Don’t stop: This is not an encouraging statement about perseverance. Literally. Don’t stop. If you do, fifteen Chinese people will run into you. Once you’re entered the flow of a congested sidewalk, maintain your pace. If you need to take a picture, check out a store window or consult a map, “pull over” and take care of business while flattened against a side of a building.

Find a track: I know, I know – running in circles (well, ovals) is boring. But Chinese towns have population density figures similar to a girls’ bathroom on prom night. It can be tough to keep up your eight-minute-mile pace while bobbing and weaving between crowds. Even running through rural areas can be tough because of all the strange looks and questions you’ll get. The Chinese like things to be in their proper place. Runners belong on tracks, not gallivanting between fields of rice.

Nanjing Road, 4am: This was my favorite time and place to go running in Shanghai. If you just have to go running through city streets, 4am is a good time to do it. It won’t be too crowded, yet you will still be in good company. All the 300-year-old people will be stationed in front of high-end department stores doing Tai-Chi. 

Don’t mind the taxicabs: Especially if you are female, taxicabs will pull over offering a good price on a ride back home. They may follow you for a ways, just in case you change your mind. Stay in Zen-running mode and ignore.