My Most Essential Training Buddy: Believe I Am Training Journal

Grace asked on my last post, “What is BelieveIAm? If you’re endorsing, I believe it MUST be awesome, but seriously, what is it?” Well, Grace, thank you for believing in my things-you-will-love spotting abilities. As I tend to be a long-winded writer, I decided instead of leaving her a novel of a comment, I’d just write a post.

Two doctors and a tennis player beanie baby approve of use of this journal, as do 4 out of 5 dentists.

Anyways, Believe I Am is a company started by two professional runners, Lauren Fleshman and Ro McGettigan. Ro went to the Olympics in 2008 and Lauren just competed in the World Championships. If you didn’t think being a professional runner was enough of a job, these two are also artists, psychologists, and entrepreneurs. And that’s just their day job. I’m sure they moonlight as fairy godmothers or something, too.

{Lauren also started Picky Bars with her husband and “the RC,” and Picky Bars is how I found the RC, just in case you were wondering. [Susan asked me this question today.] The RC has a real name, too, which is Stephanie, but I like referring to her in this forum as “the RC.” Catchy, don’t you think?}

I’ve already blogged about how I loved the shirts from Believe I Am.

This is the “Joy” shirt. I wore it before the Boilermaker and I had a really fantastic, breakthrough race. Therefore, this shirt is good luck and I guess I will have to wear it before every race now.

This is the tag, which you can place somewhere as a reminder to yourself. Mine is in my planner, obviously.

The training journal has been a long awaited object of desire in my world and, luckily for you all who are busier than I, I have stalked the website frequently to see when it was available. I am happy to report to you all that it, too, can be yours for $19.99.

Now, you may be thinking, why would I a training journal for $20 when I could write it down in a notebook? Here’s why:

  • Its not just for recording your training. Sure, it has space for that. Pretty space. With flowers. However…

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Ro and Lo write poetry, too. I feel so uncreative now. I can draw good stars?

  • It has you check in with your goals, which is a genius idea. I don’t know why I never thought of that. *Personal experience – when I wrote down my goal (3:35 26.2 at NYC) and how I was doing with that goal, it became apparent to me that I wasn’t doing so great on the mental game right now, which is exactly what I didn’t want to happen. By having me check in with my goal now, rather than right before the race, I can find ways to change things so, hopefully, by November I can believe I am ready to run a 3:35 marathon.* It gives you a space to do that while concurrently recording your training.
  • It helps you frame your goals in the context of why you want them. I never thought about why I wanted to run a marathon and a 3:35 one at that. It made this typically verbose girl pause and think.
  • It has a place for race reviews. When I played tennis, I found it helpful after each match to think of 3 things I did well and 3 things I could improve upon. This is similar. I actually went back and put the Boilermaker in retrospectively as I want to capture whatever happened in that race and bottle it.

I tend to write a lot — as if you didn’t already know that.

  • It has a place to record things OTHER than your training. Do you cross train? There’s a space for that. Pump iron? Yep, for that too. Have regular (or irregular) periods? Indeed. Get your iron levels monitored? Yep, it does. 
  • This journal makes you think. It makes you think about why you want the goals you’ve set, what you’re going do to achieve them, how you’re doing on your journey there, and has you check in after.
Its perfect and it comes with a pink spiral to boot.
How do you keep up with your training/running? What do you keep track of? How often do you look back at it?


Until next time…


25 thoughts on “My Most Essential Training Buddy: Believe I Am Training Journal

  1. When I first started running in high school, I recorded my runs in a Jim Fixx running log. After a few years of doing that, I changed to just recording my runs in a 3-ring binder. I have 14 years worth of running in one 3-ring binder, and my last 3 years of running are in another binder. There are an additional 7 years of running recorded somewhere, but I’m not sure where it’s located. Most likely in a box somewhere in California.

    In general, I record miles, time, how I felt, route, and weather if it was unusual. I also record my lifting workouts and those drills that Stacy makes us do, but I don’t go into much detail. I write a lot more info for races. At the end of each year, I will print out the summary of all my NYRR races and put that in my binder.

    I refer to my running log whenever I’m training for a marathon, just to remind myself what type of training I did before my most successful marathons. I’ll also look at my best races and try to figure out why I was successful. Of course, this has drawbacks. I end up noticing how I’ve slowed down over the years.

    • Thanks for the input, mike! I think ill definitely include some of those things. I should also probably log my dessert intake along with my running as I’m sure dessert > running most of the time.

      I also really like the idea of printing your nyrr log each year, definitely doing that!

  2. Ok I love that journal. I love all the other things it encourages you to think about and keep track of beyond just how many miles you run. Problem is I am a computer girl. I have an excel spreadsheet of all my marathon training I have done with a tab for each separate marathon. I mostly just keep track of splits and mileage with a little section for comments if I choose. I wish there was an online counterpart to that journal…you should encourage them to do that!!!!

    P.S. That joy shirt is awesome. I seriously want the black. I am afraid I am going to enter my credit card info and hit submit…

    • But, what if your computer crashes?!? Ha. They’re probably also computer savvy on top of being artistic…maybe…

      Anyways, to make you feel better, I have three shirts (joy, mind body soul, and strong) and the dress. I am dying for the black one, too. So, yes, I’ve been there with my credit card many times. 🙂

      I hope you order! And if you do tell me how amazing the black shirt is and why I need it!

  3. i must say that pink spirals beat my excel spreadsheet any day! i like the race review section. definitely helpful!

    i like the “believe” tag on the shirt. just one word but so powerful. i’m going to write that on my hand tomorrow for the marathon…just as a reminder!

    • There must be some amazing-ness about excel that I don’t know about. I do love color coordinating cells though. I guess I’m old school in that I have a hand-written planner, too. I’m too afraid of what will happen if a comp crashes and all my planning/organization is gone!

      Oh, I love having the believe tag in my planner. Its a nice little reminder. GOOD LUCK tomorrow!!! I can’t wait to hear about it!

  4. ME!!

    I’m on your blog! YAY!

    Surely you must know how this might make a girl’s day. So this post, and the five miles I just slugged through (slugged is the right word — I could barely break 9-minute pace and kind of wanted to throw a childlike temper tantrum halfway through) makes today a good day (still good even though I didn’t like the run … at least it’s over with and it’s only 9:43am!).

    I keep track of my runs through a giantly nerdy Excel chart. It has cells that track what my workout “should” be, what my workout “actually” was, overall mileage, cross training … but no space to track weather, reflections, or body response. Hmmmm. AND I love the idea of pink spirals. I may very well have to pop over there and pick up both a shirt and a notebook. And then write in it with Staedtler pens! Have you discovered these gems? They’re amazing!

    Hope you’re having a great weekend, Meggie, and thanks again for the shoutout!

    • Ha! Well, I’m glad it and being done with your run has made your day!

      What is it with all you people and excel? I guess since I had no use for it studying in college and med school, I missed out on the learning how to use excel.

      Staedler pens – I discovered them in organic chemistry. They are amazing!

      You’re welcome and I hope you have a great weekend, too!

  5. I LOVE that training journal! I keep track of my training in an excel spreadsheet (very high tech of me). And I look at it basically every day. Or obsess over it is probably more like it. But sometimes there’s nothing better than writing stuff down, you know? I also greatly enjoy anything pink.

    • That is very high tech! I feel you on obsessed – I kind of want to get a waterproof cover for mine along with my real planner.

      I feel so old school being a writer-downer. I do have a droid though – upgraded from flip phone!

      I like doodling in it too and putting symbols and things – and using highlighters and multiple colored pens — I guess I really am an eternal student.

  6. Okay, so I don’t use Excel like apparently everyone else on here does. Maybe we’re both missing something? Lol. I log everything with I look back to previous training, see how I felt and analyze where I am in comparison. It’s a good way to help me keep things in perspective. I do like the idea of the pink spiral. Why haven’t more people caught onto it?! And humidity? Yum. Tennessee has plenty of that. And I sweat. Maybe I need one of those shirts! Haha.

    • The obviously didn’t teach Excel in TN!

      I think growing up in the South makes me not consider humidity an “element” — ie some people are saying that race I did in New Haven was oppressively humid. I guess I just expect oppressively humid all the time.

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  10. Wait, so Stephanie Rothstein is your coach now?? Or does RC stand for something else and I’m too lame to figure out what it is. If it is the first: Wow! So cool!!!

    Also, I want that training diary.

    Have been offline for a month (tragic, traumatizing, not really ready to talk about yet) but the upside is getting to read a whole bunch of your fun posts in one sitting 🙂

    • Yes, Steph is the “RC”…she has been coaching me for about a year now! The “rc” stands for “running coach.”

      You should def get the training diary. For me, its not only a place to track what I’m doing physically, but also mentally, emotionally, etc, which helps. I can write down my crazy running thoughts and mental breakthroughs to refer back to. Writing helps me process things, too.

      I’m very sorry to hear you went through something tragic and traumatic. I hope you are doing ok. And I hope my posts maybe brighten your day 🙂

    • I may or may not watch that video a few times a week along with “the tragedy of first position.”

      Def check into the journal! I LOVE it and mostly because I can write down all my crazy thoughts that are not blog worthy as they are far too crazy for other people to read. ha!

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