Men's Journal

20 Simple Rules That Will Make You a Better Runner

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Running is supposed to be so damn simple. For millennia, it was evolutionary—run to eat or to not be eaten. But then we invented agriculture and cars and moving walkways and eliminated everything that made running a necessary part of living. So some of us figured out it was just fun—satisfying not because we needed to get somewhere or avoid something, but because it felt good to just move.

Which is how the first boom happened in the 1960s and 70s. Then things got complicated. There was money to be made and scientific studies to be conducted and finishers medals to earn and athleisure clothes to design. Running shoes were reported to prevent injuries and then they caused them and then they prevented them again. Running was supposed to kill you, ruin your knees, or worse—make you wear neon.

MORE: Running Adds Years to Your Life

Then smart phones arrived, then the smart watch and smart shoes and smart socks, and now, it is feasible to have everything you wear while you train shout at you with enough numbers and tips and badges that you sometimes have no idea what the hell to do anymore.

Take a deep breath. Running is still extremely simple.

With more than 40 combined running years between them, hundreds of shoes tested, and thousands of miles completed, the Men’s Journal editors compiled 20 rules that will make you faster, healthier, and less-injury prone.