I recently read an article about why runners might NOT want to keep a log. The issue had to do with runners pushing ourselves to meet certain mileage or speed goals when out bodies were telling us to back off. I'll admit I am completely guilty of running an extra mile or three to hit a nice round number at the end of the week or month.
But here is my argument in favor of training logs: they remind us how far we've come and what we have actually achieved. The month of March is a fine example for me. I've been logging my miles at dailymile.com for a couple of years, but this year I also started keeping a paper calendar for each month, just writing down the distance and pace of each run, a monthly goal, and a monthly recap. I update the paper calendar a few times per month.
I ran a half marathon on March 29. It was a blast of a race, which was my #1 goal. However, I also made some stupid fueling and pacing errors that left me feeling pretty beat up and disappointed in myself. When I have been thinking back on the month of March, that race has been the first thing to come to mind, and I have been feeling like March was a month of lost fitness.
However, I pulled out my March calendar today and entered about half a month of running. Total mileage was 105 -- that's more than I ran in February. My goals had been a 5k PR and a half-marathon PR. I may not have run a half-marathon PR, but I ran two strong 5ks, including a 23:57 PR in which I was also the 2nd place overall female and 1st place masters female. I ran a beautiful 5-miler on the beach while my kids were on Spring Break. I ran another beautiful 5-miler the day after my half-marathon, which was my 41st birthday. I finished the month at our Monday night run group, accompanying two fun-loving little girls for two miles. March was actually pretty awesome for running.
April goals -- now this is going to be fun! No mileage goals. No pace goals. My goals are to run at least one trail run, run at least three double-digit runs, and strength-train at least four times. Totally do-able.