How Social Media Has Improved My Running.
There is no doubt about it Social Media (SM) is changing our lives and the world around us. You can’t read the headlines or watch the news without seeing an example about how our world is getting smaller and smaller by the use and expansion of SM. But is SM making the world better?
I can’t speak for the world stage, that point will be debated for years, or maybe even centuries to come. I can tell you that SM has had a positive impact on my life and my running. Some might read that statement and ask, how could SM affect your running, training and racing? My response would be, that SM has improved my running with: peer pressure, inspiration, connection and exposure.
Peer Pressure: How could it be that people I don’t even know pressure me into running more or improve the quality of my training? I would agree if my followers, friends and connections on SM where strictly just numbers. These empty data points would not provide much motivation. But my connections, friends, and followers are real people and I value their connection with me. I’ve gotten to know them and they have invested in me. So when I post I’m running a race…peer pressure to live up to my announcement fuels me to be a better runner. I feel accountable to the people who follow my running adventures.
Inspiration: I currently follow roughly 5k people on my SM platforms. Within that community there are elite runners, good runners, average runners and back of the pack finishers. No matter where they finish on race day they are all important connections to me. I enjoy in their success, and understand their failures. Within this following are people challenged by weight issues, abuse issues, failed relationships, financial hardships and serious mental or medical conditions. Many in this group have shared their stories with me. I take their experiences on the road and trails with me. Each of these lives inspires me to run for those who can’t. When a race or a run gets hard, I’ve got to put my head down and keep moving forward because I know some out there would love to run, if only they could.
Connection: Social media has allowed me to develop real friendships. I’ve become good friends with people I would have had no other interaction with. I’ve joined causes I would have had no knowledge of or exposure too. I’ve become part of lives that I may not have had an impact on. Likewise SM and the connections I’ve made have shaped and altered the course of my life, helped me reach goals, and become the runner I am today.
Exposure: Of the millions of blogs and web sites on the internet, briansrunningadventures.com is just one little site. Although this little site has changed the way I look at running, training and racing. Where before, I simply ran to stay fit, today my runs are one continuous running adventure. A running adventure, that has exposed me to over 700,000 people. As a result, I have been recognized at local and national races. In the closing miles of Crawling Carb half marathon or along the trails of the JFK 50 some have called out my name to tell me they have read my blog. Likewise I’ve had a number of companies and race director reach out to me because of my blog. I have to be honest and it might be a little bit of an ego boost but my running has improved because I know people are reading and watching me.
The world is smaller today than ever before. With a click of the mouse or a push of a button on your smart-phone thousands of people can read about your latest training run or your new personal record at the marathon distance. I believe because of the peer pressure, inspiration, connections, and exposure that SM brings it can improve your running like a new training plan or a better fitting pair of shoes.
What do you think, has SM improved your running? Tell us about it. Tweet your thoughts on Twitter or up-date your status on Facebook.