Would you run if it were not for the internet? (Read 967 times)

12 Monkeys

    Serious question. Just wondering. I hear a lot of researchers talking about using social media (such as Facebook or internet forums) to motivate people to embrace and hold onto a healthy lifestyle. 


    All of you folks run (or, like me, "run") and hang out on an internet forum or two.  What do you think? To what degree does social media and the internet influence your choices around health, nutrition and activity?

    Princess Cancer Pants

      Nope.  I am about 99% certain that without RA I would have become bored with running shortly after finishing my first 5k.


      Thank you, Eric...and everyone else who makes this site so great and motivating. Smile

      '17 Goals:

      • Chemo

      • Chemo-Radiation

      • Surgery

      • Return to kicking my own ass by 2018


      She was not strong. She was valiant. Radiant. Brave and broken. The beauty she discovered in the aftermath was unparalleled to anything she had known before, because it had come at such a cost.

      ~ Unknown


        In terms of "running" (or generic versions of "do I participate in (activity)"), the presence/absence of internet didn't and doesn't make the choice.  However, sometimes it does influence race choices and workout types.  I surely do a lot more easy running than I did in 2002... in part because of my participation on coolrunning.


        The internet has surely impacted how we interact with each other about our activities though, so I get your question and I bet the answer is the opposite for some people.


        -10 for overuse of 'surely'.  (and please don't make the Shirley joke.)


          I might still be running 3-4 miles on the treadmill just for fitness, but probably never would've run any races, or joined a running club. Thanks, RA!

            It's certainly impacted how much I run and how I train.


            If I could put up with the snobbery I'd probably spend more time on cycling boards and be a better cyclist.

              Really?, was the internet even invented when I started running? and I'm not even a real runner.


              But, yes it does help to pull together like minded folks and some long lasting friendships.


              Still no interest in the facebook side of it.

              Get off my porch

                Facebook has approximately zero effect on my running.  RA has a tremendous effect.  Race websites have an important effect, and I think most races would be *much* smaller or nonexistent without the Internet.  Would I be running without it?  Only if I were lucky enough to be involved in an active local running club.

                Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.

                  Probably would still be running, have been running for health 2-3 times a week since High school.  But races and more structured running/training definitely because of the Internet.

                    Sure would.  It was a book that got me going.  One that someone told me about in person. 


                    Would I train the same way?  No.  Would I be part of two running groups?  No.  Would I have formed quite so many friendships/acquaintances?  Nope.  I probably would have only done two races in the past year instead of seven.


                    That said, I HATE that one of my groups uses Facebook as a discussion forum.  It's awful.  If only every website were set up as well as RunningAhead (thanks, Eric!).

                    "When a person trains once, nothing happens. When a person forces himself to do a thing a hundred or a thousand times, then he certainly has developed in more ways than physical. Is it raining? That doesn't matter. Am I tired? That doesn't matter, either. Then willpower will be no problem." 
                    Emil Zatopek

                      Facebook has approximately zero effect on my running.  RA has a tremendous effect.



                      It should be mathematical, but it's not.


                        The marathon maniacs and half fanatics have decided to use facebook as their main discussion mechanism.  This was one (of several) reason(s) why I gave facebook the boot.  So much drama over stuff of no great consequence.  Organized poorly and publicly.


                          I wouldn't have started running if it weren't for social media.


                          I HATED running growing up and all through my 20's. It wasn't until a friend of mine posted on Facebook about starting the c25k program--I had never heard of it before. After looking up the program on the Internet I decided to give it a shot--that wouldn't have happened without facebook or coolrunning.com.


                          Now I run because I enjoy it, not social media. But, I have learned a LOT from you fine people here on RA and it has really helped shape my outlook on my running future. The pretty graphs help motivate me too. Wink

                            Short answer with qualifier:  If the internet disappeared...yes


                            Long answer with qualifier:  If the internet had never been invented...no.


                            And here's the lengthy explanation.


                            I had tried to become a runner many, many times, beginning when I tried out for Cross Country in the summer between 8th and 9th grade in 1974.  I did not know how to train, didn't know that you weren't supposed to go out there and sprint the whole time, didn't know anything about starting slow, that walking was OK, didn't know that you needed to build up a base, didn't know that it would take months, I was just told by my "coach" to run over the summer.  And I hated it.  I would be exhausted after a mile.  I couldn't fathom how I would be able to run 2.5 by September.  So I quit.  I blame the coach a little bit.  I had no one to teach/mentor me.  But, also, I did not seek him out for advice.


                            Then I tried again (obviously out of high school and into college and after) in 1979, 1981, and 1985, with the same results.


                            It wasn't until 2003, when I got "in shape" again, and noticed that I could run at a 10 min/mile pace on the treadmill for several miles that it occurred to me to read up on running on the Internet.


                            There I found all sorts of information on to run as a beginner.  After that, in short order, I was able to work up to 4 miles, 5 miles, and up to 10.  I joined a local club (that I found on the internet), and worked my way up to a marathon.


                            Oh sure, along the way I had read parts Jim Fixx's book, and had picked up the ocassional Runner's World, but it never "clicked" until I read stuff on the internet.



                              Without the internet (and especially RA forums) I would not have figured out how to train properly (easy runs) and thus would quit soon after I started (which had happened once already). I just wasn't motivated enough to seek out running books and stuff, as those things are reserved for "serious athletes"......

                                The internet  and social media has no impact on whether I run (started in 1979).  However, I'm sure I run a few more miles and target specific paces more often than I would without the internet's vast "knowledge."