A Girl’s Guide To Letsrun.com

The Letsrun logo.

Letsrun, home of the (in)famous message boards, is a self-proclaimed place where dreams become reality. It’s a running website that provides unparalleled news on elite running and indeed hosts a “World Famous Message Board.” But it has a bit of a website equivalent of a bad-boy reputation that might put you off and prevent you from discovering the plethora of useful information and tips to improve your running life that lurk deep within its recesses. I’m here to help you clear through the immature running fan-boy reputation and help you use the site to find great advice and useful information!

Letsrun was founded in 2000 by twin brothers, Weldon and Robert Johnson, also known as the BroJos. Their primary objective was to provide quality coverage of the elite running world because at the time, this type of coverage on the internet was next to nonexistant. Looking back, I remember being obsessed with Dyestat.com, a popular website that primarily focused on elite high school phenoms in the running world. But a news website for professional running? Nowhere.

Meet Letsrun. What started out as a pioneer in reporting elite running news became an instant cult hit among runners. Don’t let the elite focus shy you away, either. Years of information in the form of message boards provides excellent insight, if you can tolerate the occasional (let’s be honest, sometimes more than occasional) troll. I, myself, find the trolls to be entertaining.

If trolls could talk they’d probably use bad grammar. Image via brainlesstales.com.

Don’t also let these so-called male dominated message boards stray you away either, ladies. The message boards are a haven for quality information; like shiny, little needles hidden among dirty hay. There are even highly respected female posters, such as txRUNNERgirl and jaguar1 (who also happens to be Camille Herron!). Wondering about running and birth control? There’s a thread for that. Wondering where to put your key when you run? There’s also a thread for that. Wondering if post nuptial shut-off really exists? Well, there’s a very famous thread for that!

So don’t be shy. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to check out Letsrun. I know, I know! It’s a scary prospect with all its notoriously troll-y reputation, so allow me to help you navigate the site to get to the good stuff. Here are some deets on the Letsrun staples and a few tips for sorting through the muck.

Letsrun Staples

World famous message boards. As mentioned above, you can search through thousands of message boards, some dating back all the way to the early 2000s! Some threads take off. Others are great topics but only a few have replies. And if you are brave enough to post your own, be sure to skip below to “criticism” to prepare yourself for, well, criticism! What’s great about the Letsrun message boards is that many experienced and serious runners participate, so when you search for something like “running strollers” you are going to discover which running stroller works best for someone seeking to train at a high-level with a running stroller. While the majority of posts might be useless to most of us, this is the best place for message board advice from a collective of serious, successful and experienced runners there is at the moment (Speaking of which – Cinnamon, is that forum done yet?)

Screen shot of the message boards.

Black screens. The site pays homage to big events in the elite running world with “black screens.” Black screens appear with a picture and caption of the event on the homepage when someone in the professional running world smashes a record. Or wins an Olympic medal. Or passes away. Lately though, the screens have changed colors during the Olympics.

April Fool’s Day. If you decide to check out Letsrun on April Fool’s Day, be sure to not be fooled by the news that Usain Bolt will be running the New York City Marathon or that Shalane Flanagan has quit running to become a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader. The BroJos have fun with the day and change the entire front page to include fake running news and mock threads. You can check out years past pranks here.

Beware of the Following:

Trolls. As  mentioned above, many of trolls have been known to lurk on the site. Once you get the hang of the message boards, it becomes easier to spot them. Trolls like to kid, make up fake stories and at their worst, harass. A key feature of Letsrun is that it doesn’t require users to register to use their message boards. Thus, the troll count is much higher than other sites. At the same time the anonymity and ease of posting lets the conversations flow at times.

Similar to how I looked after posting my first thread. (Photo credit: The_Smiths)

Criticism. I’m always mistaken for a guy when I post a thread. I’ll take it as a compliment, even when I’m mistaken for an insecure, whiny, and uneducated male. When I posted my first thread, I did change my identifying information but my question was for real. I don’t remember the details of the post (I purposely forgot) but it involved questioning the legitimacy of the GED exam. Everyone bashed me for scoring so low. I remember crying my eyes out at the hatred, which likely seemed worse at the time. But for every bad thread there’s a good one too. My thread on Once A Runner made the “On The Boards” section of the front page back in 2010!

So next time you have a few minutes, check it out and see if you can find a few diamonds in the rough. Of course, if you have questions about running you can always ask us or post them on our facebook page (where we promise not to make you cry with our responses), or you can go ahead and ask on Letsrun and see what happens.

Does Letsrun have a bad reputation in your mind? Do you frequent Letsrun? If so, what’s your favorite thing about the site? If not, what don’t you like?

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I write about mindfulness, mental health, and the professional sport of running with the occasional poking fun at the sport. When I am not running, I'm either helping people as a counselor or trying to make them laugh as an amateur open mic comedian.

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  1. I’m not a fan. Beyond the trolls, it fosters a downright snarky environment. I have no interest in posting/reading that type of stuff. It seems that posters have the goal of constantly belittling each other (or the topic at hand) rather than having any sort of meaningful conversation.

    1. I feel similarly to Mint. I have to stay away or I get all riled up and disillusioned by the unkindness. Good to know about the search feature though!

    2. I agree with Mint. I do read Letsrun’s front page, but I don’t have patience for the message board. There are just too many guys hiding behind anonymity and it makes for a very non-supportive, hostile environment. Perhaps I’m not a fast enough runner to find value in the training advice, either. I have always felt very put off there. I regularly post on another message board which does not have much information about elite running, but it’s a much more supportive community overall.

      I do have to say, the “post-nuptial shut-down” thread is amusing, but not much to do with running.

  2. I use Letsrun as a research tool often. I think about 80% of the forums are crap, but the other 20% is gold. It’s the only forum I know of where serious runners convene en masse. I told Ginger about how I used Letsrun to pick a running stroller! When I search the forums, I always try to read several posts on a topic to get a sense of the value of the information that’s there. On some level it’s a shame that the trolls and such turns so many people off, but I think the anonymity really lets the conversations flow when they might not otherwise. Also, lately I’ve noticed how commenting on blogs and forums has become progressively more of a pain with all the anti-spam filters and weird comment widgets and I really appreciate just being able to quickly get my question or comment out there – no muss no fuss.

    1. This post more than anything makes me miss coolrunning.com. That was a great forum. Since its demise, letsrun and kickrunners have taken their places. Letsrun is fine if you have the time and stomach to filer through the egos and complete bs. Kickrunners is great for comraderie, not so great for high level training tips. I agree with you though too in that, commenting on blogs can be tough. So I vote for a Salty forum. Let’s fill a void.

      1. Running ahead is a pretty brutal site too; I don’t know about lets run. I have been banned from an F1 forum because a mod did who was a fan of one driver did not like people pointing out the relevant stats but the thread itself did not descend into chaos too much just mods with too much power.

        I have been a member of many other forums without people having digs at me but running ahead forum is dire if your not fast and they don’t take to you straight away they start to act more and more like idiots,. You stand you’re ground and of course the primate like “followers” jump on the band wagon without reading the thread, the band wagon jumpers are possibly worse than the original negatonians, whereas the other running sites I am a member no such issues.

  3. Ah yes. But sometimes the advice for both females and males is close to the bone. LR royalty is prurient and likes to censor but they can’t always prevent the exposers of hypocrisy from presenting their case.

    The whiny, introverted, narcissistic, yet somehow hopeful and committed runners form the cadre of Lets Run Bottom Feeders aka LRBF. They struggle with their Madonna/whore complexes and feed the self-defeating princess ideology.

    For those who need to know how to attract (or for females, to become) TiGerGiRLs there is no substitute for the LR.COM “world famous message board.” But only Dominant Emperor Tiberius can provide this wisdom.

      1. You think that Tiberius is a “troll”? :] Hmmm…. the censorious small-brained male LRBF may think so but you, my dears, have the benefit of the larger female brains. Therefore, you know that although Tiberius is provocative and assertive, there’s a hard rail of truth in the postings.

        Tiberius has learned much of the LRBF culture… of their admiration for Rudisha and Emperor Haile, and their baying frat-boy pack demeanor online. Which can be more offputting to the female cohort than simple Tiberian truth-telling. But the knowledge exchange that the LRBF desperately need is defeated… by their own censorious overlords. The LRBF desire devoutly to find and tame TiGerGirLs but that mission is beyond them. Tiberius helps them by presenting real-life cases. I want to dominate TiGerGirL#1’s Mom next. They don’t want to believe this is happening…but you girls know that it is and we’re having fun. Still I don’t think the LRBF are beyond hope. It’s amazing what they can learn when they put their minds to it…they should remember their own legendary hero EDDYLEE! And his mantra… good for both runners and tamers of TiGerGirLs..


        1. What I think Tiberius is saying is that we (including himself) are above the typical Letsrun trolls. However, we shouldn’t discount them because they had their own hero in the form of Eddylee- a runner who started a thread a few years back about not quitting until he broke 4 minutes for the 1500. He eventually did and all the (letsrun) world was shocked! Tiberius is also saying that he is a beast and has a way with the ladies.

          1. Ginger has summarized some of the relevant points. Better than the LRBF can manage. But these subjects still need more detailed exposition.

            Us. We are above the LR trolls in some ways… but not all. We are more realistic than them – I, because I’m Tiberius, and you, because you’re female.

            Although the more fearful on LR still characterize Tiberius as a troll..and what does the word really mean anyway? How much content is required for even the most controversial topics to move outwith trolldom? I believe in free speech and don’t see such categorization as at all useful.

            Eddylee. Readers should search for eddylee on the LR discussion board to learn more. What was unique about Eddy Lee was not only that he represented the LRBF so well, but that he was successful in his three-year long quest. 3:59.47. He also generated unique goodwill among the LRBF, who as stated above normally behave like divisive, hostile, Lord of the Flies pack animals. In a unique moment, the whole LR community celebrated eddylee’s sub-4 achievement. A glimpse of greatness.

            Tiberius. Yes, Tiberius is a beast and has a way with women. But only because he gives them what they really want and not what society allows/encourages them to say they want. Sometimes, a girl just wants to be taken and used expertly by a real man and not to plead with, instruct, or debate a whining new-age LRBF NiceGuy or worse, have him leech/plead/whine for a gf… when she thought it was just about a fun hookup or ten.

            Revolutionary Secret #1: girls are much better at the casual hookup than boys. Especially at college. Most females know this but won’t make the point public. Sometimes they won’t even admit this to their girlfriends, to avoid the nonsensical social opprobrium of slutdom. Meantime, LR social custom doesn’t permit this to be stated even by Olympic-caliber experts like Tiberius. A culture has evolved in which obvious points like this are denied by the foolish dateless losers and those who masquerade as the moral “majority.” The honesty about training is overlain by deep-seated hypocrisy and recycled mythology about dating and sex.

            And college girls really love the prof./student rp scenes… in which divine arts I specialize. But she doesn’t want drama, abuse, condescension, fumbling, anger or any other bs.

            Read LR more carefully. It’s an absolute woot-hoot.

            Check out the runnergirls cleavage/PNSO/hot swimmergirl threads for more. Tiberius’ postings are always among the most popular and controversial on LR but 90% of them are censored within hours. That’s because the prurient mods and defenders of ideology cannot stand the idea of Tiberius dominating their college-age daughters – an event that in reality occurs frequently and is enjoyed greatly by the protagonists. The numbnuts are especially fearful because they don’t know which school is Tiberian College and therefore cannot discount the possibility – despite their blowhard postings on LR.

          2. You had me until you started discussing using and dominating women. You really think the people around here are going to be into that? (Hint: no.)

          3. Ah Salty, but that’s the point. Lots of women enjoy/have enjoyed this kind of fun. Yes, it would surprise you who privately likes it. Women don’t make a habit of admitting they like it, especially not to other females because it erodes status among female peers. Unfairly, it also has more global reputation-damaging consequences. This is a Classic Catch-22. Females ought to be able to discuss this openly in the modern world, without prejudice, but they can’t. Despite the Cosmo-lution. It is not only males who are regressive in this way.

            Your visceral reaction of “No” doesn’t encourage any of your readership to admit this. It’s a policing response designed to make the poster feel uncomfortable because of their implied transgression of supposed social “norms.” – which are by no means universal. You should realize that Tiberius doesn’t get shamed or browbeaten by such disapproval.

            I think that your reaction is not researched fully. Nobody debates your preference, for or against….but I bet you haven’t even asked your colleagues whether they’ve ever done it/liked it, and even if some of them did/do, they’re not likely to admit it on this public blog. So if you believe in liberty for females, perhaps you should pause before you condemn the potential desires of some of your sisters.

            The tactic of condemning sexual desire and practices as deviant, when those practices are discussed by males, carries the collateral of repressing and condemning the women who enjoy it. And it’s clear that you don’t know who these women are. OTOH I know at least a few 🙂

            I am often critical of the typical LR frat-boy small-brain posters but this is one area where the male LRBF are less hypocritical than the female readership.

          4. When a woman wants to be “used” or “dominated” she’s not actually being used or dominated. Wait … OMG! A woman might actually have opinions and concrete sexual desires!!! NO WAY!

          5. Salty, that’s exactly it. It is not Tiberian to take anything from anyone that they don’t want to give. I simply present some rather mouthwatering scenarios and allow women – adults – to make their choice. The scenarios involve specific activities including power exchange, exploration and pushing of various limits. Now, not many females will state openly on a blog that they want to be taken in Tiberian ways, but my email box shows how much my postings excite and intrigue them. Why not? In private there are a good number who enjoy doing exactly what I suggest and lots more who are very curious and a little apprehensive but would love to try it out. Tiberius loves instructing dedicated or curious/inexperienced students in these sensual arts.

            There’s no incompatibility between the luscious National Merit Scholar’s appearance in her cocktail dress at a sponsor’s function and her private desire for domination at the hands of a Tiberian master. Some people are too childish to realize that treating women with respect doesn’t mean being milquetoast New Age lap dogs or agreeing with everything they say. Nor does it mean they don’t want to get f%%%ed. As we say on LR.

            The most amusing developments of all are the private emails I’ve received from several females who read LR. Neither the LRBF nor the censorious mods want to believe any of this. It frightens them greatly. Because they see females as children. To be monitored, controlled, instructed, and disciplined.

            In contrast Tiberius knows that females have large brains and are fully capable of deciding for themselves, that some of them like lots of dirty sex and that this desire is not incompatible with their respectable social identities.

            Censorship, hypocrisy and delusion are your enemy just as much as they are mine. They don’t work for training or running and I think they don’t work for dating/relationships. LR could be a very interesting venue for discussing these philosophical similarities but the censors are too frightened.

          6. Remind me why we’re talking about this?

            PS (I’m sure you’ve been asked this on LR, but I missed it) When do you have time for all this consensual using and dominating when you’re writing essays about your using and dominating on running websites? And working at a very high powered job, I’m sure!

          7. Hmmmm….why are we talking about this? It shouldn’t need me to explain…your move is intended to place the burden of accountability on me, to make me feel obligated to “excuse” the discussion. Yet – you’ve participated, like your colleagues, in our exchange so far…. so you can provide half the answer too. So – why are we?

            Please bear in mind that you can’t treat Tiberius like the LRBF or the loser milquetoast males you normally deal with. I am skilled at decoding girlspeak.

            But I will respond for my half.

            Because it’s interesting.
            Because it explains why LR exhibits amazing contradictions. Running and performance are about truth and honesty. Nick Symmonds had a magnificent Olympics. No bs, no hiding from reality. That beer he talked about was the hardest-earned beer in creation. 1:42.95 for 5th, a time he didn’t believe he was capable of, in a WR race…. we only wish we were him. What a way to validate Olympic competition. We celebrate his honesty – at least, when we’re not being censored. So why not talk about…
            the parallels between sex and running.

            Which are striking – the activities are addictive, they use many of the same physiological systems (same energy pathways, they generate similar endorphin highs, and so on).
            Hey I didn’t invent any of that…look at the work of your own authors on this website, examining the impact of pre-race sex on their performance. But your colleagues’ speculations are not as systematic and general as my own investigations.

            It’s pathetic that on LR, a site dedicated to discussing the ultimate in training and performance – and which you Salty Girls celebrate for this very reason, you say – such discussions are censored.

            On LR, I’m one of the very few posting who has actually engaged in sexual activity with Olympic medalists – ok, not runners, but swimmergirls, when they were NCAA Champs – and I know what they told me about how they performed after our fun. It was a joke at first but after a year or so, the girl athletes wanted to be mastered before their events and they made careful plans to ensure it could happen. I enjoyed taking them, yes, but I had no stake in connecting these acts with performance enhancement. They clearly did. I was mildly surprised by their belief and so I worked with them to understand why. I love a puzzle. We had sex at different times before their contests and at different intensities before we found peak results.

            Time. Tiberius always has time for his cuties. It does take some effort – a man can’t corral his harem without putting the time in, but teaching is at least flexible in this respect.

            What about. You. Are a busy Mom with a blog who wants to run. When do you have time to run? We all find time for things we want to do.

            Ginger. 50 Shades is anodyne and unskilled. It whets the appetite but it’s far removed from the precision and command that one needs to realize these goals in reality. Women love my ads and scenarios and they’re much more direct and intense than anything in the book.

  4. Letsrun is my number one stop for elite running news. They keep the site up to date and find great articles around the web (including this one). I agree that the message boards are hit or miss on information and should be read with cautious optimism.

    1. Hey Ofer, thanks for the comment! I agree with you and glad that you and James pointed me to the site long ago.

  5. What other message board can you discuss and get help to your training by some of the worlds best running coaches? On what message board can you freely discuss with some of the worlds best running coaches for some of the worlds best runners what these runners do in training, how their current shape is etc.

    Renato Canova is a brilliant example.

    Other thing, on what other message board can you find threads where several world leading coaches discuss and disagree/agree on training with each other?

    Thats golden.

  6. This is a good perspective of the letsrun culture.

    It is the best place to get current information, and it can be entertaining if not exasperatingly annoying much of the time.

    My biggest beefs: unmanaged trolls who say horrific things, while at the same time some rather innoccuous comments or threads get deleted without a whim. What’s up with that?

    Just mention Mods, Flagpole, malmo, JK or speak of Texas in a derogatory manner and your post or thread will last less than an hour. Make self-referential fun of the Letsrun message board and it’s gone. But libelous lashing out about pro athletes, or horrible racist or mysoginist comments. That apparently is free speech.

    1. I posted a thread thanking the boards for sending us a troll and it was deleted. I just assumed it was too meta or perhaps gauche to use the boards to promote another site, which it was but that was only partly the motivation. I can imagine certain subjects get beaten to death and is just an instant flame without any redeeming quality. I would delete a racist or sexist comment here and do not condone that attitude at all, but arguably at least racists and sexists and a-holes provide an opportunity for a discussion on those issues? I only use the site to catch up on elite races I’m interested in and to search the forums when I’m looking for some info. Otherwise, you are exactly right and the forums are exasperatingly annoying!

      1. As for Salty’s comment…she means me?! Meee-eee!!

        Racist, sexist, bigoted people also deserve the same rights to speech. Its up to us to decide what to do with it and how to respond. As soon as you ask for the government – or LR mods – to decide for you, you are f$$$$ed.

        1. Everyone regardless of what horrible things they are saying have the same rights to free speech in terms of what the government can censor, but I can censor whatever I want here as can the LR mods on their site.

    2. You forgot…when you mention Tiberius the mods switch on nuclear warp drive. Beam me up Scotty.

      When you are Tiberius the mods crusade vigorously against you. However, this reveals their own hypocrisy and in trying to stem the tide of adult discussion, for which everyone clamors, they find themselves swept under the torrent.

  7. I have to disagree with Tiberius here. There are limits to decorum, plus it’s a private site and we are guests. Locking threads with awful comments is another option. Online newspapers–definitely advocates of free speech–frequently delete bigoted or libelouos comments.

    Tiberius, what’s the url to your blog?

    Salty, keep up the good work!

    1. Drifter 101, it’s here. I receive quite a number of RQ for it before my threads are vaped from LR.

      Check out the attempt – quite probably by LR censors – to extend the remit of their censorship from LR to other sites including mine on Blogger. This was flagged by the OBJECTIONS posted to Blogger and the warning you now get when you log in. The blog’s been up for over a year and three days ago was the first mention of “Objectionable” content. Those bottom-dwellers are trying to silence me outside of LR.

      Still, a. I agree, my postings can be objectionable – face the facts, that’s why they are worth reading – and b. so far they haven’t been able to silence it.

      I support everyone’s free speech, I revile threadlocking, censorship and vaporization of commentary of any kind… but… don’t underestimate the outrage of the prurient LR mods. Their hatred of Tiberius knows no bounds.

      In contrast so far the SR mods haven’t censored anything I’ve posted. They will, probably, eventually…but for the moment, we hold an intelligent convo here.

      Proves the point. Women have bigger brains, at least in some respects.

      1. Apart from an obsession with sex what is so bad about your comments?

        A bit like me and running ahead, I got trolled just for saying I ran fast on a warm down on a treadmill and reinjured myself because I had a letter saying I may have lung damage and that for 2 weeks I hadn’t been able to run because I had an injury thus was keen to assess how my lungs were…. And trolled for not running for 6 weeks because of said injury… really over the top place….

  8. They cannot take any critique at Letsrun. You post a thread that points obvious issues with racism, sexism, or rampant trolling, and if you bring in the brojos or mods and that thread will no last more than a half hour. It’s time to go underground as you guys have.

    Power to the digital dissidents! Keep blogging on and letting others know how vile that place can be.

  9. There are other running forums that require registration and are better moderated where you don’t see such low-level discussion, like RunningAhead and DailyMile. They also provide training logs and good community support. A lot more people are themselves there, and not hiding behind puppets.