Running blog, the5krunner, has again ranked in the top 10 running blogs. Anonymously written, the5krunner covers running tech and the best routes, as well triathlon training and competing. We caught up with the5krunner to find out about blogging in secret, the right gear for running and the best kinds of press release.
How do you describe what you do to other people?
I am somewhat secretive about my blog. Even to friends. So, I suppose I should have a good answer to that question.
I would say that I probably angle my repose about what I do between the blog’s three main pillars: journalistic research and analysis of emerging sports tech; product reviews and opinions; and a good dose of lifestyle blogging about a wannabe age group triathlete’s trials and tribulations.
How does social media feed into your blog – are any channels more important?
It has taken me a long time to better understand my readership and it is THEIR use of social media channels that I invest in rather than ones that I think I ought to or that some expert or other has told me that I ought to. Eg. I wasted a lot of time with Instagram last year.
The blog itself is by far the most important channel although a notable number of readers use Facebook. I use Twitter as email proxy for one-to-one communications rather than as a means of capturing traffic. YouTube would work for my type of reader but I don’t have the skills or time to take that further right now… if anyone who is reading this does then give me a call.
How important is the right clothing/gear for running?
I would give the classic ‘it depends’ response. Most of the time it does not really matter in the UK but if there are specific weather or performance requirements then clothing is very important. Ranging from: keeping arms warm in the winter; to stopping chaffing on long runs; to allowing cooling on hot days; all the way to simply providing a means of carrying a gel, smartphone and key.
What’s your favourite pair of trainers?
I have the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante v4 right now. I bought three pairs (no freebies). I don’t especially want to like them but I rarely seem to get injured when wearing them so that is a massive bonus for me. No injury = favourite.
Where’s the best place to run in the world?
The London Borough of Richmond-on-Thames is pretty cool in a very safe-cum-pretty-cum-boring kind of way. Maybe I should get out more? but I love the Royal Parks here and the Rivers, nearby canals and more besides.
How many races do you compete in a year?
Excluding parkruns, it would probably be about six races with two of them being ‘A’ races. I train properly for them as best I can yet always set myself goals that are unachievable! If you are of a competitive nature then the beauty of triathlons is that there is a good level of ‘proper’ competition in age-group events. My goal is to win a medal at a national triathlon championship at some distance or other. That will be difficult but possible for me this year or next.
What advice would you give PRs?
The advice would be to understand the motivations of the blogger they are contacting. Some of us do it for fun, some for freebies and some for money. If your pitch to me is that you want 500 words and original photographs syndicated over all my channels in exchange for a free pair of running socks, then perhaps you might want to reflect on how much you are paid and how much of my free time you are requesting.
Do you accept press releases?
Yes. I probably look at all I receive. I probably act on 5% of them. That would be the 5% that are either of interest to me or to my readership.
What’s the best collaboration you’ve worked on with a brand or PR?
I can think of generous brands/PRs, stingy ones and I can think of prestigious ones. The BEST collaborations are those where the PR can respond quickly and intelligently to requests to clarify facts.
What are your favourite blogs?
I have a web dashboard thingy that brings up new content as the blogs that I follow produce it. It’s very much informational/transactional for me. I don’t really enjoy them. Only a very small number that I follow tend to inject an element of personality into what they do but not enough for me to call them my favourite. My favourite channel would be the GCN channel for cyclists on YouTube.