There are many different reasons to run, with personal fitness being the most obvious. Strapping on your running shoes and pounding the pavement has emotional benefits, too. Because it's a great stress reliever, runners can work out the pressures of home and work, and running can help build self-esteem as you reach your personal goals. Maybe you want to challenge your body to be stronger or faster, or you like pushing yourself to cover more ground. Whatever your reasons for running, you certainly will benefit from the exercise.
Whether you're a casual runner or a champion marathoner, your running will improve from keeping a running log. Initially, many runners start keeping a log to calculate the total distance they run over a period of weeks and months. As running becomes a more regular form of exercise, looking back at how many miles you've covered can be a source of both fun and motivation. Imagine having logged thousands of miles in your logbook and the sense of accomplishment you would feel.
Keeping a log of details about your runs can also help you find trends in your workouts that can help you continue to improve. You can see where your peaks and plateaus are, so you can push yourself to achieve more. It's easy to lose sight of your progress with all of the other things going on in your life, and keeping a running log is a powerful tool for setting goals and keeping your focus. If your log is on paper, tracking your progress becomes a matter of looking at hard data rather than using guesswork. If you're a competitive runner, you should keep a running log to help track your setbacks or accomplishments on timed runs. Overall, a running log gives you a historical record of your regimen so you can determine what works for you, whatever your exercise needs may be.
Next up: Learn how to use your running log as a self-improvement tool.