How @Twitter Can Make You a Better #Runner

I’ll admit it: I only got a Twitter account to shut Matt up.

Since I began writing for No Meat Athlete, he’d been trying to get me to join Twitter, emphatically stating the networking opportunities were endless.

Talking with strangers? Noooooo, thank you. I remembered seeing an after-school special about that when I was a kid.

There was no reason for me to be sharing my random thoughts with people I didn’t know. Besides, they really didn’t care, right? Twitter was for self-absorbed a-holes. If anyone wanted to know what I was having for dinner that night, or the news that my niece was finally potty-trained, they could friend me on Facebook.

And really, I thought, who needs another “thing to check”?

Matt was relentless, though, suggesting that Twitter would do a lot for me as a writer, a runner, and a triathlete. Besides, everyone (and their uncles, their dogs, and their uncle’s dogs) had a Twitter account. Tired of being called a technological neophyte, I caved.

My first tweet:

I was on Twitter. I was a twit. I tweeted. I had tweeps. It made me feel all twingly inside. What a twip.

Originally, I thought it would take a long time to get the hang of using Twitter, but it really wasn’t complicated.  (You get used to the @ and # stuff right away.)

And after poking around for a little while, it wasn’t long before something amazing happened: I met a lot of really cool people.

Through Twitter, I was able to connect with fellow runners, triathletes, and writers from around the world. I could stay up-to-date on my favorite friends, athletes, and columnists without having to do time-consuming searches; receive news headlines as the news was actually happening; and have real-time conversations with people from around the world about any topic my heart desired… all in 140 characters or less.

Why we want you to tweet, too

It’s been said that your Facebook friends are the people you went to high school with, while your Twitter friends are the people you wish you went to high school with. It’s true, in some respects.

While I love Facebook for the ability to stay in touch with people I know, Twitter gives me the opportunity to connect with people I probably would never have met otherwise.  Even people that are otherwise inaccessible can often find the time to respond with a quick tweet.

Just a few examples of cool stuff you might do once you take the Twitter-plunge:

  • Next time you’re struggling to find the motivation to train, post it on Twitter — almost instantly, someone will tell you to quit whining and get your workout done.
  • When planning your training for a race, send a tweet to people who have done that race to pick their brain.  Often people “tag” their tweets about popular topics by using the pound sign so you can easily find them — for example, doing a search for “#IMAZ” will show you what people are tweeting about Ironman Arizona.
  • Give a shout-out to your favorite writers (ahem, @NoMeatAthlete and @SusanLacke, ahem) to let them know you liked an article or want to see coverage on a particular topic.

Okay, here’s why we really want you to use Twitter

One of the coolest aspects of Twitter is the ability to participate in structured chats, so you can make friends with others who are passionate about a particular topic.  In my short time on Twitter, I’ve been known to partake in chats about running, health and wellness, and triathlon. Through these chats, I’ve gained excellent insight on training, nutrition, and gear that I likely would never have stumbled upon on my own.

No Meat Athletes can sometimes be hard to come by in the “real world.” Not everyone advertises their status as a vegetarian athlete, and sometimes it can be challenging to connect and have a conversation with others about the runs-on-plants lifestyle.  We’d like to give you that opportunity.

On Monday, April 4 at 8:00 PM Eastern Time, Matt and I will be hosting the first-ever NMA Twitter Chat.  In Twitter-speak, it’ll be called #nmachat.

If you haven’t participated in a Twitter chat before and are a bit apprehensive, check out Heidi Cohen’s link on How to Be a Twitter Chat Champion.

To participate in #nmachat, you do need a Twitter account.  You can get that here.

How to join us for #nmachat

Once you have an account, all you have to do to participate in #nmachat is follow Matt (@NoMeatAthlete) and me (@SusanLacke) for the prompts on the first question. To follow all responses in the conversation, just search for “#nmachat” (no quotes).  Between 8 and 9 PM Eastern Time, we’ll post a total of 5 questions (all having something to do with running on plants), in which you can answer with your own feedback. You can also see what others have to say, and we can all hang out for an hour and get to know each other.

If you have questions you’d like to suggest for this first-ever #nmachat, use the Contact form to send them to us ahead of time.

Matt and I are excited to have this opportunity to talk with you and connect with you all in real time! If it goes well, we’ll make this a regular thing.

So put on your twitty pants and sign up now. Follow a few people you know, start feeling your way around, and send a few tweets — we’ll see you on the 4th!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Susan Lacke, NMA’s Resident Triathlete, also writes for Competitor Magazine and Competitor.com.  Follow her on Twitter: @SusanLacke

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Comments

  1. I am glad that you are on Twitter, too, so that we can say ridiculous things about Matt behind his back in front of his face.

    Do you have to be a vegetarian athlete to participate in #nmachat? Would eating bacon chili cheese fries during the chat be allowed?

  2. I’ve seen a lot of TERRIBLE blog posts about why people should use twitter.

    This one was actually really good and made a lot of sense, specifically about meeting people with common interests. I’ve done that a few times on there and should really do it a lot more. Thank you.

  3. Mike Bulb says:

    If I’m awake I will participate!! I live in the UK and I’m usually in bed by 10!

    Follow me though… I post some alright things

    @mikebulb

  4. I resisted at first too, but once I signed up I realized how much I’d been missing. I connect with so many athletes and other cool people on twitter. I have even ended up being real-life friends with many of them!

    I look forward to your first chat!

  5. I just have to say that this post made me giggle out loud three times.

    This: “I was on Twitter. I was a twit. I tweeted. I had tweeps. It made me feel all twingly inside. What a twip.”

    This: “your Facebook friends are the people you went to high school with, while your Twitter friends are the people you wish you went to high school with. ”

    This: “So put on your twitty pants ”

    So funny! Until this past month or so, I’ve been completely clueless about social media sites. I’ve only started on twitter, but I can definitely see the appeal.

  6. Cool a #nmachat, I can’t think of anything better to do on Twitter! I love Twitter but can’t bring myself to join FB now I know why – it’s like high school! :)

    I think a chat with others who run on veggies is a wicked idea, I’m in my first 60 days of going Vegan and I’m on this site constantly finding new goodies to make for my dinner!

    Thanks!

  7. I held out from Twitter until starting my website. It definitely seems to a be a necessary evil when it comes to social marketing/networking!

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  1. [...] I read Susan Lacke’s post over at No Meat Athlete, and it made me reconsider.  What my Twitter experience had been missing was the same thing my [...]

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