Many a thread has been inked bemoaning the Instagram runner. But my goal is to breakdown and do a comprehensive analysis of the varieties I have noticed on my feed. In my experience, they breakdown as follows:
Mommy Marathoners: a self explanatory title given to those who are empty nesters or stay at home moms who have taken up running and “found themselves.” A mixture of boredom, narcissism, and maybe a chance to make some money gets them out the door and posting near daily. Also never beards to flex how good you look after 3 kids! How does she do it?!?!?
NIL College TikTokers: more recent phenomenon but taken up by many college level runners who now film every easy run, workout, pre-race, stretch, and meal. Every post is accompanied by that sweet, sweet #ad to promote some powder that turns your drink green and uses a proprietary blend to fuel them to not make NCAAs. But whatever, get that paper while you can.
Former Fatties: inspiration to some but nuisance to others, these are those people who just can’t help but reminding you that they lost so much weight since they got into running. The incessant before and after photos make what is usually an impressive weight loss accomplishment come off as narcissistic braggadocio. Also tons of shots in Boston gear to show how truly far they’ve come (this is common across multiple groups).
Roid Runners: we know em, we love ‘em, but we wouldn’t share needles with em. These are the guys who are built like brick outhouses but somehow pull off impressive running feats and maintain their size. Is it the shoes? Their strict diet and training routine? Maybe it’s the cycle of gear they’re on and have been since they dropped out of community college. Or, hey, maybe it’s Maybeline.
Shoe Guys: it’s about the shoes. These guys post all the latest shoes, carbon-plated or not. They are the last bastion of honest journalism, as they are not swayed by the free gear and relationships they form with brands. But this is Instagram so there’s plenty of interjection of their own running and personal lives, whether you asked for it or not.
More categories for sure but these are the big ones and my modest analysis. Please feel free to add.