By Guest Writer:
MikeHave you ever gone to the grocery store only to realize you left your list at home? Next thing you know you find yourself back at the store 3 more times that week to purchase your forgotten dinner items. Until about 3 years ago I found myself doing the same thing in the gym and on the road during workouts. I was stalemated and could never remember exactly where I left off the time before. It was only when I started using a logbook that I was able to see huge strides in my performance. After a while it just became part of my routine. Some of the points below are both benefactors and reasons why I never do a workout without tracking it.
Losing motivation to get off the couch and hit the gym? Whether you have an end goal in mind or you’re just carrying on with your routine, a log book will help push you past your current marks and take you to the next level. It’s also nice to see the changes. Without a log you can get trapped into the idea you’re getting no where but with it you can see the progress right in front of you and use it to make you go even further. Seeing a gap in your workouts or several days off in a row often make me think of the miles I missed out on and push me to get back out there.
There’s nothing worse on a runners knees than a dead pair of shoes. Obviously you can flip over your shoes and see when the tread has been exhausted. A more definite way of tracking the life of your shoes is by making notes of which pair you wear and when. Shoes normally last 350-400 miles or for roughly 3-4 months. Just keep a tally on the side of your journal and add up the miles as the weeks roll along. Alternating shoes can also keep you and the shoe in better shape as it gives time for the soles to rebound. Again, it’s a simple thing to do yet some many people would never think to do.
Having a bad day? Write it down. Just finish a great workout? Take time to make a note about what was working and why. Some of the notes I make in my training log have helped to show a pattern in when I’m at my best and when I’m less than stellar. We’re not all morning people and some of us perform better on an empty stomach. You log book can help show you those things. For me, the evidence is simple, I’ve found that while I’d rather not run in the evenings and cut into family time I’m easily :30/mile slower in my early morning runs. Logging that info helps me understand what my full effort is no matter what time of day.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or someone who hits the gym daily everyone is susceptible to injuries. Be sure to jot down what happened and when. Note your progress and how you’re feeling every time you repeat the workout. This will not only help you with your current injury but may come in handy the next time you face an injury.
The one time I believe a log book is essential is when you’re going through a training cycle. I’ve run races with and without a journal and I can’t express how different the outcome is between the two. Training cycles can last 4 months depending on the end goal and you’re bound to forget many of the struggles, triumphs, & key points along the journey. Simply taking a few of the notes I’ve mentioned can go a long way in getting you across the finish line of your next race.
For me, the best part about keeping a log book is having a record book for the memories. You can see where you were at in the previous training cycles and reassure yourself that you’ve made it through the same struggles before. It also shows the progress you’ve made along the way. It’s interesting to see how you went from 5 miles to 20 or got to your new max out on the bench.
Tracking your workouts sounds obvious but it’s something I don’t think enough people do. Too often we get stuck in a rut of doing the same thing and just getting by. Something as simple as taking an extra 5 minutes during or after your workout will help to pull you out of that rut and push you to a new limit you didn’t know existed.
I absolutely LOVE this advice! Thanks so much Mike for the great tip. Can’t wait to get mine going!
Your Trainer and Friend,
Cassie and Mike