So you want to start your training log, but you don’t know where to start. The good news is that this is totally up to you! You need to choose the type of log that you will actually use. It doesn’t matter how fancy it is if you don’t put any information in it.
Some people like high tech journals, and some people like $1 notebooks. Here are three types of journals for just about anyone!
1. Paper Notebook
This is the most basic of all. Grab a notebook from the dollar store and start writing what you did each day. Simple as that! There are some others that are a little more fancy, like the Triathlete’s Training Diary or the Believe log book. Those have specific lines and categories of stuff you can write down.
I think I’m actually going to give the Triathlete’s Training Diary a go next season just to see how well it fits my work flow. The one thing about pre-formatted books like that is they are pre-formatted. They might have spaces, line, pages, or even whole sections you don’t ever use. But if paper is your thing… give it a go! It’s nice to not have to think of the formatting yourself.
The calendar is another way to think of your training log. Any log is going to have to have dates so you know when you did what, but a calendar based log is right there in your calendar. This could be a paper calendar that you simply write in each day space, or an electronic calendar that you add your info to. I could see this working well with already existing calendars like Google calendar or Apple’s iCalendar since you can keep your personal and work calendars and just create another section for training.
3. Electronic Database
The electronic databases out there are getting all the attention nowadays. Things like TrainingPeaks, GoldenCheetah, or SportTracks do an awesome job tracking all the work you do. Simply upload from your GPS device of choice and most of the workout info is all there. Just add some notes and you’re good to go.
The thing with a database like this is, again, you can get bogged down with the extra spaces and forms that are unnecessary. The positive side is that all your info is there and you can already see great charts and graphs showing your progress. My favorite part is how easy it is to go back and see specifics in the past, even without the search function!
Most people with a GPS device already have some type of database like Garmin Connect. Most of us also sync that data to a social service like MapMyRide or Strava. Those can be good too, but not quite as robust as things like TrainingPeaks. I would even say Garmin Connect would be a better platform for a training log than Strava.
The obvious downside here is cost. To get all the features, you have to pay (except GoldenCheetah). You can use the free versions for basic use (I use the free TrainingPeaks,) but to get all the fancy charts and graphs and planning functions, you’re going to need a premium account.
So there are the 3 types of training logs. I hope one of those stuck out to you as a good option. If not, comment below or on twitter and we can chat! Now go out there and start keeping a log! Don’t worry about what info you out in there, we’ll cover that on Tuesday! (Now would be a good time to subscribe so you get that info right in your inbox as soon as I post it!)