If you're looking for a holiday gift for that special runner in your life - especially a runner who may be struggling with training or not sure what to do next - take a look at the Believe Training Journal, a project from professional runners Lauren Fleshman, who has been an NCAA and USA Championship winner, and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, who ran for Ireland in the 2008 Olympics and is a sports psychology consultant.
Believe is a heavy volume, more than 230 pages wrapped in a rubber cover. The journal is meant to be used over one calendar year, and while its release is timed to the start of 2015, users can begin using it whenever they want.
"We want the journal to have more than just how many miles you ran and the pace. There's so many more variables in performance and fitness that a GPS watch can't lead to," said McGettigan-Dumas.
The duo met briefly while in college when Fleshman ran for Stanford and McGettigan-Dumas ran for Providence.
Since they competed in different events, they weren't rivals, but they'd be at the same meets. After college, they shared the same agent, and wound up meeting again while competing in Europe.
"We were living in these dorm rooms and ended up spending all our afternoons drinking tea, making sandwiches, chilling out, reading books, and talking about whatever," said Fleshman. "Ro was an instantly warm, approachable person you could trust to be positive but also honest."
"We just clicked," McGettigan-Dumas added.
After Fleshman came to McGettigan-Dumas' wedding in Ireland, the pair decided to do a project together, which started with the website Believe I Am, and then the first iteration of their running journal, which they self-published in 2011.
"We really didn't know what we were doing," said McGettigan-Dumas. "We put a lot of love in it."
The new journal, published by Velo Press, has a lot more content than previous versions, they say. It's not just a place to record your workouts. It also includes track workouts, areas to write out goals, reflect on how your training is going, and tips from pros - those who the pair interview, and the authors themselves - plus advice on things such as body image.
They both think a physical journal has a place in a world full of running apps and tracking websites because running should be more than just recording facts about training.
"It's about taking the time to think about what place does running have in your life? It's not really to put pressure on people, but to light a little fire under their butt to take it to the next level, whether it translates into faster times or translates into being more engaged with your running community," Fleshman said.