Social media has rapidly evolved in the last few years. Now more than ever, it’s harder to “truly get away,” especially in the running world.
You can log your run in dozens of ways.
Instagram? Blogging? Twitter? Confession: I have all of those.
The only thing I’m missing is probably the biggest one: Strava. My point is, it’s challenging to stay incognito with your training.
Social media feeds such as Instagram have become increasingly popular for both novices and elite. You don’t have to be a pro to share your journey, and each person has one! It’s easy to upload a pretty photo, talk about your run, and then like other runner’s photos!
The problem with social media platforms is many people only share the happiest and best moments. We all want that “picture perfect” moment.
Social media can become self-sabotaging and even hurtful if you aren’t careful. It’s easy to fall into the comparison trap or wonder how some people seem to “fit it all in”.
Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep a healthy relationship with running on social media:
Do: Find like minded people who inspire you
It’s easy to find other runners by searching hashtags like #instarunner or #run(your state/country). Most social media platforms make it easy to find people based on your interests. Make sure the people you choose to follow people inspire you and bring you up in a positive way. Remember, they are on their own personal journey too.
You can join Facebook groups, twitter chats, and Strava groups based on your needs. Use your friends to bring you up, not bring you down.
Don’t: Compare yourself to others
I’ve said this on my personal blog, but comparison is the thief of joy. Just because someone seems to fit 48 hours into 24 doesn’t mean you should feel like you need to. Just because someone can have a run streak of hundreds of days doesn’t mean it will work for you. Remember, you never know what else someone is going through that they aren’t posting.
Focus on your own journey and life in your moments. Celebrate your successes!
Don’t be afraid to unfollow people
If you feel that your are comparing to someone, or being overly competitive, it’s okay to unfollow someone. At the end of the day, remember it’s just social media.
Do: Take most advice with a grain of salt
It’s hard to give someone specific advice without seeing them. While someone might have gone through a similar issue like an injury, we all react to things differently. Advice and help is great, but remember it doesn’t replace a doctor’s advice.
Also, remember that just because something works for one person doesn’t mean it will work for you. For instance, minimalist running shoes are popular for many people, but personally I’ll get injured. Part of anyone’s journey is trial and error.
Don’t: Seek advice from someone without credentials
Remember, that it doesn’t take much to post on the internet. Make sure you know where your information comes from. This includes everything from life, training, and nutrition. Look for evidence-based research.
Don’t: Start and end your day on social media
One of the best things I’ve done for myself is log off the computer around 9 pm each night. It doesn’t necessarily mean I’m sleeping, but I’m not checking emails, scrolling through Instagram, or being mindless. I allow myself to just live in the moment.
Staying up late mindlessly on social media wastes time. A few things you can do is read, yoga, or just sit quietly with your thoughts.
Do: Be relatable
We all go through good and bad days. Don’t be afraid to post your positive and negative days. Most runners can relate to a bad race or injury. We can’t relate to someone who seems to run effortlessly every day!
Don’t: Forget that social media is a “highlight reel”
This is often times one of the easiest things to forget. Social media doesn’t always share every moment. No one wants to air their dirty laundry!
Don’t get too consumed with the fact your life doesn’t look or seem like theirs.
Social media can be a positive component to your training if you make it that way! We are communities. I’ve personally met some of my closest friends through social media.
- What is your favorite way to log your run online?
- How do you keep social media positive?