The Social Media Marathon, by Dan Alatorre3 min read

by Dan Alatorre

Can you run 5 miles right now? Like stand up, go outside, and run five miles? No? Don’t feel bad, 99% of people you know can’t either.

WHY would you want to run 5 miles? That’s hard. And… far.

I don’t do that, by the way. But I did once.

Blogging and social media is like running. For me, anyway; there will be an appropriate comparison for you.

When I first started running, I’d run as far as I could until I was winded, then I’d walk. It wasn’t far. It was about the distance from my couch to the refrigerator, but outside. And after that short embarrassingly short distance, I was gassed. When – if – I got my breath back, I ran again as far as I could. Then I’d walk again.

I used landmarks. The big tree, the corner, the fire hydrant.

And at first they weren’t very far away. It was a walk interrupted by furtive spouts of sweating and gasping. Eventually, I’d add a little. Instead of stopping at the fire hydrant, there was a sidewalk another 30 or 50 feet away, I’d get to there and be winded. That was the new landmark. Then I’d walk to the next landmark place to start running again.

When the distances got long enough, I’d string two together. That would kill me for a week until I got used to it.

Somewhere along the line I was running two distances if about a half mile each. One day I bit the bullet and said, you probably don’t need a rest in between those. I ran a mile that day.

I psyched up for a week or two, but I did it.

From there I’d add another 100 yards to another fire hydrant, measuring the distance with my car’s odometer to see how far it all was..

Got up to three miles, then five. Ran a few 5k’s and 10’ks.

No marathons. I’m not crazy.

But at the beginning getting to the first fire hydrant, probably just a few hundred yards, was almost impossible.


My Friend: Ever run any full marathons? Those are huge around here.

Me: I’m not crazy.

My Friend: Thank you. That’s my feeling.

Me: I have a t-shirt that says running sucks. Cos it does.


Running 5 miles in Texas in 100 degree heat around the Irving mall parking lot, that was crazy enough.

But that’s social media.

And a lot of things about writing, like finding “WAS” and eradicating it in your manuscript (so you can replace it with verbs that have more action).

Or learning to drive a car. Remember that? It was crazy hard at first, trying to keep that big, giant vehicle on the road and not go over the speed limit or hit oncoming cars. Now you can drive with one knee while tuning the radio and eating a cheeseburger.

Learning social media is like that. Start with one. A blog, Facebook, whatever. Each week, add another one. Work it into your repertoire. Another the next week. Use some, hate some, whatever.


About the author

dan alatorreInternational Best-Selling author and humorist Dan Alatorre turned his sights on fatherhood in “Savvy Stories,” and the results were hilarious. Since then, Dan has racked up a string of #1 Bestsellers in family humor, novels, illustrated children’s books and cookbooks, and has been published in 12 languages throughout 14 different countries. His romantic comedy Poggibonsi: an Italian misadventure, set in Tuscany, will be released in a few weeks.

Dan’s success is widespread and varied. In addition to being a best-selling author (he claims it was a slow week at Amazon when that happened) Dan has achieved President’s Circle with two different Fortune 500 companies.




  1. Nelu Kay on July 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    I used to run once. Then I stopped. These days I can't run to save my life. And just as I suck at running, I suck at keeping up with my social media accounts. I guess I should take it slowly as you suggest. I might just make it lol. Great article! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Nicolas Puegher on July 23, 2016 at 3:54 pm

    It’s interesting the way you compare running with blogging or social media, the things we do are important but mostly having a plan with consistency will make results in the long run.

  3. Dunja on July 23, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    Interesting comparison. But it’s like that, really : start small and then start adding more and more. That way you can master almost everything, not just social media 🙂 (and running)
    Dunja recently posted…Famous paintings’ recreationsMy Profile

  4. Vanessa on July 23, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I couldn’t agree more – it all seemed so intimidating until I just started setting small goals and checking them off. You make it sound so energizing 🙂

  5. Erika Agostino on July 23, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    Running is good for us, but nowadays people only run because they want to show off themselves on social media.

  6. Tescha Chetty on July 23, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    I toally agree. I am so overwhelmed with social media and trying to use all at once is a nightmare. I am now starting with FB,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and will gradually moveon once I am comfortable 🙂

  7. Anshula Varma on July 24, 2016 at 5:46 am

    Absolutely true! I would say if Hotter than Hell in Wichita was a marathon instead of a bike race, that would be blogging + social media put together and intertwined and muddled up!

  8. Ana De Jesus on July 24, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Social media can become really overwhelming and its such a true comparison comparing it to running!

  9. Courtney Connolly on July 24, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I really like your comparison, it's so accurate. It is a feat to get ahead of all channels and social accounts.

  10. Nimisha Popat on August 3, 2016 at 8:04 am

    So media is so overwhelming. I am so getting your perfectly apt comparison. I guess I ran miles today and still gained a little weight. Hehehe.

  11. Jane Rosewood on August 12, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    It actually made me feel a bit sad because I used to run a lot and I stopped from some reason..I should probably start again 🙂 Anyway it’s a great analogy, I totally agree. You have to start with a short distance and add some more every time. Thanks for the post!

  12. KT Nielsen on November 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I think there is a term for “run-walk-run-walk ” strategy in a race. I forgot what it’s called really. I’ll try to research it. I’ve also tried running but I could never finish a 5km race without stopping. I’d have walking sprees in between the runs. Haha! It’s probably because I don’t train as hard as I should.
    KT Nielsen recently posted…THE SUNDAY CURRENTLY – BACK TO SCHOOLMy Profile

  13. Katherine on November 20, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    This is interesting. Initially I thought it’d be about how to free yourself from social media because that’s what I want to do. Haha. I spend so much time in Facebook it’s just not productive anymore. I’ve tried deactivating but ran into some problems because my contacts are in Messenger. I’d like to read a useful technique on how to use social media minimally.

  14. Me-An Clemente on November 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I don’t really run because I don’t have the time to exercise and I’m really physically unfit. Anyway, I like how you compared social media to running. One should really go slowly at first so one won’t be overwhelmed. Then upon continued use, one will be able to determine what he/she can focus at to excel. Thanks for sharing.
    Me-An Clemente recently posted…5 Action-Packed Resorts Near Metro Manila for Family VacationsMy Profile

  15. Carola on November 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    I love your comparison between running and social media. And it’s true. You can’t start with a marathon of of nothing. You have to learn and start slowly. Make sure you don’t get injured. Learn every time you run and get better. And never give up!
    Carola recently posted…Dvd review: EatMy Profile

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Full-time UI/UX Designer & part-time Blogger. Has an healthy obsession with reading, writing and anything book related. All book reviews in this blog are deliciously spoiler free so please indulge!

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