Are You a Humble-Bragger?

One of the best things about runners is that we all want to inspire and motivate each other. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the worst things about runners.

The problem is, it’s really easy to drift out of the encouragement zone and into the “humblebrag” zone.  Let’s face it, we’ve all been guilty at some point. You act like you’re just trying to help, but really all you’re doing is turning people off.

The humblebrag can take a lot of forms:

The MapMyRun/Runtastic/Nike+ Share

MMR long run

You’ve just finished a good workout. Maybe you went long, or your splits were really quick, or the hills were enormous. Time to tell the world on Facebook and Twitter! That’s fine, but don’t go fishing for compliments. No “went for a little jog” when you did 14 miles. No “just trying to improve” when you know you’re faster than all of your friends. Post your result, maybe add how you’re feeling, and leave it at that.

The Fitspo Meme 

lame memes

I have no idea why Nike pays for ad copy anymore. They could just go onto Pinterest and find thousands of guilt-inducing slogans paired with hopelessly unrealistic selfies. Worse yet, we all share them. Reality check — it’s super-easy to make eyes roll with stuff like:

  • “Winners make goals. Losers make excuses.”
  • “Earned, not given.”
  • “It’s you versus you.”
  • “You’ve only got three choices in life: Give up, give in or give it all you’ve got.”

The Ridiculous Invitation

Come with me

Maybe you’re in a running club, or maybe a lot of your Facebook friends are other runners. So you post something like, “Heading out for 10 or 12 Sunday morning at 6:30 — anyone care to join?” Translation: “Look how hardcore I am!”

Why not just throw a general invite out there and see what other people are up for?

The Party Pooper

party pooper

If you’re in serious training, there are going to be social situations in which you have to take it easy. But you don’t need to tell everyone about it.

  • “Thanks, but I’m running 13 miles tomorrow.”
  • “I love pizza… but it’s not in my diet. Maybe sometime when I’m not in training.”
  • “Do you have anything carb-y? Runners really need to load up.”


We all want to encourage other people to get out there on the roads and trails, and we want to invite our friends and families along on our running journeys. But we can’t do that if they’re not interested.  Those miles you run are inspiring enough all by themselves — you don’t have to pump it up. The commitment you’ve made to be your best you is all the inspiration people need to see. So, to quote the most famous fitness slogan of all time, just do it!


Andrew Richter is a Monmouth County-based runner and fitness buff. Be sure to check out his blog,, or hit him up on Facebook or Twitter.

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Andrew Richter
  • Lou M

    Agree we don’t need our friends posting inspirational messages. It comes off a bit pompous.

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