I am on quite a lot of social networks, but most of them I don’t really use. Only about five or so I use regularly; my favorite one is of course Twitter, but the number two is a quite unknown one where I only have eight friends: dailymile.com. It’s a social network for runners, and running happens to my favorite sport. I try to run at least one marathon a year or something similar. This year it will likely just be the Shanghai half marathon in November, although I am still considering to participate again in the grueling 30k Hangzhou Mountain Marathon later this month. I even read novels about long-distance running, right now I am in the middle of “What I talk about when I talk about running” by the famous Japanese writer Haruki Murakami (thanks for borrowing Richard Yu).
I think I found out about dailymile around Christmas last year, and I started using the site actively from January this year. I use it to track all my runs and to see what my web-savvy running friends are up to. It’s more like a public running diary for me: I track how far I ran, how long it took me, how I felt and where I ran. Almost all my runs this year are on it. I now started training for the Shanghai half marathon, and my daily miles go up a lot. The site tells me that I ran 47 km over the past week, out of which 40 over the past 4 days. In the whole of September I only ran 91 kilometers, so I really picked up my training schedule now (also because of the Chinese holidays of course, I won’t be able to keep this up when work starts again). I normally also mention my runs on Twitter, but there is no way to easily find them back on there, let alone to get some useful statistics.
When I just signed up for dailymile the site was still quite new and had hardly any functions. But after a few weeks they asked their users what functions they would like to see, and I sent them a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. It turns out that 9 months later many of these functions have been implemented. Exactly like I would have done it, they implement changes step by step: not all at once, but one feature after the other. You can now for example sync your Nike+ with dailymile, so it updates your runs automatically. And this week for example, I received for the first time a weekly training report, with the number of kilometers that I ran and the amount of calories that I burned. The site is now much easier to use than when I first started using it, and I really enjoy spending a few minutes on it on an (almost) daily basis.
The site is actually not only for runners, you can also use it for other sports like cycling or swimming. If you like to keep track of your progress or need some extra motivation to keep your schedule, you should sign up for DailyMile.com. And once you’ve done that feel free to add me as a friend!