1. The reason I set it up is still valid
My first post was on 30th October 2006 and I set it up to record my progress towards my first whw race in 2007. When I entered the whw race I searched on the web and couldn’t find much about how to train or prepare for running ultras. I found Ian Beattie’s blog which was great but it wasn’t a training diary.
Also at that time I discovered blogs and thought I’d like to start one. So when I got a place for the 2007 whw race I decided to start a blog and record all I was learning and doing to prepare for the race with the idea that it might help others in a similar situation. I honestly thought my whw experience was going to be a one-off. I would run it once, tick it off and do something else.
But like many others before and after me the race gets under your skin and I here we are 7 years later and I’m still running ultras. I hope to be running them for many years to come! So I continue to blog because I still want to share what I’m learning.
2. I basically enjoy sharing my experiences
I don’t think I would have written 2,000 posts if I didn’t enjoy it. Over the last 7 years I’ve thought about stopping or maybe reducing how much I write but I’ve realised that I would miss it. Even if no-one else read my posts I would continue to record my training as I enjoy it. I think the day it become a burden to write will be the day I stop.
3. I love having a record of all my training and races
I now have over 7 years worth of data and diaries of all my training runs and races. This to me is a valuable resource, which really does help me with my training. It is not just the objective data; I can also read about how I felt and what I learnt from key runs. I regularly re-read some of my posts about long training runs to get a sense of how I felt and where I was fitness wise.
Also now that I have run 25 ultra races and written a race report for all of them I can look back on them and hopefully not make the same mistakes again. I try and do a ‘lessons learnt’ after each ultra and re-reading those makes me realise how easy it is to forget important lessons. No doubt as the years pass and I get slower and slower I will enjoy looking back at my blog remembering the times when I could run a bit faster!!
4. Blogging has become part of my routine after a run
Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a man of routine! So for me blogging about my run has become part of my routine. After a run I will upload my run onto Strava, RunningAhead and my own spreadsheet then write about it. Some posts are pretty short and to the point, others are a bit longer!
My race reports often become mini-epics. I think if I stopped blogging I would really miss that part of my routine.
5. It’s a great platform for my photos and videos
One of the reasons I started running ultras was that I love to be out on the trails in the countryside. It’s one of the things that stop me running round a track or small loop. So I love to take some photos of the amazing scenery I’m running through. I also started taking videos and recording my training runs and races. I do these for myself to have a record of the runs and if they help and encourage others then that’s a big bonus.
So my blog is a great platform to keep those. The videos I most pleased with are the series that Dave Troman and I did on the Lakeland 100 route. We did a video for each of the 15 sections during our training runs in 2012 and many people have watched them and told us how helpful they are.
6. I really appreciate all the comments I receive
Over the years I have had many comments left on my blog that have helped and encouraged me. I think because I’ve tried to be honest about my training and how things are going that friends have been willing to advise/comment/challenge me along the way.
I have also made lots of really good friends through my blog. People who I probably won’t have met any other way. It also keep me accountable with my training as I know that friends are reading it and will challenge me to keep going.
7. I enjoy trying out various equipment that I get asked to review
One of the side benefits of writing a regular blog is that I’m asked now and again to try out various products if I’m happy to write a review. So over the years I’ve been given various products to use which I really enjoy doing.
So there we have it. 7 reasons why I continue to blog. I’m not sure if there are many out there who have read all 2,000 but if you have thanks for being with me on the journey!