Social Media And The Triathlete Pros And Cons

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Daily Mile[/caption] Social media is where I make a living.  I work with companies on how to leverage the size and power of social media to engage employees as well as help in recruiting the best talent to their organization and then how to keep them since the costs of recruitment, on-boarding, lost revenue and many other factors are far too high to want to repeatedly be hiring.  Social media is also where I made a lot of friends and also find inspiration and motivation.  The medium is perfect for getting that little extra kick in the pants but social media also lends itself to wanting to pull your hair out.

Benefits Of Social Media For The Triathlete

  • Joining a group on Facebook that revolves around your upcoming Ironman race can help alleviate your anxiety because you will see other athletes going through the same type of stress can help.  You can find people who are dealing with what you are going through and form a 'team' to help share tips and tricks about overcoming that particular scenario.
  • Twitter is a treasure trove of triathletes.  I am not sure why, but maybe the 140 character limit allows us to quickly send messages and then be out on our bike or run.  Search for hashtags such as #triathlete or #triathlon.  A tremendous list of tweets will come up and from there you can pick and choose who you want to follow, who you want to converse with and who you think will provide you with what you need to get through the next training cycle or race.
  • Google+ communities are very active when it comes to triathlon.  You can search for these communities and ask questions and within moments you will have answers to your questions.  I haven't done a deep dive to see if there are communities setup around particular races like I have seen on Facebook but I would not be surprised one bit if there were.  The one trait about G+ Communities that I have found so far is that they are managed very well.  Spam typically does not get through so the posts and the conversations that follow are genuine and helpful.

Drawbacks Of Social Media For The Triathlete

  • There is SO MUCH social media that a triathlete can follow and almost every piece of content will be contrary to the one you read previously.  Somebody may post that eating 10g of protein within 60 minutes is ideal for recovery and another might post that 15g within 30 minutes is ideal.  Which is right?
  • Triathletes are Type-A and a lot of them (us) are also OCD.  We have a way of doing things and while that way works for us there are times when we post on social media that it is the way that will work for everybody which is clearly not true.  My alarm goes off at 4:02 AM every morning and depending on the workout I am eating a solid breakfast by 4:30 AM or am out the door working out.  Does this work for everybody?  Of course not, but if I post that to Facebook there is bound to be somebody who reads it and changes their structure to match mine and vice versa.
  • We are competitive and if we see that Bob or Nancy just rode 40 miles then we want to ride 60.  If John or Sue ran 10 miles, then we want to run 12.  Avoid the competition because being a Pre-Season All-American means nothing on race day.  You cannot win the race in your training cycle but you can certainly lose it.  Follow your training plan and listen to your body because on race day Bob, Nancy, John or Sue will not be wearing your bib.

Social Media Can Be A Big Help Or Hindrance To Triathletes. What Do You Think?

Jason Bahamundi

About the Author:

I grew up in New York and lived there for 34 years until I got divorced and moved 1600 miles to my new home in Texas.  I love New York and miss it but that does not mean that Texas hasn’t been great to me because it has.  It was here that I discovered endurance sports and specifically the sport of triathlon.  Triathlon has given me new life through all the challenges it presents.  I no longer look at life the same way and I can say that is in part due to my endeavor into this sport.

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