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If you want to be your best—at anything in life—start by observing others. You’ll quickly see how much you can learn from the examples that are all around you, and running is no exception. By studying the training, racing, and lifestyle choices of other runners, you can improve your own experience and results.
Interested in becoming a student of the sport? The internet is a great place to start. Runners on YouTube (elite, collegiate, and amateur athletes alike) document bits and pieces of their world for the benefit of their audiences. And especially now, when in-person racing has yet to make a full comeback, the internet is the place to go to watch other runners.
These are just three of the extremely personable female runners who are providing encouraging content for the masses, plus a few others that are worth tuning into.
Formerly a collegiate runner at University of Oregon, Emma Abrahamson now runs recreationally, coaches, and posts content about running, cooking, gear reviews and recommendations, quarantine, and life in general as a woman in her 20s.
Her videos are always hilariously authentic and uplifting. They are also pretty simple, yet informative, like her recent “What I Eat” series where she documents how she fuels while training for a triathlon. And don’t miss fun cameos from her pro running friends like Nikki Hiltz, Colleen Quigley, and Karissa Schweizer, to name a few.
Recommended episode: Run with Nikki Hiltz + Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% Review | Abrahamson meets up with Hiltz for a six mile run and follows it up with a look at how she rehydrates and her thoughts on the pair of Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next% that she had been testing out for several weeks.
Brooks Beast pro runner Allie Ostrander only recently launched her YouTube channel in December of 2020, but she’s already filled it with great content. Her videos are spirited and candid. She includes a good mix of training content as she films her workouts and casual content as she interacts with the camera and her teammates.
The commentary of the videos are infused with a dry sense of humor and sarcasm from the get-go. “I decided I wanted to start a YouTube channel because I don’t want to have to pay rent from my paycheck, so this is the only way. Anyone who subscribes is helping me keep a roof over my head, which, let me tell you, is not easy in Seattle,” she says in the first video, called “The Allie Special.” In the description she writes that she is “crossing over to the dark side and starting a YouTube channel.”
Recommended episode: 6xMile *ft snow* | While in Albuquerque, New Mexico for altitude training, Ostrander and her team are slowed down by snow and need to shovel the track. “I would rather eat bad chicken than have this happen,” Ostrander muses at the camera when she hears they won’t be staying at the track after all. The workout (6 x 1 mile at tempo pace) will have to happen elsewhere.
McLaughlin, a star at the 400-meter hurdle, is also a star on camera. Like the other channels we’ve mentioned in this round-up, she does include training footage, but she also uploads other creative and interesting content that keep our attention.
Most recently, she teamed up with NBA veteran Nate Robinson on a video where he taught her some fundamentals of basketball. It’s humbling to watch a pro athlete who dominates in her sport, struggle (though only slightly) with another. But Robinson is a good teacher and McLaughlin is a fast learner. It doesn’t hurt that they’re both extremely charismatic.
McLaughlin’s videos also have a more professional production quality than the average selfie-mode style vlog. They are packed with beautiful aerial footage of Los Angeles, a well-timed and coordinated background track, and seamless transitions.
Recommended episode: Road to the Olympics: LA Street Training | Hopefully McLaughlin delivers more of this ‘Road to the Olympics’ content as the months go on. In this one we get to see her on the streets of LA, performing her warm-up routine with a light-intensity tactical workout and delightfully timed commentary.
Find Other Runners on YouTube
Looking for even more content? Here are some more YouTubers we recommend:
- Best for Strength Training: Snowshoe runner Sarah Canney has multiple strength training videos for runners that target just about any area you need.
- Best for Mobility Tips: Neely Spence Gracey, a competitive endurance runner and coach, hosts a very informative YouTube channel. Subscribe for the mobility content and you’ll find Gracey has a video to help with what ails you.
- Best for Running Inspiration: Bowerman Track Club member Gwen Jorgenson posts frequently about her training progress and shares wisdom that is beneficial to both newbie and veteran runners alike.
- Best for Life Advice: Natasha Hastings has her plate full. She is training for the Olympic Trials while going to grad school and raising her son and doing all the other daily life stuff we all have to do. But even in her pro athlete life, we can glean from the advice she shares on her YouTube channel about time management, setting intentions and goals, showing gratitude, and more.