Distance runners? training advice

Was wondering if there are any distance runners here that could help in my training. I am looking to compete in a moderate distance run, say 5 or 10 K, this summer and was wondering how to start training for it. I am not in very good running shape as of know so I need some tips on how to start a good program. Thanks guys!

Are you looking to just finish, or do well? Good thing is, you have plenty of time either way.

If you're in bad running shape, and assuming you're in okay health, I'd start out by walking. Maybe just 5-10 minutes at first, then increase until you can walk 30-45 minutes. Then try jogging small sections, a minute or two at a time, then walking again. Just try to slowly build until you can get 30 minutes of jogging. That's pretty much how I started. Then I committed to running a race, which made me motivated to keep training and getting better- I didn't want to keel over partway.

I personally like Jeff Galloway's books for the beginning long-distance runner (I'm talking marathon training here). Also, there's a guy named John Bingham (http://www.waddleon.com/) who has written several books designed for the serious non-runner to get in shape. I've heard they're pretty good, and are written for someone with no background in running. You might want to check them out.

Just a few tips:

Don't worry about speed at first, just work toward endurance and distance. If you are doing the 5k race, for the next few months think about working your way up to doing 10k runs until they are a breeze. "Speedwork" comes later, about 1-2 months before the race, when you can start to integrate 1- and 2- mile "sprints" for times. In the weeks approaching the race, phase out the real long distance runs and start trying to improve your time on the 3.1 mile (5k).

Replace your running shoes at least every 2 months, and don't run on pavement if you can help it.

Like in weightlifting, in running volume counts. Keep a log of the number of miles you run per week, and slowly increase the volume as you work in more distance. Don't jump up in volume very quickly or you'll overtrain and risk injury.

Once you are in shape and doing "work" runs for distance, always do a one-mile jog to warm up and a one-mile jog to cool down. Stretch before and after each warm-up.

Another big thing with me and running. There's the point where my muscles in my legs hurt, so I can't run any faster, then there's the when my heart is going too fast, so I'm too tired to run.

I always maxed out one of those two when I was doing cardio.

But, there's a third, as important thing; my joints. If my feet/back get too messed up from the strain of running, it's just asking for injury. So whatever your doing, take care of your self.

ChemicalSage is correct. NEVER try to run through the pain to be tough, you will injure yourself. If it hurts, stop.

Thanks for the help guys.

Oh, and stretch!

I was having some wicked knee pain that turned out to be iliotibital band (ITB) syndrome due to inflexibility. A few weeks of stretching and everything was fine.