I have a great run, or a bad one, I can see if there is a pattern as to what may be affecting my workout one way or another. For example if I have a slow run one morning but have noted that the day before I spent chopping a lot of wood and playing basketball with the family for a long time, that shows me that this run should NOT be compared with one that may fall on a day where I was well rested the day before.
3. It takes the guesswork out of planning what to wear for the weather. For those of us that run when it is very cold out, you know the drill. The night before you spend time planning out what to wear. How many layers of clothing will be enough? Should I wear light gloves or do I need mittens? Will a hat be enough with the strong wind chill, or do I need a ski mask? By noting what the weather was like for your run and what you wore during it (and how comfortable it was), the next time the weather forecast calls for similar conditions you will know exactly the type of clothes to lay out for your morning (or evening) run.
The Team Running Riddles FREE Running Log Template
If these three reasons (and there are many more) are enough to convince you to start logging your runs, I am happy to offer a blank template based off of the one I personally use.
Simply visit this link below, then click on “File” in the upper-left corner, and either “Make a copy…” if you want to use it as a spreadsheet in your own Google account…or “Download as” if you want to use it in Excel on your computer.
Team Running Riddles Free Running Log Template
Bonus tip: I have created this spreadsheet so that if you use Garmin Connect to record your workouts, you are able to download a CSV file of your workout from the Garmin web app, open it, and copy / paste the data easily into this journal (my columns match up with the exported Garmin Connect data).