This little book is mine/
I use it all the time/
To write the workouts I do/
And how much faster I grew.
Maybe I’m a little old school in actually writing the workout results down. I could snap photos. Create an album. Scroll back. The question is, will you actually look back? Me, no. That’s why I think a paper notebook is better than digital.
Why a Workout Notebook Works for Me
- I like writing. It helps me remember things, like, “Yes, I have done this workout before,” or, “Your last piece was 147 watts, you have to beat that.” Numbers get harder to remember when you’re deep into a tough workout.
I like flipping backwards through the pages to see what’s been accomplished. As the pages fill with numbers and dates, I gain perspective. I remember after Caelan was born 10k felt like a stretch. Now a standard steady state workout is 13-15k.
- I race myself. Since I’m a rowing team of one, there are no training partners pushing me. Sure, I have some idea of what other people in my rowing circle are doing and how they’re performing, but they aren’t in Kentucky. They’re not enduring this horrible erg workout with me. I can’t sneak a peek at their screen. In my notebook, I have my training partner.
- Progress is measured. Like last week. I repeated the same workout from a month prior. I didn’t just improve, I crushed it. I left that erg session with a puffed-up ego. Yes, I bragged at home about how I killed the numbers. Luckily, Alan tolerates me.
- Proof is in the pudding. When I don’t improve on a workout, or gains are very minimal, I have a little self-chat about why. Was it lack of sleep? Feeling fatigued from the prior workout? Do I need to revise training?
I’d recommend keeping a training notebook for recording numbers, even on the water. I make little notes about outside training, like “killer headwind,” or “recon row,” to place the numbers into some context. Over time, the information becomes a valuable diary of progress.