Whether you aspire to compete in the Olympic marathon or complete three short runs per week, keeping a running log can help you organize your workouts and focus on your goals. Writing down information about your runs will also track your improvement over time. A well-organized running log provides an overview of what works best and helps you plan future workouts and goals.
Buy a sturdy, thick notebook or blank book to use as your running log. Consider using a calendar book if you are a daily runner. Get a durable book because you will be using it over a long period and will want to refer to it even after you are on to the next logbook.
Enter the basic information about each run when you complete it. Write down how far you ran, the amount of time it took and the route. Note how you felt during the run. Write as much secondary information as you like, such as weather conditions, time of day, how you slept, speed or tempo of the run and level of effort required.
Add narrative information. Competitive runners may want to note the purpose of the workout, pace per mile and how the run compared to similar workouts. Runners training with intervals will want to note the quantity of repeated runs and the time of the faster and slower paces. For example, for a workout of five repeats of a half-mile run, the runner records the time for each repeat as well as the time for rest intervals.
Align your running log entries with a training plan. You can write out specific goals and use them as a guide. For example, a runner may train for a 10-kilometer race using a four-month plan. The runner may plan two months of long, slow runs, slowly increasing the length of the runs as fitness builds. He can follow this period with a month of mixing long runs with race-tempo runs. The last month of the plan may include two weeks of intensive race-tempo runs followed by two weeks of long runs and rest before the race. Review your running log after executing the training plan to evaluate its success.
Detail your goals regarding races. Write down your goal regarding time or place, or simply finishing. Create a plan for the race, such as starting slowly, establishing a rhythm and finishing fast if possible. After the race, take note of the time, place, pace per mile and details of the event. Record how you felt during the race, whether you executed your race pace well and if you met your goal.
You can also use a running log to track injuries and recuperation.
You may want to note which running shoes you wore for specific runs.