0 to 13.1 in 365

Posted on May 6, 2009


I didn't start counting on the first day, but somewhere over the past 365 of them, I went from never running a day in my life to completing my first half marathon.  I didn't use any fancy training program (unless you call my running friend, K "fancy"), and my friends and M.I.A. on my iPod were my only motivators.  I learned along the way that it is possible.

That's why I think the "Run at the Speed of Chat" ads from Reebok are great.  Not all of us are into the "Just Do It," push yourself to the edge mentality.  In fact, I didn't consider myself a "real" runner until I crossed the finish line at 13.1 miles.  But, running at chat-speed is something I understand.  At first, it was more about the playlist than the gossip, but over time, as the running became easier… it was just like this.  Talking about dinner, about friends, about feelings and about ideas, but mostly gossip. 

In my world, it's running at the "speed of gossip," but he premise is the same.  Here's what Reebok got right and what they could do better in my opinion:

  • The characters: Running on your cell phone?  Still not cool if you're asking me, but it fits the theme and it's an unfortunate reality, so that girl can stay.
  • The community: The Reebok community leaves a lot to be desired.  It's confusing and there are inappropriate forum comments.  The average runner, if they manage to stumble across the site, will probably immediately log off and never return.  They haven't clearly demonstrated the value, so I hope Reebok is working out the kinks before making a big marketing push.  Brooks recently did something similar that I think is totally cool and well-executed: Running Superfans.
  • The message: It's not for everyone.  There are passionate runners that wouldn't dream of running and chatting simultaneously.  But if Reebok was looking to reach me?  Mission accomplished.


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