Final Project Pitch Post: A Running Blog — and Digital Accountability Partner

For my final project, I’d like to create a personal site about one of my hobbies — running. I started running two years ago, and my goal is to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) in 2018.

I am pursuing this topic for my final project because I feel as though I need something to hold me accountable to actually go running consistently. I am envisioning this site as a place where I can track all of my training runs, my favorite routes, photos, and details about my past and upcoming races.

Some of the customizations and features that I’d like to build into my site include a page where I can discuss my training, a custom post type to track the different details of my runs, and a widget or plugin that connects to my Strava profile and shows my recent running routes.

Goals: 

  • The goal of my final project site will be to serve as a means to hold me accountable to run consistently as I begin my marathon training journey. The earliest I would run a marathon would be March 2018, and I don’t need to actually start training to run 26.2 miles until about four months before the race, but I’d like to build up my baseline fitness, strength, and speed in the meantime.
  • A second goal is to gain a readership made up of both new and experienced runners and anyone who enjoys or is interested in the sport of running, and to foster conversation among this community.
  • My third and final goal is to use this site to demonstrate my basic understanding of web development principles and the WordPress platform.

Audience: 

My site’s audience will include my friends and family who want to keep up with my progress, as well as like-minded running enthusiasts who are seeking information and motivation. I’d love to tailor my site around living and running in Washington, D.C., which might make my target audience more specific to runners who live in the D.C. metro area or other urban areas.

How I’ll Achieve My Goals: 

  • I plan to have different pages on my site, including a page called Run, which will feature recaps of my runs using the custom post type I will create — as well as an About Me page and a Contact page where readers can submit questions, comments, and ideas.
  • I will also link my Strava profile — where I currently track all of my runs — to my site, so that my readers can see my recent and past running routes.
  • I will customize my chosen WordPress theme with new colors and font types. 

Theme: Retina

Track:

I plan to make several modifications and customizations to my site that are client-side and server-side, so I will pursue the full-stack track. My planned modifications are listed below.

Planned Modifications: 

  • I plan to create a child theme so that I can make changes to the colors and fonts on my site.
  • I will create a custom post type called “Run” with a custom metabox called “Run Details.”
  • I will render four custom fields within the metabox, including neighborhood, distance, date, and time. The latter two fields will indicate the date and time that my run actually occurred on, and will be separate from the date and time stamps that are already included on each published post. This will allow me to closely track the details about each of my runs.
  • I will create categories called “Training Run” and “Race” to distinguish these types of posts from more general blog posts.
  • I will install a text widget on the main sidebar of my site using shortcode from my Strava profile to show my most recent running routes.
  • I will add a plugin for a contact form, as well as social media contact buttons.

URL: www.therunningglover.com

My site will be called The Running (G)lover, which is a play on both my last name and the topic of my site. People are constantly mispronouncing my last name — it rhymes with lover, not clover — and so in addition to my site being a digital accountability partner, I’m hoping it will help people to learn the correct pronunciation of my name (and of the Glover Park neighborhood where I also live — it’s pronounced like the word “glove” with an “r” on the end!).

3 thoughts on “Final Project Pitch Post: A Running Blog — and Digital Accountability Partner

  1. Jaclyn Glover Post author

    Great! Thank you for your feedback. A couple questions:

    – I’m not sure I’ll be able to create my own plugin to connect my Strava account to my site, but I was wondering, if I choose to instead modify an existing plugin, can you provide any guidance as to what would qualify as enough customization of an existing plugin? For example, I found a plugin that I might want to use (https://wordpress.org/plugins/custom-strava-integration/), and it mentions that it allows you to “specify a template at the settings page and define the positions of Strava information” and customize styles using CSS. Would this count as enough customization for this particular modification?
    – For creating a PHP contact form, I’m sure there is an existing widget or plugin that I can use for this. Would customizing the code with my own fields and labels (and styles with CSS) count as sufficient customization for this aspect of my project?

    Thanks again for your help. I’m excited to get started!

    Reply
    1. Greg Linch

      On both questions, I think you’re fine to use existing plugins because you have so many other customizations.

      To add another customization, I’d recommend doing custom meta boxes with the custom fields in a custom post type called “Run” instead of the default “Post” post type.

      Reply

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