Easy does it

“The cardinal rule of a new runner is ‘Be Patient’,” says Lee Matthews, head of fitness at Fitness First which started in Bournemouth.

“Your body needs time to adapt and it may be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll see results fairly quickly.

“Newcomers should follow these three rules: run more slowly than you think you should, don’t run as far as you think you should, and run more often than you think you should. If you start too far and too fast, you’ll end up burned out at best, injured at worst."

Simon Cabot, a senior physiotherapist at Nuffield Health echoes Matthews’s advice. “It’s always important to take training slowly, 90 per cent of the injuries I see are related to overtraining and doing too much too soon,” he says.

All in the technique

The team at Fitness First advises not to run ‘heels first’: avoid striking the pavement with your heels, as this can contribute to back and knee pain. Landing on your forefoot instead will allow your muscles to catch your weight and reduce impact on joints.

Don't skip the warm-up

Warming up can increase performance by up to 17 per cent. Keep your stretching dynamic (stretching with movement), as static stretches can make joints unstable.

Mix it up

Your goal might be to run regularly, or eventually reach a certain speed or distance, but don’t focus all of your energy on actual running. Incorporating cross training into your regime, switching it up a few days a week so that you’re doing other activities, will help build your overall strength, fitness and flexibility, and also take some pressure off of your joints.

Cycling and swimming are two great low-impact activities.

Fuel up

Mark Mansfield, Tutor at Premier Training International says: “Balance your diet to include good quality protein to help repair and rebuild your working muscles, seasonal fruits and vegetables to boost your immune system and help deal with the stresses your body goes through, and good fats like olive oil and coconut oil. At lower intensity, we’ll utilise these as a fuel.”

Endurance athletes often talk about carb loading but for moderate runs it’s unlikely you’ll deplete your glycogen stores, Mansfield adds. “Starchy carbs may leave us with energy peaks and resulting troughs," he says.

Last but by no means least, ensure you keep well hydrated.

Mind over matter

Running can be as much of a mental challenge as a physical one. But persevering brings great rewards, as Alexandra Heminsley, author of Running Like A Girl discovered.

“What's important to remember about getting started is that every single step is worth it. Whether you start with trying to stay running for five minutes or commit to day one of a marathon training schedule, you’ll never regret a run. It’s the fastest way to flood your body with endorphins, and to feel the first seeds of a new confidence growing inside you.”