The New Year brings with it new goals, especially when it comes to running. It’s time to start logging miles for 2020. And one of the best ways to track both workouts and goals is my writing it all down in a running journal.
There are multiple benefits of having a running journal, Yes, our smartwatches and apps track out runs but it’s also a good idea so physically write workouts down.
This provides another way to be able to see progress made over time. It provides a centralized place to look at PRs, as well as see in-depth notes on a specific run.
Plus, writing goals down is a way to hold yourself accountable to continue to chase those goals. It also puts that aspiration out there in the universe. Once it’s out there, on paper, you have a better chance of sticking to it and making the dream a reality.
So when I came across the jouRUNal, I just knew I had to have this running journal.
It’s colorful and takes a playful and fun approach to tracking runs. This is a spiral-bound journal, so it’s easy to fold over the pages to write and is 9 x 11.
The cover and back are laminated and you can write with a pen, pencil or marker on the pages inside (although a Sharpie probably bleeds through).
The pages include a month overview, perfect for half marathon training planning, as well as weekly blocks to add in details. At the bottom of these pages is the ability to fill in the “Total Miles,” which is a great way to see mileage goals being met over weeks.
The jouRUNal asks what you are focusing on each week. There is also an entire page dedicated to writing out your intentions for that big race. Writing details about this goal is a great way to get focused and keep motivation alive hone re-reading in times of need.
There is also a place to write down past races, another way to see progress throughout the year.
The biggest thing is this running journal is completely customizable. You can start at any month or year since it isn’t date specific. You can write down whatever you want, and make it your own in any way.
Just keep in mind this isn’t a training plan. You need to follow your own plan and use this notebook to jot it all down.
I spoke to jouRUNal creator Britt Gordon to find out more about this journal including her inspiration to make one for the masses and her own running journey.
Q: What was your inspiration behind creating jouRUNal? Why create this type of running goal?
A: I’m a teacher so I live by planners and I swear by good ol’ fashioned pen and paper.
I kept feeling flustered with all my running “calendars” and apps and just wanted a place to reflect (sometimes a more private reflection—not a public post on training peaks or Strava) and having everything in one place written almost as a running “diary” made it feel intimate, but also SUPER inspiring just to look back on and see what I could accomplish in a year. I religiously re-read through my training the night before a race to boost my confidence.
I initially created it for myself to see my progress in a 12-16 week training cycle, then expanded to a year. Now I’ve created it wholesale so other runners can hopefully reap the same benefits that I have selfishly kept to myself for almost 5 years.
Q: When did you make your first one, how many have you sold since?
A: I made my first one for wholesale back in April 2019 and have sold 41 so far! My first original jouRUNal was from 2015. I have a second edition coming out very very soon because I just finished my jouRUNal from last year.
Q: How long does a journal take you to make and what is this process like?
A: If I was less type A, it would have taken a lot less time.
I started making them for myself back in 2015 and I always kind of based it off that original template, but added more designs or more logging information, etc. It’s hard to say how much time it takes, but I would say I at least spent 2 hours on it twice a week after work for a month until I felt like I was ready to pay money for a wholesale order.
I use canva as a template because it’s free and AMAZING. The design and layout was actually the easiest part— finding a printing company that could print my neon colors as I wanted them to be, testing out their papers and lamination and coating, comparing prices—that was a process. My husband handles a lot of the financing and business aspects.
Q: What makes this running journal unique?
A: It provides space for more than just your running—you can log literally anything—which is why I intentionally made it so flexible in format. It also provides sections for race recaps, past races, check-ins while you train, and tons of punny, sarcastic humor that runners just get.
Q: Why should runners physical write down their workouts and use a journal in general as opposed to just tracking with an app?
A: There’s a quote I refer to, “You are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down. Writing your goals down not only forces you to get clear on what, exactly, it is that you want to accomplish, but doing so plays a part in motivating you to complete the tasks necessary for your success.”
What I notice personally, is it’s just so much easier to navigate, too. I can flip through and see a month of training at once, or a week by week, or weekly reflections, etc. It feels much more organized and reflective to me than clicking day by day through an app and letting the data load— too much clicking through for my liking!
Q: I would love to know more about you as a runner. When did you start running, why, and what are your current goals?
A: I ran the hurdles and shorter distances in high school and loved it then, but never tapped into endurance running until 2013 when I signed up for a marathon that would take place the week after graduating college. I felt like I needed to find something to “occupy” my brain and keep me away from the post-college blues. But, training in the last semester of senior year… oyy… I remember skipping so many runs (because… college…) but I still survived and ran in under 4 hours and I think that’s when I realized —if I put in the work, I wonder what my potential could be.
I definitely took some lazy years off, but really started to get serious in 2018/2019 and I got a coach from run4prs and was able to go from a hair under 4 hours to a 3:29 BQ in just an 11 week build-up. My goal now is to continue chipping away these new PR’s I’ve set by 5 minutes (so 1:34 for a half, 3:24 for a full)
Q: What is the best thing you get from running?
A: A sense of identity. People ask me about my running and “what’s next?” all the time— and I LOVE THAT. My students want to do 5ks with me, their parents buy me running themed gifts at the holidays, it’s part of who I am. It’s something I can hold on to and use as an outlet, a hobby, a goal, etc.
Q: What is your advice for those who want to start running for the first time?
A: Lace up and walk out the door. That’s the hardest part (especially in the cold!) You have to realize NO ONE is going to judge you —and you will be shocked by what your body is capable of after a few days, weeks, months, years.
Get yourjouRUNAL for $30 here.