This started out as a few simple tips and turned into a lengthy list of links. Try not to get overwhelmed; I will simplify and give my own tips as much as possible in the future. I just want you to have these incredible resources. Here are some suggestions for getting started with running:
- Have a goal to work on whether it is a race, goal weight, dress size, or distance. Find a local race at ActiveRunner Search (any and all races) or USATF (a little more complex, but very official).
- Dorothy already covered the buddy system perfectly. It all applies to running and I insist on a running partner for distances beyond 2 miles.
- Start out with sessions of about 20 minutes. Run a few minutes, walk a minute, run a few minutes, walk a minute. Get it? Gradually (meaning each session or every few sessions, depending on your progress) challenge yourself to run for more minutes before breaking to walk.
- If you are training for a race, find a training schedule online. Or if you just want a wealth of tips, here are a few sites to check out: C25K (great system for new runners, plus the left side menu contains Training Plans), RunnersWorld (select Training in the menu beneath the title and there are options for Women's Running as well as several Race Training Plans), ActiveRunner (left side menu has a section for "Newbie Runners," but this site is a little slower than the others).
- Gear. I plan to post about this more in the future, but there are certain items you absolutely have to have to begin. 1. Running shoes. I think you can get away with spending $40, but I wouldn't recommend anything cheaper than that. You want a new pair of shoes just for running if you plan to do a lot of it. My favorite brand is ASICS so far, but there are several good brands out there such as New Balance (my first pair of running shoes), Saucony, and Brooks. 2. A good sports bra. (Obviously this is intended for the female audience. Men, with a good pair of shoes, you are set to go!) The Women's Running section on RunnersWorld is really helpful in discussing this. Another great resource is this article. Two quick tips from that: add a layer over the sports bra with a supportive tank top (you know the ones with the "built-in bra" that is lousy by itself), and walking an incline can be just as good as running when it comes to toning muscles.