Tell me things about running slowly
with Martinus Evans
Sometimes I surprise myself with my fondness for running. I always thought running was for other people—fitter people, more slender people, seasoned morning people. I couldn’t quite grasp how anyone sustained anything beyond ten minutes. I had a long history of downloading the Couch to 5k app, giving it a couple of weeks before abandoning it.
But a few years ago things shifted when my view of exercise shifted. It was no longer about looking a certain way, but feeling a certain way. Running was an accessible option—it’s free, can be done anywhere, and it’s just between you and you. I began running regularly—starting with just a few minutes—and now I’m training for my first half marathon. I go into more detail about how I progressed in a bonus audio clip after the Q&A if you fancy the full breakdown.
What I’ve come to cherish most about running is the practical wisdom it seems to shake loose. As Haruki Murakami writes in What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, it’s about raising your own personal level: “Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life—and for me, for writing as well.”
To add my own personal spin on Murakami’s title (that’s a spin of a title), what I talk about when I talk about running is my commitment to myself. It's taught me to persevere; it’s taught me that I can do things I don’t think are possible; it's taught me I am capable of starting and finishing—and that extends to all of life.
But the biggest lesson of all has been to slow down. I wouldn’t have arrived here if I didn’t slow down. So on that note, it’s an honour to speak with Martinus Evans, whose story has inspired countless others to slow down and run.
Martinus Evans has run over eight marathons since his doctor issued him a dire warning about his health in 2012. Since then, the Brooklyn based runner has also coached hundreds of others and created Slow AF Run Club, a growing online community exclusively for slow runners and walkers.
His book, Slow AF Run Club: The Ultimate Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Run helps people get started, unstuck and ensures they're running safely. It’s the kind of resource I wish I’d had when I was starting out, and so I was eager to delve into those themes in our conversation. I hope you enjoy—let me know if it helps inspire you to start running, or gives you a boost to continue.