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Beginning runners can benefit from a running log because it can provide motivation to see what you've done, and information that can help you either taper before race day or plan to increase training far enough ahead a race.
Logs also come in handy to make sure you aren't overdoing it when you are coming back from an injury or planning to take a step up to marathon training from running shorter distances, as a way to make sure that you are building up gradually.
What to put in a log? If nothing else, just log your mileage. If you wear a watch and want to note how long it took you to run five miles last Thursday, that's fine, but if all you do is note that you ran 5 miles, that's helpful, too.