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Main cover photograph Tom Oldham

Subscribers’ cover photo Jack Terry

17 Eat Fat, Get Lean When you’re choosing dairy, fat’s the way to do it


HIGH AND MIGHTY The Heroes Ultra, Crete

21 How I Ran Off 10st One woman’s inspiring story of recovery and renewal

40 Jo Pavey Success secrets of the five-time Olympian and full-time mum

46 Your Best Shape Ever Six simple ways to run further, faster and injury-free

52 Improve Your Performance With Every Breath By training yourself to breathe better you’ll be able to go longer and harder with less efort

58 Six Surefire Motivation Boosters Mental energy runs out. Here’s how to keep it topped up

60 Find Your Inner Hero The Heroes Ultra is an epic running adventure in Crete. Do you have what it takes?

70 Run Better With Age A simple strength plan, smart training tips and an age-defying diet to keep you on your toes as the years roll by

83 Autumn/Winter Shoe Guide We lab-tested 25 new models and then put them through their paces to help you find the perfect shoe for your needs

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70 ACT YOUR AGE How to keep running in the ‘veteran years’

23 CHARITY WORKS Fundraising benefits body and soul

REGULARS 8 Rave Run Regent’s Park, London. An oasis in one of the world’s busiest cities

122 I’m A Runner Vocal coach CeCe Sammy on learning to run again after serious illness and teaching S Club 7 to sing…

WARM-UPS 13 Mind Game Never forget, running can help you remember...umm…stuf

15 Fitness How to approach the gym machine with confidence, and explosive speed-boosters

19 Fuel Alternatives to mashed potato, you say? OK, but they had better be tasty…

23 Mind+Health Running for charity is good for the cause and good for your health, too

25 Injury Are your feet fit for purpose?

HUMAN RACE 28 Real Runners

Cover credits: Hair and makeup Sharka Clothing and footwear by adidas: Allover Graphic Long Tights, £44.95; Prime Tee, £17.95; Performance Tee, £29.95; UltraBOOST Uncaged, £129.95.

Why Wayne Russell ran around Britain, literally

58 MIND MATTERS Block the brain drain

83 SHOES SHINE The RW autumn/ winter guide

30 What It Takes To... Beat an eating disorder, and run to remember

33 Inbox Your views aired and shared

34 Joss Naylor The king of the fells on his incredible career


80 Masters Class

36 Murphy’s Lore

Do-at-home moves to help you maintain your strength after 40

Sam considers the big questions: When is an injury not an injury?

RACE 103 The Main Event

37 Tonk Talk Don’t make Paul angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry. And he’s not that fond of himself, either


The Bucharest Half Marathon turns out to be a surprising treat

109 Race Recce The Bangor Half Marathon: a lovely loop around one of the UK’s smallest cities

76 Secrets Of Longevity How Jo Pavey keeps going after all those years on the track

110 Race Report The Exmoor Stagger: a race that never goes out of style

78 Fuel To Be Kind Good nutrition can give you an edge when you really need it

114 Race Finder Your perfect event this month

40 JO PAVEY Five-time Olympian, full-time mum, allround superstar

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Regent’s Park, London Ian Alderman Alexis Smith

The Regent’s Canal runs around the northern edge of London’s Regent’s Park. The tranquillity of the canal’s towpath, which is used by runners every day, allows Alexis to escape from the chaos of the city’s traic.

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Editor Andy Dixon

Creative Director

Deputy Editor Commissioning Editor

Wayne Hannon

Joe Mackie

Kerry McCarthy

Chief Sub Editor

Section Editor

Art Editor

John Carroll

Sam Murphy

Dean Farrow

Digital Editor

Deputy Digital Editor

Ben Hobson

Georgia Scarr

By the time you read this I’ll have finished running The Cheddar Gorge Half Marathon. I’m doing a lot of treadmill runs at a hefty elevation in preparation, but I know this one is going to be tough, whatever I do…

In July I ran with my wife and six-year-old son at the inaugural RunStock family running festival. A beautiful of-road course with waterslide, inflatable obstacles and fun-fair stalls. Very diferent, and enormous fun.

CONTRIBUTORS Jo Pavey The five-time Olympian, full-time mum, long-time RW columnist (and this month’s cover star) shares a fascinating insight into how she juggles family life and elite athletics, and how the simple joy of running keeps her going, on p40.

Contributing Editor Jo Pavey Contributors Lisa Buckingham, Gareth Cole, Hannah Ebelthite, Philip Latter, Richard A Lovett, Tobias Mews, Adrian Monti, AC Shilton, Paul Tonkinson Workflow Director Terry Barbrook Group Publishing Director Alun Williams Sales Director, Hearst Rodale Georgina Parrott Brand Director Katherine Kendall Brand Executive Ellie Burman Production Manager Roger Bilsland Head of Marketing and Events Jane Shackleton Marketing and Events Executive Meg Stephenson Group Creative Partnerships Director Andrea Sullivan Group Creative Solutions Senior Project Manager Victoria Stephen Group Creative Solutions Project Manager Kathryn Tait Group Creative Solutions Art Director Ben Briley Creative Partnerships Director Morgan Harrison-Doyle Creative Partnerships Designer Aoife Kavanagh

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Tobias Mews The ultra endurance athlete and author of 50 Races to Run Before You Die (Aurum) traversed the mountains of Crete in a new (and very tough) race with a rich history. Find out how he fared in the epic Heroes Ultra on p60.

HEARST MAGAZINES UK Chief Executive Oicer Anna Jones Managing Director, Brands Michael Rowley Chief Financial Oicer Claire Blunt Marketing and Circulation Director Reid Holland Group Commercial Director Ella Dolphin HR Director Surinder Simmons Head of Newstrade Marketing Jennifer Smith Circulation Manager Bianca Lloyd-Smith Vice President, Strategy & Product Management Lee Wilkinson Chief Digital Oicer Darren Goldsby Director of Communications Lisa Quinn PR Manager Ben Bolton HEARST RODALE JOINT BOARD OF DIRECTORS CFO, General Manager and Senior Vice President of HMI Simon Horne Senior Vice President, International Business Development and Partnerships, Rodale International Robert Novick

RODALE INTERNATIONAL Rodale Inc, 33 East Minor Street, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 18098, USA EDITORIAL Editorial Director, Rodale International/Director of Content, Rights & Photo Operations John Ville Editorial Director, Runner’s World International Veronika Ruf Taylor Senior Content Manager Karl Rozemeyer Editorial Assistant Natanya Spies Administrative Assistant Shoi Greaves BUSINESS Executive Director, Business Development and Global Licensing Kevin LaBonge Director, Global Marketing Tara Swansen Director, Business Development and Global Licensing Angela Kim International Finance Manager Michele Mausser

It’s characteristic of Jo Pavey’s generous nature that even during an incredibly busy week, she still found time to do the photos you see in our feature on page 40. The shoot took place a few days before she flew out to Brazil to take part in her fifth Olympics. The release of her autobiography, which we run an extract from, had led to a blizzard of media requests. All had to be fitted around her final prep for the Games, and her family, her main priority. The plan was to meet Jo at a canal near her home in Devon, spend a couple of hours on the shoot, after which she could zip of along the towpath for the first of her day’s two runs. It was a glimpse of the adaptability that has helped her juggle her enduring athletics career and her busy home life as a mum of two. The shoot overran by an hour (partly because of passers-by stopping to wish her well or hand their babies to her for an impromptu selfie), but it wasn’t a problem. She even dropped us of at the station afterwards. Jo is an inspirational figure not merely because of her achievements as an elite athlete, but also because aspects of her running life resonate with us – the simplicity of her approach, the way she fits it into her life and, more then anything, how all of it stems from a deep love of running. As someone whose early career was decimated by injuries, she’s also an example of quiet but unshakable determination. In short, she’s a great role model and an incredibly nice person. Andy Dixon, Editor, @RW_ed_Andy RUNNER’S WORLD Published by Hearst Rodale Ltd 72 Broadwick Street London W1F 9EP

WORLD is a trademark of, and is used under licence from, Rodale International. ISSN 1350-7745

Editorial: 020 7339 4644 Advertising: 020 7339 4432 Subscriptions: 0844 848 5203

Copyright © All rights reserved. RUNNER’S WORLD is printed and bound by Southernprint Ltd, 17-21 Factory Road, Upton Ind. Estate, Poole, Dorset BH16 5SN

Call our subscription enquiry line for annual rates for the UK, back issues, enquiries, change of address and orders. Lines open Mon to Fri, 8am to 9:30pm and Saturday, 8am to 4pm. Subscription address: RUNNER’S WORLD subscriptions, Hearst Magazines UK Ltd, Tower House, Sovereign Park, Lathkill Street, Market Harborough, Leicestershire LE16 9EF Credit card hotline: 0844 848 1601 RUNNER’S WORLD is published in the United Kingdom by Hearst Rodale Limited – a joint venture by Hearst Magazines UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hearst Corporation, and Rodale International, a division of Rodale Incorporated. RUNNER’S

RUNNER’S WORLD is a member of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (which regulates the UK’s magazine and newspaper industry). We abide by the Editors’ Code of Practice and are committed to upholding the highest standards of journalism. If you think that we have not met those standards and want to make a complaint please contact complaints@ or visit www. If we are unable to resolve your complaint, or if you would like more information about IPSO or the Editors’ Code, contact IPSO on 0300 123 2220 or visitwww.

RUNNER’S WORLD, ISSN 1350-7745, is published monthly, 12 times a year, by Hearst Rodale Ltd c/o USACAN Media Corp. at 123A Distribution Way Building H-1, Suite 104, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Periodicals Postage paid at Plattsburgh, NY. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to RUNNER’S WORLD c/o Express Mag, P.O. Box 2769, Plattsburgh, NY 12901-0239.


Words Sam Murphy Photography Agata Pec Source: 1 Current Biology


MIND GAME Running can boost brainpower – but new research1 suggests timing is crucial as far as memory is concerned. In the study, subjects were taught new information in a 40-minute lesson. One group exercised immediately afterwards, another did a workout four hours later, while a third group did no exercise at all. When it came to recall, the four-hour group fared best. That’s worth remembering.

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WARM O UPS / FITNESS Poll position

What’s your preferred strengthtraining method? 30% 35%



9% PRESS ON Gym machines allow you to focus on particular areas

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Adrian Weinbecht Model James Farmer at *Based on an RW online poll of 215 runners

O Body weight O Machines O Free weights O Resistance bands O Don’t strength train*

Force the pace Power plays pay off Tweaking your strength training could boost your PB, shows research from Loughborough University. The study found brief (under one second) maximum contractions developed strength but not mass, which suits a distance runner. ‘Explosive strength exercises – squat jumps or rapid leg extensions – have the potential to increase your ability to produce force as a result of neural adaptations, rather than muscle growth,’ says lead author Tom Balshaw. ‘It’s an eicient way for athletes looking to get stronger without adding mass to improve function.’


MOTOR UNIT A nerve cell (motor neuron) and the muscle fibres it controls. A muscle contains thousands of motor units and the force of its contraction is dependent on the number of units that are activated.

WEIGHT A BIT Many of us steer clear of gym machines in the belief they aren’t specific enough for running. Not so, says personal trainer Roberta Watts ( ‘Rather than doing exercises that mimic the action of running, choose exercises based on your desired outcome. The machines below strengthen joint stabilisers and key force producers in a more focused way than traditional body-weight exercises.’ Adductor

Seated leg curl

Leg extension

Leg press (above)

The adductors stabilise the hips and pelvis, and also function as hip extensors in running – hip-extension forces increase as you speed up. HOT TIP Push your heels down as you do the movement. This will focus on your adductors and medial hamstrings.

This machine provides stability and support, so you can really focus on your hamstrings. HOT TIP Make sure your knee joint is aligned to the axis of the machine. Control the motion in both directions with a tempo of three seconds down and three seconds up.

The quads are your knees’ key shock absorbers. The leg extension challenges these muscles through their full range of motion. HOT TIP Don’t ’swing’ your legs; move them with control and fully lock out your knee during each extension.

WHY It allows you to work each leg individually without worrying about stability issues that you face in standing body-weight moves. HOT TIP Stay within your active range of motion – you should be able to pull your foot away from the plate when in the bent-knee position.




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FAT’S THE STUFF Fab or fad?

Bee pollen WHAT IS IT? Grains of pollen packed into balls by bees, along with honey or nectar. Described as a ‘complete food’ because it contains protein, fat and carbs, along with vitamins, minerals and abundant antioxidant polyphenols.

Words Sam Murphy Photography Getty 1. American Journal of Slinical Nutrition 2. Clinical Nutrition

WHY TAKE IT Health claims range from weight loss and improved athletic performance to immune support, gastric health and bone preservation. A 2010 study reported a mild anti-inflammatory efect, but much of the research to date has been conducted on animals, often rats. Earlier this year, Polish researchers concluded that bee pollen shows promise, but good-quality human studies are needed.

Runners often reach for low-fat options when choosing dairy, but new research2 suggests full-fat could be better for your health and waistline. In the study, women who ate more full-fat dairy gained less weight over 11-years than those who opted for low-fat alternatives. And research from Lund University in Sweden has found a higher full-fat dairy intake was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

DAIRY MADE The full-fat option could actually help keep the pounds of

ANY DANGERS? Diverse sources make it tricky to guarantee nutrient content or safety. There have been some reports of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. THE VERDICT Some good buzz but more research is needed.


Water with a protein punch Starting your recovery could not be easier If you struggle to stomach a heavy shake after exercise, protein-enriched water could be an option. For Goodness Shakes Protein Water ( is a light, fruity drink delivering 20g of whey protein with no sugar, carbs or fat. Like bottled shakes, it’s portable and convenient but, as our table shows, that comes at a price…

For Goodness Shakes



500ml bottle


Medium eggs (free range)

3 eggs


Greek yoghurt






Semi-skimmed milk

1 pint


Roast chicken breast

3 slices (75g)


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WARM O UPS / FUEL MASH UP Spud you like, but these you’ll love

TIP Use a potato masher or ricer if you like a coarser mash or a food processor for a smoother texture. Add liquid slowly as you mash to prevent it becoming too runny.

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Agata Pec

MIX AND MASH Four alternatives to the classic comfort food that dish up an array of nutrients and are delicious, too.

01/ Sweet potato

03/ Beetroot

A lower-calorie starchy carb than a white potato, it’s a great source of the antioxidant beta-carotene and the mineral potassium, which helps to maintain the heart’s electrical rhythm. COOK’S TIP Steam rather than boil for a firmer texture. MASH WITH A dash of milk and plenty of black pepper. Chopped sage or thyme balances out the sweetness.

Well known for its high nitrate content, which can improve oxygen consumption and delay fatigue. It’s also an excellent source of folate, which plays a role in cardiovascular health. COOK’S TIP Boil or roast raw beetroots in their skins, then peel. Add cooked spud in a 4:1 ratio for structure. MASH WITH Butter and a dash of horseradish.

02/ Cauliflower

04/ Celeriac

Low in calories but packed with fibre and phytonutrients known as glucosinolates: glucobrassicin plays a role in preventing inflammation, while glucoraphanin aids digestive health by protecting the stomach lining. COOK’S TIP Wrap florets in a tea towel after draining and press gently to remove any excess moisture. MASH WITH Butter and a little mustard or a pinch of turmeric.

It won’t win a prize in any veggie beauty contest, but one serving of this nutty root provides half your daily vitamin K needs, along with phosphorus and manganese, all of which support healthy bones. It’s rich in vitamin C, too. COOK’S TIP Fry small cubes of celeriac in olive oil and garlic before adding stock or water to boil until tender. MASH WITH As it is. Finish with a drizzle of trule oil. 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 019


How I ran it off

EVERYTHING IS EASIER NOW’ My old life My weight had always been up and down. But when I lost a baby to miscarriage at 22 weeks I turned to food for comfort. Then I gave birth to twins in 2006. I had to take lots of bed rest during the pregnancy and piled on more weight. Being overweight bothered me a lot. And as a health visitor, I was hardly a good role model. Everything was a struggle. Just walking around was diicult and I’d keep my head down in clothes shops because I knew nothing would fit me.

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Agata Pec Kit and shoes courtesy of Helly Hansen (

The turnaround I developed pneumonia in April 2015. In hospital, there was a woman, larger than me, using oxygen to breathe. I realised I was going the same way and resolved to lose weight. I wrote down a list of all the reasons why I wanted to do it. I joined Weightwatchers as soon as I was out of hospital. My husband, Nick, has run for years. I’d always said, ‘I can’t do it.’ But when I took the kids to join the local running club, Staford Harriers, they were starting a beginners’ course and I signed up. I was running 5K comfortably by Christmas. I started running purely for health. I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. I go to the gym now, too.

Name Jenni Beckett Hometown Cannock, Stafs Height 5ft 4in Age 36 Weight before 20st 11lb Weight now 10st 9lb Weight lost 10st 2lb

The future Staford Harriers have been amazing. I’d never have done it without their support. One of the coaches helped me train for the Birmingham 10K in May and I’ve done a few more 10Ks since. Everything is easier now: doing my job, family outings, even my asthma has improved. I shop a lot more. My old clothes don’t fit me now. Sometimes people who haven’t seen me for a while don’t recognise me. I go to Weightwatchers every week. Since starting dieting in April 2015 I’ve lost weight every week apart from two. It’ll always be hard not to overeat but as long as I run, I’m fine.

TIMELINE Jenni’s times have tumbled

Sept 15 Started running: did one mile in 14:53

Dec 15 First 5K: 39:26

Mar 16 Took a chunk out of her 5K time: 31:43

May 16 First 10K: 1:03:02

July 16 Fastest 5K yet: 28:11

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WA RM O UPS / MIND + HEALTH NO PRESSURE Run for the money, but make sure it goes to a good cause


Fresh start With habits, context is all Trying to adopt a new habit, or get rid of an unwanted one? Wait until you’re in a new environment – such as being away from home, starting a new job or moving house. Habit researcher Professor Wendy Wood, a psychologist at the University of Southern California, has found that, often, when a habit’s usual context is ‘disrupted’ it can provide the opportunity for a new routine to be instilled. The perfect excuse for a holiday, we reckon…

Poll position

Have you ever run through illness? 14% 41%

Words Sam Murphy Photograph Getty, Agata Pec 1. University of British Columbia Health Psychology, Feb 2016 *Results based on an RW online poll of 312 runners


O Yes, and got away with it O I ran, but regretted it afterwards ONo*

Good news for your knees Big study backs running The next time someone tells you running is really bad for your knees, you can simply smile sweetly and point them in the direction of a new US study involving more than 2,600 subjects, and published in the June issue of the journal Arthritis Care & Research. The researchers found there was no increased risk of osteoarthritis among runners and concluded that running was not detrimental to the knees. Take that, running naysayers everywhere!

RUN FOR GOOD Fundraising for charity can help your commitment to training, and a new study1 suggests doing good boosts your health, too. Subjects who were given money and told to spend it on others lowered their blood pressure to a level comparable with medication. Another group, who spent the cash on themselves, enjoyed no such benefit. The researchers believe being charitable lowered stress and enhanced positive feelings. Instant wisdom

‘You didn’t beat me. You merely finished in front of me.’ Hal Higdon, coach and runner, winner of four World Masters Champs

Try this CardioMato £18 for 30 capsules, Running helps you maintain a healthy heart, but this new supplement shows promise in further supporting cardiovascular health by lowering LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, blood pressure and oxidative stress. It contains tomato-derived phytosterols and carotenoids, including 15mg of lycopene – equivalent to the amount found in four medium cooked tomatoes.

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Drug bust Antibiotics can harm tendons Next time you’re prescribed antibiotics, check the label. A group of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones have been found to increase the risk of tendon injury, leading the US Food and Drugs Adminstration (FDA) to issue a warning about their use. One study suggests someone who is prescribed a fluoroquinolone (look for varieties than end in ‘-floxacin’) faces a 3.8-fold increased risk of Achilles tendinopathy. Dose and length of treatment afect the level of risk but the best advice is to avoid the drug if alternatives are available.

Two-way tip

Pick the right shoe ROTATE YOUR SHOES Research from Luxembourg last year found a link between ‘multiple shoe use’ (two or more pairs on the go at the same time) and a lower injury risk. PICK THE RIGHT SHOE Benno Nigg, a leading researcher in running biomechanics and footwear, advises runners to choose the shoe that feels right, rather than being guided by foot type or strike pattern.

Words Sam Murphy Photography Getty Illustration Lizzy Thomas

Try this

Vibrating massage ball The Hyperice Hypersphere (£139.95, is a firm massage ball that promises to get deeper into soft tissues by combining soft-tissue therapy with high-intensity vibration. It can be used to prime muscles for warm-up or assist recovery. It has three speeds – the top one intense enough to send the ball skittering all over the floor. It’s rechargeable, with two hours’ use per charge.

FOOT FAULT Simple tests can ensure your feet are fit for purpose

TROUBLE AFOOT Are your feet and ankles running fit? Podiatrist Nicola Blower ( has three easy tests to help you find out. This month: why you should be able to tiptoe around... WHY DO IT? This test reflects the foot’s ability to ‘supinate’, says Blower. ‘After pronation, which helps the foot shock absorb, the joints need to lock together again in order to provide propulsion.’ THE TEST Stand at arm’s length from a wall, lightly resting your fingers against it. Standing on one leg, rise onto your tiptoes as far as you can, hold for a moment and get a friend to assess from behind or take a photo.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR 1/ Heel swings in (turning towards the other leg). If it doesn’t, this could indicate weakness in the tibialis posterior tendon, along the inside of the ankle. 2/ Ball of the foot sits flat on the floor. More pressure on the outside of the foot indicates stifness at the bigtoe joint and/or weakness of the peroneal muscles along the outside of the ankle. 3/ The heel should be nice and high of the ground.




HOW TO IMPROVE In your bare feet, slowly go up on to tiptoe on both feet, lightly touching a wall for balance. Roll your feet gently outwards (towards the outside edge of the foot) and bend fully through the big-toe joints, keeping the rest of the ball of each foot in contact with the ground. Hold for six seconds. Do 10 reps, building up to three sets per day. 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 025


‘5,000 miles? Me? Really?’ To honour his beloved sister’s memory, Wayne Russell decided to run around Britain hen Wayne Russell lost his sister Carmel to a rare heart and lung condition three years ago, he resolved to do something in her honour. ‘Although she’d been diagnosed with the terminal condition 10 years before, it never stopped her working ceaselessly for others, even when she was in a wheelchair,’ says the 35-year-old from Gloucester. ‘She set up numerous charities and community projects including a grants scheme, a lunch club for senior citizens and a youth group.’


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In the lead-up to Carmel’s funeral, Wayne started to perform what he calls ‘random acts of kindness’ in her name. He set up a Facebook page, Carma, inviting people to do a good deed to celebrate Carmel’s life. ‘Friends, family and strangers from all over the world took up the challenge,’ he says. ‘It got me thinking about something bigger.’ It needed to be something that would challenge Wayne as well as raising money for a worthy cause in honour of Carmel. He decided he would run the British coastline. ‘I only took up running four years



ago, but it changed everything for me,’ he explains. ‘I’ve sufered from depression all my adult life, but running helps so much. I got a high on my very first run – five miles in Converse shoes and denim shorts.’ After almost two years of planning, he quit his IT job, gave up his flat and embarked on the 5,000-mile journey – solo, unsupported and with £1,000 in his bank account. ‘The day before I was setting of I packed my rucksack and put it on,’ he remembers. ‘I could barely walk, let alone run and the whole trip went from romantic ideal to blind panic. I had to unpack loads of stuf – a pillow, hair wax, surplus clothing…’ At first, Wayne ran alone each day, pitching his tent where he could at night, though sometimes he slept in bus shelters, doorways or on church porches. Once, he woke up to a horde of children throwing stones at his tent and shouting ‘tramp!’ Wayne carried a small stove and

FULLY LOADED One man, one pack, one long journey

Words Sam Murphy Photography Rupert Fowler

‘I’d put my whole life into it for two years. Part of me just wanted to keep going’

had a food budget of £3 a day. ‘I ate a lot of tinned fish, instant noodles, nuts and chocolate,’ he says. ‘I also foraged where I could, picking berries and apples.’ In some places, such as the far north of Scotland, he’d run miles without coming across anywhere to get food. Such challenges proved wearing. ‘I knew the running would be tough, but what I hadn’t factored in was things like how I’d dry out when everything was soaked, how I’d charge my phone, how not getting a good night’s sleep, night after night, would afect me…’ There were physical woes, too – blisters and chafing from wet clothes. (It rained for four solid weeks in Wales.) There were times when he came close to giving up. ‘I’d forked out for a B&B two nights running in Cornwall because it was so cold and wet. But I just couldn’t aford to do it again and I ended up sleeping in a cave near Tintagel. I lay there at 2am worrying how I would tell the charity I was stopping.’ The next day, he simply carried on. ‘I began to realise that I was strong enough to put one foot in front of the other. And I got braver about telling people what I was doing and asking for help. By overcoming my shyness I’d often be rewarded with somewhere to

pitch my tent or a bed for the night, conversation, a donation – and best of all, a cup of tea in the morning.’ With the help of social media, news spread of Wayne’s challenge – messages and ofers of support began to trickle, then flood, in. ‘I hadn’t done much to publicise what I was doing – I expected I’d just have a few friends and family and people associated with the charity following my Facebook and Twitter pages,’ he says. ‘But the response was phenomenal. I had people join me who ended up running further than they’d ever run before, I even had people who weren’t able to run turn up on bikes or to walk a section with me. People really opened up and shared their stories and it enabled me to be more open about my depression and grief.’ In February, when Wayne had been running for over five months, he was joined for two days by Patrick, a watch manager for the fire station in Blackpool, and a keen ultra runner. ‘When we were parting, he asked me where I was sleeping that night. I said it would probably be the bus shelter and he said “Nope!”.’ Patrick made contact with fire stations further along Wayne’s route and for the rest of the trip, wherever there was a fire

station, there would be somewhere dry and warm to sleep. ‘It made all the diference,’ says Wayne. ‘I’d arrive in an unfamiliar place, someone would let me in or have left a key for me and there’d always be food and a note. One time I was left six cream cakes. I ate all of them! I say the run was unsupported but I had so much unexpected support on the way.’ On July 9, 307 days, 5,058 miles and nine worn-out pairs of trainers after setting of along the Thames from Greenwich, Wayne’s final run took him under the same river through the foot tunnel; supporters waited on the other side to greet him. ‘Having set out determined to do it but with no way of knowing if I could, it was surreal reaching the finish,’ he says. ‘I’d put my whole life into it for two years. Part of me just wanted to keep going.’ Wayne’s epic trip has raised £28,000 for the Superhero Foundation, which supports people through extraordinary challenges. He says it’s also given him more faith in humanity and taught him a lot about himself. ‘It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,’ he says.’ I keep thinking – 5,000 miles? Me? Really? But you know what the hardest part was? After years of reading about other people’s adventures and wishing I could do something like that, it was saying, “I’m going to do this” – and really meaning it.’ OTo make a donation, visit fund/waynerussell 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 029


Beat an eating disorder When an injury left promising runner Tom Fairbrother flagging on a Kenyan training camp in 2011, a fellow runner remarked that he could improve his PBs by losing some weight. Lonely and far from home, Tom was hit hard by the casual comment; he fell into a spiral of binge eating and vomiting, while maintaining his punishing training routine. ‘I lost a lot of muscle mass and rarely took rest days, which left me physically very frail and susceptible to injury,’ says the 28-year-old from Sufolk. Tom kept his bulimia secret for two years, until a dentist remarked on how badly his teeth were eroded. ‘I decided it was time to open up to family and friends about my illness,’ he says.

NOW AND THEN Tom and Coralie, and (inset) with Mo Farah in 2011

Run to remember

PINK LADIES Rosie (middle) with Natalie Phalp and Wanphen Farrington at the Race for Life In Dudley

Rosie Bye’s husband, Chris, died from sarcoma,

an aggressive form of cancer, when he was just 40. Rosie, a music teacher from the West Midlands, wanted to find a way of celebrating Chris’s life, as well as raising awareness and funds for the charity 030 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

Sarcoma UK. ‘I’ve always enjoyed running, so I decided to run 40 5Ks – one to mark each year of his life,’ she says. The runs so far have been a mixture of charity races, solo outings and treadmill runs. ‘It’s been physically and emotionally challenging,’

says Rosie, 39. ‘Chris was not only my husband, he was also my best friend. During the nine months he was ill, he was always spurring me on to run, as he knew it helped to take my mind of things and give me some focus.’ In July, Rosie took part in the Race for Life 5K event in Dudley. ‘I’d last done it in July 2013 and it was the last race Chris watched me run, so it had special meaning for me,’ she says. With 34 5Ks ticked of, Rosie has almost reached her target. What next? ‘To be honest, I don’t anticipate stopping at 40 races. This challenge has helped me feel I’m doing something meaningful in the wake of Chris’s death and I want to continue helping Sarcoma UK.’ fundraising/Julie-Lane6

Tom began to tackle his disordered behaviour and gradually regained his weight and confidence. During this time he also met the woman who would become his girlfriend; Coralie is a fellow runner and former anorexia suferer. ‘We’ve supported each other towards a healthier relationship with food,’ he says. In January, Tom embarked on a challenge to complete 10 marathons in six months, raising over £2,000 for eating-disorder charity BEAT. ‘I wanted to highlight the fact that fit men are equally at risk of eating disorders – it should not be a taboo subject.’ Tom convincingly demonstrated his return to form by finishing seven of the races in less than three hours – and winning four. ‘My aim was to celebrate my newfound self-confidence and physical strength and show it is possible to recover – and, more importantly, to find happiness.’


WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST RACE MISHAP? On the big day, dignity stays at home Standing on the start line of the Cranleigh 21 and realising I hadn’t put my race number on. Sophie Watkins

with my girlfriend before the Nike Run London 10K – and finishing as fourth woman. Jeff P

At mile 20 of a marathon, in my oxygen-deprived fog, I ran up and hugged a stranger who looked like an old friend. Suzanne Smalling Edler

At 4km into a 10K I got a bad stomach. I went to relieve myself behind some bushes – and only realised I had an audience when it was too late. Terry S

Dropping my gels on the floor of a portable toilet at mile three of a marathon. Whitney Blankenship

Ten miles into a half, the elastic in my shorts gave out. The next year – same race, same place, different shorts – it happened again. Charles Potter

Accidentally swapping timing chips


Words Georgia Scarr, Sam Murphy Photograph Getty




RUNNING Injury-proof your body for running and perform like a pro with these insider tips from New Balance athlete Ross Millington


ou can pound out speedwork sprints and power through gruelling long runs, but if you want to ward of injuries in the long term, you’ve got to do some strength work. But steady on – this doesn’t mean you have to head straight for the weights room and start doing bicep curls. Efective strength training is all about working on your running-form weaknesses. ‘My strength routine has been developed to deal with the injuries and weak areas I’ve had,’ says elite middledistance runner and New Balance athlete Ross Millington. ‘For me, it’s all about glute strength – making sure they’re firing well – and working on my quads and core.’ Ross isn’t alone in having these weak spots – spending most of our time sitting down means many of us have lazy glutes and an inactive core, and many running injuries stem from these basic issues.




Luckily, strength training is the perfect way to remedy them. Ross’s strength sessions focus on single-leg moves such as Bulgarian split squats to target his balance, alongside classic glute moves such as standard squats. Remember, when it comes to strength training, you are your toughest opponent. It’s always simpler to head out for a run than sweat through the muscle-strengthening moves that are key to improving your performance. But win the mind game and blast through your squats and you’ll smash your PB in no time. For more on how to fuel your success and win the mind game, visit toughestopponent.

GET GLUTES ON FORM No gym. No fuss. Perfect this duo of simple body-weight moves to run stronger for longer

SQUATS WITH MEDICINE BALL Hold a medicine ball and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat, making sure your knees don’t fall inwards or go over your toes. Do three sets of 8-10 reps.

BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT Place one foot on a bench behind you. Using your front leg, squat down to 90 degrees and power back up from your glutes and hamstrings. Do three sets of 8-10 reps.


NB Ice Singlet, £25; Impact 5" Track Short, £28; New Balance 1260v6, £125;



I recently got into running ultras, aged 50, and I find a pie far more satisfying than a muesli bar


Giant steps

*Letters should be marked for publication and include your name, address and shoe size. We reserve the right to edit letters for space reasons

After hearing my mum complain about her weight and foiled fitness attempts for as long as I can remember, I bought her a Fitbit last Christmas. Within a month she was clocking up 10,000 steps a day and walking the local Parkrun every Saturday. That gradually progressed to running, and in June she amazed everyone (including herself ) when she completed a 10K in just over one hour. Mum’s now lost two stone and is training for a 10-mile race. She’s shown that

PROUD MOMENT Charlotte with her mum

Dave Lewis, Cowes, Isle of Wight RW says: Do you choose real food or energy snacks? BRIGHT SIDE Jake (left) battles depression by running

with the right kind of motivation and lots of determination you can achieve anything! I’m so proud of her. Charlotte Jesney, Hull


Happy hasher

As a fellow depression sufferer, I found Kate Armstrong’s piece (RW, Aug) to be a lovely read. Over the years, running has helped me keep my depression in check and has recently played a key part in me coming off medication. The physical and emotional reward of each run provides the perfect antidote to the side effects. For me, running is like panning for gold – I go out with a head full of all sorts of unwelcome, unhealthy or just unnecessary thoughts. I come back with just those nuggets that I want to keep – all the rest has fallen away.

Great to see Hash House Harriers in the magazine (RW, Aug), but you could also mention that HHH clubs are non-competitive and open to all abilities, ages and sizes. I’ve been hashing for 20-plus years, have travelled across the world to events and met awesome people. Some of us don’t take our running seriously; we enjoy the social side, the fresh air and sense of achievement. Sally Crook, Cheltenham

Jake Robson, Brighton

Bags of cash

The month in mail

66% 1 of those responding to Sam’s column (RW Sept) said their GP had a bad attitude to running.

reader was surprised that Comrades Marathon wasn’t in our 52 Best Races guide (RW, Aug).


readers agreed with Diana Jordan (RW, Aug) that it’s never too late to improve.

‘I did my first London Marathon as a challenge for my 50th birthday, in 5:24. This year, at 63, I ran 5:04,’ said Joan Nevin, from Abington, Cambridge

A gym bag for £475? (RW, Aug). You must be having a laugh! Even the cheapest bag featured, at £100, is too expensive. I use an Aldi bag for life to lug my stuf to races. I must be turning into my Yorkshireman dad. Helena Butler, Saddleworth

Winning plan Thanks for your 10K training guide (RW, June). I followed it

TOP TEN Steven gets his prize from Mara Yamauchi

exactly and knocked a whole minute of my PB, running 37:45. I even managed to bag my first ever win and had my prize presented by Mara Yamauchi. Steven McNicholas, Saffron Walden, Essex

Where’s the fun in the run? Having recently moved from South Africa, I find the running scene here in the UK quite diferent and, at times, demoralising. The focus seems to be on speed and time, rather than celebrating the joy of running and sharing the experience of participation. I am one of the last to finish in any race and rather than being elated, I feel awkward and deflated. In South Africa, people only wanted to know what races one had run and not their times. Clearly, priorities here difer. Elizabeth Augustine, Beeston, Nottingham

What’s inspired or annoyed you this month? The writer of the winning letter will receive a pair of Saucony Hurricane ISO 2, worth £135.* Write Letters, Runner’s World, 33 Broadwick St, London W1F 0DQ Email


Twitter @runnersworlduk Facebook runnersworlduk

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Joss Naylor The king of the fells on the sheer joy of running, enduring bad patches in an event – and eating salt Joss Naylor is one of the world’s most revered fell runners. The Cumbrian sheep farmer broke the Lake District 24-hour fell record three times in the 1970s – his 1975 record of 72 peaks, 100 miles and around 38,000 feet of ascent in 23hrs 11mins stood for 13 years. At 70, he ran 70 Lakeland fell tops, clocking up over 50 miles. This year, Naylor celebrated his 80th birthday by running 30 miles from Caldbeck to Wasdale to raise money for the Brathay Trust. Why Caldbeck to Wasdale?

It was in memory of my father, Joe. He was born and farmed in Caldbeck, then moved to Wasdale and met my mother. What do you recall about your dad?

He was one of those chaps who if he told you something it would be right. He thought running was a waste of time, but when I started to run well he came to watch a race. I was leading the field by about 15 minutes and jumped the gate right in front of him. He had tears in his eyes as I sprinted to the finish.

be a top athlete. My first race was the Lake District Mountain Trial in 1960. I didn’t have any running shoes or shorts, so I ran in my work boots and cut the legs of my trousers above the knees. I took an early lead, but cramped up going over a stile. There were two lasses having a picnic so I borrowed their salt cellar, half emptied it into my hand and ate the lot. I quickly recovered – but I’d lost the lead. Is the key to your incredible endurance physical or mental?

On my longer runs I didn’t really sufer pain. The main issue on my 1975 24-hour record was my feet overheating. The long runs are more of a mental challenge. I remember when I started the 70 at 70, it was as if someone put an arm around my shoulder and said, ‘You can do it’. I’ve also learned that if I have a bad patch during a run I’ll recover and run through it. What do you think of running aids such as gels and bars?

I’ve never used any of them. The only

food I eat on long runs is sandwiches and cake. I carry food that you can eat in two mouthfuls without having to break stride. On my Caldbeck-to-Wasdale run I drank blackcurrant juice with salt added. As you get older you learn what you need and what works for you. How much do you run these days?

I get out onto the fells maybe three times a week. I run on Sunday morning with the dog and always on the fells. What have you gained from a lifetime of running?

I’ve taken a lot from the tranquility of the Lake District – an appreciation of the landscape, wildlife and plants. For me, running has always been more about getting out in the natural environment than it is about exercise or training. What advice would you give a road runner taking to the fells?

You need the ability to read the ground. The main thing is not to run on a full stride but to adapt to the terrain. Just enjoy being out there and don’t rush into racing before you’re ready. What’s your link to the Brathay Trust?

I’ve been Patron of the Brathay 10in10 since 2007. I’ve been inspired by what they do with disadvantaged young people. It’s been an education to see how they turn lives around. O To donate to Joss’s 80th birthday run, visit JossNaylor80

How did growing up in the Lake District shape you?

When gathering sheep you’d set of into the fells on only a basin of porridge and walk all day. This got me used to travelling long distances with little food. Words Sam Murphy Photograph Martin Campbell With thanks to Scott Umpleby

How did you discover you had a talent for running?

When I was 20 I had a back operation and the doctor told me I was designed to

BIG DAY Joss Naylor on his 80th-birthday run

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‘You’re going for a run? But I thought you were injured!’ In light of the growing popularity of our sport, I’ve been wondering recently whether we could argue for a unique running-specific subdefinition of the term ‘injury’ in the dictionary. It would be a great way to prevent those annoying conversations we occasionally have with non-runners. ‘Not running today?’ ‘No, I’m injured.’ ‘Oh! What happened to you?’ The answer, of course, is that nothing ‘happened’ – not in the sense that falling of a ladder or wiping out on skis ‘happens’. The injury just gradually emerged, like roots on highlighted hair, until its clamour for attention became impossible to ignore. The Cambridge Dictionary defines injury as ‘physical harm or damage to someone’s body caused by an accident or an attack’ – but as used by runners the term has a diferent, more subtle meaning. This is mostly because, unlike the calamities described above, it is often very diicult to put a finger on the cause. Equally, the consequences are far less clear-cut and obvious than being encased in plaster or hobbling about on crutches for weeks. Runners in the middle of a six-mile run have been known to bemoan the fact that they’re injured, usually as an explanation as to why they are ‘taking it easy’. So no, proclaiming injury isn’t necessarily the same as saying you’re out of the game. (And there’s another source of irritating conversation right there: 036 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

‘You’re going for a run? But I thought you were injured!’) The essence of the runner’s definition of injury would be ‘something pertaining to the musculoskeletal system that prevents a runner from performing to their usual standard’. (Not that catchy, I know; I’d be the first to admit it needs work). The word we most often use as a substitute is ‘niggle’. The Cambridge Dictionary defines the noun as a ‘small doubt or worry’, though the verb’s meaning – ‘to worry someone slightly, usually for a long time’ somehow seems more fitting in a running context. While the word ‘niggle’ might help you avoid the misguided concern of non-runners, it is, frankly, a little euphemistic and tame when you’re taping up your left leg from thigh to toe. I vote, then, that we stick with

Speedy stat


The additional calorie burn per hour when using a standing desk compared with sitting

injury but define it not as a static event or status but as a position along a continuum – with ‘broken’ at one end and ‘perfect working order’ at the other. In truth, most runners – from elite Olympians to occasional joggers – are rarely entirely either. Mostly, we’re somewhere in between. At this point I have to confess that this continuum idea is not entirely my own work. In 1972, an American physician, Dr John Travis, proposed an ‘illnesswellness’ continuum in medicine. It marked a departure from the standard health paradigm, which seeks to treat symptoms in order to bring a patient back to ‘neutral’, where no more illness or injury is present. But Travis viewed health as more than the absence of illness and his goal was to move patients further along the continuum – beyond neutral – towards optimal health. ‘Wellness is never a static state,’ he wrote in his book The Wellness Workbook. ‘You don’t just get well and stay well. There are degrees of wellness, just as there are degrees of illness.’ The same is true of our running health. And there’s an important point here, which might just help you avoid becoming ‘broken’. If you see injury as all-or-nothing (‘nothing’ being the absence of injury) you absolve yourself of the responsibility of taking steps to keep moving towards better strength, muscle balance and biomechanics. It allows you to ignore the signs of an emerging problem by defining them as ‘not an injury’ – until the switch flicks and you’re out of action. On the other hand, placing yourself on the continuum shows you that there’s always something you could be doing to edge a little further in the direction of ‘perfect working order’. That’s empowering. I look forward to explaining it to my non-running friends. O Sam Murphy tweets @SamMurphyRuns @runnersworlduk



Talk PA U L TO N K I N S O N

‘What about me? I’m wildlife!’

Illustration Pietari Posti

It’s hard to truly know your own nature. I don’t know whether I am a fairly relaxed person because I run all the time, or if I run all the time simply to burn of my anger. The other day I set of on a 10-miler feeling fairly chilled. It was a busy day on the trails of north London, with dog walkers aplenty, and as I descended a short hill a big collie veered in front of me. The owner, a largish, outdoorsy lady in her mid-50s, laughed and carried on, saying, ‘Who’s that, Billy? Who’s that?’ The dog went of to snif a tree and I ran on warily. Then it appeared again and jumped into me. I recoiled and said, a bit sharply, to the still-laughing owner, ‘Are you going to do something?’ ‘There’s no need to be aggressive!’ she replied, reddening. ‘I’m not. I’m trying to run and your dog keeps jumping at me.’ She immediately put Billy on a lead, which was surely what she should have done in the first place. I ran on, replaying the exchange in my mind. Had I been I aggressive? I suppose I could have dealt with it better. I mean, it’s only a dog, and it’s a summer’s day. Chill out! To think, that lady would probably have one impression of me forever: the sweaty, moody, anti-dog bloke she came across one summer’s day. A mile later I found myself running up behind a fairly skinny, balding, bearded bloke. For some reason I instinctively liked him. Maybe it was the old-school simplicity of his outfit – a pale, old


Words #49: Anger

cotton T-shirt, shorts, no socks. At our respective paces I would pass him in about 50 metres, and I was planning some kind of greeting as I did so. But then he looked back, saw me and increased his pace. A lot. Now, I accept the subtle increase in pace when someone comes up behind you as an unspoken running-joust sort of thing, but this was comically abrupt. It was as if he owed me money. Either that or he’d been speaking to the dog woman. It seemed to me a childish act on his part, so I speeded up, which was, of course, a childish act on mine. I figured this would be over pretty quickly, but it wasn’t – his pace was unrelenting. Then he looked behind, saw me on his tail and barrelled of again. By this stage my gentle acceleration had given way to a full-on efort, which I managed to smooth out into something that almost looked natural as I overtook him. I kept up that pace till I was out of his sight and then I crumpled to a halt to ‘retie my shoelaces’. What had I become – some kind of dog-hating, stranger-racing lunatic? Round three in what was fast becoming me versus the world came as I entered a local wildlife park, accessed by a long wooden bridge. As I ran onto the bridge I saw two people manning a table covered with literature devoted to animal welfare. Passing them, the younger of the two, a bearded student type in long shorts and sandals, asked if I’d ‘mind not running over the bridge’.

‘A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.’ Bruce Lee, 1940-1973, martial arts legend

Runnerpedia Upper body (n) Portion of the body that separates legs from head and from which the arms hang. Widely ignored by many runners

‘You’re joking, aren’t you?’ ‘No.’ ‘Why not?’ ‘It’s to protect the wildlife.’ His companion, a khaki-clad woman, chipped in: ‘It bounces.’ I slowed to a sulky walk (though I ran the last five metres of the bridge in a pathetic act of rebellion). My mind flooded with responses to this absurd policy: are you going to weigh every person who crosses the bridge, in case they make it bounce? Have you received any complaints from the wildlife? Are you familiar with the light, fast cadence I’ve been working on? And, finally, what about me – I’m wildlife! We all are, aren’t we? WILD! ALIVE! I charged on, cursing in the heat, half man, half beast. But as my breathing became more regular, so my mind became calmer. I like dogs! I like wildlife! Who cares if some hypercompetitive bloke thinks he has to beat everyone in the park? By the end of the run my mind was clear: there was no need, I reflected, to be so aggressive. The run had done its work. O Paul and fellow comedian Rob Deering’s running podcast, Running Commentary is available on iTunes and Acast. @RunComPod

‘Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’

‘I tell my athletes, “Concentrate on yourself. Don’t focus on anger against a competitor.”’

Buddha, sage

Joe Douglas, Santa Monica Track Club founder

‘When angry, count to 10 before you speak. If very angry, count to 100.’ Thomas Jeferson, 1743-1826, third president of the US

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love being a mum who happens ’ to run ‘I

In this exclusive extract from her new autobiography, Jo Pavey, mother of two, five-time Olympian and RW columnist attributes her career’s remarkable Indian summer to finding balance in life, rediscovering the joy of running – and a washing mishap the night before a big race…

omeback races? I’ve had more than a few, but the night of 10 May 2014 was the ultimate long shot. I was running in the 10,000m National Championships – the ‘Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests’ – a trial for the European Championships in Zurich that summer. I could take confidence in being the 2012 European 10,000m silver medallist and a four-time Olympian, but I’ve always lived in 040 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

the moment. And right then? I was a 40-year-old mother of two who had given birth eight months before. I trained on a treadmill in a cupboard by the back door and hadn’t raced on a track in spikes since London 2012. Was I crazy? The race was at 9pm, which meant it just wasn’t practical to take the children. So I would have to be away from my baby, Emily, overnight for the first time. It felt like a big deal, an unsettling emotional wrench to leave her and my son, Jacob, now a

very active four-year-old. I travelled to London the day before the trials so I wouldn’t have to race with ‘travel’ in my legs, my mind churning through a checklist I’d left for my parents. Mum and Dad were arriving the next morning to look after the kids so that Gavin, my husband and coach, could follow me to London. I’d be away for 36 hours and Gav for less than 18, but I wanted babysitting to be easy and fun for my parents and that required a lot of preparation. I stocked up on food, nappies and baby @runnersworlduk


MUM ON THE RUN Jo has ‘stopped stressing about the small stuf’

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wipes. I rushed around and got the laundry washed and dried. I set out clothes for the kids, I laid out baby sleeping bags and muslin cloths. I wrote a list of roughly when they’d need feeding and with what. I left notes on other useful information, such as special tricks we use to get Emily to sleep and how to work the essentials: baby monitor, TV, central heating. I bought snacks and real ale for my dad and made them both promise to call me any time, and never worry that I could be preparing for the race. As the train neared London, I imagined what the kids would be doing. Had I remembered everything? My hand reached for my phone. I couldn’t resist calling for an update.

BALANCING ACT Emily was born by Caesarean section in September 2013. Having another little one filled us with so much joy and I didn’t want to spoil that very special time with our newborn by worrying about regaining my fitness. I was also determined to breastfeed for as long as possible. I returned to running before Christmas, doing whatever seemed achievable on a day-to-day basis. On my first few runs I had a weird sensation that my legs were not attached to my body; my core muscles would take much longer to recover from abdominal surgery than from a natural birth. I kept breastfeeding until April, giving me just a month before the trial. Up to then I was feeding on demand, and Emily resolutely refused to take a bottle of expressed milk, so I couldn’t ever be physically far from her. So from the beginning of my journey back to race fitness, all my runs became family runs. Sometimes we’d head into the forest, with me or Gav pushing Emily in a running buggy and Jacob whizzing along on his little bike; sometimes we’d venture into a local park or down the canal path. At track sessions – which involved an hour-long drive to Yeovil because our home track in Exeter was being resurfaced – Gav would coach me, stopwatch in hand, with Emily strapped to his front in a baby carrier, snoozing away, and Jacob sprinting up and down the long jump runway. While breastfeeding, my track sessions were laughable. I ran wearing two or three crop tops to support my lopsided boobs – one emptied from the last feed, the other full in readiness for the next. 042 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

I had to hope that even though the times I was recording were rubbish, I was still gaining the training benefits. Gav kept reassuring me this was the case. In order to boost my mileage and be on hand at home for the kids, I’d pound away on the treadmill we have stashed in a space other people might use as a cloakroom. My children were now my priority, but I couldn’t yet contemplate a life without running. My preparations to ‘come back’ as an athlete were rushed, guided by every parent’s mantra: ‘Do the best you can with what you have.’ What did I have to lose? I was spurred on by the outside chance that I might represent my country for one more athletics season. I travelled up for the ‘Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests’ determined simply to give it a go. I’d normally have entered three or four races as QUIET RESOLVE Jo still does what she’s always done: run as hard as she can


preparation leading up to a National Championships and qualifying trials, but here I was, on the night before this very significant race, sitting in the Teddington Travelodge, 150 miles from my family, contemplating my first race back, a race that was my only chance of qualifying for the 10,000m at the European Championships. I sat there feeling alone, asking myself all the questions that I have repeatedly been asked ever since I became a mother in 2009: why was I still trying to run at an elite level? Why was I putting myself through this? To be isolated from our happy-go-lucky domestic chaos felt all wrong, that something was missing. It wasn’t until I was chatting to Gav on the phone at about 9.30pm, once the kids had gone to bed, that I realised with horror that something much more mundane was missing: my Exeter Harriers vest.


From 2003 to 2010, Gav and I had lived in Teddington, in southwest London, as many distance runners do, because of the proximity to the running trails in Bushy and Richmond Parks, and to Heathrow for travel. So we were back on our old stomping ground. We had lunch in a favourite cofee shop, and looked with dismay at the weather outside. It was pouring with rain and high winds. When we arrived at Parliament Hill Athletics Track, we said hello to

not modify my approach because of my age. I was aware some of the other athletes had been overseas on winter training camps in preparation; some had run good times in the US. I’d just been clocking up my miles in Devon with Gav and the kids, but I would do what I’d always done and simply run as hard as I could. There can be a surprising diference between how I feel when training and how that translates into race form. Sometimes I surprise myself with how much faster I go, other times it can go the other way. The only thing to do was give it my absolute all. Despite the dramatically stormy weather, the meeting had an uplifting party atmosphere. The organisers had been granted permission from England Athletics to allow spectators onto the track to cheer on the runners from lane three. There was live music, real

IN THE BEGINNING Jo running in her Exeter Harriers vest in 1988, when she was still Jo Davis

PRECIOUS TIME Jo and son Jacob in the family lodge during the London Olympics in 2012

BACK ON TRACK on her way to victory in the 10,000m National Championships in May 2014

division of domestic chores in our house, there’s only one machine Gav’s ordinarily allowed near – the cofee maker. And for good reason. He’d only gone and put the vest on a hot wash and it had come out a beautiful Peppa Pig pink. The dye in the burgundy strip across the white had run. It was ‘totally unwearable’, Gav said – and it was the only one I had. Then I started to panic. The rules clearly state you have to wear registered club vests. Racking my brain, I remembered I did have one other – the vest I wore as a junior in the late 1980s, now stashed away as a keepsake in a box of mementos. But where was the box? In the garage? The loft? A cupboard upstairs? Gav was going to have to turn the house upside down to find it and, if he did, I was going to have to run in a vest that was older than most of the girls I was running against.

everyone, then jumped back in the car to keep dry. Squirming in the passenger seat, I changed into my running kit. I pinned on my number – 41 – and thought they should have given me the number 40. What were my chances of achieving a qualifying time? I honestly didn’t know. It seemed such a long shot. Having recently stopped breastfeeding Emily, my body was still undergoing physiological and hormonal changes. As an athlete, I understand my body well. I take good care of it; I can read its signals, but I was now primarily a mum who runs and, as any mother who’s breastfed knows, your body doesn’t quite feel your own immediately post-feeding. It truly was a step – or several thousand strides – into the unknown. I knew that when I put myself on the line, a 40-year-old up against much younger girls, I would

ale and the smell of burgers wafting across the track. Fuller’s London Pride sponsored the event, producing commemorative bottles of beer labelled ‘Night of the 10,000m PBs’ – a nice touch. The organisers had asked all athletes for a song in advance to create a playlist for the night; I had chosen U2’s Vertigo because I wanted something upbeat with a strong tempo. The rain lashed down; banners and tents strained in the wind. There were some good girls in the field and I had been nervous anticipating the race, but the atrocious weather made us giggle each time we were literally blown of the track while attempting our final warm-up strides – so much so that my nerves evaporated. No one could expect to run well in the blustering gale and that took

I’d forgotten you need to wear your club vest for national trials. I’d spent hours preparing all the stuf for the kids, and then just chucked my sponsors’ kit into my bag on autopilot. It was the sort of thing that would have thrown me into a panic before I had children. Now I was used to taking things as they come and I just thought how lucky it was that we’d discovered the problem in advance of the event. I told Gav it was in the laundry basket and would need a quick wash. Gav said no problem, he’d bring it up, clean, the following day. An hour later he called again. I could hear in his voice that something was wrong. In the


A while later he rang, triumphantly declaring that he’d found the box, eventually, at the back of a wardrobe in a spare room. The vest was inside, he said, but it would need a wash. ‘You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?’ I said. ‘Just bring it as it is.’ When he handed over the mothballed vest the following day we had to giggle.


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HOLDING BACK THE YEARS Jo’s remarkable career 1988 English Schools 1500m title.

1997 Makes international racing debut at the World Champs in Athens, reaching the semi-final.

2000 At her first Olympics, in Sydney, she makes the 5000m final. She breaks her PB by 10 seconds, finishing 12th.

2004 Finishes fifth in the 5000m at the Athens Olympics.

2006 Wins silver in the 5000m at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

2008 Finishes 12th in the 10,000m at her third Olympics, in Beijing.

2009 Has her first child, Jacob.

2012 Wins silver in the 10,000m at the European Champs in Helsinki; finishes seventh (and first European) in the 5000m and 10,000m final at the London Olympics (her fourth Games).

2013 Gives birth to Emily.

2014 Wins 5000m bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow; 10 days later takes gold, in the 10,000m, at the European Champs in Zurich. Almost 41, she is the oldest gold medallist in the history of the Championships.

2016 Runs the Olympic 10,000m qualifying time and selected to travel to Rio for her fifth Games. 044 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

some of the pressure of. During my warm-up, I had to bow into the wind and throw myself forward to counter the resistance. It was another ridiculous variable which made my mission seem even more unlikely. The comedy of the situation helped me relax. As I stood on the start line, I pushed all the factors against me out of mind. I thought, ‘Let’s go for it and see what it brings.’ When the pistol went, I was taken over by the awesome thrill of being back in a competitive race. Tasha Vernon was the pacemaker for the first few laps, then I decided to go to the front. About midway through, Sophie Duarte of France took the lead for a lap, but I overtook her and pushed


on. I was feeling surprisingly OK. It was tough in the gusting wind but everyone was in the same boat and I just felt like cracking on with it. I had to finish in the top two and run under 33 minutes that night to automatically qualify for the European Championships. Gav had been chatting to fellow coach Alan Storey, the former head of British Athletics Endurance, who thought it would be pretty tough to go under 33 minutes in these conditions, but it was one of those races with no messy moments or sharp elbows or the risk of having your legs cut by another athlete’s spikes. After three of the 25 laps the race strung out, so I just focused on my rhythm and the track ahead, trying to keep under the qualifying pace as the laps ticked by, my energy boosted by encouraging shouts from the crowd. I’m never keen on wearing a running vest (as opposed to a crop @runnersworlduk


After the podium ceremony and a celebration with friends, we set of

ever like the free-spirited runner who first discovered a love of racing wearing that same vest in the late 1980s. It had been stored away for two and a half decades, a period of time in which many medical experts suggested I give up running and various people tried to modify my approach or make me into a diferent kind of runner. I continually rebelled (politely) and now – after I had had kids and moved back to Devon, after I had thrown away piles of orthotic insoles and training gadgets, after my support team had shrunk to just Gav – I had rediscovered my own instinctive, uncomplicated version of running.

I enjoy my training and racing so much more now because I am happy. I feel life has come full circle on both a personal and a career level. I feel fulfilled. I love being a mum who happens to run, and I love being a mum who is a professional athlete but can still come second in the primary school sports day mums’ race (it was running with a tennis ball under the chin!). My family unit is my training unit. I have a better balance in my approach to life. The perspective that parenthood gives me means I don’t stress about the small stuf. The experts I’ve worked with along the way had helped me develop as an

IN TRAINING Jo puts in another track session while daughter Emily pays not the slightest bit of attention

HOME Jo and family after she won bronze in the 5000m at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games

WINNER Jo takes gold in the 10,000m at the European Championships in Zurich, August 2014

on the long drive back to Devon, happy my running career was still on course and our flexible training methods had proved successful. The conversation switched back from athlete/coach to our concerns as parents. I couldn’t wait to tiptoe in to see our children asleep, and to read the amusing notes Mum would have written about how things actually materialised despite my original list of ideal food, bath and bed times. I’m not obsessive about routines; we have an understanding with both sets of grandparents that as long as the kids are safe and happy, that’s the important thing. It would be amusing to hear how it had panned out. Chuckling about the vest drama, Gav and I couldn’t help but sense how life had come full circle. It seemed so fitting that I came to wear that old Harriers vest in the 2014 National Championships because, at the grand age of 40, I was more than

When I cast my mind back over my career, I realise that in many respects, my continuation in the sport comes down to not wanting to let go of that passion and love for running I first discovered all those years ago. Becoming a mum helped me rediscover the simple joy of it. The happiness it gave me, and the better balance in my life, has psychologically benefited my running immensely. Since becoming a mother, my whole approach is about juggling priorities – with my kids always coming first. As soon as I was pregnant with Jacob, I decided against ever going abroad for winter training camps. I want to be a full-time, hands-on mum and there’s no time now to obsess about training or worry about trying to follow the ‘perfect athlete’ routine. I do what I can, when I can, and I don’t stress about straying from some idealised plan.

athlete. Equipped with that selfknowledge, we simplified our approach, moving back to rural Devon, stepping away from the world of highperformance centres. It was just Gav and me working together. I was back running round the same country lanes that had helped me win those junior titles. My staple run was the five-mile loop I ran as a child; my track sessions were completed at the same Yeovil ground where I’d set a British junior record. And as if to sum it all up, I’d won my comeback race in the vest that symbolised my innate love of running. Now I had returned to running for pleasure, I was never going to let go of that simple passion. Little did I know then just how far it still had to take me.

top) – they remind me of PE at school – but the decades-old vest proved to be a lucky charm. I knew I was running under the time I needed and won in 32:11, well within the European Championships qualifying time. I was delighted, exhausted, soggy, cold, jubilant and relieved. In little over half an hour I had gone from nowhere to National Champion. And I’d won selection to run in the Europeans for my country in my first race back from having a baby! It was bonkers. I congratulated the other girls. Beth Potter had run a brilliant race for third to be the second Brit to guarantee selection. I embraced Gav. We were thrilled but laughing in sheer surprise. Alan shook Gav’s hand, shaking his head wryly.



Photography Tom Oldham, Mark Shearman, Getty Hair and makeup Sharka Clothing and footwear by adidas: Leggings Allover Graphic Long Tights, £44.95; Prime Tee, £17.95; Performance Tee, £29.95; UltraBOOST Uncaged, £129.95.

BACK TO BASICS Jo has rediscovered her uncomplicated approach to running

Extracted from This Mum Runs, by Jo Pavey, published by Yellow Jersey Press. © Jo Pavey 2016 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 045

Break on Six training and lifestyle strategies to take your running to the next level

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With 2km of a 10K to go Kaitlin Goodman felt strong. Fluid. She picked up speed and flew the last mile to cross the line with a 52-second PB. So how had she managed to do so well? To make such a breakthrough you need to ask: What elements are missing from your training? What bad habits have you let sneak in? For Goodman the secret was miles. Although focused on the 10K she had also trained for a marathon and so she was running more miles than ever. It was uncharted territory, but the payof was huge. But mileage is only part of the jigsaw, just one of several key strategies you can focus on to forge a breakthrough. Over the following pages we’ll show you five others and help you identify which – or which combination of them – will bring you the greatest rewards.




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Emphasise endurance

WHY Upping your mileage is the best way to improve your

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aerobic capacity, which increases speed endurance – how long you can sustain race pace. THE CHALLENGE Making a jump in

lite coach Mike Caldwell believes recovery is a crucial but undervalued piece of the training jigsaw. ‘Our recovery days are vital. We’re able to run hard on our hard days because we only ran 45 minutes on Wednesdays and Fridays.’

mileage safely requires patience. THE RISK Increasing mileage too rapidly can lead to overuse injuries.

The key to Caldwell’s system is a delineation between tough workout days and recovery days. During hard interval sessions – 5K pace, for example – his runners cover five to six miles, as opposed to the more traditional three or four miles. For his runners to handle that volume of quality, Caldwell says they must be fresh heading into the sessions. Higher mileage means higher fitness, so you may find it mentally challenging to lower mileage on easy days to recover properly. Training volume is certainly a big factor in performance, and lowering it too much on your recovery days can be detrimental if the total aerobic stimulus is too low. Runners who are hesitant about significantly lowering their recovery-day mileage should consider slowing the pace. This reduces stress on the body while still allowing for the added volume, says Rosario. Fitness gains occur during recovery, so it’s critical to find a personal balance between the volume and intensity of hard days and easy days. @runnersworlduk

Words Philip Latter Illustrations Michael Byers

CHANGE THIS Run more miles, even if you're training for a 5K.

plan and work schedule and thought there was no way I’d get it all in, but more often than not I did. Having a training plan was crucial; it kept me thinking of 30-60-minute windows where I could get the training in.’ The downside of adding volume is it does increase your risk of overuse injuries. To lower that risk, coach Ben Rosario has two recommendations: ‘First, make sure you're running on soft surfaces for the majority of your mileage,’ he says. ‘Second, put a bigger premium on postrun recovery – foam rolling, flexibility exercises and massage are the big ones.’ Rosario also stresses that patience is a virtue when you’re trying to develop your aerobic system. You may not get faster for a while, but workouts will get easier over time. ‘It’s about trusting what you're doing,’ he says.

Prioritise recovery

ifteen years ago, transitioning to the marathon was seen as the death knell for speed among elite runners. Then the likes of Paula Radclife rewrote the rulebook by returning to the track faster than ever in the months after racing 26.2 miles. Goodman believes training for a marathon six months before her 10K race made all the diference. ‘I was running longer long runs and doing workouts within long runs,’ she says. (Goodman was running 30 per cent more weekly miles in her heaviest weeks of marathon training than she would peak at in 10K training.) Increasing your mileage brings many benefits: increased capillary density, greater numbers of mitochondria, better usage of fat as fuel, muscle fibre adaptations and higher glycogen storage. These changes allow you to maintain a desired pace for longer by making your body more eicient at oxygen usage and energy production. One runner who has taken this to extremes is the US 100K record holder, Camille Herron. ‘Nine years ago I started running over 100 miles per week,’ she says. ‘Building that aerobic base translated to being able to sustain my speed for longer.’ Not many of us will hit weekly triple digits and increasing your mileage safely takes time, patience and often some creative thinking when it comes to time management. Elite masters runner Frankie Adkins ran a 10K PB at the age of 41. His biggest challenge was finding a way to fit the extra miles around the time constraints of family life and a job that had him travelling almost every day. ‘I fit my training around work and family, not the other way around,’ he says. ‘And there were weeks when I looked at my training

Some may opt to go longer or even to run twice on easy days. Research suggests doing two runs on easy days will increase growth hormone production and so speed recovery. There’s no one answer that works for all runners, so get in the mindset of asking yourself whether you are recovering adequately, and making changes to ensure you are. Adequate recovery is about much more than just distance and pace, however. Eating a nutrient-rich diet, training on a variety of surfaces and wearing proper shoes can all reduce the wear and tear on your body, and speed your recovery from harder sessions. And Rosario says there’s one other ingredient that runners of all levels neglect: sleep. It’s not just tired muscles that need rest. According to a study review in Sleep Science, sleep deprivation reduces your ability to maintain attention and increases perceived exertion. It also afects your ability to control your body temperature, making it harder to run in adverse conditions, and increases cardiac efort. In this state your central nervous system is too depleted to produce the efort needed to run fast. Generally, if you’re not getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night, you’ll be hard-pressed to run well.

CHANGE THIS Lower your recovery-day mileage and/or slow your recovery pace. Get more sleep. WHY Failing to recover sets you up for injury and burnout. THE CHALLENGE Cutting back on recovery-day mileage seems counterintuitive if your goal is to become faster. THE RISK You can lose fitness if you cut back too much; it can be tough to balance volume and recovery.

Become a complete athlete ack in the 1970s and 1980s, runners rarely thought about strength: The weights room was a torture chamber full of bodybuilders. In the last decade, if you wanted to sound like an informed member of the running world, you threw out one word about strength: core. Developing strength in those magical muscles in your abdomen, trunk and lower back was touted as the most vital ancillary work you could do. Core stabilising muscles are certainly important, but so are the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the lower and upper body. Several studies have found evidence that lifting heavy weights, especially with the lower body, improves race times for well-trained distance runners. More recently, attention in the strength and conditioning world has moved away from raw strength and towards reducing the discrepancy in strength and flexibility between paired muscles. ‘Functional movement is really the buzz phrase,’ says Rosario. ‘We address any biomechanical ineiciencies. We make sure strength is equal on each side.’ While exercises targeting the abs, obliques, lower back and hips

CHANGE THIS Strength-train your whole body, not just your legs or midsection. WHY You need full-body strength to run with your best form, using your full range of motion and power.

are still included in this approach, so are exercises that work on the quads, hamstrings, calves, Achilles tendons, shoulders and chest muscles. Rosario’s athletes mostly use kettlebells and their own body weight. Other coaches add in balance boards, medicine balls and elastic bands. The common goal is addressing strength imbalances and applying them in a running-specific manner. To lower injury risk, Rosario’s athletes can’t move on to heavier weights until they have mastered good form. Another option for developing strength and power is to train on steep hills. One recent study found that hill runs developed stronger hip flexors, which could be related to better form and eiciency, and faster times. Coach John Goodridge argues that hill sprints are just as efective as lunges or squats. ‘As a 67-year-old coach, I'm in the minority, old-school club and do not emphasise weight training, core or running drills,’ he says. ‘I make use of hills throughout the year.’ Goodridge is not a lone voice: Many coaches find explosive hill reps of seven to 10 seconds on a steep gradient (20-30 per cent) to be as efective as squats in building lower-body power.

Strength also reduces injury risk. You can’t get all the strength you need just by running more. THE CHALLENGE Strength training takes extra time and energy on top of running. And

runners tend to find it a tedious discipline, with none of the joy or clearly visible progress of running. THE RISK Poor form with heavy weights can lead to injury.

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Switch to highoctane fuel e runners have a rather strange relationship with food. We run ourselves ravenous, but how can you refuel to enhance, rather than undo, your good work? We hear ‘experts’ extolling the virtues of eating like a caveman, abstaining from sugar, eating more fat, eating less fat, going raw, cooking slow and everything in between. What to do?

Emily Brown, a dietitian at the Mayo Clinic in the US and former elite runner, says it would be better if runners looked at the performance-enhancing qualities a food brings to the table rather than how it can hurt them. ‘I try to address nutrition from the standpoint of the positive influence it can have on health and performance, versus focusing on the negative,’ she says. ‘An optimal diet can benefit an athlete by increasing energy for training and enhancing recovery.’

One way to get better fuel is by packing your own snacks, says Brown. Healthy snacks that provide quick energy include wholewheat crackers with nut butter, dried fruit and seeds, and fruit smoothies. Minimal processing is good, because the additives found in many commercially produced foods can negatively impact your performance. And be aware that simple sugars increase the production of cortisol, a hormone that can inhibit recovery if it’s constantly flowing through the bloodstream. That doesn’t make all processed foods bad, says Brown. Consider cereal. ‘Some are low in sugar and fortified with nutrients such as B vitamins, iron and zinc.’ Try to increase the amount of fresh, natural food you consume. Then enjoy your indulgences guilt-free.

Embrace positivity

un joyfully’ is Kaitlin Goodman’s mantra, and she tries to personify this every time she heads out. But what does ‘running joyfully’ entail? ‘One, it's really living of those endorphins,’ she says. ‘I mean, how many runs do you ever regret going on? Nine out of 10 times you feel better and happier, and you have a clearer head. And try to appreciate the opportunity that you have to be out there.’ Tim Catalano, co-author of Running the Edge: Discovering the Secrets to Better Running and a Better Life (Maven) is a former elite runner with a degree in psychology. He says this approach is a good example of self-determinism. You can choose to focus on the positive or the negative in any endeavour and create your own experience. When Catalano tackled the six-day, 120-mile 050 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

TransRockies Run last year, he really put that approach to the test. ‘There are going to be some terrible times when you run 120 miles in a week,’ he says. ‘But what I chose to remember later – and what I chose to remember in the moment – was, “This is an amazing gift that I have a body that can do this. I'm in the middle of the Rocky Mountains experiencing something very few people get to.” And when you hold on to those notions, you're just happier.’

CHANGE THIS Enjoy running for running’s sake, not just for its outcomes. WHY A happy, positive runner performs better and feels more satisfaction.

Controlling your mental outlook is no New Age gimmick, nor a call to abandon concrete goals. You can be a positive perfectionist. Eminent German psychologists Arne Dietrich and Oliver Stoll recently published studies that show how perfectionism falls into two categories. Positive-striving perfectionism leads you to set high standards for your performance and helps you achieve your goals. Self-critical perfectionism, on the other hand, leaves you in a state of constant worry

THE CHALLENGE Runners are naturally competitive – we use stats to reassure ourselves. It is diicult to accept the relativity of our performances and reframe our perspective. Plus, some

days running doesn’t feel good, and positive psychology can feel like a load of youknow-what. THE RISK You may sound like a flower child to your buddies.


RUNNING WISDOM olstoy said, ‘The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.’ Regardless of our knowledge of Russian literature, we distance runners understand this better than most. But even we can be lulled into forgetting these words of wisdom when our lives get busy and our goals feel distant or even, perhaps, unattainable.

CHANGE THIS Increase your intake of healthy, nutrient-rich foods to improve your performance.

THE CHALLENGE Processed foods are convenient, inexpensive and well marketed. Runners may feel their regular activity writes them a nutritional blank cheque. It really doesn’t. THE RISK Health-wise, none, although paying more attention to nutrition requires time and focus.

Be persistent and consistent

WHY Food is more than simply calories to burn for energy. Real foods contain nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health, speed recovery, protect you from disease, provide more consistent energy and result in prolonged periods of better health (which will, in turn, improve your running).

There is no doubt that year-in and year-out consistency can make all the diference in the world when it comes to getting a big jump in your running performance. ‘Distance running takes patience,’ says Colorado State University cross-country coach Art Siemers. ‘My main focus is finding athletes with the desire, commitment and patience to slowly build an aerobic base, aiming toward a big breakthrough once the body adapts to the stress of higher mileage. This can be a challenge in the age of instant gratification, but those athletes who possess patience and a strong work ethic usually succeed.’ This same type of patience, allied with its trusty comrade in arms – time – can lead to great victories for runners at every level. There will be times when it’s hard to keep putting in the tough miles of training and when it seems like you’ve plateaued. If you’re battling doubts and demotivation, simply remind yourself that staying consistent creates the changes that will lead eventually and inevitably to new levels of performance down the road. In other words, keep the faith.

CHANGE THIS Make running a default part of your life: every day, week, month and year. and disappointment, and is correlated with anxiety, stress and depression. Despite all their attention to detail, the research found, self-critical perfectionists were less likely to achieve their goals because any minor setback was seen as defeat. This is one reason why the ability to experience running as an autotelic experience (one that's enjoyed for its own sake) may be the key to running faster. Putting in more miles, doing quality work and experimenting with diferent sessions become rewards, not chores, when pleasure is found in the act itself. That doesn’t mean every mile will be wonderful, says Goodman. But if you take a moment, even in the middle of a raging downpour, to remind yourself how fortunate you are to be running in the first place, then you’re more likely to appreciate the process. ‘We can’t change an experience,’ says Catalano. ‘But we can change how we experience that experience. You can let those dark voices overwhelm you and have a bad day, or you can make the voices focus on the good stuf, and it turns out to be a great day.’

WHY Big leaps in your running performance can only be achieved by transforming your body, and those crucial transformations will only occur over time. THE CHALLENGE It can be hard to measure the progress made in a single day and all too easy to convince yourself that it doesn’t make a diference. It’s also easier to negotiate the time and to find the willpower for a hard, short-term push than to adopt a long-term lifestyle change. THE RISK A foolish consistency that ignores your body’s signals can cause you to run while injured or get in the way of recovery.

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Getting oxygen to your working muscles is the most natural thing in the world, but with the right training you can boost your performance with every breath you take

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ou’re standing outside waiting for a GPS lock. You haven’t taken a step, but in your brain a preparation process has already been triggered. ‘Your respiratory centre is found in an area of the brain called the hypothalamus,’ says Dr John Dickinson, Head of the Respiratory Clinic at the University of Kent. ‘It knows when you’re about to exercise, so you’ll unconsciously start breathing slightly faster and more deeply, and capillaries will start to dilate in anticipation of carrying more oxygen.’ As you set of, you need to consider how to help this natural response work efectively. ‘Starting slowly is key to allowing these processes to build up, rather than shocking the system,’ says Paul Hough, Lead Sport and Exercise Scientist at St Mary’s University Sports Performance Service ( Managing your early efort to allow your system the time to kick in is particularly important if you’re a new runner, or rebuilding your fitness after a layof. ‘The fitter you get, the quicker your oxygen kinetics will kick in at the beginning of a run,’ says Dickinson. ‘This means that the shift between rest and producing enough energy aerobically will be quicker, so the breathless discomfort that comes at the beginning of a run will be over with more quickly.’ If you’re paying attention as you start to run you’ll notice a shift in how you breathe. At rest, you Iron-rich foods to breathe primarily through help maintain the your nose, but very soon haemoglobin you into a run ‘you switch to mouth breathing, as it’s need for efective the easiest way to draw oxygen delivery in air’, says Dickinson. Although this delivers more air to your lungs, Meat and fish contain there is a downside: the most bioavailable When you nose-breathe form of iron. at rest, air is warmed and Green leafy veg. Eat humidified by your nose, plant sources of iron but breathing through with vitamin C-rich your mouth during foods, such as oranges, exercise bypasses this to increase absorption. process. This can cause Pulses (eg chickpeas) problems, especially Eggs in winter. ‘Dry, cold air Tofu can be damaging to the Beans airways because the nose Fortified breakfast can’t do its normal job of cereals warming/humidifying,’ Whole grains says Dickinson. ‘This Dried figs and apricots means the lower airways Nuts and seeds in the lungs have to do it, Dark chocolate 054 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

which can lead to irritation.’ Over a long period, if you’re genetically susceptible and consistently run in very cold air, this could cause permanent damage to the lungs. If it’s truly Arctic outside, consider wearing a scarf or bandana loosely across your face. ‘This warms the air before it goes down into your airways and also captures the moist breath coming out, which then humidifies the air going in,’ says Dickinson. ‘You can also avoid early runs in really cold conditions. The freezing, dry air of early morning will warm up and become moister later.’

RHYTHM AND POWER As your run progresses, your breaths become more frequent and your heart rate rises. Your muscles now have a greater need for oxygen to facilitate the conversion of carbs or fat into energy, and as the heart and lungs are responsible for delivering

this oxygen, they have to work harder. ‘At rest, your lungs will be taking in 10-12 litres of air per minute. When you run, depending on how big you are and how fast you’re running, this increases by four to eight times,’ says Alison McConnell, Professor of Exercise Science at Bournemouth University and author of Breathe Strong, Perform Better (Human Kinetics). As things start to feel harder, breathing in rhythm can control the regularity and depth of your breathing, improving its eiciency and, in turn, boosting performance and lowering your perception of efort. ‘Break each phase of the breath into a number of footstrikes,’ says McConnell. ‘For example, begin your inhale on your left foot strike, continue it through the right footstrike, then exhale in the same pattern. You can experiment with what’s comfortable for you. This not @runnersworlduk


CELL MATES Red blood cells carry oxygen where it needs to go

inspiratory-muscle endurance and up to seven per cent faster recovery during sprint repeats. When that precious oxygen passes into your blood it hitches a ride on a protein inside your red blood cells called haemoglobin, which transports it to your quads, hamstrings and every other muscle that’s working to keep you moving. The more haemoglobin-loaded red blood cells you have, the more oxygen you can transport to your muscles. It’s that simple equation that has led many athletes into the dark world of stimulating artificial red blood cell production, most notably via the banned substance EPO. However, there are some safe and legal ways to maximise your haemoglobin levels. ‘Exercise in itself increases red blood cells to meet the extra demands on the body, but if you’re a regular exerciser, the body has probably already adapted to this increased load and you won’t see large increases once you’re fit,’ says Dickinson. One way to shock the body into producing more red blood cells is by training at altitude (or in a similarly deoxygenated hypoxic chamber), but research shows this can take two to three weeks to take efect. That’s fine for elite athletes who ship out to high-altitude training camps for months on end, but not so practical for the rest of us.

Words Lisa Buckingham Illustrations Paul Blow


only gives a feeling of control over your breath, it also encourages you to breathe deeply and slowly.’ That slower, deeper breathing will benefit your running. ‘Taking deeper, slower breaths will deliver more oxygen to the muscles than short, shallow breaths, as you’re taking in more air and expending less energy,’ says Dickinson. ‘But it should be a satisfying breath, rather than an excessively deep breath.’ After you inhale, oxygen-rich air travels down your trachea, on into two tubes called bronchi and then into smaller tubes called bronchioles, eventually reaching microscopic sacs called alveoli in your lungs. Our lungs have roughly 480 million of these and it’s through their walls – by a process called difusion – that oxygen is delivered into your blood via capillaries. It stands to reason, then, that having more alveoli would improve

your oxygen supply, but that’s not something you can achieve through training. ‘The lungs are not trainable and you cannot grow more alveoli,’ says McConnell. ‘But you can improve the muscles that inflate your lungs – mainly the diaphragm and intercostal muscles – so you can take more air into your lungs with each breath.’ You can train these muscles by practising deeper, more eicient diaphragmatic breathing (‘belly breathing’) and through inspiratory-muscle training (see Training your breathing muscles, p56). Several studies on subjects using the popular inspiratory muscle-training device, Powerbreathe, found a 31 per cent improvement in inspiratory-muscle strength, 27 per cent increase in

Better news is that your diet can also help, with iron being crucial, as it’s an essential component of haemoglobin (see Foods to boost oxygen delivery, left). Iron deficiency can limit red blood cell production. ‘And in women, menstruation will also deplete them, so suicient iron intake is vital,’ says McConnell. Women should aim to consume 14.8mg a day and men, 8.7mg. Another factor to consider is breathing in carbon monoxide, which can impair performance by bonding with haemoglobin, thereby compromising red blood cells’ ability to transport oxygen to muscles. Carbon monoxide is present in cigarette smoke, and is also an environmental pollutant prevalent in vehicle emissions. And carbon monoxide isn’t the only pollutant we need to be aware of as we breathe on the run. ‘It’s worth noting the scientific consensus is that the benefits of exercise outweigh the negative efects of pollution in healthy people,’ says Dickinson. But there 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 055

are still negative efects to consider. ‘Our lungs try to protect themselves by producing more mucus to push invading particles back out, but they can’t fully defend themselves and pollution produces an inflammatory response in the airways,’ says Dickinson. ‘Frequent, long-term running in polluted air can lead to exercise-induced asthma, but it’s an issue of dose and how genetically susceptible you are.’ Dickinson believes air-filter masks can decrease the level of pollutants you inhale, but questions how practical wearing anything that compromises airflow is for runners and suggests alternative anti-pollution strategies: ‘To limit your exposure, avoid running next to busy roads, pay attention to airquality forecasts and run at times when pollution is lowest.’ Pollution levels in the UK tend be lower before 7am and after 8pm. Ozone, another potential breathing irritant for runners, is highest on hot days in spring and summer. Getting your five-a-day could help ofset the efects. ‘Air pollutants injure the lung via oxidative mechanisms, which are controlled by antioxidant availability,’ says Frank Kelly, Professor of Environmental Health at King’s College London. ‘Some food components are powerful antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, so fresh fruit and veg are thought to be beneficial.’

THE PUMP CARD Once your red blood cells have picked up their oxygen, they are pumped with their precious cargo around your body by your heart. And it’s here that you can make serious gains in terms of improving oxygen delivery. ‘Your lungs don’t limit your supply of oxygen, but the heart can,’ says Dickinson. ‘The bigger the volume of blood the left side of the heart can pump to your muscles with each beat [aka stroke volume], the more oxygen they’ll receive.’ That capacity of the heart to pump blood is vital for improving the endurance athlete’s holy grail – V02 max. ‘Think of V02 max as being like the size of a car engine,’ says Hough. ‘If your car can go at 120mph maximum speed, it can cruise easily at 90mph. But if it’s max speed is 100mph, it will struggle to cruise at 90mph. A high V02 max gives you a bigger capacity to go faster for 056 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

Diaphragmatic-breathing exercises

Start by working on correct diaphragmaticbreathing technique. Progress to using an inspiratory muscletraining device

Practise these exercises from sports physio Jehan Yehia daily, at rest. The technique will transfer to your running. 01/ Place a hand on the base of your ribs and breathe in. Breath deeply from the lower ribs upwards, expanding the lower ribs and abdomen. You should feel the base of your ribs and abdomen expanding, not the front of your chest.

longer. And the best way to improve it is by including sessions where you’re running close to, or at, your V02-max pace. As a rule of thumb, this is roughly the hardest pace you could keep up consistently for 10-12 minutes.’ When the oxygen-carrying red blood cells arrive at your working muscles, the haemoglobin drops of its load and the muscle uses it immediately to convert stored glycogen into energy to power your run. That energy is generated by your mitochondria, the powerhouses of your muscle cells. ‘Mitochondria need oxygen to convert carbs (and fat on longer, slower runs) into a molecule called ATP, which is the body’s energy currency,’ says Hough. ‘And it’s possible to both improve the ability of the mitochondria to convert oxygen eiciently and to increase their numbers.’ The key to seeing significant improvements in both your heart and mitochondrial function is variety in your training sessions. ‘Long, slow runs at a conversational pace increase the heart’s pumping capacity and its endurance,’ says Dr Graham Sharpe, Principal Lecturer at the School of Science & Technology at Nottingham Trent University. And long, slow runs also improve the ability of your mitochondria to burn fat as fuel, according to Hough. ‘This is particularly important for longer races, such as marathons.’ Short, intense interval sessions are very efective at boosting your heart’s ability to pump larger volumes of blood and improving your V02 max, and have also been shown to improve mitochondrial function, according to Hough. To improve V02 max, Hough recommends four to six four-minute intervals at a hard but not maximum pace, with three minutes of light jogging recovery in between.‘The best sessions to enhance mitochondrial function

02/ Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Arch your lower back upwards, then flatten it into the floor, and then find a neutral position between the two. Take three deep breaths, feeling your lower ribs and abdomen expand, then ‘rest’ with three normal breaths. Repeat, this time holding each breath for a couple of seconds before exhaling.

would be all-out sprints for 10-30 seconds, with a rest period six times longer,’ says Hough. A third element to add is resistance training. ‘Recent research has shown resistance training can also boost mitochondrial function,’ says Hough. ‘And stronger, more eicient muscle means that the heart and lungs don’t have to work as hard to deliver oxygen,’ says Dickinson. ‘Working on core and leg strength in particular can also improve running economy [how eiciently you use oxygen].’


Inspiratory-muscle exercise Once you’ve mastered good diaphragmatic breathing, try inspiratory-muscle training (IMT). ‘Running strengthens the diaphragm, but you don’t get the results you get with inspiratory training,’ says Sharpe. The most accessible method is a device such as a POWERbreathe (, which has a valve that provides resistance as you inhale.

CARBON EMISSIONS At the same time as dropping of oxygen, your blood ‘picks up’ carbon dioxide, which your muscles produce as a waste product when triggering energy release. This is where that old runner’s foe, lactate, comes into play. ‘We produce lactate the whole time we’re running and our muscles can use it as fuel – it’s not a waste product,’ says Sharpe. ‘But we reach an exercise intensity where the rate at which we produce lactate exceeds the rate at which we can use it and

it starts to accumulate in the blood. This is known as lactate threshold.’ Runners know all too well the efects of reaching lactate threshold; our breathing becomes harder, verging on desperate, as we gasp for air. But you may be surprised to learn what’s driving this: ‘It’s not to take in more oxygen,’ says Sharpe. ‘Your blood, even when you’re working at high intensities, is still saturated with oxygen – it can’t carry any more. You breathe harder because your body is trying to get rid of carbon dioxide and it does this because that’s the most efective way of controlling the build-up of acids [such as lactate] in the blood.’ ‘You can delay this point by adding training sessions that take you just above your lactate threshold,’ says Dickinson. ‘Try hard one-kilometre eforts followed by a kilometre of active recovery. That way, you’ll be able to run for longer at a higher intensity before experiencing lactate build-up and its accompanying breathing discomfort.’ The unwanted carbon dioxide exits your body after difusing through the

walls of the alveoli into your lungs, which push it back through the bronchioles, bronchi, trachea and out of your mouth. So if the exhale is getting rid of C02, which is key to avoiding lactate build-up, is it best to breathe out as hard as you can? ‘No,’ says Dickinson. ‘Your exhale is a more passive process than the inhale, as it’s predominantly powered by your breathing muscles springing back. You should allow it to feel natural – forcing air out leads to a greater need to breathe in again, which can lead to hyperventilation.’ Fast, shallow breathing affects the balance of oxygen and C02 in the blood, and can cause dizziness and blurred vision. According to Dickinson, no matter how hard you try you can’t improve the maximum amount of air you expel from the lungs after a deep inhalation. So, exhaling naturally is the vital final component of good, eicient breathing. All you need to do is inhale. And exhale. And so on…

LET IT GO Breathing out rids the body of carbon dioxide

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Block the brain drain Is your brain tiring you out? Daily decisions and distractions can sap your resolve to run. Here’s how to preserve your precious mental energy


fter dealing with your unrelenting workload, demanding boss, erratic computer, incessant emails, texts and the other stresses of your day, you may feel too tired to run by the time 5:30pm rolls around. Feeling fatigued may seem odd if you’ve been parked in a chair for eight hours. But while you may not have physically exerted yourself, you are low on mental energy and that can make you feel tired, says Dr Daniel Evans, a postdoctoral fellow in the Brown Clinical Psychology Training Program in the US. When your brain has to make hundreds of 058 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

micro-decisions all day, it can experience ‘decision fatigue’. The more choices you make, the more drained your brain becomes, which can cause you to lose your grip on good judgment as the hours tick by. Psychologists have been studying the phenomenon of decision fatigue for almost 30 years. The theory is that each of us has a finite store of mental energy and, therefore, willpower. This explains why you’ll find yourself surfing Facebook after a run instead of foam-rolling. But with the following strategies you’ll be able to keep good training habits on track, even on mentally exhausting days. @runnersworlduk


so you’ll feel less physically drained as the race progresses. ‘In principle, running with a group is beneficial because the decision-making process becomes much simpler: all you have to do is follow the runner ahead,’ says Andrew Renfree, a researcher at the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester. Just be sure that your pacer is a good match for your speed and race goals.


Words AC Shilton Photography Getty

START YOUR DAY RIGHT One good decision can lead to another. Healthy habits such as exercising in the morning and eating a balanced breakfast can hav e a beneficial knock-on efect, leading you to make better choices for the rest of the day. Evans says willpower is similar to a muscle in that the more it’s worked, the stronger it becomes. Even if you can’t run in the morning, start your day with a positive behaviour, such as doing 10 minutes of y oga or eating a healthy breakfast. Front-loading your day with actions that support your training will make it less likely you’ll skip a run later.

STREAMLINE DECISIONS You can’t control what you’ll face at work, and life emergencies can always pop up out of nowhere. However, you can reduce the number of decisions you have to

take at busy times by planning your workouts and preparing your meals and snacks in advance. ‘When I was training for a half Ironman, I sat down and planned out all my workouts so I never had to think about them when I was tired,’ says Dr Stephen Graef, a sports psychologist at Ohio State University in the US. ‘Try to eliminate the hassle of having to figure out which workout, which time, which route. Every single one of those decisions burns brain fuel.’ And be aware that tough workouts take mental fortitude, as well as physical efort. When you come back from a long run or a high-intensity speedwork session, your resolve may not be at its highest. So rather than asking your brain to decide between the veggies in the fridge and the biscuits in the tin, ‘pre-decide’ by preparing a healthy postrun snack before you head out.

RACE IN A GROUP It takes significant mental energy to properly pace yourself in a race. Letting someone else set the pace for you – be it a pace group or a friend you regularly run with – could help you conserve mental energy

When your body begs for a break, recognise that it could be your brain trying to slow you down. The mental fatigue of running hard can make you feel that you can’t go on, even though you still have physical energy in the form of unused glycogen in your muscles. However, a hit of sugar can fool your brain. Evans says just tasting something sweet can reset the brain’s ability to make good decisions. One study found that simply swishing a glucose solution, such as Lucozade, around your mouth can help you feel more energised and get you back on track. ‘There are sensors in our mouths that sense glucose, which can trick the brain into thinking it’s getting more fuel,’ says Evans. Of course, if you’re racing a long distance, you’ll need to replenish your glycogen sources anyway, so feel free to sip, not just swish.

USE A POWER PLAYLIST Good decision-making declines as your mental energy decreases, which explains why grabbing a cheeky beer from a spectator at mile three doesn’t present the same temptation that it does at mile 23, when body and mind are struggling. Graef says one great way to stave of a mistake late in a race is to use music. Even if you don’t want to run with it for your entire race, having music available for the last few miles, when your willpower is likely to dip, can boost your mood, help you tune out distractions and give you the chance to refocus on your performance.

TAKE FIVE Evans says taking time to mentally reboot can help you find motivation to run after a draining day. Research supports the benefits of a quick meditation session or power nap. Just as efective is spending a few minutes doing something that elicits a positive emotion. Google ‘drunk cat playing the banjo’, anyone? 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 059


We could be

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roes The Heroes Ultra, a gruelling traverse across the savagely beautiful interior of Crete, is a new race with an inspiring wartime history. RW’s Tobias Mews summoned his inner hero to tackle an epic adventure

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‘You’re almost there, just keep moving’... I say to myself as I hobble along the beach, casting longing glances at the blue waters of the Mediterranean. It’s easier said than done. Over the past 24 hours I’ve run right across the unforgiving interior of Crete and right now I’m feeling every step. I pause to listen to the waves crashing onto Peristeres Beach and reflect on the events that took place here 72 years ago. This is the inaugural edition of the Heroes Ultra, which retraces the route of a daring Allied operation to abduct a German general during the Second World War; the story is recounted in Christopher McDougall’s recent book, Natural Born Heroes (Profile Books). I imagine the relief Special Operations Executive agents Patrick Leigh Fermor and Billy Stanley Moss, and their band of Cretan resistance fighters, must have felt on reaching Peristeres beach, after almost three weeks and 100 miles of escape and evasion in the mountains. But my own journey is not quite finished. I push on, focusing on one orange course marker after another until they suddenly disappear. I look up and, to my horror, see that the next marker is on a rocky headland, perhaps 15m high. I know the finish lies on the other side, marked by a stone memorial dedicated to the mission. Compared with the miles I’ve already run through the Cretan mountains, it’s nothing, but in my exhausted state it seems as if I’m staring up at Everest. It’s not often I get an urge to run 100-odd miles. The undertaking demands serious preparation and Herculean mental strength. It can also take a heck of a long time to recover from. But the backstory to the Heroes Ultra is truly captivating. Like many, I’d read of the audacious kidnap of General Heinrich Kreipe by a ‘daring band of misfits’ in McDougall’s book. Over almost 20 days, Major Leigh Fermor and Captain Moss, along with battle062 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

hardened local resistance fighters, slogged through the mountains under the cover of darkness, dodging German patrols, until they were able to rendezvous with a rescue boat on the southern coast. As a former British Army oicer, I knew that if I’d had suggested Leigh Fermor’s plan to ambush a German general’s chaufeur-driven car, drive through 22 road blocks disguised as German soldiers and then hike 100 miles across Crete, with a severely disgruntled enemy oicer in tow, I’d have been laughed out of the room. But it was perhaps because the plan was so audacious, so downright barmy, that it succeeded. Because no one would have believed it possible. The Germans certainly didn’t.

Warm glow On the morning our race begins there are no enemy roadblocks to negotiate, but our transport takes us to the ancient Vosakou Monastery under the cover of darkness. The organisers had chosen this as the event’s start point rather than the historically accurate but rather unremarkable Drosia, seven miles to the southeast. ‘This is one liberty we

took to enhance the appeal of the course,’ says race director Panos Gonos. ‘From Anogia onwards we adhere very faithfully to the original route, entering all the villages encountered in the mission, coming within metres of hideouts and making the same crossing over Mount Psiloritis.’ Walking through the monastery’s peaceful courtyard in the first glow of the early morning sun, I can understand the decision. I’m accustomed to the prerace thousand-yard stares of ultra marathoners, but I see few among the other 26 competitors here. Perhaps it’s the tranquil setting, but while we sip Greek cofee and nibble a light breakfast there are only relaxed smiles, handshakes and introductory chit-chat. ‘How long do you think it will take you?’ an American runner asks as we await the countdown. Strangely, it’s not something I’d thought about. The course will take us up to almost 2,000m, but with a total of 5,418m of ascent spread across 156km, it isn’t as steep as many well-known mountain 100-milers. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, for instance, has almost twice the elevation. And with 30 per cent of the route on asphalt and a decent portion on 4x4 tracks, there should, in theory, be plenty of opportunities to make up time. My hasty mental arithmetic also factors in the 30-hour cut-of point, which compares unfavourably with the more standard 40+ hours for mountain 100s. So I say, ‘24 hours.’ Of course, the wise answer as you step into the unknown of any ultra race is, ‘As long as it takes.’ We leave Vosakou to calls of ‘Good luck’ and ‘See you at the beach.’ A few runners zoom ahead but most of us are content to play it safe with the

WALL OF FAME At Vosakou Monastery before the race (Tobias is seated, far left)


Elevation (km)





0 20



Total distance 156.2km Total ascent/descent 5,418m/5,740m

4 60 80 Distance (km)





1 2

Drosia (Krepe car abandoned)

Archanes (abduction point)

3 4 1


3 4

Race start: Vosakou Monastery Anogia – one of the race aid stations was located here. Locals helped Leigh Fermor’s team after the abduction Mount Psiloritis, Crete’s highest mountain Highest point, 1,911 m Lowest point (midrace), 162 m Race finish: Peristeres Beach

Race finish Peristeres Beach Loction of successful rendezvous with British boat by abduction team

Agios Nikolaos


HEROES WELCOME Competitors set of on the inaugural Heroes Ultra

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PARTNERS IN CLIMB Tobias tries to keep pace with Pantelis Kampaxis


ROCK, HARD PLACE It was by no means all trails and roads

The Original ‘Race’ 26/4/1944 General Kreipe’s car is ambushed. After passing 22 roadblocks Moss’s team heads of on foot while Leigh Fermor goes on to abandon the car.

terrain, the weather and the route, unfamiliar to all but a few of the Cretan competitors, including race favourite Pantelis Kampaxis, a local. I find myself trotting alongside this gently spoken runner as we slowly make our way up the asphalt road away from the monastery. In an event of this type and distance, and with such a small field, you expect to spend a lot of time on your own, so I savour the companionship. I soon discover the 48-year-old has represented Greece in the Trail Running World Championships for the past decade and set numerous course records in Crete and beyond, and so I am not sure how long our time together will last. For now, he seems content to shule alongside me, chatting about the running culture in Crete and pointing out local landmarks. It’s like running with my own personal guide as we pass ‘mitatos’ – the yurt-like stone huts used by shepherds – as well as olive groves and orange trees. 064 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

During the prerace briefing the previous afternoon, Panos had told us not to be surprised if some of the villages provided unoicial aid stations between the 10 or so oicial stops. Sure enough, after only 40 minutes we come across an elderly lady ofering what looks to be orange squash. Ordinarily, I’m one of those people who chooses not to stop so early in a race, but lately I’ve had a change of mindset, realising that constantly chasing time means I’m not able to appreciate the culture and landscape I’m being exposed to. So I pause to take a slug of squash, only to discover it’s actually the juice of freshly squeezed oranges, probably picked that morning from the orange tree right beside me. Further proof, should we need it, that not all of running’s rewards are to be found on your Garmin. As we near the first checkpoint, in Anogia, about 15km into the race, Pantelis tells me his grandmother grew up in the village. From my

30/4/1944 Moss and his men arrive at the cave at Vorini Trypa on the south side of Mount Psiloritis. At night they move to Agia Paraskevi, avoiding enemy patrols.

research, I’m aware that Anogia was the centre of the Cretan resistance during the war and played an important role in ensuring the success of the mission. I’m also aware that the village, along with a half-dozen others, was burned to the ground in retribution. Seventy two years later, the memories live on, but there’s little evidence of the destruction now in this charming place, with its quaint cobbled stone streets, whitewashed houses and vibrant cafe culture. I can hear the sound of music and laughter as we approach the aid station. Actually, it sounds like a party in full swing. I’d been told of the generosity and welcoming nature of the Cretans, but it still manages to surprise me, as dozens of volunteers, including members of Crete’s oldest running club, ofer to fill our water bottles and generally fuss over us. ‘Do I have everything I need?’ ‘Do I want a Greek cofee? Nothing is too much trouble. @runnersworlduk


AID IN FULL Waiting for weary competitors

Timeline of the abduction of a German general and the escape that followed 1-13/4/1944


For the next 13 days, the team moves exclusively by night. During the day they shelter and rest in caves and fissures, and behind rocks.

After scouting the coastline for a suitable landing spot, Leigh Fermor rejoins the rest of the men near the village of Patsos.

13/5/1944 The team shelters overnight at a rocky fissure on the slopes of Mount Kryoneritis before the night push over the mountain to the coast at Rodakino.

Photography Emmanuel Armoutakis

If I am to have a chance, I need to push on While the warmth of the welcome is a pleasant surprise, the course later reveals something not so friendly. For around 45km the terrain has been much as I’d expected – almost entirely uphill, but along a mixture of gentle single track, 4x4 tracks and asphalt. Hard graft, but with a bit of mind over matter, all fairly doable. Now, on the approach to a plateau beneath the summit of Crete’s highest mountain – Mt Psiloritis, aka Mt Ida – I find it’s almost impossible to run on some of the trails. Maybe it’s the heat of the midday sun taking its toll as I slowly make my way along the rocky path, trying to avoid the prickly bushes that can penetrate a shoe. Or maybe Ida,

14/5/1944 After hiding in the rocks above Peristeres beach, the men descend at night and board a British motor launch. Mission accomplished.

said to have been the birthplace of Zeus, is playing tricks on my mind. Whatever it is, as I watch Pantelis bound up the rocky slope with enviable ease, I feel a kinship with Leigh Fermor, who marvelled when one of his Cretan comrades, the tireless George Psychoundakis, took of at night to continue making things unpleasant for the Germans. ‘A few minutes later,’ Fermor wrote, ‘we could see his small figure a mile away moving across the next moonlight fold of the foothills… bound for another 50-mile journey.’ Reaching the summit, after what feels an age, I’m hit by strong gusts of wind. Initially it’s a pleasant relief, but it quickly turns to a chill that motivates me to want to get down the mountain as quickly as possible. I’m surprised to find Pantelis, taking his time on the descent. ‘What took you so long?’ he says with a grin as we fall back into step. After the slog up, the long descent into the valley below is something to

LOCAL CHARM Cretans provided fantastic support

savour. We scan the rocky landscape hoping to catch a glimpse of the cave, the Vorini Trypa, where the team took refuge. Translated as ‘North Pit’, we agree it doesn’t sound too welcoming and, anyway, can see no sign of it in the vast landscape.

Broken bond Running with someone is far more pleasurable than running alone, but it brings a potential problem: what happens when one of you can’t keep up? Pantelis is a 2:30 marathoner, so I was fairly certain I’d be the one to throw this dilemma into our dynamic, but ultra distances are nothing if not unpredictable. ’I’m not feeling well,’ he tells me as we slow to a walk. He has a stomach bug. We try to run again, but are soon reduced to a walk once more. ‘You go on,’ he says, pain and disappointment etched into his face. I’m very reluctant to break the bond we’ve forged on the trail, but I know if I am to have any chance of 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 065

WATERING HOLE A welcome respite

NO RESISTANCE The locals were happy to get involved

SOLITARY STATE You need to enjoy your own company

Every stone is a huge effort but it’s an effort shared finishing I need to push on – even though it means the daunting prospect of probably running the remaining 100km alone. At the next checkpoint I tell the medics of his situation, hoping they can help. Sadly, I’ll later learn that it will be the end of the road for Pantelis.

The big push The cumulative efect of pounding asphalt sections, pushing up rocky ascents and clinging onto branches while trying to keep my footing on treacherous dried leaves is taking its toll on my body and mind. I struggle for more than an hour to complete one particularly tough section, which can only have been a couple 066 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

of kilometres long. My ankle and hip flexor are flaring with the strain of overuse and the aid stations have become more than somewhere to simply restock my supplies – they are now beacons of hope. They are also an assault on the senses. Breaking the hours of running in silence, each aid station presents a barrage of cheering and ofers of wine, fruit, bread, meat and cofee. Even at 3am the locals are so full of good humour that, despite my exhaustion I can’t help but fall in love with the place and its people. The penultimate aid station is nestled at the edge of a tiny village, after a particularly technical and rocky descent. I refill my water, exchange pleasantries and ask how other runners are faring, then grab a handful of nuts and oranges and head of into the darkness. On the long climb that follows I catch up with another runner and we chat for a while. Eusebio Bochons explains how he’d been leading the

pack but missed a turn, doing an extra 4km downhill before realising his error and having to turn back up the hill. No wonder he’s sufering. And there are more problems heading my way, too. Panos had warned us the final climb, 20km from the finish, would be hard, but I’m still unprepared for the brutal reality. As I struggle with every step I see the headtorches of other runners in the distance, the flickering lights growing ever closer. At least they’re not German patrols, I remind myself. With my foot and hip flexor issues having reduced me to a hobble, I turn to look at the sunrise and see the silhouette of a runner closing in. He passes me with a slap on the shoulder and a look that, I imagine, translates as, ‘Well done mate, but it’s over now’. Except it isn’t – there are still 14km and 1,000m of descent between me and the coast. That descent is a multitude of of-road switchbacks tumbling @runnersworlduk


The Original Heroes The men who inspired the Heroes Ultra Patrick Leigh Fermor: The brains behind, and leader of, the operation served with the Special Operations Executive, working behind enemy lines with the Cretan Resistance for several years. After the war, he became a celebrated travel writer and was knighted for his services. William Stanley ‘Billy’ Moss: Leigh Fermor’s second-in-command was just 22 when he landed by boat on Crete to join the operation. After the war, he became a successful author, broadcaster and journalist. He kept a journal throughout the mission, which became the basis of the bestselling book Ill Met by Moonlight. It was later made into a film. Manolis Paterakis, Giorgos Tyrakis and Stratis Saviolakis: Cretan resistance fighters and guides on the mission.

BROTHERS IN ARMS Tobias and Eusebio reach the finish

towards the coastline. In the light of the new day I can see the runner who recently passed me, speeding down with casual agility. My gait is rather less graceful and though I try to let gravity help me down, by the time I reach sea level I’m a wreck. My quads, hip flexor and ankle are stifer than one of the many olive tree stumps I’ve passed en route. I hear footsteps behind me and two more runners speed past. Any competitive edge has been well and truly blunted, though. All I want now is for it to be over. ‘At least it’s flat’, I tell myself as I shule along the coast road. It’s not yet 8am, but I can already feel the heat of the sun on my skin. And then, just a few hundred metres from the finish I see the rocky monstrosity that lies between me and the finish. It’s almost enough to add tears to the sweat stinging my eyes. ‘Estás bien?’ I turn to see Eusebio hobbling behind me, looking in almost as much pain as I am. I’d

asked him the same question (‘Are you OK?) when I’d overtaken him four hours earlier and if I had the energy I would chuckle at the reversal. The look on my face answers his question: ‘Te ayudare!’ he calls: ‘I’ll help you’. He gestures for me to lean on him as we attempt to make our way up the rocky outcrop. Every stone is a enormous efort, but it’s an efort shared. With an arm wrapped around his shoulders, one foot after the other, we edge towards the finishing stone like two wounded soldiers returning from battle, until finally, hands held high, we touch it together. Our journey finished, we’re led away to be tended to by the medics. We began as strangers, but as we lie on loungers wrapped in space blankets, I realise that without Eusebio I might not have made it. This epic journey has not only forged a friendship, it has added another name to its list of heroes. I turn to him and say, ‘Gracias, amigo!’ 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 067



THIS MONTH’S EXPERT PANEL AMY BEGLEY Former US 10,000m Olympian and now head coach at the Atlanta Track Club. p71

TOM MCGLYNN Running coach and founder of Runcoach online training site. p73

JO PAVEY 2014 European 10,000m champ five-time Olympian, full-time mum. p76

DR CARRIE RUXTON Spokesperson for the Health Supplements Information Service and dietitian. p78


Photograph Agata Pec

Professor of applied sports science at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. p78

GARETH COLE Performance coach at the Third Space gyms in London. ( p80

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Masters athletes can stay strong by adapting at each milestone. Here, we show you how to get better with age




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Running is a lifelong sport. You can start in school and keep going as long as you can put one foot in front of the other. You mature, set goals and break PBs, but there comes a time when the body moves beyond its peak. This process begins in our 30s (except for those who took up running later in life and are still improving). The rate of decline increases to about 0.7 per cent per year through our 40s, 50s and 60s. As you age your V02 max will reduce and your muscle mass decreases, while wear and tear and the legacy of injuries make you less flexible. Healing takes longer, including recovery from hard workouts.

But there is still lots to celebrate about being a masters runner. ‘Humans are well adapted to run into late middle age,’ says Daniel Lieberman, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University. He says our ancestors appear to have evolved to continue running or hunting well into today’s masters years. ‘Hunter-gatherers often live into their 70s or even 80s and they remain very active,’ he says. However, you will still need to adjust your training to the realities of getting older. Our guide will show you how those adjustments should evolve as you progress along the masters path.



35 44 to

Words Richard A Lovett Illustrations Spencer Wilson

t’s tempting to deny that age has any efect at the lower end of the masters range. After all, Jo Pavey (see page 76 for her tips) won the European 10,000m title at the age of 40, while US marathoner Meb Keflezighi’s PB win at Boston came only weeks before his 39th birthday. Similarly, the two oldest Olympic marathon gold medallists, Carlos Lopes (1984) and Constantina Dita (2008), were both 38 at the time of their wins. But we should consider these results as outliers, rather than the norm. Some spend their early masters career bemoaning every race as a new personal worst. Others embrace it, counting the days until their 40th birthday, when they have a chance to set records in a new category. Amy Begley, who was a 2008 Olympian

in the 10,000m and is now a running coach, says every athlete has to deal with change. ‘There was a high point and now they have to reset the goals,’ she says. Her husband, Andrew, also a coach, faced similar issues earlier than most, when a knee injury in his 20s took him out of elite competition. ‘My advice is to learn to race against yourself,’ he says. One way to measure that personal competition is by using predictor workouts, then trying to beat the prediction. Andrew Begley used the Mile Down workout, starting with 1600m, then working down: 1200-800-600-400300-200m. ‘When you add up all of the times for this workout, I could run within 20-30 seconds of that for a 5K race,’ he says. ‘So when I got into the race, I was trying to run a little faster than predicted.

Injuries can be more frequent and will take longer to heal If I could look myself in the mirror after my race and tell myself that I worked hard and didn’t quit, it was a victory.’ In terms of training, the changes at this early stage in masters running are relatively minor. Realise that injuries can be more frequent and will take longer to heal. ‘Extra recovery time needs to be built in,’ says Amy Begley. ‘You may wind up doing more cross-training.’ And women, in particular, need to be aware of the risk of declining bone mass. ‘I encourage lifting exercises to maintain density in the upper body and spine,’ she says.

PRIORITIES Look forward to being competitive in a new age category. Learn to evaluate results in relation to your workouts and your efort. Spend longer on your warm-up and warm-down. Start to add extra recovery time and crosstraining days. KEEP ON RUNNING Running economy doesn’t necessarily deteriorate with age. In a study published in 2011 in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, runners of various ages were analysed for running economy, lactate threshold and muscle strength. They showed differences for the latter two metrics, but no differences in economy were found between the age groups. Work to maintain yours by regular strength training (see p80).

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hile the increase in your recovery time and the decline in top performances can’t be ignored, this age can be one of the most rewarding of a runner’s life. Each age group is a chance to be the young runner again, providing anticipation as the turn-year approaches and ofering the thrill of setting new marks as you enter the new group. Some people who had busy family lives when they were younger may find new time for training. Another motivation is simply to beat the agegrading curve. In fact, you can channel the energy you once put into chasing PBs into chasing age-graded PBs, with similar, if not greater, satisfaction as you defy the hands of time. But this is also the period when masters reality sets in. If you haven’t already adjusted your training to your changing body, you’re

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in danger of spending this decade fighting of injuries. ‘Keep your health before your fitness,’ says running coach Tom Cotner. Part of staying healthy is maintaining muscle strength and flexibility. Two muscle groups of particular importance are the calves and hip flexors. For the calves, the most common problems are inflexibility and muscle pulls. But ageing calves can also lose power. To see if this applies to you, Cotner suggests finding a steep hill and running up it, counting strides. He uses a hill that’s about 500 metres long, with a gradient of 12-14 per cent. The fewer strides it takes to cover the course, the more power you have in your calves – Cotner recommends you repeat this test on the same hill periodically to see whether you’re improving, declining or maintaining power. As for hip flexors, they are the muscles that help lift your knees and swing them forward between

45 54 to

strides – meaning there is a strong correlation between hip flexor strength and running speed. But they can lose strength and flexibility, especially if your job entails lots of sitting. Tight hip flexors can also lead to hamstring problems. That’s because the hip flexors attach to the pelvis and to several vertebrae of the lower back. When they get tight, says Cotner, they change the tilt of the pelvis. The result is less ability to activate the glute muscles, less hip extension (the upper leg going out behind

Find motivation with each age group or in beating your PBs with age-grading. Use newly found time to train more. Work on strength and flexibility, particularly in the calves and hip flexors. Run on soft surfaces often. KEEP ON RUNNING Running can reduce the hot flushes that come with menopause. Research from Pennsylvania State University, US, found both objective and subjective markers of hot flushes decreased after a 30-minute moderate-intensity treadmill run.

you) and hamstrings that are overstretched and weak – so much so that Cotner sees the combination of these problems as a common syndrome. The solution to any of these problems is strength and flexibility training – see p80 for a masters-tailored workout. Other training tips for runners in this age group are simpler. Most coaches, for example, recommend spending as much time as possible running on soft surfaces. Cotner advises that even tempo runs should be done on a track, trail or other soft surface.



f you’re one of those people who is never happy with your race results, this might be a good time to start acknowledging the successes you’ve already had. ‘I am appreciating my past times more than I did when I ran them,’ says Suzanne Ray, who in 2014 set the 60+ course record at the California International Marathon with a 3:24:01, aged 62. ‘The key to longevity in running is joy,’ she says. But this doesn’t mean you can’t still continue to

strive for improvement. Running, according to Ray, is more about meeting your own goals than it is about beating others, which means the drive to constantly seek more from yourself should be ‘almost essential’. Meanwhile, you will need to make some training changes. One is to recognise that just as masters runners don’t recover as easily as open-class runners, older masters runners don’t recover as quickly as younger ones. You have to become more adept at monitoring and judging your recovery, not relying on timing rules or other runners’ experiences. ‘The key is only to do the next workout when you’re recovered,’ says Cotner. ‘In some cases it’s only a day or two longer than when you were in your 30s and 40s. Sometimes it can be a whole week.’ Running coach Mark Cleary adds that this is a good time to start taking

Running is more about meeting your own goals than it is about beating others

PRIORITIES Make allowances for every year of ageing. Try cutting back on overall weekly mileage to reduce injury risk. Become expert at monitoring your recovery; no single formula works for everyone. Take advantage of established fitness to maintain performances with less efort. KEEP ON RUNNING Get strong to run strong. A 2013 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that masters runners following a maximum strengthtraining programme for six weeks showed a six per cent improvement in running economy compared with those who chose a moderateresistance plan or just ran.

extra rest days (even if that means having two or three days of in a row) if you feel a warning twinge. ‘I’ve learned that being in the game is more important than trying to push and not being able to compete,’ he says. Tom McGlynn, founder of the online training programme Runcoach, has devised a rule of thumb he calls 60/80. It applies to runners of all ages (McGlynn is in his 40s) but is particularly important to older masters runners worrying about their inability to put in the high volumes they once did. What the 60/80 rule means, McGlynn says, is that even massive cutbacks in training don’t slow you down as much as you might fear. ‘I can do 60 per cent in terms of volume and intensity and still be 80 per cent as good,’ he says. However, to make this work, he says, you need to be careful not to increase your speedwork in an efort to compensate for reduced volume. ‘A lot of people do 60 per cent of the volume and then they train so hard they wind up with Achilles tendinitis and other problem,’ he says.

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espite what Lieberman says about our distant ancestors’ staying power, this is an age where simply lining up at the start of a race is something most of your peers would never attempt. But if you’re careful and dedicated, it’s still possible to be good. One person who’s discovered this is running coach Mike Reif. ‘I’ve been running for over 55 years and [at 65] got motivated because of the new age group,’ he says. He lost weight and began running with the athletes he coaches. He also remembered his youth, when he was on a national championship team. ‘My mindset went back to that,’ he says. ‘If you can make that transition, you can get motivated at any age.’ It’s also useful to find a club. Reif’s club competes in competitions where masters events can have sizeable fields, even in the higher age groups.

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PRIORITIES Find company: join a club and look for races with strong masters fields. Define success on your own terms. Train cautiously, recover well and listen to your body. Focus on balance, coordination and flexibility. KEEP ON RUNNING It strengthens your joints and hips. In 2013 the US National Runners’ Health Study found runners have about a 20 per cent lower risk of osteoarthritis and hip replacement than walkers. It also found highermileage runners (15-23 miles per week) have a 16 per cent lower risk of osteoarthritis than those who run fewer than eight miles per week.

Recovery and listening to your body becomes ever more important Work on your stride length. Studying 78 men at the seven-mile mark of a marathon, researchers found the stride length of runners over 60 was 17 per cent shorter, on average, than those of 40-49-yearolds. To lengthen your stride, stretch after every run, concentrating on your hamstrings, calves and lower back. In addition, try throwing some 10-15second pickups (bursts of faster running) into your regular runs to stretch out your muscles. It’s also increasingly important to pay attention to strength training. The average person steadily loses muscle mass after the age of 30 – this can mean a decline of 30-40

per cent by the age of 70. Just because you’re a runner, don’t think you’re immune to this fall-of. It’s worth building some balance and coordination moves into your routine. Try the ‘flamingo’: stand on one leg for one minute, with a finger on the back of a chair to stabilise yourself. Then try it without finger support, and finally try it with your eyes closed. Recovery and listening to your body is ever more important. Joe Kregal, a 70-year-old from Portland, Oregon, who can still run a 22:48 5K, monitors his body’s twinges and reacts accordingly. And he also believes in active recovery, like swimming and biking. And most important of all, pay no heed to the naysayers. ‘Unless there’s something anatomically wrong with you, you can get some pretty good speed going,’ says Kregal. ‘The problem is that society wants to close you down. Don’t quit when people tell you to.’




75 +


regal’s advice to fellow 70-yearolds applies double to the age divisions above him. For about two decades, beginning in the late 1980s, John Keston (now 90) was the dominant runner among his peers, setting age-group records in a range of distances. In his 70s he trained fairly traditionally, but as he approached 80, he found that rest had become so important that he shifted to a three-day workout rotation, running one day (up to 16 miles), then walking six miles on each of the next two days. ‘I also raced a lot, using the races as my speedwork,’ he says. Running only every third day was a radical change from his prior training formula. But it worked, so well, in fact, that at 80 he set world bests for the

mile, the 3000m and the half marathon. Running coach Jef Galloway recommends breaking up workouts into segments. Instead of running for 30 minutes, for example, do three 10-minute runs, with a five-minute easy walk between segments. If injury hasn’t already

marathon. Not fast, but it’s the equivalent of a 30-yearold’s 1:43. At his age, he says, training becomes more and more like work, and it gets increasingly diicult to stay in shape. You also have to get used to the fact that you’re slower than you’d like to be. On a recent training run, he says, he noticed his shadow

You have to get used to the fact you’re slower than you’d like to be forced you to try pool running, do it now. With no impact on your joints and ofering the aerobic benefits of running, striding through the water at least once a week will help stave of injuries. Marv Metzer, 87, still manages a 3:26 half

and ‘it looked like I was walking’. He’s also had to reduce his racing (because otherwise he’d spend all of his time recovering) and cut back on his training. ‘I’m only doing about 15 miles a week these days,’ he says. ‘A few years ago I did 60.’ But he plans to

Introduce more walking and run/ walking interval workouts. Do more pool running. Reduce racing and training volume. Wipe the slate clean and start afresh every day. KEEP ON RUNNING Regular running slows the effects of ageing. According to research from the Stanford University School of Medicine, US, which tracked 500 older runners for more than 20 years, masters runners have fewer disabilities, a longer span of active life and are half as likely as ageing nonrunners to die early deaths.

keep going, even if he eventually winds up walking. ‘Unless something serious happens, I’m still going to be out there moving,’ he says. Reif echoes the same sentiment. ‘Use it or lose it,’ he says. ‘It’s very important to stay active and healthy. I am very motivated to live a healthy lifestyle for the rest of my life.’ And from a much younger masters’ perspective, Cotner notes that as you reach each new age group, everything readjusts. ‘But that’s what masters running is,’ he says. ‘You’re reinventing yourself every season. We wipe the slate clean and start again.’

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IN THE VERY LONG RUN… Jo Pavey on how the principles behind her long career can help all older runners 1/ SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF My goal for 2016 was to qualify for a fifth Olympics. I trained hard through winter but I got a chest infection before the UK trials in May. I still ran, but the race went badly, as I expected. It was then a race against time to prove my fitness, and I struggled to get my health and form back. I had one last chance to show form, in the 10,000m at the European Championships in June – which, thankfully, I did. It was a battle this time round, but I got there in the end. I love the challenge of having an event as my goal. As I work towards it, I have mini-goals along the way – such as other events or targets in training. Enjoy the journey of working hard to make progress. Usually there are ups and downs along the way, but learn to relish the challenge of trying to overcome diiculties.



One of the great benefits of being an older athlete is that you can use your experience to your advantage. I often wish I could’ve had the knowledge I’ve gained over the years at the start of my running career. It’s not just learning about running as a sport that’s helpful, it’s also knowing about your own body and what works for you in training and racing. As the years have gone by I’ve become more aware of how the times I’m hitting in training relate to what shape I’m in, so I’m far better informed regarding which aspects of my training need improving in the lead-up to an event. Even if you have taken up running later in life and are relatively new to the sport, your maturity can help you to make wise decisions in your approach to health and fitness.

Maintain your overall flexibility to help prevent injury and avoid age-related deterioration in your stride length. Lightly stretch all the muscle groups before your run and more thoroughly afterwards. Before a hard session or race, stretch after both the warm-up and warm-down. I also go through all my stretches each night before I go to bed. It doesn’t take long and allows me to identify any muscle tightness, and reduces tightening up overnight.


4/ EAT A HEALTHY DIET Eat a good, balanced diet, with plenty of protein, carbs and fresh fruit and vegetables to ensure you get the nutrients and fuel to recover from training and to be ready for your next session. You don’t have to deny yourself treats, it’s all about a

Injuries are part of the sport, but how you deal with them can affect the impact they have. Be positive and maintain the belief you’ll return to fitness

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healthy balance. I’ve always eaten well, which I think is one of the factors that has enabled me to keep competing. During my time as an athlete, I have seen the careers of promising distance runners cut short because of excessive dieting. 5/ LISTEN TO YOUR BODY It becomes more important to listen to your body as you get older. It may take longer to recover from hard workouts and you’ve probably got lots of other things going on in your life, too. I’ve become better at making decisions on a day-by-day basis, reacting to circumstances and modifying my training accordingly. These days I don’t stress about taking an extra day between hard sessions if I need to, or changing a workout if I have a niggle. If you can, try to have a regular massage – I find them crucial for recovery and to reduce the likelihood of injury.

Photography adidasuk

6/ RUN OFF-ROAD MORE OFTEN Avoid doing too much of your mileage on the roads. When you can, make the efort to run on good trails or grass to reduce the pounding of your joints. I do a bit of road running in training, but I do the bulk of my mileage on a canal towpath or in a forest. It does involve a drive but I believe it’s worth it to protect my joints and

muscles. It’s also more enjoyable to run in beautiful locations. 7/ FIT RUNNING INTO YOUR LIFE As you become older your life circumstances can change, whether that’s juggling family life or taking a diferent career path. Allow yourself to improvise and be more flexible with your training. I’ve become more adaptable with the time of day I train in order to fit sessions around the needs of the kids. I’ve also found great motivation in being able to keep fit as a family – it makes training so much more enjoyable. My little boy, Jacob, goes on his bike, while my little girl, Emily, goes in the running buggy or on the back of my husband’s bike. To help me fit my training in, we also invested in a home

treadmill. People are amused, because it’s in a cupboard-type space; they joke that I must be really motivated to train in there. 8/ DEAL WITH SETBACKS At the beginning of my career, just after I’d made it to my first senior international championships, I had a serious knee injury that required surgery. It cost me two and a half years out of the sport, and it looked like my career was over before it had really begun. Every day I focused on my goal of returning to competition. There were setbacks as I tried to overcome the injury, but I made it back and competed in my first Olympics, in Sydney. As runners know, injuries are part of the sport, but how you deal with them can afect the impact they have on you. Don’t wallow in frustration – be positive and proactive, and ensure you maintain the belief you’ll return to fitness. Get the right advice and treatment to ensure you’re doing the right things to recover as quickly as you can. If possible, keep training, changing the activity you’re doing if you have to. If you can’t run, do a workout in the pool, either swimming or aqua running, or work out on a stationary bike or other cross-training machine. Depending on your injury, you may also be able to continue with a small amount of running on a forgiving surface. 9/ MAINTAIN PERSPECTIVE Remember, running should be fun, not something that adds worry to your life – so always try to enjoy it. Many worse things can happen than a bad session or race. Becoming a mum definitely helped me to put any worries about running into perspective. When I was young, if I had a track session in the evening, I often found myself worrying all day about whether I would hit my planned targets. Now I try as hard as ever when I’m at the track, but the rest of the time I have other priorities, juggling my life with a young family. If a race doesn’t go well, my little ones are soon there to keep me happy and always remind me what’s important. Having that balance in my life has made me happier and enabled me to enjoy my running more.

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Looking to boost performance as the years go by? Smart nutrition can make all the diference


WEIGHT MATTERS If you want to see gains in your performance, not on your waistline, now’s the time to think about your calorie intake. ‘Weight gain is easier as the years pass,’ says Brewer. Older runners’ resting metabolic rate decreases, so if you continue to do the same mileage, you would need to reduce your calorie intake to stay at the same weight. ‘Step on the scales weekly,’ says Brewer. ‘If it’s creeping up month by month, even by a little, take action.’ Dr Carrie Ruxton, dietitian and spokesperson for the Health Supplements Information Service (HSIS), and a keen fell runner, agrees: ‘A lower muscle content and higher fat content in the older runner’s body means fewer calories are needed.’ ‘Think about where you get your carbs from,’ says sports dietitian Laura Clark ( ‘Yes, you could fuel a run with a handful of jellybeans. But wholegrain toast with peanut butter, or a banana and a piece of cheese, would pack in more nutrients. Fruit, vegetables and dairy get overlooked as sources of 078 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

carbohydrate. And they are also packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.’ PROTECT WITH PROTEIN ‘Older runners have to fight to keep their muscle mass, as its decline is one of the first age-related changes in body composition,’ says Ruxton. This process – sarcopenia – begins around 40 and accelerates after the age of 75. ‘This makes protein, and the nutrients that support protein synthesis in the body – vitamins B6 and B12, C, folate and magnesium – essential dietary components for the masters runner.’ It’s not that you need more protein than a younger runner – you just need to be vigilant about getting it at each meal. ‘The key is spacing your intake out over the course of a day,’ says Clark. As a bonus, protein is the weight watcher’s friend, as it makes you feel fuller for longer, and muscle burns more calories than fat. Opt for real food sources: lean red meat (which also provides iron, zinc and B vitamins, all useful for runners), chicken, fish, soya, dairy, beans, nuts and seeds. ‘Proper recovery is key, as your body doesn’t bounce back as quickly,’ says Clark. ‘So if you’re finding your muscles ache more between workouts, optimise refuelling by taking on 5 best protein- 5 best foods for 5 best foods food that ofers 40g rich foods antioxidant and for hydrating carbohydrate and 10g Chicken Watermelon vitamin content protein within an hour Greek yoghurt Broccoli Cucumber of training.’ Try beans Nuts Blueberries Citrus fruit on toast, cereal with Eggs Bananas Milk milk or a homemade Lean red meat Tomatoes Green tea fruit smoothie made Sweet potato with milk and a scoop of protein powder.


5 best foods for joint and bone health Dairy Oily fish Turmeric Flaxseeds Green leafy vegetables


Words Hannah Ebelthite Photography Levon Biss, Getty

ust as late nights take more of a toll as you get older, so does poor nutrition. If you’re feeling more tired than usual or taking longer to recover from hard workouts, it could be time to look at your diet. Fortunately, there are no new rules to learn. ‘It’s not that your dietary needs difer greatly as you pass 40,’ says John Brewer, professor of applied sports science at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. ‘But if you want to recover fast and stay healthy, you need to take nutrition a bit more seriously.’ Here’s how.



acting as an anti-inflammatory. The spice turmeric is also emerging in research as a go-to ingredient for athletes, thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties. THE NUTRITION RAINBOW


TIN IT TO WIN IT Tomatoes are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants

Bone-mineral density is lost with age, especially in women after the menopause, when osteoporosis becomes a risk. ‘Calcium is the main bone mineral,’ says Clark. ‘Meet your daily needs with a good intake of dairy, tinned fish, pulses, prawns, dark-green leafy veg, nuts and seeds, and fortified non-dairy milks (bear in mind that if it’s organic, it can’t be fortified). To get the 200mg RDA (recommended daily allowance) of calcium, you need three servings of dairy. That could be 200ml milk, 30g cheese or 150g yoghurt.’ Research shows omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in oily fish and flaxseeds (and their oil), are good for joints, increasing lubrication and

Oxidation – the degradation of the fatty acids in cell walls – also increases with age. Because antioxidant capacity is linked to endurance performance, masters runners can benefit from increasing their intake of antioxidants, in particular vitamin C (in citrus fruit) and selenium (in Brazil nuts). The potassium, vitamin C and lycopene content in tomatoes all support heart health. High potassium intakes are also associated with protection against loss of muscle mass and preservation of bonemineral density. Concentrated forms of tomatoes, such as passata and juice, are particularly good sources of potassium. ‘People in their 40s and 50s often have better diets than younger people, but deficiencies remain, particularly in vitamin D, which afects one in five adults in the UK,’ says Ruxton. ‘And around half of adults don’t meet the recommendation for selenium, while intakes of magnesium are low in 10-20 per cent of people.’ Our experts agree that the best way to ensure a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants is to eat a varied and balanced diet, including a rainbow of fruit and veg. ‘It would also be wise to take a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement as health insurance,’ says Ruxton. ‘That way you’ll know you’re getting 100 per cent of your recommended daily allowance for the nutrients mentioned and you’re unlikely to need supplements.’ An exception to that might be an omega-3 supplement. As well as the joint-health benefits, it may also help treat sarcopenia. A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that when 16 healthy older adults were given corn oil or omega-3s for eight weeks, the omega-3 group showed increases in muscle formation. The last word is consistency: ‘Think about nutrition at every meal, particularly breakfast and lunch,’ says Clark. ‘Lots of people think they can correct a bad day’s eating with dinner alone. To get that edge, this is what must change.’

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MASTERS CLASS With the right training you can maintain your strength as you get older


he bad news first: our muscles get weaker as we age. Between 40 and 80, people can lose up to 50 per cent of their muscle mass. ‘This reduces our ability to handle stress at the joints and absorb ground forces,’ says Gareth Cole, performance coach at Third Space health clubs ( The good news is that running, and working on your strength, can slow this process. Research in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise in 2010 found masters runners had, on average, 140 motor neuron units in their shin muscles, compared with 150 in a group of younger runners (average age of 25) and just 91 for a group of sedentary older people. This doat-home programme from Cole will help masters runners maintain strength and guard against age-related muscle decline.


GLUTEUS MEDIUS: Sitting on a roller (with it placed just below your coccyx), cross one ankle above the knee of the other leg and roll the glute of the bent-leg side. Do 20 rolls.



The following moves are designed to raise the heart rate, activate specific neuromuscular junctions and mobilise the joints. Perform for 5-10 minutes.

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Sitting on floor with your legs straight, place the roller under your lower legs, just above your Achilles tendons, and roll over it with your hips of the floor. Do 20 rolls.

Lying on your side, with the roller just above your knee, and using your forearm for balance, roll all the way up to your hip and back down again. Do 20 rolls on each side. @runnersworlduk

2/ CONDITIONING Do these moves two (or, if possible, three) times a week, with a minimum of 48 hours between each session. (Remember, you’ll be running, too.)

LEG SWINGS Using a rail or wall for balance, stand on one leg and swing the other leg, progressing to a full range of motion for both side-to-side and front-to-back swings. Do 10 reps on each leg.


Words Gareth Cole, Andy Dixon Photography Agata Pec

Standing in a split stance (one foot placed in front of the other), lift your arms out to your sides to shoulder height and rotate your upper body from side to side. Do 20 reps.

SMALL CALF RAISES Stand tall, with your feet together, your legs straight and arms held loosely by your side. Now, slightly push your heels of the floor, then return. Do 20 reps.



Target the calf muscles. With your feet together and legs straight, push your heels of the floor to the highest point of your tiptoes, then take one leg of the floor and lower down to the floor slowly (five secs). 2 x 20 reps.

This targets the quadriceps and muscles that support the knee. Stand on one leg and raise the other. Now, alternately bend and straighten your standing leg slightly. Keep your upper body ‘tall’. 2 x 20 reps.



Targets the hamstrings and adductors. Lying on your back, knees bent and squeezing a foam roller between your knees, push your hips up and hold, forming a straight line from knees to upper back. 2 x 20 seconds.

Targets the hip extensors (glutes), which predominantly produce the force on push-of. Standing on one leg, bend your knee slightly and bow forward with a straight back, keeping your hips high and level. 2 x 12 reps.



Targets core muscles. Hold a side plank for five secs. Then roll into a normal plank and hold for five secs. Then roll onto the opposite side and hold for five secs. Rolling back to start position is one rep. 2 x 5 reps.

Targets back, shoulder and hip extensors. Lying face down in a ‘Superman’ position, lift your left arm and right leg a few inches of the floor for five seconds, then swap sides. That’s one rep. 2 x 10 reps. 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 081

Edited by Kerry McCarthy

Autumn/Winter 2016

Whether you’re going long, going fast or just running for fun, any old shoe simply will not do. We tested 25 pairs, so all you have to do is try and buy

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RW Shoe finder The Shoe Finder helps you pinpoint suitable models based on your running history and other shoes you like. For more details on fit and performance, see our reviews on the following pages.


Do you know the type of shoe that works well for your size, stride and preferred ride?

Proceed directly to the grid below. The reviewed shoes are arranged in YES terms of cushioning, weight, sole height, flexibility and stability features, as measured in the RW Shoe Lab in Oregon, US. You will the find lighter, less supportive shoes in the bottom left and highly cushioned, more stable shoes in the top right. Shoes in the middle provide a balance of performance and protection features and can work well for many runners.


Put yourself into a runner group using the Runner Group table on NO the right. When you’ve decided on a colour-coded group on the bottom of the table, locate it on the grid below. Shoes in that encircled group tend to work well for runners like you. Start your search with shoes that fall well within your group, but feel free to consider models along the border or in a neighbouring group. With a little care you will find the running shoe that suits your needs.





Editor’s choice The best shoe, regardless of price or category

Best update The best new version of an existing model





Best debut The best new shoe tested

Best buy The best-value option for those on a budget

Shoes in this region are light, flexible and well cushioned without stability and support features.


E Based on tests at the RW Shoe Lab, we fixed the shoes on this grid to show how they compare. Then we overlaid the grid with runner groups to show which shoes work well for certain runners.

Brooks Glycerin 14

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 Hoka One One Clayton

Asics Dynaflyte





Puma Speed 500 Ignite

Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit

New Balance Vazee Rush 2


Adidas Adizero Adios 3 DEBUT

New Balance Vazee Pace 2

Brooks Hyperion Brooks Asteria

B Shoes in this region ofer a firm, close-to-the-ground ride with little weight and few restrictions on foot motion.

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We analysed data from more than three million users of the RW Online Shoe Finder to sort runners into seven groups. Runners in each group have similar shoe needs based on a few key variables.

BODY SIZE Body Mass Index is calculated from your weight and height, and ofers a fairly reliable indication of body type. BMI = Weight (pounds) / (Height [inches])2 x 703. Or use the calculator at Generally, the higher your BMI, the more shoe you need.

RUNNING EXPERIENCE This includes how long you’ve been running and how much you run. Find your level here by estimating your average miles per week over the past year. The more you run, the more eicient you tend to become and, generally, the less shoe you need.

BMI < 23 Examples: Under 160 lbs for 5'10" man Under 134 lbs for 5'4" woman

BMI 23–27 Examples: 161–188 lbs for 5'10" man 135–157 lbs for 5'4" woman

BMI > 27 Examples: Over 189 lbs for 5'10" man Over 158 lbs for 5'4" woman

MORE THAN 20 miles per week

MORE THAN 15 miles per week

MORE THAN 10 miles per week

LESS THAN 20 miles per week

LESS THAN 15 miles per week

LESS THAN 10 miles per week

INJURY EXPERIENCE During normal training, do you tend to develop problems in your joints, bones and connective tissue? Those with a higher incidence of injury tend to need shoes with more support. Note: shoes cannot cure injuries, and the causes of problems vary greatly. If you’re battling persistent injuries, you should see a medical professional.























Shoes in this region combine maximum cushioning and support with plenty of protective material between you and the ground.




Hoke One One Clifton 3 Saucony Omni 15 Puma Ignite Dual

ON Cloudsurfer 2

Brooks Ghost 9


Saucony Swerve



Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 New Balance 1260 v6

Inov-8 Roadclaw 275



Newton Fate 2

Asics GT2000 v4 Liteshow

Saucony Ride 9


Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2 v3

New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo


Shoes in this region combine firm cushioning and an abundance of stability features, providing control and protection.

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Puma Ignite Dual £70

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 £120

This shoe does the basics well – testers who graded themselves as ‘beginners’ enjoyed the comfort and the excellent breathability of the mesh; overall, they found little to quibble with. However, experienced runners picked up on a few elements that shoes at this price point are often lacking: a heel fit that was less than ideal, inadequate midfoot stability when moving laterally and a general lack of build quality. Bottom line This is a no-nonsense neutral shoe that will suit those new to running.

Runner’s World editor Andy Dixon tested this shoe and pronounced it ‘a supreme high-mileage/long-run option’. Praise indeed, but he was by no means the only one to comment on the blend of cushioning and all-round comfort. The forefoot is particularly bouncy, which is great for forefoot strikers, but the best feature was the new upper, designed to move better with your foot as it flexes. Bottom line Perk up your marathon training with these – a great option for going long.










WEIGHT 278g (M), 241g (F)


WEIGHT 276g (M), 238g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 11mm (M) 10mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 7mm (M) 5mm (F)

Saucony Ride 9 £115

Brooks Ghost 9 £115

The new version of this neutral shoe has been tweaked a fair bit: lightweight film midfoot overlays have been heat-moulded into the upper to keep the foot locked down; a new layer of super-cushioned and very durable foam has been inserted on top of the midsole, and the mesh has been made more breathable – all changes our testers noted. However, they also found a lack of responsiveness, a too-slim fit in the toebox and a slippy tread in the wet. Bottom line High-mileage shoe for smaller neutral runners, but stay out of the rain.

This is a mid-to-top-of-the-range neutral shoe that has garnered a loyal fan base, so Brooks has merely tinkered with this version, introducing a new double-layer upper – with wider ventilation holes – and a softer interior. Previous versions were already plush so it was diicult to feel this latter change, but the improved ventilation was noticeable. Other than that it remains a premium running shoe with outstanding cushioning and superb fit. Bottom line A comfort and joy to wear for all neutral-footed runners.










WEIGHT 270g (M), 223g (F)

WEIGHT 299g (M), 254g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 9mm (M) 8mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 11mm (M) 10mm (F)

088 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16


We send 12-15 pairs of each shoe to runners, who use them for at least a month and give detailed feedback. The shoes are also tested at the RW Shoe Lab in Oregon, US. We distil the data into the review and work out which shoes merit an award.

CUSHIONING An impact-test machine measures how soft or firm a shoe is. An 8.5kg weight – the average weight of the lower leg – is dropped onto the heel and forefoot of a men’s size 8 shoe to accurately gauge how the midsole compresses.

FLEXIBILITY This tells us how smoothly a shoe moves from heel strike to toe-of. The forefoot is placed in a machine that bends it 45 degrees – about the same as a foot flexes on the run – 60 times in 20 secs. The force needed indicates flexibility.

HEIGHT & WEIGHT We weigh men’s (size 8) and women’s (size 5) models. We also measure stack height. To find heel and forefoot thicknesses, we cut away the upper material and take digital readings. These give us the shoe’s ‘heel drop’.


RW Shoe Guide Puma Speed 500 Ignite £80 A good shoe for under a hundred quid is a rarity these days, so we were pleased to see that this model from Puma fared well in testing. It felt inflexible in the hand, but the lab machines found it the opposite, as did our testers, who loved the rounded heel, which didn’t impede their running, and the way the stif midfoot helped slingshot your foot forward onto the bouncy forefoot. Widerfooted runners take note, though – it’s slim. Bottom line Great-value (and surprisingly flexible) shoe for narrow-footed runners.





Tester’s take

Photography Agata Pec

Name John Carroll Age 48 Height 5ft 7in Weight 10st 8lbs Weekly mileage 20 Job Runner’s World Chief Sub Editor


‘This is a good allround shoe, suitable for road, treadmills and hard trail. It handled everything very well, and the light weight and decent support were very noticeable.’

10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 089

Brooks Hyperion £90 A triumphant debut for this speedster – and a worthy award winner. It was the lightest model on test and the RW lab noted that while the heel was very cushioned, there was nothing but flex and a very thin layer of midsole foam in the forefoot – a construction element that encouraged testers to get up on their toes and go for it. The fit is superb and the responsiveness is excellent; all in all, there was nothing to find fault with. Bottom line A thrillingly traditional, light and admirably fast performance shoe.



Tester’s take BEST


Name Marie Hannam Age 34 Height 5ft 5in Weight 9st 4lbs Weekly mileage 25 Job Project support at Plymouth University

‘These are surprisingly comfortable shoes for racing flats. They were light but offered a great amount of cushioning and I felt as if I were leaving the house in slippers; very speedy slippers.’

090 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16


RW Shoe Guide

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 £100

Brooks Glycerin 14 £130

Hoke One One Clifton 3 £100

Nike says it has made substantial changes to this shoe. It’s changed the position and depth of outsole grooves, switched the split in the heel from the outside to the inside and made the fit a tad looser in the rear half. None of this was noticeable to our testers, but they loved the ride. The Pegasus remains a shoe suitable for most types of runs – cushioned enough for long distance, yet firm enough to respond to changes in speed. Bottom line Despite the design overhaul, this shoe retains the same broad appeal.

A superb shoe that was unlucky not to pick up an award. It’s a luxurious, soft, bouncy ride that was among the most cushioned shoes tested in the lab. The weight was such that lighter runners did not find it too heavy, while even very large runners were able to pound away on the roads while still reporting that the shoe felt firm, supportive and sturdy – though it was a lightweight compared with chunkier shoes they’d previously worn. Bottom line Brilliant shock attenuation and a smooth ride; will suit a variety of runners.

The previous versions of this neutral shoe were a runaway success, with Hoka struggling to keep up with demand. Sadly, we don’t think this’ll be the case with version three. The cushioning is still excellent, the upper durable but breathable, and the weight astonishingly low for its dimensions – but responsiveness, lateral stability and good cornering ability have gone AWOL. It’s a decent option for recovery runs or long runs for heavier runners. Bottom line One to consider if cushioning is more important to you than speed.












WEIGHT 285g (M) 234g (F)

WEIGHT 304g (M) 252g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 911mm (M) 10mm (F)




HEEL/TOE DROP 11mm (M) 10mm (F)

WEIGHT 261g (M) 220g (F) HEEL/TOE DROP 7mm (M) 9mm (F)


Words (Evolution of the running shoe) Zack Schlemmer Shoe Illustrations Dan Fuehrer

We’ve come a long way from crepe rubber soles. With fast-moving technology, the running shoe continues to evolve





Seven-time Boston Marathon winner Clarence DeMar and others run in thin shoes that have crepe rubber soles and leather uppers.

And 30 years from now? One possibility: shoes made from protocells, or synthetic materials that have properties of organic matter, including self-repair.

Japan’s Shegeki Tanaki wins the Boston Marathon in a split-toe shoe with a big-toe section.

First Hoka One One maximally cushioned shoe released, a sign that the minimalist backlash isn’t far away.


New Balance Trackster is one of the first mass-produced running shoes, if not the first. Deep ripples in the sole are designed to help prevent shin splints.


Vibram releases FiveFingers shoe, originally made for kayaking and other similar outdoor activities.


First Nike Waffle Trainer released, two years after first Nike ‘Moon Shoe’ distributed to runners at Olympic Trials.


Adidas Micropacer features electronic pedometer stitched into the tongue. The first attempt to meld electronics with running shoes.

10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 091

RW Shoe Guide Saucony Omni 15 £115 This was among the heavier shoes on test, but it was precisely this added heft that many of our testers founded reassuring, with those who rated themselves as beginner or intermediate raving about the secure fit, soft inner and, in particular, the fact that they were able to just switch of and let the shoe do its work mile after mile. It lacks flexibility and responsiveness but the medial support is no-nonsense and pronounced. Bottom line Mass appeal – a superb blend of comfort, ground feel and stability.




Tester’s take Name Mark Foster Age 43 Height 5ft 9in Weight 12st 12lbs Weekly mileage 40 Job Plumber and builder



‘A very comfortable shoe with a wide toebox. The cushioning in the heel was excellent. I normally have pain in my knees running downhill, but in these I had none and could really take advantage of that.’

10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 093


Hoka One One Clayton £120

Inov-8 Roadclaw 275 £120

Maximal-shoe specialist Hoka is best known for producing super-cushioned shoes for long runs and high-volume training loads. This relatively stripped-down version is a departure, but a successful one. As the low weight and minimalist heel drop suggest, this is Hoka’s version of a low-slung racing shoe, albeit with more midsole foam than purists will be used to. The result? Our testers felt they were bouncing along at high speed. Bottom line A shoe that allows you to go hard without giving your knees a pounding.

Cumbrian trail brand Inov-8 has made a very decent fist (foot?) of this road-running shoe. Traction was superb, as you would expect, but the standout feature was the close fit: as well as wrapping the midfoot with tight overlays, the upper has tighter mesh further forward behind the metatarsal heads, thus holding the foot in place in two locations. And yet there was still plenty of room for toe-splay, which our runners appreciated. Bottom line Durable, secure, comfortable and a great wet-weather option.










WEIGHT 229g (M), 197g (F)

WEIGHT 282g (M), 248g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 6mm (M) 5mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 8mm (M) 6mm (F)


We asked you Runner’s World Twitter followers how and when you buy your running shoes. Seems you’re a very sensible and discerning lot, with little tendency towards excessive spending or hoarding.


OLess than £100 30% O£100-£199 47% O£200-£300 15% OYou don’t want to know 8%


Pearl Izumi E:Motion Road N2 v3 £90

New Balance Vazee Pace 2 £100

Pearl Izumi is predominantly a cycling-focused brand and sometimes, with its running shoes, it shows. This is a serviceable neutral shoe for beginners, causing no major issues, but both the lab and testers were underwhelmed, reporting low flexibility, average cushioning, moderate responsiveness and a variable fit around the heel. The main plus point was the snug-but-strong midfoot wrap. Bottom line A shoe that will best suit high-arched, eicient runners.


The only thing wrong with the first iteration of this minimalist shoe was the bafflingly long laces, which required triple knotting. With that fixed, NB has changed very little else with this update. It’s still fast and responsive but with enough of a heel drop that newcomers to speed training or short race shoes won’t feel intimidated. The semi-bootie construction ensures a snug fit and the forefoot has been enhanced with softer rubber for added bounce. Bottom line A slim, secure speedster that will even suit those new to picking up the pace.









WEIGHT 287g (M), 239g (F)

WEIGHT 257g (M), 215g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 7mm (M) 10mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 7mm (M) 6mm (F)

094 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

OWho needs more than one? 16% O2-3 48% O4-5 22% O6+ 14%



OLess than a year 31% O1-3 years 45% O3-5 years 16% O5+ years (I’m thrifty) 8%


1 *Based on an RW poll of 536 readers. 2 *Based on an RW poll of 625 readers. 3 *Based on an RW poll of 497 readers.


New Balance 1260 v6 £125 It’s a tricky business, trying to move a shoe on in design terms while retaining fans of earlier versions, but New Balance has achieved that here. This is still a solid (albeit heavy-ish) stability shoe that you can rely on completely, but the new blown-rubber forefoot (bouncier), and revamped midfoot wrap, as well as the more breathable upper and midsole foam – which returns to its original shape more quickly – have only improved things, said our testers. Bottom line Heavy overpronaters, rejoice; this shoe will take all you have to give.



Tester’s take



096 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

Name Sharon Adams Age 41 Height 5ft 5in Weight 9st 10lbs Weekly mileage 25 Job Dental hygienist

‘I have wide feet but these fitted perfectly and felt completely comfortable from the first run. They offered great stability and cushioning and that made me feel as if I was running lighter on my feet.’


RW Shoe Guide

New Balance Vazee Rush 2 £85

Newton Fate 2 £120

Nike Lunarepic Low Flyknit £130

‘It’s such a light shoe it made me feel as though I was running with barely anything on my feet,’ said tester Joanne Foley, and she wasn’t the only one. The low weight and high energy return (thanks to a new midsole foam) were among the first things to be noticed, and our lab reported the cushioning was relatively evenly spread throughout the whole shoe, which means wherever you land on your foot you should benefit. Bottom line A light and comfortable shoe, ideal for half marathons.

The distinctive forefoot lugs depress into hollow chambers in the midsole on footstrike, then spring out again – Newton’s version of energy return. The lugs on the Fate 2 have been bevelled to be less obtrusive, while the upper has a new mesh and stretchy panels under the metatarsal to speed the toe-of. The result is an extremely comfortable shoe, but durability lets it down, with wear showing on several test shoes after only a few runs. Bottom line Bags of energy return and a treat for the feet, but not a long-lasting shoe.

Earlier this year Nike launched the Lunarepic to much fanfare. This is the same shoe but without the striking ankle-high collar, which was one of the key technologies on the original. It boasts a comfortable fit, thanks to the knitted upper and, in an industry first, no outsole. The midsole makes direct contact with the ground on footstrike and the laser-cut cushioning pods on the underside provide excellent bounce. Bottom line Comfort and bounce combine to encourage high-mileage running.













WEIGHT 283g (M), 222g (F)

WEIGHT 249g (M), 204g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 7mm (M) 5mm (F)

WEIGHT 222g (M), 181g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 8.5mm (M) 9.5mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 8mm (M) 6mm (F)

Saucony Swerve £90

ON Cloudsurfer 2 £125

Twenty-five years ago the Swerve was a hefty stability shoe, before being retired. Now it’s back and it’s been on a sensible but efective diet, morphing into a stripped-back model with an impressive combination of Tigger-like bounce and an ultra-light upper that holds your foot lovingly and soundly in place. It held wide appeal for diferent types, shapes and sizes of runner, and was the most cushioned heel on test in the RW lab. Bottom line A nippy and durable chameleon, suitable for short races and long training runs.

The unusual, hard-to-miss design on this shoe comes from the outsole ‘clouds’, which depress on footstrike to absorb impact before springing apart as your foot leaves the floor. They work a treat, said our testers, who were impressed with the bounce, control and traction. Only the long, flimsy laces, which constantly come undone, and the squeaking from the pods in wet conditions – stopped this from being an award contender. Bottom line A curious-looking but efective shoe with plenty of control and bounce.




New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo £110 This is the first stability shoe NB has released under the Fresh Foam banner – a range of light shoes with extra-bouncy midsole cushioning. In an era when many shoes try to be many things to many runners, this is openly one for moderate-to-severe overpronators: the medial support is chunky. Elsewhere, the heel is low cut to reduce Achilles chafing and the forefoot is surprisingly flexible. Bottom line Low in weight but hefty stability, and plenty of cushioning to boot.










HEEL/TOE DROP 11mm (M) 10mm (F)

WEIGHT 297g (M), 250g (F) HEEL/TOE DROP 10mm (M) 10mm (F)




WEIGHT 263g (M), 231g (F)




WEIGHT 290g (M), 237g (F) HEEL/TOE DROP 6mm (M) 4mm (F)

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RW Shoe Guide

Adidas Adizero Adios 3 £110

Asics Dynaflyte £130

Brooks Asteria £85

This is an excellent choice of shoe if you’re in the market for something fast but don’t really fancy the idea of an out-and-out racing flat. It has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop on both the men’s and women’s versions, and the weight is low without being ridiculous, ofering enough cushioning for more-eicient runners to use this as an everyday training option, while others can keep it as a good option for race day. Bottom Line Reliability, low weight and impressive speed in one neat package.

Asics has taken one of the key technologies from its concept Metarun shoe (released earlier this year) and made it the focal point of this high-mileage shoe. The ‘Flytefoam’ in the midsole is a cushioning compound that Asics says is 55 per cent lighter than any other midsole foam on the market. The result? A shoe designed to be as reliable for neutral runners as the Cumulus and Nimbus, but at a substantially lower weight. Bottom line A lightweight neutral shoe that ofers first-class cushioning.

As you would expect for a racing shoe, the cushioning is minimal on this stripped-down speedster; it’s super-light and perfect for race day if you’re a small, eicient runner. However, if you don’t fall into that category you may find, like many of our testers, that flexibility is lacking, the toebox is too narrow in relation to the rest of the fit, there’s little support or efective lockdown in the midfoot and responsiveness is disappointingly low. Bottom Line A light shoe that’s worth a look for smaller, eicient runners.













WEIGHT 232g (Male), 192g (Female) HEEL/TOE DROP 10mm (M) 10mm (F)




WEIGHT 266g (M), 215g (F)

WEIGHT 244g (M), 202g (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 8mm (M) 7mm (F)

HEEL/TOE DROP 9mm (M) 8mm (W)

RUNNING REPAIRS If money’s too tight to buy new shoes at the moment, you can always find an interim solution. Nigel Rogers, director of Resoles Shoe Repairs ( tells you how to deal with the four most common areas of wear and tear on a shoe.

WORN LINING ‘If the inside of the shoe has worn away, patch it with a piece of moleskin,’ says Rogers. ‘It’s not

098 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

animal skin, but a thick, strong, stretchy cotton fabric.’ It’s available from in a 40cm length roll. Cut a piece to fit over the worn-away area and then superglue it down, stitching over, if necessary. HOLEY OUTSOLE! Clocked so many miles that you’ve literally burnt rubber? Use a bike tyre. Buy the cheapest you can get; we found the Schwalbe City Jet Bike Tyre for £8.99 at halfords. ‘Use a knife to remove the worn area of the sole and then line and stick the section of bike rubber over the top,’ says Rogers. ‘Be sure not to use superglue, as this dries rigid, which is not what

you want when you need the rubber to bend and flex with your foot. Use a neoprene glue – a good one is Black Witch glue [£5.49,], as it’s used by divers and is made to bind rubber with rubber. It’s waterproof, tough and allows for flex.’ STRAY FLAPPY BITS Whether your midsole is coming away from the upper, the outsole is peeling of around the toes, or the laces have become frayed, you can repair it all quickly. Shoe Goo (£9, achillesheel. is an adhesive and sealant, and can be safely used to bind, fill, secure and lock down a small problem anywhere on the shoe.

Asics GT2000 v4 Liteshow


Fans of this shoe may think it’s been out for a while. It has…and it hasn’t. This is mostly the same GT2000 that’s been on the shelves for most of 2016 but it’s been beefed up to be a sturdier winter version, specifically with the inclusion of Asics’s Liteshow technology, a reflective coating that becomes extremely visible when a light is shone upon it. It also features Plasmasguard, the brand’s new water- and dirt-repellent coating. Bottom line Mild stability, high cushioning and first-class protection from the elements.





Words (Running repairs) Charlotte Wells

TORN UPPER ‘If the mesh is starting to wear but is not yet a hole, you can cover it with a sealant,’ says Rogers. He recommends Everbuild Clear Mastic, (£6.36, If a hole has already appeared, it’s time to get your needle and thread out, says Rogers. ‘Buy some thick nylon thread [black nylon sewing thread, £1.31,] and sew from left to right across the toebox, oversewing by half an inch on each side. Then do the same vertically over the hole.’










Beacon Jacket, £165; Beacon Pullover, £65; Windblocker Tight, £65; Vazee Pace ‘NB Team Elite’, £100

STRONG MIND & BODY Finishing big takes mental and physical strength. Learn to tough it out with tips from New Balance athlete Kate Avery




ou may be quick of the mark, but if you struggle to maintain your pace, you’re not alone; powering through ‘the wall’ requires physical and mental fortitude, which you need to work on in the gym to complement your outdoor mileage. ‘You have to learn what your body can do to push your limits, and that applies in the gym as much as on the track, says long-distance runner and New Balance athlete Kate Avery. Although strength training is far from your first priority, it will help you iron out any weaknesses. Kate trains with weights to boost her stamina. Research shows adding strength-training sessions to your running improves oxygen usage, helping you run harder for longer. ‘I train to get the most out of myself,’ says Kate. ‘And as a long-distance runner, my competitors are pushing me every step of the way. Having a strong body helps me stay strong mentally.’ Kate knows that you are your toughest opponent, so a winning mindset is crucial. In addition to improving your body’s oxygen capacity and boosting your speed, hitting the weights is therapeutic. Need a quick boost of feel-good endorphins? Research in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine found strength training is the fastest way to improve your self-esteem, taking you from underdog to competitor in the space of an hour. For more on how to stay stronger for longer and win the mind game, visit toughestopponent.

‘You have to learn what your body can do to push your limits, and that applies in the gym as much as on the track’

LOWER-BODY POWER MOVES Improve your glute and leg strength to help you go the distance



Place a bar on your shoulders and rest one leg on a bench behind you. Squat with your standing leg until your elevated knee almost touches the floor. Do three sets of 10 reps on each leg.

Stronger hamstrings lead to longer, faster runs. With your knees slightly bent, grab two dumbbells and bend your hips. Keep your back straight to feel the stretch in your legs.




PROPERTY RIGHTS Runners warm up in front of the Palace of Parliament


The Bucharest Half Marathon is a surprising treat in a newly vibrant capital city, says John Carroll

10/16 RUNNERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S WORLD 103


he Bucharest Half Marathon begins in the shadow of The Palace of Parliament, in Constitution Square, close to the centre of the city. In fact, this colossal edifice (the second-biggest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon) once cast a shadow over the entire city. A monument to hubris, delusion and insecurity, it was built on the orders of the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who was executed in 1989. The building is now the seat of the Romanian parliament, though 70 per cent of it remains empty. These days it overlooks parties, races and rock concerts, which seems fitting. This was the fifth time the half marathon had been held here and it was clear the race organisers knew what they were doing, though there was some confusion as runners strolled from one starting pen to the next, to the minor consternation of the marshals. As I waited, resolutely in the ‘might dip under two hours’ section, I found myself rather enjoying not having a damned clue what was being said by the 104 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

runners around me. Mind you, Romanian is a romance THE RUNDOWN language, so I was able to pick up the odd familiarsounding word (‘Scuze’ Bucharest Half would come in extremely Marathon handy later on). Romania (2016 stats) After the usual prerace folderol (whooping, First man Jairus Kipchoge Finishing stats exhortation, high-energy Birech 1:02:30 O 1:00-1:29 5% music, overzealous PBFirst woman Dire Tune Arissi O 1:30-1:59 34% hunters pushing their 1:13:24 O 2:00-2:30 44% way to the front), we set Last finisher 3:19:07 O 2:30+ 17% of just after 9am. Almost Starters/finishers 3,830/ 3,179 instantly I was jostled out of the way by a slab of meat dressed in tiny black shorts and a shiny black T-shirt. On his head he the sun. It did not work: this was going to wore a blue buf tied at the back; he looked be a hot one. From the square we headed like a pirate who’d spent too many hours south, only to turn around after about hoisting the mainsail by himself. 500m. We soon headed right, onto the The morning sky was a bright, showy Boulevard Unirii (Union), which stretches blue, unsullied by clouds, and the for almost four kilometres from the Palace temperature was already touching 19C, of Parliament. Another legacy from the though once in a while a breeze blew in grim Ceaușescu years, it was designed to from out of town to try to put manners on be like the Champs-Élysées – but wider – @runnersworlduk


Photography Bucharest Half Marathon

TOP VIEW Constitution Square, with Boulevard Unirii stretching into the distance

and it originally groaned under the burden of being called the Boulevard of the Victory of Socialism. Nevertheless, it’s a lovely flat road to run along, lined with trees and dotted with fountains that seemed to burst into life as we passed. There was plenty of support here and no shortage of water points. This stretch also allowed us to watch the elites on the other side of the road, devouring the route on their way to the finish. Parts of the old city are strikingly beautiful and grand, but the further away from the centre we ran, the more the grey, grumpy Communist-era buildings dominated. Everyone had settled into their pace by this stage and that meant I was keeping pace with an older runner who with every step made an alarming sound that reminded me of someone trying desperately to not vomit – a half-wretch, half-hiccup that quickly became the only sound I could hear. I began to feel the faint urge to throw up in sympathy, so I picked up the pace to lose him. Sometimes I hear him in my dreams.

At the 7km point we ran around the outside of the National Arena, built between 2008 and 2011 for the Romanian national football team, and headed along the wide boulevards back into the city. The route was closed to cars and there was a decent police presence to keep an eye on wayward traic, but they were no match for reckless spectators. I almost collided with a man who ambled onto the course at what he considered a pedestrian crossing; and later, back in the lively old town, an elderly woman was levelled by a competitor. He stopped to help her to her feet but, from her bellowed indignation, I guessed she was fine. She remonstrated with a nearby cop, but he was having none of it; his elaborate arm-waving said it all: ‘Crazy old person, this is a race. And stop shouting at me. I have a gun.’ We passed by the race village once more and then followed the Dâmboviţa river for a couple of miles. By this stage the temperature had eased into the twenties and I was beginning to overheat, even though I was dumping bottles of water over my head at every opportunity. I moved of the road onto the footpath along the river, where trees ofered some shade every few metres. I wasn’t yet sufering but the going was getting harder. And then, at mile 12, I saw him, the pirate: still running in his hard-charging way, as

‘I rather enjoyed not having a damned clue what was being said by the runners around me’


ON THE WAY Only 13.1 miles to go

BA, Ryanair and Wizz Air all operate nonstop flights to Bucharest from UK airports.

STAY The Athenee Palace Hilton ( is one of the city’s finest hotels and most impressive buildings. Rates are surprisingly reasonable, too, and it’s only about 25 minutes’ walk from the race start/finish.

FUEL Head to the old town, where there are plenty of restaurants, or, if you’re determined to have your prerace carbs, try Trattoria La Famiglia, Strada Nicolae Golescu 14, where you can get a pasta dinner for 26 Lei (£5) and a hefty glass of wine for 16 Lei (£3).

WARM UP The Cismigiu Gardens, near the city centre, are stunning. Often busy at the weekends, so it’s worth getting there for an early run in breathtaking surroundings.

if he wanted to hurt the race rather than finish it, but heavier now, slogging his way along. I lifted my head, picked up my knees and loped past him on the narrow path. ‘Scuze,’ I said, feeling a deep yet very shallow sense of satisfaction. I finished in 2:03; slow enough, but I wasn’t taking chances in the heat. I had had no idea what to expect of either the city or the race, but my experience of both was hugely enjoyable. The event is well organised and marshalled, and the route is PB-friendly, while the city ofers plenty to those who enjoy good wine, good food and staring up at buildings while murmuring, ‘Ah, yes, very neoclassical. The Paris of the east, you know.’ O Run it The 2017 Bucharest Half Marathon is in May 2017 (date tbc). 10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 105


START Join the throng of runners as they gather beside the red-brick Victorian clock that stands in the city centre. As it strikes 10, you’ll head of along the longest high street in Wales (it stretches for 1.6km). MILE 1 After reaching the coast, you run out and back along The Garth. (A) It’s a 470m-long, Grade lllisted wooden pier that stretches into the Menai Strait, the narrow ribbon of water between mainland Wales and the island of Anglesey.

a National Trust property, it’s an eye-catching mock-Norman castle built in the 19th century. It contains a one-ton slate bed made for Queen Victoria’s visit in 1859. She said it resembled a tombstone and so refused to sleep on it.

A 1

MILE 12 You’ll see Port Penrhyn ahead. From here locally quarried slate was shipped around the world during the industry’s boom years up until the end of the 19th century.

A 2


Race director Chris Yorke guides you on this North Wales race that loops around one of Britain’s smallest cities.



B 10


FINISH You retrace your steps back into the city and enjoy a slight downhill finish towards the clock tower and the city’s sixth-century cathedral that sits behind it.


9 11 8 7

Words Adrian Monti Illustration Hans Van Der Maarel Photographs Getty

MILE 3 You’re now passing through a pretty wooded area. The path follows and then crosses the winding Afon Cegin, the river that flows into the Menai Strait. MILE 4 This section is rather undulating; you’ll pass Upritchard Park, Bangor’s rugby ground, where several Welsh international and British Lions players have been produced over the years. MILE 6 Quiet country roads bring you to the tiny community of Tal-y-bont. Take a moment to look towards Snowdonia National Park, more than 2,000 square kilometres of stunning mountainous landscape. MILE 9 As you head north, Penrhyn Castle (B) comes into view; you will eventually do a circuit of its extensive grounds. Now

INSIDE STORY Chris Yorke says: ‘We started the 10K race in 2012, but only staged the first half marathon last year, running both events on the same day. We felt runners would travel further to do a half but maybe not for a shorter race, so were keen to add one here. Bangor’s small for a city but it has a huge student population. Because the races are held soon after the new academic year starts, students and university staf who enjoy running or want to feel part of the wider community enter them as a bit of an icebreaker. Having the race on a Saturday means some people make a whole weekend of it and afterwards visit the seaside or Snowdonia. The Garth is certainly a novel aspect to the race; the sound of all those running shoes on the wooden decking is fantastic and the pier section ofers stunning views along the coastline. ORun it The 2016 race is on October 8. For more details, visit

4 6 5



Bangor Half Marathon Bangor, Gwynedd (2015 stats) Finishing stats O 1:15-1:30: 5% O 1:30-1:45: 18% O 1:45-2:00: 38% O 2:30-3:00: 28% O 2:30-3:15: 11%

First man Brendan Rothery 1:16:25 First woman Suzy Wallace 1:46:50 Starters/finishers 130/130 (100 per cent)


MILE 2 Still on the coastal path, you can enjoy views out to Llandudno and Puin Island. This rocky outcrop is home to many seabirds, including a large colony of cormorants.

40 20 0















10/16 RUNNER’S WORLD 109

Minehead, Somerset (2015 stats) First man James Baker 1:50:47 First woman Clare Prosser 2:06:17 Last finisher 4:08:22 Finishers 141

The Exmoor Stagger has been going for a long time, but it’s as glorious now as it ever was, says Sam Murphy he Exmoor Stagger was held for the 20th time this year. I’m told as many as half of the field are ‘loyal addicts’, who tackle its 15+ miles year after year. Anyone familiar with the wild beauty of Exmoor (and the cakes at the race finish) will understand the draw. But you’ll certainly earn that Cherry Bakewell. The mostly of-road route encompasses over 1,100m of climb, taking in the moor’s highest point – Dunkery Beacon – before returning to the start point in Minehead on the Somerset coast. The race kicked of from a cul-de-sac but it wasn’t long before we were running through wooded Alcombe Combe on good, firm trail. At first we climbed gradually, but soon we were scaling the formidable slope of Periton Hill (300m). We emerged onto open moor, where the bracken was signalling autumn, with safron flames bursting from a mauve expanse of heather. You could call me biased about Exmoor, since I once lived there; it’s where I found my trail-running feet on many meanders across the moor. But James Baker, winner last year and on six other occasions, is equally smitten. ‘It’s such a stunning course and the scenery is


110 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

at its best at this time of year – you have a good chance of spotting red deer,’ the Sussex-based runner said afterwards. Any deer had scarpered by the time I found myself on the level terrain of Wootton Common, but there were Exmoor ponies to admire and a drinks station to provide an excuse for a breather. Four miles in, the route divided. Go right and you’re on your way to Dunkery Beacon, with an invigorating single-track climb; turn left and you’ve opted for the Stagger’s little brother, The Stumble, which will have you home after a tad under seven miles. For both Staggerers and Stumblers, the last mile of the race is an exhilarating downhill cruise that really lets you take the brakes of. I careened to the finish, where my time was hand-recorded. This is an old-school race of the best kind – well organised by a running club who know the area well (great route, easy parking, hot showers, well-priced refreshments) and marshalled by enthusiastic club members, friends and family. For £16 it’s a steal and I was happy to get back to the race HQ before all the cakes were gone.

Finishing stats O 1:00-1:29 5% O 1:30-1:59 34% O 2:00-2:30 44% O 2:30+ 17%

PIECE OF CAKE Much deserved it was, too

O Run It The next Exmoor Stagger is on Oct. 23. @runnersworlduk

Photographs, Sam Murphy



GREAT OUTDOORS Come for the run, stay for the scenery

Exmoor Stagger

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MATALAN MERSEYSIDE 10K VENUE Aintree Racecourse, Ormskirk Road, Liverpool, 10:30am CONTACT Graham Jackson; 0161 703 5806; grahamj@; www. COST £13/£15 C/D 23/9 E/D NO NORTHUMBERLAND •TRAIL •RURAL



VENUE Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder, 1pm CONTACT Event Secretary; 01434 689 040;; kielder COST £36/£38 E/D NO OXFORDSHIRE

How to use Race Finder


It’s pretty easy – just follow the key below. Calendars at the ready!

VENUE Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, 10:30am CONTACT Events Team; 0845 130 8663;; blenheim COST £28 C/D 18/9 E/D NO

Race Finder lists UK races that take place during the month stated on the magazine cover, and very often the following month, as well. This issue features races from Saturday October 1 to Wednesday November 9. Simply look up the day on which you want to race and the events listed by region for that day. The information relating to each event has been provided by the race organisers and may be edited because of space. Find more extensive listings and an interactive search tool at runnersworld. Just log on and sign up!

Key to race entries



5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons and marathons are clearly shown. Numbers only (eg 5, 20) represent the distance in miles.

The kind of terrain and surroundings: road, trail, hilly, flat, urban and rural.


MAVERICK ORIGINAL HEREFORDSHIRE 25KM (+) VENUE Flanesford priory, Goodrich, Ross On Wye, 10am CONTACT Ben Macwilliam;; www. COST £25 C/D 23/10 E/D YES, +£10

ADDITIONAL RACES The event offers more races than the one stated, such as shorter fun runs or a children’s race.


LEICESTER MARATHON (+) VENUE Victoria Park, Leicester, 9:15am CONTACT Christian WeikertPicker; 0116 231 8484;; www. COST £26/£29 C/D 30/9 E/D YES, £50




The first figure is for entrants belonging to a UKA-affiliated running club. The second is for nonaffiliated runners.

Closing date for entries, if applicable.

Is it possible to turn up, pay and run? If yes, and it costs more to do this, it’s usually stated.




HEART OF ENGLAND FOREST MARATHON (+) VENUE Henley in Arden School, Stratford Road, Henley- In-Arden, 9:30am CONTACT David Powell; 07734 548 434; davedirect@; www.hofe-forestmarathon. COST £19 E/D YES, +£6 YORKSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

ORGANISER’S CONTACT DETAILS Who you should speak to if you have any queries about the event. COST TBC DEVON •TRAIL •RURAL

DYNAMIC DARTINGTON WEEKEND VENUE The Adventure Centre, Park Road, Dartington Hall, Totnes, Noon CONTACT Tommy Burnett; 01803 862 725; 07595 664 739;; COST £13/£15 C/D 30/9 E/D YES


GLOW IN THE PARK LONDON VENUE Kempton Park Race course, Staines Rd East, Sunbury On Thames, 7pm CONTACT Ben Mason; 07540 902 612; info@; www.glowinthepark. COST £17 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, +£8

VENUE Village Green, Studley Roger, Ripon, 9am CONTACT Postal Entries; 07747 803 090; 07711 945 963; 07747 803 090; admin@; gobeyondultra. COST £39 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£6



RW online entry Signing up for events marked with this ‘mouse’ flash couldn’t be simpler. First, go to events and search for the race you want to enter by name. Click ‘Enter Online’. Select the category of race you wish to enter (whether you are affiliated to a running club or non-affiliated). Enter your details and pay online. Then you’ll be sent a confirmation email. It’s as simple as that.

Road, Portsmouth, 10am CONTACT Rob Piggott; 07780 675 747; 07780 675 747;; COST £18 C/D 26/9 E/D YES, +£2 HERTFORDSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

STANDALONE 10K (+) VENUE Standalone Farm, Wilbury Road, Letchworth, 9:30am CONTACT NHRR;; www. COST £15/£17 E/D NO

VENUE Bournemouth, 10am CONTACT Bournemouth Marathon Festival Marathon Festival; COST £50.50/£52.50 E/D NO



THE 34TH ABBOTS LANGLEY TOUGH 10 (+) VENUE Manor House Grounds, Gallows Hill Lane, Abbots Langley, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@; COST £17.50 E/D YES, +£2.50








VENUE Thames Valley Park, Reading, 9am CONTACT Claire Donald; 01494 630 759;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 25/9 E/D YES, +£3



VENUE Badminton Park, Badminton, Chipping Sodbury, 11am CONTACT Tony Hadfield;; https://www. COST £20 C/D 25/9 E/D YES


VENUE Leaplish Waterside Park, Kielder, 10am CONTACT Event Secretary; 01434 689 040;; COST £23/£25 E/D NO





VENUE Granta Park, Great Abington, Cambridge, 10:30am CONTACT Nicola Herberholz;; www. COST TBC E/D NO

PHOENIX PYJAMA-THON - 6 HOUR TIMED EVENT, FROM 3.3 MILES TO MARATHON TO ULTRA VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (back entrance), Waterside Drive, Waltonon-thames, 8:30am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; COST £33/£35 E/D NO •TRAIL •URBAN •RURAL

RUN RICHMOND PARK 10K RACE 8 2016 (+) VENUE Richmond Park, Sheen Lane, London, 10:10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534; info@; run-richmond-park-5k-and-10k-race-8-2016 COST £17 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£5 WARWICKSHIRE

114 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16


STANDARD CHARTERED JERSEY MARATHON 2016 (+) VENUE The Weighbridge, St Helier, Jersey, 9am CONTACT Andrew Thomas; 01534 505 926;; www. COST £36/£38 E/D YES, +£20 CHESHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL

MBNA CHESTER MARATHON 2016 (+) VENUE Chester Racecourse, Chester, 9am CONTACT Chris Hulse; lindaw@; www.



CAMBERLEY 10K JULIAN FARRELL MEMORIAL (+) VENUE Kings International College, Watchetts Drive, Camberley, 10:30am CONTACT Race Organiser; 07885 764 889;; www. COST £10.50/£12.50 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£2 SUSSEX •TRAIL •RURAL

ALF SHRUBB MEMORIAL 5 CROSS COUNTRY RACE (+) VENUE Slinfold Cricket Club, Slinfold, Horsham, 11am CONTACT Cliff Comber; 01403 250 376; 07774 286 456; harriers24@; www.Sussex COST £10 C/D 23/9 E/D YES, +£5 WILTSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

CLARENDON MARATHON: SALISBURY TO WINCHESTER (+) VENUE Wyvern College, Laverstock, Salisbury, 10:30am CONTACT JJ HeathCaldwell; 01962 761 565; 07831 391 532; jj@; COST £30 E/D YES, +£10 •ROAD •RURAL

CRICKLADE HALF MARATHON (+) VENUE Cricklade Leisure Centre, Stones Lane, Cricklade, Swindon, 10:30am CONTACT Louise Norden Cricklade Leisure Centre; 01793 750 011; 01793 750 511;; www. COST £11/£13 C/D 27/9 E/D NO YORKSHIRE •TRAIL •FLAT






VENUE Highsted School, Highsted Road, Sittingbourne, 10:15am CONTACT Martin Burke; 07879 815 441; martin@nice-work.; Club_Race.html COST £14/£16 E/D YES, £18




VENUE War Memorial Park, Basingstoke, 11am CONTACT nina muir; 01256 461 167;; COST £26/£28 E/D YES, £40

VENUE West Kent College, Brook Street, Tonbridge, 10am CONTACT Mick Barlow;; COST £20/£22 E/D NO


VENUE Rother Valley Country Park, Mansfield Road, Sheffield, 10am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519; 0797 783 1519;; www.; COST £16 E/D YES •TRAIL

WR10K-LEEDS (+) VENUE Temple Newsam Park, Templenewsam Road, Leeds, 10am CONTACT Ashleigh jp; 020 8996 5135;; COST £23 E/D YES, +£7


HATFIELD MIDWEEK 5K SERIES RACE 3 VENUE Affinity Water, Tamblin Way, Hatfield, 7:45pm CONTACT Richard Sidlin; 07970 289 773; uk; COST £6/£8 C/D 30/9 E/D NO






VENUE Portsmouth lifeboat station, Ferry Road, Portsmouth, 10am CONTACT Rob Piggott; 07780 675 747; fitprorob@hotmail. com; COST £16 C/D 26/9 E/D YES, +£4


THE GRAVESEND FLOODLIT 10K SERIES (+) VENUE Cyclopark, The Tollgate, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; 01797 230 572; info@; COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Regent’s Park, start near The Hub, London, 9:10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £15/£17 E/D YES, £20




VENUE Portsmouth lifeboat station, Ferry





78.6M VENUE RACE HQ: St Ives Bay Holiday Park, Hayle, 8am CONTACT Ben Mason; 07855 500 149;; www.votwo. COST £150 C/D 1/10 E/D NO


VENUE The Tissington Trail, Parsley Hay, Ashbourne, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £25/£27 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, £30

Where’s the action?


October’s 239 events broken down by region






VENUE Princess Street, Plymouth, 8:30am CONTACT COST £22/£24 C/D 2/10 E/D NO

VENUE Queen’s Park, Cricket Pavilion, Chesterfield, 9:30am CONTACT Colin Sinnott; 01246 864 361; 07749 860 685;; northderbyshirerc. COST £3/£5 E/D ONLY



TISSINGTON TRAIL HALF MARATHON - SATURDAY VENUE The Tissington Trail, Parsley Hay, Ashbourne, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £25/£27 C/D 28/9 E/D YES, £30

VENUE National Trust Visitors Centre, Knoll Beach car park, Studland Bay, Off Ferry Road (B3351), Studland (near Poole), 11am CONTACT Victoria Turner; victoria.turner@; www.stud COST £18 C/D 2/10 E/D YES, +£12


Scotland /6 North / 46 Midlands / 31 East / 5 South / 110 Southwest / 32 Wales / 9



(No RW listings in NI at time of going to press) •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT




VENUE The Osprey Leisure Centre, Portland, 8am CONTACT Mark Steen; 07752 902 080;; www. COST £30/£35 E/D NO

AVON VALLEY RAILWAY 10K (+) VENUE Avon Valley Railway (Bitton Station), Bath Road, Bitton, Bristol, 9am CONTACT Donna King; donna@aspirerunningevents.; project/avon-valley-railway-410k-saturday8th-october-9am/ COST £11/£13 E/D YES, +£2 SOMERSET •TRAIL •RURAL

RIVER PARRETT TRAIL RELAY RACE VENUE Steart Point Cannington Somerset to, Cheddington Dorset, Crewkerne, 9:30am CONTACT Derek Boles; 014 607 4150; derek.; www.parrettrace. COST £50/£64 C/D 2/10 E/D NO SURREY


RUSHMOOR WELLESLEY 10K VENUE Aldershot Military Stadium, Aldershot, 10am CONTACT Steve Radcliffe;; COST £10/£12 C/D 1/9 E/D YES, £15 •ROAD •RURAL

SOLENT HALF MARATHON 2016 VENUE Gang Warily Recreation Centre, Newlands Road, Blackfield Hampshire, 10am CONTACT Carole Bailey; www. COST £18/£20 E/D NO




VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (Back Entrance), Waterside Drive, Waltonon-Thames, 9am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; COST £32/£34 E/D NO



VENUE Rothamsted Research, West Common, Harpenden, 10am CONTACT Rennie Grove; 01442 820 740; herts10k@; COST £22 E/D NO





MUD MONSTERS RUN VENUE Mud Monsters, Stuart Way, East Grinstead, 9am CONTACT Rebecca Large;; www. COST TBC E/D YES, £60 unaffiliated

VENUE Wimpole, Arrington, Royston, 10am CONTACT hannah hodgson; Info@; COST £23 E/D NO KENT





1ST BIRCHFIELD HARRIERS 10KM POPPY RUN VENUE Aldridge Airport, Bosty Lane, Aldridge, 2pm CONTACT Richard Baker; 07883 958 237; mikey.morley1@virginmedia. com; COST £10/£12 C/D 5/10 E/D YES, £14

VENUE Willett Recreation Ground, Crossway, Petts Wood, 10:30am CONTACT Stephen Robson; racedirector@; www. COST £16/£18 C/D 25/9 E/D NO LONDON


RUCK UP RUN (+) VENUE Box End Park, Box End, Kempston, Bedford, 9am CONTACT S Mason; s.mason.; bedford-bedfordshire/running/distancerunning-races/ruck-up-run-2016 COST TBC E/D NO BUCKINGHAMSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

BRADENHAM BOLT 10K TRAIL RUN VENUE National Trust Bradenham Estate, High Wycombe, 10am CONTACT Matt Shrimpton; 01494 755 573; matthew.; www. COST £15 E/D NO.

07730 766 941;; www. COST £25 C/D 27/9 E/D YES, +£5 STAFFORDSHIRE •TRAIL •RURAL

KATHARINE HOUSE 10K (+) VENUE The Shugborough Estate, Stafford, 11am CONTACT Fundraising Dept; 01785 270 808;; www. COST £10/£12 E/D YES, £18 SURREY •TRAIL •RURAL •FLAT

PHOENIX - IT’S A NUMBERS GAME MARATHON - DAY2 VENUE Elmbridge Xcel Leisure Centre (Back Entrance), Waterside Drive, Walton-onThames, 9am CONTACT Rik Vercoe; 07949 273 732;; phoenix COST £32/£34 E/D NO •ROAD •URBAN •RURAL


TRIONIUM GREENSAND MARATHON (+) VENUE The Priory School, West Bank, Dorking, 10am CONTACT Robert McCaffrey; COST £48/£50 E/D NO SUSSEX •TRAIL •RURAL

HERON WAY 10K TRAIL RUN (+) VENUE Heron Way Primary School, Heron Way, Horsham, 11am CONTACT Andy Brown;; www.heronwaypta. COST TBC E/D YES









VENUE Marshfield Cricket Club, Marshfield, Chippenham, 10:30am CONTACT David Bethune; mudlark@; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Emirates Old Trafford, Talbot Road, Manchester, 9am CONTACT Xtra Mile Events; 01619 286 795; info@xtramileevents. com; COST £27/£29 E/D NO LINCOLNSHIRE





VENUE White Horse Country Park, Westbury, 11am CONTACT Jarvis MacDonald;; www. COST £8 E/D YES, +£2 YORKSHIRE

VENUE Sleaford, Lincoln, 9:30am CONTACT Donna Sutton; 01522 694 353;; spiresandsteepleschallenge COST £18 C/D 10/10 E/D YES, +£3




VENUE York, 9:30am CONTACT 0113 826 7761;; COST £43/£45 E/D NO


THE CROYDON 10K (+) VENUE Lloyd Park Avenue, Croydon, 10:15am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £20





VENUE Bushy Park, Hampton, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work. COST £16/£18 C/D 10/10 E/D YES, £20




VENUE Boconnoc House, Boconnoc, Nr Lostwithiel, 7pm CONTACT Ben Mason; 07855 500 149; 07540 902 612; bookings@; COST £17 C/D 15/10 E/D YES, +£8



FRIETH HILLY 10K VENUE Frieth CEC School, Frieth, Henleyon-thames, 10am CONTACT Diane Hill; 07715 303 563;; COST £12/£14 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, £16




VENUE Rosthwaite Village Hall, Keswick, 8:30am CONTACT Jeff Mitchell; info@; www.ascendevents. COST £27 C/D 30/9 E/D NO



RUN SCOTLAND LOCH RANNOCH MARATHON VENUE Kinloch Rannoch, Kinloch, 9:30am CONTACT Richard Hunter; 07545 140 810;; COST £29/£31 C/D 20/9 E/D YES, +£11





VENUE Clapham Common, Bandstand, Clapham, 9am CONTACT Running Team; 0845 257 1160; running@innovationsports.; claphamcommon2016.html COST £21/£23 C/D 5/10 E/D YES, +£2








VENUE Ampthill Park, Woburn St, Ampthill, 11am CONTACT David Stanley; 07740 737 445;; COST £10/£12 C/D 16/10 E/D YES, £13



VENUE Broardaxe Rd, Presteigne, 11am CONTACT Steve Mesham; 07810 823 653;; www. COST £8/£10 C/D 1/10 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Milford Common Cannock Chase, Brocton Road, Stafford, 11am CONTACT Mash Running The Cannock Chase Series;; www.mash COST £15 C/D 10/10 E/D NO



CARY CANTER 10K VENUE Caryford Fitness and Leisure, Maggs Lane, Ansford, Castle Cary, 10am CONTACT Emma Warr; 01823 410 124; ewarr; /cary-canter-10k/ COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE London, 9am CONTACT Isabelle Sykes; 020 7798 6231; isabelles@buttleuk. org; fundraise-for-us/challenge-events/royalparks-run-2016 COST £30 C/D 5/8 E/D NO

VENUE Bangor High Street, Bangor, Bangor, Gwynedd, 10am CONTACT Chris Yorke; 07590 690 041;; www. COST £28/£30 C/D 24/9 E/D YES

BRIGHT10: BRIGHTON & HOVE 10 MILE VENUE Hove Lawns, Hove, 9am CONTACT Bright10 Brighton & Hove 10 mile; bright10@; COST £27/£29 E/D NO













VENUE Matfen, Hexham, 10am CONTACT Richard Hunter; 07545 140 810; 07468 416 900;; run-nation. org/matfen-10k COST £13/£15 E/D YES, £15/£17.50

VENUE High Street, Alcester, 10am CONTACT Tracy Morgan; 07711 349 592;; COST £22/£24 C/D 4/10 E/D NO

VENUE Farndon Sports & Social Club, Farndon, Chester, 9:30am CONTACT Michael Harrington; 07443 500 475;; www. COST £13/£15 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Worthing Rowing Club, Splash Point, Marine Parade, Worthing, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519; mark.caswell1@; COST £14 E/D YES









VENUE Tamworth Castle ground, Tamworth, 10:30am CONTACT paul griffin; 07947 698 147; 07947 698 147; paul@; COST £18/£20 E/D YES, £20


VENUE Broad Chalke Sports Centre, Broad Chalke, Salisbury, 10:15am CONTACT Jonny Hartley; 07795 280 753; jonnyhartley@; www.chalkevalleychallenge. COST TBC E/D NO

VENUE Cantelupe Farm Road, Grantchester, Cambridge, 10:30am CONTACT Steve Wilson; 0845 0200 350; 01223 844 349; 07825 815 891;; www. COST £18 C/D 2/10 E/D YES, +£2 DERBYSHIRE



VENUE Henley Rugby Club, Dry Leas, Marlow Road, Henley On Thames, 9:30am CONTACT Peter Wilkinson; 01491 572 818;




VENUE Wix Village Hall, Harwich Road, Wix, 10:30am CONTACT Gary Donoghue;; www. COST TBC

03/13 RUNNER’S WORLD 115




GRITTLETON 10KM VENUE Grittleton Village Hall, Grittleton, Chippenham, 10:30am CONTACT Race Director;; www. COST £14/£16 E/D NO


CHARTERHOUSE 5K, 10K & 15K TRAIL & FUN RUN (+) VENUE Charterhouse Club, Dukes Drive, Charterhouse, Godalming, 10:30am CONTACT Josie Tidbury; 01483 239 600;; www. COST £15.50 E/D YES, +£4.50








VENUE Heaton Park, Manchester, 7pm CONTACT Ben Mason; 07540 902 612; 07855 500 149;; www. COST £17 C/D 24/10 E/D YES, +£8

VENUE NTS Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, Culloden, Inverness, 11am CONTACT Paul Corrigan; 01463 713 433; 0300 121 2777;; www. COST £21 E/D NO

THE TONBRIDGE 10K VENUE Stocks Green School, Leigh Road, Tonbridge, 10am CONTACT Sandie Hawkins; 07980 705 961;; COST £15/£17 C/D 16/10 E/D YES, £20 LONDON •ROAD •FLAT

INNOVATION SPORTS RACE 10K SERIES – BATTERSEA PARK VENUE Battersea Park, Bandstand, Battersea, 9:30am CONTACT Running Team; 0845 257 1160; running@innovationsports.; batterseapark2016.html COST £16/£18 C/D 19/10 E/D YES, +£2 •TRAIL

THE NICE WORK RICHMOND PARK 10K SERIES RACE SIX (+) VENUE Richmond Park, Race starts in the Park adjacent to the Car Park at the Sheen Gate entrance., London, 10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 572;; COST £16/£18 E/D YES, £20

WARMLEY FOREST PARK 10K (+) VENUE Warmley Forest Park, London Road, Bristol, 10am CONTACT Donna King;; warmley-forest-park-510k-saturday-22ndoctober-2016/ COST £12/£14 E/D YES, +£2





BROOKS, SERPENTINE LAST FRIDAY OF THE MONTH 5K VENUE The Bandstand, Hyde Park, London, 12:30pm CONTACT Malcolm French; 020 8422 3900;; COST £2/£5 C/D 17/10 E/D NO SURREY




VENUE The Weir Hotel, Waterside Drive, Walton-on-Thames, 9:30am CONTACT Rik Vercoe;; COST £36/£38 C/D 11/6 E/D NO

VENUE Walton Bridge, Walton-on-Thames, 8:30am CONTACT Roy Reeder; 020 8941 4015;; COST £27/£29 E/D NO YORKSHIRE •ROAD •URBAN •FLAT





VENUE Thoresby Hall, Thoresby Park, Ollerton, 10:30am CONTACT Amanda Bishop;; www. COST £25/£27 E/D NO

VENUE Silverstone Woodlands, Blackpit Farm, Stowe, 9am CONTACT Alun Williams; 08455 280 226; 07540 387 074; hello@; COST TBC E/D NO






VENUE Hyde Park, Westminster, London, 9:30am CONTACT Andrea Magold; 07426 946 927;; www. COST £18/£20 C/D 21/10 E/D NO




VENUE Tilsley Park, Dunmore Road, Abingdon, 9am CONTACT enquiries@; www. COST £40/£42 E/D NO

VENUE Weston Park, Weston-Under-Lizard, Stafford, 10am CONTACT Tony Talbot; 07812 858 355; 01952 641 645; 07812 858 355;; www. COST £40 C/D 29/10 E/D YES, +£9






BURNHAM BEECHES 5K & 10K RUN VENUE Victory Cross, Lord Mayors Drive, Farnham Common, 10:30am CONTACT Michael Mills; 07850 484 872; 01753 642 330; michael.mills@burnhambeechesrun.; COST £14 C/D 17/10 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, 10am CONTACT Run Through;; COST TBC E/D NO

VENUE Scarborough Spa Complex, South Bay, Scarborough, 10am CONTACT Julie Clayton;; www. COST £15/£17 C/D 1/10 E/D NO





VENUE Berwick-upon-tweed, 8am CONTACT Garry Scott; 07984 307 900;; www.trailoutlaws. com COST £120 C/D 15/10 E/D NO

VENUE Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, 10:30am CONTACT Chris Wallworth;; www. COST £14 C/D 15/10 E/D YES, +£3


VENUE Edinburgh, 10am CONTACT GSi Events Ltd.; COST £17/£19 E/D NO


VENUE Dunwich, 7am CONTACT James Barker; 01548 312 314; support@; www.endurancelife. com/event-new.asp?series=82 COST £30 E/D NO

EXMOOR STAGGER (+) VENUE West Somerset Community College, Bircham Road, Minehead, 10:30am CONTACT stagger@mineheadrunningclub.; COST £14/£16 C/D 18/10 E/D YES, +£2




K2 CRAWLEY 10K (+)

VENUE Ham Street, London, 9:30am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; COST £20 C/D 14/10 E/D NO


VENUE K2 Crawley, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £13/£15 E/D YES, +£2 WALES





DARK PEAKS 30 ULTRA TRAIL VENUE Langsett Barn, Langsett, Stocksbridge, 9am CONTACT David Riley; 07795 254 349; COST TBC C/D 8/10 E/D NO


VENUE The Square, Llanwrtyd Wells, 11am CONTACT john crompton; 01591 610 666;; COST £10 C/D 10/10 E/D YES, +£2



FENLAND 10 VENUE Marshland High School, West Walton, Wisbech, 11am CONTACT Tom Salway; 01406 425 567; 07443 509 406; fenland10@; COST £14/£16 C/D 27/10 E/D YES, +£2 DORSET •TRAIL •RURAL •HILLY

THE STICKLER 10.1 VENUE Shillingstone Church Centre, Shillingstone, Blandford Forum, 10:30am CONTACT Tracey Horan; 07989 561 471;; www.thestickler. COST £12/£14 C/D 22/9 E/D YES, +£2



DEEPDALE DASH (+) VENUE Baysgarth School, Barrow Road, Barton Upon Humber, 11am CONTACT Mark Nettleton; alisonnettleton@btinternet. com; COST £15/£17 E/D YES •ROAD

VENUE Regents Park, Start location is near The Hub, London, 9:10am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; martin@nice-work.; COST £15/£17 E/D YES, £20 NORTHAMPTONSHIRE •ROAD


ROCKY ROAD RUN VENUE Rockingham Circuit, Mitchell Road, Corby, 12:30pm CONTACT www.sbrevents. COST £22/£24 E/D NO SUSSEX •TRAIL •HILLY



THE GRAVESEND FLOODLIT 10K SERIES (+) VENUE Cyclopark, The Tollgate, Wrotham Road, Gravesend, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £10/£12 E/D YES, +£2

VENUE Friston Forest, Litlington Road, Seaford, 10am CONTACT Graham Lee;; COST £14/£15 E/D YES, +£1 •ROAD •RURAL


DRUID CHALLENGE RIDGEWAY ULTRA 82, 2016 (3-DAY MULTI-STAGE) VENUE Town Farm, Ivinghoe, Tring, 8am CONTACT Neil Thubron; 07801 244 628; ; details/the-druids-challenge2016.aspx COST £58 E/D YES






VENUE Leighton Recreation Centre, Wellhead Lane, Westbury, 10am CONTACT Entries Secretary; stampedesports@yahoo.; COST £14/£16 E/D NO.



VENUE Curleys Dining Rooms, Horwich, Bolton, 10am CONTACT stewart jones; 07581 733 604; madbullevents@outlook. com; COST £12 C/D 26/10 E/D YES


SATURDAY NOVEMBER 5 THE 10MILE MUDDY MORUN 2016 (+) VENUE The Lookout, Discovery Park, Swinley Forest, Bracknell, 10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; com/swinley-forest COST £25 E/D NO







VENUE The Moors National Park Centre, Lodge Lane, Danby, 11am CONTACT Jonathan Steele; 01937 830 677; 07909 797 872;; www. COST £20 E/D YES



VENUE Snibston Country Park, Ashby Road, Coalville, 10:30am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £13/£15 C/D 4/10 E/D YES, +£2


VENUE Central Park, Chelmsford, 9am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; www.nice-work.

VENUE Marlow Sports Club, Pound Lane, Marlow, 9:30am CONTACT Marlow Half Marathon; marlowhalf@marlowstriders.; COST £22/£24 C/D 31/10 E/D YES, £28.50






VENUE Victoria Park, London Road, Leicester, 7:30pm CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009; uk; COST £9/£11 E/D YES, +£1






VENUE Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Bisham, Marlow, 10am CONTACT Claire Donald; 01494 630 759; 07917 612 127; 07860 650 579; info@purplepatchrunning. com; COST £22/£24 C/D 16/10 E/D YES, +£3




ESSEX VENUE Royal Hotel, London Road, Purfleet, 11am CONTACT Mark Caswell; 0797 783 1519;; www. COST £14 E/D YES

VENUE Temple Newsam Park, Leeds, 10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; COST £20 E/D NO

VENUE Mitchell Rd, Corby, 1pm CONTACT Amanda Bishop; amanda@sbrevents.; COST £20/£22 E/D YES, £30












VENUE Water Meadow, Thames Valley Park, Reading, 8pm CONTACT Cliff Hilton; 07774 754 141;; www. COST £14/£16 E/D NO



VENUE YMCA Hawker Centre, Lower Ham Road, Kingston, 10am CONTACT David Ross; 0798 454 0177; ; COST £31/£33 C/D 29/10 E/D NO








VENUE Aboyne Community Centre, Bridgeview Road, Aboyne, 6pm CONTACT Firetrail Events; 0330 321 1148; enquiries@; www.illuminatorrun. COST £41 E/D NO




NORTHUMBERLAND; northderbyshirerc. COST £3/£5 E/D ONLY

NO WALK IN THE PARK 5K (+) VENUE Queen’s Park, Cricket Pavilion, Chesterfield, 9:30am CONTACT Colin Sinnott; 01246 864 361; 07749 860 685;

THE CONSIDER IT DONE BECKLEY 10K (+) VENUE Village Centre, Main Street, Beckley, Rye, 11am CONTACT Martin Burke; 01797 230 009;; COST £13/£15 E/D YES, +£2 TYNE & WEAR •TRAIL •FLAT

THE 10K MORUN NEWCASTLE 2016 (+) VENUE Exhibition Park, Newcastle, 10am CONTACT David Krangel; 020 8144 0797; 07919 141 534;; COST £20 E/D YES


HELL OF A HILL - 5 TOUGHEST MARATHONS IN 5 DAYS (+) VENUE Wilcocks Caravan Site, Dean Head Lane, Bolton, 9am CONTACT philip eccleston; 07533 828 533; pecclestone1@; COST £160/£170 E/D NO

For all the best upcoming races around the UK, visit 116 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16


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CeCe Sammy The vocal coach, 39, on switching of during a run and teaching S Club 7 to sing…

I grew up Trinidad, where I lived until I was 15. Life there is all about being outside

and enjoying the fresh air. That sense of being active outdoors and running about has always stayed with me, even when I came to London to study classical music.

‘I never take being able to run for granted’

I was a backing singer for Diana Ross when I was 17. In a funny way, that got me

into running. I needed to be more in control of my breathing while singing, especially on stage; jogging was how I learnt to control it. Running has been part of my life for more than 20 years. I try to run most days

– usually for about 25 minutes, or longer if I have time. With a hectic schedule in the UK and in the US, running is something I look forward to after a long flight. Going for a run has always been my way of recharging my batteries. I don’t wear

I’m never afraid to tackle a hill when I’m out running. My sister, who I run with

sometimes, says in a diferent life I must have been a goat because I always pick the hilliest routes, anything that really challenges me. In 2011, four months after having my daughter, I suffered a brain aneurysm.

A blood vessel ruptured and I was in the hospital’s high-dependency unit for a month. It took me a year to recover, learning to walk and talk all over again. I now never take being able to run for granted.

AGAINST THE GREEN CeCe likes to enjoy the natural world when she runs

During my recovery I remember taking my first steps, then walking faster, before slowly jogging. Understanding my

too. I showed them that running, like singing, is about controlling your breathing.

body from my years of running meant I knew I would eventually get that fitness back.

The LA Marathon goes right past my apartment but I’ve never had the desire to do a marathon. Running for me has

In my job as a vocal coach, I encourage those I’m helping to run. I’ve worked with

always been about relaxing and escape rather than chasing times or doing loads of miles.

groups such as S Club 7. I got them to jog on the spot and sing, and eventually run outside,

MY FAVOURITE… Place to run When I’m in Los Angeles I love hitting the popular hiking trails, such as Runyon Canyon and Griith Park. In London it’s usually around Hampstead Heath, a place I never get tired of. 122 RUNNER’S WORLD 10/16

Food My stomach is a bottomless pit after a run. I usually have a smoothie, apple juice or Weetabix and fruit. I believe in eating well and exercising; they help me think clearly about things.

When I’m involved on shows such as The Voice there’s nothing better than going for a run at the end of the working day.

I’ll go out whatever the weather, but I prefer it if there is still a bit of daylight to run in.

Tip Although it seemed an odd conversation at the time, my younger sister told me about nipple cream, which can be a godsend if you’re a female runner who sufers from jogger’s nipple.

I love lots of the running gear you can get these days, but I’ve been caught out sometimes. I’ve made the mistake of buying

some kit, such as a clingy top that looks great, but turns out to be totally impractical – if you’re a woman – once you go for a run in it. OFor more details on CeCe Sammy, visit @runnersworlduk

Interview Adrian Monti Photograph Tom Watkins

headphones – music is what I do for my job – so instead I simply observe nature as I run through parks or the countryside. It’s the time when I can switch of from everything.