NOTE - If you are here seeking professional advice, then you have arrived at the wrong place! Please redirect yourself to someone with years of experience in the matter.
I am a pretender, a distance running wannabe. However over the last few weeks I've learned some important lessons which I think may help other's in a similar situation. Enjoy, and please feel free to add tips of your own below.
1. Routine is everything
They say it takes 30 days to work something into your routine, and after that it becomes embedded in your psyche. This varies slightly for everyone, but I've so far found the basic theory to be correct. That initial period of time is tough - you'll have to force yourself into action every single time. Gradually though it becomes easier, and in my experience you reach a point where it just feels natural. Now if I don't run almost every day I feel sluggish and lethargic.
2. Make a plan
If you want to hit your distance, and do it well, then you're going to have to train properly. Research what others have done, ask advice from the pro's, and make yourself a schedule which is realistic yet challenging. This is also going to be tough, but once it's done, then all you have to do is stick to it!