The internet can absolutely be used for good. It connects old friends, dispenses critical news and gives people a platform to share their truths. However, there are some times where turning to the internet won’t do you much good.
So unless you are in Google right now searching for a local race or filling in your online training log, here are a few times that runners should just step away from the computer.
When You’re Injured
Sure, WebMD can give you some scenarios as to what your pain might be, but the only real way to find out if you are, in fact, injured—and what your next step should be —is to go see a doctor. It is great you want to arm yourself with information, but Dr. Google is not a substitute for the real, live thing. Seek advice of a medical professional and please, try to follow their healing recommendations. It will not only make them happy; it will get you back to running as quickly as possible which keeps you happy, too.
When You Need Advice
Not all advice is good advice. Sure it can be tempting to hop into a chatroom for new runners and get recommendations from veterans, however, what works for one runner may not work for you. There is some terrible running advice floating around out there—if someone tells you that you don’t really need to get fitted for shoes, you are getting some of it—and you need to take some recommendations with a grain of salt. If you really need advice, check out gear recommendations from respected publications, find a coach or head to your local running store.
When You’re Buying A New Pair Of Running Shoes
Remember the bad advice about not needing to get fitted for running shoes? We were serious. If you are buying a new pair of shoes—we don’t mean re-buying a trusted pair that you’ve already been wearing—then you should head to your local specialty store for some gait analysis. Choosing to try out a new pair of shoes just because they are on sale or they have good reviews is a way to find yourself injured. You can absolutely look at reviews so you have an idea of what you’d like to try at the store, but gait and foot analysis will help you stay injury-free and running comfortably.
When It Comes To Your Data
A safety tip you’ll often hear is to vary up your routes. You can absolutely share your running info with your friends on networks like Strava, but taking precautions to make sure your data is safe and visible to friends only is something that can help keep you safe and make sure people who you don’t know aren’t aware of your normal running routes. On a semi less serious note, avoiding digging into other people’s data too much is a good idea, to help keep you from playing the comparison game and feeling down about the hard work you are putting in every day to reach your goals.