Can Social Media Make You a Better Runner?

For runners, not all days are created equal. Some days, it's dark and cold—with an uninviting wind howling outside. Some days, it takes every ounce of willpower within us just to leave the friendly confines of our warm bed.

If only that darn feather-stuffed comforter didn't feel so cozy.

Of course, runners love to run, but many days, we just don't want to run. We know that we'll feel better after we're finished. We know we'll be filled with regret if we skip it. We know that we will be happy once we get moving. But, some days, knowing this doesn't make it any easier to brave that first mile.

The first is always the worst.

Sometimes, as we sip our coffee, hoping for a caffeine-injected jolt to get us out the door, our thumb, scrolling through social media almost involuntarily, will pass the exploits of another runner. Perhaps they've already completed pre-sunrise 10-miler. It is in this moment that we're faced with a decision: Do we allow a little Instagram envy to become a source of discouragement or motivation?

In reality, social media can work for us or against us—depending, almost entirely, on how we choose to see it. If we fall into the comparison trap, another runner's speed or distance—or even the simple fact that they're already finished while we're still at home, sipping our coffee—can undermine our own run before it begins. 

On the other hand, should we choose to harness the positive power of social media, we can turn our timelines and newsfeeds into tools for inspiration, motivation, and a clear path to a sense of belonging within the running community.

Here's how to achieve the latter:

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