I am not an expert but I’ve been running for the last two years and I wish I knew then what I know now. I thought of it and I made a list because that is how my mind works. 🙂
Avoid overheating. I know that with the summer it is not always easy but if you get too hot, you can not sweat enough and breath hard enough to cool the body. So it’s better to be a little cold departing than being overdressed.
If you start from “zero”, check the internet for a “couch to 5k” or “C25k” program. They are pretty much all similar. Basically, you go out of your house, you walk 2-3 minutes for warm-up, you jogs one minute, you walk two, you jog one minute, you walk two (5-6 times) and then you walk another 2-3 minutes to cool down. Week after weeks, you keep the same warming and cool down and increases the time you jogged and / or decreases the time you jogs. After a few weeks you will be able to jog a 5k in 40-45 minutes or less.
Avoid skin friction. For the skin friction (the crotch, armpits, nipples (for guys)), there’s two ways I know. Me, I opted for “second skin” clothes. Under Armour has the category “Compression”, almost all brands have their lines of second skin. It’s super tight spandex type. It sticks to the body and it does not rub the skin. Other clothing slide over it. It’s similar to cycling shorts and super tight t-shirt. The other option I know it is a kind of “glide gel” that looks like a deodorant. I guess you can find some in sports and running stores . I am not a fan of the idea of greasing my nipples, or any other area, so that’s not my choice. This said, I never tried it, maybe it’s not greasy, maybe I am missing out on something great.
Clothing. I know that for girls, sports bra is required. In a TV show on running, some women have even confessed to wear two at once. Being a man, I don’t really have an opinion on the case.
A breathing tip. When I feel my body starts suffering, I breathe in during 3 steps and expire two steps while easing a bit on my running pace. It sounds silly but when I feel a cramp want to settle, I focus on my breathing and breathe this way and generally, it passes.
Keep a comfortable pace. No need to make big step, no need to go fast. Unless you have the shape of a gazelles, long strides are hard on the heels. Try to land with the foot relatively flat on the ground. Not too banging the heel, nor land on the tip of the feet. There are believers of the race on the front of the foot, while some other are going very well in landing on the heel. Note here that everyone must avoid landing on the heel with the leg straight (at the knee), otherwise the hips is taking a hard hit.
Slower will last longer. If you are running too fast for your capabilities, you’ll get out of breath quickly and you’ll probably have to walk to recover. Most of the times, slowing down your pace will allow you to keep on jogging much longer than expected. If you are running or jogging and you hear your feet slap the pavement repeatedly like you’re weighing a ton, take a walk, recover. Try to feel light on your feet, as much as this seems possible.
Stretch before and after. Personally, I push my truck (hands on the tailgate), a straight leg towards the back to stretch the calf (left, right left right). Then, I keep one hand on the truck for balance and I pull my foot in the butt to stretch the front of the thigh muscle (left, right left right). Finally, I rotate the feet, pointing each foot forward at every rotation (10 clockwise and 10 counter clockwise for each foot). And this routine is performed before and after running.
Consistency over performance. Run often, not necessarily pushing hard every time but try to get out every two days.
What hurts. If, after a run or the next day, you feel pain or soreness, try to identify if it’s your muscles that hurts or the joints. For the muscles, stretch more and stretch on days your don’t run. If it’s the joints, that is not a good sign. Have someone check your stride and the way you land on your feet. Joint pain may be caused by impact, among other things. Try to find the cause, try trail running as it’s softer on the feet than concrete or pavement, try shorter distance to avoid “running heavy” on your feet, try running with short stride to minimize impacts.