I've found a great new website for those runners that are just getting started as well as those veterans among us. It called Fit Leagues and it's free. I was directed to the site by Joyce Aarsvold, a runner/walker that teaches at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota.
The concept is pretty simple. You join and keep track of your mileage on the website where it compares you to like runners/walkers that share your interest. A few key features that I like about it more than the NikePlus website...
First, it doesn't have a million runners that you end up competing with. I've found that to be ridiculous when you see that you put in a 25 mile week and are currently in 24,805th place for 2012. With Fit Leagues, there is a manageable group of runners/walkers/bikers that you show up with, and accruing a point only takes you a 1/10th of a mile to do it.
Secondly, it has a reward system that gives you immediate feedback. It's great to get that email after your first day of more than 3 miles telling you that you achieved the 'Bronze League' status.
Third, I like seeing how I compared with Joyce, maybe because I know her, but also because I don't have to search threw 25,000 runners/walked to do it. But the real benefit here is that they restart the mileage each week, so everyone has a refreshed status that doesn't turn stagnate after 21 days of following. I don't have to get my friends to join or find a league that will accept me, the website does it all for me.
Lastly, but probably a great plus for any RunKeeper followers, it saves you the problem of keying any of the information if you are keeping track of it through your RunKeeper app or website. As followers of my blog have seen, I am a RunKeeper groupie. Mainly because it free, but also because it works with any smartphone and is a great way to social your run with any of the social networks like Facebook, Twitter, etc.. You can also just send it from the Fit League website if you want to, but I like having all of it done instantaneously.
The website is the creative genius of Dan Oachs, out of St. Peter, Minnesota. He is very engaged with any suggestions to make it better. If you are looking for a great way to stay connected with your running progress while at the same time following the progress of runners/walkers/bikers just like you, here is the link to get you connected www.fitleagues.com.
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