My journey began when I came across Hiroaki Tanaka’s Slow Jogging, and it expanded to include Slow Running by Chris Bore and The Maffetone Method by Dr. Philip Maffetone. Additionally, the highly informative book, Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better, by Dustin Ordway, recommends consistent, persistent, daily exercise with the notion that there’s no such thing as too slow, as long as you do it every day.

Slow Running by Chris Bore: In Slow Running, Chris Bore asserts that runners often make three mistakes: running too far, running too fast, and running both too far and too fast too soon. The book emphasizes that running should not involve sprinting or maximum effort. Although running can include wind sprints and suicides, it shouldn’t, because 70% of runners get injured every year, and very few who add running to their New Year’s resolutions make it a daily habit. Running should be a pleasure, not a punishment, and it should be something one anticipates – not just as an excuse to eat more donuts, but as a relaxing way to “spend time in a nice way.” The key is to “run as slowly as you can while still looking as if you are running.” This is what makes the book so appealing.

The Maffetone Method by Dr. Philip Maffetone: I first learned about the Maffetone method—MAF—through Kofuzi. Although he describes himself as a non-elite runner, he still runs faster than 8-minute miles. So, when I picked up the book, I thought I’d have to adapt a marathon training system for my leisurely jogging and running style. Surprisingly, it’s not a running method; it’s an aerobic-training method that focuses on staying within your personal heart rate range for as long as possible after warming up and before cooling down. With MAF, if you have an hour to run, you’d spend the first 20 minutes walking or leisurely jogging to warm up, then 30 minutes keeping your heart rate between a specific range, and finally, cooling down for another 10-15 minutes. The Maffetone Method perfectly complements Slow Jogging, as it emphasizes sustainability, staying within one’s MAF zone, and warming up and cooling down.

Row Daily, Breathe Deeper, Live Better, by Dustin Ordway: The essence of this book is that doing nothing physical is as shocking to our physiological and neurological systems as running, cycling, or doing CrossFit, but in a negative way. Ordway argues that we should all engage in at least 45 minutes of daily activity on a Concept2 Indoor Rower. While some people believe that only kettlebell swings, tennis, jogging, walking, or swimming are necessary for lifelong health and vigor, the Concept2 rowing ergometer is equally effective.

Slow Jogging by Hiroaki Tanaka: I used to leisurely jog around 4 miles every morning with longer runs on weekends. These were such comfortable shuffles that I never needed rest days. I thought I was just a slow runner, but instead, I was part of the fashionable and modern leisurely jogging movement. Slow Jogging is a motivational and friendly book that inspired me to get outside for a leisurely hour every morning, and it can inspire you too. It’s easy, or at least it should be. Don’t be embarrassed if walkers, even new moms pushing strollers, pass you by. Your leisurely jogging pace, whether it’s a slow shuffle or a light, ball-of-your-feet bounce, depends on your ability to keep smiling, avoid injury, and maintain a conversation without being out of breath. This is entirely subjective. One person’s leisurely, low-heart-rate jog may be slower or faster than another’s, and both are absolutely perfect.

As you become more fit, stronger, and more resilient, your heart, lungs, quads, calves, and feet will naturally adapt to the stresses of running, and your pace and speed per hour of effort should organically increase. Leisurely jogging addresses this by emphasizing that there’s no such thing as too slow. You can shuffle along on your forefeet at a slower pace than moms walking with their toddlers, and that’s okay. There’s no shame in it, as long as you’re out there, putting in the time on the road, even if it doesn’t make you break a sweat or leave you panting (which is a good thing!). Your leisurely jogging pace might range from 16:00-minute miles to 13:00-minute miles or even faster, but the specific speed isn’t what’s important. The focus is on enjoying the journey and maintaining a sustainable, healthy exercise routine.