There's an episode of How I Met Your Mother where Barney is dared to run the New York City marathon in Marshall's place, due to the fact that he scoffed about the whole goal in the first place. His whole point: Anyone can run a marathon. "Step one, start running. Step two.... there is no step two."
While he may be right about the fact that there isn't a step two, starting to run can be waaaaay more difficult than he's making it seem. I've been asked a few times on shoe recommendations, best times to run, how much time you need to train for a half marathon - you name it. I figured I'd write up a sort of mini guide. While I am certainly not the fastest runner out there, it is an activity I have been doing consistently for an entire decade. That's right - I started running when I was 16, due to my decision to join Cross Country. It's weird to me to wonder about what life would be without making that choice ten years ago. I am so glad that I went for it at the urging of my older sisters, despite being so unsure at the time.
So after 10 years of experience, I feel at ease sharing some of the knowledge I have learned along the way to help get you started.
Find the Right Shoes - This is first because it is easily the most important. Your footwear can make or break your running. You'll need to know what sort of arch you have, as different arches impact how you land on your feet. For example, I have incredibly high arches, and therefore I have to invest in shoes with really great arch support. It's not tricky to know your arches - you just have to take a look at your feet. High arches = under pronation and you'll need shoes that support that. Low arches = over pronation... and if that's the case, you'll want shoes that support that. I generally go with Asics or Saucony, but I know others who swear by Brooks running shoes. It may take a few pairs to find your ideal brand/fit. In any case. I suggest avoiding anything that is overly trendy. Generally speaking, further research usually shows that these fad-footwear options aren't always the greatest for your feet.
Map Out Your Runs - Between fitbits and phone apps, you can pretty easily find some sort of mile tracker. However, mapping out your runs ahead of time on google maps will help you to get the most accurate mileage. Even if you're going for a short run, it's a good idea to know how far you're going and to share those plans with someone else (just in case!).
Running in the Cold - You are definitely going to need the right gear when it comes to running outdoors in any type of cold weather. Cold gear is your friend. Make sure that you have some running clothes specifically designed to keep you warmer and dryer during winter runs. I go with Cold Gear from Underarmour as it has worked best for me.
Chafing Sticks - Chafing, which is a really gross word, usually doesn't happen too much to beginners, but it certainly can. And it is something that most likely will happen the longer you run (in terms of distance). Once you start chafing, your run is pretty much over/will just be absolute hell. You can help to prevent it by using chafing sticks on areas that you find chafing to occur during your runs. Inner thighs, under armpits, and under sports bras are three of the most common areas.
Go Your Own Pace - This is vital when you're just starting out. Don't go too fast or too far. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself. Start with a 1 mile as your goal and slowly build your way up!
Time to get running :)