We live, and now run, in the digital age. Social media for runners can be both a powerful motivator or a dangerous component to your running success. This article dives into the benefits and dangers of social media for runners so you can maximize this tool, and know what to avoid.
Benefits of Social Media for Runners
The loneliness of the long-distance runner is a lot less now that you can share and be inspired by those on social media. The key benefits of social media for runners are as follows:
Sense Of Community
Social media is a great place to find a community of runners. There are apps like Strava that help runners come together virtually to share tips and track their times together. You get to track runners and enjoy a little friendly competition. These virtual friendships often transfer into the real world so you can meet friends in real life for a jog or to train for a marathon.
Apps like Strava and following accounts on Twitter for runners help people find the strength to get going. These apps and accounts help people on and off the track. Users record their activities after they’ve found the strength to lace up their shoes that day. After they take off those shoes, they can log in to see the routes of other runners and check on friends’ times. All of this gives runners the strength to get back out there each day.
You often want to shout it from the rooftops when you conquer a great run. Social media gives you the platform to celebrate your accomplishments with other people. You’re capturing a moment in time where you stand out. You snap a pic at the end of the marathon and get to share it with your virtual world. You’re giving light to others on their running journey while boasting with pride about your own running journey.
Competition can be good and bad in the virtual world of running. Studies conclude that running is contagious. It’s a fact that if all your friends are running, you are probably running as well. It’s not the same thing as everyone jumping off a cliff when it’s a positive experience. As runners push themselves to their extent, online friends try to do the same. When a virtual friend posts they ran ten miles today, you might try to run a few more miles to catch up with their numbers. It’s a friendly, fun way to keep up with friends.
Runners are influenced by couch potatoes. It’s true. A couch potato will motivate a person to run because a runner will want to be their time once that couch potato decides to get up off their cushioned seat. Runners see friends online logging times that are getting dangerously close to their time. The runner then decides to kick it up a notch. Motivation is found as you scroll along Strava, checking out other runners’ distances and wondering how they did that today. How did this person that never ran before run six miles today? This leads the runner to push themselves another day.
Strength In Numbers
There is strength in numbers when it comes to the running journey. This is because accountability is a huge thing in the world of exercise. It’s tough for many people to get off the couch when they don’t have any motivation. It’s easier for most runners to get off that couch when they have virtual running friends cheering them on. Those extra people watching your run make you push harder. When an online running friend shares other mutual friends, each gathers to push the other to their full potential in running. This tiny social circle begins to grow as the runner surrounds themselves with more cheerleaders.
An online world is full of people that can help with your training. You may be stuck in a rut wondering how to push past a certain wall. An online friend may have the perfect advice for you. If you follow Twitter for runners, you’ll find numerous ideas. Many of these ideas will differ, so you aren’t stuck doing the same thing over and over. A great thing about social media is the community it creates for runners isn’t all about competition but about helping each other achieve greatness.