New to running this new year? Get 10 top tips from an expert

Written by: Mr Akash Patel
Edited by: Karolyn Judge

There are numerous health benefits to running, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, weight management and stress reduction. However, leading orthopaedic surgeon Mr Akash Patel says it should be done in moderation and proper precautions should be made in order to minimise the risk of injury.


He tells us: “Understanding benefits versus risks is something that I consider important as a keen runner myself. It’s been key to my training, optimising performance and reducing hip and knee problems. I’d like to share this in detail with you by providing my top running tips for beginners”:

Beginner runner who has taken tips for improvement

What tips do you have for preparation for running? 

Proper footwear

Ensure you invest in good-quality running shoes that fit your feet and running style. Wearing comfortable trainers, and equally socks, will improve your runs and overall experience.


Warm up

It’s important to always warm up before a run. Warming up prepares your muscles and reduces the risk of injury. Key stretches are:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Gluteal and calf muscles


Stay hydrated

Hydration before, during and after your run maintains your energy levels and prevents dehydration.



What should new runners consider when they find themselves progressing?

Have a proper form

Focussing on your running form will improve efficiency and reduce the risk of overuse injuries. You should start gently and build up by focussing on technique.


Progress gradually

Don’t push too hard, too fast. It’s crucial to have rest days for injury prevention and improvement in performance.


Recovery and rest

Give your body recovery time. Having rest days are crucial for prevention of injury and an improvement in performance.



In what ways should runners manage their routine?    

Strength training

By incorporating strength training exercises, you can build a strong foundation and prevent imbalance.



Support your running goals by fuelling your body with a balanced diet.


Listen to your body

It’s important to pay attention to any pain or discomfort. This allows you to recognise issues early, which can prevent more severe injuries.


Mix up your running routine

Different type of runs, like speed work, long runs and cross-training, keep things varied and interesting. It also improves overall fitness.


To close, it’s important to remember that everyone’s needs are different, so it’s useful to adapt these tips to your specific goals and ability. Consulting with a coach or healthcare professional for tailored, personals advice is also a good idea.




Want to ensure you’re well prepared for running? Arrange a consultation with Mr Patel via his Top Doctors profile.

By Mr Akash Patel
Orthopaedic surgery

Mr Akash Patel is a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon based in London and is an Associate Professor (University College London). He specialises in knee arthroscopies, hip arthroscopy and meniscus repair as well as cruciate ligament (ACL), hip replacement and knee replacement. He privately practices at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital - Private Patient Unit and BMI The Kings Oak Hospital as well as The Wellington Hospital. His NHS base is the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Patel, who is double-fellowship trained, prides himself in providing the best-possible outcomes for his patients while using evidence-based technologies and enhanced recovery techniques. He also utilises innovative, non-invasive treatments for management of hip and knee disorders including biologics (PRP) and bracing.

Mr Patel is highly qualified and double-fellowship trained. He graduated from University College London (UCL) with an MBBS (2005) and a BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience. Following this, he undertook trauma and orthopaedic training on the Imperial Northwest London rotation. Towards the end of his training, he was awarded various fellowships including international ones in locations including Australia, Switzerland and South Africa. Mr Patel also has an MSc in Evidence-Based Orthopaedics from Warwick University.

Complementing his prestigious and well-earned clinical and academic career, Mr Patel is an Associate Professor at University College London and an honorary senior lecturer for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Furthermore, his keen interest in advanced orthopaedic training for all healthcare professionals is reflected in his roles as an advanced trauma life support instructor for the Royal College of Surgeons of England and director for multiple national orthopaedic masterclass surgical training courses. 

Mr Patel has written various research papers that have been published in peer-reviewed journals, is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) and underwent prestigious specialist fellowships at Royal Berkshire and Royal Free London Hospitals. 

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