via Bustle

1. Start slow

Even though I have been running pretty consistently for almost five years, I will take a couple months off every so often because of an injury or simply because I just need a break. I am the absolute worst of starting slow or easing into something. I am a bit of an extremist, I will decide to start my running routine up again and be like “Ok, today I am going to run ten miles!”. I am totally abnormal and can easily do this, but it is so much better on your body to ease into something. There is no need to shock it and risk an injury. If you never exercise, start by walking for 30 minutes maybe three times a week. After a couple weeks try intervals, like jogging for five minutes then walking for two and repeating four or five times. Then, gradually build up to running the entire 30 minutes. If you already workout and want to start running, start with two miles three times a week for a couple of weeks. After you feel comfortable with that, add on a mile and run three miles for a couple of weeks and continue to gradually increase your distance.

2. Make a schedule

In order to see results and improve, it is essential to make a schedule. On Sunday, schedule time for your runs in your phone and set an alarm. Make it a date with a friend if you are likely to hit the snooze button! Here are a few schedules that I like that you can use as a guide: 

Runner’s World 8-Week Beginners Program

Anytime Fitness Blog Beginner 5K Training Plan

Running With Spatula’s Back To Running Plan

3. Invest in good shoes

Running in the wrong shoes may cause discomfort and injury. It is essential to have a good pair of running shoes. If you don’t know what shoes to get, head to your local running store and get a consultation. I have found that local places are a lot more helpful, but any sporting goods store will work too. Also, you don’t have to pay full price for them. After your consultation, write down the brand and style and head to Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom Rack always has great selection of running shoes! If they don’t have the exact style that your tried on, Google what the older version of that style is. For example, I absolutely love Brooks running shoes. Nordstrom carries Brooks ‘Ravenna 6’ Running Shoe for over a hundred dollars. Nordstrom Rack had Brooks ‘Ravenna 5’ for a lot less and they are very similar!

4. Cross train

It is essential to cross train if you are running to prevent injury and work other muscles. Cross training actually helps you run further and faster! I try to cross train twice a week. My favorite cross training workouts are kickboxing, yoga and pilates. Any of these printable workouts would be perfect, too!

5. Eat right

I can not run far if I haven’t eaten good that day. It is essential to clean up your diet a little bit if you want to start running. You will feel better and be more energized. There is no need to go crazy and follow an eating plan. I always tell people to eat whole foods that mainly come from the ground, not a package! Farmer’s markets are about to start, so this is the perfect time to clean up your eating habits with easy accessibility to local, inexpensive fruits and vegetables.

Do you run? If so, what tips help you stay on track or improve?