Use Social Media to Become a Better Runner

In the ever-connected world of the 21st century, the advancement of technology in the health and fitness world has, perhaps by accident, opened a new door of motivation for runners like me and you.

Social media platforms have emerged as powerful tools for enhancing running motivation, athleticism and to feel less alone when the immediate friends and family don’t share your love for pounding the pavement.

It’s not just for newbies, both seasoned athletes and newcomers to the sport can leverage the positive aspects of social media to propel themselves towards their running goals – whatever they might be. Heres how:

1. Creating a Supportive Community:

Hates gon’ hate right? Well, one of the greatest strengths of social media lies in its ability to connect like-minded individuals from around the globe.

Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok have become virtual running communities where runners of all levels share their journeys, triumphs, and challenges.

For newcomers to the sport, it’s fantastic to see that there is so much support both online and at the start line.

2. Making connections:

Joining running groups and communities on social media allows new runners to connect with experienced athletes – a fantastic opportunity to seek advice, guidance or best kit reviews!

This communal aspect of social media creates a sense of belonging and encouragement, particularly for those who may be starting their running journey alone.

3. Inspiration from Success Stories:

Platforms like Instagram, and Youtube are rich with success stories of individuals who transformed from novices to seasoned runners don’t underestimate their impact on newbie’s.

Then there’s people we see online having the same struggles we are, but they’ve navigated a way through it all.

And we all remember the powerful moment discovering that our role models also have off days and hate running from time to time!

4. Setting and Sharing Goals:

It’s great that you can have a separate profile on the likes of TikTok or Instagram that is solely dedicated to your running journey.

To anonymously (or publicly) set and share goals, creating a sense of accountability and commitment.

Announcing your running goals on social media adds a layer of accountability. Knowing that friends, family, and fellow runners are aware of your aspirations can provide the extra push needed to stay committed to your training regimen.

5.Documenting Progress:

Witnessing your own growth over time can be a powerful motivator. Especially when the going gets tough and you want to throw in the towel.

The profiles you set up online will undoubtedly show you how much you’ve grown and developed as a runner.

A woman who does an amazing job of this is Sophie @tri_ing_to_live on Instagram.

Her videos of her constantly smiling, loving her journey of triathlons is so infectious. She even shares her struggles of hateful comments but she persists through the noise and I often check her profile for some pick me up smiles while running. I love Sophie.

6. Finding new ways to run:

There’s a runner who went viral on Instagram and TikTok @Nat_runs_ and what she does is quite simple… run until she sees something her community has suggested.

For example: “Run until you see a puffer fish!” or “Run until you see Hello Kitty”.

You’re taken on an immersive journey with her, a time-lapsed run until she sees the thing – you can’t not smile watching Natalie’s videos! And its a fun way to think of running – try it for yourself.

Personally, I found out about sky running from a few epic photos of a skyrunner on Instagram and now it’s on my bucketlist!

7. Access to Expert Advice:

Social media platforms connect runners with a wealth of information and expert advice, breaking down the barriers to access professional guidance.

Being careful of course to distinguish between the self-serving, selling folk and the actual professionals.

Many experienced runners, coaches, and physiologists share valuable insights on social media or share Podcasts etc that they value and think will help. By following these experts, both new and seasoned runners can gain access to tips on training techniques, injury prevention, nutrition, and overall wellness.

There also the options of Live sessions and Q&A forums on platforms like Instagram offer wich are priceless!

A real-time opportunity for runners to interact directly with experts can provide personalised advice for you or even just the chance to say Hi to a role model from across the other side of the world.

8. Promoting Healthy Competition:

Social media introduces an element of healthy competition, spurring runners to push their limits. Your GPS watches (brand dependent) let you share running stats directly onto social media or onto social based training platforms like Strava which then enables runners to engage in friendly competitions, comparing their performance with peers. This lighthearted rivalry can be a potent motivator for athletes of all levels.

Tracking your performance against others can serve as a benchmark for progress – both good and bad.

Witnessing improvement in your standings over time can be a powerful validation of your hard work and dedication and also watching someone else’s journey, such as a work colleague or friend can bring you closer together in person.

While the influence of social media on running motivation and athleticism is undeniable, it’s crucial to approach these platforms with a level of self-awareness.

The positive aspects of social media can significantly enhance the running experience offering support and motivation. However, it’s essential to strike a balance!

Avoid the pitfalls of comparison and excessive validation-seeking by keeping your worth and ego away from such platforms.

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