25 February 2013

Dear Diary.....

Last night I was having an email discussion with my coach about my (stupid) right quad and when things started going South.  I sat and thought and thought and thought, then I remembered my training journal!  I've always kept track of workouts in some way, sometimes haphazardly or inconsistently but this year is a bit different.  For Christmas I asked for this amazing training journal! I've been using it since the year began and I write a bit more about the workouts and rest days. How I felt before, during and after and if I went to the chiro or had a massage and if I'm cross-training and keeping my promise to stretch every day. It has helped my training a ton and I'm able to have a bigger picture of what I'm doing, how I'm doing, what works and what doesn't.

If you don't have a physical journal to track all this stuff I'd suggest you get one! It doesn't have to be anything fancy if you don't want it to be but a training journal does a few wonderful things, in addition to tracking workouts and mileage.  First, you can see patterns in your training and overall wellness.  You can track things like weight or measurements, heart rate and your cycle, for the female athletes out there.  A little note each day about your overall wellness such as "tired legs!" or "feeling stuffy" or "quick legs!" helps when you go back to look at what you've been spending your time doing.  Maybe you don't realize that those hill repeats are really taxing your system and leaving your legs spent, but when you take a look back at your comment about the days following a tough workout you'll pick up on the subtleties that you might otherwise miss. This leads to the next important reason, recovery! This is something that I struggle with on many levels. Just like nutrition, especially race day nutrition, is something that takes some figuring out and practice so does recovery.  By looking at the wellness updates and subsequent run performance you can see how well your current recovery plan is working.

My favorite reason to have a training journal is to see how you are evolving!!! It can be extremely rewarding to look back over past runs and see the mileage increase or the pace decrease.  It is especially helpful when you've hit a plateau or just barely missed that PR.  Taking a look back at all you've achieved over the past weeks, months and years can be just thing to make that frustration not feel so important and encourage you to keep moving forward! This record can also help encourage goals.  By looking at where you've been you can more easily set realistic goals about training and racing and where you hope to go.  The journal I have encourages you to set a monthly goal and record how you think you are going to accomplish it.  It also has a section for long term goals.  It is one thing to sit and dream and set a goal but the journal holds you accountable and asks you to think abut how you plan to get there which is a wonderful way to begin your work!

Here's what I did last week:

2/18 - rest; not feeling well
2/19 - 45:02 3.38 mi 13:20/mi ECP mixed trail and pavement; stretched am and pm
2/20 - 1:20:58 5.21 mi 15:32/mi NCR mixed; stretched 
2/21 - rest
2/22 - 46:08 2.87 mi 16:06/mi ECP - 8 downhill repeats sore quad
2/23 - 2hrs core and yoga workshop
2/24 - 48:04 3.34 mi 14:24/mi chagrin river park gravel; sore quad; massage; stretched; motrin and ice

Total miles: 14.8 

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