These days you really can’t avoid social media. Most people use at least one platform, including runners. But as runners there are many pros and cons to being on social media and connecting with others who share a similar passion for the sport. So, as a runner on social media, what do you need to consider?
Let’s start with the downside to being a runner on social media, and get that out of the way. Remember that not all of these will apply to everyone, because it really depends on how you navigate social media as well as your perception of your experience on there!
Comparison as a runner on social media
Have you ever been training for a race, and found someone else who was training for a similar goal, and then started questioning if you were training as well as them? It’s funny because this used to happen to me alot more when there were more bloggers writing blog posts about their training. Then it died down over a few years, and now I find it’s happening again on Instagram.
It’s so important to remember that every runner is different. Just because someone else ran a 10 mile training run in 90 minutes doesn’t mean you need to do that exact run, even if you have the same goals for the same race. Everyone has a different background and different strategies that work for them. If you are finding that seeing others’ times is negatively impacting your mindset, consider hiding their posts until after the race.
Pressure to get in your runs to post on social media
Have you ever shared on social media that you were going to do a long run or workout in the coming days, and then felt like you had to do it? Or shared a race goal and then felt pressure to achieve your goal? Sometimes this kind of pressure can be a bad thing, especially when you should make the choice to skip a run, slow down, or run less miles than planned.
Runners on social media seem to appreciate when others are authentic and honest, so don’t be afraid to share the real ups and downs of your training. If you didn’t do what you planned, its ok! To be honest, no one else probably cares as much as you do.
Safety as a runner on social media
If you are publicly sharing exactly where you do your solo 5am runs every single day, please stop! I know most of us don’t do anything that drastic, but often times I see Strava maps being posted on Instagram or pictures with street signs in the background. Try to be discreet about where and when you run. Of course there are general safety tips we all need to follow as runners, but we definitely need to be mindful about what we share.
Seeing advice from unqualified influencers
There are many people who post on social media with questionable qualifications. It’s one thing to share something that has worked for you. However, when someone start giving advice in an area they are not qualified in, it’s probably not a good idea to try it. Just like we shouldn’t use google for medical advice, we also shouldn’t use social media for running/fitness/health advice.
Now let’s talk about some of the pros of being a runner on social media, because there are alot of those too!
Support from other runners on social media
By connecting with other runners on Instagram, Facebook, or through blogging, you are almost guaranteed to develop a support network of other runners. This is great since many of us have friends and family who may not really be interested in our running. It’s nice to know that we can post about the good runs, bad runs, and everything in between, and feel supported by others.
Connection on social media
Going along with support, you can also form strong connections with other runners on social media. If you are posting about your runs every day and other runners leave comments, you will really get to know one another. Make sure you are taking time to reply to most of the comments. Also take some time to check out the posts of the runners who comment on your posts. You may find some great runners to follow that way!
Accountability from other runners
While a con to being a runner on social media is that there can be too much pressure, the other side of that is being held accountable. Maybe there is a fine line between the two. But when you have a goal and are struggling to get in your workouts, being on social media can help you stay accountable. Maybe you share that you are going to start doing core work 3 times a week. Well, hopefully you will do it so you can go back and share that you got it done!
Helpful information from experts
There are many qualified experts who share helpful information on social media. Often times as you get to know someone through their posts, it may lead you to investigate working with them 1:1. For example, I was following my strength coach on Instagram before working with her directly. I could tell that she knew her stuff, and that’s why I decided to work with her. This is how alot of runners find coaches as well.
Being a runner on social media can definitely have it’s benefits if you use it to your advantage. Try not to get caught up in negativity, comparison, or pressure. Connect with others and learn different strategies that may help your running.
What do you like or not like about social media?
What is your favorite social media platform as a runner?
Now it’s time for the Runners’ Roundup! Link up your running and fitness posts below! Join myself, Coach Debbie Runs, Confessions of a Mother Runner, Runs with Pugs , and Laura Norris Running to post your favorite running tips, experiences, race and training recaps, workouts, gear, and coaching ideas.