These popular websites cover a wide range of topics that center around running.
Blogs are everywhere, with well-known personalities and complete strangers alike sharing all the details of their latest adventures, meals or cutest cat pictures.
But, a handful of blogs go beyond being just a diary for their closest friends and find a way to connect with a wider audience. And, plenty of them do it through running.
Running-related blogs range from the inspirational to training logs to in-depth sites about gear and biomechanics. Though there tends to be a male-female divide, with moms often writing more about their personal lives and popular male bloggers writing more gear reviews, readers can be found on both sides of the line.
There are plenty of popular running blogs not included here, from Black Girls Run to Sweat Science, but the following five well-known individuals bring their perspective to the internet – without staffs or multi-layered websites. Just them, running and writing. Check ’em out!
Though not the first, Skinny Runner is something of a grandmother of female running blogs.
Skinny Runner, also known as Sarah Moore, likes to joke that she picked that name because Normal Jogger didn’t sound as good. She’s posted daily updates of her workouts, pictures of her running outfits, and race recaps since January 2009. When she first started, Moore would post three times a day and slowly built up readership.
“It’s like a relationship in that you can’t force it, you just have to work at it and let it grow on its own,” she said.
Though she began as a very casual runner – doing a half marathon with no training – Moore is relatively competitive now, racing dozens of marathons a year with a best of 3:14. While she makes some money off the site, she also works with her family, who are commercial fishermen, in Alaska over the summer. The rest of the year, she writes self-deprecating posts about her life and running.
“Life is tough enough without me complaining and dragging you down into my stresses,” she said.
RunBlogger is a bit like the scientific standard in running blogs. But, Pete Larson, a biologist and long-time runner, didn’t even start out intending to write a running blog. He simply started a blog and found that his posts about the science of running attracted lots of readers. In 2009, he launched RunBlogger.
Now, with a site full of very detailed shoe reviews and posts on biomechanics, people are constantly asking for help picking shoes or asking other questions about running.
“Probably not a day goes by that I don’t get a few emails,” said Larson.
The blog has given him the opportunity to write a book about running and next year he plans to take off from his job as a college professor to give it his full attention. Since a complete review can take up to three hours, with all the research he puts into it, right now it’s like he’s doing two jobs.
“It’s nothing I would have expected,” said Larson.
In college, Dorothy Beal was overweight and smoked. But, her family stepped in to help her and eventually she started running, doing her first marathon in 2003.
After working at different running and race companies, like Brooks and Moving Comfort, she became a stay-at-home mom and “wanted contact with the outside world,” she said. She also wanted to help inspire others with her story.
In 2009, she launched her blog, Mile Posts, which is primarily personal posts and race reports, as well as inspirational messages like her “I Run This Body” t-shirts. While it takes up a lot of time, it’s also become nearly a full-time job now, leading to opportunities such as taking part in a Saucony ad campaign and posing as the cover model for Women’s Running.
“I would have given this up a long time ago if people didn’t email me and tell me I was making a difference,” said Beal.
Running and Rambling
Donald Buraglio, a physical therapist and ultrarunner, used to send emails about his runs, thoughts, and races to a list of friends and family – “before I was sure this whole internet thing would take off,” he joked.
In 2005, he switched to a blog, www.runningandrambling.com, and shared his ramblings about running with more than that email list. But, it wasn’t until after he started writing gear reviews and became an early adopter of the minimalist/barefoot running trend that he began to attract more readers and Google traffic. From there, the number of opportunities and interest “really kind of takes on a life of its own,” said Buraglio.
Although he’s going to step back in 2013 because of the time commitment, he’s been surprised by the response he’s gotten over the years.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started meeting people in real life,” he said. But, the community has given him people to meet up with for training runs and at races – almost like friends in the real world, too.
Hungry Runner Girl
Janae Jacobs started her Hungry Runner Girl blog after getting injured running the Boston Marathon in 2010, not because she was looking for answers or support; she just got bored.
“If I’m not running, I might as well talk about running,” she said.
Although her site is primarily personal stories of her day-to-day life, she thinks it attracted people because of the hard training she was doing for a sub-3:00 marathon and then because of the struggles she faced after developing a stress fracture. When she got pregnant about a year ago, it also drew more readers to her blog. No one ever said that stay-at-home moms aren’t a large market online.
Now, she says she spends about 30 hours a week working on the site and makes some money doing it.
While she’s gotten to know the online running community, commenting on others’ blogs and on forums, what she really thinks brings people back over and over is that she tries to stay positive. “I don’t like talking about the negative,” she said.
About The Author:
Kelly Dunleavy O’Mara is a journalist/reporter and former professional triathlete. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and writes for a number of magazines, newspapers, and websites. You can read more about her at www.sunnyrunning.com.