There’s just something about running that commands our attention.
Perhaps it’s the way marathoners look when they’re crossing the finishing line or how runners make a challenging sport look so easy. It could also be the promise of the runner’s high, which is the sense of euphoria people feel after logging the first few miles.
Additionally, research shows that running ― even just 10 minutes, five days a week ― can reduce the risk of stroke, arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol and possibly some cancers.
If all of that isn’t convincing enough, we’ve got some visuals for you. If you’re looking for some inspiration to hit the pavement ― whether you’re a first-time runner or a pro ― look no further than the running Instagram accounts below. They’ll motivate you to lace up or hit a new personal record in no time.
USA Track and Field, @usatf
The USA Track and Field Organization is the governing body for track and field, long distance running and race walking in the United States. Follow this Instagram account for epic throwbacks (like the photo of sprinter Wilma Rudolph above) and photos of current running stars.
Nike Running, @nikerunning
Nike’s account devoted to running is top notch. Their more than 5 million followers will find inspiration in the beautiful photography, featured international athletes and, of course, some of their best-selling gear.
Robin Arzon, @robinnyc
When Robin Arzon is not teaching a fitness class in New York, she’s hitting the streets in her running shoes. Her Instagram is devoted almost entirely to fitness and the runs she logs around the world.
Usain Bolt, @usainbolt
You don’t have to wait until 2020 to see Usain Bolt if you follow his Instagram. Approximately 6 million people follow the Olympic champion on social media, which documents his everyday life and how he continues to train.
The InstaRunners account is devoted to building community among runners on social media. The account mostly reposts the photos of regular runners who tag the InstaRunners page in their own snapshots. There’s a lot of inspiration on this feed, including quotes, photos of running clubs and new personal records ― and they’re all from runners just like you.
Finn Vogler, a devoted runner from Germany, loves pushing the envelope: He once ran three marathons in 30 days. Should you do this yourself? Chat with your doctor first. Can it be done? Vogler says yes.
Kara Goucher, @karagoucher
Kara Goucher’s Instagram is a window into the life of a professional runner (she’ll even show you the reality through photos of her toenails). This is one video that is not for the squeamish. But hey, no pain, no gain, right?
Runner’s Community, @runnerscommunity
”If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far.” That’s the motto behind this social media feed, which features athletes who are hitting the pavement for the first time or 50th time.
Janae Baron, @hungryrunnergirl
Janae Baron’s Instagram is an ongoing log of positive energy meant to inspire others to head out with their sneakers. “[Running] keeps me sane, it is my ‘me’ time, it brings me strength, hope and I sure love those post-run endorphins,” Baron wrote on her blog, Hungry Runner Girl.
Michele King Gonzalez, @nycrunningmama
Michele King Gonzalez is a repeat marathoner, mother and hero. Gonzalez spent six years in Iraq with the Unites States Army over the course of three tours. And it was overseas where her love for running blossomed.
“During the first deployment, I ran alone as a way to stay in shape,” she wrote on her blog. “During my second deployment, I started doing long runs with three close friends of mine. During my last deployment...I turned to running as a way for me to clear my head from the long hours, have some stress-free time, allow me time to think about my family back home, and put me in a better mood when I returned to my desk.”
Ready to lace up those running shoes yet?