Is Social Media Sabotaging Your Running?

A couple taking a selfie

Six miles on the dark, silent streets has left me both fully awake and pleasantly fatigued. I step inside my quiet house and prepare my post-run smoothie—savoring the brief moments of calm before I dive headfirst into the morning routine. As I stand there, stretching my quads, my finger taps the Instagram app on my phone almost out of habit. I scroll idly through my feed, and almost instantly regret it.

My post run euphoria is quickly replaced with something that feels a lot like discontentment. The feelings of inadequacy rush in: How does she make it look so easy? They ran 12 miles on a Wednesday? I only ran six today! I used to be able to keep up with him, but there’s no way I could do that workout! What am I doing wrong?

Despite the fact that we know social media is often a highly curated stream of our best images and photos, it’s hard to avoid feeling like everyone else is running better than you and nailing harder workouts. The Garmin selfies with killer splits start to erode our confidence in our own training, and the artfully composed mid-run photos can make us feel like every run is supposed to be effortless. Instead of inspiring me to be a better runner, five minutes of scrolling through social media has only inspired me to want to throw my phone into a large body of water.

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