I'm not an elite runner, this is just for the average person who wants to start running as exercise, to lose weight etc. I've picked up a few things when I started running again several years back.*
Here's what I've learned:
- Ease into running. It's tough to get started and to stay consistent, but try to get it to a point where NOT running feels weird like not brushing your teeth feels weird. It's a little easier if you have a training program or set your sites on a goal like a 10k, 1/2 marathon or a full marathon as far as staying consistent.
- Get running shoes. I recommend ASICS shoes. If you can go to a running shoe store, you'll get good advice from the salespeople there and recommend you a good shoe based on your natural running gait. If all else fails go for the ASICS Cumulus shoes.
- If you're running for performance, you only need to run 3 days a week and can be broken up as "speed" or track workout, tempo or mid-distance work out, and a slow long distance workout. Breaking it up into those three workouts makes running less boring.
- 10 minute mile run pace is a good/acceptable goal. Elite is like 6-7 minute miles and fast is 7-9 minute miles. If you can get to 9-10 minute miles over 6 miles or longer, you're in good shape.
- Don't run on concrete/sidewalk. The surface is too hard. It's better to run on the street/asphalt, but other surfaces like dirt are preferred.
- You can run without it hurting. The trick is slightly leaning forward and feel "falling forward". What happens is your foot strike occurs with your mid-sole versus your heel. When you "heel-strike" you roll heel to toe which causes you to overwork your shin muscles which aren't strong at all. Mid-sole strike shifts running over to your calf muscles and your tendons which are much stronger. Know that running with a mid-sole strike is not a natural way to run. You have to learn/practice how to run this way.
- You should run for at least 30-45 minutes at a time. There's really no point running any less than that and if 30-45 minutes is hard think 10 minutes of warm-up, 10 minutes of actually running, and 10 minutes of cooling down.
- Run outside and find good routes to run. It makes running a lot more fun.
That's about it. You don't have to eat before, during, or after in terms of what should I be eating. You should be drinking water throughout though.
Running is about the easiest way to lose weight and it can be fun, especially if you run with people or train for an event.
* I'm not a personal trainer or a coach or anything like that. This is just some things I've picked up and maybe people find it useful. I'm not a nutritionist either but people seem to want to eat oatmeal after I've posted my now infamous Oatmeal Diet and unleashed on to the webosphere.