Ever tried to Bullet Journal and found yourself more stressed than ever? Yeah, us too—and we’re guessing that we’re not alone. As Type A athletes with busy lives, long to-do lists, and barely enough time to sneak in training, the idea of keeping a gorgeously designed journal is kind of a joke. But recording your thoughts does have value, especially as an athlete. In our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete, we talk about the importance of daily, weekly and season journalling as an athlete, and we wanted to share a few of the prompts that we like to think about during our daily journalling, our weekly review sessions (more on that in an upcoming podcast episode!) and our seasonal reflections. Adapt them to your preferences and what you’ll actually do! (And remember, this doesn’t have to be a handwritten journal, you can keep it online, or—as Peter likes to do—use Siri to dictate your feelings into a note in Training Peaks!)
Notice that these questions relate to your life as a whole as well as your training—this is because the stresses and successes in life will impact your ability to train well, so it’s important to have a recording of them, since HRV and other objective data sources won’t be able to tell the difference between training and life stress.
- List 3-5 things that you’re grateful for / that are ‘good’ right now. (Training, work and life)
- How was yesterday’s workout?
- How does your body feel?
- Any issues in the last 24 hours? (Niggles, illnesses, lack of sleep, big stresses, etc.)
- How are you feeling about your upcoming workout / training session / race?
- What’s one thing you can do today to make your life better? (May not be training-related)
- What’s one thing that you could skip today to make your life better?
This is similar to the daily questions, but thinking about the week as a whole instead of one day at a time.
- Overall, how did my workouts/racing go?
- How am I feeling? Tired, sore, energized, focused?
- In general, have I been treating my body well in terms of food, training and recovery?
- What were major successes and what were major stressors? (Training, work and life)
- In the coming week, what are my major goals and major stressors?
- Are there any changes to my training schedule that I should make based on upcoming stressors?
- What made me feel the most proud?
- What skills did I develop?
- Which results were disappointing, and why? (This could be a race result or even a workout that didn’t go well)
- Which training sessions made me the happiest? (This can be a type of session or one in particular that you recall, or both)
- Which training sessions made me the most unhappy?
- What are a few specific things that I can actually work on (certain skills, a power-focused goal, adding more vegetables to diet, etc.)
Remember to read through your daily entries when recording your weekly entry, and skim your weekly entries before doing your seasonal journaling so you don’t forget things! And use this seasonal journal as a point of reflection when it comes to setting goals for the next season. For example, noting which training sessions made you the happiest and least happy can help guide what type of racing you want to focus on. If swimming made you miserable because you hated showing up to the pool at 5AM, that triathlon goal may not make sense for you right now. On the flip side, if you loved your weekly cyclocross race practice, that’s a clear sign that cyclocross is a good spot to focus. Need more help with a season reflection? Check out our podcast episode here!