Extremely hot or extremely cold weather is difficult for even the most seasoned runners to deal with. If you are trying to stay motivated to reach your goal, extreme temps won't help. In fact, you'll probably hate it, hate yourself, and hate me for not stopping you. Trust me, I've been running a while and I still HATE running in the summers here in Oklahoma. So hot, so humid, so awful. If you plan to start running on January 1, maybe start at an indoor track or on the treadmill. Or, you know, just pack up and move to a part of the country where the weather is nice year round. I'm sure that's an option.
You don't have to go out and drop tons of cash on all the latest technical gadgets, but make sure you have a good pair of shoes and at least one outfit made from tech material. NO COTTON! My running coaches always say, Cotton is Rotten! So avoid it for your running attire.
It gets wet, it doesn't dry quickly, and it can rub you the wrong way and cause chaffing. No Thanks!
Every fitness and health blog will say that if you have an accountability partner you are less likely to quit before you reach your goals. Having a running buddy is good because it gives you someone to talk to help the miles go by. It will also be harder to back out of running plans if you know someone is getting up at 5:00 am to meet you. Nobody likes a grumpy friend!
Okay, I know I said that I'm not exactly the best at planning ahead, but there are a few things you'll need to consider when you want to start running. Should you take water with you? Where should you meet up with your running buddy? How far are you going to run that day? How will you know when to take a walk break or when you've reached your goal distance? Do you need to bring sunglasses for a sunny run or a hat for a rainy run? Knowing these things can make for a better start for your running goals.
RunKeeper and MapMyRun are aps you can use on your smart phone that will help you know how far you've gone and what your pace is. There are also several C25K (Couch to 5K) aps out there that can help train and tell you when to run intervals as well.
Also, DailyMile is a fun running community to join, kind of like Facebook for runners. Their ap for smart phones is called Electric Miles, and you can friend other runners and track your distance, pace, and how you felt over time. Your profile will even tell you cool things like how many donuts you've burned off, how many lbs of fat, how many TVs you've powered and how many trips around the world you've ran. I'm currently at 0.02
Legit, I wouldn't be as focused in my training if I was doing it alone or just with the Hubbo. He's great, but know I can talk him out of a training run if I really want to.
We joined a local running store's club that holds training programs for all kinds of distances. Strolling Moms, Couch to 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon groups are all organized by them and it takes a lot of the guess work out of it and makes it easier to train for my goal race. Plus, I've been able to meet a lot of really cool people that I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise.
Stephen Covey said "Begin with the end in mind."
Even though his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, may not have been written with running in mind, it applies here as well.
If your goal is to run a 5K, then sign up for a 5K that is going to happen a few months after you start training. This will help you keep your goal in mind and stay focused on what you need to accomplish. It also puts the pressure on you to not slack off during your training because you can't cram for a 5K like you can cram for a test at the last minute.
Hope these helped! Happy Running!