Ever had a perfect day of riding or racing where you felt strong the whole time?

Maybe you bonked one day?

Or maybe you are at a plateau or suffering from overtraining syndrome?

Well, food and training logs will help you keep track of all this. By writing down all of your training and eating habits, you can easily pinpoint where your problems came from so that you don’t repeat them. If you have a good day, you’ll know why.

Intro to Food & Training Logs

If you’re not already familiar with the training log concept, here’s a brief overview.

In your training log, you keep track of all the information regarding your riding, such as:

  • ride time
  • mileage
  • weather conditions
  • perceived exertion
  • heart rate and/or power readings

In your food log, you may include:

  • what you eat
  • how much you eat
  • when you eat
  • any instances of stomach distress

I started keeping logs after reading about them in The Lance Armstrong Performance Program, one of the first performance-related cycling books I remember reading. (And a decent book, even if you’re not an Armstrong fan.)

You may be asking yourself, “Does the time spent filling these out everyday really pay off?”

The answer: You bet!

The training log is great. After a while, you’ll be able to chart your progress. If you are feeling strong or simply riding faster, you can look back and see why.

And when you find something that works, stick with it!

If you start suffering from Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) or chronic fatigue, you can probably find out why if you check back through your entries.

Keeping a food log also allows you to track your progress. For example, if you keep track of your body weight in your training log, seeing how much you eat in your food log will give you some idea of why you are gaining, losing, or remaining the same weight.

All of that is good, but this is my favorite part. You’ve probably heard not to try a new diet on race day. But how do you know what you should or should not eat to begin with? You look to see what has worked in the past! Your food log will reveal what meal put you on the podium… and which snack made you puke after an hour of intense riding.

Think about this: Once you have been keeping the logs for many years, you can flip through them when you’re bored and recall all those fond memories of past rides!

How to Start Your Training Log

It’s 2019 – there are so many ways to do this. No longer are you restricted to pen and paper.

Training Log Templates for Excel (~ 2004)

You can use these digitally, or print them out and keep them in a 3-ring binder. Write in them daily.

(Right click and “Save Target As”)

Cycling Training Log:

TrainingLog-bike.xls

Running Training Log:

TrainingLog-run.xls

Food Log:

FoodLogTemplate.xls

Feel free to use them, but please be sure to credit Levi Bloom of coachlevi.com with their development.

(You can also get some ideas from DC Rainmaker.)

Training Log Database System (~ 2006)

I just finished a Prototyping class in which I learned how to build database systems in Microsoft Access. My new training log system is more like the actual software you would buy vs. filling in sheets of paper.

Basically, I just open up the program, click a button, and type in my ride details. Then if I want to see how many miles I rode for the year or in a certain month, that data is there at the click of a different button!

It was somewhat complicated to build, but it’s a piece of cake to use. So why should you care? Well, I’m giving it out to my loyal site visitors for free!

Click here to download everything.

By the way, this also includes forms for entering your runs! Now that I’ve been running a bit more, I figured I’d throw that in there.

Software & Apps

I began with basic pen and paper and eventually moved to homemade spreadsheets and databases using Microsoft Office, which saved paper, and was super high-tech at the time.

Today though, wow, you have so many choices.

There is Training Peaks. There is Golden Cheetah.

I compiled this list of 25+ apps that track fitness and weight loss. Some of them are good for food logs. Some are training logs.

The Rocket Book

Ever use pen & paper and a 3-ring binder to keep track of your training?

I did. Back in 2002 and 2003 when I was getting started with training and food logs; every night I grabbed my pen and started writing. It was a nice way to reflect on the day. But, it got too cumbersome. Constantly printing out sheets of paper and filling up binders got to be a pain.

But I liked the feel of writing it by hand.

Well, this is interesting. Old school meets new school. The Rocket Book is a special journal where you take notes on pen and paper, then scan/photograph the page using their mobile app, and finally, upload to the cloud.

The pages are synthetic material. You can use a moist cloth to wipe off the ink and then reuse the pages. Here’s how it works.

 

How do you keep your training log? Your food log?

Please post your feedback in the comments below!

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