There was a time when I was able to easily visit all of the members of the Running Blog Family. I loved it (still do). We were truly like a little family – all supporting, teaching and encouraging one another.
Today, the RBF is a really big family! We’ve become a community of hundreds of runners but what makes me most happy is that everyone still supports, teaches and encourages one another.
To pay tribute, I’ve started this column as a way to share the wonderful things you’re doing. There are lots of stories to share, lots of links, lots of tales of courage and inspiration, and lots of tips and information. From the Desk… is a column that brings you the some of the best of what’s going on in the running blogosphere. But, this is your column too so please feel free to tip me off if you have anything that belongs here. We’ve got close to 2000 subscribers so, if you are looking for a way to get the word out about something, this is the place. Ok. Let’s get going!
From the Desk…
- How It’s Done: Looking for a tale of improvement? Look no further than Thomas. CRN’s token Irishman began his marathon career humbly, but has improved by leaps and bounds. I expect he’ll be pushing the magical 3:00 hour mark quite soon. His secret? Lots of miles. Lots of consistent miles.
- Something Old: Go to Scott’s archive for what is arguably the best description of Runner’s High on the web.
- Something New: Quirky and factual – that’s what Donald’s piece is. I can’t (won’t) explain. Just go read it. It’s well worth the trip. Warning: Not for the squeamish. Thanks go to Dianna for tipping me off on this one.
- Learn to Run: Speaking of information, Mike over at Running With Lydiard has some wild stuff going on. Mike, like my coach, is an Arthur Lydiard follower. Besides the tremendous resource that Mike is, he also has a Mystery Coach who posts the most amazing stuff on his blog. You can even ask Mystery Coach questions (expect a thorough, illuminating answer!).
- RBF Curmudgeon: There are curmudgeons and then there is Duncan. Duncan is a hard-working runner with attitude. He swears – a lot. He berates (often himself). He’s …RAW. So, if you like fluffy bunnies and roses, don’t go to Duncan’s. But, if you want to learn from someone who busts his butt, his is a good blog to visit. Oh yeah, have I mentioned he does a lot of writing for top-notch publications? Have I mentioned he’s an amazing artist? Have I mentioned he does terrific interviews of elite athletes? I’m shutting up now. Just go (just don’t get on his bad side!).
- On the Track: Here’s a great link called the Track & Field Superblog. Lots of good stuff there.
- Inspiration Served with a Smile: The first comment I left on Tea’s blog was something about her being one of the most photogenic runners ever. A couple of weeks later, I got to read about her conquering a triathlon in heat, hurricanes and torrential, freezing rain (I am not kidding). It’s quite a read.
- ebook: Well, someone had to go first. Seeing as how Blaine is among the fastest marathoners I “know”, it makes sense it was him. Blaine’s written an outstanding eBook on marathon preparation and recovery. I can tell you that a lot of work went into Blaine’s book, so I hope he sells a million of ’em.
- Good Karma: I think Vanilla’s banking some right now. He’s had the brilliant idea to organize a special 5k challenge that anyone can easily participate in. Get over there and share some link love!
- Make a Difference: I know this is old news, but it is news well worth repeating that – through your blog – you have the ability to do really wonderful things. I want to thank my friend Jeff for organizing the Ryan Shay run. It was a fitting tribute to a positive running role model. Thanks Jeff.
- You can please some of the people some of the time: Mike wrote us a review for Spirit of the Marathon and then I linked it to this page where you can see the movie caused quite a stir. Most people raved about it, but not Lisa and David. Wow! Sometimes it’s amazing how differently people can react to something.
- Something Artsy: Angie makes super-neat stuff. She can make you a customized piece of art. Just look at this piece she did for Jessica? Hmmm… I might just be calling on Angie one day. Click here to see a sampling of what Angie has on Etsy.
- Something Sexy: The longer I’m a runner, the more sexy I think we are. Want proof? Just look at this photo of Ryan Shay at the U.S. Olympic Trials. Now, don’t get me wrong – I like women – but even I can’t help but be impressed by Ryan’s amazing calves!
- Blogging Tips: I got an email from newcomer, Mike. In it, he asked if I had any advice for “breaking into the community”. Mike, the advice I will give you is the same advice I would give anyone. Of course, writing great stuff is one key to success but what and how you write is something you have to figure out on your own. That aside…
My biggest piece of advice is simply that you have to care. If you genuinely care about your readers, they will pick up on that and return the favor. And how do you do that?
- Visit Blogs and Leave Comments: But – a word of caution – don’t comment just to comment. Leave meaningful comments that show you care what the blogger has to say, and that you want to contribute to their discussion. Bloggers, probably more than anyone, want to be heard so, listen and be helpful.
- Don’t be Overly Aggressive: While we’re on the subject of commenting, please resist the urge to always try to lure people to your blog in another blogger’s comments. It’s ok to do this once in a while, but, if it becomes a habit, people will just see you as being opportunistic and manipulative, and you’ll end up doing the opposite of what you want. Commenting has to be genuine and it has to be focussed on other people – not on yourself.
- Get Involved @ CRN: Another way to get the word out about your blog is to join the Running Blog Family, set up a CRN profile page, and maybe even contribute something. We have a large audience so, if you post something here, a lot of people will read it and visit your blog.
That’s all the advice I can think of right now. Maybe someone else can add to my advice in the comments below. Have fun getting to know the community!
So, as you can see, there is a lot of stuff going on out there! Don’t forget to send me your tips for next week!