Why You Should Start a Training Diary – Part 2

Why You Should Start a Training Diary – Part 2

3. Creating Your Workout Plan

Why Exercise?

    • You will be healthier
    • You will look better
    • You will be less Stressed
    • You will have fun!

Setting your fitness goals.


Goal-setting is a simple, yet often misused, motivational technique which can provide some structure for your training and competition programme. Your goals must be realistic and attainable!

Your goals should be two fold: short term and long term. For instance, your long term goal may be to run the London or New York Marathon but before you can do that you need to set short term goals such as improving your 5k time or running your first Half Marathon

Goals give a focus, and there are two well-known acronyms to guide goal- setting:


S – goals must be Specific

M – training targets should be Measurable A – goals should be Adjustable

R – goals must be Realistic

T – training targets should be Time-based

E – goals should be challenging and Exciting R – goals should be Recorded.


S – goals must be Specific

C – within the Control of the athlete

C – goals are Challenging

A – goals must be Attainable

M – training targets should be Measurable P – goals are Personal.

The basic principles of fitness training are summed up in the acronym FITT.

FITT principles

F Frequency – How often?

I Intensity – How hard?

T Time – How long? T – Type – the type of training (strength, endurance etc).

Finding the time.

I’m too busy – the worlds number 1 excuse for not exercising! The first thing that has to be done is to make it a priority and make it become a habit – like getting dressed in the morning. To do this you will have to change a few things in your busy life:

  • Get your training session done as early as possible. I know from experience that once the day starts rolling it is extremely difficult to get off the treadmill!
  • Exercising can be added onto another daily activity, for instance my partner walks the children to school and then runs the “long way” home. If it is too far to walk to school then drive, leave your car at the school go for a run and then drive back home – there are ways!
  • Family and friends become an important part of your new lifestyle. Elicit their help with chores, explain to them what you are trying    to achieve and ask for their encouragement – make them feel part of
  • Organise a group of like minded women to go running with. It is so much easier if there are 2 or more of you – the pain doesn’t seem  so bad, you encourage one another, you have a laugh and you become “Team”

Doctors check up.

Before commencing an exercise programme it is always wise to go for a check up. The odds are that there is absolutely nothing wrong with you but on the rare occasion that there might be it is much better to find out before you launch yourself into your training programme.

Designing Your Workout Schedule.

  1. Eliminates last minute decision

There is nothing more demotivating than standing there in your running shoes wondering where to go and what to do! You have to have a plan, you need to be able to look at what you have done previously and what is laying ahead of you so that you can just get on with it.

2. Balance rest and recovery.

Having a plan means that you balance rest and recovery and every session has a specific purpose to help you achieve your fitness goals. Remember: in a good training programme rest is just as valuable as the actual training session itself.

3.   Build smart plan.

By building a smart plan you will become stronger, fitter and faster. And a by- product could mean you finding your optimum weight and your clothes fitting you comfortably once again.

4.   Determine how many days.

The first thing you need to do is to determine how many days a week you are going to train. Beginners usually start with three. This means that you are alternating a workout day with a rest day to begin with which will allow your body to adapt to the extra stress you are putting on it. It will also allow you time to get used to your new regime and the changes that inevitably have to take place.

5.   Measuring your fitness

One of the most important things you will need is good fitness measuring tools. By this I mean some way of measuring your improvement (or otherwise!) this training log is just one of those tools.

In the beginning, I am a great believer in telling the athlete to listen to what her body is telling him/her, you should be running at a pace that will enable you to carry on a conversation. When you have reached a good base level of fitness then it is time to start looking at a watch with stopwatch function and a heart rate monitor.


  1. Weekly Training Diary
  2. Food Diary
  3. Progress Chart

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