– Vancouver, Canada

A friend mentioned they wanted to get into running but they didn’t know where to start. This is what I shared with them.

First, listen to this podcast on butts. The gist: Based on scientific evidence, humans are built to run, so running is a fine activity.

Many people who aspire to run, never get through the initial hump where it’s challenging and tiring. Once you push past that hump, you get to a mental and physical state where you feel like you can run forever — it’s wonderful. Where the other side of that hump is, I find, depends on how fit I am, how fast I’m running, and if I’m attempting to run after a poor sleep.

Listening to music or a podcast while running is a great way to hurry the passage of time, but I have found I’m less in tune with how my body feels if I have headphones on.

I wouldn’t worry about the distance you run. Focus on time. Set a timer for ten minutes, run away from your house and when the timer fires, run back home. 20 minutes is a good duration to dip your toe into running. In 20 minutes, if you’re not stopping too many streetlights, you should experience the other side of the hump.

If you can run 5km in one go, you’re doing great. Congrats. The free version of Strava will keep track of your and distances for you.

Without hurting yourself, try to not stop when you get tired. Walk or run at a snail’s pace, but don’t stop.

Open spaces and uninterrupted pedestrian paths are ideal for running as they’re safe and typically in nature. If those aren’t near where you live, run towards a neighborhood. Avoid busy roads if you can, they’re never fun.

Update 03/28/20: Trishan Arul has an excellent thread where he shares additional tips on shoes, form, and stretching. Read it here.

— Dustin