Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Happy New Year to all.

My wish to all of you is to have a safe and healthy 2017, and that you have a year in which each day is a personal best.

'Baby write this down.

Take a little note.

To remind you in case you didn't know.

Tell yourself I love you and I don't want you to go.

 Baby write this down.'

George Strait

"Write this down"

I believe there are two things every runner needs to ensure success.

The first is easy. Shoes are critical. They are the runner's most essential piece of equipment. Shoes need to fit properly, be suited to a runner's gait, foot plant, size and weight. If you sustain an injury, look at your shoes. If they are excessively worn, or display an unusual wear pattern, it's time to get a new pair.

As essential, I believe, is the runner's logbook. I devoted a chapter to it in my book, 'Running Shorts: A Collection of Stories and Advice for Anyone Who Has Ever laced Up a Pair of Running Shoes." At my race expo seminars I sing the praises of a good, complete running logbook.

Now, we are a full sixteen years into the 21st century, and I realize that our GPS watches, computers, and phones have the ability to store our workouts, spitting out all sorts of vital statistics, but there is something about writing down one's workout that not only memorializes it, but allows one to see where one has been,, and map out where one might go.

In my desk, I have stored running logbooks since 1976, my first year of road racing. Thanks to the generosity of my local insurance agent, I receive a logbook (datebook) over the Holidays, and, by January 1, the old one is on the shelf and the new one is ready to go.

Your logbook can read simply: '6 miles, 45:00.' I always log the weather conditions, distance, time, and pace. My former running partner, Rob Crosswell's logbook read like a novel. On most days, he ran out of space, forcing the wordy description of his workout to be shoved off to the margin of the page.

By logging your workouts, you can look back and determine what type of training has worked for you. If you have sustained an injury, study your logbook from the weeks prior to the injury to determine if you have altered your workouts in any way. Your logbook can assist you in preventing an injury before it occurs. By reviewing your logbook, you can keep the workouts that bring success, and toss the ones that cause a bad race.

My logbooks tell me how I felt during a particular workout session. They tell me when I have run through knee-deep winter snow, through tropical storms, into gale-force winds, and through hot, humid Pennsylvania summer days.

I have recorded my training runs on beaches, islands, and through the mountains. I have chronicled two dog bites, the births of my children, the death of my dad, a broken foot, a devastating hamstring tendon tear, and an accumulation of over 121,000 total miles since I began this magnificent journey, some 40 years ago.

This is a very personal sport, and your logbook is a unique personal running diary. Like your shoes, your logbook is an essential piece of equipment, and it can be vital to your running success.

So, write it down.

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