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How to run, according to the movies

From Tom Cruise to Forrest Gump, we’ve taken a look at some of cinema’s best runs and come up with a guide of do’s and don’ts for your next sprinting adventure.

How to run, according to the movies

Make sure you have a decent pair of shoes, stay hydrated, and take the time to have a quick stretch, because we’re about to take some tips and tricks from the best movie sprinters, racers, and chasers in the business.

Whether you’re in an action movie or a horror flick, there’s always a reason to run in film. And what’s more, we’ve been treated to some truly spectacular running scenes from some of the best movies of all time over the years. It’s time we learned a few lessons from it.

And with the Mission Impossible 7 release date now here, running has never been cooler. Or at least…more noticeable. So we’ve analyzed some of our favorite runs from the big screen and brought them all together in the ultimate running guide.

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Do use your arms. (Tom Cruise in every movie, ever)

If you haven’t already looked to Tom Cruise for some athletic inspiration, then you’re clearly not serious about running. The actor has become an undeniable archetype for the movie runner, with his signature technique appearing in almost every single Tom Cruise movie. Really, it’s all in the arms.

Cruise lets his incredible posture do the talking here. A straight back, powerful legs, and arms that pump with the power of a thousand suns always get him to where he needs to go. And my god, the man moves.

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Don’t monologue and run. (Trainspotting)

We know Renton is internally monologuing here, but it still counts. Whether your mouth is babbling or your mind is whirring, monologuing while running is still extremely dangerous.

Dodging cars and evading police is even harder if you’re going on an extended anti-capitalist rant that would eventually go on to appear sprawled on the posters of countless film students.

Monologues are for walks, and don’t you forget it.

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Do get your workout in. (Rocky)

If you’re just running, then you’re wasting valuable workout time. If you examine the running habits of renowned boxer and sports movie star, Rocky Balboa, then you’ll notice that not a second is wasted during this running time.

Practicing his sparring techniques and running up stairs are just two of the things that Rocky does to amplify his runs. Even when in the snowy mountains of Russia, he’s still finding ways to make those gains. What’s your excuse?

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Don’t overdo it. (Run Fatboy Run)

Look, we’re not all made to be runners, OK? Just take a look at one of our favorite comedy movies, Run Fatboy Run. We can’t all be superheroes or boxing stars, but if this movie has taught us anything, it’s that a little goes a long way.

Nobody’s asking you to run the London Marathon, but if Run Fatboy Run should teach you anything, it’s that everyone can simply strap on a pair of sneakers and get going.

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Do run fast. (The Flash)

Typically, if you’re running, you have somewhere you need to be. So take a note from our old DCU friend The Flash and make sure you’re getting to where you need to go at the top speeds possible. Mind you, The Flash has access to the Speed Force. Still, that’s no excuse for you to be moving like a slug.

If you really want to know just what speeds you need to top in order to match those of Barry Allen, you can check out our guide on how fast The Flash is.

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Don’t run without a plan. (Forrest Gump)

Look, we love Forrest, OK? But if you jump straight into a run with no plan and no limit, you’ll end up going forever. Forrest is the best example of this, as a man who “just felt like running” and ended up going on and on for just over three years. No thanks!

And in the process, he may have instigated some of the most classic pop culture references, but he also inadvertently started what looks like a cult before leaving his followers in the dust as soon as he decides he’s finished. We call this: Selfish Running.

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Do bring some buddies. (Chariots of Fire)

Honestly, is there anything better than kicking off your shoes and raw-footing it against the beach among a crowd of your peers? Not really. Especially when you have a soundtrack that’s so good it could set your headphones on fire.

If you want to appreciate the beauty of running, then we suggest you do like Chariots of Fire does and make it as epic and cinematic as possible.

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Don’t be chaotic about it. (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Yes, Ferris Bueller is a cool guy. In fact, we all think he’s a “righteous dude”. But this is an example of working harder, not smarter, when it comes to running. Though the ‘80s movie soundtrack and aptly timed slow-motion does well to create some tension, Ferris is just making all the wrong moves here.

Running in and out of people’s homes, wasting his breath for smart-ass quips… it’s just not the most efficient use of running time, especially when you’re trying to beat your parents back to the house so they don’t bust you for faking being sick. Life moves pretty fast — your legs should be moving faster.

Well, there you have it. Obviously, we do not recommend you try to recreate these runs exactly, otherwise you might get some very strange looks. We love movie wisdom here at The Digital Fix, so check out our guides on how to be a final girl, how to run a media empire, and how to avoid an attack from Ghostface.

And while you’re at it, check out all the new movies coming out this year, and see what we thought of Tom Cruise’s latest run in our Mission Impossible 7 review.