THE 3 MINUTE READ
IS RUNNING YOUR NEXT THING?
The 3 rules behind My Next Thing are deceptively powerful.
Choose a THING.
Do it most days for a month.
The routine is so simple. Yet, it has empowered me to stick with THINGS that I’ve always tried and failed to do before. Running is the perfect example of that.
Compared to a lot of the THINGS on My Next Thing, running is really hard. It takes a ton of effort every time you do it. But if you following the 3 rules of My Next Thing, I’m confident you will find that you too can stick with running, even if you've tried and failed to make it a habit before.
I’m writing this shortly after running for an entire month as my THING. This one was big for me because I’ve never been a runner. I’m the kind of person who picks up running out of guilt for about 1 or 2 weeks a year and then never runs again until the following year. That means I’ve been running, at most, 10-15 miles a year for the past 8 years or so. In the past month, I ran 38 miles. Why was this time different? Without a doubt, it was the fact that I did it as one of my THINGS.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Running is a cheap hobby. All that you really need is a trail, a road, or a sidewalk. Of course, you can buy tons of running accessories if you want to. But to get started, you really don't need a smart watch, running headphones, or special clothing (assuming you already own a pair of athletic shorts, a t-shirt, and a sports bra). The obvious cost of entry is running shoes, which are essential to developing a healthy running habit.
In this THING, I provide you with all of the resources and information to make a well-informed running shoe buying decision. I personally bought my running shoes for $55 on sale and I'm happy with them. Generally you should expect to pay between $75 and $125 for a good pair of running shoes, but you can certainly find a deal for less. At the end of the day, you shouldn't skip out on a nice pair of running shoes, so there is a moderate cost of entry for this THING.
"It was being a runner that mattered, not how fast or how far I could run. The joy was in the act of running and in the journey, not in the destination."
- John Bingham
"If you've ever considered running, know that no one gives a s**t how you fare compared to everybody else. All that really matters is how did you do compared with how you wanted to do."
- Casey Neistat
WHAT YOU'LL GET
While I was doing this THING, I did a deep dive into the academic research about running, talked with friends who are runners, listened to podcasts featuring running experts, and read books, blogs, and review websites about everything from running shoes to how to train if you have never run before. I used all of that knowledge to make running my THING for a month. Here, I've condensed all of my personal experience and research into 4 steps to get you out the door and running this month.
Step 1: Convince yourself you are a runner.
We'll consider the myriad health benefits of running with scientific evidence and learn how surprisingly little you need to run to reap those benefits. Spoiler alert: you can add years to your life by running 1 hour per week.
Step 2: Get your feet in some running shoes.
I've combed the scientific literature as well as expert recommendations to make sure you can buy running shoes with confidence. Whether you're looking for women's or men's running shoes, I have specific recommendations for you.
Step 3: Create your running routine
We will explore the various recommendations for how and when to run. By the end of step 3, you will know exactly when and how far/long to run depending on your running goals.
Step 4: Run, run, run.
I'll help you stay healthy and injury-free while you do this THING with tips on nutrition, hydration, recovery, and sleep. I will also share equipment recommendations, running apps, race-finders, and more.
As always, the inspiration page is full of videos, podcasts, books, and websites that will help you get out the door and run on days where you need a little extra motivation. I collected these resources throughout my month of running and still use them frequently to find inspiration.