Sometimes forgetting to wear my Garmin Forerunner during a run is a blessing in disguise. Once in a while, I find it refreshing to just run free and detached, in the moment, and not know my exact pace or mileage.

However, last month I was in a competition among friends to see who could log the most activities on the Plus 3 Network, a free site that donates money to non-profits for logging runs and activities. Forgetting my watch meant possibly losing out on valuable kudos that directly translates into more money going to charities and non-profits. Logging your activities on this site is simple as it allows for direct uploads from a Garmin as well as the capability to log activities manually.

The friendly competition kept me motivated for the whole month to log activities, and I found I was enjoying my runs more since I was logging activities with a purpose. After logging a few runs on my Garmin, I would eagerly upload them to the site to see how many kudos I have accumulated. The quantitative side of me was amazed with the increase of my number of active days, and time spent running and doing other active activities. At the end of the month, I reached a new personal best in logging the most activities I had ever logged on the site.

There are several virtual networks that can be used for motivation in running and training. For the running communities out there, there are several good websites that my fellow SFM Ambassadors and I have come across.

DailyMile is a running social network that allows you to track your workouts, map your routes, compete with friends, as well as connect with others to motivate and receive motivation. On the community section of the site, you can meet other runners, create and participate in challenges, post and participate in discussions on a forum, share running routes, and find and take part in local events.

Strava is another site that keeps track of training activities and other metrics such as distance covered, mileage on your shoes, elevation climbed, and PRs. Using the site, you can track your runs and activities manually or via an iPhone, Android, or Garmin. You can also join challenges, connect with others to compare notes on running routes, earn achievements by setting PRs, and track your progress and stats against friends, locals, and pros.

SFM Ambassadors are all over these running social media outlets. Ambassador Chris uses DailyMile and Strava, and thinks they are great tools to stay connected and cheer others on through their training.

Ambassador Kelsey, Elise, Paulette, Meg, Heather, and Charlene also use DailyMile and find it a great resource to keep track of their training. Ambassador Alisyn also finds it a great tool to meet new running buddies.

Ambassador Krissy uses DailyMile’s integration with Twitter and Facebook as a way to connect with her social networks, and has found it to be a great way to stay motivated and provide inspiration. Ambassadors Wes, Daniela, Lauren, and Emily also use Twitter as a way to interact with other fellow runners.

If you are looking for some added motivation during your training routine, I highly encourage you look to these social networks for some added encouragement. Get after it and best of luck in your training!