Home Lifestyle A lazy person’s guide to start running

A lazy person’s guide to start running

5 min read

One of the side-effects of having things like games and watching movies for hobbies, is that it doesn’t exactly help your physical well-being. While we all need time-off to relax and the hobbies that allows us to do so are perfect in this regard, we also need to ensure we remain healthy if we intend to partake in them for many years into the future.

One way of keeping fit is running. For those unfamiliar with the term, I’m referring to walking at a really fast pace. And yes, it’s best done outdoors. And no, it’s not something you only do when being chased by a horde of zombies (though you could argue that is exactly what a race feels like).

So while I’m sure many of you are active in many ways, I’m also sure that there are some of you that would like to get fitter and get started with running, but not sure how exactly. As someone who has somewhat of an obsession with the thing, I would like to offer some advice from my perspective to hopefully help move you from couch potato to mileage accumulator.

Start Slow

The first mistake people actually make with running and the reason why they claim to hate it is because they start off too fast. Unless you’re Akani Simbine, running shouldn’t be a sprint and it’s better to actually start off at a slow crawl than it is to increase your heart rate too drastically, despite what your heart rate monitor and medical aid might tell you. This also prevents you from getting injured as your body eases into the idea of running.

Image Credit: Orbon Alija


This might sound obvious, but it is something few runners, including myself, actually do often enough. You don’t need to be incredibly supple or need to over-do and end up more time stretching than running, but it is something you should do regularly and almost always after a run. (There is only value in doing it before a run if you intend running quite quickly and even then, should only be done following a warm-up run). What are the best stretching exercises? Well, that depends on your body, but the following list includes quite a comprehensive list of stretches that can be done. Focus on the areas that feel most tight to you immediately following a run, though it is important to perhaps work your way through all areas in the course of a week or so.

A little Core goes a long way

Running is not just about your legs, though it might not always seem that way. Running is essentially activate through your core, which is why you need to balance your running with some core training as well. The following core exercises are quite useful to develop the core needed for running and can also be combined with normal stomach crunches to develop your core and make running that much easier for you.

Build Slowly

You may have already picked up here that the words ‘fast’ are not part of improving your running. Speed work should essentially only come later once you are comfortable running a 5km distance, otherwise you are likely to get injured. While some of you might want to enter a local 10km race to get you motivated and then ramp up from barely any running to completing said race in a short space of time, this is not the best approach and normally leads to you suffering more in your run than you should, leads to possible injury and is the reason people then stop running so quickly again. Rather ease yourself into it.

If you start out with a 2km slow run, do several more of those before increasing the distance or considering a tougher hilly route.  The key to long-term running is getting your body used to it and the best way to achieve this is with slow increments. It might feel frustrating because you want to achieve more, but you will gradually improve and over time you will likely develop into a stronger and better runner than those friends who just jumped straight into the higher mileage runs.

Run Often

Sorry to disappoint you, but if you want to keep running, you need to do it regularly. At least 3 times a week otherwise you will find your body won’t adapt as well as you would like. I know this means more time away from your TV and games but just imagine how much better you will feel when your gaming actually improves because your mind is suddenly a lot more alert. This may be an article about running, but it will also benefit you mentally too.

It might sound clichéd, but physical exercise is incredibly good for you. And even if you choose to get your physical exercise in another activity apart from running, what matters is that you do your best to keep a healthy lifestyle.  There are a lot of benefits to staying fit that I won’t go into detail here, but needless to say that as you get fitter, many things in life actually get easier. Don’t believe me and try it out.

Hopefully this will help you get motivated to run more and if it hasn’t, well remember that when the inevitable zombie apocalypse does indeed arrive, your ability to run faster might count for something. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Image Credit: Orbon Alija

Last Updated: January 27, 2020


  1. Tracy Benson

    July 5, 2018 at 13:10

    Rule #1 – Cardio. Can’t outrun a zombie if you’re not in good shape.

    Also, excellent article, Craig!


  2. Caveshen Rajman

    July 5, 2018 at 13:12

    Thanks dad.


  3. The Big Bad Wolf

    July 5, 2018 at 13:26

    One does not need to be in shape in order to survive a zombie apocalypse.

    One merely requires a supply of friends to offer up as distractions.


    • Original Heretic

      July 5, 2018 at 13:28

      Just make sure your cardio doesn’t run out before your friends do.


  4. Guz

    July 5, 2018 at 13:31

    Great article , there is an awesome app to get people started its called couch to 5k, try it you wont regret it. will get nearly anybody up to 5KM in 9 weeks


  5. For the Emperor!

    July 5, 2018 at 13:33

    I needed this article in January lol. Here are some tips from my experience as well to add to the excellent advice in the article:

    1 – When doing the warming-up/stretching before, I have read many times (and find it to help me) to not just stretch, but to combine the two into “dynamic stretching” as you can also hurt yourself with a “static stretch” if you do it too hard. Now that light jog before the stretching in my rugby days makes sense.

    2- The first kilometer SUCKS. ALWAYS. Even if you are already capable of that 10Km run, the body likes to “get started”. Having some of that first KM in the warm-up section helps.

    3 – SHOES! Get proper shoes! Your everyday tekkies are not going to cut it. And believe it or not, shoes have “mileage”, so for me I needed a “medium mileage” shoe for what I am doing now.

    I am not running 5KM more than twice a week, but I am thinking of adding a couple of 3km runs as well. I walk to work so might as well run back, right? Also I do spend 3 or 4 sessions in the gym as well. Thus far since January, in combination with my gym, I have dropped my 5KM time by roughly 10 minutes, and dropped 12KG. Running in the Garden Route is awesome, much better than in Gauteng in all that smog!


    • Guz

      July 5, 2018 at 13:35

      Power to you brother!! keep it up


  6. Lord Chaos

    July 5, 2018 at 13:47

    Running is dangerous for one’s knees.
    There’s cardio that’s a hell of a lot more fun 😛


    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      July 5, 2018 at 16:07

      You’re running wrong.


  7. The D

    July 5, 2018 at 14:02

    Keen to try running. I got myself back into shape back in January with a heavy cardio workout, using mostly an eleptical machine at my gym. Didn’t just drop from 78kg down to 66kg, I actually stayed there! Now to see if running can help me keep the weight off.


  8. Phaezen

    July 5, 2018 at 16:34

    Park Run is a great way to help develop a running habit, plenty of other people and no pressure on running fast


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