Get proper running shoes!
Lots of people start running with inadequate footwear. I advise you to buy a good pair of name-brand running shoes like Nike, Adidas, New Balance etc. At the beginner level you won’t need the top of the line model either. You should be able to find a good pair in the $50 to $70 range. Visit your local running store for some good advice.
If you’re new to running, or haven’t run in a long time, then you probably won’t be able to run very far without getting out of breath. By far the best way to start is to alternate running and walking. Run slowly for about 2 minutes and then walk for 2 minutes to recover. You’ll soon be able to increase this to 4 to 5 minute intervals. Then gradually decrease the walking time until you can run 30 – 40 minutes non-stop. It may take you several weeks to get to this point. Be patient!
Set Your running Goals
These should be fairly modest to start with, even if you are quite fit. Don’t try to run a 26-mile marathon in your first year of running! A realistic goal for the first 6 – 12 months would be to reach a point where you can run 6 miles. You might want to participate in a local race or two. These are fun events, and are often community-based to raise money for charity or medical research.
Runners are among the most likely to get an injury of one kind or another. This is usually caused by over-use, but can also come from a biomechanical problem like a weak knee joint or over-pronation of the feet. As a beginner runner you need to be aware of this and build a good base of running before you increase your efforts. Don’t be afraid to stop and walk on a run if you are feeling strained.
Run with a friend
Running with someone like yourself who is just beginning is a great way to get started. You can chat as you go along, and the time (and miles!) will go by really quickly.
Take It Easy!
As you get fitter, the temptation is to run further and faster. This is where it’s easy to get hurt. If it’s a serious problem like an Achilles heel injury this could knock you out of your running program, and may even discourage you from running altogether.
Keep a Running Log
This is a great way to keep yourself motivated. The basic items you want to record are the date, how long you were out, and how far you went. You can also note the route you took, the weather, companions, and anything else you feel is important. Your running log can become your daily fitness diary. Another important feature of your running log book is keeping track of your total mileage from week to week. If you increase this by more than the recommended percentage (10 – 15%) then you are risking an injury.