26 Jun 2018

Abingdon Week 17 - P&D Booster rockets

11:45am | 2653 views | Abingdon Marathon | 9 Comments
First two runs of the week done.

Monday was a four mile recovery pace run. P&D say these should be done at sub-70%WHR, which I managed with room to spare, and came home feeling good:


Tuesday was a 'medium' (sorry, I'm not yet in a place where I can include this without quotes) long run of 13 miles, with 8 miles at PMP. That always makes me think of PWP, which is Welsh for poo :-) [Pronounciation guide for Katie: substitute the 'w' for the 'oo' in 'look', and you get 'pwp']

Last week my long run was all about sailing as close to the sub-70%WHR threshold as possible (not because of any plan from a book, just because I fancied it), and as a result it was a long march to discomfort. Today I followed the instructions, which required the first five miles at pwp+10% = 10mins/mile; and then the next eight miles at pwp pace. Katie was my booster rocket, running the first five with me at a metronomic 10 mins/mile, before I shot off into orbit to do my pwp. It's a bit of a weird feeling - the eight feels like a separate entity, and for the first few miles at least, it's easy to forget that I'm 6-7 miles in.

I overcooked the pace a bit, running the first four miles at about 6-7s quicker than pwp. And then got a bit carried away / wanted to get it done - so the next four were 10-15s quicker than pwp. I've got to have a word with myself about that, and learn to stay relaxed if I can. In my defence, the step up came when I ran through a bit of forest, and the GPS in the TomTom I am currently using lost the plot a bit.


Another very minor uncomfortable feeling on the outside of my right ankle (one to watch) in the last mile; and felt slightly sick when I got back - but otherwise all good. The big challenge for the rest of today is to get enough food in, without my intestines shutting down. My theory is that this is down to dehydration - but all I know for certain is that if I get it wrong and post too much food down my throat, or chew too little (I can be like a bird swallowing a plate at times), I get 6-8 hours of stomach pain :-/

Running rest day tomorrow, then 8mi with strides on Thursday, rest day Friday, then a jolly round Ruchill parkrun before the Big Fetch Mile in Glasgow on Saturday :-)
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  • Good training :-). Have you tried smoothies or shakes* post run, perhaps with some oats or other grains thrown in: may be easier on the guts?

    *not that overpriced protein shake nonsense, somethink proper like Nesquik or Crusha. Or maybe with tinned fruit.
    12:28pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Friij is my go-to drink after a hard sesh. And I've had a handful of pistachios to get a bit of something in.
    12:34pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I’m having to drink rather than eat after any run right now but something is better than nothing *eating a raspberry jam donut*
    1:08pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I just need to buy a good blender then, obvs :-) *blends marmite on toast*
    1:23pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • No harm in pwp / pmp miles coming out a tad faster than the actual plan for the day, especially if the recovery in subsequent days isn't affected. My take on P&D plans are that if you can consistently follow their plans week in week out but creep the pace upwards a little without impacting that recovery then you're doing the right thing. What would be worse would be being unable to hit their paces, but still trying every time and causing yourself to be too tired.

    Good confidence boost on the start line (though don't let that give you a revised MP on the day, certainly not until 18-20 miles are under your belt!)
    1:58pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I agree re dehydration. It's been noticeable on my long walks that until I've caught up with fluids, food is pointless.
    2:33pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • What Larks said :-) I don't know what you drink the evening before a run but it may be worth thinking about what you drink and start drinking more water. This should help with hydration. The trouble is we're all so different and no one thing will cure everything. Good luck with any experiments you make and I wish I could be in Glasgow Saturday.
    Fenland Flier
    2:43pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Thanks all. I'll find out how the recovery is when I try the strides on Thurs :-)
    2:48pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • Marmite? That's where you go wrong urghhhh
    10:16pm, 26th Jun 2018

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25 Jun 2018

Interviewing Tom Williams: Part III

3:47pm | 421 views | 2 Comments
In part three of my interview with Tom Williams, I ask him whether he'd like to put the phrase "Tail Walker" in his Delorean:


And while you're here, check out our walking league table :-)

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  • Cheers for the interviews Ian. As an ED myself, interesting to hear some of the answers given!
    4:50pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Think I gave feedback on the first part and have now listened to parts two and three. You can't deny that the guy is passionate about what he believes in and how and why the changes are moving forward. For myself I'm still not sure I agree with a lot of stuff, I'm not sure that I agree that parkrun can end up being all things to all people, but having heard the interview I can see why they are going that way, ie the rationale makes more sense.

    On last week's part, I really don't get the bit about volunteering being just as beneficial as running, some of the points, yes, it is a great way in if you're nervous about running, but I still think the ultimate goal each week has to be about doing the run.

    Re the comments this week about the NHS, I'm afraid I disagree, we have a ruling party that is ideologicallly opposed to state regulation and control, anybody who is working or has worked in the NHS will have seen the creeping privatisation happening. So by supporting the NHS you are making a sweeping statement, are you saying that you think it should be a national service, or are you saying that it should be run by commercial companies for profit, but still funded by the tax payer? I'm afraid it is far too sweeping a statement. Ditto for Vitality, when it could be argued that they are the type of Company that is as much a part of the problem. Once you start making value judgements like that, ie not accepting partnership with energy drinks, you need to back them up with more than sweeping statements.

    Anyway, overall I've been really impressed so far, the guy is obviously a great believer in parkrun and its benefits, I think most of the stuff we disagree on, both myself and others on here, is stuff around the edges which hopefully shows we all care about the future of parkrun.
    10:20am, 26th Jun 2018

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25 Jun 2018

Walking League (and one just for Nellers)

12:28pm | 194 views | 17 Comments
Following lots of requests, I've produced a distance league table for walkers:


I've styled it up a bit differently to other tables. You need ten miles in any given calendar month to be listed, and it regenerates once a day. It shows:

the total distance you've covered;
your average pace;
your longest mileage in a single day (to highlight any epic efforts);
the number of days you walked on.

There's also a sub-table called Daily Champions, which shows the person who recorded the most miles on each day of the given month.

Have a look, and let me know what you think. The table will eventually slot into our 'Rank' section, but my plan is to rebuild the main rankings page to showcase the increasingly large number of league tables that we now offer :-)

Oh, and Nellers... here's that indoor rowing one I promised you:

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  • Lovely :)
    Can cross-training Hiking also count please?
    12:30pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • ooh, very exciting. This is going to make me log more of my walking. I don't know if that's good or bad :-)
    12:30pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Eek! Excellent ... but I have The Fear. (Withnail)
    12:33pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • All right, this is the plan. We get in there and get wrecked, then we'll eat a pork pie, then we'll drop a couple of Surmontil-50's each. That means we'll miss out Monday but come up smiling Tuesday morning.
    12:37pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Oh noes, I am going to have to keep up my rowing!
    12:59pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Hiking too. Please.
    Wriggling Snake
    1:00pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • @Rosehip and @WS - I've incorporated hiking into the totals now.
    1:06pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • I'd better start recording my recent mileage then...
    1:27pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Ooh yes Helegant - you must! :-)
    1:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Splendid :)
    2:54pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Well that’s rather exciting .... lucky I went for my longest ever walk yesterday !!
    3:08pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Can we be highlighted in the lists please? My varifocals struggle a bit :-)
    3:17pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Well done 😁
    Wriggling Snake
    3:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • Yay 9th 😁😁😁😁
    Wriggling Snake
    3:34pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • star
    4:43pm, 25th Jun 2018
  • I haven't logged a lot of my walking this month but how do we access this league normally?
    3:17pm, 26th Jun 2018
  • I'll be rebuilding the rankings page to group together all the different league tables we have (there are a tonne), and this will be one of them. Until then, you'll have to use the link in my blog.
    3:19pm, 26th Jun 2018

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22 Jun 2018

Follow Roads - continued

2:12pm | 508 views | 12 Comments
I've removed the warning from the 'Follow Roads' button on our route mapper, as I've been able to find an excellent substitute for the Google Directions API. You can read about it here: openrouteservice.org - it's all connected to the OpenStreetMap community.

It has quotas to protect against overuse. I'm monitoring our usage of it, and I've coded it so that it if it looks like we might be hitting limits, we can fall back to the Google Directions API.

The routing is pretty good - in fact better, based on my experience so far. There's a little path from the end of the street across to the canal that Google was completely unaware of, but this nails it :-) It's also configurable, and you can ask it to retrieve the elevation at every point along your route too. I haven't integrated that part yet, but it sounds like it'd be really useful.

Please don't go mad with it (I'm watching!), but do have a little try, especially if Google's routing has let you down in the past:


Have a great weekend everyone!
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  • That sounds great, I shall be plotting my WSW route later so will give it a try :-)
    Mrs Jigs (Luverlylegs)
    2:15pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Nice one Fetchio :) I'm currently working through my local area on OpenStreetMaps, altering and adding to the footpaths.
    2:20pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I have found it better...just scrutinizing the maps for WSWs purposes.
    Wriggling Snake
    2:27pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Awesome - I just put in a couple of points near home and it found all the best footpaths :-)
    Elsie Too
    4:07pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Fills in some gaps around Attenborough Nature Reserve, an improvement on G**gle
    4:20pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Great, thanks. :)
    6:50pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • Confirming - it picks out footpaths - which Gmaps never did. Only one (very very minor) point - it is a bit slow. Whilst playing (aka testing) I found I was clicking twice because the first click didn't seem to take. But I guess that is just user training.
    But that's a small price to pay for the extra benefit of paths.

    Well found, and thanks !
    7:37pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I could do some sort of egg timer thing to help feed back to the user. The response time is variable.
    8:04pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • when you've got based maps with better data, it stands to reason that the routing based on them will be better :-). It's a shame that the OS digital maps aren't freely available given they're generally (until recently) been funded buy our taxes.
    11:49pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • A couple of things I noticed today. If you look at the old training view it still has the google map and not the osm version. I guess that means not very many people are using that view any more but it might still help to switch. The other thing I noticed was that following a garmin fail I tired to edit my run and I could only edit a run using google maps with no follow roads. Hope this helps. Whilst I am here i was looking at the old view because I remembered there used to be a link the uploaded training run somewhere but I couldn't see it there. Are these accessible without saving from the training log?
    5:10am, 23rd Jun 2018
  • Super. Thanks Ian!!
    Windsor Wool
    2:50pm, 23rd Jun 2018
  • This is a great improvement!
    ishep 🇪🇺
    4:48pm, 25th Jun 2018

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22 Jun 2018

Week 18 in the bag

12:29pm | 132 views | Abingdon Marathon | 3 Comments
...unless the boy remembers he'd like to try my bike out on the weekend, in which case I may end up with a few more miles perhaps.

Thanks to @FF for offering a copy of P&D. I've got one, and I skim-read it a while back. It was useful, and I've also forgotten large bits of it... so I'll try to re-read a bit over the weekend (but Dracula is also needing my attention). However, thanks to your reminder about *actually* looking at it, I did look at the week 18 plan, and it encouraged me to include the speed today :-) Here's the four runs it sugges for week 18:

"Medium" (lol) Long = 12mi @ 10-20% slower than goal pace
Threshold = 8mi with 4mi @ 15k pace
General = 9mi
Recovery = 4mi
TOTAL = 33mi

Today was a two mile warm up, then three miles at my threshold pace (midway between 10k pace and half mara pace = about 7:50-8:00/mile), then a recovery. I normally have a much shorter warm up for threshold runs (sometimes as little as half a mile), but it felt like it worked well to build up for two miles - and I got the added bonus of extra miles to make my week look extra shiny and to break 30 miles in a week for only the fifth time this decade :-O

Here it is:

So (SS) I ended up with:

"Actual" (ner) Long = 13.5mi @ 9:32/mile (the right pace, iff I was going for 3:45 mara)
Threshold = 6.5mi with 3.25 @ 15k pace
General = 6mi
TOTAL = 30.3 miles

If I end up asleep on the dog later, I will know I've over-extended myself, but for now I'm quite pleased :-)

Looking ahead to W17, the threshold run is switched out for strides, which I have little to no experience of, so that should be fun. Everything else looks fairly similar. I really doubt I'll hit the 36 mile total it suggests, but breaking 30 again would be great.
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  • "the right pace, iff I was going for 3:45 mara" hmmmm. Not the right pace then? Having seen how you recovered from this run I think you should aim to go slower for the long run. But you know that's what I think.
    12:44pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • I definitely need to nail the post-run guts shutdown issue :-/ That's a whole blog in itself.
    12:50pm, 22nd Jun 2018
  • You're welcome :-) Post run guts shutdown? Blimey after a race or long run I could eat for England, I can only think of once that I actually couldn't finish a meal. However, be careful increasing your weekly miles if you don't run that far regularly, you don't want to end up injured. Have fun.
    Fenland Flier
    9:30pm, 22nd Jun 2018

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20 Jun 2018

Tackling turds

4:24pm | 448 views | 8 Comments
After some really very annoying site outages over the last week or so, my focus this week has been on diagnosing and improving bottlenecks that can cause the site to slow up or fall over.

I've also put out a call for your feedback on everything site-related, not least because I've got some new bug tracking software, and want to fill it up with juicy bugs. Here's me mentioning it in this week's email newsletter:


What's that? You don't receive this glorious document? There's no need to panic. Just go to your settings, scroll down a bit, and make sure you've ticked the boxes to receive my emails:


Anyway... I feel like today the site has turned the corner - but I appreciate I'm tempting fate by saying so :-)

Our biggest bottleneck is nearly always getting your data into and out of the database. I use a reporting tool that tells me which queries (any request to create, read, update, or delete information in the database) are taking the most time, or sometimes more pertinently, are causing other queries to queue up behind them. The picture can get a bit foggy when the database gets overwhelmed, because then all the queries start taking longer than they need to. But the crap usually rises to the top, and if you can tackle the biggest turd first, it can take the pressure off the rest of the system. Unlike Fake News Farage, web servers really can reach a tipping point.

In running news, week 18 of marathon training is going well (thanks HappyG for the comments about strides and form - I'll see if I can incorporate something like that).

Today is a rest day, but yesterday I did my long run [ fetcheveryone.com/t-15101166 ] - a smidge further than the previous week, and held on to the heart rate threshold for a wee bit longer before I got a bit fed up of having to slow my pace. Two current ponderings:

1) I am currently doing my long run the day after a six miler, which feels like it's putting me into a slightly tired state before I start. My (very woolly) thinking is that going into my long run with a bit of tiredness in my legs will better prepare me for the even longer runs, so long as I introduce a rest day before them.

2) Staying under 70%WHR is pretty straightforward for the first 4 miles - in fact, I find myself pushing the pace a bit. Typically about 20-30s/mile quicker than the rest of the run. Is it better to hold back, maintain an even pace during those excitable early miles, and perhaps hold on to sub-70 for a bit longer? Or is there a lower limit to the %WHR that I should stay above, in order to get the best training effect?
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  • Ooh, thanks for name check! No harm in long run on tired(ish) legs, usually helps. I would just add that HR improvements tend to go in chunks of 4 weeks or so. Just about how long body takes to adapt. So don't be worried if you don't see week on week (and def not daily!) improvements. It will feel hard for a bit, then a few weeks later will take a sudden leap forward. In fact, Hadd and other HR based training recommend re-benchmarking yourself no more often than every 4 weeks (or even 6 weeks). Great training, well done.

    Good luck on identifying thing hurting the site. Is there any way that you can make it such that when something goes bad, it is switched off, to protect rest of site? A bit of code like a "keep awake" / heart beat type thing, so that if a query is taking too long it is shut down? Or if you're getting really clever, then shuffled down the queue. In Unix there are commands like Nice that will automatically de-prioritise something that is consuming too much resource. That sort of thing? Enjoy! :-) G
    5:01pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • For pondering 2: How will you behave on race day - long runs are also a prep for that eventuality. How about trying the three ways and seeing how you feel? 1. Run as now, 2. Run even pace to see how staying calm in those early miles plays out, 3.Run slightly easier, then turn on the taps towards the end to test pmp.
    5:22pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • @oumaumau - I'd envisaged that I'll do the occasional long run with a bit of marathon pace in it to see how PMP feels on tired legs.
    5:24pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • I would get out of the habit of quicker earlier in the long run...You want to save energy for later. You see a lot of marathons go arwy early on. Taps are heavy don't take them with you. Bug tracking makes it sound like a real job.
    Wriggling Snake
    5:30pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • I would advocate even pace but unfortunately that doesnt equate to even effort. However you have set an HR ceiling, so start slower has to be the advice.
    6:09pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • You may well find that starting the long runs at a steadier pace will fall into place as your runs get longer and your running brain starts to get a grip on how hard you can run for *that* time/distance.
    6:38pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • P&D suggest longs runs are split evenly and first half at MP + 20% and second half at MP +10%. HR I can’t say until I get home and check the book. However although I haven’t been running that long I really do think using the 18 and then 12 week plans up to 55 mpw helped me immensely with my running. Having the book is a definite must have imho to get it right. HR and pacing suggestions are in it.
    Fenland Flier
    9:12pm, 20th Jun 2018
  • My most successful* long runs were when I set out very conservatively and held it in check the whole way. I read something once - long runs should be run as slowly as you can, then slow down a bit more.

    *I'll leave it up to you to decide if you take advice from a 5:17 PB marathoner.....
    12:08pm, 21st Jun 2018

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18 Jun 2018

Abingdon Marathon Training: Week 18

5:06pm | 925 views | Abingdon Marathon | 8 Comments
I'm now into the territory covered by the P&D 'Advanced Marathoning' book, but not especially near the starting mileage. My best bet is to go with what I can realistically achieve :-)

Here's where I got to before arriving:

Monday 6.4 miles aiming for sub-70% WHR
Tuesday 13.25 miles, also aiming for sub-70% WHR
Wednesday REST
Thursday 4 miles at recovery / whatever pace (exploring WSW squares)
Friday REST
Saturday speedy parkrun = 23.05 = about 25s quicker than a few months ago.
Sunday a very small amount of biking, and 0.75 miles in the lake.

I'm pleased that the long run is the distance it is, and although I'd like to be a bit quicker over 5k, it felt like it went reasonably well (despite falling off the initial pace). I've also been trying to make four runs a week into a bit of a habit.

For weeks 18 down to 15 inclusive, my ideal goals are:

1) to maintain 4 runs a week. If one week only has three runs, I'll consider that a win!
2) long run up to 16 miles by the end of the 4 weeks.
3) three out of the four weeks to include a speedier run. Not at parkrun pace, but more like 7:50-8:00/mile, as that's around about my threshold pace. A bit longer though - 4-5 miles.
4) the other two runs to be at sub-70% WHR.
5) overall running mileage for the four week block to be about 110.
6) swimming and biking for fun as and when I feel like it.

I'm finding the sub-70% runs to be quite interesting at the moment - particularly the speed I'm able to achieve whilst staying under the limit. It's my best understanding of the biology that an improved speed for the same heart rate, or conversely a reduced heart rate for the same speed indicates an improvement somewhere in the system.

Last Monday (6.4mi @ 9:18/mi, with 65% of the distance at sub-70%WHR, 1274 beats/mile)

Today (6.1mi @ 9:13/mi, with 88% of the distance at sub-70%WHR, 1244 beats/mile)

Some possible explanations:

1) the routes (both mostly flat) and weather conditions (also fairly mild both days) are different; or my initial state was different (e.g. more/less rested, better eating on previous day)
2) my heart is delivering more oxygen with each beat
3) my muscles require less oxygen to propel me.
4) my muscles are using oxygen more efficiently

Waiting for an exercise expert to come along and explain... :-)
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  • Started P&D for Abingdon today. Good luck!
    5:25pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • You should run the same route and distance to make that sort of comparison.
    Wriggling Snake
    5:27pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • That sounds very civilised and sensible :)
    6:34pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • I shall following your training with interest.

    I've been aiming to keep easy under 75% max, occasionally 70%, been reading the Hadd thread by any chance?

    Supposed to be starting 18wk P&D tomorrow, instead I am sat with my leg up and iced, considering my first ever physio visit...
    StuH 🇪🇺
    10:24pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Not Hadd, just the standard Parker stuff. I hope your leg improves.
    10:46pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • P&D is a great plan. My modification tips would be - mid week long run can be split into smaller chunks without losing much. But try and get the full weekly mileage in. Don't scrimp on weekly longest run though. If anything, if you are happy and have time to do easy *longer* long run e.g. 20 when it says 17, then do that. You can't do too many 20s! As long as it doesn't take too much out of you. And intervals while icing on cake, are useful: they get you moving very differently to even one's 5K pace. Strides are similarly useful. As we know, doing most of is at sub 70% is the right thing to do for improving aerobic system (and you are getting those improvements as you note above). But we can end up "plodding" (e.g. shuffling) movement in all our runs. So strides and intervals correct that, but in short, manageable bursts so that you don't break yourself, or make rest of training undoable. You're doing great. Enjoy the training and look out for niggles. Of course you've got professional physio services at home, so I'm sure you'll be grand, but don't neglect core and some leg stretches and strengthening, given all the extra load you'll be putting in through this increased training quantity and intensity. And have a great race. I look forward to following your progress young man! :-) G
    9:20am, 19th Jun 2018
  • Impressive planning and training: interesting re HR too.
    9:28am, 19th Jun 2018
  • You’re following P&D but have you read the book? The actual training pacing targets are in there. I’m happy to lend you mine.
    Fenland Flier
    11:19am, 19th Jun 2018

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18 Jun 2018

Interview with Tom Williams - Part 2

11:40am | 487 views | 8 Comments
Here's the second part of my interview with parkrun's Tom Williams (no relation).


Feel free to leave a comment below :-)
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  • Interesting thoughts on volunteering, especially acknowledging that they didn't really get it right at first. I agree with you in that I don't think the physical/active benefit of volunteering is the same as running/walking a parkrun, but I do agree that it can have some active benefits and lots of other advantages too. I know when I volunteer at Newcastle parkrun, I'll easily get my 10,000 steps in and it's a good bit of social fun too.
    The Scribbler
    2:28pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Mrs. Fetch's phrase about volunteering is brilliant!
    3:01pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • We've had a discussion about where that phrase comes from and although I love it and try my best to live by it, it's actually not mine. I think I may have first heard of it on the RW fetcheveryone thread, when there weren't forums on here. I just looked it up and it's still not clear who first ever said it: quoteinvestigator.com
    3:54pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Every day's a school day :-) Good maxim, Katie!
    4:57pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Tom's comment that volunteers standing around in the freezing cold for an hour is 'an extreme example' is just not true - it's a regular example throughout the winter months, and it's not active. So the observation stands that volunteering is not always as physically beneficial as running.

    Great interview Fetch - and for me, I've decided that in future I shall now ignore communications from parkrun HQ, as they are detracting from my enjoyment of parkrun.
    9:14pm, 18th Jun 2018
  • Thanks for these Fetch - very interesting to hear the rationale behind some of the actions whether or not I agree with it. An interesting take on the volunteer role and and interesting how your 'extreme example' was batted away, but the 'non volunteering' answer ended on a similarly extreme example.
    I like the interview style - better a social chat than a Paxman grilling for these ....
    9:16am, 19th Jun 2018
  • I thought Fetch made the point very well that, whilst volunteering is generally great and has many benefits, most of us would struggle with the notion that it was as beneficial in terms of physical activity as running or walking. I'm not entirely sure if Tom is being disingenuous in his position that it is as physically beneficial, or if he does genuinely believe that - it sort of feels to me like a line that parkrun HQ have come up with to "prove" that volunteering is a valid as running or walking parkrun, which is silly as most parkrunners already realise this.

    Sigh and Um, I also thought it was odd when Tom described Fetch's example as "extreme" (I'd say it was pretty common place), especially when he went on to use far more extreme examples himself, not only on the volunteering question, but also when answering Fetch's question about T shirt claims (the example of a junior running 10 times in 2004, then stopping running completely...). I also agree Um that Fetch's interview style for these is spot-on.
    11:08am, 19th Jun 2018
  • I'm really sorry but I have to call "pseudoscience" on the idea that exercise guidelines are dubious because they talk about volume and intensity and again Tom really does go for false dichotomies. Once again there is a wholly inaccurate idea that if you exercise hard, you cannot possibly enjoy it or you get injured. I simply would not bother if I wasn't trying as hard as I could, if this doesn't meet with someone else's approval then I'm very sorry but I'm not doing it for you, I'm doing it for me.
    10:47pm, 19th Jun 2018

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16 Jun 2018


8:25am | 544 views | 12 Comments
A quick update on yesterday’s outages.

The hosting company noticed that the site was down, and they believe it to be a hardware problem. They took our hard drives and put them in a fresh server. Since then, no problems, but I’ll catch up with them after the weekend to get a bit more info.

If you synced your Garmin during the outage, the Garmin server would have attempted to send the files across to thin air. When this happens, the Garmin server queues the file up, and tries it again later. I think they wait six hours before doing this, just to give the destination server every chance of recovery in the interim.

If for some reason your training doesn’t show up, you can export it as a file from Garmin Connect, and import it to Fetch. Hopefully some kind and experienced soul will leave a comment explaining where to look for the export button on the Garmin site.

I’m off to run to parkrun. Laters :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Thanks for this update.
    8:35am, 16th Jun 2018
  • Hi Fetch - Thanks for the update.
    I had a couple of fails (site timeout) this morning (Saturday 8:30ish). Seems OK now, but just letting you know it may not be as fixed as they say ...
    Will let you know any chnage over the weekend.

    Garmin Connect export is on the top right of the activity view, one of the options from the light grey cog wheel.
    9:11am, 16th Jun 2018
  • It was broken at about 5am I think although it could have been midnight I’m not sure when I was awake but I was.
    10:40am, 16th Jun 2018
  • The Garmin retry meant my missed files were transferred later so all is good!
    10:51am, 16th Jun 2018
  • Questions the hosting in today's world why virtualisation hasn't provided a layer to eliminate the impact of hardware issues?
    11:55am, 16th Jun 2018
  • I’m sure we could do that at some point, and that there’d be an associated cost.
    12:37pm, 16th Jun 2018
  • I am disappointed. I had always imagined Fetch running off a beefy sort of PC in his spare bedroom.
    12:43pm, 16th Jun 2018
  • To add to what um wrote above, export to GPX and then dragging the file onto the 'Import GPX file' page on Fetch worked for me.
    2:33pm, 16th Jun 2018
  • Ah, so that's why I couldn't publish my last blog yesterday afternoon. It's otherwise not impacted me at all, but I didn't have any net access between that then and this afternoon, anyway.
    Valyrian Plastic
    2:50pm, 16th Jun 2018
  • And then, about 33 hours after the run, Garmin did zap it over!
    4:48pm, 16th Jun 2018
  • Hi Fetch - update on access at 4pm Sunday ... taking 1-2 mins to open Fetch home page, then when selecting blogs, varies between 3-4 mins and getting error : Sorry - the server is experiencing high volumes of traffic, or performing a backup. Please try again in a few minutes.
    (broadband test is pinging at 9ms and download spped >70Mbps , other pages like BBC load instantly, so I suspect it's not my end or ISP?)
    4:07pm, 17th Jun 2018
  • Hi again ...
    Since I note when it's not 100% ... equallywhen it is, at 19:20 Sunday it's perfect - page refreshes as good as instantaneous - blogs, forums, traing log etc
    7:25pm, 17th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

14 Jun 2018

Five Questions (ready for serious answers)

4:50pm | 1730 views | 9 Comments
Here you go:


I looked at all the submitted questions, and tried to smush them down into five.

I'll be adding these to your profiles soon (like, any hour now).

EDIT: The answered questions are now available on profiles. If you want to see what they look like, I've answered a couple of mine.
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Like it! :)
    4:55pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • excellent, love them!
    Dr PhFleecyD
    5:18pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Brillo
    5:32pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Great questions .... but really difficult to answer
    9:27pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Erm. You seem to have forgotten cake.
    10:29pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Deeeeeeeeep :-O
    9:16am, 15th Jun 2018
  • Fetch also started a thread about it. Come and chat about what you think about the questions and what answers you're going to (or have already) put in... fetcheveryone.com/forum__60428__tell_us_about_you
    9:40am, 15th Jun 2018
  • A thread to chat about what you think about the questions and what answers you're going to (or have already) put in... fetcheveryone.com/forum__60428__tell_us_about_you
    9:44am, 15th Jun 2018
  • Have added answers from the link on your (Fetch's) site - but I don't see any natural link from ny own profile. Should there be one?
    9:41pm, 15th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

14 Jun 2018

Kick some tyres for me

3:34pm | 174 views | 13 Comments
Here's a page where you can answer your five profile questions. I haven't put the ACTUAL questions in yet, but it'd be good to get it working right before you all go putting the effort in:


In other bug fixing news, I found a couple of separate problems with ZIP uploads that was causing them to fail. They should be working much better now, so please give that a try if you've had bad luck before.

I've also fixed a whole bunch of bugs around our tri/duathlon/aquathlon/ etc races. Basically, pretty much anything that wasn't a running race. As part of that, I've split out the screens where you (a) enter your race prediction & time; and (b) review the event. I reckon that a lot of events are going unreviewed, because there was too much going on with all that crammed into one place.

Remarkably, I've gone 14 years without issue tracking software, but I set one up this week (it's called MantisBT if you want to look it up), and it's been really useful (who knew?). Up 'til now I've tended to keep stuff in the feedback queue, scribbled on an envelope, or in my head until I'd done something about it, which means that it's probably felt like you don't get any kind of quality response when you report a non-trivial problem. At least now I can put it somewhere that I can monitor, group together, etc, and get right back to you. Your call is important to me :-) No really. It is.

So if you find bugs, or even features that you'd like to see added, do report them via the feedback link or in the comments below, and let's fight the power.
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • I put five answers in but the update went to 'saved' than back to 'update'. Will it appear on my profile? *rushes off to check.*
    3:42pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • It isn't integrated with the profile yet, because the questions are nonsense.
    3:45pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I've always found you very responsive to reports of issues. I think the back of the envelope approach worked well heart
    3:45pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I got that - but thought it was a test run!
    3:47pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Do you think the tracking software will obviate the need for a cookie co-ordinator?
    3:50pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I will buy an extra icing gun just in case.
    3:54pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I did it and it did the same brief saved then update again. I was quite pleased with my answers though.......
    3:56pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Worked fine on my android phone in the wild north.
    3:57pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I have filled in the answers. I didn't like it going from saved to update because I didn't know if I had saved it so felt the need to click it again, but I guess when you can see an answer on your profile you will know that it has been saved so not a problem when it all goes live.
    Elsie Too
    4:00pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Nonsense? I answered them seriously... (succinct has a typo btw!)

    User Profile Questions
    To help us get to know each other better, here are five questions that everyone on the site can give their own answer to. You don't have to do this, but it's a nice way to get involved with our community. To encourage succint answers, each answer has a limit of 250 characters.

    Is beetroot nicer than ham?

    Yes (I'm a veggie!)

    You have used 19/250 characters

    Given that there is no such concept as time, there can be no reality. Discuss.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so. (Douglas Adams) so yes, I'm a sci-fi nerd too. And of a certain age (40s or 50s, given that it came out in 1978!)

    You have used 155/250 characters

    Smell my what?

    Cheese? Is that a "Who moved my cheese?" thing?

    You have used 47/250 characters

    What everyone?

    Fetch Everyone (was that like, "Give me an F", Give me an "E" ... etc.?! ;-) Good 'ol Fetch.

    Or, was it checking your Fetch history? i.e. Bring me everyone. EVERYONE! from Leon, the origin of the (mis)quote that Fetch based his website on.

    You have used 241/250 characters

    Oh really?
    No, didn't have an answer for that one!
    You have used 0/250 characters

    :-) G
    4:01pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Gave it a quick bash and prod. Didn't fall over :)

    I too discovered and started using Mantis last year - very useful!
    ishep 🇪🇺
    4:07pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • Can you make the button change from green to another (any) colour when clicked, as I clicked it 3 times before I realised that it had changed from update to saved.
    4:13pm, 14th Jun 2018
  • I answered seriously too:

    Is beetroot nicer than ham?
    Only if served with mashed potatoes and corned beef.
    You have used 52/250 characters

    Given that there is no such concept as time, there can be no reality. Discuss.
    Millennium hand and shrimp.
    You have used 27/250 characters

    Smell my what?
    You have used 7/250 characters

    What everyone?
    Fetch, natch!
    You have used 13/250 characters

    Oh really?
    Aye, really.
    You have used 12/250 characters
    4:14pm, 14th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

11 Jun 2018

Interview with Tom Williams - Part 1

11:48am | 1978 views | 21 Comments
On Friday, I chatted for over two hours with parkrun Chief Operating Officer, Tom Williams. When parkrun published their annual report a while back, it generated a lot of comment from Fetchies and runners generally - so this was an opportunity to put some of your questions and concerns to him.

I'll break the interview down into chunks of about 40 minutes, until I've milked it dry :-) But seriously, 40 minutes felt like a good "episode" length to take with you on a run / commute / whatevs.

Here's the first bit. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Nice!
    Any chance you two might work together on something? Would be lovely to see FE linkable to your parkrun profile for instance :-)
    11:56am, 11th Jun 2018
  • Will listen with interest later to all of this - got through the first 20 minutes or so and was impressed with Tom's articulation of the "not a race" bit. Right to point out the "parkrun pacers" in the emails too, they are definitely a +ve adding a hint of "speed" to the broad tones of the weekly emails.
    1:01pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Very interesting interview, well done fetch :)
    Dr PhFleecyD
    3:22pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Following some of the posts on the parkrun thread , I was expecting an edgier tone, not confrontational as such but more about the niggles that parkrun participants everywhere raise. Not sure about the implied differentiation between back of the field and further forward: eyeballs out to dip under 50 min. compared with 'jogging round' in 23 almost socially. Data seemed to push philosophy into a corner imho.
    6:53pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • I don't understand what you mean from "the implied differentiation" onwards.
    7:02pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • 35-37 minutes in interview. After this, you say you're uncertain of what Tom means. I suppose every person's parkrun will be different, week by week, and in terms of justification.
    7:17pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Excellent. As above.. like the bit about the whys and wherefores of it not being a race
    7:22pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • I think Tom got it spot on on the 50 minute runner vs the 19 minute runner cruising around in 23 minutes. I’ll re-think my mindset on this, as it is fundamentally wrong to “only” allow slower runners to give a flat out effort, whereas the rest of the field can run at any pace they fancy.
    7:28pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Very interesting, enjoyed listening.
    8:06pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • I enjoyed that. Tom made sense of a lot of things. I confess I was one of those going, "Yes, of course it does!" at the computer when he asked whether running 19 minutes meant he was a worse runner than when he was running 17 minutes, but he put his point across very well.
    8:47pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Kept me quiet for 41 mins ;-)
    RRR-CAZ 🇬🇧
    9:24pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • Thanks, an interesting listen.
    9:54pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • I thought Tom's justification for getting rid of the points table and "race" mentality were excellent.
    9:00am, 12th Jun 2018
  • I can imagine all the type A personalities vehemently disagreeing, however I thought the interview was excellent. Thanks Fetch. Time well spent.
    9:04am, 12th Jun 2018
  • I thoroughly enjoyed it. Good to have the insights of parkrun HQ thinking.
    Watford Wobble
    9:14am, 12th Jun 2018
  • I've only got as far as the bit where he talks about his breakfast - am now pausing to vomit at the thought of what he's just described, jeez could he not just have said cornflakes and be done with it - I will be back later ;-)
    11:15am, 12th Jun 2018
  • thanks for doing this Fetch, nice to hear parkrun described exactly as it is and no hidden agendas.
    3:25pm, 12th Jun 2018
  • Interesting about the points thing - I'd never thought of it that way, but can understand why they have taken it down now. Do wish that had been communicated before! I was never interested in it, but didn't like the symbolism of any vestige of running quickly being eliminated.

    Looking forward to the next one where hopefully some of the questions come in
    9:17pm, 12th Jun 2018
  • Looking forward to the next instalment now I really should get out of bed and run
    8:34am, 13th Jun 2018
  • enjoyable, interesting and informative ...I also go to Hull when I fancy a fast blast
    11:06am, 13th Jun 2018
  • To the "Am I a worse runner now I'm slower?" thing, Use the WAVA Luke. I also call "False Dichotomy" on "Fast = miserable, slow = happy", what if your psychological makeup is that trying as hard as you can/going as fast as you can is the entire point? To explain, let's take it away from running entirely, for me it is exactly the same as the satisfaction you get from doing a tricky job - like tiling the bathroom walls and at the end you stand back and think "I did that as well as I could". Is that happy? Yes.
    5:30pm, 14th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

10 Jun 2018

Five Questions

11:24am | 381 views | 24 Comments
A long while ago, we used to have a feature on user profiles where any user could pose a question, and every user could provide their own individual answer. I withdrew it a long time ago, and I can’t quite remember why. Perhaps because it was underused, or got over-silly.

I think it’s potentially a good way to add more colour to our user profiles - but I thought to stop it getting too silly, we could put together five questions that would tell us all we need to know about everyone.

Here’s the challenge then. Leave a question (or five) in the comments, and I’ll pick the best five, and add them to user profiles.
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • I presume users can change their answers at any time to suit their circumstances, in which case you could have questions such as:

    In training or on the bench?
    Next Big Challenge?
    Long Term Goal?
    Biggest obstacle to overcome?
    How are you feeling?

    I avoided questions about favourite discipline as for an active Fetchie (the kind who would answer the q's), it'll be evident from the summary of training. Equally there are plenty of folks who would find this all a bit intrusive and would prefer not to answer, which is fair do's.
    12:18pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Those are really well thought out, Sigh. star Don't think I can come up with anything as good.
    12:23pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • They're not original or anything, but clichés become clichés because they contain some truth and all that :
    Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party (7 people living or dead)?

    If you could visit the world of any book/film/TV show (or series thereof), which would it be?
    Best race /training experience so far?

    Worst race /training experience so far?
    Ultimate bucket list event to participate (or just spectate live in the flesh)?
    12:29pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Best advice you've been given?
    Could break this into 2 questions - sport and non-sport related
    12:56pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • And what advice would you give a newbie?
    1:28pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • I like Sigh’s questions.

    Favourite thread
    1:37pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • My only comment on the questions themselves is that Sigh's are good but one "cliche" one like Raemond's would be nice to mix it up.

    My real comment is to say this is a great idea. I'd really like to see the profile part of Fetch ramped up - the community is one of the strengths of the site and it seems appropriate to give anything in that area some love. e.g. can you work on the visuals for the profile page after this? Nicer profile picture, maybe bit of a visual montage of their activities, that sort of thing.
    1:47pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • A version of westmoors; what do you know now about running that you wish you'd known when you began?
    1:54pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • The reason I like Sigh's questions is that they are A) relevant and can change B) you can learn a lot about the person via a few sentences of anwers. SOme questions (I feel) are more blog subjects and I for one wouldn't wan to plough through an essay of material. There are a few Fetchies with lengthy profiles and I don't really read them!
    2:08pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • *pops off to check length of profile*
    2:18pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Yours is perfect Irontubs! I just remember seeing a great long column somewhere, might have listed races (there's somewhere else for that!)
    3:25pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • If the questions were running based, and could change such as "injured/active", maybe followers could get a notification that their buddy has changed their answer?
    5:14pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Favourite pre-race or post-race meal / refuelling option?

    Training goals for the next month?

    Who you’d like to have as a training/running buddy?

    Favourite running location so far?

    Favourite breakfast? (Ok so everyone would know my answer to that. Other pub chain breakfasts are available ;):) )
    5:46pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Favourite race?
    9:07pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Whose blog should i read and why?
    Which thread should i follow and why?
    If you could give a beginner one tip, what would it be?
    10:22pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Talking about adding to the profile page, I've often thought the training tag word cloud would be a good addition. It doesn't appear to be at all visible elsewhere apart from when you click on a tag in an activity.
    StuH 🇪🇺
    10:50pm, 10th Jun 2018
  • Why do you run?

    Why did you start?
    Derby Tup
    6:16am, 11th Jun 2018
  • I like Chrisity's suggestions and the point Mattglen makes about notifications if answers change because these will encourage people to perhaps explore more of the site generally and are more 'fetch-related.' I'd be sad if the questions were too similar to some of those that get asked as 'regulars' in the MotM interview as I wouldn't like to see this feature have the potential to 'devalue' if that's the right word, the MotM Q&A.
    9:47am, 11th Jun 2018
  • So if you want something different...

    What impact has Fetch has on your personal life?

    (which opens up a whole host of possibilities!)
    10:05am, 11th Jun 2018
  • Favourite training session?
    Favourite after race food/alcoholic or non alcoholic drink?
    When did you start running?
    What is your absolute favourite race?
    What is your favourite colour running kit?
    10:17am, 11th Jun 2018
  • What is your Mothers Maiden Name?
    What was the name of your first pet?
    What was the Make and Model of your first car?
    Where were you born?
    What are the three numbers on the back of your debit card?

    That should cover it...
    10:23am, 11th Jun 2018
  • If there was one thing you could change to make yourself better as an athlete, what would it be?

    Marmite/no marmite?

    Red or white?

    Last time you cried?

    Will you still love me tomorrow?
    11:47am, 11th Jun 2018
  • You've got great suggestions for Qs already, just commenting to "Like" this suggestion! I haven't updated my profile in 10 years (except when Fetch says you have to occasionally as a Christmas advent calendar command!) Profiles are very variable on Fetch. I like the folk who have updated with their current status, their goal, any issues, so Sigh's questions are ace. :-) G
    12:52pm, 11th Jun 2018
  • What are you running from ?
    Albert O Balsam
    3:16pm, 11th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

07 Jun 2018

Follow Roads saga

8:33am | 293 views | 10 Comments
I've re-enabled the 'Follow Roads' button on the route planner for now, accompanied by the following message:

"Thanks for voicing your opinions after I recently removed the 'Follow Roads' button. I've reinstated it for now, following a temporary reprieve from Google (they have postponed the introduction of their new charging model until mid-July). However, the reason for its removal is because its current level of usage would cost the site $340 per month under the new charging model. If you'd like to increase the likelihood that we can retain this button, please consider taking out a voluntary subscription to the site, and also please consider how much of your route requires the button to be enabled. Thanks!"

It won't cost us anything at all until July 16th, but I've got a clear month now to see how much use it'll get, and whether I can make some of the suggested reductions in use of our Elevation API, in order to mitigate the potential cost. I agree that it's a really useful feature, but I'll do what I have to do when it comes down to it.

Bing bong :-)

I've *also* made the default map OSM now. This isn't a full conversion yet, so it's still using the Google engine underneath, but it highlights what's on offer with OSM.
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • I've started using somewhere else to plot. I don't use it often anyhow, as I'm usually running/riding the same old routes.
    8:36am, 7th Jun 2018
  • Like I said to Ness a few days back, it’s not costing anything right now, so don’t stay away :-) And I’d be happy for as many people as possible to use it :-)
    8:38am, 7th Jun 2018
  • I rarely plot routes anyway. I do like elevation correction though! Surely Google aren't the only source of that?

    Is there anything you can do with Ordnance Survey folks? I'm always getting spam, ahem, I mean useful communication, from them about how they want to support getting people out in the hills and what a great public resource they are. Could you do some kind of marketing mash up with them? "Free outdoor activity resource Fetcheveryone.com uses Ordnance Survey data to get people running, walking and cycling in interesting places" or somesuch? :-) G
    9:04am, 7th Jun 2018
  • What a nightmare! The use of third party APIs always seems on paper such a wonderful idea, but as per usual you wind up paying for it, either with cash or by sharing your personal data to all and sundry it seems (Facebook I'm looking at you). Or for the truly free APIs, they reveal so little as to be useless (Spotify I'm looking at you).
    10:56am, 7th Jun 2018
  • Cut out plotting routes almost entirely. Only when my Garmin has a fit 😁
    Wriggling Snake
    1:15pm, 7th Jun 2018
  • thank you Ian; I WILL plot out all my usual routes and save them rather than re-measure them twice a day as I do at the moment #sievebrain
    Windsor Wool
    1:38pm, 7th Jun 2018
  • I liked having follow roads enabled when I was playing Fetchpoint and wanted to plan a route. Or when I wanted a bit of variation in my long runs. Happy without it if you decide it's not a worthwhile investment once the price increase kicks in.
    2:14pm, 7th Jun 2018
  • *rummages in drawer for marked piece of string and local OS maps* ;)
    4:48pm, 7th Jun 2018
  • Thanks for all your hard work with this. I’ll try and get all my routes saved in the next few weeks.
    6:04pm, 7th Jun 2018
  • I used follow roads out of sheet laziness as regards clicking - I do quite a lot of route planning for RR group runs to try and ensure that our planned routes are suitable lengths, happy to go back to not following when the time comes though.
    4:16pm, 8th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

05 Jun 2018

Google maps progress, plus Abingdon plans

6:15pm | 302 views | Abingdon Marathon | 15 Comments
Another email from Google today, to say that their planned changes to the maps pricing model will now be pushed back to mid-July, to give me "an additional month of lead time". This sounds very much like a lot of the big companies who use Google Maps have kicked up a right fuss about the short notice.

Katie also pointed out a map on a Facebook page which has changed from (we think Google Maps), to another provider called MapBox. I wonder just how much of Google's projected revenue from this has been whisked away from under their noses. I've certainly been doing my best :-)

The vast majority of the maps on the site are now converted, but there are two other chunks of use that are potentially harder to deal with. The first is the 'Directions API' element - which gets called when you switch 'Follow Roads' on, when plotting a route. That's literally the only place it gets used on the entire site, but that one small feature would cost the site $340/month. After giving it a week of asking folks to limit their use, which made a dent, but not a big one, I've decided to disable that feature for now. I am working on a replacement for the route mapper, which may or may not have a 'Follow Roads' capability in it, but will have the added benefit of the OSM detail - so all those hidden footpaths will be easier to trace out when planning your routes.

The other chunk of use is the 'Elevation API', which gets called whenever someone imports a GPS run or ride. There are some free alternatives out there, but they aren't quite so detailed and the coverage isn't so widespread. However, I know that if I'm running round pancake-flat Bedford, I don't have much call to check the elevation - particularly if it's a route I've done a million times before - so some sort of hybrid of the two systems might be useful.

It's been fun :-) The phrase "optimise this" always sets me off :-)

In other news, last week was a bit fallow in running terms, due to half term holiday - but I did leave The Boy home whilst I did a few short runs - first time ever. The guilt makes me go faster! Now we're into June, I'll be looking at boosting my long runs to 12-13 miles, with 20 weeks to go until Abingdon. Toot toot!
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • There’s nothing like a need to get home to make you run faster
    6:22pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • any news on Satellite view?
    6:27pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • I’ve been trying to remember to plan out my runs elsewhere. I’ve been using gmap-pedometer.com instead. Hopefully that way it’ll save the site a bit of money.
    6:27pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • No one is going to mind you doing anything that keeps the site viable
    6:30pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • @Daz - no, it’s not been a priority. Controlling cost comes first. Everyone welcome to visit this page to help with that: fetcheveryone.com/invite.php

    @Ness - it’s not costing anything right now, so don’t stay away :-) And when I do convert the route mapper to OSM, I’d be happy for as many people as possible to use it :-)
    6:46pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • Maybe you should open a sweepstake on 'how long before Google acquire OSM' ...
    If I plan routes (rarely at GPX level), I use Bing maps with the Ordnance Survey option and snip and paste to powerpoint to good old A4. And a coloured Sharpie if really needed.
    6:47pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • What Dio said.
    6:51pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • You have been busy, well done :-)
    7:52pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • Well done. I like your creativity and if it zaps Google in the selfishes then go for it.
    8:11pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • What Do I said! :-)
    9:06pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • Which free elevation datasets have you looked at?
    12:46am, 6th Jun 2018
  • Make elevation optional? I know my usual 3-miler up and down the river is flat, but would turn it on for a hilly run.
    12:53pm, 6th Jun 2018
  • ^^ makes sense - take device elevation data by default, with an option to update it from DEMs for those runs where it matters.
    2:30pm, 6th Jun 2018
  • Ian - I totally understand the drive and need here but by taking the follow roads option off I think you’ve taken away the strongest feature from one of the best tools on the site. I’ll admit that I tried the strava beta one tonight as an alternative....
    Windsor Wool
    10:32pm, 6th Jun 2018
  • If everyone who used it donated a pound a month, we’d be golden. I can reinstate it until mid-July, but have to face the possibility that it’s just not viable after that.
    10:47pm, 6th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

04 Jun 2018

Training Summary - Infographics

2:04pm | 299 views | 11 Comments

I've been AFK a bit over the last week due to half term, but can't resist getting a pen and paper out to sketch out some ideas for the site. In particular, I've been thinking about how we summarise a period of training. Sure, this page: fetcheveryone.com/training-analysis-graphs.php already exists that allows you to compare the build up to races - but it would be nice to be able to pick out any chunk of time from your training, and to generate something really pretty to look at, and to share with your chumley-warners to illustrate what Fetch is capable of.

Here's your chance, whilst I'm still scribbling on bits of paper, to have a say on what bits of information you'd like to see. Imagine you want to look at your last three months / six months / year / lifetime of training. What sort of stuff would be (a) useful, or (b) fun to be able to see? And for ten bonus points, how should that data be represented? Infographics can be very pretty (just do a Google image search for "infographics").
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Exciting stuff! As per my feedback, I'd like a summary of how I'm doing this year vs the same time in years past, from a mileage perspective. That would be great
    2:32pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Your relaxing mind seems to be a very busy place!

    I'd like to be able to pick a specific/rolling 3 months, 6 months, year, and I'm a simple bear - I like nice simple line charts with a trend line that shows whether I'm doing ok, dropping off, or on a build....
    2:34pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I guess summarising the most popular training graphs into one image is what you're after? As for making it infographic-y, can you do stuff like on the distance badges? So represent distance ran on a map with a line of the right distance. I'd like total ascent, the de facto measurement there of course being 'Number of Mount Everests' which I imagine is easy to make an image for :) Definitely looking forward to this!
    2:35pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I’d like to be able to compare some of my running in terms of WAVA ..... looking at speed and times can be depressing as the years go on!!
    2:45pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I was thinking about something like this recently. I'd like to be able to compare training for specific races e.g. How much running (miles/time) did I do in the time period leading up to x race? How does that compare to the same race last year/ a similar race? Being triathlete I'd like to be able to run comparisons across all sports and also total training time which might include cross training that's non race specific.
    How do I want to see it? In a way that makes it obvious what it means!
    The Scribbler
    2:56pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Good.

    I think the previous 3 or 6 months leading up to a race would be good, perhaps this can be done off of the race itself but a date is good enough. I like the idea of keeping the type of runs together, long runs, intervals etc plus number of runs and distances...perhaps a 3D bar graph?

    Cross training?

    So long as the finished page doesn't have a big circular stain on it.
    Wriggling Snake
    4:13pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Am looking forward to the free cuppa with each view of the training summary, no milk in mine please.

    Any way you could do a pace against HR graph to hopefully show improving fitness?
    4:29pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Would be great to have customisable dates, as well as "standard" 1/3/6/12 months, so can look at a specific period. (For instance, my daughter challenged me for Lent the year, but despite being a set length of time the specific dates move around each year).
    And maybe an API to get the data??!
    5:10pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I'd love to see proper training load/recovery/performance information (derived from HR, HR zones, pace, intensity etc) although I do appreciate this is mathematically and computationally quite heavy! (but it would mean that I could potentially give Fetch some of the cash I currently for out to another service).
    The other thing I'd suggest is rather than trying to build a series of graphs to suit everyone you build the reporting tool that allows people to select their own date range and data fields to build and save their own reports.
    10:33am, 5th Jun 2018
  • Amount of time spent running at different paces - not percentage. Also a full range as you do some sprint work
    12:30pm, 5th Jun 2018
  • I find this page (https://www.fetcheveryone.com/training-analysis.php) the most useful one for looking at my training in advance of races. One extra bit of functionality which I htink would be helpful if to be able to chose the comparison race rather than only have the PB. I might wan to compare with training for the same race last year or to a run when I know I was in similar shape.

    The thing I don't like about this page (https://www.fetcheveryone.com/training-analysis-graphs.php) is that the graph comparison aren't easy. some mileage charts have a y-axis which is different so lower milage is higher up on the chart. For the target race the results is the last X weeks and I think should be the same X weeks as the comparison race with only the weeks so far completed shown.
    5:18am, 6th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

04 Jun 2018

Who Squares Wins - ranking update

10:59am | 104 views | 7 Comments
Time to shake things up a little bit :-)

As you'll have seen if you've been playing a while, a win will generally bring you 16 ranking points, unless you're playing someone who is a different ranking to you.

From now on, you can win up to 36 ranking points per match, broken down as follows:

12 dependent on ranking
Based on how your ranking compares to your opponent, just like it is currently.

12 based on how close the match was
If you more-or-less shared the squares, you'll get 6 points each; if it's a walkover you'll pick up the whole 12. If you win 63-42, you get 12*63/(63+42) points, and your opponent will get 12*42/(63+42) points.

12 based on the total squares owned
There are 225 squares in total. So if the score was 63-42, you'd each pick up (63+42)/225*12 points each. A reward to both players for exploring as much of the grid as possible.

Sign up to play the game before midday to get into this week's round of matches:

Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • im glad you are doing the maths for us!!
    12:12pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Too proportional. Surely needs to be a bonus for a win, a bonus for keeping it close, bonus for a trouncing, and bonus for a super high score and double bonus for clearing all 225 squares? Ask 5 Fetchies, get 6 suggestions! :-) G
    12:45pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I like the idea of rewarding the players for the number of squares covered between them, adds a cooperative element. But shouldn’t tied squares count then, which aren’t reflected in the score?

    Also not sure about the middle bit for how close it as well as the square counting algorithm but we will see.

    1:28pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Hmmm... another thing. I was on 1000 before today's update. I won this match but now I'm on 1050, i.e. I gained 50 points. I mean I'm not *complaining* but how come?
    7:33pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • I replayed all the matches using the new rankings scheme.
    9:36pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Ah, thanks, makes sense. Although you couldn't replay the pairings of course :-)
    10:20pm, 4th Jun 2018
  • Can we have a losing bonus point for being within 7 of the winner?

    And maybe one if we have covered more than 50% of all four quarters of the grid?
    2:35pm, 6th Jun 2018

Keep me in the loop!

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Week 1
April (11)
Marathon vLog
I owe some hugs!
And that concludes the voting from the Danish judges
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Random Ultra
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Books what I've read this year
Measuring the effect of wind
Wind Roses
March (18)
Watching the tide roll away
A great week of running!
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This Week's vLog
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February (29)
An Unexpected Journey
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2nd place
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Top of the mountain
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Back home
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Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants
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January (35)
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But far more importantly...
Fetch Beginners Programme
Give it a go :-)
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Threshold Run (a running blog)
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(Lack of) Pump Action
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February 18th
The Travelling Checkpoint Salesman
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Bearing Up
Deleted Bridges and Dodgy Lasers
I'm Batman!
Healthy and Appy
Punch O'Clock!
The plan, then.
Ten mile toes
On Parliament
Bold Claims, and a Challenge for 2015
2014 (262)
December (9)
A trip to Wales (vLog)
Christmas Messages from Fetchies
FERC London Marathon Places - Draw
It's gone in my sock...
Festive Fetch Five
This Week's Training
To the Post Office!
Training vLog - Week 4
November (12)
I Am Groot!
Slightly Dismal Friday
Week 3 - in which I nearly drown my wife!
I said yes :-)
Free Daps! aka Test GORE-TEX® footwear this winter!
Training vLog - Week 2
More chances for VMLM entries
Marathon Talk
My first training vLog :-)
Second place?
In :-)
Questionnaire about personality traits amongst runners
October (16)
Adidas API
Horseplay minimiser
Running with the big dog
Flat and Windy
Who'd like to test the Garmin API then?
Advantage Borg
Milk Tray Reps in the Rain
Hatfield 5k, and some other running thoughts
Site layout changes
Vote for Training Plans
Maths help
September (8)
A quick device poll
Garmin Connect API
Cake at the lake :-)
Empowering Women
This Week's Training
Tick :-)
Article help
First outing with the Harriets
August (7)
Book club and Harriers
A treasure trove for bookish types
What I did on my Summer Holidays
Local decoration
The Fisher King
Mojitos and no mosquitos!
July (26)
James Mason
Missing Week
Camping View
Wild Camping
Transalpine Race
In brief
Urgent! Pair of runners wanted!
Fetch Kit Available to Pre-order :-)
Fetch Anniversary Kit - Preview
API and FAK!
That dog has a puffy tail
More books
Reverse Moses
Zombies vs Plants
Shovel required
Catcher in the Rye
My sister the psychologist
Drink your strong limey drink
Keep me in the loop
Bread knives, hedgehogs and the dog in the night time
June (34)
Checkpoints video
Happy boys and giggly imps
Spring loaded
Elbow grease
Fetch 10th Anniversary Kit
Fetch YouTube Tutorial - Race Guide
Finding the Library folder on a Mac
Sonic screwdriver
Live wires
Wiring help needed
Garmin Express Experiment
Scalded sloth
New Forum Layout
Further updates to the blog layout
New blog layout
First woodpecker
Beastin' parkrun
All was well
Marking Territory
The People's Poet Is Dead :-(
Holy Water
Throwing shapes
Life moves pretty fast
Recursion is beautiful
Win an OS Explorer / Landranger map of your choice
Intervals with a Suunto Ambit 2S
Economy done two ways
May (31)
Vorsprung Durch Lego Technic
How do I liberate my boy from his XBox?
Life in the Woods
Intervals with a TomTom
Tree fluff
More camping
Zen and Camping
Not eaten by bears
Bear food
Camping List
Camping Venn Diagrams
Floppy dog
Routes but not Rathbone
Illustrator wanted
The Cosmic Ballet Goes On
Silverstone 10k :-)
Quick one
Superhuman snooker
Chapter 1
April (29)
King Bin
Quiet day on Feedback Mountain
Go directly to parkrun. Do not pass Godzuki.
A day in Wales
The Lost Diadem of Fetchbook
Falling asleep in my dinner
God gave rock and roll to you.
Sugar Mule
Not bad, consid'rin.
Can U Dig It?
A weekend in Wales
Looking forward to Oliver!
Thank you, and more App talk
Pyjamas at both ends.
Thump. Saturday has started.
Sore tum :-/
Zombies aside... first impressions of the new TomTom
TomTom Runner Cardio Press Event
Am I pregnant?
March (31)
Cornflakes Cornflakes Cornflakes Cornflakes Cornflakes Cornflakes Cornflakes
Sandy 10
Me on YouTube
New graphs live
Follow the dot
Only the best for the Captain's table
Mrs Diahann Wagner is GOING HORNY
Sport Relief Win
Hot dogs, quick blogs
Toton Sidings
A sign!
Owen Farrell visualisation technique
Booster fails to ignite
Myton Rugby Run (5 Miler)
Rugby before rugby
Sweetcorn antidote
Custard factory
I did some intervals :-)
Speed work?
Many things
A bit cabbagey here.
Angry Wasp
Rainbow's End
Core Dump
Bath Half (in detail)
A quick overview
Down to business in Bath
February (28)
Made it to Bath
Unexpected hugs
I like to go a-wandering
Spring cleaning
Because We're Worth It
I don't know what!
Thanks Jim
Enough now
Clearing the pipes
Crouch, Touch, Pause...
Medication, that's what you need.
Symptom Tour
Hello FBI
Dazed day
Why I'm an optimist
Mobius birds
Snotty knuckles
In this house...
Retch Everyone
Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also
Angry Birds
Clarkson averse
Good day :-)
January (31)
*bunting* *cake*
Bigger Boys
Pretending to be Saga Norén
Waiting for the AA
Ship shape
Technology takes you further
Love Garden
High Heel Striker
Bit of a rubbish one
Hot Re-fills
Coding Grinch
An august prediction
Some Running Goals for Q1
Wipe-clean dog
Breaking it down
Snakes and Ladders
Bigger Ponds
Drink Your Weak Lemon Drink
All in All
Panning the pancake
Does JK Rowling own a dog?
Back to the kitchen table
Steve Davis shoes
Pigs on a water slide
19 books :-)
2013 (29)
December (3)
Engine Management Light
Hannibal Vector
November (3)
Speed skating
Cool Hand Grandpa
October (3)
Minecraft Cake
Random dump
September (2)
Blog by Email!
Catchup blah
August (3)
Big Green Caterpillar
Questions answered - final CLS blog
Last Days at Club La Santa
July (10)
A nice morning of swimming and tennis
Please Read: Questions for a sports coach
Hitting the straps
First Impressions at Club La Santa
Mile High Blog
Clocking off
For the second week running...
Another Club La Santa catchup
The Floor In The Plan
June (3)
Club La Santa
Bulk Uploading, and win a book
FERC Charities 2011-2012
March (1)
Bath Weekend
January (1)
Meet Steve
2012 (39)
December (2)
Tired Now Boss
Bath - Week 14 + Foodbank
November (3)
White Level Reading
Bath - Week 15
Bath - Week 16
October (2)
C'mon Dave
July (1)
RIP Arnie
June (2)
Rub some bacon on it
18 weeks
May (9)
Techy not tetchy
Time for a techy blog
Time to walk the dog
Stevington 12k
Properly coldy
Still a bit coldy
New blog design live
A bit coldy
Blogs Redesign
April (2)
March (8)
A long run up
Running Tick
Sport Relief Mile
Back once again
Swimming sweetcorn and other vegetables
Joy Rides, Sticks and Medals
Training Tip
February (9)
Katie, ICT, and some more MySQL
May The Ground Force Be With You
Well done Batman.
Optimisation Crossword
Snow Days
Gallery, and parkrun
January (1)
There Are Some Really Sexy Girls On Fetch

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