“Victoria Day” May (2016) celebrates 9 years online for SpeedEndurance. I have since lived and moved to 3 different countries in that time!
Obviously, SpeedEndurance wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you, the readers. The Blog was initially meant to be a software platform to write my book I never published, as WordPress had a great way to write chapters with cross references, tags, categories and search. (Bud Winter books are the exception with So You Want to Be a Sprinter, The Rocket Sprint Start, and Relax and Win)
Then it became a platform for fundraising for our (now defunct) Track team with advertising and affiliate revenue.
For those who are into numbers, the web traffic and readership fluctuates a lot, but on average, the site gets between 6000-7000 daily visits, or average 10,000 page views (i.e. “hits”) per day. Of course, it gets hammered the 9 days every 4 years when the Olympics Track & Field is on.
My advice to people who want to start blogging?
People overestimate what they can do in 1 year, but underestimate what they can do in 10 years — Marc Benioff, CEO & Chairman of Salesforce
That being said, here are 9 random lessons I learned from 9 year of Blogging to both Coaches and Athletes. Both topics go hand in hand.
1. The Only Thing Constant is Change
Life is change. Even after a successful season, you should always go back and study the training log to see where you can improve.
Clyde Hart always changes something every year.
My weight training program changes every 2 years (which I covered in this Blog in the Weight Training Category)
And don’t ask me to show you my mobile phone from 2007, but it does have a 30 day stand-by battery! Guess how many times I have changed phones? And it’s still a phone!
2. There are No Quick Fixes. There are No Shortcuts.
4-8 years of injury free years training 2-3 hours a day, 4-6 days a week. Plus smart coaching, and an athlete that listens!
Really, that is it.
Ok, drugs and steroids help you recover or gain muscle mass, but I am not here to condone the practice. Read my rant here from my 2013 Interview on the War on Drugs.
3. We don’t Obsess over our Abs…
… but great abs are a by-product of years (decades?) of ALL our hard work and clean eating!
I normally do 500 reps about 4 times a week on the EASY days.
Charlie Francis prescribes 4500 reps a week… 1000 on the easy days and 500 on the hard/speed days (3×100 + 3×500)
Sanya Richards-Ross does 1500 sit-ups per day.
And then, there is the plank!
How about you?
However, the obsession with the 6 pack or 8 pack makes Cross-fit popular!
Just eat, sleep, & train. Rinse and repeat.
4. Connect the 3 Dots
Athletes and Coaches know (1) where they are today, (2) where they want to go, and (3) how to get there. Unfortunately it’s not a straight line with plenty of tinkering.
Trust me, there will be lots of ups and downs… so on those days, follow the next tip:
5. Focus on Measurable Goals Along the Way
It’s the little successes along the way that count. If you are trying to run 47 seconds for 400m, and currently running 52, try making sub 50 your first goal. Then sub-49. And so on.
If you are a Blogger, then web traffic is your life line. You can erect a billboard in the desert – your mother will be proud of you – but nobody is going to see it.
I recall a statistic where 95% of blogs fail within the first 6 months. If you have Google Ads, 95% of Bloggers don’t make that $100 USD payout in the first 6 months. I got lucky with the Harry Jerome 2007 track meet, where I posted my videos on line pre-YouTube, and it took me 82 days to reach $100 USD with Google Adsense.
So sometimes luck has a factor. I think the old adage “you gotta be lucky to be good, and good to be lucky” is quite appropriate here :)
6. Don’t Cut Calories…
… and don’t worry about body fat percentages. Sure, try different “diets” (i.e food type, not caloric restriction) whatever works for you.
As I said before on my Twitter feed:
People diet and workout. Athletes eat and train.
Your body needs to eat, to fuel, and if you have to, take supplements.
7. Don’t Feel Guilty when you Skip a Workout
That’s right, recovery is just as important as training. In fact, the minute you stop your training session is when your body goes into recovery mode.
You are better off to under-train than over-train.
By shifting the graph to the left or right (over-train vs. under-train), you can see how an over-trained athlete (i.e. hard training on the recovery day) won’t have a chance at the supercompensation effect, whereas an untrained athlete will have some supercompensation.
8. Surround Yourself with Smarter People (and faster athletes!)
I like being the dumbest person in a conference, as I’ll be the one asking all the questions!
Just like your training group… train with sprinters faster than you, but not too fast to get discouraged!
Is that why Wayde van Niekerk allegedly joined Usain Bolt’s training group, prior to the Rio Olympics?
9. Do What You Love, but Pay the Bills too
Last, but not least, do what you love. There is no reason not to do what you love with today’s technology. And there is enough room to start a niche.
Anyone can build a website, or build a mobile app. As long as you have critical mass, and great user experiences, you will have a winning formula. Remember, it’s not the best technology that wins, it’s who gets there first.
Just like a sprint race!