For the last few months I have been working on a bullet journal. For those of you unfamiliar with this crafty trend, you buy a blank notebook or journal and then create your own planner of sorts. This appealed to me because it was a great creative outlet. Working on an engineering degree for the last 5 years left me starved of a good craft project so I decided this was the perfect project to let my imagination loose. However, this undertaking would also be functional (so I told myself) and in creating a training journal/planner I would be able to have a little fun while also keeping my life organized and on track (no running puns intended). Not to mention, creating an entire planner from scratch and by hand seemed like a challenge and I love a good challenge! The other key aspect of this planner was that it would combine both my training log as well as my day to day life things. This way I wouldn’t have to keep track of two notebooks and I could combine my entire life all in one convenient (and hip) place.
Fast forward 5 months and my bullet journal barely leaves my side. It is my one stop shop for everything that I need to remember or keep track of in my life. I am able to write in the workouts that I do each day and how I felt about them, and in the same place I can see what appointments I have that week or what is up next to do for my engineering job. The journal was particularly helpful when I decided to take a few weeks off from running to take care of some nagging plantar fasciitis. The journal was the key to patience and gave me a good look at the progress I was making. Often when people are injured, it is hard to look past the day to day monotony of cross training or rehab. Some days it wasn’t even clear if I felt any better than I did the previous day. But by keeping track of what I was feeling in my foot and mentally each day about the injury I was able to look back and ALAS! there were clear signs of progress. This undeniable progress in that my journal showed kept me moving forward positively, albeit slowly, back towards running.
Beyond injuries, I am a big fan of keeping track of training for a multitude of reasons. By writing something down you are are giving your mind an extra chance to digest and remember what it is that you did. It helps one to focus and be deliberate and deliberate training is smart training. It is also great to look back a few years and see what workouts you were doing compared to what you did today. Often it demonstrates progress of some kind, but in the cases where it does not it can be used as a tool to discover what might be causing a plateau. Lastly, I love the idea of using a planner/training log that can be customized because it provides a therapeutic effect. Same idea as the adult coloring books, but you are also creating a useful tool for your present and future self; a win-win!
So if you have made it this far then congrats, I have some exciting news for you! Because of the benefits that I think a training journal/planner combo can provide I want to share it. I know that many of you do not have 5 months to dedicate to hand drawing your own planner/training journal so instead I have taken the liberty of getting one started for you. Soon you too will be able to have your very own copy of this training journal/planner and I am very excited to share it with you all!
More information coming soon!