For as long as I can remember my father has been getting up at the crack of dawn to go out and run three or four days a week. Like me my father rowed in college which I'm sure helped build the early bird mentality for him as well. The running I think was just a way for him to extend that feeling of a solid workout before most others have rolled out of bed to face the day. As he aged it also became something to fight off the effects of aging and weight gain. I'm sure also his fear of an early death from a massive heart attack like his brother and father has never strayed too far from his mind, though I doubt he'd ever really admit that.
One thing I used to always enjoy was hearing him at the end of a year telling us how many miles he ran that year. I was always so amazed that my own old man had run 2000+ miles or whatever his latest log showed. Unfortunately I've never been very good at keeping up a running or training log. For the few months before my first season as a lightweight in crew while I was packing on the pounds in the gym before cutting down to weight I probably kept the best training log of my life, and the results from that period were definitely notable. I gained about 25 pounds of muscle mass, going from about 150 to 175 before cutting back down to 160 for racing season.
I never was able to recreate that result, or even dedication to my off season training regiment and I think I could partly blame that on my lack of an attempt at keeping a training log. Not that the one I kept was very technical or advanced or anything, but I knew before I went to the gym what I was going to do and I went and did exactly that. The training log kept me honest and when I wanted to allowed me to look back and see all the progress I'd made.
I recently came across the training logs available through runnersworld.com and I've now got my own training log online there. It's pretty cool and hopefully will be a great tool to help keep me motivated and honest to myself about what I've been doing. I can enter my runs, bikes, swims and other activities and see on a weekly basis my totals. I can also display my training log on my blog though I need to check into that as it doesn't appear to be working at the moment. So far I've kept it up for 3 weeks, hopefully I'll manage to keep it up for longer.