I know, I’m a cliche of myself sometimes with all the running journal posts, but I’m a true believer in spending some 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, 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.
26 Journal Prompts for Marathon Training
- Why is finishing a marathon important to you?
- Write about your marathon race day as if you’ve already experienced it. For example, “I just crossed the finish line of the marathon…” What emotions do you feel? What parts of race day are most vivid to you as you visualize it?
- Consider a terrible training 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?
- What advice or pep talk would you like to give yourself? Write the words you need to hear.
- Who are your running friends and role models? What have you learned from them? How have they impacted your running?
- Do you ever struggle to get out the door to run? Write about a few of those experiences and what you did instead of running. How often did you eventually get out to run? Do you notice any patterns? What tricks work to get you out the door to run?
- Do you believe this statement can be true and why (or why not): “Some days, doing poorly is the most important result that could happen.”
- 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?
- What is your favorite piece of running gear? Why do you like it?
- What have you learned from running and marathon training that you’ve used (or that you can use) in other parts of your life?
- What are your favorite running and racing memories? What are your most vivid running and racing memories? What running stories do you tell over and over?
- Recall some of the best advice you’ve ever received in running and in life.
- What stories do you tell yourself about your running, racing or fitness? What long-held (but untested) views impact what you try to do today?
- Open your phone and find a race photo or a photo of yourself running that you like. Why do you like this photo? Who and what are you grateful for in the photo?
- I am grateful for my body because…
- Write about a time when you really impressed yourself.
- How does your body feel after a run? What emotions do you feel after a run?
- Describe your perfect run. What’s the weather like? Who are you with (if anyone)? Is it a short run or a long run?
- Why do you run? What do you get out of running, mentally and physically?
- Collect some running quotes and mantras that resonate with you and add them to your journal.
- What part(s) of running or racing do you wish you were better at? How can you work to get better?
- What has running and marathon training brought into your life that you otherwise wouldn’t have had or learned?
- What positive, useful, or helpful things in your life are you taking for granted?
- What are your bucket list running experiences and races?
- Why did you start running? What are your earliest memories of running? Have you always enjoyed running, or did that come later?
- Do you consider yourself a runner or a person who runs? In other words, do you consider running part of your identity, or a thing you do?