A training diary is different from a training log. A log is simply a record of numbers and statistics. A diary is more meaningful. It has information about how you felt, how was the weather, who you trained with. It has more substance and information and can provide insight on your weaknesses and your strengths. If you have any questions about your training, about where you went wrong, or what you did right, the answers will be in this diary. A diary will allow you, at the end of a season, to objectively analyse your years performance. In many ways it allows you to do what a coach will do for you. I prefer an electronic diary on the cloud, in the form of a spreadsheet. I also make notes on my workouts on the training software I use. A good example is if you planned an easy workout and you ended up racing with competitive friends, you record it and you know not to do it again. You can also record niggles and therefore prevent serious injury. See the list below of what to record.
1. Training Log – Basic workout info, date, time, sport, venue, planned vs completed workout, weather, how did it go, what did you do if it went badly, did the weather make it easy or tough, what did you do about the heat or cold, training partners and how they affected your planned vs actual workout, niggles, falls or twists or any unnatural movements, problems with bike or equipment, problems with nutrition.
2. Morning Fatigue/Warnings – The morning warning signs of fatigue (poor sleep, higher than normal resting heart rate, low heart rate variability, low motivation, aching muscles and joints, fatigue, bad moods), note and record them on mornings of workouts or after hard workouts.
3. Data – Usually your software will record your zones and pacing, however, record a planned vs actual target to reinforce whether you are doing your workouts correctly.
4. Mental Notes – Are you satisfied with the workout? Are you making progress? Did the workout make you feel good or bad? Any emotions you might have experienced that will be useful should be recorded.
5. Other Notes – Were you traveling, did the travel impact you? Did your equipment transport impact anything? Were you affected by altitude, humidity or time adjustments. Is your career or family causing stress, injuries or illnesses (which can be prevented in future), Equipment changes and how long they last, new shoes, gear ratios, wheels, saddle, helmet, whatever you change, record it and if it was positive or not. Dietary changes. Record your race positives and negatives, course suitability, field strength, weather (and did you adjust your pacing and plan due to this?), pre-race food, race nutrition, and importantly, pacing, as well as anything that you feel was off, or that worked, aches and pains before, during or after, even anxiety at the start line.
Compiled by Faheem Mahomed