15 Journal Prompts for Newer Runners

Running Journal

I know, I’m a cliche of myself sometimes with all the running journal posts, but I’m a true believer in spending time pondering life and how I feel about the things going on in it.

I joke about it, but it’s true – I often don’t know what I think about something until I’ve spent some time journaling about it.

And since running is such a big part of my life, running – my experiences with it, my feelings about it, and my ruminations about the highs and lows of running and training – don’t escape my journaling gaze.

Keeping a Running Journal

Choose a prompt, pick up a pen and a journal (or a notebook, or a piece of paper – whatever you have), maybe a tasty beverage of your choice, and write stream of consciousness for 10 or 15 minutes.

Actually write in a journal (handwriting is best, but digital will do), don’t just consider the prompt in your head. When you begin writing, you’ll always have a few ideas you wouldn’t have had if you’d only considered the prompt mentally. It’s just the odd voodoo of journaling.

Don’t think too much about what you’re writing or worry about (or try to correct) grammar or spelling errors. Don’t judge your writing (or judge yourself for what you are writing). Just write.

Running Journal


15 Journal Prompts for Newer Runners

  1. Why running? Of all the activities you could do, why did you start running?
  2. What stories do you tell yourself about your running, racing or fitness (for example, I’m too big to run, I’m too slow to race)? Where did these beliefs come from? Have you ever tested them?
  3. What expectations and demands do you place on yourself relating to your health and fitness? Are those expectations fair and realistic given your physical limitations and life’s other demands?
  4. Do you consider yourself ‘a runner’? Why or why not? If you don’t (yet!) consider yourself runner, what do you think you need to accomplish before you do? Why is that the benchmark you’ve set?
  5. Write about your most frequent reasons for procrastination or common excuses for not running or eating right. What can you do to overcome those excuses?
  6. I am grateful for my body because…
  7. What are your bucket list running experiences and races?
  8. How did you view running and fitness as a child? How do these opinions or experiences impact your running or how you view what you are capable of today?
  9. Describe your perfect run. What’s the weather like? Who are you with (if anyone)? Is it a short run or a long run?
  10. What can you do today that you couldn’t do 30 days ago? 1 year ago?
  11. What part(s) of running do you wish you were better at? How can you work to get better?
  12. Collect some running quotes and mantras that resonate with you and add them to your journal.
  13. Who are your running friends and role models? What have you learned from them? How have they impacted your running?
  14. What advice or pep talk would you like to give yourself? Write the words you need to hear.
  15. Consider a terrible run you’ve had. What did you learn from that run that you wouldn’t have otherwise learned? What is (at least one) positive take-away from this terrible run?


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