Keeping a Record

Keeping a Record

New Year. New fitness resolution. New running log to record all those miles.

I love all those pages waiting to be filled with information about training, races and fun runs with friends.

I suppose there are people who can go out for a run, feel good about it, then go on with their day without ever recording those miles in written form anywhere. I’m not one of those people.

I keep a running log, and I’ve done so for years. I feel compelled to record all my runs, and there are certain kinds of information I always include – distance, time of day and route.

While I’m particular about recording the approximate distance I’ve run - I don’t wear a GPS so the mileage is not exact, just a pretty close estimate – I never record the time for a run unless it was a race.

I keep track of my weekly mileage, but I never keep a running total to know how many miles I’ve run in a year.

For my friend Keith Nachtigall, though, a running log is a way to gauge how he’s doing on meeting his yearly mileage goal, and whether he’s ahead of or behind schedule. His goal for the past few years has been 520 miles, or an average of 10 miles per week.

He records his miles in his log as soon as he gets home from a run.

“I don’t know if it’s really benefited me, but it’s a habit I have to do,” Nachtigall said.

He also records the time of day he runs, the route, the total time for the run and the average pace per mile. Sometimes he includes information about the weather or general comments about how he felt. He’ll occasionally look back at last year’s log, to compare how he’s running now to his past runs.

He also uses his log to record the mileage for each of the two pairs of running shoes he runs in.

All logs have a place for recording the distance run and route each day, plus room for notes.

I used a Runner’s World log for 2010, which includes training or nutrition tips and running quotes each week, and pages in the back for recording information about running shoes, race performances and favorite runs.

I bought it at a bookstore, but you can also order a simple running log for $2 from the Runner’s World website.

For 2011, I’ve got a running log by Marty Jerome, which has an essay on a particular topic at the start of each month, a weekly tip, and pages in the back to graph your weekly mileage and record your races.

Keith and I are both low-tech in that we write down our entries on paper. You can also keep track of your runs online, with systems like Garmin or Nike+, that record your distance, pace, route, etc.

Do you keep a record of your workouts, and if so, what type of log do you use?

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urbana1234 wrote on January 01, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I have a calendar that my wife got me in September last year that has fields for distance, time, time/mile and notes. I use this along with dailymile.com. My workouts and runs are routine at this stage, so it is easy for me to do my workout and run, then log them when I am finished without even thinking. I like the paper route. :)

Jodi Heckel wrote on January 01, 2011 at 7:01 pm
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I've never tried dailymile or any of the online logs. I may in the future but, like you, I prefer the paper logs right now. I'm not sure I want that extra step of logging in.