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Why you should keep a training log in 2015

Good idea if you plan on shifting that selection box weight in the new year.
Dec 27th 2014, 9:00 PM 38,438 10

SCIENTIFIC STUDIES HAVE shown that you’re 40% more likely to succeed if you write your fitness goals down.

This is a huge percentage for what seems like a fairly trivial thing, but Ballina-based Simon Walsh, a well-known coach to some of the best cyclists and triathletes says you should always write your training down – no matter how serious or not you are.

“Writing goals down and tracking your training is so, so important,” he says.

“All my athletes keep logs because I insist on it. I make the plans and they have to come back to me and give me feedback on how it went. It makes me more confident that they’re doing the training and it makes them more confident too that they can push on and increase the weight or the workload. If you don’t track your training, you’ve no way of knowing six months down the line if you did what was prescribed.”

Here are some other reasons why keeping a training diary is important…

It instils confidence

We all lose a little confidence in ourselves from time to time, especially coming up to competition when we wonder have we done enough training.

Without a log you’ll likely forget some of what you’ve done but to have it all written down or typed into a spreadsheet proves how arduous the journey has been from there to here. Looking down and counting up hundreds of hours and thousands of reps will help prevent you from becoming racked by doubt.

It’s a great point of reference

If you forget what an exercise is called, you have an easy reference, but more so is that with a journal you can sometimes forget which weight you used or which weight dumbbell you lifted.

You might be working out on your own and there’s nobody to ask, or maybe you wanted to do a little more than last time, but you’re not sure how much weight you had put on the squat rack.

Having a log to double check can quickly give you an answer.

You’ll notice patterns

Logging your sessions, as well as your diet and amount of sleep – or resting heart rate is another great one to note every morning –  will allow you to find patterns for why you feel unbeatable some days, while on other days you are really fatigued and barely able to lift what you’d normally do with ease.

The term for this ‘patterning’ is called your body’s bio-rhythms and it’s fascinating to look at how many of the world’s top athlete’s peak and trough at certain times every year. You can learn a huge amount about yourself by doing same.

It cuts out guess work

Some days you’ll be in the gym and just have a short time to come up with a routine. If you’re looking for a quick routine, it’s far easier to look back to last week or last month’s session on this day of the week as opposed to trying to recall the exact details from memory.

Goals become more real

A goal without a plan on how to achieve it is just a dream. Write down your goals and detail the training you’re going to do to give you the best chance of achieving those goals. It makes you more accountable – see it as a kind of ‘to-do’ list.

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