Logging for success

Keeping a training log is a key to your success. While most journals track memories or accomplishments, a training log goes a step further by providing a record to look back on, learn from and make corrections or improvements to your future training programs.

A training log can be an asset for avoiding injury or setbacks in your training. It is a tool to improve your performance. It also tracks your training as you progress toward your goals.

Types of training logs

There are many types of training logs including online and handwritten logbooks. Even if it's just a spiral notebook, find one that works for you and in a format that you will use consistently.

For a fee, many online logs supply extra options including the ability to download data from heart rate monitors, power meters, bike computers and even GPS receivers that log training routes including speed, distance and pace. Check the online training log at http://www.trainingpeaks.com/traininglog.asp

What to record

Training logs should include:

  • Run, bike, swim, strength and other sports data including distance, pace and total training time
  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions, temperature, wind conditions, humidity
  • Heart rate training zones
  • Weight
  • Health data including hours of sleep, amount of stress, soreness, fatigue (scale of 1-5, 1=low, 5=high)
  • Resting heart rate (before getting out of bed in the morning)
  • Race results
  • General feelings and comments on training swims, runs or rides
  • Intensity of workout, perceived rate of exertion (scale of 1-10, 1=easy, 10=extremely hard)
  • Possible injuries, aches or pains

Gary Bredehoft is owner of Tiger Coaching and Personal Training in Lincoln, Neb. He is a certified ACE personal trainer, USA Triathlon certified Expect Level coach, Ultrafit Associate certified coach, Road Runners Club of America and ASEP certified coach. Gary is a graduate of the University of Nebraska, where he was a past volunteer assistant coach for the cross country and track teams.

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