Start slow: Running at a pace where you can say “Good morning” 5 times without gasping for breath is a good start. When you feel you are running out of breath, walk for 1-2 minutes, till your breathing stabilizes, then repeat the running. A 2km run/walk is a respectable starting point for an absolute newbie. You will be shocked at how quickly you are able to “transform into a runner!”
Be consistent: The longest distance of your life is the one between the bed and the door. Get out of bed and out of that door, and hit the road or trail. The rest of your day will thank you for the extra energy, the clear lungs, the sense of “Look what I achieved today”. The miles build up. They don’t, if you sleep in.
Mile up gradually: Don’t be in a hurry to do a 5k or a 10k. Even if others around you are running longer distances, even if they started at the same time as you, run distances that feel comfortable to you (which means, after doing the longest distance on a day, you can go through the rest of the day without fatigue and if you are asked, you can run a shorter distance the next morning.)
Train for fast: Build-in speed workouts to increase your general running speed. 1-2 days of speed workouts (usually, laps of sprints followed by a stabilizing lap). Increase intensity as you go, as you feel ready for higher intensity, and you feel the current intensity is losing its edge.
Handle the ups and downs: Add hill-repeats into your training runs. Doing this will help you manage undulating terrains in various runs. If your city is generally pan flat, all the best. But if you live on hilly terrain, this is an excellent workout to have.
Be prepared for injuries: At some point, overwork of some muscle group or the other will result in injuries. These are usually not grave issues, as long as you tackle them on time, and take yourself off to meet a sports medicine doctor, and go through the prescribed physiotherapy drills sincerely. You might need to stay off your feet, running-wise, for a short period. If that happens, take up other low-impact cardio sports, such as cycling, swimming, etc., in the interim.
Gear up: The right pair of shoes can make all the difference to your running. Running shoe buying is a science by itself. The type of foot you have, the arch size, your gait, and the terrain you intend to run in, all inform the type of shoe you should invest in. Take help from experienced runners, and read up online, or head to the specialty running store in your city, for more help. The right clothes (wicking garments to absorb sweat) also play an important part.
Become a runner for life: The race is just begun. Keep running, keep getting stronger, better faster, and stay in it for the long run!