Your Runner’s Log(s) – Running |The Unvictimized Edition| #5

Chapter 4
Your Runner’s Log(s)

Getting Started

Deciding to get out there and start running is a big step, but it’s not as big as actually getting out there and physically doing the running. To help you keep track of your progress and see your improvement on paper, I created a series of runner’s logs you can use on your journey. There are three total: one for the first week, one for the first month, then a template to use once you’ve made it through the first month. Feel free to write right in the book, tear the pages out, make copies for your friends, whatever you need to do. You don’t even need to follow my suggestions if you don’t want to – so long as you’re getting outside and running around, you’re accomplishing the goal.


Hell Week

The week you start running will be one of the most difficult weeks of your life. In high school we called it Hell Week. Well, we didn’t, but I’m calling it Hell Week in here so myah.

The goal of Hell Week as I’ve outlined it is to steadily build you up to a 5K, the standard distance for fundraiser races hosted by nonprofits and other charity organizations. For now, don’t worry about how long it takes to finish. Just go outside and run the distance.

As far as keeping track of your distance goes, you have a few options. You could get a runner’s GPS watch that tells you how far you’ve run, you could use one of the multitude of free websites that let you design your run with a map – my favorite is called MapMyRun – OR you could just go and let the road take you. Remember: at this point in your journey, running the distance is the goal – emphasis on the running. Good luck.

Week 1

[  ] Day 1: Run for 15 minutes without stopping

[  ] Day 2: Run 1 mile without stopping

[  ] Day 3: Run 1.5 miles without stopping

[  ] Day 4: Run 2 miles without stopping

[  ] Day 5: Run 2.5 miles without stopping

[  ] Day 6: Run 3 miles without stopping

[  ] Day 7: Run 3.11 miles or more without stopping

Do Not Stop

You survived Hell Week! Great job! I bet you got super high doing it, too, good for you! Question: were you able to run one or even two miles in less than the 15 minutes I had you endure on the first day? If so, great job! You did what was expected of you! The reason I started you off with 15 minutes was to shock your system, to make the first day tough so the next two days would seem a lot easier by comparison. Be real with yourself, that feeling of satisfaction you got from having an easier time with the second day than you did the first definitely kept you going. I called you a bitch and you’ve now proved me wrong. You’re welcome.

The first week has now come and passed and the next three are at your doorstep. Now that you’ve made your body aware it will be running, we’re going to start keeping track of how fast you finish the workouts so you can start trying to improve.

There are three types of workouts you’ll be doing: short, medium, and long. The short workouts shouldn’t be any longer than 2 miles and should be done at a fast pace – really put effort into these, focus on your speed to gain the maximum benefit. The medium workouts should be somewhere between 2 and 4 miles and should be done at a moderate pace – don’t kill yourself but don’t dog it either, try to focus on your breathing and finding your baseline. Lastly we have the long workouts, 4 to 6 miles which should be done at a slower than normal pace – these are about building endurance and working through the stress of running for an extended period of time without stopping.

Additionally, I threw in two other types of “workouts” just for you, ya little snowflake: the fun run and the rest day. A fun run should be just that – a fun run. Don’t worry about your distance, time, pace, none of that. Just stretch yourself out and go for an easy run. A rest day, again, is pretty self-explanatory: it’s a day focused on rest so the body can recuperate. On rest day, stretching is the main goal; I would recommend you also go out for a run, but be mellow about it. Realistically, you don’t want to go more than 10ish minutes or a mile, whichever comes first.

And always remember: do not stop. Even if you have to drop it down to a jog, don’t stop running until you’re done with the workout. Good luck out there, champ. I’ll see you on the other side.

Week 2

[  ] Day 1: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 2: Short Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 3: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 4: Fun Run!

[  ] Day 5: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 6: Long Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 7: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

Week 3

[  ] Day 1: Long Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 2: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 3: Short Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 4: Rest Day!

[  ] Day 5: Short Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 6: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 7: Long Run (_______ miles) | Time:

Week 4

[  ] Day 1: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 2: Long Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 3: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 4: Fun Run!

[  ] Day 5: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 6: Short Run (_______ miles) | Time:

[  ] Day 7: Medium Run (_______ miles) | Time:

Now we will math up your average time per mile. It’s very simple to calculate, I’ll walk you through it. First, total up your miles per week, then total up the time you spent running per week. Put your numbers down here:

Week 2

Total miles: _______      Total time: _______

Week 3

Total miles: _______      Total time: _______

Week 4

Total miles: _______      Total time: _______

Great. Now add together your total miles and your total times, and put them here:

Grand total miles: _______   Grand total time: _______

Whoop! Almost done now. Next, divide your time spent by your miles ran, put the number on that line down there, and bask in the greatness that is yourself being a runner. Also, remember: you’re mathing with temporal numbers, not normal numbers. You may need to do some conversions.

Average time per mile: _______

The Finish Line

Hello there, Feetbeater. You did it, you got through the first month. At first your times probably got a little slower with each workout, but that’s fine. In fact, that too is expected! Things must get worse before they get better, otherwise they would always stay the same. You ran every day for a month straight – except maybe that rest day (which is just fine!) – and now you’re firmly addicted to the sweet, sweet expression of freedom that is running.

Here comes the bittersweet part: I’ve taught you everything I can teach you. The rest is up to you; I guided you through the portal into the running dimension and I even helped you along the path to establishing yourself as a runner. Now it’s time for you to take over. Put both hands on the joystick and lift gently off the runway; you came this far on foot – now it is time to fly.

I also have a gift for you: a proper runner’s log. Or at least, instructions on how to make one. Get a piece of paper, a pencil, and a ruler (or whatever straightedge you have available) and draw a table that looks like this:


Now, from left to right, assign the following labels to the six columns: Date, Course, Distance, Time, Pace, Notes. Boom, you have your runner’s log for the week.

Why bother keeping track? Because noting your progress makes it real to you, it solidifies in your head why you’re working so hard (which should make you less inclined to fall off with it). Plus, after another four weeks of running, you can recalculate your average time per mile and compare it to your time from the first month, then you can keep track of how much faster you get with each passing month, and then, and then, and then…

See, when you’re teaching somebody how to run, they need guidance, which is why I provided those workout guidelines for you at the beginning. But now, the beginning has come to a timely end; now you’ll get to choose your own distances, set your own pace, keep track of your own times. You can throw in speed and hill workouts to mix things up, or you can fabricate your own workouts from scratch. The decision is yours to make.

The world is your racecourse now. I’ll see you at the finish line.

This has been chapter 4 of the book Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It |The Unvictimized Edition|. Here is everything you need to know about it:

Running: How To Torture Yourself And Enjoy It
|The Unvictimized Edition|

I’ve written a few other books, too. Click here to see the list.

The Hillside Commons has a Facebook page, too. Here’s that.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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