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So You Want to Be a Runner

Few forms of exercise are as polarizing as running. Some say it is precisely what we evolved to do, others consider it simply a basic fitness competency, and yet others a creation of Satan himself. If you don’t enjoy running, don’t do it! But if you’ve done a little running, and you want to get good at it, there’s lot of help at hand.

Runner’s World has published this nice set of tips for safety when running and walking outdoors (and interacting with traffic). Runs and walks are more interesting and usually more vigorous when done outside — you have to deal with other people and things, the surfaces can vary, and you may even have noticeable wind resistance.

This is part of a minisite from Runner’s World called The Starting Line, which offers lots of tips, suggestions, and guides for choosing shoes and clothing. The Starting Line is ambitious, but it’s definitely got lots of good information and is a helpful stop for someone who wants to get into running.

Note: It has some funny missteps — its FAQ says 10,000 steps a day is “two and a half miles of walking,” but for most adults it’s closer to 5 miles! If you have a smartphone or an iPod, it may already have a pedometer on it (many iPods shipped with a Nike+ app), and apps are plentiful. Take it to a known distance, like a high-school track, and find out how many steps you take per mile. It will vary a little with your walking speed — you may take much longer strides at some speeds than at others, and steps per mile may be different when running, too.

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