Running is simple. But learning to become a runner is insanely complicated.
If this seeming disconnect makes you confused and angry, you aren't alone. Plenty of confused, angry people out there wish they could start running but don't know where to start—and are too embarrassed to ask "dumb questions," such as "Where do I start?"
Well, here at Dumb Runner our motto is, "No Question Is Too Dumb." Our second motto is, "The More Runners, the Better." Our third and final motto is, "Because More Runners Means More Potential Customers for the Books and Other Crap We Sell."
So let's get started!
1. Define Your Terms
First things first, and this step is crucial: Are you sure it's running you want to try, and not some other activity? Running is the thing where you move forward on foot, generally at a pace faster than walking, for an extended period of time. If you were imagining more kneeling and digging in the dirt, you're probably thinking of gardening or archeology. If you're expecting to learn lots of knots and to use words like tack and jib, it's sailing you have in mind.
You can find words like running, archeology, and define in the dictionary, experts say.
Once you're certain that running is what you're interested in, it's time for step 2.
2. Prepare to Shop for Running Shoes
This step is crucial, too, experts say—jumping directly into running shoe shopping without adequate preparation can result in injury. Before you go shoe shopping, warm up by yanking your leg good and hard. Also don't forget to fuel and hydrate. Right before you walk into your local running specialty store, stare at yourself in the mirror for at least an hour to "psych yourself up." You got this!
Note: If you can't find your face in the mirror, you're probably looking through a window again. Ask a running friend to point you to the nearest mirror.
3. Shop for Running Shoes
We explore this in great detail in our article How to Buy Running Shoes, but long story short: Try some on and buy the first pair that feel good. No cash? No problem! According to experts, you can use a credit card. (Pictured above.)
Running shoes go on your feet, by the way. Not your hands. That is crucial.
4. Consume Running Media
This is perhaps the most crucial step of all, because without it you'll have no idea (a.) what you're doing wrong (i.e., everything), (b.) what products you can buy to correct these errors (i.e., all of them), which outfits you should be rocking, how much chocolate milk you should be drinking, and how to beat the heat. You can find running media at magazine stores, your local library, and in your neighbors' recycling bins, experts say. The internet also contains running media.
The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks.
This final step is crucial. Wearing your new running shoes—remember, on your feet—exit your house and begin running. Not too far, and not too fast. Watch out for motorists, unless you're on a treadmill.
If you encounter problems, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4. Eventually you'll figure it out. If you don't, purchase more products and drink more chocolate milk. Or consider a new pastime, like sailing. Sailing is terrific fun, according to experts.
See you on the roads!
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