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What are the benefits to starting a training log & what makes a good training log?

  • 19-12-2021 11:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,501 ✭✭✭

    As someone who has a training log & reads a lot of other peoples training logs I was just wondering what people think are the benefits to starting a log? Also what makes a log worth reading?

    We all write differently, some like lots of details & not always running related but involving other aspects of their life because they feel all that ties into their running ultimately. We all have busy lives & try to fit our running in around our families, work life & other commitments.

    Others like to keep it less personal, explaining exactly what they did just in running terms. To me no way is right or wrong, I think a log is a personal thing but was wondering what others think? What draws you to read one log over another?

    The benefits for me have been mainly positive. My log holds me accountable for my training especially when it comes to races & staying disciplined to a training block. I also found the knowledge & support on here to be really great when it came to doing my 1st Marathon & thankfully any subsequent races. Just for someone new starting a log what benefits would people feel they have gotten from their log?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,834 ✭✭✭OOnegative

    The benefits are what the logger/poster takes out of it, I started my “first” log as a naive idiot to be honest. I look back at my first few posts in my original log and I seriously sound like a tool!!!

    This forum can seriously teach you something, for me a great training log is something like TbL’s or Laineyfrecks. Reality with a bit of comedy, but with decent training.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,381 ✭✭✭Sunny Dayz

    That's a good thread to start up!

    While my log has been poorly neglected over the past year, when I was posting regularly I found it really helpful to me. It helped me reflect on my run / training / race and to get my thoughts out, if I had any. Looking back on my strava will only tell me so much, if I'm logging it here, I might mention I was tired, it was raining, etc. Sometimes if I want a bit of motivation I'll go back and read some of my earlier log entries to see how far I've (hopefully) come along. Also if I'm running an event I've run previously, I like to read the previous race report, just to get a feel for the event again.

    I find other peoples' training interesting, even if most of it is faster and higher miles than myself! But a lot of the same things apply across the board (pardon the pun) and it's all relative. It's interesting to read how other people train, observe other peoples' progress, and some coming back after injury. I really enjoy reading race reports - you really get into it and you find yourself willing the runner along mile by mile as you read it!! you are rooting for them, especially if you've been following their training plan on the log.

    If you don't have a log, I would recommend setting one up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,831 ✭✭✭Annie get your Run

    When I had something to log about, I found it really useful for feedback from those more experienced. I had a lot of really helpful advice over the years. The community feel was really important to me too. Logging kept me honest, it also helped me to see where I may have gone wrong after a race, take learnings from it for future races. As SD said, it's also really interesting reading others training, progression, injury solutions etc. You can get so much from seeing how others approach training plans, how other runners deal with setbacks etc. I stopped because I no longer train but I still come in here to read a variety of logs and see others continue to progress - they are made up of a combination of people I know IRL and others who's logs are just a joy to read. I can't say what makes a good read because the logs I read are all so varied but TBL's and AMK's regularly make me laugh out loud. I like the variety of different styles of writing across the forum. It takes commitment to keep them updated.

    If you're new to here and wondering whether you should or shouldn't, go for it.

    Post edited by Annie get your Run on

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ariana`

    Yip love the feedback and insights I get from folk much more knowledgeable and experienced than I am. Also the comradery, support & encouragement.

    It takes a while and a bit of commitment to become invested in a new log. It helps when you've met IRL or have a bit of background knowledge. When the logger is a DCM novice graduate for example then it's easier to get involved in their log, you already have a head start with getting to know the individual and understanding what they are about. It can be a draw if the logger is about the same paces or targeting the same race(s) but honestly I think I read pretty much all the regular logs, for sure some are funnier or more entertaining than others, but everyone can't be a comedian so I try to give the same attention to anyone who puts in the time to write a log.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Very good questions lainey. Got me thinking.

    In terms of my own log I've always had a few reasons for wanting to log .

    Initially it was purely for feedback. I found myself commenting a lot with questions in the random running questions thread. Got to the point where I was advised to start a log.

    As time went on I think my reasons for logging changed. When I became coached I really felt like people could benefit a lot from seeing a very experienced coached approach. So I wanted all my training to he visible and explained to others so maybe they could take something from it. Because it was free coaching I also felt like there was a bit of "pay it forward" in my motivation.

    In terms of following other logs we'll that's where I really had a think. I follow all sorts of logs and get very different things out of them all. Some I follow as I feel like I can apply stuff to my own training. I've always found AMKs log very interesting as I see similarities in the types of training runs we like, our paces aren't a million miles off eachother. Neither are our pbs. Reading his marathon training is invaluable to me as i move in that direction.

    Other logs I follow as I feel like I've a vested interest in how they are progressing and want to offer any advice that I can.

    Some logs are just full of humour and interesting training. TbL being a prime example.

    Then some people are natural born writers. I miss shotguns log. Murph is another great one for a quality log.

    I always love following logs of runners who race a lot coz who doesn't love a good race Report.

    I must say almost everything I know about running has been learned between the coaching I've received and following the community on here . I also find it an added bit of motivation in a race to think that I'll be logging this so I better damn fight for it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 220 ✭✭E.coli

    For me both as a runner and a coach I used training logs as a handy tool. Strava etc are great for the hard numbers but often the most important thing was what was said in passing or even reading between the lines. Working with many from boards over the years often it was a good way to get an insight into there personality and temperament which is really useful for tailoring training and pace/effort prescriptions.

    Personally I have looked back on my own logs a number of times to get a sense of comparison between sessions so I know how they stack up not just from the numbers perspective but also to see what else was going on at the time in my life (stress, work etc)

    Ultimately at that moment I am using it as motivation and accountability as well as a way of reintegrating into the running scene

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,761 ✭✭✭ReeReeG

    Great thread!

    I have a few thoughts on this if you will indulge me. The benefits for me personally keeping my own log are pretty solid. It’s a record of not only my training, but my frame of mind at that time, how I felt running x pace, how much S&C I’ve done, and what else was going on in my life. Leading up to races I’ve specifically trained for, I’ve been able to look back at the training block in more detail than Strava offers and (hopefully) boost my confidence in advance of the race. If the race doesn’t go great, well, there’s a record of what may have contributed to that result.

    I’ve also used it as a form of therapy. I assumed I would stay anonymous on here but there were some cyber ninjas back in 2017 and found me on Strava :) I can’t judge as I have done the same thing several times since as my fellow 2018 novices will confirm 🤣 But I probably shared more than I would have early days if I’d known; that said, it feels like a safe space and the shared hobby of running combines us all who log to commiserate, celebrate and generally survive together.

    In terms of following other logs, well again there are some great advantages. The most obvious has been mentioned several times - what are others doing training-wise? Regardless of ‘level’, it’s always interesting. I am particularly interested in those I perceive to be much the same level as me at any given time, or those I aspire to be running at the same level as. I’m most reluctant to post on the people who are streets ahead of me… which is silly! I’ll try to be better!

    I am also a nosy cow (it’s hereditary, ok) so I love when there are extra details outside of running. It satisfies that part of me that loves hearing people’s life stories.

    I have strayed from the thread title… what makes a good training log? Honesty.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,501 ✭✭✭Laineyfrecks

    I also love nothing more than reading race reports or tough training sessions when people explain what they were thinking when things get tough, I love hearing how different we all are when it comes to gritting it out, how different we approach races, some going out hard & hanging on, others being cautious then giving it all. I enjoy reading about the failures as much as the triumphs because it proves that we are all only human & bad days happen no matter what level you are at!

    @ReeReeG I feel silly sometimes too about posting on other people's logs about training because I wouldn't feel I really have the knowledge for that but again I am trying to learn, I honestly think some people on here have some great knowledge so always happy to see what they have to say. Also like you I love reading those extra details that tell me more about the person outside of their running.

    Some great replies & a lot of similarities in why it's good to start a log so for anyone thinking I'd at least try it out.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,456 ✭✭✭✭Murph_D

    This thread title reminded me of a question I was asked when I was in the 'Spotlight' (is it time to revive that?).

    Singer asked the question about which logs were the best, and this was my answer:

    There are a lot of great logs. For me, the very best place the writer’s running experiences and philosophy in the context of wider reflection of life, the universe and everything, and the writer is willing to go beyond the numbers to reveal something deeply personal.

    Historically, Krusty, claralara, Dubgal. Right now (or relatively recently) TbL, OOnegative, Bungy Girl, denisB.

    That was a couple of years ago. The list has been added to since, by Laineyfrecks for sure, and a few more too. But that point about 'honesty' is the key for me. Logs that are just about running are interesting, but not enough. The great ones are all about connecting the running and what it means to be a runner with the rest of the stuff we all have to deal with, i.e. life.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,582 ✭✭✭Swashbuckler

    Just one point on reluctance posting on "faster" people's logs.....if you have an opinion or question or something you dont fully get then just post the very worst you'll make the logger think about their approach. At the very best we'll all learn something. It doesn't matter how experienced or inexperienced you are. I'd as soon ask a 2.30 marathoner why he did something as I would a 5hr marathoner. Ive often questioned the likes of AMK , healy etc on why they're doing something. Granted you could argue im closer to their "level" but it really doesn't matter. Everyone has a voice and everyone should feel free to use it. I'm loving my log at the minute coz I have people of all levels throwing advice and commentary my way. If people don't want that then why bother logging.

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