How to Start Running Today


As a software developer, our first instinct is to use Google and learn everything we can about a topic. We lose ourselves on the planning and anticipation. It’s no different than when decide to learn a new programming language or framework. How many blogs did you read? How many videos did you watched? Now compared that to how many lines of code you wrote. Did you finish that side project in that new language or framework? Notice the simple pattern: over planning vs action.

I’m not immune to this. Heck, I’m a perfectionist. The main reason why I couldn’t start this blog post was because I couldn’t think of the “right” blog post title. I knew what I wanted to say, but I was paralyzed at the start. Running is very easy: it’s just like walking but faster. You put one foot in front of the other and repeat.

You are smart guy/gal. If you can build some crazy algorithm, or find and crush a bug in production while your boss breaths down your neck, you can certainly go out for run.

Stop the excusesStop excuses

Let’s get rid of some of the common excuses. Feel free to add more to the list.

  • I’ll start next Monday!
  • I don’t have running shoes.
  • I’m overweight.
  • I have never ran in my life.
  • I need to feed my cat.
  • I left the stove on.

Now throw away that list. It’s time to get serious. Today is the day! If you can’t run, jog. If you can’t jog, walk. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it. We are building a habit, the habit of running. Personally, I started with a mix of light jogging and walking around my old neighborhood.

How to start running today

  • Don’t…plan anything other than going out there for a run/walk/jog. Clear your schedule after work today. If you are at home and there is some daylight, go right after reading this post.
  • Don’t…set ANY goal. I’m serious. Something is always better than nothing . A walk around your block is better than sitting on your couch.
  • Don’t…plan to go the park/gym. If your neighborhood is safe enough, step outside your home and go.
  • Don’t…wait for inspiration. Go get it.
  • Don’t…underestimate yourself. You can do this.

This is what you need to get started:

  1. A pair of shorts – as long as you can wear them in public.
  2. A t-shirt – a nice cotton t-shirt to keep you cool.
  3. A pair of sneakers – if they are comfortable, you are good to go.

But what about my phone and playlist? What about buying new earphones specifically for working running? You don’t need a phone and earphones. They are a distraction. You will add resistance trying to find your phone, set up playlist, etc. Until you build the habit, those items will hurt you more than help.

You’ve got the bare minimum that you need on how to start running today. It is very simple. But our minds are used to solving complex problems. Don’t bring out the bazooka to kill a small fly. Put on your shirt, shorts and sneakers. Get out the door, stretch, and go.

Let me know your results in the comments.

Seasoned runners: Do you remember the first time you went out the door? What other tips can you give us?