Hit the ground running

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The idiom hit the ground running came into use during the early 1900s. We will examine the meaning of the phrase hit the ground running, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To hit the ground running means to attack something new with vigor and enthusiasm, to begin a task with a great deal of forward momentum. The imagery is of someone jumping off a train before it has fully stopped, running to the next task without pause. The phrase hit the ground running came into use in a literal sense in the late 1800s. Within twenty-five years the phrase took on its current figurative meaning. The idiom hit the ground running came into popular use when it was used to describe the D-Day operation during World War II.


New Southampton manager Mark Hughes accepts his team will have to hit the ground running if they are to achieve their objective of staying in the Premier League. (The Daily Mail)

Anyone who hopes to hit the ground running in a new organization must first cultivate allies—a network of people who can provide the information, resources and support needed to succeed. (The Harvard Business Review)

This season they expect to hit the ground running rather than face a slow start and the consequent focus on just trying to catch-up. (The Guardian)

In the movie, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running every May in a game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade — risking their jobs and relationships to take each other down with the battle cry: “You’re It!” (Variety)

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