As a keen runner I thought I'd chuck in my two pennies worth (worth a bit more than cents!
Whatever your goals are - general fitness, the ability to run a distance in a specific time, a certain distance - the posters here were right in saying it's a case of getting out there and doing it.... hitting the road!
As a 14 year old (many moons ago), I always came near the back of the bunch when doing cross country in PE at school. I had a kind of asthma and would end up wheezing and short of breath, but decided that I wanted to change that and joined the cross country club. I struggled and kept struggling at the back until after 6 months I felt so much better, I was able to go on 3 mile training runs and keep up with the pack and come in feeling good and not need an inhaler. From there that was it, I was always out, eating up the road...when the next compulsory cross country run came around at school - I came 2nd (my running partner from the cross country club came 1st!) After a year or so the asthma had gone...I was fit and healthy! I then went on to do fun runs and half marathons, races and represented my college and my Regiment on many occasions. The point of all this is about getting out there, train and train... it does get easier!
- Do warm up stretches
- Definately cool down (walk for few hundred metres) and stretch
- Get your technique right - heel strikes first and then onto balls of feet (or risk fucking your knees up)
- Try to run on softer surfaces when possible (or again risk fucking those shins and knees up!)
- Take cod liver oil / Glucosamine sulphate (lubricate those joints, help connective tisue repair etc...)
- Keep hydrated (whatever the weather)
- Establish your breathing patterns... (this helped me so many times - especially 8 mile speed marches in full kit) - This helps you maintain a pace, to breathe regularly and comfortably and it can allow you to 'escape' by listening to the rhythm - keeps your mind away from pain!
There are lots more tips and bits of advice...I hope this can help someone.