How to Get Started (or Re-Started) with Running

A few months ago, I wrote a post called How I’ve Begun Changing My Life, One Habit at a Time.

Surprisingly, that post ended up getting more links from other sites than just about anything else I’ve written here, and generated tons of emails from readers excited about creating their own habits.

The ideas in that post spawned my own running streak, where I ran for 70 consecutive days. And my podcast co-host Doug, since starting his own streak, has crossed the 100-day mark and is shooting for 400 (!) days.

But I know how hard it is to start a fitness habit; I’ve been there often after taking breaks that last a little longer than planned. And though it’s much easier to get back into it after a break than it is to start from scratch, the principles for getting started or re-started aren’t so different.

Since “How do I get started with running?” is a question we constantly get in the Inbox, Doug and I figured it’s a subject worthy of a podcast episode. (Note: we don’t really have a sponsored inbox, just a disorganized and overflowing gmail account.)

This episode is a long one, and it’s packed with info — so packed that after listening to it, we decided we need to lighten it up next time! But it’s an important topic, and if you’re struggling with getting started, then I think you’ll find a lot of helpful stuff here.

Here are the questions Doug and I address in this episode:

  • How do I get started if I have never been a runner? (20:00)
  • Should I start running with minimalist shoes? (28:45)
  • How to deal with trouble breathing after a long break from running. (33:00)
  • Getting restarting with extra pounds (37:45)
  • Getting back into running with a busy schedule and kids (42:00)
  • When jumping back in, do you have to follow the 10% rule? (49:15)

Click the button below to listen now:

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Links from the show:

Our phone number where you can call in to submit your question for next episode: 707-786-3429



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  1. I’ve been thinking about restarting my running training since I recently tried crossfit and I realized my stamina and endurance suck lol. I’ve been doing too much weight lifting and too few stamina training. Anyway, thanks for the podcast.

  2. Thanks for this! I found it to be very inspiring.

    In regards to shortness of breath after having switched to a vegetarian diet: yes, it’s possible that there’s a correlation. I’m not a doctor, and I agree with Matt’s suggestion of speaking to someone about the condition if it goes beyond normal exertion. What came to my mind was iron deficiency anemia. Women who have not gone through menopause require more than twice as much iron as men their age. Eating vegetarian further increases your recommended intake (due to the way plant-based iron is absorbed), and engaging in regular, strenuous exercise can push your requirements even higher ( [This is not a diagnosis! I am not a doctor.]

    Beyond that, yes, I agree, yoga will totally help with breathing while running. My old teacher focused a lot on breathing technique, and it made a huge difference when engaging in aerobic activities.

  3. Elsje Massyn says:

    Your articles, recipes and attitude is an ongoing inspiration!!

    Thank you very much!!


  4. I downloaded the latest podcast from itunes and went to listen to it this morning, but oddly, while the title is Episode 6: How to get started with running, as above, the actual audio content is of the previous podcast, about how to increase your mileage.

  5. Hi Doug,

    I’d like to incorporate running into my routine (I do yoga everyday for at least half an hour) but I got treated for bone spurs a year ago. What’s your advice on this, and do you think that running has other benefits other than cardiovascular and perhaps building one’s endurance?



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