Why You Should Start a Training Diary – Part 1

Why You Should Start a Training Diary – Part 1

Running is a very basic yet magical form of exercise – you simply put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you have covered a couple of miles.

Each week you will discover that you can run a little farther and perhaps a little faster than the previous week, hopefully, these 2 articles will help you achieve things that you never thought possible. The most important thing to do is to get out there and run and whilst this first step is important the real secret to getting fit and keeping fit is consistency. Running needs to become a habit, only by making this happen will you improve. It is inevitable that you will have good days and bad days but it is vital for you to find out what works for you:

  • The best time of day to
  • The right type of food to eat before and after a
  • Optimum amount of
  • Fitting your training into all your other work and family
  • Your actual training

You will only be able to find out what works for you and what does not, by writing everything down


1. Motivation.

You have all put together to-do lists on a regular basis I am sure and basked in the warm glow of seeing each task ticked off as you work through them. Well that is exactly the same feeling you get when you look at your training programme for the week/month and you gradually work your way through each session

2. Quantifiable.

The great thing about fitness is that it is quantifiable – it is tangible. Your weighing scales don’t lie nor does the stopwatch. Each week/month you should see a gradual increase in the distance you are covering and the time taken will decrease.

All you need to do is take a look back at your training diary and realize that you are going further and faster than you did a month ago.

3.   Review your schedule.

Unlike your to-do list, your training diary is a source of ongoing valuable information. By constantly reviewing your diary entries you will begin to see patterns emerging which will allow you to train more efficiently in the future. The mistakes that you will inevitably make will also emerge, thus ensuring that you do not make the same ones over and over again. All in all, it is probably one of the most important tools in your armoury when used correctly.

It is a wonderful feeling to see that you have followed a plan, perhaps tweaked it a little to suit your situation, then to be able to see your accomplishments written down in black and white what greater motivation is needed!


1. Write down what you did immediately after your workout

It is vitally important that your training diary becomes your friend. Make sure that you put it in a place where it is easily accessible, if you are going to the gym make sure that you take it with you. As soon as you have finished a workout make it a habit to write down exactly what you accomplished. If you do this right away it does not become a chore. There is nothing worse than trying to remember what you did 2 -3 days previously, this is a recipe for failure.

2. Write in detail.

At the very minimum, you should record the time you ran or how far (or both!) How long you worked out in the gym, how many sets/reps when weight training and also your weight and what you ate during the day. I know it seems rather a lot of information but you will soon reap the benefit as you discover what works for you and what does not.

3.   Use Training goals.

It is so important to set your self goals; small improvements that you wish to make either with your running or your weight. They must be achievable and they must be short term – this way you will be constantly motivated to get out there and exercise. You can write these down in the Room for improvement section of the diary.

4.   Don’t Cheat.

Never ever lie about your training! Write down exactly what you did even if it was not what was in your training programme but make sure that you write down WHY you did not do what was planned: Too tired? Too little time? All this information will help you develop a training programme that works for you.

Make a note of what and when you eat.

Whether or not you are exercising to lose weight it is always important to write down what you ate. As you know some foods have more energy than others and eating the correct food will have an impact on how you perform and how you feel. It will also help you to change your diet for the better and will inevitably lead to you finding your optimum weight.

We have included with the Training Diary 3 forms for you to fill in on a regular basis. These will be available for download at the end of part 2

  • Many people find that it helps to keep track whilst losing weight by keeping a record of what you eat and perhaps how you were feeling at the time which may help if you have overindulged or experienced a lapse in your new eating habits.
  • You may wish to record your weight and/or waist circumference measurements to see how you are progressing. You do not need to weigh yourself more than once a week.

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