1. Start Running
You don't have to start dieting first, get in shape first, or wait until a Monday to start a new plan. All you need is running shoes, comfortable clothes, a water bottle, and a place to run. Generally, it is safe to start running a low mileage 4 days a week. You can buy a fancy GPS if you like, or you could download a free app to help you track your distance. Increase your daily mileage by 25% each week. Week one you will run a total of 2 miles, half a mile a day. Week 2 will be ? a mile per day, week 3 one full mile, week 4 one and a quarter mile, you get the picture.
The best procedure is to run for about 10 minutes at your best pace and then walk for 1 minute. You can also run until you can't breathe, walk to catch your breath, and then finish off running as well. You'll have to build up to being about to run even a mile at one time, but you'll make progress every day. Always make sure to warm up for at least 5 minutes and stretch for at least 5 minutes prior to a run, cooling down for 5 minutes afterwards.
NOTE: IF you can't run outside, run on the treadmill, but commit to running your designated mileage at least 4 times every week. Running groups and partners are great for holding you accountable.
2. Change up your diet ? more carbs but good timing
Second, you will want to consume an adequate supply of carbohydrates. Your most important meals are before and after your workouts. You'll be able to run more comfortably, more quickly, and for a longer period of time if you fuel your muscles properly. Bagels and pasta are great pre-run meals. You'll want to eat 1-2 hours before you run. Think high carbs (50+ grams), moderate protein, low fat, and low fiber.
Post workout you will need about 25 grams of fast digesting protein such as whey and at least 30 grams of carbs. A great post workout meal is a whey protein shake and a large apple.
3. Strength Train
Lastly, we recommend you lift weights to strengthen the muscles you will use while running. This will help your speed and make running less of a chore for you. When you weight train, do so with strength in mind, not size.
Coolrunning.com, beginnertriathlete.com, and runnersworld.com are great sources for beginning runner support, tips on improving performance, supplementation, recipes, and suggestions for strength training.
The most important step of your journey is the first step you take so make your plan and start running tomorrow. For many in as little as 12 weeks you'll be able to run your first 5k!
Editors Note: Always consult your physician when starting a new exercise or fitness regiment