A blog by runners. For runners.

Social media and workout motivation

social-media-and-running

When my family got its first computer back in the 1990s, it took me maybe a month before I started my very first website. It was a John Lennon tribute page of all things. It had an atrocious animated GIF background and it was on Geocities (for those of you old enough to remember — I think I was in the West Hollywood neighborhood). Now that I’ve dated myself and outed my Beatles obsession, I must say that throughout all the stages of expansion with the internet, I’ve kept pace.

Fast forward to age 30. I now have my own healthy living blog where I chronicle bits and pieces from my training as well as vegetarian recipes. What I have found most surprising is the whole motivation factor my blog gives me as it relates to running. For example, if I set a big goal — having my blog makes me more accountable. Not only because I have made a record of something I want to do and shared it with the world, but also because writing about it, along with all my successes and struggles, keeps it fresh in my own mind.

Social media, in its various forms, is the perfect place to get a boost of motivation. Here are some ways you, too, can get your dose.

  • On Twitter, consider tweeting your workouts either before or after you complete them. A simple “heading out to run 5 easy miles!” can be all you need to get out the door on a particularly hard day. And don’t feel shy about sharing particularly awesome workouts either.
  • On Facebook, I try to be more selective about the status updates so I don’t bombard my friends with each little jog. However, if I sign up for a big race or set a lofty goal, I like to do a short writeup and send it out for all my friends to see. Sometimes I find out that others will also be training for the same event. Other times, I can find buddies looking to log miles for long runs or other tough workouts. Our local runners club is also on Facebook, so that’s another great resource.
  • On Instagram, I’ve been known to do quite a few sweaty post-run selfies or snapshots of my running shoes before I head out on a trek. Sounds silly, I know. Still, I’ve even considered taking a photo at each workout along with a brief summary of how far/fast I ran and how I felt as a visual training diary.
  • On dedicated social fitness sites/apps like Fitocracy, Social Workout, and (of course) WalkJogRun — the sole purpose is tracking and sharing exercise sessions. They give you a handy dashboard of different stats so you can keep track of your progress. Many of these sites also link up with other social media, like Facebook, so you can expand the sharing elsewhere on the web.
  • On personal blogs, you don’t have to have a large audience to reap the rewards. When I started blogging several years ago, I had only a few friends reading along. Now I have the opportunity to share with an awesome community of like-minded runners. I also get to delve deep into my training in a way that only writing will allow me to explore. It’s pretty great to look back at old race reports, too, and remember how I felt or see my progress from year to year.

Do you make running social online for extra motivation? What are some of your tricks?