Let me start by inserting my disclosure....I AM NOT A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL! These are just some things I have learned from running and things that i found have really helped me alone the way!
1) Get the right shoes- Get fitted for shoes! Don't pick shoes by how they look or because you are loyal to a brand. You need to find your local running store and get professional help. You don't have to by your shoes from them because they are typically more expensive (try checking online) but you need to make sure you are wearing the correct shoe! If you don't have a running store near you check out this link Brooks Shoe Advisor. Click to the right on "Find your stride"
2) Get running socks- They are worth the money! The provide the proper support and cushion and keep you from running holes through regular socks! As far as socks go I really thing it is mostly personal preference and figuring out what works for you! I like Balega "Lady Ventilator" on warmer days and "Enduro Womens" for colder nights~ Check them out here: Balega. I also like Feetures. Like I said I think most of it is personal preference
3) Get night gear- If you are going to be running in the evening or early in the morning you need to wear night gear! You can spend a lot of money on it if you want (Night Gear) or go cheap like me and just let some cheap running lights! You can find them at Academy or at any running store (Running light) and a headlamp if needed!
4) Set Goals- Don't forget to set goals to track your progress! If your goal is to run a 5k or 10k or even a marathon find races and register!
5) Find a Friend-Find a friend and hit the road! Don't have a running buddy? Check out local running groups or MeetUps.com. Almost all running stores have a running/training group. Not all of them cost money. Our running (Run On San Antonio) store had a free fun run every Wednesday and our running group (SA Road Runners) has free runs the first Saturday of every month (kids fun run, 1/2 mile, 1 Mile, and a 5k).
6)Track your progress-Track how far you are going and your pace. This is another are where you can spend a lot of money or nothing at all! If you are just starting to run check out your local parks to see if they have marked running trails. I you want to run in your neighborhood check out Map my run and you can find routes in your area and map your local roads. There are plenty of great GPS watches in the market now. Garmin has been in the business a long time! I am currently using the Nike+ watch but for a long time I used apps on my phone. I use the IMapMyRun App and Nike+.
7) Bring your phone with you- If you are running out on the road (especially alone!) you need to have your phone with you. Trade in your IPOD for the music on your phone and you can use a running app at the same time also to track your progress. I love my Tune Belt!!
8) Support your girls- For all you ladies out there....show your ladies some love and buy a good sports bra! Once again I think a lot of it is personal preference. My favorite brand is Moving Comfort. Check out the sports bra finder on their site!
9)Recovery-There is a reason they have bananas at races....because you need to eat something within 30 minutes of finishing your work out. You also need to make sure you stay hydrated especially on hot days! Drink during your workout but it is even more important to be hydrated BEFORE your workout! Make sure you are feeding your body so you have the fuel to keep pushing!
10) Wear the right clothing-Check the the weather report! For me personally, once it is 50 degrees I run in capri pants and a short sleeve shirt, below that I wear full pants and a long sleeve shirt. If it is in the 60's I wear shorts or a running skirt and a tank.
11) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate- Especially here in south Texas where it is super humid and hot for 6 straight months! Carry water with you and if you are going on a really long run sit water bottles along your path before you run if you can. Maybe consider buying a Fuel Belt or a hand held bottle.
12) Make the time- For me the only option is to get up at the crack of dawn and run or I will be pushing a stroller. Also it is so hot here in the summer that running in the evenings isn't an option for me either. Find what works for you and stick to it. If you constantly say "oh I will run later"...you won't! So stop making it an option and make it a MUST!
13) Enjoy yourself-Remember this is your "me" time! ENJOY IT! If you are listening to screaming kids all day then maybe turn off the music and enjoy the silence. Listen to an Audio Book. Make it your one on one time with God....whatever works for you!