Training Tip: Keep a Training Log

How tracking your progress can help you go farther as you train.

By Alyssa Shaffer
keeping a training schedule picture

Plan developed by Mindy Solkin, owner and head coach of The Running Center in New York City.

Whether it’s in a picturesque calendar filled with inspirational quotations, your handy BlackBerry, or just a plain ol’ spiral notebook, make an effort to record your workouts. At a minimum, write down the miles you ran (or walked/ran), how long it took you, and how your run felt ("easy," "hard," etc.). If you’re into details, you can also include things like the weather, the route you took, what you wore, or whether you felt any aches or pains. If you wear a heart-rate monitor, record your average and max heart rate for your run.

There are a few reasons why recording your workouts can be so important. Perhaps the biggest is the reward factor: "As you progress in your training, seeing how far you’ve come from those early miles will give you a huge sense of accomplishment," says Solkin. In addition, noting any early aches and pains will help you pinpoint possible injuries if they do crop up. Be sure to also write down your weekly mileage, which will help you keep track of how many miles you’ve put on your shoes and tell you when it’s time to get a new pair (usually, starting at about 350 miles).

Next Training Tip: Coping With Injury

Originally published on, January 2009.

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