Boost Your Cycling by Using a Training Journal

Peter Glassford
by Peter Glassford
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Boost Your Cycling by Using a Training Journal

Keeping a daily training log helps you key in on information that will take your cycling up a notch. This observational information helps you make purposeful, goal-oriented choices in the future. For example, if you ride a lot of miles one week or push a lot of watts, then end up not riding at all the following week only to try to pick up your mileage again but the watts are lower, it’ll become evident that consistency will be one of your top priorities.

As with any other journal, there really are no rules. Write anything that comes to mind — write about your day, your ride, meals and snacks, hydration and any concerns. I encourage clients to journal at a set time, usually paired with another habit like drinking their post-ride recovery smoothie, analyzing MapMyRide data, stretching or riding the bus to work.

To get started with your daily training logs, ask yourself a few simple questions.


Analytical athletes will find it easy to record key ride data like mileage, wattage, heart rate, cadence and anything else that’s relevant to your workout. You’ll also record interval data, including your average watts on those intervals. If you uploaded your cycling computer data to a program like MapMyRide, then all of your data is there for you to hone in on the key metrics of the day.


This is where you record who you rode with — whether it’s your usual group, a new group, your partner or solo. You’ll also include whether they’re slower or faster than you and how that affected your ride. This information helps you choose when you ride with certain friends or groups to augment your training.


Note here what kind of ride it was: gravel or road, hilly or flat, long or short. This will help you determine whether or not your training regimen is diverse enough. In addition to your route, jot down what you ate. You might log your nutrition on the MyFitnessPal app so you or your coach can determine whether your caloric intake is matching your work capacity.


This is a very important question, as it often holds some of the information that affects your wattage or heart rate data, but it isn’t as quantifiable in your raw data files. If you had to make some critical decisions on the ride, detail your thought process here. If your wattage was lower, perhaps it was really hot out or you were partying the night before. The more you jot down, the more you’ll have to analyze, and the more you’ll know about your training.

About the Author

Peter Glassford
Peter Glassford

Peter is a cycling coach and registered kinesiologist from Ontario, Canada. He travels frequently to work with athletes at races, camps and clinics. He also races mountain bikes for Trek Canada and pursues adventure in all types of movement. Follow @peterglassford on Twitter, or check out his online and in-person coaching at


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