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start a running blog

Why you should start a running blog today.

Everyone that runs should start a running blog – there it is, it’s out there. If you run and you don’t have a blog then make a point of starting one as soon as possible (visit our how to start a running blog article for tips and advice on getting it set up).

  • Don’t care about stats ? you should still start a running blog.
  • Only running for fun ? you should start a running blog.
  • Nothing to say ? you should still start a running blog.

 Reasons to start a running blog

There are three main reasons to start a running blog. They provide benefit to you, and to others that run. Those reasons are:

 

1. To gain an insight into your running performance.

Whether you care about improving, running faster, running longer or not, there is a lot of value in getting this level of insight.

You get a historical record of what works for you as an individual, when you felt good, when you felt rough, when you lacked motivation – the only way to find these out is from the historical data you’ll have on your blog. Spotting patterns around what amount or frequency of running leads you to injury, or potential injury (that can come from tiredness, lack of coordination etc). Great that you’re recording this stuff on Strava or Garmin Connect, but distance, time and calories burned are only part of the picture you need.

2. To get feedback from others on your running.

There are literally millions of runners out there, trying out training plans, experimenting with different diets, measuring gain through new training techniques. Publishing your training regime gives them the opportunity to comment and feedback on something that you are trying, that they might have tried or experienced already. Why would you not want to learn from the successes and mistakes of others?

Don’t be worried about whether your training is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ – there’s no such thing. It is different for everyone, everyone is learning, otherwise why would Olympic athletes have coaches?

3. To provide feedback to others on gear, techniques and races.

Everyone, bar none, is looking for that little bit more edge. Looking around for other peoples experiences as to what worked. Your opinion on a piece of kit, a training technique or a particular race is valuable.  Everyone looks at reviews before making a decision – look at how it works for Amazon or TripAdvisor – should I enter this race? is it any good? Should I swap to Nike shoes? Should I try a low carb diet? Everyone has these questions and wants to hear feedback from others.

The other advantage of this is feedback on your feedback – you write a great report on a race you loved and you get suggestions from comments on other races that are similar. You get hints and tips on what other shoes people have swapped to.

 

So, again, if you don’t have one, go and start a running blog today. It’s simple, and a valuable part of your training, learning and feedback processes.

Unsure how to start one? see our How to Start a Running Blog post. Looking to make it easier to post your training? check out our cool automated service.

blog

How to Start a Running Blog

This article is design to help you start a running blog. Signing up for a free hosted blog service is simple, and you could just do that, but there are many other considerations needed if you are to make it a successful blog that you will nurture and grow.

Three Keys To Start A Running Blog That People Will Read

1. What are you trying to achieve

The first thing you need to be clear (with yourself) on is what it is you are trying to achieve. Is that fame and notoriety? is it to keep your friends and family abreast of your progress?, is it to connect with other runners?, is it to get involved in the blogging community? or maybe you have financial objectives in mind – generating ad income, or getting popular enough that brands send you kit to review…

Whatever it is, and we’d suggest starting small and growing with it, you should write it down and keep it to hand so that you always have it in mind whilst creating your posts. It will help set the tone of your blog.

2. Who are your audience.

This is linked to item 1 ‘what are you trying to achieve’. When you know what you want, relate this back to your audience. If you’re looking to reach runners in your local area then consider what they will find interesting – maybe local races and meet ups, or new routes in the local area.
If you cannot connect with your audience then your blog will fail. You must keep the audience in mind as you nurture and grow your blog.

3. What will your voice be.

Your ‘voice’ is another key area, related to items 1 and 2. What do you stand for? what are the principals your articles will be guided by? How will you respond to comments (positive and negative), how will you respond to those with the opposite opinion? what sort language/jokes/sarcasm/criticism is acceptable.

 

Three Keys To Start A Running Blog That You Will Not Eventually Neglect

Many people start a running blog with the best of intentions, but after a few weeks or months it begins to get neglected – the initial enthusiasm wanes and the effort involved in keeping it updated and current is too much for them, or way more than they expected, so weeks or months go by between updates and before they it know it it is something that gets updated once or twice a year after a key race.

It is imperative to plan out a realistic strategy for updating the blog – one that is sustainable in the long term.  Below are the three main elements for putting that plan together.

start a running blog1. What is your time budget.

It is too easy in the initial enthusiasm to say that you can blog every day. Think about what is involved in posting an article – this varies for each blog, it might be something as simple as firing up the WordPress app on your smartphone, jotting down a few words and hitting the ‘publish’ button. However, it could be fire up the laptop, think up a topic, find a suitable stock photo, spend an hour curating a 300 word masterpiece before posting and tweaking online.

The point is, understand how long YOUR blogging process takes YOU, and then work out where you are going to ‘steal’ that time from – is it on your daily commute?, after you’ve put the kids to bed?, in the morning before the rest of the family get up?, on a Sunday afternoon? – whatever, make sure you know when and how long you can commit to and that it is sustainable in the long term.

2. What do you need to write a post.

This is linked to item 1. When you sit down to start that blog post, what services, data, tools do you need to just get on with it. it is too easy to get distracted by looking for just the right image, or forgetting your tracking app password and fighting to get your run data to write about. Then a 30 minute task can turn into a 2 hour slog. Before you start, make sure you have everything you need to hand – laptop, run data, race website url, photo of the gear your reviewing etc…

3. Technology Platform.

Now we come to the technology bit – what platform will you use – free or paid for? WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, hosted or self hosted.
Our advice here is to use WordPress – it comes in free and paid for versions (you choose), it can be hosted at WordPress.com or on your own server/hosting, it has millions of users all over the world and it powers some of the biggest website on the planet.

Summary

So, the purpose of this is not to scaremonger or to put you off – we’d love to see you start a running blog and read about your training and your perspective on all things running. We just want to make sure you start from a good solid base that you can sustain in the long term.

Next Steps ?

  1. Make a plan
  2. Get a WordPress site
  3. Start blogging
  4. Let us know the URL

 

Want to increase your chances of success, then sign up now for our great email service that provides running blog topics direct to your inbox every week.

The Big Idea

So, what’s this all about I hear you ask…

Well, I have this assumption / idea that I can help runners rejuvenate their running blogs, or for those just starting out, I can help them document their journey.

I know there are plenty of running blogs out there, there are plenty of places and activities to get blog topics from, but I consistently see sad, unloved, broken, forgotten running blogs. There has to be a reason… I know everyone that starts a blog does so with the best of intent, but something happens to cause it fall by the wayside.

Everyone is busy, everyone would rather be running than sat typing on a laptop, and the hassle of coming up with topics or getting the days activities together to write up – it’s often too much to be bothered with.

That ‘too much hassle’ to blog is a problem I want to solve. I want to solve it for myself foremost, and I want to solve it for everyone else also. If I can use to connect with more runners, get more training ideas, see what works for others, then all the better.

First things first – let’s solve the problem, because I want a solution for myself. I’m almost there (March 2015) with that. Next will be seeing if others can make sure of it.

Well, what is it?

I have a number of ideas floating around at the moment. The absolute simplest is an email list service that provides weekly running blog topics. A lot of people struggle with coming up with topics, so a weekly prod with some potential topics might be enough to get people motivated to blog, and (importantly) might build a little community. If you’re interested in joining this weekly email list then you can sign up here : http://runlogbook.com/sign-up

The next service is more about using the vast repository of data that each runner has as the topics – their training runs and races. I have a working solution (a working proof of concept at the moment) for integrating with Strava and RunKeeper, grabbing the latest activities, (optionally) letting you add a few notes and automatically posting it, in a chosen format, to a wordpress blog (directly publishing or publishing as draft).
I plan to add posting to other website types (Blogger etc)

 

Anyway, there you have it… I’d love to hear your thoughts and/or comments – email me and let me know… ken@runlogbook.com

 

training diaries

Training Diary Survey

A couple of weeks ago I conducted a short survey on what people use for a Training Diary, Run Tracking Apps and Websites.

It’s an area of high interest for me, the intersection of those three things. There is a utopia of those three working together to give us an unparalleled insight into our training history, and therefore clues as to future improvements. There are some neat applications and integrations out there today, but we are still a long way from what is ultimately achievable.

Anyway, back to the survey – there were a couple of reasons for it – firstly I’m genuinely interested in what other people are doing around here, and secondly I was trying to validate an assumption I have (more on that later)…

I published the survey request in a local facebook group and a wider, global ultra running group – again, those are the particular areas of interest for me. Over the space of a couple of weeks I had 60 people respond – enough to get a feel for the answers, rather than any sort of statistical relevance.

The questions were centered around peoples use of a runner training diary (two third do, one third don’t), run tracking apps (Strava and Garmin Connect being the most popular with around 25% each, 10 people using nothing at all and the rest being single digit percentages) and whether people had a website/blog where they wrote about their running – this answer surprised me – 20% did and 80% of the respondents did not (not sure why, but I though it would be skewed the other way…. probably a bias based on my own use case).

The other questions covered what people are paying for the various services (did they have the premium service, or use the basic, free service) and, if they had a website, how frequently they kept it updated, how difficult they found it to update etc.
Unfortunately most of these other questions became irrelevant as the majority of respondents did not have a website.

Not sure there are many conclusions I can draw from the data, but I do want to thank everyone of taking the time to respond. I have included the full results (after removing the publicly identifiable respondent data) in the link below. Feel free to copy and share the data as you see fit.

Get the results document here.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17aOkAqkUnO4yFRFZiyP98JK2HeLl7x5KqjDHwZsPW_o/edit?usp=sharing

 

Once again, thanks if you took the time to respond.

 

If your interested in what we’re trying to do here to help runners with their training diary then sign up for our newsletter below.

run logbook welcome

Welcome to the Run Logbook

Hi,

Welcome to runlogbook.com, a new service helping runners use their blogs as a training log.

To often we’ve seen runners blogs fall by the wayside. Months between posts, the runner too busy with day to day life to spend time on it. Let’s face it, we’d all rather actually be out running than sat in front of a computer typing about it.

Our new service, at Run Logbook, solves that problem, allowing you to run and keep your blog updated (with details about every run you do, if you want) by giving you simple options and processes for getting your tracked activities posted into your blog.

  • Integration with your tracker service (RunKeeper, Strava etc).
  • Fully automatic publishing.
  • Publish as draft and allow editing.
  • Multiple formats and post designs

There’s a long road ahead with getting the Run Logbook service up and running, but we’re working hard. Watch this space for updates and special offers. You can also sign up for our newsletter, so you get updates delivered direct to your inbox.
In the meantime, you can read more about the idea here.