The benefits of keeping a running journal

brown pencil on white book page

Running can be hard, especially when you’re trying to reach a goal or train for a race. It can be tough to stay motivated, track your progress, and learn from your mistakes. That’s where a running journal comes in.

In an age of rapidly advancing technology and platforms like Strava, the humble running journal may seem like an outdated relic. But it’s still a great way to monitor your progression and learn more about yourself as a runner.

Here are some benefits of keeping a running journal.


When you’re going through a tough patch, looking back at your journal can help you remember why you started running in the first place. It can also be motivating to see how far you’ve come and how much you’ve achieved.

Progress tracking

A running journal can help you track your distance, pace, and time. This information can be helpful for setting goals and seeing how you’re progressing over time.


As you track your runs, you’ll start to learn more about yourself as a runner. You’ll learn what type of training works best for you, what motivates you, and what helps you recover.

Error correction

You may begin to recognise certain areas where you could improve. For example, you may notice that you tend to get injured easily or that you struggle with speed work. By identifying these areas for improvement, you can focus your training on addressing them.

Tips for keeping a running journal

Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started with your running journal.

Find a system that works for you

There is no right or wrong way to keep a running journal. You can use a simple notebook, an app, or even start a blog. The most important thing is to find a system that you’ll stick with, and one that doesn’t overwhelm you.

Most runners just record distances, times and nothing else, but things you might also log include:

  • Location – Where did you run? Was it a familiar place or somewhere new?
  • Weather How was the weather on your run? Was it hot, cold, wet?
  • Terrain – What type of surface did you run on? Was it flat, hilly, on trails?
  • How you felt – How did you feel during the run? Were you tired, energised, or somewhere in-between? Did you have any aches?
  • Anything else – Did you see anything interesting on your run? Did you have any thoughts or feelings that you want to remember?

The more information you track, the better you’ll be able to understand your running and make adjustments to your training as needed. But don’t feel like you have to track everything!

Be consistent

The best way to get the most out of your running journal is to be consistent with your entries. Try to write in your journal after every run, or at the end of every day, even if it is just a few sentences.

Be honest

When you are writing in your journal, be honest about how you felt and how the run went. This will help you track your progress and learn more about yourself as a runner.

Have fun with it

A running journal should be a fun and rewarding experience. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats and find a system that you enjoy.

Picture of Dan Cross

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