Prior to starting out, be sure to warm up and do some thorough stretches. This will help you ward off the soreness you may experience in the beginning. You are probably not going to want to dive right into a five mile run! In addition, you do not want to scare your running partner off on the first day. You may need to begin by setting a realistic goal such as a mile, maybe even half a mile the first few runs. If you and your running partner are in poor shape, a few long and steady walks might be the best way to start. Once you find yourself feeling more confident, speed up a bit. When you find that you are able to briskly walk a mile or so without difficulty it is time to begin running. Again, never set yourself up for failure by expecting too much of yourself in the very beginning.
Interval training is a very important part of becoming a successful runner. You may find that mixing it up a bit puts you more at ease. Start out walking, move into a jog and go for as long as you can then revert back to walking if the need be. Eventually you are going to become acclimated to steady running. With interval training there is a scale that ranges from one to ten. One means you are not moving a muscle while five is jogging leisurely. Once you get to ten you are running as if your life depends on it! Obviously you are not going to start out at ten. This is why interval training is so important. You want to slowly work yourself into running without straining yourself so much you give up.
Walking or running on the same terrain, on the same path, everyday can become very monotonous. Try taking different routes and running on a variety of inclines. This doesn't mean you should be running uphill the entire time but some hills will definitely benefit you. If you are not in a position to run outdoors or do not feel safe, then use a good treadmill that has settings to help you switch the terrain from time to time. Frequently change the incline so that you are mixing it up as you go.
The main idea in any cardio exercise routine is reaching the perfect heart rate based on your age, weight and present level of fitness. Use a heart rate monitor to be sure you stay within your target range. There are charts available online to help you determine your target heart rate for maximum results. As a general rule for older to middle aged adults, 110 to 120 beats a minute (approximately sixty percent of your maximum heart rate) is considered jogging. Anything higher than that would be running. There is also a heart rate that is considered dangerously high so be sure not to cross that threshold.
You want to be sure to keep that target heart rate for at least 30 minutes in order to see the most beneficial results. If you find that your heart rate is increasing a bit too much then slow it down a bit and walk it off. Once your heart has reached target you may resume your jog or run. If you are in your 20's then this probably will not be an issue for you. However, anyone over the age of 35 should be very cautious when first learning how to run in relation to heart rate. Smokers are also at an increased risk when it comes to elevated heart rates when running.
A very common error made by people who are just setting out on their quest to learn how to run is failing to learn proper running technique. If you are not running properly you are expending a lot of energy working muscles that do not need to be worked during the process. You do not want to be twisting at the waist, flailing your arms all over the place or running in a disorganized manner. The goal is to be moving along fluidly in a straight forward motion, no pun intended of course. Your arms should be at your side at about a 90 degree angle. Focus on slowly moving your arms forward with each step. Your feet should also be facing straight ahead and you do not want to land on your heels or your toes. You should be landing on the middle of your foot.
Keep your eyes trained about 20 feet in front of you and certainly never stare down at your feet as this is not only improper running form but it could also cause you to accidently run straight into something. In addition, you should always pay attention to your posture as you run. You do not want to slouch in the slightest and should be positioned with your body erect. Going back to your arms for a moment, be sure they are moving from the shoulder and that you are not putting pressure on your elbows. You do not want to keep your hands clenched tightly but can cup them slightly if it is comfortable for you. The basic idea is to pay attention to any pain you may be feeling while running as there is a good possibility your form could be the culprit.