Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Thing About Blogging

After I quit swimming and had my third surgery almost three years ago I had no idea where things were heading. I had started running some while at school in Pittsburgh before my surgery but knew absolutely nothing about how to train for any kind of endurance event. In the spring I stumbled upon a running blog that quickly opened my eyes to this wonderful community of running and endurance bloggers. I started following a bunch of blogs and reading as much as I could to learn about running.

Some of those blogs I still follow, some don't exist anymore, and some I just didn't like the content so I stopped following them. What I've realized a lot over the past ~6 months is that just because someone has a blog and writes about running does not mean that they actually know anything about running or that you should follow their advice. When I first started reading blogs I thought the proper way to train for any kind of endurance event was by doing the bare minimum. I was way underestimating what I was capable of and what I needed to be doing to train for these events.

I have seen a lot of bloggers recently that say they are training for huge races like an Ironman or Half Ironman and are documenting their weekly workouts for all of their readers to see. In fact, they are actively promoting the way they are training for these events. The problem is that they are hardly even training. I know I shouldn't judge, especially since they are at least trying, but it drives me nuts that as someone training for short course triathlons I am putting in more volume than someone training for an Ironman. That is just backwards.

From following certain blogs I got the impression that you should start a training cycle for a marathon with long runs at ~6 miles like the beginner plans online say to do, even if you can regularly run around 10 miles. If you are a beginner or haven't run that long in awhile than starting shorter is the smart thing to do but if you can run 10 miles why sell yourself short and start with 6? It just doesn't make sense to me.

I am not writing this post to attack anybody as I am not directing this towards any particular bloggers but rather as a PSA of sorts to be more aware of the things you read. I've given advice on this blog before but it's all based on my own experiences and I am not sharing it because I am right but rather because I hope to help anybody who may experience the same challenges that I did. I really truly think that blogging has helped me as an athlete but now I only read those blogs that challenge me.

Just because your favorite blogger wears this brand of clothing or is following that training plan does not mean that you have to also. Give yourself a little more credit and do whatever is best for you. People are not going to stop reading your blog or get angry with you if you just don't like whatever popular bar is out there that everyone else seems to like. In a way the blogging community reminds me of a high school with some of the cliques. If they bother you, don't read them or interact with them.

Make your own decisions and surround yourself with people that inspire you, not anger you.


  1. I agree with this post- you can't read everyone's blogs and expect to "know everything" and all the sudden find something that works for you.I don't read blogs to find what I should be doing, I go out and try things to see what works and what I should be doing.

    EVERYONE is different- some people may not need to train as much for certain races (running OR tri's....) we ALL require different things, different amounts of training, different fuel, different miles, at the end of the day it works for you. Those bloggers that might be training "less" than you for longer races- that might be what works for them, and maybe they won't live up to their potential where are you are pushing yourself more and are more likely to succeed. I get really frustrated when people judge how I train, I know my body and I know what works for me- that may or may not be more or less than what others need.

    Blogs should inspire and not anger you- amen to that. That's why I read them, not to find the next big thing that someone else thinks I should be doing.

  2. I agree with Laura - everyone is different and everyone has different goals. I don't think I've ever once read someone's running/fitness/tri blog and thought "I need to replicate this." I read because I am interested and encouraged by others' personal journeys. I am inspired, but that doesn't mean I take any blogger's advice or weekly recap as gospel truth as to what's good for me or anyone else. Likewise, I would hope no one takes my experiences as anything but that.

  3. I love this! What works for one does not work for all! I think the people who don't realize this has something coming in the long run!

  4. You have to listen to your body and do what's going to make you successful on race day. Some people have the goal to finish, some people want to finish in a certain time and some people want to win. It's all about what you can commit to in training and do consistently without injury.

  5. Just getting back from vacation and catching up on blogs--this one caught my eye! I wholeheartedly agree with this. It's a very easy trap to fall into. There's lots of irresponsible training going on out there and people easily hop onto that bandwagon. You've got to do your homework and do what's right for YOU, not anyone else.