Beginners and amateur runners can gain a lot from following pro athletes – not just for the training tips and fitness mantras, but also to gain some confidence from the fact that even the best of distance runners started out with baby steps. In this week’s roundup of digital inspiration, we’ve covered running champs who not only have several titles to their name but are also prolific with their daily dose of encouragement and advice to get you off that couch.

Phoebe Wright

How professionals pack for race day.

A video posted by Phoebe Wright (@phe800) on

Tennessee-born Phoebe Wright is a professional runner for Nike and known for her outstanding 800m performance at the Prefontaine Classic in Oregon (she clocked 1:5:22 in the event). She’s also a hilarious blogger who writes on everything from doping, dating, dining and the highs and lows of running. One of her suggested New Year resolutions, for example, reads: Vow to put on exercise clothes once a day. I’m not saying you have to exercise, but I am saying if you went through all the trouble to get dressed, you may as well run around the block at least. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for updates on her races, training and some outspoken views on everything under the sun.

Lauren Fleshman

A professional runner, Lauren Fleshman’s triumphs include two USA 5k Championships on the track, a 7th place World Championship finish, as well as a Bronze for USA in Cross Country. She’s as fierce and fearless in her opinions as she is on the track, and discusses everything from working with her husband to race-day nervousness and how to cope with setbacks. Check out her longstanding blog, Ask Lauren Fleshman for insightful tips on training, especially on recovery and running after a pregnancy. Her Instagram and Twitter feeds are a mix of diet tips, baby pictures (featuring her toddler #Judethedude) and coaching mantras for all kinds of runners.

Ryan Hall

My favorite place to train in Redding. The rail trail! Best workout I've had in years today!

A photo posted by @ryanhall3 on

This US Olympic marathoner is quite the poster boy in his country and he rewards his huge fan base by posting regular updates on his training and competitive races, as well pictures of events and travels with his wife, Sara Hall – an award-winning distance runner herself. Ryan is also quite the foodie and shares his love and curiosity for different cuisines along with recipes and diet tips on his social media. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter for updates on races and training, as well as some lip-smacking pictures and tips to fuel up right.

Michele Gonzalez

This former Army captain trained for the Boston marathon during her third deployment and came home to clock a time of 3:21. An ultra and marathon runner with several races under her belt, her social media posts have an equal mix of running tips and family time. Her extremely popular blog NYC Running Mama contains pertinent insights on racing, coaching, motivation for beginners (such as 7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Running), and as the name suggests, plenty of tips on balancing running and motherhood. Follow her on Instagram for tips on where and how she trains, as well as updates on her races and personal life.

Nicklaus Combs

An ultra-runner, mountain lover, bouldering expert and owner of a magnificent beard with its own hashtag (#irunthisbeard), Nicklaus Combs has run numerous ultra races from marathon to 100 mile distances. An ardent nature love, he is always on the lookout for new trails to explore and interesting plants to eat. His blog contains diary-like updates from his training, nutrition strategies (he’s a vegetarian runner) and races, while there’s certainly plenty of gape at on his Instagram feed – the man posts some gorgeous pictures from his trails along with him and his running buddies.

Main image: Lauren Fleshman / Modcraft Studio

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