If you're like me, and you love to make lists or just like seeing things in neat order, then what you'll read here is for you. I began writing down, or typing rather, the information about my runs early on after reading somewhere that it may be helpful in making you a better runner. At first, i didn't know what this information can do to to make you better but as i ran more and more miles, i began to see the benefits of logging my runs.
What you should log
I only write down key pieces of information about each run: distance, time, pace, lap (mile) pace, and observations. I feel this amount of information is sufficient enough to give me a picture of how the run went. The numbers are helpful especially when following a race training plan where recording information is necessary to track progress. Not only do you see the progression from each run, you also see what improvements need to be made. Logging is a great way to commit to making changes since you're writing them down. I forgot to mention that a decent running GPS watch is an important piece of equipment in order to accurately log your running information. Even the most basic GPS watch will give you the information you need.
Where to log your runs
I love recording this running information into Field Notes Notebooks because they are very durable and extremely portable. There is even a set of notebooks that are made of tear proof paper, much like the material that most race bibs are made of. If pen and paper aren't your thing, you can still record your running information digitally. I started our by typing my running log into a note taking application into my smartphone. This a perfectly acceptable method of logging but i like to flip through my notebooks at times to see how much i've progressed and what types of workouts i was doing at certain times of the year. Some people use phone apps, electronic spreadsheets, calendars or notebooks but the main takeaway is to get in the habit of recording your running info to use it as a tool.
The observation notes at the bottom of each running log entry are the most important pieces of data in your log. I usually state here how i'm feeling, how hot or cold it was outside, what type of gear i wore, the route i took, etc. Sure the distance and pace are valuable but you also want to know that NOT eating a proper breakfast before a 15 mile training run was a big mistake. Or how you went out too fast and bonked at the local 10k race this past Sunday. Soon you will notice that having this information comes in handy. It makes you accountable, keeps you on track if you're following a training plan and helps your mind stay focused on that next run.