“I stuck with it, I just stuck with it. I realized that it was getting myself, not just outside—which is great and one of the key things I think about running is just doing it outside—but also outside of my own comfort zone.”

Endurance runner, Vassos Alexander, on how he started running.

On a recent episode of Feel Better Live More, host Dr. Rangan Chatterjee chatted with sports reporter, author, and endurance runner, Vassos Alexander, on the clarity that comes from running, how to start running, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with just getting out the door. 

The clarity that emerges after a long distance run: 

On the pod, Vassos Alexander noted that on long runs, “You strip away the layers and you work stuff through and the you that emerges from the discomfort—because…it’s not all a great big smile, it does hurt—and the you that emerges from the discomfort of a endurance run is a better version of the you that went in.”

All you need to start running? 

A pair of running shoes (and an open mind). 

Alexander noted that you can, “just start, just start with anything—it could be a walk—just start and see where it takes you.”

He followed that, “(a) it doesn’t matter how far, and (b) it doesn’t matter how fast, but it does matter that you just give running a try—however unfit you are, however bad at it you think you might be, however overweight you might be, however worried you are that other people will look at you and judge you when you go running—none of that actually matters when you’re out running”

Going out for a run: 

“Every time you go out [for a run] and you come back through your front door, you will not regret having been out; and you will think slightly better about yourself and you’ll sort of give yourself a metaphorical pat on the back for having done it; and then, just see where the journey takes you.”

Vassos Alexander