1. Get motivated.
Start with a goal. Choose a race, put it on the calendar and start working toward it with a strategic training plan. A good training log gives you a place to plan ahead, log your progress and look back at prior training. Not everything will go according to your plan, but it is important to have one as a guide. Research shows that simply writing down your goals makes you more likely to pursue and accomplish them. Sharing them with others increases the likelihood of success, too, so create your plan with the help of a coach, a training group, a book or an online program.
Can social media make you a faster runner? Many runners gain motivation when they see other runners’ workouts and know that theirs will be seen as well. If you log workouts on a social network like Strava or Garmin Connect, other runners will see where you went and how fast. Use resources like these to get yourself out the door when the weather is bad or when you need extra incentive to get started.
2. Monitor progress.
As you watch the distance add up in your log, you’ll build confidence and improve your memory of what you have accomplished. You’ll want to include information like completed distance, time, pace, and any weight training, cross-training or rest days. Keep a running tally of the miles or minutes for each week. This makes it easy to see training load at a glance. Aside from the hard data, the most important addition is to take notes. These can be simple statements about how you felt, including energy levels and any aches and pains. Your notes allow you to track your training load and make appropriate changes as needed.