As a serious runner who cares very much about the sport, both as a participant and a spectator, I follow lots of running stuff on social media. Consequently, I am inundated with things to read about running in my feeds. Some of it I don’t even notice, like ads for celebrity-brand workout apparel featuring a famous actress in full make up with her hair down while wearing a bra with capris, or sites for races halfway across the country that promise a medal the size of a dinner plate. I also pass on articles about the new miracle supplement distilled from bat guano found only in a specific cave in Indonesia, or the Ken-doll-like pictures of the “running singles” in my area.
I am a master at not taking the running click-bait. Well, except sometimes. Every once in a while, an article pops up that I can’t resist clicking. Articles like these:
1. Try this healthy, cheap, fast and delicious food that will fill you up and make you a better runner!
Oh perfect! The inexpensive snack that I can just pull out of the cupboard/refrigerator and immediately eat! It’s unprocessed and good for me, full of healthy natural food things and the types of vitamins and minerals that my body will metabolize properly! This miracle snack is so delicious it will take away all of my cravings for ice cream and donuts and pizza and at the same time will also make me faster! Yes! I want it! GIVE IT TO ME NOW!
2. This one 5-minute body-weight exercise routine will give you killer abs and will guarantee you never get injured again!
All my kingdom for this five minute exercise routine. Teach me. I will do whatever you say.
3. Inspirational runner overcomes terrible life-changing experience to make the Olympic team!
Guaranteed drama with a happy ending? Yes please! This article clearly guarantees: Emotional Journeys! Amazing Inspiration! Unforeseen Challenges! Lofty Goals! INEVITABLE VICTORY!
4. Are you making this terrible and very common mistake which will lead to slower race times and more frequent injury?
Playing to my fears is always a key strategy in click-bait headlines. AND IT WORKS. Oh no! I’m sure that I’m making this terrible and common mistake! Is it stretching before running? Is it junk miles? What is it?! TELL ME!!
5. New study finds running linked to long life, mental well-being and the capacity to eat limitless cartons of ice cream with no ill effects.
I KNEW IT! Let me just lie back on the couch here with my bowl of chips and enjoy this. No “inevitable knee failure” or “early onset DEATH.” Running makes you stronger and healthier and better and happier and all the good things! See?!
Which click-bait headlines are irresistible to you?