Why keep a log-book?

Keeping a log of what you have done in the past will enable you to see your progression, year on year. Although your coach writes down the sessions, this represents 100% attendance….
Log-books should be used as a training tool and kept in tandem with goal setting to identify problem areas/ highlight good habits and what works for you.

What should I write in my log-book?

Swim Session

    • Setstimes/ heart rates/ stroke counts/ kick counts
    • Session total and a weekly mileage
    • Take a photo with a camera phone if you have a bad memory
    • Any coaching points – good or bad!!!
    • What you did well or could improve

Neural / Muscle Soreness

    • Rate how you are feeling on a scale e.g. 1-5
    • How you felt before/ during/ after sessions and next day
    • Mood – good or bad? Identify reasons e.g. school, nutrition, sleep 


    • Rate how you slept on a scale e.g. 1-5
    • Why was it good/ bed i.e. identify why is was different
    • “Twitchy” - Did you swim done well enough?
    • Stayed up too late or over slept
    • Brain too stimulated – TV, computer games
    • Remember what works for you! Music, reading, etc 


    • Rate how well you ate on a scale e.g. 1-5
    • Evaluate in terms of quantity, quality, nutritional value
    • Fruit and veg – 5 a day
    • High energy foods such as seeds
    • Balance of protein and carbohydrate 

Heart rate

    • Get to know your resting heart rate by taking your pulse first thing in the morning before you get out of bed (approx 60). A higher pulse than normal may indicate low immunity – increase vitamin intake to prevent illness. 

End of week

    • Total weekly mileage and land hours to compare week on week
    • Any missed sessions – why?
    • Any patterns emerging? Tiredness/ missed sessions/mood – what action can be taken?
    • What sort of log-book should I keep?

An academic student diary is best as it coincides with the swimming calendar, or, if you prefer, a plain jotter remember to include dates.

I never have time to write my log-book!!! 

    • Keep it by your bedside so that you can fill it in before you go to sleep
    • Put it in a poly pocket with a pen in your swimming bag and write it up in the car/ on bus/ train to/ from swimming
    • Take a photo on your mobile if you can’t recall the session!
    • Write it up in the changing rooms!

What about competitions?

    • Warm and swim downs – what you did/ how it felt/ mood
    • Races - what you did/ how it felt/ times/ splits
    • Sleep/ food/ “psyched up”
    • Any coaching point