Review: Believe Training Journal by Velopress
(2017) Back in my hockey days I made a significant discovery at the behest of the newly hired goalie coach. After expressing my frustration of delayed improvement, he simply told me to count how many goals I let in. That sounds basic, except he was asking me to count how many goals I let in during practice. The first day I implemented it I was horrified to lose count a couple times. Meanwhile, the coach, who was a former division one goalie, stated he rarely allowed more than ten goals per practice. I had work to do.
On top of recommending just how many goals I let in, he also recommended counting how many shots I had against during a game. He furthered his recommendations by journaling about my practice performance. Once I began putting together all of these suggestions and added a little time for adjustment, I saw improvements in results. The goals per practice dropped off precipitously. Where I would have given up on a play I now found myself fighting for each save to prevent the goal count to creep up in practice. Likewise, my morale came up when I reflected on my journal. Plus over the months it was fun to read back on all my thoughts.
These days it seems many people opt for digital journaling in the form of apps that log the workout. So few people, myself included, record their feelings of their bike ride on Strava. Start the app, ride the route, tap the checkered flag, give it a funny name and photo, and hit submit. Nowhere in the process is there a mention of reflection. Wouldn’t it be nice to return to the old way of logging thoughts on a ride regarding fitness, fellow riders, and performance on features such as sprint zones and climbs?
Fortunately Velopress offers a training journal that can meet those demands called the Believe Training Journal. While it is geared toward runners it can be easily adapted over to the cycling world. There are several sections of the journal that can be utilized by cyclists, making it a sensible purchase.
A brief overview will show the book provides space for several recordings of thoughts including: goal setting, mental training, racing, setbacks, and recovery, among others. Again this book is geared toward runners so a couple pages may not apply to the cyclist but offers alterations that could. Along the top of each page is either an inspirational quote or a quick writing prompt to send a rider into reflection mode. Or, one could ignore all of this and use the basic grid to record each ride with power data, route notes, ride notes, and/ or general sentiment regarding the ride.
Other features include a sporadic check-in that could be utilize to remind a cyclist why s/he gets on the bike each day, a rubberized cover giving the book a durable feel, and a handy bookmark ribbon to allow for quick access to the next available square.
A recent BBC article explored the people who are returning to the tangible journal from digital content. The Believe Training Journal by Velopress would fit nicely into the trend of people who desire to maintain a physical copy of a day’s effort. One coach once stated how nice it was to pull out old workouts from a few years ago and change up the routine. Having the Believe Training Journal can make that experience a richer one by allowing the writer to see not just the workout, but the goals made at that time as well as the check ins and race results. It seems strange to say the second significant discovery would involve something I learned a long time ago: Write it down. Significant progress is waiting.
Believe Training Journal by Velopress is available on velopress.com for $21.95. It comes in red, black, or purple.