When you return from a run, do you check your fitness tracker for your stats? Do you crave structure and planning when training for a race? If you are someone who likes to see data, track progress and stay on top of your fitness, a running diary may be for you.
The team at Race At Your Pace have put together this useful guide to running diaries and the benefits they provide.
What is a Running Diary?
A running diary is a very basic concept that helps runners stay motivated and on-track to achieving their goals. As the name suggests, it essentially a diary or method in which you log your runs or workouts.
Most commonly, a physical diary is used and runs are written down. The information noted can be as simple as the days your exercised on, or information about duration and milage. Additional useful information to note can be food, moods, sleep and other fitness information, or factors that affected your exercise, such as the weather.
You can record your exercise however works best for you; some may like traditional pen and paper where others prefer an excel spreadsheet. Either way, a running diary is more about the principle, of recording exercise and tracking progress in goals.
Of course, running diaries don’t have to just be for running, and can be used for recording miles walked, steps done, laps swam, or km cycled.
A fitness diary is a great way to become more aware of your activity, your abilities and holistic wellbeing. The possibilities for your diary extend beyond an exercise log, read on to find out how!
Benefits of Keeping a Running Diary
If you are training for a race or marathon, having a running diary could be very useful to map out a training plan. Create weekly plans then tick them off once done to ensure you train consistently and don’t overtrain. By planning for the longer term you create structure and stability, helping you to successfully achieve your goals!
Whatever goal you are aiming for, a running diary can help. If aiming for weight loss through increased exercise, jot down your weight each week. Or, if aiming to increase milage, make sure milage is recorded. It may not happen instantly, but these numbers will change over time, and by tracking them you will be become aware of what is and isn’t working.
Not sure how to start with creating goals? Try a monthly challenge or set a short term goal and carry on from there.
It’s really important to talk (or write) about feelings. By writing down your moods at particular times in your running diary, you may start to recognise and confront negative emotions. Exercise can have many benefits on mental health, so your running diary may show you have more positive moods on days you exercise.
Flicking through your running diary could be a great reflection exercise, highlighting your progress and dedication over time. If you need some motivation, or want evidence that your fitness is changing, your running diary can provide just that.
If you do monthly challenges, such as Race At Your Pace, your running diary acts as a simple way to record miles to send off as evidence! Not sure what counts as evidence for monthly challenges? Check out our useful race evidence guide.
When recording exercise in your running diary, you may spot patterns you never knew about. For example, do you run slower on Mondays? Or struggle to increase milage after an active week before? By recording exercise, you will be able to maximise the effectiveness of your workouts.
If you get into the habit of filling in your running diary daily or following runs, it may become habit. Not only will your diary keep you motivated, it may help you stay accountable. If you plan workouts you may feel more compelled to do them. Similarly, if you exercise sporadically and see a large gap in entries, you may get motivated to work out.
Get started with Race At Your Pace
At Race At Your Pace, we encourage everyone to get out and exercise how and when suits them, offering monthly challenges. Our participants run, walk, swim, cycle or step throughout the month, achieving their mile goal and receiving a shiny medal at the end!
Running diaries work well with our challenges, allowing you to plan your monthly exercise to ensure you complete your miles in time, as well as showcasing your amazing workouts. Also, your running diary can be used as evidence!
Want to take on a new challenge? Choose from a large range of distances and race at your pace to complete it within a month.
Sign up today!