News & Tips|May 18, 2021, 7:53 p.m. | 2725
The 6 Best Running YouTube Channels
The 6 Best Running YouTube Channels
This is most likely going to be a controversial topic. But - I feel it's quite important.
Watch Trackster "Talking While Running" YouTube series with pro athletes!! ⬇️
As most people in the running world know, pro athletes, clubs and amateur elites are basically on their own when it comes to growing a brand and cultivating a following. There's no big ESPN attention or draft night for young up-and-comers to get an immediate spotlight. Thus, YouTube channels and training vlogs have become one of the best ways for athletes to grow a following and engage with more people while going through their daily grind. They're able to show a behind the scenes look at their life, introduce all of their teammates and share the ups-and-downs of the pro athlete world - it's awesome!
We're not here to disparage any channel or person who is trying to grow their brand. We at Trackster really love to see every single person giving video production their best go and wish every single running channel the very best. If there's anyone we left off the list, please DM or email us so we can make edits or check them out for next time!
This list is simply our opinion of the best channels out there!
We're ranking these channels based on 4 main components: Quality, Consistency, Creativity, & X-Factor.
1. Chase Easterling
Chase is a student athlete at Youngstown State. His videos and channel are great. His videos are mostly talking to the camera style spliced with any tid-bits of content he can get from his recent training in a journal or diary type format.
Chase uploads a ton, though, and after just one glance at his channel anyone can see how passionate he is about running. He loves the game and we're definitely excited to see where his channel can go from there.
He's averaged about 67 videos / year since his launch in 2017 which translates to more than 1 video / week - VERY good!
2. Ben Crawford (Aka New Generation Track & Field)
Ben Crawford took the running world by storm in the summer of 2020 of Covid, uploading amazing videos with the Oregon men's elite guys (Cooper Teare, Cole Hocker, Charlie Hunter) as well as some other great NCAA personalities like Evert Silva and Rachel McArthur. According to Social Blade, Crawford's channel started by growing to 7,250 subscribers and 250k+ views in his first week! In short, the impact of these videos on the 'running culture' (aka running meme accounts on IG) has been obscene.
Ben's channel would probably take the #1 overall spot if he had not taken the last ~4 months totally off to focus on finishing his degree and graduating from the U of O (respect, tho). His videos have high quality, creativity and x-factor but the drop in consistency means we have no choice but to leave him off the official rankings until next time...
3. Easton Creed Allred
Buddy is a sick nasty, young runner. His channel's attention to detail and production quality is truly impressive. Unfortunately, we had to leave him off the top 6 because he's only uploaded 5 videos in the past 6 months. This comes after he made a video stating that he had to stop making YouTube videos due to his status as an NCAA athlete preventing him from making money (he goes to BYU).
We would like to see Easton's love for the grind win out as he can still post to his channel as an NCAA athlete simply without monetizing...
Hey, we're writing the article so we get to give us some shameless self promo, okay? Watch our videos here.
6. Morgan McDonald
The University of Wisconsin alumn, NCAA champ and Under Armour pro is probably the newest channel on here. (*Correction: he's about tied with Allie O.)
The first thing you'll probably notice about his videos is that his personality is awesome - he's really goofy and seems like the absolute best dude to be friends or to train with. You really would not believe that he's one of the most decorated distance runners in Wisconsin's legendary history - it must be due to his cool ass Australian accent and roots. He's definitely still learning the ins and outs of making videos on a regular basis but his consistency has actually been solid with 15 videos in 4 months. He's making a serious effort to get this channel going and he's well on his way.
I could easily see Morgan taking on the top 3 channels on this list if he stays consistent and keeps up the good work. His athletic pedigree is top notch and no doubt he has a bright future on the track - with or without a digital presence involved.
5. Zach Levet
Zach started his channel while he was a student athlete at William & Mary. Zach's channel and content has a very high level of editing and overall quality. He uses sick nasty drone shots, tight transitions & titles as well as an overall Casey Neistat-like way of creating videos. They're really satisfying and solid stories are he probably has the highest quality production of anyone on the list.
Zach's channel received a spike in attention around the time he announced that he would be leaving William & Mary (aka dropping out) to focus solely on his digital content creating career. Respect.
Even since the beginning of his channel, though, he's posted a decent amount of content that has nothing to do with running (Like this new glasses try on video) . This is probably a great strategy as Zach's 93K subscribers is the best on the list. Not having the most pure running content is not really a fair knock of his channel in a regular sense but this specific ranking is based off running YouTube channels - we gotta stick to the running stuff.
4. Emma Abrahamson
Emma's channel began while she was a student athlete at the University of Oregon 3 years ago - with her first video entitled "A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DIVISION 1 RUNNER"
At first her content was focused on navigating the daily life of being a Duck, student and YouTuber and this allowed her audience to peek behind the Division 1 NCAA elite curtain. Since then, she's graduated, moved a few times, launched multiple products and side channels, trained for various events, and grown her following with a plethora of sponsorship deals. It's been nothing short of impressive and it's probably safe to say that Emma's entrepreneurial skills are the best of anyone on the list, making a serious career out of her digital presence.
Since starting, it seems that her focus has shifted toward her off-channel business opportunities and she has continued posting to keep the momentum behind her YouTube following going.
Emma's a friend of the Trackster brand and we have a ton of love for her - we hope she keeps navigating and improving the way she has over the last few years! Make sure you try her own brand of protein / energy bars
Her consistency and x-factor are there in droves when watching her videos. She's extremely consistent with videos, making 31 parts in a series entitled 'What I Eat In A Day' for example.
3. Tinman Elite
Well... this could be an entire blog on its own (foreshadowing?).
The Tinman Elite group has been the pivotal YouTube and social media channel in running for the past few years. Headlined by Drew Hunter, the sub 4:00 mile high schooler turned Adidas pro, Tinman Elite has done an incredible job of showcasing its personalities and training stories throughout its lifespan.
Recently the group has gotten into some hot water after parting ways with Coach Tim 'Tinman' Schwartz. There's been much speculation on whether or not Coach Schwartz was taken advantage by the group of because Tinman Elite has grown exponentially as a brand while leveraging Schwartz's original namesake.
Tinman Elite has had media interns and job roles specifically for creating videos & content. They've done an excellent job with consistency, quality, x-factor and creativity - focusing on daily workouts but also their merchandise production, individual athletes and more. This group has gotten young and older people all over the world excited about pro running - a very special feat.
The main knock for Tinman is due to their recent drop in subscribers / followers after the the Coach Schwartz drama. They have still not released any sort of official statement on what happened and how it went down.
F.W.I.W. In my mind, Tinman Elite has nothing to hide. So what if they started the group with this guy's old nickname? It has nothing to do with that anymore since their brand has evolved well beyond anything that one guy could have created.
If Coach Schwartz had nothing in writing or was not fairly compensated for this time with the group, that's kind of on him! These guys gotta eat too and they've been busting their ass to get the content out there. We hope they keep up the great work and use this opportunity to double down on their strengths, content, and, of course, performances.
2. Allie Ostrander
Only the #1 ranked channel on this list has posted more videos in the past 4 months than Allie. Starting her channel just 4 months ago, the Brooks pro has accumulated 13.4K subscribers and 1million + total views.
While everyone on this list has serious elite athletic talent, Allie's story is special. Hailing from Kenai, Alaska, Allie took the NCAA by storm by largely dominating the Steeplechase event (3x NCAA champ) on the track while finishing runner up in the NCAA XC championships in 2015.
She's been creative; making voice-over videos documenting the famous mountain race that she's won in her hometown in Alaska while also putting out more vlog-like content about her current day-to-day with the Brooks current pro squad.
Her athletic ability is beyond special and that's what makes her YouTube channel even more impressive. There's a number of elite level female athletes who are more or less solely relying on their athletic abilities to fuel their career. Allie, however, has the wherewithal and drive to do more for herself. Her personality, lighthearted nature and interesting training journey all make the videos 'binge-able'. We can't wait to see how Allie's channel, and career, continues to evolve.
1. The Athlete Special (Aka Spencer Brown)
In all honesty, TAS surely would not have been ranked #1 if I was creating this list off the top of my head.
After going through all of these channels' content, stats and growth there's simply no denying it - The Athlete Special is really on top.
If we focus again on the main 4 criteria for ranking these channels - Consistency, Quality, Creativity & X-Factor - TAS has them all.
Spencer has uploaded a mammoth 330 times - mostly during his NCAA career with no monetization strategy (somebody tell Easton Creed this is an option). His production quality is not the absolute best; however, it's definitely not bad and it's gotten steadily better over the years - it may be the best it's ever been right now.
Spencer consistently has interesting or flat out funny nuggets in his videos ( not lacking some heavy cringe at times, respect ) and has truly been a great source of insight for all runners. Spencer broke the legendary 4:00 minute barrier in the mile for the first time in the very middle of his content creation. He rarely has large gaps of time without videos and his channel is the surefire reason he got a pro running contract with Brooks a year ago.
The Athlete Special is the pinnacle example of what a DIY attitude can do for any individual trying to make a name for themself in the running game and we salute him as well as everyone on this list!