How Bullet Journaling Helps Race Training


Bullet journaling has become increasingly popular, but what is it? Generally, it’s a customizable tracking system that combines creativity with tracking and organization. People use bullet journaling for to-do lists, logging, tracking, and charting.

You can make a to-do list for grocery shopping, log workouts, track your gardening, and make charts for weight loss — to name a few examples. This way of organizing definitely isn’t for everyone, but for those who love planners and are looking for a fun way to track their race training journey, a bullet journal can be perfect.

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Graphs for Progress Tracking

Whether you’re a runner, biker, climber, etc., if you’re training for an event, it can be helpful to keep track of your progress while you train. By keeping track of your mileage, time, or difficulty level in graph form, you’ll have a great visual for your improvement throughout your training. This can help you to see where you need work, how often you need to train, or how far you’ve come since your training began. I

t’s not only mileage and times you can make graphs for, but also things like strength exercises or squatting weight. Not all runners prefer this type of organized tracking in their training and would prefer a more fluid approach to their chosen sport, but if you’re into tracking your progress, it’s a great tool.

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Keeping a Food Journal

If part of your race training involves sticking to a certain diet, this is another way that a bullet journal can help you to keep track of your goals. In your bullet journal, you can keep a log of your food, track your diet, make a meal plan, or keep track of your weight.

Find your weak points and work on them through tracking. For instance, some companies foster workplace wellness, but some offices are still difficult for someone working on healthy eating choices. With donuts and company lunches, it can be hard to resist. By logging the days you do resist, you’ll have a tangible and visual representation of that choice, which can do wonders for your diet during training time.

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Organization to Reduce Stress

Different things cause stress for different people. In fact, a bullet journal can cause more stress for some people who don’t prefer this type of organization. If it feels like homework, it’s probably not the thing for you. The nice thing about bullet journaling for race training is that your sport, in itself, probably reduces your overall stress.

Student athletes, for instance, tend to feel less stressed due to how often they exercise for their sport. For some, the addition of bullet journaling in addition to their training can ease stress even more. Competing can cause some stress and nerves, but organizing a fitness, diet, and training schedule can help ease those nerves come race day. You won’t wonder how you’ll compete; you’ll know.

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Tracking Goals

A moving checklist is a bit more common than a fitness checklist. It works in the same way that you might organize your weeks when you’re planning to move. Monday: clean the garage, Tuesday: box up the kitchen, etc., are smaller goals to help you reach the main goal, which is to move into the new house. Not only is it helpful to track those small goals to get to the big goal, it’s also helpful to reduce stress and feel more prepared.

In this situation, you’d write down all the things you need to accomplish, then make a schedule for them so that they fit into your timeframe. Tracking these smaller goals makes the bigger task at hand seem easier to get to. Tracking smaller fitness goals to get to the bigger goal of completing a race will make the task easier while ensuring your body is prepared.

It’s one thing to reach a goal, and it’s another to reach it tangibly. It’s the difference between getting something done, and getting something done and then crossing it off of your to-do list. For some reason, crossing the item off feels so much better than just doing it. Tracking goals works in the same way.

Breaking training down into smaller goals can make the main goal—running the 5k, getting first place, beating your best time, etc.—a little more attainable. Every small thing on a moving checklist adds up to the ultimate goal of living in a new home, while every small thing on a fitness checklist adds up to the ultimate goal of having a new, improved body.

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Noting Improvements

Training isn’t just about noting problem areas and working to improve them; it’s about making note of your improvements along the way. Confidence can go a long way in the world of active sports, especially those that include racing or competing. Seeing problem areas can give you the motivation to keep training and working hard, but improvements do wonders for training as well. Seeing the fruits of your hard work can give you the push you need to keep training, and a bullet journal is a great way for you to note your improvements in order to stay motivated.

It’s also important to keep track of improvements that aren’t only number oriented, like mileage or time. If you find that being outside is good for your soul, keep track of the times you’re able to spend time outside— training or not. You can keep a mood tracker to note the improvements in your overall happiness. If you’re trying to read more, keep track of how often you’re reading and note a rise in those numbers. You can make a list of the races or events you want to attend in the future. Training isn’t all about the numbers; it’s about your overall well-being as well.

Bullet journals are used for so many areas of life: cleaning, scheduling, mental health tracking, projects, reading lists, and homework. They’ve become such a popular tool for so many people looking for a creative way to plan and organize certain tasks and lists. However, not everyone is into doodling, writing, charts, and plans. Some people prefer online charts, fluid training plans, or no plan at all. It’s not for everyone, but it can work wonders for some. If you’re looking for a way to organize your training with a dash of creativity on top, bullet journaling might be perfect for you.


About Author

Chelsy is a writer from Montana who is now living in Boise, Idaho. She graduated with her journalism degree from the University of Montana in 2012. When she isn’t writing she spends her time riding her bike, throwing a Frisbee for her dog, and exploring the outdoors in Boise.

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