Nearly four years ago, one of my friends on Facebook posted a link to his run on a website called Dailymile. At that point, I had no real idea how long my runs were (sometimes I would drive my route to get an idea) or my pace. It seemed like a cool idea and so I signed up.
Since then I have become a “runner” in the fact that I run a ton, race a lot, and track probably too much information about my runs. While lots of things contributed to me becoming more committed to my running, Dailymile was definitely one of the most motivating factors. I didn’t want to see blank days piling up! And slowly, I made friends though the site. And now, I also use Strava. (At some point I’ll need to consolidate to just one but I’m not ready for that yet.)
Strava and Dailymile are great sites that allow you to post your runs (and if you use a GPS watch, you can also upload the data from your run to their site). This works because its a way to track your progress. Tracking your progress is important part of improving as an athlete. But if you’re like me, writing down things in notebooks doesn’t last long because 1) my hand hurts after writing 2 words, 2) I have no idea where I put my notebook last, and 3) there is no immediate reward for writing down my workout. Social media sites are awesome at solving all 3 problems, especially that last one. After you post your run, friends can give you “kudos” (Strava) or comment on your workout (Strava & Dailymile). Strava even has “segments” where you can “compete” against local runners on a given part of your run!
Strava and Dailymile aren’t your only options. Both Garmin and Nike have awesome sites to track your runs and both have a social media component. Nike’s is a little flashier for sure (and Nike has all sorts of challenges and virtual races which is pretty cool too). And then there are a TON of smart phone apps to track your runs and use as a GPS. (Strava and Nike both have great apps. Dailymile has a good mobile site (no GPS element but several apps do sync up to it) not sure about Garmin.) This means you can super lazy with recording your run: as long as you have your phone on you when you run, it will do all the work for you.
Whenever I have friends who ask me for tips to get into running, I always suggest joining a site like one of these because accountability is what will get you on track. I have a few friends who use Facebook the same way. Whatever keeps you committed to your workouts is what is important. And even better is when you can watch your progress, see how you improve: long runs, quicker paces, etc.
Do you use a website to track your runs? Which one and what do you like best about it?