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whats App’nning?

Runners are no strangers to the merits of social media, but is all this data sharing harmless motivation or emotionally harmful?

RUNNING & SOCIAL MEDIA

It can spark jealousy, arguments between family and friends, and upset and despair for the victims of online abuse. And there’s a growing body of research that says social media can cause depression – a recent study, by disability charity Scope, of 1,500 Facebook and Twitter users found that 62% reported feeling inadequate and 60% reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to others. This is consistent with a 2015 study into the effects of Facebook use on mental health, in which researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that regular use could lead to symptoms of depression if the site triggered feelings of envy in the user.

And a quick search online will reveal this is just the tip of the iceberg. But wait. If you’re a regular runner, you probably use social media yourself. You may be part of a Whats App group through your running club, you may follow coaches on Twitter, and there’s a fair chance you’ve embraced apps such as Strava to compare yourself against others. These can be both a blessing and a curse.

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About Men's Running

The March issue of Men’s Running was designed with New Year motivation in mind. Whether you’re a persistent pavement pounder, or are completely new to running altogether, this issue is packed with expert advice on becoming a tougher, stronger, quicker and happier runner - from 14 easy-to-adopt ways to boost performance, to a three-page spread on learning to grit your teeth, push your limits and realise your true potential. We’ve also got exclusive reviews of the latest short-sleeved tops, shorts and running socks - with the best product in each category receiving the MR ‘Best in Test’ seal of approval. For a rarely covered behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to organise a large-scale race, head to our ‘Making a Marathon’ feature, and of course we’ve also got the usual training advice, race reports and nutrition know-how to help you hit the ground running in 2018.