If you haven’t run or exercised for quite a while, are over 40 or more than 20 pounds overweight then make an appointment with your GP for a check-up. They will be more than happy to hear that you want to get out there and get active. Follow all of the advice they give you before you start and once you’ve been given a clean bill of health you’re ready to begin.

Set yourself a goal to aim for and remember you are doing this for yourself. Have a look at the information about kit, you are on the first step of your journey.

Follow a training plan and keep up to it. Don’t make excuses not to go out, you will be glad that you put your shoes on when you have finished your route. Make sure you set aside specific times and days of the week to do your training. Plan them into your weekly schedule and aim to do 3 sessions a week. Also try to fit in some cross training – basically that means anything other than running – for example cycling, yoga, pilates, swimming, gym work. Core strength, all the muscles in your tummy, are key to keeping the rest of your body stable. Ignore them at your peril. Cross training helps strengthen the core muscles.

Some days will be better than others, don’t be put off, you will have a bad day but the chances are the next session will be a good one. Take it nice and steady and listen to your body. If it hurts then stop, don’t just run through it. If any pain persists, seek professional advice. Remember it isn’t a race, it’s about getting fitter and being able to go further for longer.

The best way to kick start your running is to walk a little then run a little, steadily and further each time. Lampposts are useful tools to alternate between or park benches. As a complete beginner, your first goal to aim for should be to run for 30 minutes non-stop.