Why & How To Keep a Running Journal

runner using workout journal

Want to start keeping a running journal, but don’t know where or how to start?

Then you’re in the right place.

For many years, I chose to not keep a running journal for purely laziness reasons.

Once I got over myself and started keeping track of my runs, my training routine experience evolved drastically.

I’d go as far as to claim that a running diary should not be optional.


Because it can be a great tool to help you grow as a runner and fitness enthusiast.

Here’s the good news.

Keeping a running diary is no rocket science.

It doesn’t have to be complicated if once you learn how to do it the right, a simple, way.

In today’s post, I’m going to spill the beans on how to keep a workout journal the right way.

Are you excited?

Then here we go.

why keep a running journal

Why & How To Keep a Running Journal 

A running log, journal, or diary, is a record where you can keep tabs on your runs, races, injuries, diet and pretty much anything else training-related.

It’s, in essence, a written record of observations, suggestions, experiences, and events.

If you don’t already use a training log to monitor your running, here are five good reasons to start today.

Know Your Goals

A running journal is an ideal place for tracking your running goals and keeping them in sight.

Further, by monitoring your training goals, you’ll make sure you’re not increasing mileage too slowly or too quickly.

This can help you find the sweet training spot in which you’re challenging yourself without hurting yourself.

Monitor Your Progress

A training log can be your best tool for reference.

It can help you monitor your progress as you move through your running program, allowing you to look back over a detailed record of your running history.

Monitor Injuries

By keeping track of aches and pains, you’d be able to pinpoint the onset of an injury, find the causes and prevent serious ramifications.

After all, overuse running injuries do not happen overnight.

In fact, every injury comes with a list of warning signs.

You just have to be able to listen and re-adjust accordingly.

Boost Your Performance

Assessing your training diary on a regular basis can help you determine which workout and diet approaches have been most effective at improving your running performance.

This, in turn, can help make the right training decision for both the short and long term.

Hold You Accountable

Think of your training journal as a contract between yourself and it.

A written pledge to do what it takes to get the job done—no matter what the circumstance.

Less Confusion

A good workout journal helps take the guesswork out of your training because everything you do has a purpose—or at least it should.

Your training becomes focused, result-driven, and conscious.

Keep Track.

A workout diary is a great place for tracking your fitness goals and keeping them in sight.

Just remember to write down your specific goals, like when you want to be able to run 10k under one hour or the number of intervals you want to perform, then check to see how long it takes you to achieve them.

Monitor Injuries

By keeping track of aches and pains, you’d be able to pinpoint the onset of an injury, find the causes and prevent serious ramifications.

Helps you Find weaknesses

A good workout journal provides with a plan to chip away at your weaknesses.

Whether you spend more time doing long runs to boost endurance or power up with interval sprints to increase your speed, you name it!

Choosing The Format Of A Running Journal

Hopefully, by now, I’ve sold you on running journals.

So, what kind of workout log should you use?

When it comes to the format of your running log, there are many options to consider.

These include notebooks, a standard bound training journal, an app, an online training log, a vlog, or just loose scraps of paper.

With that all being said, there is no right or wrong way to keep a running journal.

As long as it’s delivering, you’re good to go.

The Easy Way

I suggest that you opt for the one that’s most convenient and most appealing to you.

It can be as simple as a notation in a notebook or calendar.

As a result, I recommend that you get started by purchasing an ordinary paper diary.

I personally love the blank cardboard notebooks from Molesky as since they are so simple to use and portable.

Digital Tracking

Are you a technically inclined runner? Then use technical tools.

These savvy tools are designed to make it easy for you to monitor your daily workout and calorie intake, providing you with a lot of tools and helpful resources—something that cannot be found in a standard paper workout journal.

Microsoft Word. Use a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheet.

Or a simple text editor on your desktop computer as your running log.

Use an app. Like MyFitnessPal or FitDay.

Go online. Join a website or forum.

Examples include  DailyMile.com and MapMyRun.com.

Start blogging. Create your own blog, or vlog, to keep up with your running and fitness results.

As you can see, you have so many choices to pick from.

Just whatever you choose.

So, find the method that works the best for you, and keep doing it day after day, week after week, month after, etc.

You get it.

runner using workout journal

What to Log? The Main Running Data to Monitor

Once you choose the format, the next thing you need to consider is what to log—what information to write down and keep track of.

A good training log can record virtually anything you find relevant to your running routine.

Here are a few of the details to include:

  • Prescribed run, and actual run completed
  • Average pace.
  • Time and date of your run
  • Average running speed (using an app).
  • Record aches and pains. This can help prevent injury shortly.
  • For speedwork sessions, record your distance and splits.
  • Your running route.
  • Your pre- and post-run foods and drinks, and if possible, the night before.
  • Your heart rate.
  • Pre-run dynamic warm-up moves and post-run stretches.
  • Running shoes. Noting your shoe purchase date, miles, and which shoes you wear in each session.
  • Your short and long-term goals
  • Statistics related to your cross-training exercises, especially resistance training.
  • Virtually anything else or additional information you find important about your running program.

The Minimum to Keep Track of

If this feels too much, then don’t feel overwhelmed.

At a bare minimum, especially if you’re crunched for time, there are just a few essential types of information you need to record.

Most recreational runners start by recording their distances, times, and little else.

Therefore, a running log entry could be as simple as “3 miles (30:41).”

Also, make sure to estimate your average pace per mile by time rather than by distance.

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.


  1. I’ve been writing for close to 3 years and have experienced first hand the benefits writing and reflecting has brought me. Especially writing about how the training went, what I did well, did poorly, and what I learned aside from just noting the straight pace, distance, elevation, etc. numbers. It’s also been really helpful with tracking nagging injuries as well to make sure I never over-pushed on my way back from recovery that’s so common. I recently created and released an app that has all the features and prompts needed to write about your training, racing, life, and goals to make it easier to start a journaling habit and to share the benefits with as many other runners as possible. To start your own journal, you can take a look here for Android and iOS https://endurancejournal.space/


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here