Every Sunday, without fail, I tweet to the world and my FB friends two things: what I did this week in runs, mileage, time, and year-to-date and season-to-date (i.e. since 10.19.14 re-start) stats. Second, I tell them what I'm going to do next week. If I didn't make last week's goal, I state why.
At the end of every month, I tweet monthly totals: runs, running days, mileage and time - plus year-to-date stats.
I keep elaborate spreadsheets to track my running progress (and I also use logyourrun.com in addition to Google Sheets). Most importantly, I track rolling averages for mileage and duration for the prior seven days and three weeks. My runs and quality workouts are planned for every day from basically November 2014 to the finish line at Lutsen for the 2015 Superior 100.
I tell the world my weekly results and next week's goals to keep myself accountable, if only to myself. No one save myself will every get on my back for failing to meet goals. No one save myself will ever make sure I don't overtrain. But being public with a goal lets the world know you stand for something, and posting your results shows them that you're being accountable to those goals, actively working toward those goals, and achieving those goals.
Each day, I can look to my plan and see what I need to do. In the past, I simply set a weekly total for miles, picked a day for quality workouts, and let the rest sort it out. I ended up missing a lot of quality days and skimping on the daily runs and weekly mileages totals. I still ran well, but far from my peak potential.
Now, the process is simple. It is planned ahead, perhaps months prior, and adjusted accordingly as the season progresses. I know what I must do, and I then execute on that objective.
Results and excuses are mutually exclusive.
Nothing is free, everything is earned, and everything earned must be worked for. And all work toward that which you earn is hard work. Whether it is slow work - easy running must be easy enough such that it is actually recovery - or fast work - it must be fast enough such that you are achieving your training goals - it is hard work.
State your purpose. Go do the hard work. Be accountable. Achieve your results.