Welcome to the new HillRunner.com!

I’m glad you found your way over!

Everything that I am planning to transfer to the new HillRunner.com is now here! Soon, I’ll post an update on what you can do in the new HillRunner.com.

Missing page/bad link? If you get an “Oops! That page can’t be found” error at any time, I am getting notified. I’ll work on setting up a redirect as soon as possible.

Calculators: The calculators are up and running.

Training Log: The training log is now in the new HillRunner.com! That’s the final piece of the puzzle.

I realize the training log is currently looking a little rough around the edges. To get things over as quickly as possible, I combined the old style formatting with the new style formatting. I’ll be updating the formatting as time passes to bring you a whole new look.

All functionality of the old training log should be working in the new training log (I tested all scenarios I could think of). However, if you do find something that isn’t working, please let me know and I’ll look at it as soon as possible.

Club/Coach pages: These pages are up and, in my opinion, better than ever.

Store/Pictures/other old pages: As of now, I don’t have a plan for these older pages that haven’t seen updates or really traffic for at least several years. Given their lack of traffic, I’m planning on phasing them out.

Accounts: All user accounts have been transferred.

If you received an email with your new password, great. You can log in at any time. If you haven’t, it’s possible your email got lost. You can reset your password.

Questions? Problems? Don’t hesitate to let me know. You can use the contact form  or comment here.

Major changes coming in September

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Image

I’m going to attempt to explain what will be going on without getting into too many technical details. Hopefully, this won’t sound intentionally vague. Sorry if it does.

HillRunner.com has been around for over 18 years. In that time, I’ve always built upon what has already existed, not wanting to rock the boat or even temporarily take away things that you have become used to having available unless absolutely necessary.

Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of old code that I wish I could clean up but, without major disruption, feel like I can’t. It also leads to problems in other behind the scenes ways, meaning I spend more time on maintenance and less on either writing for HillRunner.com or developing new features.

I’ve been looking for a few years at making some major coding changes. I’ve also wanted to beef up the security at HillRunner.com in response to security leaks other sites have faced. I don’t think I ask you for information that is all that sensitive but we can’t be too careful these days.

In recent months, certain developments on the Internet have forced my hand and I’m now left with no option other than cause significant disruption to HillRunner.com in one way or another. I have to make changes before October or HillRunner.com will be tagged “unsafe” by a major industry player and you’ll be warned that HillRunner.com is unsafe every time you do almost anything interactive at HillRunner.com.

As long as I have to make these disrupting changes, I’m also going to move forward and make the coding changes I’ve been hesitating to make. Essentially, HillRunner.com is going to be rebuilt from the ground up.

As a result, HillRunner.com will be undergoing a significant transition in September. I’m going to attempt to make this as seamless as possible but to make it completely seamless is impossible, which is why I’m devoting a weekly blog post to this.

Tentatively scheduled for Thursday and Friday, September 21st and 22nd, HillRunner.com will be moving to a new server. I will attempt to have as much of the site as possible, especially relatively static pages like the Treadmill Pace Conversions and the Calculators, up and running as soon as the change has been made. However, there may be some issues that need to be worked out. Specifically, I’m concerned about training logs and blog posts.

I’m concerned about training logs because you will need to create a new account to log on to HillRunner.com. I’m working on ideas on how to relink your account to your training log data. I’ll come up with something, even if it involves a lot of work for me. I’m going to make sure nobody who has entrusted their training logs to HillRunner.com loses their history.

I’m concerned about blog posts because we’re going to be on a new blogging software. I’m working on plans to import blog posts so we don’t lose the hundreds we already have but I’m not sure how this will work or if they will be up immediately.

I know this is a concerning transition. I’ve not done this for so long because I’ve constantly been searching for better solutions or hoping one might be built. However, my hand is being forced. Something needs to be done now, I can’t wait any longer for a better solution to be made. I apologize up front for any problems this will cause. Please know I’ll be working as hard as possible to minimize the problems.

As always, I appreciate your support and understanding. We’ll get through this and have a HillRunner.com that is better than ever in the end. Hopefully, we’ll also have one that is easier for me to maintain so I can commit more time to improving the site and adding more content to help you be the best runner you can be.

Team HillRunner.com: 2017 Al’s Run

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

As Double recently noticed, this summer has gotten completely away from me. However, it’s not too late to build a strong Team HillRunner.com for Al’s Run

The team veterans know the details. For anyone new, here’s a quick run down. Join the team and you’ll get filled in on all the details.

Al’s Run this year is on Saturday, September 16th. The race starts at the usual location on the Marquette campus at 10:30 in the morning. Post-race, I hope most of the team can make it up to my house for a cookout and team social.

This is always a very fun event. I always feel honored that such great people would be willing to represent HillRunner.com. I hope to see both the veterans as well as some new faces there this year.

Join Team HillRunner.com!

Ask me anything

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Image

Another 6 months have passed and I almost forgot about this! Here’s your open invitation to ask me anything.

Within reason, nothing is off limits. Ask about training, racing, my thoughts on any news in the sport. Ask about the site, the coaching service, Club HillRunner.com or anything else that’s going on.

If you want to ask publicly, you can do so in the comments, on Facebook or you can tweet at HillRunner.com (or tweet at my personal account). If you want to ask more privately, you can use the contact form or, if you’re friends with me on Facebook or you know my email address, you can reach me through those options.

So what have you been thinking about and wanting to ask?

Reflecting on 2016

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Last week, I mentioned that this is the time of the year that we think about what we want to do next year.

It’s also the time of the year when we reflect on the year that has passed. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on what 2016 has held for HillRunner.com and maybe look a little forward to what 2017 may hold.

2016 was a very busy year for me personally, which means I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to work on HillRunner.com. Ok, I’ll be honest. Even in the best year, I never get as much time as I’d like to work on HillRunner.com but this year I got less time than I usually do.

That said, some things have happened at HillRunner.com, mostly visible to Club HillRunner.com members.

I haven’t gotten nearly as many videos uploaded as I wanted. That is going to be a focus for 2017.

However, club members who use the training log should have noticed more visual representations of their training through charts. Club members will now see a "My Trends" section on the homepage where they can see daily and monthly trends (weekly trends to come). They will also see charts in other parts of their logs that should help them visualize how their training has been going.

As always, I’ve also made some changes to the display of the site to modernize it and make it easier to use on both big and small screens. Most of these should not be terribly noticeable for most but I hope, if you had issues in the past, they have been resolved. If not, don’t hesitate to let me know.

On the content side, I took a look through all of this year’s blog posts and noted far too many to mention that I’m very happy to see out there. A few of the many I’m happy to have had the ability to write about over the course of 2016:

Following up on the Winter running post I originally wrote many years ago and update/resurface every year, I finally wrote a Summer running post that will probably get similar treatment.

I wrote about both not getting caught up in "magic workouts" and the importance of consistency, which are related topics in my opinion.

I started a spotlight workout series with hilly long runs. Being a series, I should probably write at least a couple more posts in 2017.

I also noticed that I repeated myself some (Consistency matters and Get off the roller coaster for example). I don’t regret this and I will continue to do so because some topics are important enough to be repeated.

On the coaching front, we’re always learning and things never go perfectly. There have been ups and downs but I’m happy to report that there were far more ups than downs, including a runner who set a PR in every race he ran this year, a runner taking her first ever overall victory, and a few Boston Qualifying marathon efforts. I haven’t been working with many runners this year but those who I have had the opportunity to work with, as usual, are hard workers who make my job a wonderful experience.

Ask me anything

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Image

Another 6 months have passed. Here’s your open invitation to ask me anything.

Within reason, nothing is off limits. Ask about training, racing, my thoughts on any news in the sport. Ask about the site, the coaching service, Club HillRunner.com or anything else that’s going on.

If you want to ask publicly, you can do so in the comments, on Facebook or you can tweet at HillRunner.com (or tweet at my personal account). If you want to ask more privately, you can use the contact form or, if you’re friends with me on Facebook or you know my email address, you can reach me through those options.

So what have you been thinking about and wanting to ask?

Ask me anything

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Image

Another 6 months have passed. Here’s your open invitation to ask me anything.

Within reason, nothing is off limits. Ask about training, racing, my thoughts on any news in the sport. Ask about the site, the coaching service, Club HillRunner.com or anything else that’s going on.

If you want to ask publicly, you can do so in the comments, on Facebook or you can tweet at HillRunner.com (or tweet at my personal account). If you want to ask more privately, you can use the contact form or, if you’re friends with me on Facebook or you know my email address, you can reach me through those options.

So what have you been thinking about and wanting to ask?

What’s going on at HillRunner.com?

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

Image

A lot of things are happening all the time at HillRunner.com. Some are big enough to warrant their own blog post to cover, such as the recent return of more widespread ads (also covered below). Others are small enough to not warrant their own blog posts.

I’d like to occasionally round up some of the recent changes that are big enough to mention but not big enough for their own blog post. Here’s my first attempt at doing so.

Training log features for Club HillRunner.com members

I’ve placed a significant focus recently on the training log. Right now, the benefits are primarily but not solely limited to Club HillRunner.com members.

The biggest changes have been the addition of some visual elements (charts) to help you visualize your training trends over days, weeks, and months. More of these are coming for Club HillRunner.com members and, in time, some will most likely make it to the general public.

Usability improvements in training log and calculators

Some changes have been made for usability, such as drop-downs in place of free form text fields when entering times.

Social links

You may have noticed more social links all around HillRunner.com. Three changes have been made in this regard.

First, currently on every page of HillRunner.com, you can find social follow and social share links. I hope you will find that this makes it easier to find HillRunner.com on a few of the most popular social networks, as well as to share the content here on those networks.

Second, I made it even easier to share blog posts by placing social share links immediately after a post. So it’s very easy once you’re done reading a post to share with your friends.

Finally, you may have noticed that there are now Facebook and Twitter links following my name on post pages and in the comments of the blogs. If you update your profile, you can have those links after you name if you wish. I hope this will allow the community here to connect on social networks more easily if you wish to do so.

Readability

I made a few changes to improve the readability to HillRunner.com. Primarily, what this means is that you’ll see more white space. It’s been shown that more space between lines of text makes the text easier to read and generally easier on the eyes. I don’t want you to have to scroll to read a single sentence but I do want to make sure your reading experience is as pleasant as possible.

There have also been some other cosmetic changes. Almost all focused on making reading HillRunner.com easier but also some just to make HillRunner.com more attractive.

Anti-spam measures

Registration may require a little more work than previously due to attempts to keep members from registering. Also, since most spam was coming through via replies to forum topics, replies will not be allowed after a topic has been quiet for 7 days.

As has been the case for some time, members will have to wait a day after registering before making a new blog post. In addition, guests are welcome and encouraged to comment on blog posts but all guest comments are moderated to prevent spam.

Ads

Finally, ads are back. I already posted about this when they made their return but I wanted to address this again because I realize it is a big deal.

I hate ads as much as you do. I probably hate ads on HillRunner.com more than you do. However, I do have to pay the bills and I think it’s unfair to ask a small number of people (those I coach and Club HillRunner.com members) to take the full burden for something that everyone benefits from. So I decided to create a three-tier structure for ads to ensure everyone helps in some way.

Tier 1: Club HillRunner.com members (which includes those I coach) will get an ad free experience. You’ve already pitched in and I’m very grateful for your support.

Tier 2: Registered and logged on members will see ads on certain pages roughly half of the time. By taking the time to register and log in, you’ve shown loyalty to HillRunner.com and I want to show my appreciation for that.

Tier 3: Anyone who is not logged on will see ads all the time on certain pages. I do truly appreciate your taking the time to visit HillRunner.com and I hope you don’t find the ads overwhelming. I just need to ask you to chip in to help pay the bills.

Note: I have overridden things to place myself in tier 3. I did this so I get constant reminders of what you see and of why I want to keep the ads to a minimum.

What’s the deal with the ads?

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

I think it’s been well established that I hate ads on HillRunner.com as much as anybody.

That said, I have to pay the bills somehow and I don’t think it’s fair to ask Club HillRunner.com members to carry the full burden. So, as much as I hate ads, I’m bringing them back.

As you may (or may not – I’ll explain below) have already noticed, ads have returned to some of the most heavily visited parts of HillRunner.com. They will return to more areas as time goes on. However, not everyone will see them with the same frequency – or at all.

Here’s the deal:

Club HillRunner.com members: Whenever you are logged in, you will continue to have a completely ad free experience. You’re already supporting HillRunner.com through your membership fee and I thank you for doing so.

Registered, logged in members: Whenever you are logged in, you will only see half as many ads as you otherwise would. I appreciate your loyalty and the time you took to sign up.

Guests: I truly appreciate everyone who visits. I’m not trying to punish you. However, I do have to pay the bills so you will see the most ads.

How to reduce or eliminate the ads:

I already laid it out above. If you want to reduce the number of ads you see, you can do so for free by registering and making sure you’re logged in.

If you want to completely eliminate the ads you see on HillRunner.com, you can do so for as little as $1 per month by joining Club HillRunner.com.

I am still committed to keeping the ads to a minimum. I will always ensure HillRunner.com will not become one of those sites where you feel like there are more ads than useful content.

I hope I’m finding a balance that everyone can appreciate and respect. If you have any questions or comments about the new ad policy, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Administrative note: registration and forums

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

I hope it has mostly gone unnoticed to most of you but there has been a rash of attempted attacks by spammers over the past few days.

Largely, the spammers have been trying to do their thing over at the forums. There have been a few attempts on the blogs also but, as of now, those have not gotten through.

In order to combat these attacks, I made a few changes:

  • Registration (which goes through the forums) will now require email confirmation. Your account will not be active until you confirm your email address.
  • Posts from new members are being moderated. New members can still post a new topic in the forums but posts from new members will not appear until they have been approved.
  • Topics that have not been commented on for 30 or more days will be closed to comments. Commenting on old topics has been a major tool used by spammers to get their garbage on here.
  • I’m sorry for any inconvenience this causes but something has to be done. I’m also sorry if anyone encountered the spam. Hopefully these problems are now behind us.