I am helping a friend getting started on the Couch to 5k running program and it has been a great reminder for me of some of the important steps you need to take when deciding to embark on a new exercise routine. I have been sluggish with my running lately and by helping my friend I have discovered the reason. I was forgetting the other important part of running, strength training. If you forget to incorporate this into your running plan, you will not get the results you are looking for and you will be more prone to injury. I am speaking from my experience. I am not talking about hitting the gym and lifting, although I am sure that wouldn't hurt. I am referring to some simple strength training exercises you can do at home with minimal or no equipment, so there are no excuses.
There are many websites where you can find strength training exercises for new runners. One that I am currently using is Spark People. If you click the link you can read why each exercise is important and choose a few to do on the days you don't run. You can even print them out as a visual reminder of each exercise. They have both beginner and advanced versions, so pick whatever level you are comfortable with and work towards the advanced exercises eventually. Just make sure you choose at least one exercise from each group so that you get a total body workout. Running is not just about strong legs, you need a strong core and upper body as well for overall fitness.
Let me know how you make out:)