Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
It may be hard to imagine, but there was a time when social media didn’t exist. Crazy, but true. Nowadays, it’s hard to avoid social media in any aspect of our lives, and running is no exception. From following running blogs to picking up training tips on Twitter, the various platforms provide countless ways to improve your running game.
So what would it be like to run without any of your favorite social connections? There would be some downsides for sure, but it would be a welcome break in some back-to-basics ways, too. No matter how you feel about posts, Tweets and Instas, here’s the good and bad of what would be different if you were running before social media.
Pro: Without the constant stream of sweaty selfies and workout shots flooding your feed, you wouldn’t have to worry about what other people are doing and could focus solely on your personal goals.
Con: Without a glimpse into what your fellow runners are doing, you might miss out on the motivation that comes from seeing what kinds of workouts your peers are crushing, not to mention the awesome trend of body-positive photos being posted from trainers and regular runners alike.
Pro: You wouldn’t feel any pressure to post about your latest run or embarrassment if you think your workout wasn’t “good enough” to document.
Con: You would miss out on all the positive encouragement and support that comes from sharing the stats of your latest run, whether it’s good or bad.
Pro: You’d have to seek out one-on-one meetings with nutritionists or coaches to get advice but would get quality, personalized information.
Con: You’d be limited in your access to free advice, training tips, and the latest health trends and fitness fads.
Pro: You’d get to make personal connections with potential running buddies by having to introduce yourself at races or on the track or trail and find people you really click with.
Con: It would be a lot harder (and a little more awkward) to find potential running buddies without social sites like meetup.com or joggingbuddy.com.
Pro: You’d have to call or text your running buddy to set up a workout date and have something to look forward to on your calendar all week, as well as have someone to hold you accountable.
Con: You’d miss out on the convenience of finding someone in your area on one of your social sites who wants to go for a run in real time, the moment the urge to exercise strikes.