Writing it Down!

With the new year comes the excitement of creating new goals, mantras, and intentions.  I love nothing better than looking at what I want to accomplish in the coming year and making plans to achieve those goals.  One of the other exciting things about starting a new year is choosing and starting a new running journal!

When I started running, I wanted a way to keep up with my running information.  I began logging all my miles and stats online using Dailymile.  After a few years, I realized that I wanted to add a bit more information to my posts without sharing too much info online and thought a pen and paper journal would help.  I’ve been using both since then!  Why use both methods?  Well, I use them in totally different ways.  If you are new to journal writing or considering logging your runs in 2015, here are some of the benefits and disadvantages which include ways I use the two. journalpic

Pen and Paper Journals

Benefits to me:

  • Privacy.  I tend to write more personal information regarding goals, how I was feeling, celebrations, doubts, etc in my own personal journal.  It’s a chance for me to just write freely about how I’m feeling.  I tend to write more emotionally based reports of my runs vs the numbers.
  • Planning.  I write out my weekly workouts in my journal ahead of time.  I find that if I write it down, it sticks better.  I also like to return to my journal and find that I wrote down “3 miles” and ran 4 because I felt great!  It can also become motivation when I’m short miles for the week to get them in somewhere else.
  • Reviewing.  I like to go back and look at my progress from the year.  I like to read how I felt after certain races.  The details I include in my journal give me the real look at how I was feeling that day.  It’s my own highlight reel of all my runs and races!

Disadvantages for me:

  • Size/Portability I’ve run plenty of races and left my journal behind.  So I find that writing details days later may not always be right or have changed as time as gone by.  It’s not the easiest thing to throw in my purse or my bag.
  • Too much “me” The running community is so encouraging and embraces every one of every level.  I would miss seeing other people’s successes and cheering them on if I stuck to just my own personal journal.  After awhile just logging all that personal stuff can become too much “me”.

Online Journal

Benefits to me:

  • Keeping up with stats.  I love the ease of adding in a run online and having the site keep up with my total miles run weekly, monthly and yearly.  I have set mileage goals to run for the year and there’s no way I’d keep up it as well on paper.  It’s easy to access whenever I need it!
  • Facts I tend to write more number facts online (pace, overall time, mileage, heart rate) and give a short sentence about how I thought my run went. I write my paces per mile for speed work.  It’s a quick way to look at it and to see progress week to week when I’m training.  Not much of what I share has to do with anything emotional.
  • Availability I can log a run just about any where and any time.  There’s no lag time between completing a run or a race.  I can log on and add in my info right then and there.  Most websites also have apps too!
  • Support and Camaraderie Both sites I use allow you to share run and race information with friends.  I love seeing other people’s runs and races, commenting on their successes and giving support when something might go wrong.  It’s great to feel included and to feel the same support back from other runners.

Disadvantages for me:

  • Comparison You have to be okay with where you are at to be online.  You may have friends who run faster than you.  You may have friends who can PR just about every race.  You may have friends who never have a bad running day.  Online journals are going to have all of that included in the posts.
  • It’s one more thing With all the social media outlets, logging runs and keeping up with them online might become just one more thing.  Think of it as a way to just keep data vs writing a running “status” daily. 
  • Backlash When I first started running, I wanted everyone to know I ran. I’d log onto Daily Mile and hit that share button to Facebook every time.  They make it so easy to share everything!  After a few months of doing that, I’m pretty sure I annoyed everyone in my friend list and became one of “those” people on their Newsfeed.  Now, thankfully, I leave my running stats on Dailymile and just post a few (mostly on the weekends) “I ran” status updates.  I also choose to post most of my running stat info to Twitter vs Facebook.

Do you journal your runs?  Which method do you use: pen and paper or online?  Or both?

If you are thinking you might want to journal about your running in 2015, here is something to get you started. It has some great suggestions on how to even begin!

Check out other awesome fitness posts for the Fit Dish Linkup and become part of the #fitfam by heading over to Jill Conyers at JillConyers.com, & Jessica Joy at TheFitSwitch.org.

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17 thoughts on “Writing it Down!

  1. Hey!!!! Happy Holidays!! I love this topic!! It’s a great one!! I used to use an online method, but now I’ve decided to start using pen and paper for 2015!! I definitely want complete privacy!! Have a fabulous week!! XOXO

  2. Melanie, thanks for the pros and cons of documenting running goals. I am wanting to do this the start of the year as I have 3 half marathons on the plate already planned. I think my facebook friends get annoyed with all my running updates also LOL. I am hoping to stay faithful to pen and paper and updating via social media every so often. Looking forward to following you along this year:)

  3. Awesome post! I just bought the believe training journal for write it out. I used Daily mile in the past, but it became just one more thing like you said. I log most of my runs on instagram, feels good to get the virtual cheers!

  4. Those are definitely all valid considerations! I used to keep both paper and online journals on my life and eventually moved to exclusively online because of the time factor (I can type way faster than I can write). My workout journal still remains on paper though, because I’m a fairly private person and like to not broadcast what I’m doing to the world. (I also mostly just lift weights, so logging it would be rather different! 😛 )

    Best of luck to you in the upcoming year! :]

  5. I’m so glad you posted this. I’d love to chat. Do you mind?

    I’m going to keep a training journal in 2015. Old fashion paper and pencil. I’m also logging the miles online. I like the stats and data. I’m going to try both and with keeping it simple I’m hoping it doesn’t begin to feel just like “one more thing” on the to-do list.

    Keep us updated on how it’s working out for you!


    • I’d love to chat!!

      I found that having the app for Dailymile helps a lot. I just quickly add in my run from my phone when I finish. I clear my Garmin out once a week to their site. I have the old school version of the watch so no bluetooth only usb.

      Hope you enjoy keeping a journal as much as I do!

  6. I really love writing, and I have a planner for my half marathon training but sometimes I like to break away from the PLANNING and just do what I feel. I love journaling when I’ve had a rough day, it helps to analyze the big picture and put things in perspective. I used to use DailyMile but I also feel it’s just one more thing to remember to do.. I do enjoy “bragging” a bit on social media when I broke a new distance record. It feels good, what can I say. haha
    Writing things down or keeping track of miles is great, but sometimes it’s nice to just live every day as it comes and do what you feel to do in the moment. 🙂

  7. I used daily Mile and loved the statistics, but as you said, just one ore thing you do after run. Plus, sometimes I feel I over share, so I started my own easy excel sheet and keep track of my mileage. I’m an engineer and love to see the numbers at the end of the month/year.

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