Runner’s Log: Tracking Your Progress

Truth is, gentle readers, that I’m kind of a nerd.

I always have been and I always will be. Embracing this about myself was almost as life-changing an event as the day that I discovered glitter, or the first time I heard Taylor Swift. I like reading, and researching, and making charts, and getting way too excited and thinking way too deeply about things that most people find a little bizarre, (extra nerd points if they also think it’s uncool).

JK has realized all of this about me. And she’s using it against me!

This week my dear (and very sneaky) trainer presented me with… books! One is a runner’s guide, and the second is a runner’s training log. Facts and tips! Charts to fill out! Let’s just say, I’m in heaven (and feeling a little bit conflicted about feeling this happy about something when I promised you last week that I’d whine). All she needs to do now is buy me some sparkly stickers for the chart and I’ll basically be completely powerless against her.

The running log really is pretty cool, perhaps even from a non-nerd perspective. It has space for all the things you’d expect like the date, the distance of the run, and how long the run took. But it also allows you to note what course you ran, and gives you space to take notes on your heart rate, the weather, the temperature, and your mood.

The mood thing might seem a little weird at first, but the more I thought about, the more I realized what an interesting marker of growing fitness it actually was. I can honestly say that I can get through runs now with a smile on my face that probably would have had me needing an oxygen mask or a defibrillator two months ago. Imagine being able to open your running journal and see that a few pages back, a six mile run left you feeling drained, achy, and grumpy… but now you can finish an eight mile run feeling like a rock star! That’s a measurement of success that a person might miss, if they hadn’t been prompted to think about it over the course of time.

The tracker can also be useful for those of us who, well, can have a bit of a problem with accountability. (No judgment here. Let’s not forget that I’m the girl who started a blog so she wouldn’t wimp out on her commitment to run a half-marathon.)

Sometimes it is helpful to plan your workouts for the week out in advance and, if they’re already in your shiny tracker, it can be harder to let them slide. It’s also easier to make sure the workout goals you’re setting for yourself are reasonable when they’re written out in front of you. Are you sure you’re not going too easy on yourself? What about taking on too much? You don’t want to do either.

Plus, this particular tracker also includes inspirational running quotes that range from actually helpful to ridiculously cliché. Either way, I end up with either some good advice or a good laugh. I highly suggest you find a training log with this feature. Mine is from Runner’s World.

So, since I’m all about tracking progress now, I’m going to throw a few stats about my running at you. Maybe I’ll even update them each week so you can track how I’m doing based on things a little more objective than how grumpy I am!

Countdown to Half-Marathon: 75 days. (Okay, wow, I hadn’t actually realized that and I might have to go hyperventilate now.)
Mood: Well, anxious now.
Longest Distance Run: 5 miles.
Number of Workouts Last Week: 5 (three running, one spinning, one tennis).
Goal for This Week: Six mile run!

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 Jennifer Packard
Jennifer Packard

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Terry Hall

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