Anyone have any insight on how to accurately assess what kind of training has been productive? When I look back at my log I notice certain trends, but there are so many variables I'm never sure what caused what. Any thoughts?
Do you keep multiple logs, such as a food log and a training log, or just a training log?
There are always a ton of things that change and make it hard to tell. Just make sure you have a habit of doing all the right things...
I was actually thinking about this same thing yesterday. I noticed yesterday that I had a hard time making it through my cardio. I was trying to think of why and came up with a couple of things like I missed a p+c meal, I didn't sleep well the night before, stressful day at work. I thought it would be a good idea if I had a spot in my training log to take notes so that I could look back on things like that to get some insight into what was going on that day. Doesn't help you now but it might in the future.
I notice things around recovery issues sometimes. For example, one or two nights of less than normal sleep and I'll feel it in the gym.
It's fairly tricky in a way, because your body adjusts and what used to produce results eventually doesn't.
If you do some research, I don't know the link offhand, you'll find an article or two talking about a points system. The questions used to generate the points may in fact be additional items worth tracking.
Anyway, give it time, and things should eventually come together.