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Ian Williams - Fetcheveryone
31 Aug 2018

Fix It Friday

12:12pm | 1792 views | 24 Comments
Here are this week's meanderings around the site. Have also spent some time looking at the market share amongst Fetchies for the big shoe brands. More on that soon. Anyway, here are your fixes:

1) Weight chart max figure fixed. A user who shall remain anonymous pointed out that despite his best efforts, he's yet to achieve a personal fat content of 150%. The scale for the body composition figures has been fixed: fetcheveryone.com/weight.php

2) Mr d's lovely route from Keswick to Skiddaw wasn't showing up, due to a couple of rogue lat/lng points in the middle of the data. This was a bug that was introduced when I converted the routes from Google to OSM: fetcheveryone.com/routes-view.php?id=1794522

3) Big chunk of work here, reinstating badges. Checking eligibility for badges was causing a bit of pain to the server - so I paused it for a couple of months as it wasn't a critical part of what the site offers. But anyway, it's back up and running now - and a big queue of 4800 people should all have their new badges. Before restoring it all, I did some work to improve the efficiency of the eligibility checks - especially for 'longest run' and 'streak' badges. Found the bug that was causing multiple distance badges to be displayed (e.g. Kiev and Moscow at the same time) - but still dealing with a couple of users who are reporting seeing multiple distance badges at the same time. Send me some feedback if you're seeing that: fetcheveryone.com/badges.php

4) A few users (mikep and larkim) reported that the "auto clear planned sessions from training log" wasn't working for them. That should be working nicely now.

5) I updated the mobile nav, with nicer icons, and little highlight effects. See my blogs earlier this week for more on that, including a screenshot comparison.

6) A little tiddler - fixed apostrophes when saving your run as a route.

7) Blog height tidied up. As per (5), see yesterday's blog for a screenshot.

Just to reiterate, the site works BECAUSE of your feedback. It shapes the way it works, and hopefully reassures you that you're dealing with someone who cares, rather than a bot :-) Click the help icon at the top of the page to send feedback, or leave a comment on this blog. Have a great weekend!
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Yippee!! :-)
    12:14pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • Now I want to know the shoe news now! And I see you added the shortcut icon, great job :)
    The Mighty Fleecy
    12:16pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • And you changed the date on blogs to have a black background so less red. Nice :-)
    Elsie Too
    12:37pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • THank you!
    1:00pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • :):)
    Angus Clydesdale
    1:05pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • Re: Weight tracking. Any chance of weight getting pulled over automagically from Garmin?
    1:08pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • nice work
    1:48pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • I like the back button
    2:13pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • And a small 'fix' fixed for me, it all counts. Thanks Fetch!
    2:24pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • I so want to make some kind of "bot" joke but I'm not going to.
    4:10pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • Thank's for fixing those apostrophes - always a good sign of quality website's
    4:57pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • More good work. Thank you.
    6:32pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • Thanks again!
    Is the 'back to blogs' arrow/button deliberately removed / replaed by 'all blogs' hypertext?
    6:51pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • I like the mobile app icons, nice work :)
    8:26pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • I really like the new mobile look
    10:21pm, 31st Aug 2018
  • Thank you, I was very excited to get my new badge :)
    The weight graph improvements are great too. Any chance of adding the ability to record your height, and putting lines at different BMI levels (e.g. 18.5, 25 for example)?
    12:14am, 1st Sep 2018
  • Are the distance badges total training distance - all disciplines - or total running distance?
    If it's total training then mine are wrong, if it's just running then it's right
    8:27am, 1st Sep 2018
  • I liked getting my steak badges. Reinstated just in time 👍
    1:15pm, 1st Sep 2018
  • @Fetch. In removing the activity type dropdown from gpx upload page most (not all) of my bike commutes are being determined as runs. I edit them back but this is screwing up the game 'checkpoints' as that doesn't seem to recheck & adjust scores after editing activity. E.g.

    5:19pm, 1st Sep 2018
  • @rhb - do you have an example file you could email to me? Send me a feedback and I will reply with my email address.
    5:21pm, 1st Sep 2018
  • @fetch - i've sent feedback as requested :)
    10:40pm, 1st Sep 2018
  • Did you see my submission on setting a plan that is pass its target date eg want to load a 12 week plan but the race is 10 weeks away. I couldn't see anyway to 'backdate' the start date.
    Daz Love
    2:56pm, 2nd Sep 2018
  • Hmm. The autoclear planned sessions things doesn't seem to be doing anything (unless I'm mistaken about what it is trying to do!). I'd assumed it meant it would just not put the italicised entries in my log that I have to go through and delete (irrespective of whether I've run any / correct distance that day). Am I missing something that I need to tick, or misunderstanding what it is meant to do? Cheers!
    8:25am, 3rd Sep 2018
  • Just realised there was a link that I may not have clicked which may or may not solve my issue above!
    1:55pm, 3rd Sep 2018

Keep me in the loop!

30 Aug 2018

Blog Height squished

7:18pm | 254 views | 10 Comments
Following Nightjar's suggestion, I've tidied up the height of the blog header, leaving more room for all your lovely writings when viewed on mobile. I think the amount of red is a bit OTT now, but just focus on the improvement to the top bit for now, if you'd be so kind. I'll probably change that date box a wee bit.

Changes modelled by the awesome McGoohan's blog (highly recommended):

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


  • Looking good.
    7:21pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • *blushes and bows*
    7:22pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Oh you mean the layout? That too ;-)
    7:22pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Can we have the shortcut menu back on mobile please?
    7:49pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Smart!
    9:06pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • I'm liking the new changes. I'm not a big smart phone user, so hate all teh scrolling you need to do. I'm enjoying being able to keep up with fetch on my phone now :)
    9:40pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • It looks good although I only visit the site on a PC rather than a phone so I probably won't notice it all that much until I get a better phone :-)
    11:22pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Good stuff. Loads of little improvements making an awesome site betterer and betterer. Such great value for money. :)
    Angus Clydesdale
    11:33pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Tidy!
    9:52am, 31st Aug 2018
  • Re shortcut, thanks.
    10:05am, 31st Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

30 Aug 2018

Site Outage Last Night

10:12am | 226 views | 8 Comments
The site was locking people out last night, from about 8.34pm through 'til 8:55pm, due to a crashed table in our database. During that time I had lots of concerned feedback messages from people worried that they'd been banned / deleted / etc. So I thought it'd be worth pointing you all at our Twitter account. If there's a site problem, I will usually post something there to keep you up-to-date.

Our Twitter username is (unsurprisingly) @fetcheveryone - follow that for all sorts of updates relating to the site:


Cheers :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Hi. Could notifications be posted on other social media too? e.g. Farcebook. I don't Twit really. Realise that's probably a bit of an ask, as others could ask for every other media channel - hInterGram, Whassap, Eepmail etc.
    10:17am, 30th Aug 2018
  • I posted it there too, but was just hoping to get a few more Twitter followers ;-)
    10:18am, 30th Aug 2018
  • That window was when I got back from my run and hence when garmin would have tried to sync my training data across - so it's not come through. Will it all catch up with itself or do I need to manually import? Thanks
    10:41am, 30th Aug 2018
  • Might be best to export the file from Garmin and then import it here.
    10:43am, 30th Aug 2018
  • I was at the footy last night - didn't notice a thing ;-)
    12:07pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • When I looked in the forums for one of my posts and clicked on my profile it said 'user does not exist'! I was having a few palpitations!! Then my son who doesn't even use FE suggested clicking a few other user profiles and they all said the same thing, phew! It did make me get off my ass and finally set up a standing order this morning to a certain account though, nothing like a near death experience to make you appreciate the finer things in life eh? :-)
    12:17pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Lol at near death Pikey. Actually, I think I saw Greppers' or someone's cry of alarums on Farcebook, now I come to think of it Fetch. Cheers, :-) G
    1:59pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • I saw loads of concerned posts on the Facebook page from loads of names I have never seen on this site so assumed they were all imposters... ;-)
    11:24pm, 30th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

29 Aug 2018

New Mobile Nav

1:47pm | 346 views | 29 Comments
I'll mention this one in my Fix It Friday blog too, but I thought it deserved a blog of its own.

I'm always conscious about the amount of vertical height that the site uses when viewed on mobiles. Every pixel in the header is a wee bit more scrolling for you to see the bit you came to see.

On top of that, I felt like some of the icons weren't all that clear without the labels that you get on the desktop view - especially the 'cog' symbol for the user profile, and the lightbulb icon for help/feedback.

So snickty, snickty, snick, it was time to trim it down to size, X Men style*. Which is a nice way of saying that I've updated the header, and the icons, as modelled by the legendary Doctor K:

There are some nice little yellow glow highlight effects that happen when you use the icons; the Notifications bell turns red when there's something to be aware of; there's a count button on the envelope when you've got fmail; and the site logo is minimised to a little 'FE' symbol (or 'FE!' for voluntary subscribers).

NB the 'Logout' button is now in the menu.

Still open to a few changes, so shout out if you've got any queries.

What do you mean, you've got a great big ad when you view it? Take out a voluntary subscription to support the site, and you can turn ads off. Details here: fetcheveryone.com/invite.php

*Should I call you Logan, Weapon X?
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • The main thing for me is removing that ******* logout button - it was much too near the navigation before and too easy to click by accident. I'll see how many times I accidentally log myself out on the new layout.
    1:50pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Looks good!
    1:50pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • I like :-)
    1:53pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Tidy 😊
    3:42pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • 👍
    3:43pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Looks good (modern and fresh)!
    3:55pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Hope you've kept some improvements back for Feedback Friday though! #peakedtosoon?
    3:56pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Like an edit button for folks that typed 'to' instead of 'too'.
    3:57pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Have we lost the greeting at the top though? That would be a shame! The red notification seems a bit hard to see on my iPhone screen, could be a bit easier to make out against the black background?
    The Mighty Fleecy
    4:18pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • @Fleecy - the greeting hasn't been on the mobile version for several years now, and is still available on the desktop. When you say the red notification, do you mean the bell symbol itself? Or the stuff that pops up when you click it?
    4:20pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • I've never accidentally logged myself out :-p
    5:36pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Ah, now I know what everyone's talking about - I rarely view it on a mobile.
    6:02pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Looking good! ☺
    6:17pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Well that was a shock..... But I think I'll get to like it
    6:17pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • I like it!
    6:35pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Could you please maybe do a quick add training?
    7:11pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • I approve. It’s got it where it counts 😉
    7:14pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • *like*
    7:43pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • What’s happened to the app? It constantly tells me there’s poor signal (despite having 4G and WiFi available). Is it broken?
    Angus Clydesdale
    9:25pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Looks much better, but I miss the shortcuts bolt It was always the way I navigated to my log. Going menu>train>training log always hangs for ages on the top "train" page, loading the graphs. (Sorry, should have sent feedback on that before now!)
    9:44pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Looks great. Was drawn straight here to your blog by the new icon.
    9:47pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • You could go further? Next line says “Blogs +” for the nav, then 2 lines further says “fetcheveryone blog”. Could they be consolidated?
    9:52pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Usually I am unsettled by site changes but this one feels right.
    11:03pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Oh yeah, doh fetch, I did know that but for some reason I thought the greetings were going from the desktop site! I meant the red icon showing there are notifications, but I just saw it again and it wasn’t too bad in this light, I think I’m used to a shiny red beacon though :)
    The Mighty Fleecy
    11:10pm, 29th Aug 2018
  • Another one who hated the log out button. New appearance is good. Thanks!
    Derby Tup
    7:26am, 30th Aug 2018
  • Would be good to have the add stuff quickly shortcut back. Other than that, I like it.
    8:16am, 30th Aug 2018
  • Sorry meant shortcuts link to go straight to training log, buddies, etc.
    8:17am, 30th Aug 2018
  • Looks awesome, just appeared for me today, must not have refreshed recently. Just the right amount of this sort of thing :-)
    12:33pm, 30th Aug 2018
  • Thanks for adding the shortcuts back into this, was going to drop you a line but you beat me to it!
    8:52am, 31st Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

24 Aug 2018

Fix It Friday

12:05pm | 1037 views | 28 Comments
More bug fixes and tinkerings to report this week:

0) Let's get this out of the way first. I've cut the bliddy hedge :-) My nephew is an apprentice bricklayer, and we're just waiting until he's had enough practice before we ask him to make us a garden wall instead. The Mexicans will not be asked to pay for it.

1) I did a bit more tidying up of the race listings, moving all the cogs out of the individual buttons, and replacing them all with a single edit button. Neater/shorter on mobile:

2) Begun fixing an issue with TCX files from Fitbit, with helpful reports from DavidGould. When the watch is paused, the file pushes the accrued distance back to zero, which is having some weird effects on various graphs. Getting there with sorting it.

3) Westmoors has a Garmin where you can set the session to 'Cardio' for gym stuff - but it was importing as 'Running - General'. She sent me the FIT file, and I've sorted it so that it now comes in as Cross-Training > Other. If you have similar issues with activities arriving as the wrong thing, drop me a feedback ('Help' link at the top of every page, or 'Contact Us' link at the bottom of every page) and we'll get it sorted.

4) I also tidied up the import FIT, TCX and GPX import pages, to remove some of the very old text, and also to squeeze some Google ads on to them. Annoying? Try becoming a voluntary subscriber and you can turn them ALL off :-)

5) If it's your birthday (hi Nightjar) you should get some balloons and cake in the site header. Just for fun.

6) Chunkywizard noticed that we'd not automatically listed the very lovely Dinton Pastures parkrun, despite them being several weeks in. I checked, and our import of parkrun events was broken. Before, I could pull in all the events with one request - but now it looks like it's been paginated. The result was that I was only getting the first 100 parkruns from their database :-/ Not sure how long that's been going on, but it should be sorted now, and Dinton P is proudly listed.

7) Who Squares Wins. Previously, if you upload a ride then changed it to a run, it wouldn't correct your score. Changing category of a run/ride in your training log should change your points score in WSW within ten minutes.

8) Pre-Race Mileage Graph (the one you can see on the home page) is now customisable - you can choose the number of weeks to include in the build up (from 1 to 26); and you can pick your best performances based on WAVA as well as time. Whilst I'm at it, see my previous blog, which shows a variation of this graph which shows all the participants for a given race.

That's your lot for this week. Do keep sending in your requests for fixes - it's fun building up the list over the course of the week, and I do genuinely enjoy fixing stuff and making the site better.

One last thing - if you'd like to help spread the word about Fetch e.g. on your club website, or if you're a PT, or just have a presence on the web, I've put together some code snippets that you can copy-paste into your websites. Here they are: fetcheveryone.com/refer.php

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


  • Thanks :) Can we have the same as 7. for Conquercise, please? Although if you fix my 3. issue, I won't need it. I'll send you feedback about that. You rock.
    12:09pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Actually, I'm not sending feedback as I've realised I'm a numpty. But please can we still have the same as 7. for Conquercise?
    12:12pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • I owe you a rowing file as I had the same issue (3) as Westmoors for that and other non-running training coming in from Connect.
    12:19pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Thanjs, especially for sorting the WSW bit.

    Shame I've got such a long wait till my next birthday
    12:25pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • have you had a chance to look at the training log not dumping planned sessions?
    12:30pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Thanks for all the brilliant fixes and the general site maintenance. :)
    12:32pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Number 5! ace!
    12:37pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • You are a busy person. We'll done on the hedge.
    12:43pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • +1 for mikep and his persistent request!! ;-) Is it just me that is surprised that this doesn't appear to bother anyone else?
    12:45pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • mike and larkim - this seems to have worked for some, but not others. Plan entries appear in the log in italics, but if you go into them and edit, they lose the italics, and become 'ordinary' entries. The auto-delete will only clear the unedited italicised ones. Can you confirm whether you're seeing persistent italicised entries?
    12:47pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • I can confirm that #3 worked. My cardio imported as Cross Training > Other on Wednesday.
    12:49pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • The WSW thing - how far back does it look? Could someone load, say, a square grabbing bike ride, then alter it the next day to increase the points?
    1:44pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • So I'm going to repeat my long-standing request that Saturday be allowed as a week starting date (cos when training my week officially starts with the sunday run but I sometimes bump it up a day).
    1:44pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • or do you *have* to change it within 10 minutes if you want to change it at all?
    1:45pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • you're the best! Thanks for the fixes
    1:52pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Could we have it so that deleting a run removes the scores from WSW, just for when people "accidentally" upload a run multiple times and then delete the superfluous ones. (That isn't aimed at anyone apart from myself, before anyone gets the 'ump :-))
    1:56pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • That’s already the case flanker.
    2:10pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • It is? Brilliant. I can stop feeling guilty every time I screw up :-)
    2:12pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • I was supposed to send you a file for 3. above too, but totally failed to. Sorry. Well done Westmoors. I may go to the gym now *just* to test your import comes in as cross training, not as Running. My Garmin activity is called Strength. Another is called Yoga. Hopefully your fix will cope with those too? They're all "Not Running". :-) G
    2:41pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Saw the cake and (environmentally friendly) balloons first thing! Thanks. I also saw the help button immediately after my feedback sent - I swear it wasn’t there before 🤪 Nice work.
    2:47pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Thanks for the fixes.

    Entirely unimportant, but I'd like the Fetch WAVA calculator to work both ways. At the moment I can put in a time and find what WAVA that gives me, but it would be nice to enter a target WAVA and see what time I'd need to hit it.
    3:43pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Would this do what you want mole-thing?
    3:53pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Pretty much, thanks Flatlander, although there are odd occasions when I'd like to know times for non-integer WAVAs. I can always work them out though.
    4:10pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • The edit race thing is fab, any more thoughts on enabling us to alter the distance of our entries?
    6:13pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • You can currently do that if it’s not within 10 days of the event. That was put in place to avoid dodgy betting scandals - a long time ago when betting was the only game in town.
    6:15pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Yeah, I was more interested in being able to alter it just before or after an event, for instance if there is an unexpected change due to roadworks (happened to me recently). As a safeguard you could make it that only the person who listed it was allowed to change it.
    8:00pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Thanks Fetch, this explains why I couldn’t find Armley parkrun
    10:31pm, 24th Aug 2018
  • Another confirmation that #3 is working. Like Westmoors my Garmin "Strength" workout came in as Cross Training - Other, not a 1 hour, 0 mile run. Which is perfect. Thanks. :-) G
    4:31pm, 29th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

23 Aug 2018

New feature - how you doin'? :-)

5:11pm | 365 views | 13 Comments
Today I've been working on something that's really quite fascinating to look at. Here's an example (no surprise, it's my Abingdon training):


(You can find a link to the equivalent on every applicable race listing)

It shows a bunch of runners who are doing the race, and their accumulation of training miles. If it's a busy race like VMLM, it will trim that bunch down to show about 10-12 runners. If it's a race that you are doing, those runners will be picked based on their proximity to your predicted time - so you can see what they're doing, and maybe chat to them or summat. If it's not a race that you're doing, then it'll pick the speedy runners, so you can marvel at their exploits.

To be shown on the graph, you need to have done the following:

1) added the race to your portfolio, along with either a prediction or an outcome (or both).

2) done some running :-)

3) adjusted your share settings so that you're sharing "stats" or more. There's a link to the share settings on the page itself.

In a way, the main thing it shows is the diversity in approach and circumstance. You can see people who do an absolute tonne of mileage and not run especially fast on the day; conversely people who record few miles in training but can just churn out something amazing; you can spot tapers, long runs, and a flatlining training plan.

I hope you like it :-) Leave me a comment, fool.
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Nice graph. I've just added an optimistic predicton for Abingdon. Don't be tempted to bet on me!
    5:26pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • You've certainly got the miles on your side, molers :-)
    5:29pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • I was just about to comment on mole-thing's mileage :-O
    5:30pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Thanks. Let's hope they all work. Good luck with your training.
    5:34pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Well I dont feel at all under pressure now for the Bedford half eeeek
    6:02pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Excess miles with no particular plan: hang on, that IS my plan!
    The Mighty Fleecy
    8:26pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Exciting! I shall enjoy this stalking feature ninja
    8:33pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Has Mr T hacked your blog as you had almost finished it?

    Love scrolling over the graph - great for being nosy!
    9:24pm, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Ooh something else I can waste time studying. Love it ;-)
    9:17am, 24th Aug 2018
  • That graph scares me...it very much looks like my training is slowing down rather than ramping up.
    Running Beer
    11:08am, 24th Aug 2018
  • Your gradient in recent weeks is similar to mine :-)
    11:16am, 24th Aug 2018
  • The best attempts at distance graph is a lot more reassuring. I am glad to see I am going further and faster than the last two attempts at this madness. I was panicking a bit earlier this week but I need to remember that there are still 8 weeks of training left. I like how the graph nicely shows that there is a long way to go yet with the shorter line that is far ahead of the others.
    Running Beer
    11:29am, 24th Aug 2018
  • Is this going to be called the Joey Tribiani feature?
    11:58am, 24th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

22 Aug 2018

Sunflower spread

3:00pm | 259 views | 18 Comments
The reach of bigleggy's sunflower competition should not be underestimated :-) I have a bag full of severed heads, ready to farm the petals (for Silvershadow) and the seeds (either for eating, or for next year's crop / guerrilla planting). And whilst accompanying the boy to footie practice yesterday evening, I also got chatting to the grandad of one of the players - I gave him a tump of sunflower seeds, and he's bringing me some spinach seeds next week in return; and has given me useful advice on planting garlic :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • A tump?
    3:01pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Yes. A big tump.
    3:04pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • I've almost been *inspired* to attempt to make yarn dye out of my sunflower petals, but am working hard at reminding myself why I leave dyeing to other people.
    3:16pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • please can you pass on the garlic planting advice? pretty please?
    3:26pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • @D2 - it was pretty straightforward actually - he just buys cloves from Lidl, breaks them up, and plants them about an inch deep, surrounded by a bit of seed compost to get it going. Sometimes the resultant bulbs are quite small, but he seemed to be claiming reasonable success overall. I'll be trying it :-)
    3:41pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Don't eat them - especially if you've used any kind of slug pellets or pest control. Also, take em out of the bag or they'll end up mouldy. Take it from one who know. Remove as much foliage as you can from the seed head and get the seeds out as soon as you can. Dry them out for a bit on a tray and then they should be good to store.
    3:52pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • I didn't use any pest control, but I did give them some plant food. Does that render them inedible?
    3:54pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • And keep them (sunflowers) indoors until established in little pots! The mice (I think) dug up every single sunflower I had planted outdoors.

    Garlic from Lidl grows even up here in Yorkshire. Just don't plan on having extra large bulbs of it around the place!
    4:04pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Hmm on garlic growing tips... usual disclaimer but...... the garlic you can buy in the supermarket may well have been originally grown in a country with a different climate to ours. There are two main types of garlic, one for autumn planting and one for spring I would hate you to waste time and energy on planting the wrong one. Its easy to buy bulbs that will work well in your garden........ sorry to be a kill joy. :)
    4:34pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • No probs D2. I have absolutely zero gardening knowledge, so it's all new information to me :-)
    4:39pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Word of the day -tump 😂😂😂
    4:53pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Garlic and sunflower. Is it a shampoo range or the latest superfood? I sense a marketing opportunity here.
    5:19pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • Our street is doing a pumpkin competition this year. It has made up for my DNF in the sunflower competition
    5:50pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • 😊 thank you re the petals.
    9:25pm, 22nd Aug 2018
  • It's all gone a bit Howard and Hilda.
    12:03am, 23rd Aug 2018
  • For the garlic growing (in NZ, which is wetter than you...), I've had limited success in the past due to the cloves rotting in the winter, but this year am doing it in large pots/buckets and so it looks much more promising.
    4:03am, 23rd Aug 2018
  • Oh, and you can check if the garlic is viable before you plant. I separated the cloves and put them in an old yogurt pot in a few mm of gavel and about 5mm of water. After a week they had sprouted, so I carefully planted them. There are youtube videos!
    4:05am, 23rd Aug 2018
  • I fancy trying elephant garlic but unfortunately can't get it in Lidl: thegarlicfarm.co.uk
    10:42am, 23rd Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

17 Aug 2018

Fix It Friday

3:42pm | 458 views | 12 Comments
I don't have a huge amount to report this week. I think I spent a fair bit of time sorting out the 'Pre-Race Mileage Graph' (see previous blog); and Katie and I took advantage of our youngest both being away to sneak off for an overnight stay at our honeymoon hotel:-) We are back now, and both feel as well-fed as pheasants on the day before the shooting season!

But despite that, I still have a few fixes to report. Last week, I spoke about how I was focusing on site speed, and I've continued along those lines this week...

1) Your 'recent training' is used in various places around the site, not just in your training log. You can see it on your home page, on the training home page, and on your user profile. Every time one of these pages is requested, the information is either retrieved from the database, or pulled out of a cache. With a few hopefully-unnoticeable amendments, all requests for this type of data now come from the same cache - so it should help with the efficiency of all these page requests, and also free up a bit of space in our virtual supermarket. And it was doing this work that led me to put together the 'Pre-Race Mileage' graph, so it was doubly useful.

2) But one of the slowest-and-busiest pages on the site is the 'Your Log' page. The one that has all the monthly totals at the top, and then a list of matching entries down below it. I take two measurements to help me assess how a page is performing - median (because average can be skewed by a bad half hour); and 90th percentile (i.e. time taken to process 90% of all requests, aka 'P90'). Before any work was done, the median time for rendering this page on the server was 0.93 seconds; and P90 was up on 4.96 seconds. For comparison, the home page has a median of 0.1s, and P90 is 0.62 seconds.

These timings are just the server activity, so on top of that you should add: (i) time taken for request to reach server across the internet; (ii) time taken for response to travel back across internet; and (iii) time taken for browser to piece together that response into a page. But all of those are somewhat outside my hands. At least for now :-)

Through some of the caching mentioned in (1), and removing some unnecessary queries, I've managed to bring the median for the training page down to 0.74s, and P90 down to 2.87s. Still slower than the home page, but given the large amount of data on the page, it's a good step forward.

3) And finally, our race listings are a popular starting point for folks who find us through Google. I was conscious that they could do with a bit of tidying up, especially for mobile users. On the left, is what a non-logged-in user used to see on typical mobile width, and on the right is the tidied-up version, with more info available without scrolling, and hopefully a bit neater.

That's it for this week - but do keep your feedback requests coming in :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • Thanks for the updates - and the enhancements
    - any news or plans on aka 'P90&apos ;-) in text?
    - any new on the hedge ?
    3:50pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • I'm quite interested in the curated videos of Mars ;-)
    3:52pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • As per um, I'm expecting topiary news...
    4:24pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • 4) The hedge has been given a Lionel Blaircut.
    4:39pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • Good work fetch.
    5:04pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • Thank you.
    5:15pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • The clear out of runs entered in a training plan from the training log does not yet seem to be working. I really like the graph of activity leading up to a run ...but would it be possible to have specify the number of weeks (rather than a set 26) this would make the analysis of a 16 week mara training plan a doddle. Have a good weekend.
    5:17pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • Thanks for this Fetch!

    I’d like to put a vote in for getting badges working again! If that’s hard then a message that new badges are temporarily disabled might be friendly :-)
    6:37pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • Those apostrophes need a bit of a sort out. That's something for next week ;-)
    8:17pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • nice work on the page times. race screen look much tidier too.
    11:34am, 19th Aug 2018
  • ps thought about open sourcing (or fetch sourcing)?
    11:35am, 19th Aug 2018
  • I was also wondering about open-sourcing... hard to contemplate relinquishing (some) control, though
    4:34pm, 21st Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

14 Aug 2018

A new pre-race mileage graph

5:28pm | 426 views | 21 Comments
Here's some good fun :-)

It occurred to me that my marathon training mileage is looking pretty decent in comparison to previous attempts - so I thought I'd make a graph that illustrates it.

This graph will show you your five best marathon attempts, and the 26 weeks of mileage that preceded them:


Not done a marathon? No probs, the same page will do the same for the shorter distances:

20mi: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=20&unit=miles
Half: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=13.1&unit=miles
10mi: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=10&unit=miles
10km: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=10&unit=km
5mi: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=5&unit=miles
5km: fetcheveryone.com/training-prerace.php?distance=5&unit=km

Note that in order to see what the fudge I'm talking about, you need to have (a) some races in your Race Portfolio, and (b) some training in your training log. But you've done that already, right?

Let me know what you think.
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  • I like it in theory … but I think it might be including everything. I'm pretty sure I didn't run 1486 miles in six months before a half marathon, nor have an average pace of 15:00/mile before another.
    5:37pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • I have 3 half marathons planned and they appear all in the graph, so I can only compare with my previous best 2 as it brings it to a total of 5 graphs. There should be a way of discarding certain races, or selecting a target?
    5:38pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • This is brilliant!
    Can you separate running mileage out from other mileage? I was scratching my head over how I'd run more than 6,000 miles in the build-up to my third-fastest marathon till I realised that it was the only one on the graph from after I started cycling.
    And can you exclude races that are in our portfolios but more than 26 weeks in the future?
    5:39pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • Filtered it to show just running now...
    6:07pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • I think it's fabulous! Thank you.
    6:37pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • My 5 mile graph not showing at all. The black wording box above where the graph should be is there, and the table underneath showing details of the race is there, but just a blank space in-between. The graphs for all the other distances are all there ok.

    Future races being included - could you maybe just include one at any distance, and make it the next one, so you still get meaningful comparison with previous ones, ie if you'd entered a series of 5k or 10k races there could be 5 in the future.
    K5 Gus
    6:40pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • Thanks! That looks much better :)
    6:53pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • Great graph. Thanks.
    7:09pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • Clearly some details to be worked on (and are being worked on) but this is really good.

    According the graphs I'm going to smash my next half marathon! Higher mileage so far than the previous four, more even (the pause due to an injury shows very clearly for my two slower ones last year) and even the pace is better than usual.
    7:52pm, 14th Aug 2018
  • That is very good. Shows that I used to run further, more often at s slightly higher pace than now. Even though my WAVAs are now higher...so I know what to do. Good.
    Wriggling Snake
    8:00am, 15th Aug 2018
  • Fascinating - best performance at a half with the slowest average training run pace. Good to see that in black and white!
    8:41am, 15th Aug 2018
  • As with KS Gus, one of my distances (half marathon) is not showing the graph but all the others are fine. And plus 1 for the suggestion on only including 1 future race. Useful and fun, though.
    10:21am, 15th Aug 2018
  • FitterStu and K5 Gus - both the same issue (an apostrophe in the race title was messing up the Javascript). Should be fixed now.
    12:22pm, 15th Aug 2018
  • Update: As a best compromise, only one future race (the most imminent) will be included on the page.
    12:31pm, 15th Aug 2018
  • No one has mentioned track distances yet, well until now... :-)
    12:59pm, 15th Aug 2018
  • Very interesting, my mileage for my first half mara last year and my next one next month are practically the same.
    5:52pm, 16th Aug 2018
  • I like this, but 26 miles is a long build up. Would it be difficult to make that configurable? I've got a nagging feeling I've seen it somewhere else on the site.
    4:28pm, 17th Aug 2018
  • 26 miles is long, but I meant 26 weeks!
    3:24pm, 18th Aug 2018
  • According to the graphs, I ran half as much before last night's 10K as I have for my best ones (with predictable results). I had thought as I ran round (I had plenty of time, after all ;-)) of copying the graph and weaving some bloggery around it. However as the race is now past, the exact graph is now unavailable. I wonder if it might still be a work in progress, with a degree of customisation to come?

    (Of course, as I typed it occurred to me that I could add a race for tomorrow into the portfolio and get much the same graph idea.)
    3:48pm, 18th Aug 2018
  • The graph is still available without an upcoming race is it not?
    3:58pm, 18th Aug 2018
  • Yes, but what I want to demonstrate is how lacking my training has been ;-).
    4:20pm, 18th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

13 Aug 2018

Fetch Social: Draycote Water September

5:03pm | 238 views
I've just been given a race entry for the Draycote Water 20. Fancy joining me and Katie for a run and/or post-run social? Follow this thread for more info:

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


Keep me in the loop!

10 Aug 2018

Fix It Friday: The Supermarket Analogy

12:41pm | 510 views | 21 Comments
Bear with me...

I *love* a good analogy as a way of understanding something or as a tool to help creative problem solving. At school I remember learning about components of a circuit by comparing them to water flowing through pipes. A resistor is like a thin pipe - less water can flow through it; and a battery is like a water pump, driving electrons around the circuit.

I think that a lot of our learning happens in this way. When facing a new situation, we compare it to our experience, and think (subconsciously sometimes) "this is like that other situation... and I remember how I coped with that". My theory is that this is how our mushy brains perform so well - because all our learning is folded in on itself. We learn to recognise a face is after seeing lots of examples. We learn how to stand up, how to cross the road, how to run through lots of trial and error. In fact, if you'll indulge me, our perception of reality is an analogy. Our eyes, ears, noses, hands etc provide measurements that tell us what is happening, which is *our* reality, but it will never be quite the same as someone else's, nor will it ever accurately reflect every facet of what's out there.

That's the digression out of the way - but there is a point to it all. This week, amongst general bug fixing, I've been looking at optimising the performance of the site, which for non-computer-programmers can be a bit of a black box expressed only in terms of 50p's in meters, or hamsters in wheels (both analogies, see?). But I like you all to have an idea of what's going on, so the analogy I've come up with to help explain is that of a supermarket.

Every time you get hungry for a Fetcheveryone page, you go to the supermarket to retrieve the ingredients to make the page. There are lots of ingredients that go into making up a page. Some are the salt and pepper, common to every page - like whether you're logged in; whether there's fmail/notifications to show you; and whether you're entitled to look at the page in the first place. On top of that there are the specifics. On this page for example, it retrieves my boiled ham of a blog, all the corresponding comments, a list of my other blogs, my user bio, etc.

We can think of every request for a page as a shopper entering the supermarket to gather the ingredients. If there's just one shopper, they have the freedom to run through the aisles at breakneck speed, without worrying about bumping into someone. But in reality, there are lots of shoppers. We've all felt that frustration of visiting a busy supermarket on a Saturday afternoon, when it feels like the local zombie club have decided to send a coach party. Some customers are just picking up a tin of beans, whilst others are teetering around with the ingredients for a banquet. Some know exactly what they are looking for and where to find it. Others are picky eaters, and have to look at the labels on every single item, to make sure it meets their requirements. Just a reminder, those shoppers aren't you, dear Fetchies, but the pages on our website.

For the last week, I've been monitoring the amount of time each page takes to prepare, from the moment your request arrives on our server, to the point where our server has generated the page and is ready to send it back. In our analogy, I am keeping an eye on the number of shoppers, their choice of meals, and how long it takes them to visit the supermarket. There are some very popular meals, like our home page, or forum pages (which all use an identical recipe, just different ingredients). There are others which are less popular, but take an age to collect all the necessary parts for. Improving the experience for all these shoppers is key to success.

And here's where a good analogy is helpful. Supermarkets do all sorts of things that help you to find what you want, like putting all the pasta in one place, and labelling the aisles (even if they sometimes encourage you to spend more time looking round by rearranging things periodically). These are all aspects of good database design. But they have also added new innovations which encourage creative programming. A 'meal for two' brings all the ingredients together in one place for a quick grab. An online favourites list lets you fill your basket really quickly (even if in this case you're not actually visiting the supermarket); and click-and-collect means that someone with the time to wander round on your behalf has pre-grabbed everything you need and stuck it in a locker ready for you to chow down.

You get the idea. Hopefully. On to this week's fix list:

1) I've removed some unnecessary database queries from the home page. Previously, every time you visited, it would retrieve your latest training entries on the fly. Now it stores that info in our virtual click-and-collect, and only puts fresh stuff in when you actually update your training log. Similarly, every visit to the home page was checking the forum data for the best threads to display. Our home page gets about 100,000 visits per month, so that's a lot of repetitive checking. Now that data gets stored in our click-and-collect, and only gets refreshed every few minutes. An increase in customers doesn't cause any more congestion inside the supermarket :-)

2) Likewise with any page in the forum, there's lots of data that doesn't change very often, like the thread description, the associated groups, and the keywords associated with the thread. These were all getting shopped for, every time the page was requested. They're now in the click-and-collect (in computing terms, 'the cache' ), and only get refreshed when they are changed. The forum pages don't take an especially long time to prepare, but they are very popular - so even small improvements per shopper get multiplied into big improvements overall (like reusing your plastic bags - oooh!).

3) I've also cached the pages that show all the fastest times for a specific race (e.g. Bedford Harriers Half Marathon: fetcheveryone.com/race-leaderboard.php?id=1089462 ), as this is an example of a meal that is eaten less often, but is more complex to shop for. Whilst I was there, I also added an interesting little graph that shows the distribution of times for the runners of that race. I'm not sure what it tells us yet (does the slope of the graph have any correlation with difficulty?), but it sure is pretty.

That's enough of the optimisation ones for now. Here are some more treats:

4) When you view our walking league, your position is now highlighted in red. You can thank chunkywizard for requesting that one. Here's the league: fetcheveryone.com/league-walking.php

5) There's now a link from the Who Squares Wins game to the corresponding thread, so you can seamlessly check your score then trash talk your opponent.

6) When viewing the 'Route of the Day' pic on our home page, some users were still seeing the previous day's picture. I think alpenrose was struggling with that one. It should be sorted now.

7) In 'Your Routes', the default category was 'Uncategorised'. For folks who like to put every single route into a category, this meant their first experience of the page was an empty list. It now defaults to 'All'.

8) Our over-50's league now includes track and ultra distances after several requests. And having done that, I've also added more distances to our regular league table.

9) It was noted that when you want to add a price to a race listing, there's a zero that needs deleting before you can enter the price. Likewise, when manually adding training, you had to delete zeros before entering your actual distance, calories etc. All these should now be fixed. A marginal gain, but it ALL helps to make your experience as a user just that little bit smoother.

10) And finally, mikep, Mrbanners, and larkim all asked that the training plan be improved. The sessions you plan drop into your training log in italics, on the day that you're due to do them. You have to remember to delete them, or they stay there forever, looking untidy. There's a new option on the training plan that will automatically delete any old training plan entries every time you log training - so if you'd like to, you can switch this on. I must admit not to having tested this a great deal - so please let me know if it's not working.

And that's your lot for this week. I hope the last entry is a good example of how quickly your feedback can become reality. When the popup for voluntary donations to the site comes up, folks can say "I'd donate if I could spare any cash", or "I want to use the site for free". In practical terms they mean the same thing, but if by sharing my efforts I can encourage you into the former category rather than the latter, I'd call that a win. And if this *is* your month to get behind the site, that'd be great. Pip pip!
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • No 4 is that working ? Or am I missing something
    1:00pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Try now?
    1:12pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Some blogs need a 'get your tea before you start reading' icon ... not the length, but the attention needed.

    And as for that well known comuting term (see #2) 'the cache&apos ;-) ' - is that one on the list?

    The pretty graph on #3 - is y axis the number of finishers? So the lower and end times are packed, but fewer mid time finishers? Or is the y-axis the time?

    Good analogy - but remember, like supermarkets, to make sure people go past the brightly labelled things you want to sell.

    As ever - many thanks! (I did resist replying BOGOF)
    1:20pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Ooh I like no.10 - will try that over the weekend :)
    1:30pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • I could only get my head around electronics by comparing it to flowing water too :)

    Thanks for the prompt fixes!
    Fragile Do Not Bend
    1:31pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • thank you for no. 10 - I'll turn it on and see how it does tomorrow
    1:43pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • A much more productive week than me! Well done. :-) G
    1:51pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Fantastic Thanks so

    for doing that I've switched it on I'll let you know I go
    2:28pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Agree with Happy - that sounds like more than enough for one week.
    2:57pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Did you do the hedge?
    3:05pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • I was gonna, but it's all wet now.
    3:07pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Put the hedge near the top of the list for next week !
    (but I have the same cba reason for not running this afternoon)
    3:10pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Very nice - and this weekly fixit thread is ace. :)

    Not sure if this is the place for potential future fixes but I think the badges either aren't updating or are taking more than three weeks to update...
    4:28pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • sunny day tomorrow, I expect I can do the hedge. Well, I can definitely plug the hedge trimmer in and sit and look longingly at it. *sob*
    5:05pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • I'm sure, post-op, just a subtle mention or two, should do it?
    If not, we may need to start a hedge thread similar to Dill's hole thread ...
    5:19pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • um (btw, love the name, my senior once counted the number of times I said um in a consultation, it was lots of times, so I must love it), he has been jolly busy this week, nursing me back to health, cooking and so many trips to Tesco to feed my boys that it’s no surprise he’s had this supermarket analogy day, so I really should stop mentioning the hedge. And I could have done it pre-op but I didn’t. :-)
    5:26pm, 10th Aug 2018
  • Your Lordship, I regret to advise that the auto clearing hasn't worked....
    9:34am, 11th Aug 2018
  • He should have been given a shopping list for Tesco's, only needed to go once then. ;-)
    9:32pm, 11th Aug 2018
  • Is there a way to access the walking league from the home page?
    10:29pm, 11th Aug 2018
  • Analogy and metaphor are the way to go! I'm reminded of Star Trek TNG series 5episode 2, "Darmok" where the Tamarians have a language that is comprised only of allegorical references.
    (I did google that, honestly, it wasn't all from memory, although I dare say that some might be able to do that)
    4:33pm, 13th Aug 2018
  • Finally got around to feeding back on the automatic deleting of training entries - it is tidier, but it would beyond great if it only deleted planned run training when you uploaded a run, rather than as soon as you upload any training????
    4:19pm, 22nd Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

08 Aug 2018

A run with _andy :-)

11:39am | 356 views | 10 Comments
I got a message from _andy saying that he was in the area, and did I fancy a run. So we met up this morning, and I took him on a short route through the mountains of Bedford, before doubling back for a loop round our parkrun course.


It was a lovely way to enjoy five miles, and I can tick yet another Scottish-via-the-west-country Fetchie off my list :-)

If any of you are ever in Bedford and fancy a run, give me a shout :-)
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • *Predicts huge boost to tourism in Bedford*
    11:51am, 8th Aug 2018
  • :-) I hope you didn't stint on the mountains for him.
    11:52am, 8th Aug 2018
  • I think we need a meet a Fetchies for a run thread !
    11:53am, 8th Aug 2018
  • And glad to read that Katie's op went well, and that post-Brexit I have a handy available food source in the area (bulrushes/ cattails).
    12:04pm, 8th Aug 2018
  • Did he introduce himself as 'underscore Andy'?
    12:21pm, 8th Aug 2018
  • No, as I recall, he came running across the car park with a big grin and a Fetch top :-)
    12:53pm, 8th Aug 2018
  • Good idea DocM ...
    I'm open to act as a guide to anyone wanting a run in the New Forest ...

    Impressed with the 9 min mile pacing!
    12:59pm, 8th Aug 2018
  • Completely forgot to take the underscore with me! Thanks for the lovely trails and sunshine me fetch, really appreciated. Buzzing all day with how super duper the world of fetch is :-)
    5:35pm, 8th Aug 2018
  • A top man is _andy.
    9:02am, 9th Aug 2018
  • And you survived?! ;-) Always lovely to be with, but as a race leading ultra and hill runner, not always easy to keep up with! :-) G
    9:48am, 9th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

07 Aug 2018

Suunto 9 Review

4:47pm | 317 views | 11 Comments
I've been sent a Suunto 9 to review, and I've been using it for the last month for the majority of my runs. Just to set the scene, this isn't a paid review, and nor do I get to keep it at the end, so on that basis I can give you an honest opinion. Obviously, I'm keen to maintain a good relationship with Suunto, so it's all going to be polite and constructive :-)

I should also point out that if you're looking for a review on an sub-atomic level, you could try the excellent DC Rainmaker: dcrainmaker.com - but if you'd just like to hear my thoughts, read on.

The watch is priced at £499 (see Suunto website) and in terms of look, it's very similar to previous Suunto's, with a sleek but solid finish. It has the potential to overawe a slender wrist, but it fits ok on my flimsy coder wrists, and it has a prestigious feel to it (for clarity, this from the man who only ever wears jeans, t-shirt and trainers).

Having tried the Suunto Spartan Ultra before (you can pick the Ultra up on Amazon for £350+: amzn.to ), my main interest in trying this new Suunto was the addition of wrist-based heart rate measurement. Chest straps usually end up chafing me, so a good wrist-monitor is a real plus for me.

The HRM is good in the main, but you do need to get the watch positioned right on your wrist (north of the bony bit), and strapped on nice and tight. On several easy runs, I've been alarmed to see the HR reading suggesting that I'm running at 5k pace - and it's usually an indication that I need to tighten the strap by a notch.

The strap feels soft, but the requirement for tightness means that on a hot day (and we've had plenty of those recently), the sweat can collect underneath, and on one occasion I was left with a red rash that lasted for a couple of days. This only happened once though, when I'd left the watch on for a prolonged period. Perhaps a different style of strap might alleviate this issue.

If you wear it continuously, the watch is also able to track your HR throughout the day and night - so it's useful if you'd like to see what your true resting HR is - and the colour displays on the watch demonstrate this nicely. If you take the watch off and leave it on your bedside table, be prepared for periodic green flashing from the HR monitor every so often (and a poke in the ribs from your significant other) as it periodically attempts to assess your HR.

It also tracks your cadence without any external pod - working on the basis that your arms swing back and forward at the same rate that your feet do. It's pretty accurate, with a very rare and brief Billy Whizz spike. On the back of this, it also provides you with a daily step count; although my feeling here is that if you're spending £499 on a running watch, you're probably taking it seriously enough not to be thinking about step count as a motivator.

The battery life is really good. You can sync over Bluetooth, but I usually plug the watch in via the USB cable to sync, so it gets a little top up each time I run - and from a full charge, you can get in excess of 20 hours of battery life in standard mode; and you can adjust the settings to maximise the battery (e.g. by reducing the sampling rate of the GPS) up to 120 hours. In the main then, it feels as though it never runs out. However, I think the sticky-out buttons meant that I occasionally took it out of my rather cramped bag ready to run, and discovered a flat battery. Some sort of low power screaming alarm would be useful - maybe a bluetooth appeal that flashes up on my phone?

In terms of training usefulness, there are modes for all three triathlon disciplines, including a GPS-enabled open water swimming mode, which is really ace (and my gut feeling is that it's more accurate than Katie's Garmin 910XT (£320 on Garmin website), which shows her running aground multiple times during an hour's swim). The default running screen needs a bit of tinkering with - it gives me an overall average for my run, but not a reliable lap pace; however, if you plug it into your computer and go to the Suunto website, you can adjust the fields that are displayed, choosing from a wide variety.

Other useful screens include: one that shows you all your recent laps, so you can review your progress as you go; and a navigation screen that shows you a simple dotted path representing your run so far. This was very useful when I missed a turn whilst running off-road in Devon. And in a nice use of space, your heart rate is shown as a disk tachometer around the edge of the watch face, with delineated zones too.

It wouldn't be a Fetcheveryone review if I didn't refer to the watches ability to sync with our site. Unfortunately it's not as straightforward as Garmin (which sends to Fetch automatically if you ask it to), but when you sync to the Suunto site, it's just a couple of clicks from there to download a FIT file in your browser, which can then be uploaded to Fetch with a few more clicks. Not too bad for me personally, but it's an entirely manual process, so be prepared for this if you're considering one. Suunto - if you're reading this, do get in touch and let's sort something better out.

If you're looking at other watches in this price range, I would recommend considering this - but you might find that with a little compromise, you could find many of the useful features elsewhere for less money. Overall, I'll be sad to see it go, as the watch really is the first one I've tried that has ticked pretty much every box for me, it looks pretty cool, and it feels like it'll go on for ever.
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  • Does it tell the time?!
    5:16pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • I’ve left out some of the more obvious features, such as it’s ability to tell the time, and the fact that it is not made out of jelly.
    5:30pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • Great review boss.
    8:13pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • Thanks for a great neutral review. I've had the Suunto Ambit for ages and the winning features for me are: Battery life (awesome), durability (after the time I've had this watch almost all my Garmin's had broken e.g. strap) and finally reliability (always works and finds a signal really quickly).
    9:10pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • Ahem don’t know if you remember but atrain wrote you something so it would upload to fetch automatically by writing it into your downloads first. But I think he’s dumped it all after you disabled it. strava grabs off suunto site so I think he keeps his training there now
    10:00pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • I think it was atrain that wrote something that uploaded Suunto files via our API. But I don’t recall disabling anything :-(
    10:11pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • And I don’t believe that would work if the user synced Suunto over Bluetooth. Also, strava have their links on parkrun profiles, but when I asked, this is because they have ‘partnered’. I’m not sure I have that sort of money knocking round :-/
    10:15pm, 7th Aug 2018
  • Have you tried the Spartan Trainer HR?
    I upgraded from the Ambit 3 to one back in May and after a few teething issues with bluetooth notifications it's awesome and I love it. A fair bit cheaper than the 9, as well.
    8:08am, 8th Aug 2018
  • Can we please arrange a mass picket of Suunto's headquarters? I love my Ambit 2, but Movescount and the uploading speed are woeful.
    9:25am, 8th Aug 2018
  • I’ve not felt like the site or upload speed are a problem, but would just love to offer the Fetchies a chance to sync more easily.
    10:29am, 8th Aug 2018
  • Tapiriik? Or is it that something pushed from suunto to garmin by tapiriik will not than auto-push to fetch?
    9:31pm, 13th Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

03 Aug 2018

Fix it Friday

12:39pm | 459 views | 10 Comments
It's Fix It Friday, which means that I tell you about all the stuff that I've fixed this week, and encourage you to report any problems on the site. First up, it gives you a chance to take a look at what I've fixed; secondly, it's nice to show you that I'm working hard to maintain and improve the site; and thirdly I hope it shows you how the flexible the site is, and encourages you to get involved with shaping its future direction. The success of the site is entirely down to the community of people that use it.

This week, the list is a bit light because I have a week in Wales with The Boy - but I've still had the opportunity to sort out a few issues:

1) When people add race listings they often miss out the http/s bit at the start. This results in a broken link on the race listing. I've adjusted the code to add this where possible.

2) New joiners to Who Squares Wins were getting dumped in the Atlantic just off the coast of Africa (lat=0,lng=0). The browser now attempts to grab the location of the user, to show them a map of their local area.

3) Several requests for this one. If you're adjusting your Who Squares Wins homepoint (a popular tactic in summer, it seems), it was hard to judge whether any of your squares would be in the sea / army base / volcano. Now when you click on the map, it overlays a grid for you, which you can adjust before committing to your new location.

4) People who have biking and/or swimming targets, but no running targets (I know, right) were not getting a little grey run-rate line on their targets graph to keep up with. How are you doing against your targets, by the way? fetcheveryone.com/training-targets.php

5) Apostrophes now work in poll questions. That one's for you Greg ;-)

Aside from that, I've been looking at a bit of optimisation - looking at the amount of time the server spends rendering each page, and trying to find a few bottlenecks to sort out. I'm still at the stage where I'm collecting data - but I'll report back on that next week when I'll have more working hours available.

Over to you - let me know about your site problems, big and small :-) All I ask is that when you report an issue, provide enough information for me to recreate the problem you're facing, and don't just go with (quote) Where's my graph dammit? (unquote). Here's the feedback link: fetcheveryone.com/feedback.php
Click here to suggest this blog for today's highlights.


  • I got the question about 0 lat/0 long right on The Chase the other night because of that flaw.
    12:43pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • Can I put the hedge in the list please? ;-)
    12:43pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • Katie I think you have to use the feedback link at the top of the page or he ignores you! ;-)
    2:53pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • Thanks for fixing the WSW grid by the way - top job!
    2:54pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • I use the training plan function quite a lot. I resent the time I have to put into tidying up my training log by deleting runs. Can't we have the option to have planned runs auto deleted on the day after the due date?
    3:47pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • You are right fab, you are.
    4:04pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • 2nd to MikeP's comment would love for the planned runs to auto delete if at all possible
    4:30pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • Now I just want to know who’s holidaying in a volcano and whether it’s their secret lair
    The Mighty Fleecy
    4:34pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • 3rd for MikePs comment. Probably my only persistent bug bear.
    4:39pm, 3rd Aug 2018
  • 3) is a good fix.
    8:02pm, 3rd Aug 2018

Keep me in the loop!

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