What I look for in a running blog

Picking up on Jen's post about what she looks for in a running blog, I thought I'd share my own list. 

A few years ago, when I was trying to cut back on my internet-reading, I created a "favorites" folder and added in running blogs one by one when I read something I really liked. The blogs that make it in my "favorites" group generally fall into at least one of these four categories:

  • People with the same goals/upcoming races as me, to compare and learn from what they're doing. So much of what I've learned about running has been through reading blogs and asking questions like, "Why is she running three/four/five/six days a week? Why is she doing this thing called a 'MAF test'? Should I be doing these things?", which sends me down a rabbit hole of running-related research.)  
  • People I think I relate to or think I like IRL: This is my favorite category. These are the blogs I always read first. 
  • Aspirational runners: People who are really fast (compared to me). It's fun to read about how sub-elites, and super competitive age-groupers train.
  • North Carolina runners, the best source of local knowledge about races and trails around here.

But they can be kicked out of the folder (demoted to a provisional folder while I decide whether or not to unsubscribe) for a combination of the following:

Don't do it!

Don't do it!

  • "Ambassadorships" for one of the circle-jerky blogger brands: Also known as the moment a good blog jumps the shark. 
  • Disorder-y stuff around food or exercise: Somehow, I made it through my adolescence and college years without having body image issues or an eating disorder. I'm sympathetic, but not interested in reading about other people's disordered eating or training. (See my note above about reading blogs for useful training tips -- not damaging behaviors.)  also don't like to feel like I'm encouraging or participating in something better left to a professional.
  • Writing issues (grammar, spelling, malapropisms, syntax): Obviously, no one reads running blogs for the writing. Most of us put very little thought into the writing quality of what are basically online training logs. But still, a little proofreading goes a long way.
  • Full-time bloggers: I feel like I have almost nothing in common with full-time bloggers. I work, so I like reading about how other people fit in training with busy jobs, and balance career goals with athletic goals.

When I first started running, I would read literally anyone's thoughts about it. Now, I'm more selective about what I read and limit my internet-reading time. Tell me: What would be on your yay/nay list?