Running column: Posting your training run on social media? Ask yourself why?

Mark Armstrong during the Robin Hood Marathon, Picture: Robin Hood Marathon

Mark Armstrong during the Robin Hood Marathon, Picture: Robin Hood Marathon - Credit: Archant

We all try to keep up appearances, particularly on social media.

Be it posting a picture of your cherubic child when the truth is they've kept you up half the night or uploading an image of your healthy, lean dinner when a couple of hours later you've annihilated half a pack of chocolate hob nobs.

The majority of people do it. People only want to present the part of their life they are willing to let the world see.

The same applies to running.

A lot of runners are on platforms like Strava or Garmin connect.

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They are great tools when used properly. Amongst other things you can track your pace, the gradients you've climbed and keep a log of the progress you're hopefully making.

But they have their shortcomings too.

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A lot of runners will do recovery runs far quicker than they should just because they don't want the embarrassment of posting details of a 'slow' run.

It's not healthy.

MORE: Mark Armstrong relives his Royal Parks experienceIt shouldn't matter what your pace is – you should be running for yourself, not your followers so you can gain a bit of 'kudos' for a run.

You won't be getting any of that if you sideline yourself with an injury from pushing too hard.

The big events are drawing to a close for the year and thoughts are turning to 2018 and the preparation starts now.

If next year is your focus it's time to tick over with a few easy runs each week.

It's difficult to not let vanity get in the way of your running goals but even now every run should have a purpose to it. Personally, I'm just ticking over the moment, ready to embark on a structured programme in the new year, all being well.

My legs feel weary and I know that if I tried to blast out a fast run, just for a Facebook post, then an injury is likely.

But social media can also be a great tool to get motivated.

My wife, Alison, regularly posts in the Facebook group, Run Mummy Run, and the support they give each other is wonderful. With more than 55,000 members there's always someone willing to offer a word of encouragement or advice.

It would be great for men to have something similar but that's not how we work is it? Looking for support is sometimes attributed to a sign of weakness when the opposite is true.

MORE: Mini cheddars and a new personal best...the story of the Robin Hood MarathonYou have to accept that not every run you go on is going to be wonderful. I went out on Sunday in glorious sunshine expecting to really enjoy a saunter around the villages surrounding Long Stratton.

It was an absolute dog of a run – I just couldn't get going the whole time and decided to cut it short at five miles when six were planned.

My legs felt heavy and it's probably just my body telling me that it's time to rest. Or I've got the cold in me that everyone seems to be suffering from at the moment!

Taking the positives from it – I didn't injure myself and I still managed to clock a few miles.

I've been running long enough now to know that the next run is likely to be better and so it proved. No two runs are ever the same.

So just before you start your next run think why you're doing it and keep that in mind throughout.

Running is an individual pursuit and is primarily for your benefit…not your followers on Strava.

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