Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Power of Dailymile

When running, and more specifically when training towards a big race, motivation is key. What do you do to keep yourself motivated during those long months (years?) of training? For a while now I wanted to talk about one of those things. The web site called Dailymile.

I first noticed this site while trying to consolidate all my running data into one log. (which I ultimately failed to do. I just had used too many different sites) I noticed that a great number of people I look up to had Dailymile widgets on their blogs and stuff. I had just begun logging all my data at Garmin Connect (on account that I had just started using Mr. Garmin) and the first thing I noticed about it was: "Man, is this thing boring." Now, don't get me wrong. Garmin Connect is great at gathering all your data and keeping tabs on it and it also has a social component but it... how can I put this? Well, it sucks. Kind of soulless. Since Dailymile accepts Garmin data I decided to use both.

The difference between both is that Dailymile has a Facebook-type friend system to help you keep tabs not just on you but on your friends. You can communicate with them and send them motivation. When you look at your data, you have the option to also look at your friend's and compare. This createss a bit of friendly competition and helps keep you running as I sure don't want to be the one lagging. The best part (for me at least) is that this "competition" is totally with yourself. There is no need to bother anyone or tease them. You look at the data and you make the changes to you running if you want. I'll give you an example:

Every time I log into Dailymile, I first upload my latest run, of course. Then I look at all my totals for the week, month and year. This is where it gets interesting. Then, I go to the leaderboard section and see how I compare with my friends. I send them motivation according to their accomplishments. Here is how it's looking as of this writing:

1. On the top spot is fellow islander Gabriel with 924 miles for the year. He is a freak. He started the year very strong, training for a Half-Marathon he had in February. Then he took a break to focus on Cross-Fit and other types of fitness, then returned to running recently and STILL managed to put up that monster number. He will probably finish the year with a cool thousand miles logged. Like I said: Freak.

2. Then comes David.One of the co-hosts of Run Chat (every Sunday on Twitter. You should check it out! #runchat) He did the opposite. Started slow and has ramped things up as the racing season approached. He currently has  707 miles. I'm hoping to get my yearly mileage up to that in the future (My goal for the year is 600 miles though).

3. Then there is a three way race to-the-death between Caroline, founder of Running Bloggers; myself and Mindy, from Road Runner Girl. Caroline, with 578 miles, seems like she only does two things from where I'm sitting: A long run, or running an actual Marathon. She is a machine. Then I'm closing in the gap with 573 miles, having just passed Mindy who has 529. But that rise in rankings was bittersweet. Mindy has been nursing a bad hip and knee and was told to hold back on her running. Here's hoping you feel better Mindy, so you can go kick my butt.

4. After the top 5 is Sarah from Run Ginger Run who is an awesome runner, with 517 miles, Karen from Losing the Glass Slippers(great photographer) with 443 miles and Heather from Heather's Looking Glass with 441  miles.

5. A bit further down is my friend Gilbert with 131 miles but he gets a special mention because he only started running recently so 131 miles is a big deal and he is a Cubs fan, so he needs a lot of love. (Also a Jets fan, but that's my fault)

If you are on Dailymile or are thinking to sign up, be sure to look me up. Here is my Dailymile profile. As far as motivational tools go, you can't go wrong with this one. It supports not only Garmin data but Nike+ too,  as well as giving you the option to enter data yourself. Also, being free, can you really ask for more?


  1. Thanks for introducing me to the world of running brother. Having a lot of fun doing it!

  2. I love Daily Mile! I forget to look at my total miles for the year! I think 500 miles is pretty good....especially with my injuries! Keep up the good work Frank! I don't mind you passing me! ;-)

  3. I have tried other sites but Dailymile is hands down my favorite. It's a great community and easy to use. I look forward to following your posts.

  4. I am having a hard time reading on the black background...getting old an senile, Great Post...we might be Friends on dailymile.