Hate Running? 25 Ways to Learn to Love It

Running is boring. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s lonely. And it doesn’t give you immediate results. Right?

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While we don’t think any of these are necessarily good excuses (or altogether true!), we do understand it’s not always love at first run for anyone who ever decides to lace up and hit the pavement.
 
“The first time I tried going for a run, after spending my whole life as a dancer and avoiding the mile in gym class, I had fun—for the first four steps,” says my friend Ravi. “But you know what is fun? The second run, the third run, the fourth run, the fifth run…”
 
Whether you’re a beginning runner intimidated to take those first steps or you’ve recently taken a wrong turn straight into a running rut, we’re here to help you get moving in the right direction.
 
1. Forget the past. Whatever feelings or fears you associate with running—leave them in your dust! Forget about the coach who made you run as a punishment. Forget about those childhood memories of not being ‘the athlete.’ Just because running wasn’t fun for you in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be now. Being a runner isn’t about speed or skill; it is a mindset. Whether you run a 4-minute mile or a 15-minute mile, all it takes is a pair of shoes and the desire to get out the door.
 
2. Set a goal. Establishing a goal for each run (even if it’s just to not walk!) creates benchmarks of your progress and a sense of accomplishment. “I used telephone poles when I was getting started,” says Feller. “Each time I ran, I told myself to make it to ‘one more pole.'” Eventually, you might find yourself setting even crazier goals, says Elizabeth Maiuolo of Running and the City, “like running over all of the NYC bridges or covering three different parks in one run.”
 
3. Slow down. Don’t even think about pace at the beginning. Many people get discouraged at first because they want to run ‘fast.’ So they go out and kill themselves, then feel dejected and discouraged. Running at a conversational pace, meaning you should be able to talk on-the-go. While it may go against the “No pain. No gain.” mentality, it “ensures you are building your aerobic endurance and teaching your body to become more efficient, which is the key to running.”
 
4. Buddy up. Yes, it can be isolating to run alone, but we say there’s plenty of road to share. Ask a friend you haven’t seen in a while to run with you. “Catch up while running and the miles will fly by as you chat!” and your date could also be a romantic one. Studies have shown couples who run together, stay together. Take your crush out for a little jog or reignite passion in your long term relationship. “That post-workout glow could lead to a few more calories burned—if you know what I’m saying.”
 
5. Play a game. Remember all those silly road trip games your parents would use to entertain and distract you on long car rides? Even on your feet, you can still take them on the road! Play “20 Questions” with a friend or try to find all of the letters of the alphabet on the street signs you pass if you’re running solo.
 
6. Discover the road not taken. If you ate the same food for lunch every day, you’d inevitably get bored, and it’s the same with running! “Slogging along the same path every day can get old really fast”. I suggest picking a place that feels special. It could be as simple as the foliage in the park, or the sunset along the river. I first fell in love with running in the park in autumn. Even if you have to travel to your new route first, running is the best way to see new spots and explore somewhere new on foot!
 
7. Treat yo’ self. We hate to sound shallow, but sometimes there’s nothing like some new gear to get us going. A flashy training outfit will make me want to run faster and longer. If I have time (and money), I will buy either a new pair of shorts or a tank that will act as a reward for all of the hard work that I’ve done up until then. If it’s something I know I’ll want to race in later, I can test it out!
 
8. Find a happy ending. If you could have anything waiting for you at the end of a hard run, what would it be? For my friend Ravi, it’s simple. “Beer,” he says. “I recommend ending most runs with a pint of the good stuff.” He believes in the power of runch. You meet a buddy and run/walk to your favorite brunch place. “Woo hoo for runch!” And with all the calories you burn running, who could blame Shweta, who says she’s run straight to an ice cream shop before? As for Shweta, her ultimate destination reward is “a dog park, filled with precious puppies.” It’s all about what puts a smile on your face.
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Thanks

Talent Is Persistence: What It Takes To Be An Independent Creative

The current states of both the music and film industries have taught us to think about the economics of creativity differently. The smartest independent creatives aren’t the ones that sit alone, polishing off the perfect finished product. The smart ones release their work early and often, building a community of supporters who pay not for the art itself, but for its byproduct.
It was using this strategy that Kirby Ferguson, after a decade of making online video, was able to quit his full-time job and focus exclusively on filmmaking. He first made waves in 2010 with the release of the online documentaryEverything is a Remix which argues that all creative works are derivative and we should encourage the use of the old when creating the new. The web series was released in four installments for free and racked up millions of views leading to a bevvy of speaking gigs and donations — the new creative economy at work.

Now, Ferguson is switching tactics with his new documentary This is Not a Conspiracy Theory. He plans to release the film behind a paywall in December, opting for immediate suitability instead of wide accessibility of Remix. We spoke with Ferguson about the new economics of creativity and what it takes to succeed in this dynamic.

For the casual observer, it appeared that your first documentary came out of nowhere, but I’m sure you tried tons of things before “Everything Is A Remix” gained traction. True?

I’ve been doing online video since the early days, around ’99 or 2000. I started with comedy. I did that for two or three years on the side. It was hard for me to find my voice doing that. It just wasn’t interesting to me. I actually wanted to make arguments with what I was doing.

It seems you found your lane here with these two documentaries.

It was the first style that I did where I was like, “Oh, okay, like this is what my talents are for.”

That’s the great part of the web, right? You can do a thousand little experiments and stretch. 

Yeah, and you can see how your work is going. Most of the time, you’re working on your voice. It’s just your own journey. You’re just working on your stuff and trying to get better, putting it out there and getting a response from it. Getting a feel for an audience is important, and the Internet is a great place to try and fail. Because if you fail, nobody really sees it, nobody cares. No harm, no foul.

I think that’s a good template: throw everything against the wall because it’s the Internet and space is cheap.

Absolutely.

Because if you fail, nobody really sees it, nobody cares.

You released “Everything is a Remix” in installments. Why?

When you put it out in installments, you see the feedback and you can shift course, things can happen that wouldn’t have happened if you were just doing it on your own. It is a way to incorporate the wisdom of the audience into the project.

Which is different than your typical filmmaker, who may think: “I need this to be completely perfect before showing it to the world.” What led you to that iterative approach versus the “normal” path?

I think the interactive method is more approachable. When I think something has to be perfect, I’ll just fiddle with it forever. The truth is, for releasing stuff on the net, I don’t think it matters if it’s perfect. I really don’t. It has to be really good and I try to get the concepts and the ideas as perfect as I can get them. But for the filmmaking, I don’t think people are going to watch it or not because it’s got that extra bit of polish on it.

At the end, when it becomes a movie, it is going to be on TVs and big screens at that point and it has got to look as good as it can. Then I’ll try and polish it up.

I think for me it is a way to not go down a rabbit hole of perfectionism and it is a way to keep the thing coming out on a reasonable schedule.

Kirby Ferguson. Photo: Gene Driskell, Gel Conference 2011

Kirby Ferguson. Photo: Gene Driskell, Gel Conference 2011

What are the economics of these two projects? Is this your full-time job?

Yep. I’m an independent filmmaker, I make a go of it. I did have a job when I started it. The documentaries get me work, they get me speaking engagements, I sell some merchandise, I get some donations, and it all kind of adds up to a living. And then This Is Not A Conspiracy Theory would be awesome if it could make me a living on its own from subscription fees.

It seems like that has led you to have complete creative control over everything you want to do, which is where everyone wants to be.

Which is my dream, really. Honestly, like I’d rather have freedom with what I’m doing than be loaded and be working with producers that say stuff like, “we should really have a talking bear in this one,” and advocate for all sorts of stupid ideas. If you feel like you’re some sort of a wage slave, that’s not a good place for a creative person to be.

If you feel like you’re some sort of a wage slave, that’s not a good place for a creative person to be.

What would your advice be to the 20-year-old version of you, who’s just starting their career?

I wish I had Everything Is A Remix when I was younger. I wish I knew that you can just start copying other people’s stuff and fiddling with it, and putting stuff into it, and just sort of build from there. It’s okay to be primitive. That’s a perfectly fine way to start making things.

I wish the earlier me understood work and practice more. Just the repeated concerted effort to get better at things. I wish I didn’t have the notions of talent and genius I had back then. I thought, “Oh, these other people, they just have something that I don’t have.” When really, they are just people who work more.

I wish I understood work. Work is the key to anything you want to do. If you want to play the guitar—anybody can learn to play the fucking guitar—you can be good at it. Maybe you won’t get to be a genius but you could be good.

You can be good enough to write good songs or make a good film or whatever. There’s no such thing as not having enough talent to get to that level. I mean, persistence is talent, really. Just sticking with it. Talent is not stopping.

TED Talk: Embrace the remix

by Sean Blanda