IN THIS ISSUE REGULARS
ON THE COVER P13
Get 5% Faster… In The Bath Feel the heat, pick up the pace. Water works!
Nail Your Long Run How to conquer the challenge of going long
Lean, Fit And Fast The new rules of fuel
33 Ways To Max Your Motivation Relight your ire
Injury-free In 12 Minutes A Day The only full-body prehab plan you’ll ever need
7 Healthy Energy Meals Dish up the pasta and add punchy protein
All-Day Fitness Hacks Turn work time into workout time
10 Best Race Fitness Tests The sessions that tell you if you’re ready for the challenge
The Instant Posture Fix Stand tall, run strong
004 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
A PERFECT MATCH CARBS, MEET PROTEIN P62
GIVE IT A REST Get plenty of prerace shut-eye
CUBIC CAPACITY There’s more to sugar than meets the eye
WE’RE ALWAYS RUNNING AT RUNNERSWORLD. CO.UK
Rave Run Anchorage, Alaska
Cross-check What to watch for when you’re cross-training
I’m a Runner Food writer Ruby Tandoh
Ask Jo Jo Pavey on running tall and cooling down
An Athlete’s Life Fell running champ Jasmin Paris
Race Yourself Test yourself with a time trial
Clean Up Your Act Beat messy diet habits
Fuel Get your cafeine hit
Power Plants Stay strong and fast with a meat-free diet
Self, Suicient Running solo
C OV E R P H OTO G R A P H : P E T E R YA N G . H A I R & M A K E U P : D E S H AW N H ATC H E R / Z E N O B I A AG E N CY. S T Y L I N G : A R GY KO U T S OT H A N AS I S .
C LOT H I N G : U N D E R A R M O U R ( TO P ), G A P F I T ( T I G H T S ), B R O O K S ( S H O E S ), M O N TA N E ( H AT ), T I M E X ( WATC H ). P H OTO T H I S PAG E : PAV E L D O R N A K
WARM-UPS P17 P19
Nutrition To fuel or not to fuel Injury Dynamic moves to help you stay free from injury Mind + Health Sleep well if you want to run faster HUMAN RACE
‘I Feel So Bloody Proud Of Myself’ The remarkable Aussie ultra runner Turia Pitt
Dog tired, and the runner is feeling the pace, too
My Running Life Bloodhound runner Dave Brightling P101
On Test Thule Guide Stroller
Murphy’s Lore If you can’t go hard, go harder, says Sam
App To Speed The best free running apps
By The Numbers From the sofa to 708 miles in Malawai
Measure Of Success We review the Skulpt Chisel body-composition scanner
Your World Your views
Tonky Talk Paul sees a cheat!
Run It By Me The art of running and the running in art
The Main Event The Fleet Half Marathon
Route Recce The Wigan Half Marathon
The Start List Our choice of this month’s best races
The Thule Guide: a rockin’ stroller
The True Story Of The First Marathon Ultra legend Dean Karnazes looks to the beginning
MARATHON SURVIVAL TIPS If you’re gearing up for a spring 26.2, our essential training survival advice is a mustread. Check it out at runnersworld.co.uk/ marathonsurvival
Following February’s First Mile feature, we’ve got everything your non-running friends need to start their training journey at runnersworld. co.uk/irstmile
REFUEL PANCAKES Make the most of Pancake Day with this vanilla protein pancake recipe from Fresh Fitness Food (runnersworld.co.uk/ proteinpancakes)
MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 005
ANDY DIXON DEPUTY EDITOR
CHIEF SUB EDITOR
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LISA QUINN BEN BOLTON LEE WILKINSON DARREN GOLDSBY
‘To run barefoot on gravel to cure plantar fascitis.’
MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRANDS
GROUP COMMERICAL DIRECTOR
HEAD OF NEWSTRADE MARKETING
‘Regarding my irst marathon: “Just go out as hard as you can and hold on for as long as you can.”’
MARKETING AND CIRCULATION DIRECTOR
What’s the worst running advice you’ve ever been given?
SURINDER SIMMONS JENNIFER SMITH BIANCA LLOYD-SMITH MICHAEL ROWLEY
‘Wait until you are hungry/thirsty before taking on nutrition/hydration.’
SUGAR IS GOING THROUGH a tough time at the moment as the nutritional nasty de jour. Sure, it can be sneaky, tricking its way into our bodies by being added to foods in which you don’t expect to ﬁnd it, such as bread, pasta sauce and salad dressing. And yes, drinking full-fat ﬁzzy drinks on a regular basis is sureﬁre way to expand your waistline and raise your risk of type 2 diabetes. All of which has seen sugar labelled as a ‘drug’ and ‘poison’. But runners have particular nutritional demands and as is also the case with salt and cafeine, sugar can play a pretty important role in the running diet – just ask Kenyan elites, who drink tea so sweet it would make a dentist wince. Or witness the spectacular cake table at many postrace HQs. It reminds us that just because a food is demonised by some it doesn’t follow that it has no value for others, and so we explore sugar’s pros and cons for runners in our feature on page 42. Full disclosure: I have a sweet tooth and have been known to fuel long runs on Haribos. But I wouldn’t want to get to the later stages of a marathon and opt not to take on an energy gel or sports drink because I was ‘eating clean’. That way madness (and the wall) lies. Elsewhere, we bring you carb- and proteinrich pasta recipes on page 62, while on page 48 there’s a comprehensive guide on how to regain your running mojo: you can lose it for many reasons – we show you how to get it back.
ANDY DIXON EDITOR
RODALE INTERNATIONAL SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT ROBERT NOVICK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL LICENSING KEVIN LABONGE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR JOHN VILLE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL LICENSING ANGELA KIM EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, RUNNER’S WORLD INTERNATIONAL VERONIKA RUFF TAYLOR DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL MARKETING TARA SWANSEN SENIOR CONTENT MANAGER KARL ROZEMEYER EDITORIAL & CONTENT COORDINATOR NATANYA SPIES
CONTRIBUTORS ‘Pain is weakness leaving the body.’ No, it’s not. It’s pain.
P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y
John Carroll 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 WORLD IS A TRADEMARK OF, AND IS USED UNDER LICENCE FROM, RODALE INTERNATIONAL. ISSN 1350-7745 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 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@ HEARST.CO.UK OR VISIT HTTP://WWW.HEARST.CO.UK/ HEARST-MAGAZINES-UK-COMPLAINTS-PROCEDURE. IF WE ARE UNABLE TO RESOLVE YOUR COMPLAINT, OR IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT IPSO OR THE EDITORS’ CODE, CONTACT IPSO ON
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The sports nutritionist has spent two decades studying the diets of top athletes. He cuts through the current hysteria surrounding sugar consumption to tell the real story of how it afects your health and running performance, in Sweet Truth on p42.
The former GB athleteturned-elite-running physio draws on his wealth of experience to deliver a simple plan that means you can log your miles without ever having to see him or any other members of his profession, in The Bullet-Proof Body Plan on p54.
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ANCHORAGE, ALASKA, US
THE EXPERIENCE Wolverine Peak Trail starts just east of Anchorage and climbs 1,080m over nearly ive miles. From its summit, you get a panoramic view of Anchorage, the 180-mile-long Cook Inlet and the Chugach Mountain Range, which overlooks the city. STAY OUT LATE During the summer months, ‘You can be on top of the mountain at midnight and still run home in the light,’ says runner Matt Shryock (pictured). This photo was taken around 10pm. LAYER UP Shryock recommends always carrying a light windbreaker. ‘The weather can change immediately, even on a sunny day,’ he says. WILD ENCOUNTERS It’s not uncommon to see moose, lynx, and black bears in this area. PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Robertson RUNNER Matt Shryock
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WARM-UPS The TIPS YOU NEED to GET UP to SPEED
BUBBLE AND PEAK Warm up after a run, by order of the bath
TURN UP THE HEAT Sit back, relax and speed up
WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : G E T T Y
ONCE upon a time, if you wanted to recover quickly postrun you had to brave a tub full of ice cubes. But new research pours cold water on that course of action and – rejoice! – suggests a hot bath may be more beneicial. Scientists from the Extremes Research Group at Bangor University, Wales, found a hot soak after a run on six consecutive days helped athletes to acclimatise to running in the heat, enabling them to knock 4.9 per cent of their 5K time. The group’s research also leads them to believe a hot bath may stimulate the immune system. ‘This is particularly beneicial when you’re in hard training, because heavy exercise results in a temporary dip in immune function,’ says the group’s director, Professor Neil Walsh. Another recent study found that regular hot baths yielded reductions in arterial stifness and blood pressure. Pass the bubble bath!
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THE EXTRA MILE
The long run is vital but building up your distance can be a challenge
extend your long run? Here’s how to overcome five common sticking points…
home. As well as discovering a new route, you have the comfort of each step bringing you closer to home.
THE BARRIER The distance plateau
THE BARRIER The energy crash
WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H S : CAS E Y C R A F F O R D, PAV E L D O R N A K 1. M E D I C I N E & S C I E N C E I N S P O R T S & E X E R C I S E 2 . J O U R N A L O F S P O R T & E X E R C I S E P S YC H O LO GY
FINDING IT HARD to
Set out to match your recent longest distance, but throw in a one-minute walk break every 10 minutes. Once you reach that distance, run for the accumulated length of the walk breaks.
Up your in-run fuel intake. Aim for 0.7-1 x your body weight (kg) in grams of carbohydrate per hour, starting from 45 minutes in.
THE BARRIER The fear
of getting lost THE BREAKTHROUGH
Enter a race. You’ll have company, mile markers and drink stations. But don’t race: stick to your usual long-run pace. THE BARRIER Boredom THE BREAKTHROUGH
Take a train or bus somewhere and run
The gradient beyond which a downhill run costs more energy than running on the flat. Quick tip
Runners who give blood should time their donations carefully. The average amount of blood taken (400-500ml) temporarily reduces haemoglobin levels, VO2 max and exercise capacity. This lasts around 48 hours and in that time it could affect your performance in any races or training sessions.
THE BARRIER The fear
of fatigue THE BREAKTHROUGH Add 1-2 miles to your current maximum long run and divide the distance into 5K laps (or whatever distance you feel comfortable with) that pass your house. You’ll never be too far from home and can use the finish of each lap to ‘regroup’ and refuel.
CALF MEASURES The calves may be a small muscle group, but they have a big job – bigger, proportionally speaking, than the glutes and thighs when it comes to generating force, according to new research.1 The force required by the quads to run represents around 63 per cent of their maximum capability. For the calves, the figure is 84 per cent. ‘Good calf strength is my number one non-negotiable requirement for runners,’ says physiotherapist Alison Rose (cspc.co.uk). Rose says runners should be able to handle three sets of 25 single-leg calf raises with a bent knee and a straight knee at the end of a run. ‘You should be able to go to full range (determine this by doing a rep with both legs at the same time) without shaking or wobbling.’ Struggling? Follow Rose’s guide to building calf strength (right).
Double-legged heel raises on a lat surface are your starting point. Do them irst with the legs straight throughout and then with the knees bent throughout (so you’re ‘rolling’ forward as you lift the heels). AIM FOR 3 SETS OF 20 REPS OF EACH. BUILD TO 40 REPS.
Progress to single-leg raises using a step: have your support leg’s foot on the next step up, with 30-40 per cent of your body weight on it, while you perform full-range raises with the other leg. AIM FOR 3 SETS OF 15 OF STRAIGHT LEG/BENT LEG. BUILD TO 25 EACH SIDE.
You’re ready for single-leg raises with your full weight on the working leg. Start with 3 set of 15, building to 25 each side. Add challenge with a barbell or weighted backpack (aim for half your weight). AND DO 3-5 SETS OF 8 REPS, STRAIGHT LEG/BENT LEG.
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FUEL FOR RECOVERY Water? Sports drink? Food? More food? Advice on how best to refuel postrun can be confusing. This flow chart, based on the recommendations from a new study,1 offers a bluffer’s guide
I RAN HARD, OR RACED
I RAN EASY
STAMP OUT CRAMP More than 60 mins
WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y. 1 J O U R N A L O F A P P L I E D P S YC H O LO GY. 2 J O U R N A L O F T H E I N T E R N AT I O N A L S O C I E T Y O F S P O R T S N U T R I T I O N * BAS E D O N A 65 KG R U N N E R
Less than 60 mins
Less than 60 mins
Greater than 90 mins?
O Muscle cramp has foxed sport scientists for years. But two scientists believe they’ve cracked it. Their solution is Hotshot (£30 for a six-pack, teamhotshot.com) – a hot and pungent drink. It’s rich in naturally occurring ‘ion channel activators’, which, its makers claim, reset the misfiring motor nerves that could be the cause of cramping muscles.
Training again within 12 hours?
Percentage of marathoners who sweated out more than 60mmol of sodium. ‘Salty sweaters’ should place more emphasis on electrolyte intake during prolonged exercise.2
RUN OFF STRESS Had a stressful day? Hit the road before you hit the fridge and you may prevent a dietary blowout. That’s according to a study that put subjects through a difficult maths task, followed by rest or 15-minutes of highintensity exercise. When both groups then sat down to pizza, the nonexercisers ate more.
Water. Drink to thirst and be sure to include a healthy source of protein and carbohydrate in your next meal. If you have not worked too hard or run for too long you should not need food immediately to get back on track.
A snack containing around 50g of carbs and 20g of protein within half an hour. TRY For Goodness Shakes Chocolate Recovery Shake, or a 200g pot of natural yoghurt with a banana and a tablespoon of honey.
1g of carbs and 0.3-0.4g protein per kg body weight immediately, and every hour for the next three hours postrun. TRY * 1 serving of Elivar Recover drink mix and one pear, or a small tin of baked beans on two slices of multigrain toast.
50g carbs, plus 0.3-0.4g protein per kg body weight within half an hour and every two hours until your next mealtime. TRY One sachet of SIS GO Energy drink plus 200g pot of cottage cheese, or one bagel with 100g ham.
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WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L 1 U N I V E R S I T Y O F S A L F O R D ; 2. J O U R N A L O F O R T H O PA E D I C A N D S P O R T S P H Y S I CA L T H E R A P Y.
Performing Nordic curls (see p97) twice a week will reduce your risk of hamstring injuries, says a new study.1 The researchers recommend keeping your ankles dorsiflexed (pointed towards the shin) to mimic the position they’re in when the leg swings through, just before the foot lands. Most hamstring strains occur at this stage of the gait cycle.
ONE GIANT LEAP Jump to it to reduce injury risk
WHEN YOUR FOOT HITS THE GROUND RUNNING, many muscles in the legs and trunk lengthen as they contract. ‘This ‘eccentric’ contraction allows for a stronger ‘concentric’ contraction during the pushoff phase,’ explains Joseph Morley, a researcher at the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic, US. However, it’s also the point at which muscles are most susceptible to damage. ‘Exercises focusing on eccentric contractions can strengthen the muscles and minimise the chance of strains,’ says Morley. A stationary jump is his move of choice for working the quads, calves and trunk muscles through an eccentric range. Perform one set of 8-12 jumps, using each of the following variations:
FEAR TO TREAD If you’re susceptible to Achilles problems and usually run outdoors, be wary of relying too heavily on the treadmill this winter. A recent study2 found that treadmill running increased the stress on the tendon and researchers suggest a sudden switch may raise injury risk.
KNEED TO KNOW The easy way to ind out what’s causing that pesky knee pain The main causes of running-related knee pain are patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) and iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). Pain expert Paul Ingraham (painscience.com) offers some clues to help you determine which is bothering you.
1 / Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Flex your knees and hips and extend to jump upwards, keeping a tall posture. Land softly (balls of feet, then heels) and go immediately into the next jump.
2 / Repeat the irst move, but lex your trunk slightly forward on landing to increase the eccentric activity of the erector spinae (stabilising muscles in the back). Go immediately into the next jump.
3 / Repeat the irst move once more, but twist the trunk slightly to alternate sides as you land, to challenge the trunk rotators. (Don’t lex forward as well.) Take of again as you land.
PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME
Pain is mainly on the outer side of the knee
Pain is under or around the kneecap
Pain is mostly felt going down stairs or hills
Pain is worse going up stairs or hills
A deep knee bend doesn’t cause much discomfort
A deep knee bend is painful
Pain is not worsened by sitting with your knees bent
Pain is worse during and after sitting
Pressing the ‘knobbly bit’ on the side of the knee feels sore
Pressing directly down on the kneecap is uncomfortable
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O Running in winter weather can leave lips dry, cracked and sore. Albus and Flora’s Multi Active lipbalm (£10, albusandlora.com) ofers a defence: the beeswaxbased balm is packed with seed oils and plant extracts, including jojoba and avocado, to protect lips from the elements as well as soothe and repair existing damage.
A NEW LIFE People who undergo gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity might not strike you as likely runners, but a study1 enrolled 10 such people on a 10K training programme post-surgery. As well as achieving signiicant weight loss (a 2.2 point reduction in body mass index), the runners lost body fat and improved their waist/hip ratio. They also improved their cardiovascular itness and experienced a reduction in cardiovascular risk factors, anxiety and depression.
SLEEP ON IT Load up on quality rest in the week before a race
BED DOWN TO PICK UP SPEED Get a PB in your sleep
Try to hit the start line of your next race feeling chilled, suggests a recent study at the University of Wolverhampton. Researchers induced anxiety and anger in their subjects before they competed and found their pacing strategy was erratic, leading to a higher rate of perceived exertion. Planning race
GET OFF TO A GOOD START Mind games can keep you calm before a big race
MORE THAN two-thirds of athletes say they sleep badly the night before a race, but new research2 suggests that ‘sleep extension’ in the days leading up to your event can solve the problem. Think of it as the slumber equivalent of carb-loading. In the study, getting an extra 75 minutes’ shuteye on six consecutive nights before a full-on sleepless night led to increased endurance in an exercise task and a lower rating of perceived exertion. Even those who weren’t chronically sleep-deprived beneited. Study leader Pierrick Arnal, from the French Armed Forces Biomedical Research Institute, believes that the longer your workout or event, the more beneicial sleep extension could be. Now, where’s that snooze button?
morning meticulously should keep stress at bay – but what if you feel anxious regardless? In an earlier study, the same researchers found runners relied more on mental strategies than physical ones to maintain emotional control in the hour before a race. Here are the four most popularly employed pre-race practices:
Anticipating pleasant emotions afterwards
WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. I L LU S T R AT I O N : J O H N N Y RYA N . P H OTO G R A P H : PAV E L D O R N A K . 1 O B E S I T Y S U R G E R Y 2. M E D I C I N E & S C I E N C E I N S P O R T S & E X E R C I S E
Recall of past performance accomplishments Distraction
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RELEASE THE HOUNDS p27
RUNNING AS ART p39
HUMAN( )RACE p27
NEWS, TRENDS and ORDINARY RUNNERS doing EXTRAORDINARY THINGS
NEVER GIVE UP Australian ultra runner Turia Pitt survived a bushfire, tackled Ironman and now inspires others to achieve
‘I FEEL SO BLOODY PROUD OF MYSELF’ Horrific injuries in a bush fire have not dimmed Turia Pitt’s remarkable spirit
WO R D S : H A R R I E T E D M U N D ; A D D I T I O N A L R E P O R T I N G : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H Y: D E L LY CA R R
ON SEPTEMBER 2,
2011, Turia Pitt toed the line of a race that would change her life forever – a 100km ultra marathon in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. About 30km into the race, Turia, along with a handful of other competitors, became trapped by a 2km-wide bush ire. Unable to outrun the fast-moving blaze, she sufered severe burns to 65 per cent of her body. Doctors did not think she would survive. But last October, Turia was on another start line – the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. An Ironman triathlon is an enormous undertaking: a 3.8km swim followed by a 180km bike ride and a full marathon. But imagine swimming
that 3.8km with your ists closed, or riding 180km when you can’t grip the handlebars of your bike – that’s what Turia had to do, because four of her ingers and one thumb had to be amputated as a result of her injuries. There was also the challenge of regulating her body temperature while she ran. Turia’s burns mean her skin can’t sweat, so running 42km during the hottest part of the day in Hawaii required regular pit stops to pour water over herself. It was, the 29-year-old admits, brutal: ‘I’m totally ecstatic to have inished. I feel so bloody proud of myself!’ Turia completed the race in 14:37:30, and while she hasn’t hung up her racing shoes, the event does mark a
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FIND YOUR GREATNESS
To know your potential, know yourself, says Turia. She advises asking the questions below (shown with her answers). 1 / What is one thing you love about yourself? My sense of humour. 2 / What is a moment of success you’ve made happen? Finishing Ironman.
‘I’m here and I’m
kind of closure. ‘After the ire I had to learn how to do everything again,’ says Turia, who lives with her iancé, Michael Hoskin, in Ulladulla, a coastal town in New South Wales. ‘Everything from walking and talking to eating and dressing. I’d always been super-active and my self-esteem was tied up with what my body could do, so that was pretty rough to deal with.’ All in all, she spent 864 days in hospital and had 200 operations. When she left hospital, she was unable to return to her career in mining engineering. ‘I was living with my in-laws; we were on Centrelink [government beneits]. I thought, “Who am I now? I don’t have a job, I can’t run.” I wanted to make something meaningful out of it all.’ When doctors told the athlete she was unlikely to run again, it didn’t go down well. ‘I remember thinking, “Oh yeah? I’ll show you – I’m going to do an Ironman one day!” The funny thing was, I didn’t fully understand what an Ironman entailed. All I knew was that it was an incredible physical and mental challenge, and if I could achieve it, I would prove to everyone
going to live as best – especially go was partly I can. I’ll take a few myself – that spurred by risks and if things I was itter, the death of don’t work out, faster and Martin Van that’s OK’. stronger than der Merwe, a before the ire.’ South African Turia shared runner who was her journey to Kona also injured in the via her blog and social Kimberley race ire. media accounts, in which Martin had been out she detailed her gruelling, training for a race when 20-hour-plus training he was killed in a collision weeks. A midrun post with a truck. ‘I’d always to her 91,000 Instagram thought: “OK I’ve been followers was refreshingly burned, nothing else can honest: ‘Really did happen to me now”,’ says not want to train this Turia. ‘I felt invincible. But morning. Sometimes the Martin’s death reinforced grind of goal-getting is that our time on this monotonous and boring planet is so leeting and just plain hard.’ and fragile, we have to Her coach, Bruce embrace whatever time Thomas, says Turia’s we have. You can either mental toughness is her live a half life and never greatest asset. ‘Once she take a risk, or you can say, decides to do something, “F*** it. I’m here and I’m she just goes about going to live as best I can. executing it.’ I’ll take a few risks and Turia completed her if things don’t work out, irst Ironman in May last that’s OK”.’ year, in the New South Turia is a household Wales town of Port name in Australia and Macquarie. She felt she’d tours the world as a proved her point to the motivational speaker. In collective ‘them’ who 2014, she won the New suggested she set more South Wales Premier’s reasonable goals such as Woman of the Year getting her driving licence Award; more recently, she back and ‘maybe even’ was a state inalist in the getting married (Michael 2017 Australian of the Year proposed to her in 2015). Awards. ‘I think I’m in a Her motivation for good spot now,’ she says. taking on Kona was ‘I can inluence peoples’ diferent. The decision to lives in a really positive
024 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
3 / Describe a time you felt happy about what was happening. When I found out the people around me were coming to Hawaii. 4/ Think of a challenge you overcame. How did it feel to triumph over adversity? Do I really have to answer that one?
Above Before the ire Below Turia crosses the inish line in the 2016 Ironman World Championships.
way and it’s incredible.’ Last year, more than 7,000 people signed up for one of her goal-setting programmes. Participants have reported leaving violent relationships, changing careers, signing up for marathons and inding the strength to recover from physical and mental setbacks. Turia donates 10 per cent of all her earnings to Interplast, an organisation that helps to provide reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries. She’s also raised AUS $1 million for the not-for-proit body. As she takes to the stage in Melbourne, the latest stop on a national tour, her cropped red top shows of her scarred stomach. ‘You have to wear it like a boss,’ she says of her body. Giant images are projected onto the screen behind her. There’s one of Turia and the other runners being rescued from the bushire. Another of Turia in hospital. And then a video of her mum and Michael cheering as Turia, wearing a black compression mask and moon boots, climbs her irst light of stairs since the ire. It’s no wonder her inal message of the night resonates. ‘Do we curl up or do we step up?’ she asks. ‘Whatever your goal, challenge yourself and see what it is that you’re made of. Because I believe all of us are capable of greatness – you just have to go after it.’
A Coakham bloodhound has the scent
‘YOU FEEL YOU ARE BEING HUNTED’
MY RUNNING LIFE
DAVID BRIGHTLING, 48, BLOODHOUND RUNNER BLOODHOUNDING is a sport in which four-
I N T E R V I E W: S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H Y: D U N CA N N I C H O L L S
legged beasts (bloodhounds and horses, with riders) chase down human quarry. No artiicial scent is laid down or carried – the hounds follow the runners’ scent as they race cross-country between predetermined points. David Brightling, who works as a horse transporter, is a runner for Coakham Bloodhounds in East Sussex.
‘I HAVE BEEN running with the bloodhounds for six years. It was the idea of running crosscountry through beautiful scenery that appealed to me. I was a bit apprehensive the irst time, but the other runner had been doing it for 30 years. The challenge is a diferent one to a race, because it’s non-competitive, but it gets your heart pounding nonetheless. It’s made me enjoy my running more.’ ‘WE ALLOW THE hounds to have a good snif before we set of. We get a 20-minute head start before the huntsman sets of the pack, which is followed by the riders. At a typical meet, we’ll cover eight to 15 miles over four to ive hunts.’
YOU HAVE TO PACE yourself. Too slow and you get caught, too fast and you may lose the hounds. And you really don’t know what type of terrain you’ll encounter, or how many hills. We average around nine-minute miling. IT’S REALLY QUITE a thrill when you hear the hounds baying nearby. You deinitely feel you are being hunted and you deinitely don’t want to get caught.' I’VE ONLY BEEN caught once. The
hounds don’t pile on top of you when they reach you; they’re more likely to lick you to death! HOUNDS ARE counted in couples. On a hunt there are twelve and a half couples [25 hounds]. I TRY TO RECCE the area before a hunt, or at least look at a map, to plan a good route. We don’t use footpaths – we’ll go through thicket or wade through water. I’m much more sure-footed on rough terrain since I started doing this. Our job is to keep the hounds together so sometimes we’ll loop back in a triangle, to let the slower hounds catch up.' COAKHAM Bloodhounds has been going since 1976. It’s nice to be maintaining a rural pastime. The club’s founder, Nic, used to run a sub-2:30 marathon. He’s in his 60s now and rides with the hunt. A day’s hunt may involve getting the permission of 10-12 diferent landowners. You get to see some beautiful countryside that you’d otherwise not get access to.' Coakham Bloodhounds (coakhambloodhounds.org.uk) hunts twice a week between late August and early April. Spectators and riders are welcome. There are 17 packs of bloodhounds in the UK, listed in Bailey's Hunting Directory (bailyshuntingdirectory.com).
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Murphy’s Lore BY SAM MURPHY
‘MY MIND INFORMS ME I CAN’T KEEP UP THIS SPEED’
WHAT SAM... Watched…
I L L U S T R A I O N : P I E TA R I P O S T I
am nearing the end of a progression run in which I’ve upped my pace every minute for 12 minutes. The comfort zone in which I began this session is a distant memory and I’m grabbing quick sips of air between wheezy blows, my arms and legs moving at a cartoonish clip to keep me from flying off the back of the treadmill. The plan, once I reached this final stage, was to maintain my pace for two minutes before going back down the gears. But my mind informs me that I can’t possibly keep up this speed for a further minute. So I don’t. Instead, completely on a whim, I actually speed up a notch. I not only nail the session but finish it feeling invincible. The notion of attempting to run away from my fatigue sounds counterintuitive – crazy, even – but it was a strategy that worked for Emil Zátopek, the ‘Czech locomotive’ who won three gold medals at the Helsinki Olympics in 1952. ‘If you can’t keep going, go faster,’ was reportedly one of his favourite maxims. I’d always thought this was just the legendarily playful runner’s way of expressing his ceaseless work ethic, but according to Richard Askwith, author of Zátopek biography Today We Die a Little (Yellow Jersey), it explains how he secured one of his three Olympic golds. ‘[Zátopek’s] whole strategy was based on the assumption that he could burn off his rivals with one devastating final 400m sprint,’ writes Askwith about the 5000m final. ‘He kicks, but within 100m has slipped from first to fourth. You can see his world falling apart. Yet instead of succumbing to despair, he rallies. Soon he’s clawing back the metres that separate him from [Chris] Chataway, German Herbert Schade and Frenchman Alain Mimoun. On the final bend, all four are level. Then Zátopek summons what another writer called ‘the strength of angels’. In a frenzy of self-belief and determination, he powers away to a dramatic win.’
Run Forever, the award-winning film of fell runner Nicky Spinks’ record-breaking Double Bob Graham Round last year.
Ran… The one and only Parkrun in which I'll ever beat my husband, Jeff – he ran with our dog, Morris.
Stayed up for… I featured as Midnight Expert on BBC 5 Live's Phil Williams Show, chatting to insomniac callers about all things running.
On one level, this story merely illustrates the fact that we can search inside ourselves and, almost always, find more to give. Factors such as how much we want it (whether ‘it’ is an Olympic gold, a PB or a final mile), how willing we are to suffer to get it and our capacity to withstand pain come into play here. But what fascinates me about the Zátopek ploy is that it isn’t just about keeping going or not slowing down, it’s about stepping up your effort when your resources are almost depleted. How so? The essence of its success, I think, is the change in stimulus. When my mind told me ‘I can’t continue with this,’ my body replied, ‘OK, try THIS’ And my mind was grateful for the end of what it perceived to be an intolerable effort despite it being replaced by a greater challenge. I’ve since found that many a runner has, whether wittingly or not, employed the ‘when you can’t keep going, go faster’ strategy. It helped former Olympian Adam Goucher win the US NCAA Cross-country title in 1998 and ultra runner Rob Jebb used it when he ran the second-fastest ever Bob Graham Round last year. It’s not front-page news that the brain has a tremendous capacity to influence the body – indeed, the notion lies at the heart of the latest theories about what underlies fatigue. ‘Runners always reach the limit of their tolerance for suffering before they reach the limit of their physical capacity, hence the phenomenon of the “end spurt”,’ says William A Peters, author of The Resilient Runner (CreateSpace). But could it be that tweaking the source of that suffering – be it speed, surface or gradient – could dupe the brain into withstanding just a little more? If so, it gives the old adage ‘a change is as good as a rest’ a whole new meaning. Sam Murphy tweets @SamMurphyRuns
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YOU’RE ! AMA ZING
BY THE NUMBERS
BRENDAN RENDALL 38, MANCHESTER, STUDENT TEACHER AND RUNNING ADVENTURER TEN YEARS AGO, Brendan Rendall was an overweight, committed party animal. ‘I was the last person you’d imagine going running,’ he says. ‘But a drunken bet with friends led me to take on the Wilmslow Half Marathon. I was hooked.’ Last summer, Brendan became the irst person to run the length of Malawi, in south-
eastern Africa. This was followed by a run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. His African triumph was in aid of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), a charity he’d come across on a previous visit; it supports more than 4,500 orphans in the region. ‘I am far from a super athlete, but my vision is to inspire people,’ says Brendan.
WO R D S : K I T F OX , K AT I E B R OW N . P H OTO G R A P H : G E T T Y
Finish-line cheerleader at the New York CIty Marathon
It’s 8.07pm at mile 25.9 of the New York City Marathon – more than eight hours after the race winners glided through. With the crowds and barriers gone, the sharp turn of 59th street into Central Park would be easy to miss if it weren’t for a small group of loud spectators, led by a woman brandishing a homemade sign with an illuminated arrow. Tracey Wilson has been cheering and directing runners toward the marathon’s end from this exact spot for more than a decade. All day, as an official ﬁnish line emcee, she welcomes runners to Central Park from a stage at Columbus Circle. But at 5.30pm, when crews arrive to tear down that stage, she hops of and grabs her sign. She stays until the end, her sign acting as a beacon for back-of-thepackers. ‘So many people, especially by this time, have worked really hard to get here,’ says Tracey. ‘The moment you look in to their eyes and you see how excited they are that you are cheering for them, you have this connection.’ As she talks, she interrupts herself to cheer for the runners trickling by every couple of minutes, telling them they’re ‘almost there’ and that they have done a ‘great job’. ‘What I think is magical about this spot is that it is the ﬁnal push to the ﬁnish line,’ says Tracey. ‘It is that ﬁnal place to dig deep and ﬁnd a little more inside.’ Another runner ambles into view. Tracey holds up her ﬂashing sign, waves it and screams. The woman smiles. She must have found something more inside, because she starts to run.
AMOUNT RAISED FOR FOMO
34 Most miles covered in a day. The daily average was 26.2.
708 MILES BRENDAN RAN IN MALAWI.
blisters. ‘Slightly tempered by the £8.50 donation a friend pledged for each one.’
three bouts of tears – one when he read a letter from his mum.
42lb degrees Celsius. Peak daily temperature in Malawai, in winter.
The amount of weight shed in preparation for his African adventure.
THE TIME HE STARTED RUNNING EACH DAY TO AVOID THE WORST OF THE DAY’S HEAT.
WHEELCHAIR DONATED. ‘I MET 12-YEAR-OLD GANI ZANI, WHO HAD STOPPED GOING TO SCHOOL BECAUSE HE COULDN’T WALK AND WAS TOO HEAVY TO BE CARRIED. WHEN THE RUN WAS FINISHED, WE RETURNED WITH A WHEELCHAIR FOR HIM.’
consecutive days running.
MARCH2017 2017 RUNNER’SWORLD.CO.UK RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 031 XXXXXXXX
YO U R WORLD
H ACE AN R HUM
LETTER OF THE MONTH
P H OTO G R A P H S : A L A M Y, B R I A N V E R N O R. R U N N E R ’ S WO R L D R E S E R V E S T H E R I G H T TO E D I T R E A D E R S ’ S U B M I S S I O N S . A L L R E A D E R S ’ S U B M I S S I O N S B E C O M E T H E S O L E P R O P E R T Y O F R U N N E R ’ S WO R L D A N D M AY B E P U B L I S H E D I N A N Y M E D I U M A N D F O R A N Y U S E WO R L DW I D E . * BAS E D O N A N R W O N L I N E P O L L O F 694 R U N N E R S .
ng ‘Runnime bringsce’ sola
d have helpe s runners to term come Fellow Holder h of his wife Steve deat with the
run our irst full 5K in training. Less than a mile in, he knocked his foot and decided he couldn't continue. Back at home, he was very quiet and I thought he had changed his mind about running altogether, but he told me he was going back out to run the full distance we’d planned. It's been lovely to have an extradetermined running buddy and we completed our irst 5K race together on Boxing Day (in 34 minutes).
You featured my story last year (RW, July 2016) so I wanted to let you know I completed my challenge of running 20 marathons in 2016, inishing with the Portsmouth Coastal Waterside Marathon on December 18; I raised over £10,000 for charity. It was an amazing inale to the challenge, with people I met through the RW forum group and from further aield either running it with me or coming to support. It’s been a roller-coaster year – new challenges await.
Della Sussex, Basildon, Essex
Steve Holder, Havant, Hampshire
KEEP IT SIMPLE Running is full of the wrong attitude – it’s all about times, lap paces and positions. I am a 43-year-old single parent and fell runner who has been diagnosed with a lifechanging illness. At the moment I’m just grateful to have the pleasure of being able to move forward in the fresh air. I wish other runners would value these simple pleasures.
with them. I'm taking my 11-yearold son to Florida in February for the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend. He's doing the 5K and 10K races and in training has run 13km. Children enjoy taking part in races and are more than capable. Maybe more child-friendly events would be a way to help beat the country’s obesity crisis. Vicky McElligott, Great Wakering, Essex
Caroline Burrell, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
KIDS WHIZZ Why are there not more childfriendly races in the UK? I run regularly with my four children and would love to take part in races
A proud Vicky and her children
STAYING POWER My 10-year-old son, Jake, watched me run a few races last summer and said he wanted to compete in one himself. After a few weeks of upping the mileage we set out to
ATHLETE’S WORLD? I thought your latest issue (RW, Feb) had too much self-help, dietary and motivational material. I know you’re not Athletics Weekly, but surely more coverage of what’s going on at the top of the sport – in terms of the cross-country season, the Marathon Majors, notable achievements, world rankings – would be more inspiring for everyone and provide a better balance. Steve Cooper, Bere Regis, Dorset.
LOST WITHOUT LISTINGS While the events inder on your website is great, I think ditching the race listings from the magazine is a real loss. A quick scan allowed you to pick out a little gem in the next few weeks rather than having to have a predetermined view of where and when you wanted to run. I would love you to reconsider
The highs and lows of winter runs
Next month: who do you run with? Share your #RWrunningbuddy pics on Instagram – @runnersworlduk
Progression run this morning
When you have no choice but to get
Running in the city covered in snow
Of to try out my new Sweaty Betty
already soggy feet drenched @jones95c
MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 33
this decision and reinstate one of the most valuable sections in your excellent publication. Ian Robbins, Morden, Surrey
WE ASK, YOU ANSWER
We put ourselves in the picture, for better or worse
HAVE YOU EVER DONE A GOOD DEED ON THE RUN?
MAGNIFYING GLASS I liked your advice to drink wine out of small glasses (RW, Jan). It makes a bottle of red wine last three days, rather than two when I used to drink out of larger glasses. John Lowden, Crowborough, E Sussex
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU Further to your piece on where runners stash their medals (RW, Feb), the medal I got at the Salisbury Half Marathon had a magnetic strip on the back, so I keep it on my fridge. It's a great idea and you can buy magnetic strips from many hardware stores or online. You get the motivational urge every time you go to the fridge!
Commissioning editor Kerry McCarthy has to keep up with ultra runner Susie Chan.
‘I helped an old lady with dementia who had strayed from her care home in nightwear and no shoes at 5:30am in winter.’ – Lucy Anne Robinson ‘I found a wallet and returned it to the owner via Facebook.’ – Marianne Toole
Mark Cole, Salisbury
SIDELINED Not well enough to compete in a local 10K, I went along and be supporter and photographer for my friend. It was so enjoyable to see the race from a diferent perspective
‘I was running across the Humber Bridge when I stopped to persuade a lady not to jump off. She listened and climbed back over the railings.’ – Ian Williamson
Digital editor Ben Hobson introduces the newest member of the RW team, baby Sebastian.
‘I pick up countryside rubbish on my way.’ – Nicola Wallis ‘I stopped and changed a tyre for a distressed pregnant lady during a 20-miler.’ – Ryan Shaw
‘I found a £20 note. Later I came across a homeless person and gave it to him.’ – Keith Ricketts ‘Bizarrely, on one run I ended up helping a barge owner get a Muntjac deer out of the canal.’ – Kay Scott ‘Freed a sheep stuck in a fence.’ – Ceri Roberts ‘I’ve stopped to give directions many times. At first it annoyed me that people would interrupt me in “full flow”; now I enjoy the “compulsory breather!”’ – Ross Jones ‘I helped a hedgehog cross the road safely.’ – @Miranda_Rachel
H and I really enjoyed cheering people on. It’s something I’d encourage every runner to do. The icing on the cake? My friend recorded a PB. Duncan Bond, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
DOGGONE IT! A couple of weeks ago I ran past a woman who had let her dog of the lead. It raced towards me, barking furiously. She called out to me to stop and stand still, otherwise
it would attack me. With some trepidation I did as she said, and the dog stood there yapping at me until she got its lead back on. Have other runners had trouble with overboisterous dogs and if so – any tips to deal with them? John Clarke, Norwich
THREE WHEELS GOOD In response to Roland Gibbard (RW Feb): in 2011 when my son was two,
READER TO READER
Runner’s Need shops
we entered the Holmirth 15 using a running buggy. We contacted the organisers in advance to see if they were OK with the idea. We inished in 2:15 to applause. It was a fantastic experience and it shows that if you respect the organisers, there’s no reason why buggy runners can't join in events.
take old trainers and
Simon Hogan (by email)
Do readers know of charities that collect used running clothing and shoes? Liz Owsley, Surrey
donate them to those who can’t aford
them. – Lesley Sanders
Which of these most regularly scuppers your training plan? Project Africa Athletics. It gives those with the ability to run the chance to do it with proper kit. – James Hamilton
WHAT’S INSPIRED OR ANNOYED YOU? THE WRITER OF THE WINNING EMAIL OR LETTER RECEIVES A PAIR OF SAUCONY HURRICANE ISO 2S, WORTH £135
For women’s kit, try
the charity A Mile In
Lack of time
Lack of motivation
Lack of energy
Injury or illness
Her Shoes – Claire Monk
‘Family and work take
‘Time is the excuse
‘As a new dad, I
‘Illness or injury is
priority. I it running
but motivation is the
haven’t had a night’s
the only true barrier.
reason, if I’m honest.’
sleep for months.’
You can’t control it."
Any charity shop
– Jenny B
– Tony Ellison
– Dan Lodge
33 Broadwick Street, London W1F 0DQ Email email@example.com Tweet @runnersworlduk Facebook runnersworlduk
Tonky Talk BY PAUL TONKINSON
‘SOMEONE CHEATED IN THE PARKRUN!’
I LU S T R AT I O N : P I E TA R I P O S T I
e live in confusing times – confrontational even, for someone with a liberal mindset. In a period where certainties seem to be collapsing daily, the simplicity of running is more valuable than ever. While we search social media and news outlets for something to cling to, running offers a timeless release, a calm parallel world where some truths are self-evident – a step is a step, a mile is a mile. It was in such a spirit that I turned up recently to a Parkrun in a distant town. Like a seeker in search of salvation I arrived to worship with the faithful. I wanted to hand in my barcode with a clean heart and receive absolution, in the form of the email telling me of my place in the world (truth in minutes and seconds), only to have my belief system smashed. Brace yourself, reader: someone cheated in the Parkrun. Now I’m well aware that mistakes can happen on a Saturday morning. We’ve all heard of someone who has run one lap less then they should have in the hungover confusion of a five-lap course. But this was no mistake. This was a decent runner determined to beat me. So determined, in fact, that he violated the honest ethics of this not-competitive event. Yes, Parkrun it is not a race, but it is timed. And this time is for a set distance of 5K. That’s the point of it. I’ve heard of pacers at some Parkruns. Indeed, over the months, as I go to my regular one in North London, time clusters develop – similar souls at similar levels competing in this non-race to help each other get fitter and faster. That’s sport, that’s running. I’d overtaken my adversary at about the 1km point and assumed I’d never see him again. I was aiming for a sub-19:00 on a fast course so I was pushing it. At 3km he surged past me, then I went past him. It felt good to be in an honest non-race. Two runners at about the same level, good clean…
RUNNERPEDIA Hip flexors (n) Muscles that have a fixed-gear bike and only listen to vinyl.
Stride rate (n) Frequency with which a man buys trousers.
Dynamic stretching (v) Warming up while striking heroic poses.
wait…he cut a corner! Yes reader, he strode across the grass at a junction, as clear as day. From five or six metres behind, he was now five metres ahead. Slightly angry, I accelerated, maybe a bit too abruptly for my fitness levels and overtook him, only for it to happen again at the next turning. He’d nicked another 10 metres. What was happening? This double offence, added to my growing fatigue, plunged me into an existential abyss. What was the point? My spirits sagged, along with my heart. I trailed in, seven seconds behind him in the funnel. I ask you, fellow athletes: is this to be accepted? I appreciate a Parkrun is not a race but surely standards must be maintained? There’s a course. The course represents the distance – 5K. What is our world coming to? Now some people will say, ‘Chill out mate, it’s just a Parkrun, it’s not even a race. And it was only a couple of corners.’ To which I reply, ‘I know it’s not a race but it is measured and timed. If we don’t respect these basic dimensions the edifice crumbles and the results become a list of possibly untrue statistics. Or we could all set off, run round the park on a route of our own choosing and finish whenever we fancy.’ Now, I’m not advocating CCTV cameras at every turn, or for every runner to be tagged by their own drone. That would be stupid, and impractical. A simple addition to the pre-run oath is all that’s needed, such as this: ‘We will respect other park users; if we a want a time we need our barcode and for that barcode to have any meaning we must run the whole course. Now give the volunteers a round of applause and have fun. And Tonkinson – stop moaning.’ Check out Paul and fellow comedian Rob Deering’s new running podcast, Running Commentary – available on iTunes and Acast. @RunComPod
MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 037
many times rather than studied visually like paintings in a gallery,’ he says. ‘Their power and presence are more conceptual; people know they are there and what ideas and histories are connected to them.’ As monuments mark events, or people, of historical distinction and diiculty, so too does Running Man. kiasma.fi/en MAN ON THE RUN ‘A hurried and lost figure in a world beset by ecological, economic and political crises’
RUN IT BY ME
The Australian theatre company All the Queen’s Men takes the legend of Pheidippides as the inspiration for its production Fun Run. Staged in public spaces, the performance – part endurance event, part pantomime, part epic theatre – involves a lone performer running a treadmill marathon as the hero’s tale unfolds around him. Pheidippides’ journey may have been a solo efort but this show gets its entire audience up and moving.
Gregg Whelan, a professor of performance at Falmouth University, explains why running can be art PERFORMANCE ARTISTS are increasingly making
running their muse. ‘Artists are beginning to exploit sport’s ability to produce meaningful narratives from pure physical action,’ says Gregg Whelan, who holds an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellowship to explore the cultural agency of running and its relationship to endurance and participation. He takes us on a whistle-stop tour of ‘running as art’.
P H OTO G R A P H S : M U R D O M AC L E O D
A man in a suit runs through central Helsinki, his briefcase under his arm, black shoes clattering on the city streets. He looks anxious, sweating as he negotiates the crowds – perhaps he's late, or lost, or both. We see him once and think little of it. But then we see him again, and again. He has been tearing through Helsinki once a week since May last year and inishes this May. He is Running Man (above), an artwork by Finnish artist Nestori Syrjälä, winner of a national
prize by the Finnish State Art Commission. ‘It’s an image of contemporary humanity,’ he says. ‘A hurried and lost igure in a world beset by ecological, economic and political crises. I think about running as something primeval, something fundamental to the human psyche. In our dreams and nightmares, we are still running.’ Given that Syrjälä also runs, what makes Running Man art and a ‘running man’ just that? Syrjälä frames his work as a public monument. ‘Public monuments are glimpsed
Vicki Weitz wanted to explore how people do the same thing day after day. Running ive hours a day for 26 days seemed to do the trick.
26 IN 26
At the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2013, artist Vicki Weitz’s performance – Twenty Six Marathons in Twenty Six Days – consisted of her running back and forth along the Royal Mile, weaving in and out of the crowds for up to ive hours a day. ‘I wanted to explore how someone – anyone – gets up and does something
each day, every day,’ says Weitz, whose work was prompted by a motorcycle accident that meant she had to use a wheelchair for the best part of a year. ‘It was a performance about motivation, support, participation and fear,’ she says. vickiweitz.co.uk
WORK NO. 850
In Martin Creed’s Work No. 850, from 2008, a runner sprinted through Tate Britain’s Neoclassical Gallery, a quiet space full of static art works, every 30 seconds. The Turner Prize winner was inspired by a mad dash with friends through the Palermo Catacombs, which reminded him of that joyous, child-like delirium going at full tilt produces and gave him the desire to place that breathless movement into the heart of the gallery. martincreed.com
Comedian Richard Gadd’s intense, awardwinning 2016 show Monkey See Monkey Do saw the performer giving voice to the monologue that had played out in his head since he sufered a sexual assault some years earlier. Gadd spends the hour-long show huing and puing on a treadmill, in perpetual light from the inner demons that relentlessly chase as the show reaches its powerful inish. @MrRichardGadd
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042 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
WITH LONG-DEMONISED FAT FULLY REHABILITATED, THERE’S A NEW VILLAIN IN TOWN – SUGAR. BUT DOES IT DESERVE ITS STATUS AS NUTRITIONAL ENEMY NO. 1, PARTICULARLY FOR THOSE WHO NEED QUICKLY AVAILABLE MUSCLE FUEL? MATT FITZGERALD CUTS THROUGH THE HYPE TO DELIVER THE SIMPLE, SCIENCE-BACKED SUGAR RULES FOR MAXIMISING PERFORMANCE AND HEALTH
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BACK IN 2004, an international team of sports scientists led by Vincent Onywera of Kenyatta University, Kenya, spent a week monitoring everything a group of 10 top Kenyan male distance runners ate and drank. To the surprise of no one, the researchers discovered that the diet of these athletes was quite good overall. They ate plenty of vegetables and healthy starches (mainly cabbage, beans, cornmeal and potatoes), a limited amount of meat (mostly beef) and almost nothing processed. There was, however, one notable exception to the wholesomeness of the regular menu of these runners: a whopping 20 per cent of their calories came from refined sugar. No, they weren’t snacking on sweets or swilling soft drinks all day. They just drank a lot of tea, which Kenyans like to take loaded with milk and table sugar. Still, 20 per cent is a lot – far more than the 12 per cent contribution that refined sugars make to the diet of the average adult in the UK. This is, of course, considered to be too high in sugar. In the 13 years since this study was conducted, Kenya’s elite runners have continued to fuel their bodies with super-sweet tea, something I saw for myself when I visited the country in 2015 to research my new book, The Endurance Diet (Da Capo Lifelong). These Kenyan elites, have, of course, continued to perform exceptionally well in competition. Meanwhile, growing numbers of recreational runners in other parts of the world have striven to eliminate sugar from their diet and even to avoid using sugar-containing products during training and competition. These efforts are based largely on a recent wave of negative news reporting on sugar, which has been labelled a ‘drug’ a ‘toxin’ and ‘poison’ But if the best runners on earth are among the heaviest sugar consumers, can it really be so bad? Not according to the experts. ‘Sugar has become the scapegoat du jour in our public discourse about 044 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
nutrition,’ says Dr David Katz, President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. ‘This is fine on one level, because many of us eat too much of it and would benefit from eating less. On another level, however, this kind of absolutist, either/or thinking about nutrition also carries negative consequences.’ For runners, the consequences of an excessive fear of sugar may include fitness stagnation resulting from inadequate carbohydrate intake (sugar is a carb) and also poor race performance resulting from failure to take advantage of the performanceenhancing effects of sugar intake during competition. The truth about sugar is that it has pros and cons. On the plus side, it makes food taste good and it provides quick energy during intense activity. On the minus side, overconsumption of sugar has been proven to lead directly or indirectly to weight gain, insulin resistance and various cardiovascular disease risk factors. Enjoying the benefits of sugar while avoiding its negatives requires a balanced and smart approach to sugar consumption. To find this balance, follow these six science-based sugar rules. RULE #1
DON’T WORRY ABOUT NATURAL SUGARS There are two basic categories of sugar: natural and refined. Natural sugars are, as the name suggests, naturally present in foods. Examples are lactose in milk and fructose in fruit. Refined sugars are extracted from natural foods and then added to other foods and drinks to make them sweeter. Examples are high-fructose corn syrup, which is used in soft drinks, and sucrose (or table sugar), an ingredient in many desserts. Some nutrition experts (and would-be experts) caution people to avoid natural and refined sugar sources alike, on the grounds that ‘sugar is sugar’. Consider this quote from a popular fitness website: ‘Some studies suggest fructose, the main type of sugar found in fruit, can even be more harmful than other sugars (namely, glucose). Fructose has even been linked to increased belly fat, slowed metabolism and overall weight gain.’ It’s true that fructose is the main type of sugar found in fruit. It’s also true that fructose appears to be more harmful than other types of sugar – but only when it’s not contained in fruit. Whole fruit itself, however, is one of the healthiest things you can eat. A recent study at Harvard
University, US, found that a high intake of fruit was more effective than a high intake of vegetables in preventing weight gain. RULE #2
DO EAT REFINED SUGAR IN MODERATION Anti-sugar activists such as Gary Taubes, author of The Case Against Sugar (Portobello Books), have popularised the idea that refined sugar, especially fructose, is uniquely potent as a contributor to weight gain and metabolic diseases. The
Many foods besides sweets also contain added sugars biochemistry underlying this argument is complex, but the basic idea is that 100 calories of sugar are more fattening that 100 calories of anything else you might eat. The problem with this idea is that most of the scientists actually doing the research it’s supposedly based on (Taubes is a science writer, not a scientist) don’t endorse it. ‘If you don’t overeat sugar, it doesn’t have any special effect compared to any other form of carbohydrate,’ says Stephan Guyenet, a neurobiologist and author of The Hungry Brain (Flatiron Books). Guyenet points to the work of John Sievenpiper, a nutrition scientist at the University of Toronto and one of the world’s leading experts on the health effects of sugar consumption. Sievenpiper’s research has yielded compelling evidence that refined
Race-day sugar rules If you skip sugar in longer events you won’t perform at your best. To maximise sugar’s performance beneits, follow these race-day rules
sugar in #1 Consume races lasting
longer than one hour
Studies show that sugar boosts performance in events lasting as little as 60 mins, even though
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sugar wreaks havoc on the body only when high levels of sugar consumption (again, fructose in particular) are combined with general overeating. This may explain the ‘Kenyan paradox’, as we might call it. In Vincent Onywera’s study of the diet of elite Kenyan runners, all 10 subjects actually lost weight during the week they were under observation, despite getting 20 per cent of their calories from sugar. The reason was simple: they ate fewer total calories than they burned. So how much sugar is too much? The World Health Organization now recommends limiting refined sugar intake to 10 per cent of total calories. If you eat 2,000 calories per day, therefore, only 200 of those calories should come from refined sugar. One can of cola contains 39g of sugar, or 156 sugar calories. A single chocolate chip cookie contains 18g, or 72 calories, of sugar. So, on a practical level, the 10 per cent rule limits you to one or two sweet treats per day. But be aware that many foods besides sweets also contain added sugars (see Hidden Sugar, p46) and these, too, count toward your daily limit. RULE #3:
DON’T GO TO EXTREMES TO AVOID SUGAR
such events aren’t long enough to deplete your carb stores. It appears that sugar does this by simulating the nervous system.
in even more #2 Take in longer races In very long events, your performance is limited by the depletion of carbs in the liver and muscles. While 30-60g of sugar or other fast-acting carbs will maximise performance in shorter races, runners can gain further performance beneits from taking in as much as 90g per hour in longer races.
multiple #3 Consume types of sugar It’s impossible to get 90g of carbs per hour from a sports drink. It’s too much luid. So in longer events, combine sports drinks and a more concentrated source, such as energy gels. It’s also hard for the body to absorb 90g of a single type of carb in one hour. You need to consume a sugar such as glucose or fast-acting carb such as maltodextrin in combination with fructose in approximately a 2:1 ratio. The body processes fructose through a diferent
metabolic channel to other sugars, so by combining multiple sugars you absorb sugar through two channels simultaneously.
your #4 Train nutrition According to Jeukendrup, one of the reasons GI problems are common in races is that runners try to take in a lot more luid and carbs during events than they do in training. ‘The gut is adaptable,’ he says. Get it used to taking in nutrition in long workouts and you’ll have a much lower risk of running into trouble on race day.
Some popular diets encourage followers to aim far lower than the WHO standard, forbidding refined sugar completely. Since refined sugar offers no health benefits, you wouldn’t expect these diets to do any harm, but runners who go 100 per cent sugar-free often encounter unexpected negative consequences. One such runner is Julie Benson, who was persuaded to try the popular No Sugar No Grain (NSNG) diet by a training partner. The results were disastrous. Eliminating sugar and grains from her diet left Benson feeling sluggish and lethargic, which ruined her marathon training plans. ‘I felt awful,’ she says. ‘The diet didn’t just slow me down – I could barely even run at all.’ Benson’s friend urged her to stick with NSNG, insisting she would soon adjust and start feeling better. She never did. While her struggles were more than likely the result of inadequate overall carb intake rather than lack of refined sugar specifically, Benson both felt better and performed better when she resumed eating grains and moderate amounts of sugar-containing foods. In addition to the various physical consequences, attempts to remove all refined sugar from the diet also carry MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 045
psychological risks. Benson worried constantly about eating the wrong thing while on NSNG and was racked with guilt whenever she broke a rule. Scientists at the State University of New York and Albany, and elsewhere, have shown that the stress and anxiety associated with maintaining unreasonably strict dietary standards can elevate the stress hormone cortisol, and this, in turn, may accelerate brain ageing and lead to other long-term health consequences. Other recent research, from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, suggests people who have a guilt-based relationship with food are more likely to binge on junk food when under stress. There is also evidence that extreme diets serve as stepping stones to full-blown eating disorders such as bulimia. For all of these reasons, it is best to aim for moderation in refined sugar intake, not total elimination of all sweets. RULE #4:
DO BREAK YOUR SUGAR ADDICTION (IF YOU HAVE ONE) Sugar’s most dangerous quality is its tendency to promote overeating. According to Guyenet, sugar does this by stimulating the release of the brain chemical dopamine, which acts as a behavioural reinforcer. ‘Essentially,’ says Guyenet, ‘dopamine teaches your brain that what you just did was good and you should do it again in the same situation.’ Studies on rats have even shown that, through its action on dopamine, sugar affects the brain and behaviour in ways similar to addictive drugs, a finding that has led to sensational news headlines such as: ‘Research shows cocaine and heroin are less addictive than Oreos’ (Forbes.com); ‘Sugar is “the most dangerous drug of our time” and should come with smoking-style health warnings (Daily Mail); ‘Sugar addiction “should be treated as a form of drug abuse”’ (Independent) Is this true? Not quite. Addiction experts say that such alarming comparisons are based on a basic misunderstanding of the nature of addiction. According to Marc Lewis, author of The Biology of Desire (PublicAffairs), any pleasurable experience can lead to addiction, and whether a person actually becomes addicted to sugar, computer games or anything else depends largely on individual susceptibility. ‘We know that most people who take addictive substances such as opiates don’t become addicted,’ says Lewis. It’s the same with sugar. Unlike hard drugs, which, for the 046 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
most part, only at-risk individuals experiment with in the first place, sugar is something that every person in modern society is exposed to, and yet only a small fraction of us appear to become dependent on it. The common (and innocent) term for a susceptibility to sugar addiction is a ‘sweet tooth’. If you have one, you probably know it, and your health and fitness may depend on breaking it. Fortunately, it is possible. Lewis recommends a practice known as scheduling, which entails making conscious decisions about what
A healthy diet must moderate all highly processed foods types of sweet treats you will allow yourself to consume, how much and how often, and then sticking to these decisions. One runner who overcame her sweet tooth through scheduling is Tina Muir, originally from St Albans, and now living in Kentucky, US. In 2015, Muir was struggling to advance to the elite level with her running and concluded that sugar was holding her back. ‘I used to wake up in the morning, walk directly to the fridge and eat some chocolate,’ she recalls. ‘Two hours later, the cravings would hit again and I would have a few sweets. My lunch required a dessert, as did, of course, dinner.’ With the help of a nutritionist, Muir worked out a schedule that allowed her to eat dessert once a week and a few pieces of chocolate or sweets every other day or so. Muir lost belly fat, her sugar cravings diminished and her running improved. In 2016, she set a four-minute PB of 2:37 at the London Marathon and qualified to represent Great Britain at the World Half Marathon Championships.
Hidden sugar In his book Salt, Sugar, Fat (WH Allen), Michael Moss revealed that food companies hide sugar in all kinds of foods to trick our brains into craving more of them. The list of foods to watch out for includes bread, dried fruit, hot dogs, pasta sauce, peanut butter, salad dressing, crisps and yoghurt.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT FAT If the most dangerous thing about sugar is its tendency to promote overeating, the most dangerous thing about the vilification of sugar is that it makes people forget about other nutrients that promote overeating and are harmful when overeaten. Erica Schulte, a clinical psychologist at the University of Michigan, US, who researches the characteristics of foods implicated in addictive eating notes that added fats, such as the oils in crisps and refined carbs other than sugar, such as the wheat flour in pizza crust, are as hard to stop eating as sugar and are especially addictive when combined with sugar. ‘There are no foods in nature that have naturally high levels of both sugar and fat,’ says Schulte. ‘We see unprocessed foods high in fat (eg pistachios) or sugar (eg bananas) but we never see the two together. This underscores that highly processed foods may be made to be artificially rewarding by containing high quantities of both fat and rapidly absorbed refined carbs.’ In 2015, Schulte and two of her colleagues asked more than 500 volunteers to rank the foods they were most likely to overeat. None of the foods rated as most addictive was high in sugar only. Three of the top six – chocolate, ice cream and biscuits – were notable for their combination of large amounts of fat and sugar. The other three – chips, pizza and crisps – contain lots of fat and refined carbs and little or no sugar. What all of these foods do have in common is that they are processed. A truly healthy diet must moderate all highly processed foods, not just sugar. This may be one more reason why the runners in Onywera’s study were so fit and healthy despite eating large amounts of sugar. Sweetened tea was the only processed food (or drink, in this case) these athletes ate.
But avoiding the hidden sugar in these foods isn’t as easy as looking for the word ‘sugar’ on the list of ingredients. Food companies disguise the presence of sugar by giving it diferent names: agave nectar, brown rice syrup, brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltose, sucrose and tapioca syrup. Watching your sugar intake? Look for the devil in the details.
SUGAR The rest of their diet was ideal. By contrast, in the UK, most of us eat a lot of sugar, a lot of refined carbs and a lot of added fats. RULE #6:
DO USE SUGAR TO BOOST RUNNING PERFORMANCE Most sports drinks and gels contain sugar and many runners now avoid them for this reason. Many fear that consuming sugar during exercise will cause an ‘insulin spike’ followed by ‘a blood sugar crash’ and fatigue. Not so. ‘The idea that you get insulin spikes during exercise after consuming sugar is nonsense,’ says Asker Jeukendrup, a visiting professor at Loughborough University who specialises in nutritional biochemistry, and is founder of mysportscience.com. Sugar delays fatigue during running by providing a source of quick energy to the muscles and nervous system. Research at Loughborough University found that runners ran a marathon nearly four minutes faster, on average, when they drank a sugar-containing sports drink than when they drank water. Other runners avoid taking in sugar on the run because of concerns it will cause GI distress. It’s true that consuming too much sugar (and/or other carbs) can cause GI symptoms such as nausea, but says, Jeukendrup, ‘most GI problems are caused by the exercise itself. People who get GI problems always get GI problems. It doesn’t matter whether they take water or carbohydrate or nothing at all.’ In fact, sugar is less likely to cause tummy issues than other nutrients, such as mediumchain triglycerides, which runners sometimes turn to as alternatives to sugar. Another concern that runners have about sugar in sports drinks and energy gels is that it leads to weight gain. But research has shown that taking in carb calories during exercise results in lower calorie intake afterward. A study conducted at Colorado State University, US, found subjects voluntarily ate 94 fewer calories in their next meal after a workout during which they took in carbs. ‘There’s so much confusion in this area and it’s getting worse,’ says Jeukendrup. Hopefully the rules here will have brought clarity and left you free to enjoy that sugar in your prerun tea. MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 047
COLD AND DARK DAYS, NIGGLES, ACHES, PLATEAUS, EXHAUSTION… NO MATTER WHAT IS SAPPING YOUR RUNNING MOTIVATION, WE CAN HELP: OVER THE NEXT SIX PAGES YOU’LL FIND A COMBINATION OF HARD-EARNED WISDOM AND EXPERT INSIGHT TO REBOOT YOUR MOJO AND REIGNITE YOUR LOVE OF THE SPORT
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MOTIVATION PART I
SET THE RIGHT GOAL Declutter your training diary and target a new goal based on what gives you the most satisfaction When you read about the benefits of long runs, tempo runs, hill training, crosstraining, postrun strides and so on (and on...) it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by everything you think you should accomplish. If your quest to fit it all in is sapping your running mojo, it’s time to declutter your schedule. Organisation maven Marie Kondo, whose books include The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (Vermilion), believes happiness comes from letting go of things you store out of obligation, and keeping your favourites. Her ideas can help runners trim the ‘should-dos and focus on what gives them satisfaction’, says ultra runner and coach Art Ives. And that can revive flagging motivation. The best way to set a goal can be to identify the type of running that lights up your day and then let that dictate your target, says coach Larry Blaylock. Use this guide to choose your next goal and organise your training according to the type of running that brings you joy.
YOU LOVE TO CLIMB
YOUR GOAL A TR AIL RUN Choose a trail race that’s shorter than your go-to road distance and start with a weekly trail session. For the irst three to six weeks, run on short, rolling hills. Over the next three to six weeks, graduate to hills that are longer (up to two miles) and steeper. Keep the efort level easy: ‘These climbs build strength and stamina,’ says Ives. ‘Speed will follow.’
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YOU LOVE THE BURN OF TEMPO PACE
YOU LOVE JUST RUNNING
YOUR GOAL A FAST 10-MILER Tempo runs – which should include at least 20 minutes of running at a comfortably hard pace – appeal to runners who love to push themselves. Tempo workouts raise your fatigue threshold – letting you run faster and over longer distances without tiring. That’s key for a strong 10-miler, which requires both speed and endurance. Start week one with one 20-minute tempo session (with a warm-up and cool-down of ive-to-10 minutes), and vary the duration of the tempo phase (up to 40 mins) in subsequent weeks.
YOUR GOAL TO RUN HEALTHY You don't have to race to enjoy the physical and mental beneits of running, but you do need to avoid injury-enforced time out. Aim for at least 90 minutes per week of running at your ‘happy pace’. To stay injuryfree, do two weekly 15-minute strength-training sessions. Target your core muscles (with moves such as planks and side planks), along with some lower leg and glute work (such as squats and lunges).
YOU LOVE RUNNING WITH OTHER PEOPLE YOUR GOAL A FULL DIARY Chatty runs are great for developing base aerobic itness, says Blaylock. But running buddies can also propel you through hard workouts. Join friends for hills or intervals: if they’re slower, you can up their game; if they’re faster, you can chase them. If you’re chasing, take easy days before and after. Widen your run-social circle, too: join a club run each week.
YOU LOVE GOING LONG YOUR GOAL TO R ACE FURTHER ‘I love running longer, because you work so much stress out,’ says Blaylock. Plus, long runs change your perception of limitations. ‘There’s a second energy that you get in the later stages,’ says Ives. Blaylock recommends choosing a race up to 60 per cent longer than you’ve ever gone before – whether that’s a 10K or a 100K. Training for a 10K takes eight weeks; prerequisites for an ultra include several marathon inishes and 21-24 weeks of training.
LEARN FROM OTHERS Every runner’s mojo goes AWOL some time. Here RW readers and staf reveal the reasons they lost theirs…and how they got it back
YOU LOVE TO RUN (AND HIKE AND BIKE AND. . .) YOUR GOAL AN OBSTACLE R ACE OR TRIATHLON When runners challenge their bodies in diferent ways, they unlock heaps of fun and build body strength. Sprint triathlons don’t call for a huge amount of extra training time, and obstacle races develop all-round itness. Make sure you still run for at least 30 mins three times a week to maintain running-speciic adaptations.
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COUNT TO 10 ‘I had 10 days of over Christmas – I was planning on two! I just couldn’t ind the energy, but I pulled myself together and decided on January 1 to just run. It was only 5km and lashing with rain but it broke the excuses and my mojo is now back. It’s just getting out the door – give it 10 minutes and tell yourself that if you’re not feeling the love you’ll stop… bet you won’t, though!’ Karen Stanley
ALARM CALL ‘When it’s cold outside and you’ve had a miserable day it’s so easy to
MOTIVATION overwhelmed and not knowing where to turn. Finally understanding that even a small run can make the biggest diference to my mental health really changed things for me.’ Helen Woods
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE ‘After moving to a new area I didn’t have the conidence to go out and explore, for fear of getting lost. This, coupled with the fact it was a hilly area and I wasn’t keen on or very good at hill training, meant that I didn’t run for about six months. I really missed it, so eventually I found a local club who took me under their wing. Soon I had a PB at the local half marathon and became a regular at the local Parkrun.’ Jane Shackleton, RW head of marketing and events
SMELL THE ROSES ‘My competitive attitude killed me with constant use of Strava etc. I got my running mojo back after reading about the ‘hygge’ way of life. It’s a Danish concept about doing what feels good, not competing, not being bothered about anything other than getting outdoors. I even stopped while out running the other day just to take a photo of the view. I felt free, liberated by lack of measurement. Wonderful.’ Isabelle Szczeccinski
FOLLOW THE LEAD
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come in and drink a pot of tea and eat a cake. Before I knew it a month had passed with the same excuses and I was getting out of breath in the park with the dog and the kids. So one morning I set my alarm earlier, having laid out my kit the evening before. I got up and just did one mile. Wow, did I feel great that day! I decided to do three short, early runs a week and as time went by home life improved and I felt healthier and happier just for getting out there.’ Michael Bowen
FRIENDLY FIRE ‘After a cancelled marathon I was mentally ready for a rest period and I was so disheartened at not being able to race after all the training that I could no longer ind the motivation to get out early on a Saturday morning. My solution was to start running with someone else. I didn’t want to let this person down by cancelling and found it was a welcome change to logging solo miles. After a few weeks I started feeling motivated to go out again on my own, running at a faster pace than I had before.’ Katherine Kendall, RW brand director
‘Non-race months are my problem. I struggle unless I have a race to train for, so I decided to train my dog for Canicross events. This way I can combine his walks with running every day. I have no excuses – he needs to get out!’ Karen Hibbitt
GO OFF-GRID ‘A few years ago, when I was chasing a sub-three marathon PB, there was an eight-month period in which pretty much every run was a training run – by which I mean every run had a speciic goal (eg long-run distance, speedwork reps etc). I kind of fell out of love with running as a result, as it became a pretty joyless grind. After the marathon, for a couple of months I made a point of running when I felt like it and with no speciic focus, and during the runs just enjoyed the sights and sounds of being out in the open.’ Andy Dixon, RW editor
DARE TO FAIL ‘Fear of failure was my problem. I got over it by telling myself that the only person judging me is me. No one else cares, they’ve got their own worries to deal with.’ Layton Paul Jones
SHORT CHANGE ‘After two years in a constant cycle of training for spring, then autumn, marathons I just ran out of desire. I understood what I had to do to get faster – possibly a little too well – and felt conident I could do it, but where in the past that mix would have been like parain for my motivational ire I was, for the irst time, simply out of the mental energy to take it on. I took a break, did more cycling, enjoyed Sunday afternoons with my family, then focused on a running goal that was about as far from the marathon as I could manage: running a fast mile. The shift of focus restored my mojo and the following year I felt ready – itching, in fact – to return to marathon training. Mentally refreshed, I had my best and most enjoyable training cycle – and I ran that PB.’ Joe Mackie, RW Deputy Editor
POSITIVE THINKING ‘Sufering with anxiety can really afect my running. At times anxiety can leave you feeling demotivated,
SPREAD THE JOY ‘A seemingly unsolvable injury that dragged on for months threatened to MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 051
destroy my motivation for good. Each expert I saw reassured me they would have me back running in no time, but to no avail. Coaching kept me going. Being able to impart knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to others made me feel I still had a purpose in the running world, and I gained a lot of enjoyment and pride from seeing others succeed. If you’re not a coach, stay involved in other ways, such as volunteering at events or going along to races to support friends. But don’t force it: if you’re really miserable about not running, forcing yourself to go and, say, provide tea after a training run (when everyone returns full of running joy) can leave you feeling even more wretched. I speak from experience. By the time I was able to run again my whole outlook on running had changed. I still enjoy racing, but it’s now much more about feeling good, enjoying each run for its own merits and being part of the running community.’ Sam Murphy, RW section editor and running coach
FRESH START ‘Pregnancy and postnatal depression stopped my running for nearly a year. I got my mojo back by rereading Chris McDougall’s Born to Run and starting back slowly with no goals, just me and the road.’ Laura Curtis
THINK BIB ‘Getting injured two weeks before a marathon messed with my motivation because I felt that all the training had achieved nothing. The only way I got back to it was to enter another race, to give me that goal again. I’ve had a few mental hiccups along the way (“What if you get injured again?”), but I always get out of bed if a goal is there.’ Roger Bilsland, RW production manager and RW VMLM pacer
Berlin Marathon by replacing all my runs with strength and conditioning work; and I found doing something new and so out of my comfort zone stimulated my curiosity and competitive instinct. The weight dropped of, niggles abated, my mojo returned and I went sub-four in Berlin with a whopping 17-minute PB. Kerry McCarthy, RW commissioning editor
GROUP DYNAMIC RING THE CHANGES ‘Sometimes I fall out of love with running for a spell. When you spend 40+ hours a week thinking about, talking about, writing about and, of course, doing it, that’s inevitable. In 2013 I had a severe bout of antirunningitis. Injuries and a series of failures to crack a four-hour marathon had bred resentment and I started to see running as a chore. And if I couldn’t improve, what was the point? My solution was a new regime that challenged body and mind. I put myself in the hands of two CrossFit coaches, who made a valid point about [supposedly] Albert Einstein’s deinition of insanity (doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a diferent outcome). I trained for the 052 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
‘Training through the bad weather of the winter – especially after Christmas in the run-up to London Marathon– is tough. I persuaded friends to run with me; that way you can’t back out of your committed training slot. I also joined some Nike group runs and did some group classes, including spin sessions (indoor) to vary the training. Group training is easier than solo training in the dark winter months!’ Jer O’Mahony, RW VMLM pacer
TARGET PRACTICE ‘My biggest motivation block? Me! I keep telling myself I can’t, then I get stressed. Running with friends and talking about it helps. I also now set three targets for myself before I run. Number one is to inish the run –
doesn’t matter how long, provided it’s under my own steam. Number two is a minimum mileage that’s acceptable to me. And number three is a dream mileage that would be a boost, or represent meeting a challenge.’ Colette Croft
REST, RESET ‘After a good 2015-16 training with no major injuries I was sure I would – third time lucky – break the sub-four barrier. I woke up on marathon day with the lu and inished in 4:30. I was gutted and lost my mojo for a couple of months. I decided to give running a rest for a while and re-evaluate my goals, which helped me to recover, then kick on to this year’s training for sub-four attempt number four [at the London Marathon].’ AL Rourke
TAKING STEPS ‘I lost my desire to run when I was in the depths of anorexia. Running became a chore and the illness snatched my passion for something that had ofered freedom. Now I am progressing in my recovery and inally have the energy to run and ultimately feel the mental beneits.’ Alison MacVicar
NEW GOALS ‘After pelvic issues in pregnancy and a caesarean section, my running performance was ruined. How much harder it was to run and how much slower I was really got me down. But once I realised that I could work on setting new, post-baby PBs things got much better. Suddenly I had some achievable targets to aim for and now I am inally getting back up to (pre-baby) speed after nearly three years. All I had to do was adjust my expectations.’ Elizabeth Dix
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE ‘A few years ago I had an injury I couldn’t shake. I rested, I did the exercises, I went to a physio, I got orthotic inserts – nothing worked. Two months passed, then three…four… But I never gave in, not because I love running, but because I want to remain in good condition for as long as possible. I’m in my late 40s and I see people my age who sweat while they walk – I don’t want that. I see old people making their way painfully down the street – I don’t want that, either. I see the frailty of my parents, who worked so hard, and had no time to think about core work or glute strength, or the right balance of carbs, protein and fats. I worry for them and I don’t want to be so physically uncertain when I’m their age. Nor do I want to be a burden to others. So my motivation is as basic as it gets. I can’t outrun old age, but when the Grim Reaper inally beckons me with his bony inger I want to be able to bound up to him and say, ‘What is it? Oh, right. That.’ My injury cleared up after nine months and I’m still running. In the end I will be caught, of course, but that’s not the point, is it?’
KICK THE BAD HABITS Superglued to the sofa? These common routines and habits may be sapping your will to lace up and get out there day after day. Time to ditch them 1 / YOU SKIP BREAKFAST Maybe you’re not hungry, maybe you’re too busy, but it’s a bad move if you want to run later, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers found that breakfast-eaters were more likely to exercise (and burned nearly 200 more calories during the morning) than those who skipped breakfast. For an energising brekkie that keeps you feeling ready to run all morning, aim for slow-burning protein and fat; bacon and eggs, avocados, cheese and yoghurt. Don’t tell us that doesn’t sound good. 2 / YOU TAKE YOUR OWN TWEET TIME There’s only so much time in the day, so the minutes (or even the hours) you spend on social media take away from the time you spend in your running shoes. Research at the University of Ulster found that the more time study participants spent on social media, the less likely they were to exercise. 3 / YOU WORK TO LIVE Getting your miles in is easier when you’re not tethered to your desk. When you’re on email all day, worried about deadlines and living in fear of your boss, your training schedule may get shunted onto the back burner. A study at Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil, found that the more job stress people experience, the less likely they are to exercise. If work regularly robs you of the will to get out there, schedule your run for the morning, before work takes over and ruins everything.
4 / YOU’RE A NIGHT OWL If you think a hard and fast bedtime is only for the most compliant of toddlers, think again. ‘A good workout starts the night before,’ says coach and personal trainer Aja Davis. ‘If you’re watching TV or on your computer until late in the night, you won’t feel restored and refreshed the next day.’ Poor sleep wreaks havoc on the body and the mind. It leaves you more susceptible to illness and injury, and reduces motivation, found research at Saarland University, Germany. 5 / YOU DON'T TAKE BREAKS You’ve probably heard that ‘sitting is the new smoking’. There are numerous convincing reasons why parking you’re derriere for eight hours plus a day is bad news for your health, and research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that those who do so are less likely to exercise. To combat the ill effects, take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch and move around. 6 / YOU TAKE TWO PAINKILLERS AND WAIT TILL THE MORNING Hangover, neck pain, sore knee...dealing with pain can become a daily habit that stops you from getting your heart rate up, but try this motivational tonic: exercise. Research published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that 30 minutes of aerobic exercise makes us more tolerant of pain and discomfort in the long term.
John Carroll, RW chief sub editor
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Stay injury-free in a mere 12 minutes a day with this full-body prehab plan from elite running physiotherapist Paul Hobrough on your ability as a runner and help make you more resistant to injury as you put in the long miles in the years to come. You don’t need to do all 21 exercises every day: you can cover everything on a weekly basis, in under 12 minutes per day. Taking this time out of your training schedule will pay dividends in the long run.
OVER THE FOLLOWING PAGES YOU’LL FIND the key exercises runners need
to perform as part of a robust ‘prehabilitation’ programme – or to put it in a more compelling way, the stuf you need to do if you want to stay as free from injury as you possibly can. Prehabilitation (‘prehab’) is also known as strength and conditioning, which may conjure images of long, gruelling gym sessions. Don’t panic, though – while this may be the case for the elites, the good news is that it starts of far easier for most runners, with some basic body-work exercises. When putting this comprehensive prehab programme together, I initially listed about 50 exercises covering both strength and ﬂexibility. The trick was to divide them into those you ‘must’ do, those you ‘should’ do and, in the event of having more time, those you ‘could’ do. I’ve done that, cutting the list down to these 21 essential exercises, which will provide the greatest positive impact
PAUL HOBROUGH is a former Team GB athlete, physiotherapist, sports scientist and Clinical Director of Physio&Therapy. Over the years he has worked with a host of elite runners, including Steve Cram and Paula Radclife, and helped thousands of amateurs to beat injury, boost performance and reach their running goals. Adapted from Running Free of Injuries: From Pain to Personal Best, by Paul Hobrough (Bloomsbury, £18.99)
CORE MUSCLES STRENGTH, 3 MINS
CALF STRETCH FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS
HIP FLEXORS STRETCH FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS P 59
SINGLE-LEG SQUAT STRENGTH, 2 MINS P 56
SIDE STEP WITH SQUAT
STRENGTH, 90 SECS
STRENGTH, 4 MINS
STRENGTH, 4 MINS
TOE RAISES STRENGTH, 3 MINS
PERONEAL ANKLE EVERSION
STRENGTH, 4 MINS
TIBIALIS POSTERIOR STRENGTH, 3 MINS P 59
GLUTES STRETCH FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS P 58
CALF RAISES STRENGTH, 3 MINS P 57
BENT-LEG HAMSTRING STRETCH FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS
ITB TENSOR FASCIA LATAE FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS P 56
GLUTE ACTIVATION STRENGTH, 4 MINS P 56
TOWEL GRAB STRENGTH, 2 MINS P 57
HAMSTRING BUILDER STRENGTH, 4 MINS
STRENGTH, 2 MINS
STRENGTH, 2-4 MINS
Total: 11 mins
SHIN STRETCH FLEXIBILITY, 1 MIN P 59
Total: 9.5 mins
HIP ADDUCTORS FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS
SINGLE-LEG BALANCE STRENGTH, 2-4 MINS P 61
Total: 10 mins
Total: 8.5 mins
GLUTE ACTIVATION STRENGTH, 4 MINS
SOLEUS FLEXIBILITY, 90 SECS P 60
Total: 10.5 mins
Total: 9.5-11.5 mins
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CALF STRETCH FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS Dynamic stretching is now favoured as part of a warm-up, but static stretching is still relevant. Static stretching places the muscle under tension and holds the position; dynamic stretching increases the range of movement through repetition.
GLUTE ACTIVATION STRENGTH 4 MINS
This strengthens the core muscles by incorporating three exercises: the plank, glute activation and shoulder stabilisation. Lie on your front and bend one knee to 90 degrees. Imagine there is a tray of glasses on the sole of your
Place one foot against the wall so your toes are just above the height of a skirting board, your heel a few centimetres away from the wall and your foot bent at approximately a 45-degree angle to the loor. Use your back foot to push gently forwards, bringing your front knee towards the wall. Hold for 45 seconds, switch legs and repeat.
raised foot – hold it steady, being careful not to change the bend in the knee. Now lift the leg upward using only your glute to power it. Slowly lower back to the starting position, and repeat ive times with a bent knee and once with a straight leg. That’s a set; complete ive on each leg. As you progress, make this harder by starting in the plank position.
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SINGLE-LEG SQUAT STRENGTH 2 MINS
Standing on one leg and with your standing knee over the middle toe of the same foot, lower down as far as you can without your knee moving into the midline. As soon as you see the knee wandering over towards the big-toe side, stop and come back up – don’t try a deeper
ITB TENSOR FASCIA LATAE FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
Place your right foot behind your left leg and out to the left side. Bring your right arm up over your head and side-bend towards your protruding right foot. Push your hip into the stretch, hold for 30-40 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
squat until you can control this medial movement. Start with 10 reps on each leg, then alternate irst adding reps, then increasing the depth of the squat in the weeks that follow. This way you increase the diiculty of only one aspect at a time. You’ll soon be able to hold your knee plumb straight and get your knee bend beyond 90 degrees.
FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
STRENGTH 2 MINS
Lunge to the side, bending your leading leg and keeping the trailing leg straight and your pelvis level. Slowly increase the bend in the lead leg until you reach a comfortable stretch on the inner side of the trailing leg. Hold for 45 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.
This strengthens the arch of the foot and ofers a neuromuscular beneit by stimulating the nerves for improved all-round function.
SIDE STEP WITH SQUAT
Lay a towel out on the loor in front of your chair and place your toes onto it, with your heel lat on the loor.
P H OTO G R A P H Y: G R A N T P R I TC H A R D
STRENGTH 3 MINS
Stand on your tiptoes on the edge of a step, then slowly lower your heel as far as possible. Raise back up to the start position in one smooth movement. Repeat for 3 Ă— 15 reps.
By raising and lowering your forefoot, grab the towel with your toes on every downward movement and scrunch it towards you. Alternate feet and repeat for two minutes.
STRENGTH 4 MINS
This exercise activates an impressive cast of muscles: quads, glutes, abductors, adductors, calf, peroneal and core muscles.
Place an exercise band around your thighs, just tight enough so that it stretches when you bend your knees into a squat. Each rep contains three parts: squat, side step and return to standing. Repeat this for the length of your available space in a room, or for 10 reps each direction x 3.
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HAMSTRING BUILDER STRENGTH 4 MINS
This eccentric-muscle contraction exercise requires slow, controlled movements, lowering over approximately six seconds and lifting back up at a controlled pace (one or two seconds).
TOE RAISE STRENGTH 3 MINS
This simple exercise helps build strength in the muscles at the front of the lower leg.
Stand on one leg with your standing leg slightly bent, then slowly bend forward, keeping your non-standing leg straight out behind you. Lower your hands towards the loor to feel a stretch in your hamstring, then slowly to return to standing. Alternate legs for a total of 15 reps each side. Progress to using a dumbbell.
Stand with your back to a wall and take a short step away with each foot. Keeping your heels in contact with the loor, raise your toes up as far as you can then slowly lower back towards the loor, stopping before your toes touch down. Do 4 Ă— 25 reps.
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THE CLAM STRENGTH 4 MINS
This exercise delivers hip abduction/rotation.
GLUTES STRETCH FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
Lie on your back and take hold of your right knee with your right hand. With your left hand, grab your right ankle with an underhand grip. Pull both towards you to feel a stretch in the glutes. Hold for 45-60 seconds, swap legs and repeat.
Lying on your side, bend your knees so the soles of your feet are in line with your spine. Slowly lift your top knee up in an arc away from the other knee. Hold for three seconds, then return slowly to resting. Repeat for 3 Ă— 15 reps on each side.
HIP FLEXORS STRETCH
FLEXIBILITY 1 MIN
FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
Place your knee on top of a foam roller with your toes pointing back. Gradually increase the stretch by lowering your hips to the loor. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
Stand in a forward-lunge position, knee on a cushion if you ind that more comfortable. Keeping your torso upright, tuck your glutes under your pelvis. Slowly bend your front knee so the stretch on the front of your hip increases.
PERONEAL ANKLE EVERSION STRENGTH 4 MINS
Tie a loop in an exercise band and place it over your foot. Hook the remaining length of the band around the other foot and pull the free end towards you. Twist the outside edge of your foot out to the side against the resistance of
the exercise band. Don’t rotate around the ankle. The big toe of your twisting foot should remain roughly in line with the shinbone, with little or no lateral rotation of the foot. Push out against the band for 3 × 15 reps, returning to the resting position at the end of each rep.
TIBIALIS POSTERIOR STRENGTH 3 MINS
This strength exercise can reduce overpronation and the risk of shin splints.
Hold at a comfortable stretch for 45 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.
Start with your toes pointing out, then raise your heels. When close to the top of your calf raise, rotate your heels in towards each other before slowly lowering them back down to the lat again. Repeat for 3 × 25 reps.
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CORE TEST Alternate lifting each foot off the floor slightly, maintaining tension in both sides of your TA. Build to 25 on each leg.
CORE MUSCLES STRENGTH 3 MINS
Lie on your back, legs at 90 degrees. Place your ingertips on the bony points at the front of your pelvis, then move your ingers in and down 2cm so you are pushing down on your transverse abdominis (TA) muscle. Check you are in the right place by coughing: you
BENT-LEG HAMSTRING STRETCH FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
Using a straight leg, which was the old method for the hamstring stretch, often stressed the sciatic nerve (which runs from the lower back into the thigh) rather than the muscle, causing pain at the back of the knee.
should feel the muscle ‘bounce’ under your ingers. Now imagine you are urinating and want to stop the low – you should feel a tightening of the TA. Hold that tension, draw in your belly button and slightly latten your lower back towards the loor. Hold all three of these positions together and you are tensing your core muscles.
Lie on your back, hook a band over one heel and pull that leg towards you so your hip lexes to 90 degrees. Now pull on the band so that your knee starts to straighten (but not fully). Pull enough so that you feel a good – but not painful – stretch in the back of your upper leg. Hold for 45 seconds, switch legs and repeat.
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HAMSTRING/CORE COMBINATION STRENGTH 90 SECS
This compound exercise involves the hamstring curl, bridge and core activation in one move.
SOLEUS FLEXIBILITY 90 SECS
Your soleus is the deeper lat muscle in your calf.
Lie on the loor with your heels resting on a itness ball and engage your core as per the Core Exercise (17). Pull your heels towards you while raising your hips at the same time. Slowly return to the start position on the loor. Repeat for 3 × 8-10 reps.
Stand facing a wall with your feet 10-20cm away from it, one foot in front of the other. Bend both knees until you feel a dull stretch deep in the calf muscle. Hold for 45 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.
PREHAB SINGLE-LEG BALANCE STRENGTH 2-4 MIN
Balance on one leg on Bosu ball (or a cushion or pillow if you don’t have a Bosu). Now hold the raised leg in a variety of positions to mimic the running action. Use your arms to alter your centre of gravity by moving them slowly into alternating positions, as if you were running. Keep your hips level throughout and work hard to maintain balance through your foot, ankle, knee and hip. Balance for 20-60 seconds and repeat the move standing on the other leg.
Once you’ve mastered the standard single-leg balance, try these variations to keep progressing
BOSU LUNGE STRENGTH 2-4 MIN
This is an extension of the single-leg-balance move that you can progress to once you’ve mastered your basic balance.
Place a Bosu ball plastic-side down and stand a generous stride away from its centre. Step forward to place one foot onto the centre of the pod. Bend both knees and push back to standing. Alternate legs for 15 reps on each side.
LUNGE INTO SINGLE-LEG BALANCE STRENGTH 2-4 MIN
Combining the single-leg balance with a Bosu lunge provides a functional exercise that works the full running action and also tests strength in the core, upper back, shoulders and neck.
Lunge onto the Bosu and lower your hands (holding a weight if you want to increase the diiculty) while lifting your trailing leg of the loor. Balance for three seconds and return to the start position. Repeat, alternating legs, for 15 reps each side.
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Pair carb-rich pasta with protein for the perfect
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3 / ABRUZZI FISH STEW
2 / SPICY BROCCOLI AND SAUSAGE PASTA 2
1 / TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA
WO R D S : M A R I A R O DA L E . P H OTO G R A P H Y: M I TC H M A N D E L
450g pasta (such as rigatoni) 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 5-6 small tomatoes, chopped 225g mozzarella, torn into small pieces Handful chopped fresh basil Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley Ground black pepper Grated pecorino cheese MAKES 4-6 SERVINGS Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. In a large bowl, combine the oil, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and parsley, then gently toss together. Drain the pasta, add to the bowl and toss to coat, adding more oil if needed. Season with pepper to taste, and top with cheese.
450g farfalle pasta (or any kind you like) 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 450g spicy sausage, cut into 2.5cm pieces 2 cloves garlic, chopped 350g tenderstem broccoli, chopped Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley Crushed red pepper flakes or hot chilli oil Salt and ground black pepper Grated pecorino cheese to taste MAKES 6 SERVINGS Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. In a large pan, heat two tablespoons of oil over a medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring until browned. Add the garlic and broccoli, stirring for one or two minutes. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the remaining oil, parsley and pepper lakes. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Toss to combine, then top with cheese.
450g spaghetti 900g assorted fish and shellfish (such as cod, red mullet, clams, mussels and prawns) 4 large tomatoes, chopped 4 cloves garlic, chopped 80ml extra virgin olive oil Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus extra for garnish Salt and ground black pepper to taste MAKES 8 SERVINGS Preheat the oven to 190C. Cut ish into roughly 6cm pieces, scrub the clams and mussels, and peel and devein the prawns. In a heavybottomed ovenproof pan, combine the tomatoes, garlic, oil, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with a lid and bake for 10 minutes. Season the ish with salt and pepper, and gently add to tomatoes. Cover and bake for another 10 minutes or until the ish is opaque. Scatter the shellish over the top, cover and bake for another 10 minutes or until all the shells have opened and the prawns are pink. While the seafood bakes, cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the packet. Drain. Add the pasta to the seafood pan and mix gently. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
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7 / CLAM LINGUINE
450g linguine 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp butter 2 cloves garlic, chopped 450g chopped fresh clams 80ml whipping cream 50g grated pecorino cheese Handful chopped flat-leaf parsley Salt and ground black pepper MAKES 4- 8 SERVINGS
Cook the linguine according to packet instructions. In a large pan, heat the oil and butter over a mediumhigh heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute or until golden. Add the clams and cook, stirring, for another ive minutes. Add the cream and half the pecorino, and heat until it just comes to a boil. Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the parsley and salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
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THE TRUE STORY THE ROAD DEAN TO SPARTA KARNAZES OF THE FIRST ‘MARATHON’ P H OTO G R A P H Y: J O N AT H A N S P R AG U E . H A I R & M A K E U P : T R E JA M CC L I S H . B O DY PA I N T I N G : R I C H D I LT Z
A new book by
A MODERN ULTRA-MARATHON LEGEND VISITS HIS ANCESTRAL HOMELAND AND LEARNS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ORIGINAL ‘MARATHONER’. CAN YOU HANDLE IT?
any runners are familiar with the story surrounding the origins of the modern marathon. As the well-worn legend goes, after the badly outnumbered Greeks somehow managed to drive back the Persians who had invaded the coastal plain of Marathon, an Athenian messenger named Pheidippides was dispatched from the battlefield to Athens to deliver the news of Greek victory. After running about 25 miles to the Acropolis, he burst in and gallantly hailed his countrymen with ‘Nike! Nike! Nenikekamen’ (‘Victory! Victory! Rejoice, we conquer!’). And then
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he promptly collapsed from exhaustion and died. It turns out, however, that the story is bigger than that. Much bigger. The whole idea of recreating an ancient voyage was fantastic to me. Looking for an excuse to visit the country of my ancestors, I signed up for the Spartathlon in 2014, an ultra marathon from Athens to Sparta that roughly follows Pheidippides’s route. It felt like the right way to tell his story – the actual story of the marathon. Here’s what I discovered on my quest for truth:
1 PHEIDIPPIDES WAS NOT A CITIZEN ATHLETE, but a hemerodromos, one of the men in the Greek military known as day-long runners. What they did was considered beyond competition, more akin to something sacred. Much is written about the training and preparation of Olympic athletes, and quite detailed accounts of the early Greek Games exist. Comparatively little is recorded of the mysterious hemerodromoi other than that they covered incredible distances on foot, over rocky and mountainous terrain, forgoing sleep if need be in carrying out their vital duties as messengers. Like Pheidippides, I run long distances – ultra marathons. Years ago, on my 30th birthday, I ran 30 miles, completing a celebratory mile for each one of my unfathomable years of existence. That night forever altered the course of my life. I immediately wanted to go further, to try 50-mile races even. And so I did just that. Training and life became inseparable, one and the same, intimately intertwined. Running these long distances was liberating. I felt a closeness to Pheidippides and I resolved to learn what really took place out there on the unforgiving hillsides of ancient Greece.
2 THE STORY THAT EVERYONE IS FAMILIAR WITH is that of Pheidippides running from the battleﬁeld of Marathon to Athens to announce Greek victory, a distance of about 25 miles. But ﬁrst he ran from Athens to Sparta, to gather Spartan troops to help the Athenians in combat against the Persians. The distance was much more than a single marathon, more like six marathons stacked one upon the other, some 150 miles. At the modern-day Spartathlon, I’d supposedly retrace those steps. It is a demanding race with aggressive cut-of times. Runners must reach an ancient wall at Hellas Can factory, in Corinth – 50.33 miles – within nine hours and 30 minutes or face elimination. For comparison, many 50-mile ultra marathons have cut-of times of 13 or 14 hours to complete the race in its entirety. At the start, I was surrounded by 350 warriors huddled in the pre-dawn mist at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. For me the quest was deeply personal. I’d been waiting a lifetime to be standing in this place. I would ﬁnally run alongside my ancient brother, Pheidippides, albeit two and a half millennia in his wake. The starting gun went 068 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
From top: the author in his grandfather's house; standing with Hermes in Athens; the start of the 2014 Spartathlon.
The modern Olympic Marathon which we identify with Ancient Greece, had no place in the ancient games at all. The original Olympic footrace was a relatively short sprint. Called the Stade, it consisted of a roughly 200m dash on a straight stretch of grass. Indeed, the modern marathon wouldn't come into existence for another several thousand years.
Herodotus, the irst Greek historian to write about the Battle of Marathon, never mentions the inal run. And neither Plutarch nor Lucian, who also wrote extensively about Ancient Greece, refers to Pheidippides as the individual who ran from Marathon to Athens. They assign that run to a diferent messenger.
ANCIENT WISDOM MARATHON
off, and away we went, into the streets crowded with morning traffic. Policemen were stationed at most of the main junctions to stop vehicles, but after crossing roads we runners had to run on the pavements, avoiding stray dogs, rubbish bins and meandering pedestrians.
ANCIENT GREECE SPARTA
According to experts on Ancient Greece, Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta (1), then from there back to Athens (2). Modern legend says he only ran from Marathon to Athens (3). However, these last 25 miles are assigned to another messenger in the annals of Ancient Greece.
From left: running the 2010 Silicon Valley Marathon in a toga; the author's calves, a trademark of the (Greek) Karnazes family.
3 ANCIENT GREEK ATHLETES WERE KNOWN to eat ﬁgs and other fruits, olives, dried meats and a particular concoction composed of ground sesame seeds and honey mixed into a paste (now called pasteli). Hemerodromoi also consumed handf uls of a small fruit known as hippophae rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn), which was thought to enhance endurance and stamina. This is how Pheidippides probably fuelled during his run, and how I ran the race, too. Every few miles in the Spartathlon, there were aid stations overﬂowing with modern athletic foods, but no ﬁgs, olives, pasteli or cured meat were to be had. So I was supplied along the way by my crew, but by the time I picked up a bag of food in Corinth (about 50 miles in), the once delectable pasteli now tasted like maple syrup mixed with talcum powder – chalky and repulsively sweet – and I could no longer tolerate the stuf as I had during my training runs. I tried gnawing on a piece of cured meat, but it was rubbery and the gristle got stuck between my teeth. I had several ﬁgs, which seemed to sit best in my stomach. About 50 miles later, after climbing Mount Parthenion and plummeting some 1,200 feet from the summit, I was eventually deposited in the remote outpost of Sangas, where my crew was waiting for me, asking me if I could eat. I simply shook my head, too exhausted to answer, and kept running.
4 ‘Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep’ refers to half of the brain being awake (including an open eye) while the other half shows signs of sleep. I've since talked to other ultra marathoners who have experienced sleep running.
DAWN IS THE BEWITCHING HOUR during an all-night run. Running through the Arcadian foothills, I was ﬁghting hard to stay awake. Slowly, ever so gradually, my eyelids drooped downward. Still, I pressed on. When I reopened my eyes, I found myself in the middle of the road. What the heck? I thought. And then it happened again, and I realised I was sleep running. Judging from Ancient Greek record, Pheidippides would have probably passed through this very same section of Arcadia in the early morning hours, just as I was doing then. To think that an ancient hemerodromos was running along here 2,500 years ago fascinated me, and knowing that this was the land of my ancestors made the experience even more visceral. Just as I was fully appreciating the depth of my connection to this place, a large diesel truck came barreling down the road straight for me, instantly thrusting me back into the present-day reality of the modern Spartathlon. It was a stark reminder that while some things hadn't changed since ancient times, other things had. I was closing in on Tegea, which would mean I had about 30 more miles to go. MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 069
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P H OTO G R A P H Y: V L A D I M I R RYS ( P R E V I O U S S P R E A D, TO P L E F T; T H I S PAG E , N AVA R I N O C H A L L E N G E ) ), C O R E Y R I C H ( P R E V I O U S S P R E A D, K A R N A Z E S ’ CA LV E S
Left: running the Navarino Challenge in Messenia prior to the big race. Right: at the Spartathlon finish with King Leonidas.
PHEIDIPPIDES RAN THE DISTANCE in two days. I reached the end in 34:45:27. There is no ﬁnish line to cross, no mat to step over or tape to break; instead you conclude the journey by touching the feet of the towering bronze statue of King Leonidas in the centre of Sparta. The mayor places an olive leaf wreath upon the head of each ﬁnisher and you drink from a golden goblet ﬁlled with water from the Evrotas River, similar to how Olympian winners were honored in ancient times. Exhausted as he must have been from the journey, Pheidippides’s job was still not complete. He needed to present a compelling case for why the Spartans should join the Athenians in battle. ‘Men of Sparta,’ he reportedly said, ‘the Athenians beseech you to hasten to their aide, and not allow that state, which is the most ancient in all of Greece, to be enslaved by the barbarians.’
AGAIN, PHEIDIPPIDES MADE THE TRIP in about two days. After he reached Athens, the city deployed 10,000 adult male Athenian citizens to Marathon to fend of 60,000 Persians. Despite being outnumbered, the Greeks were in an advantageous battle position, so General Miltiades, the leader of the Athenian troops, had the men hunker down to await the arrival of the Spartans. But the next day Miltiades received intelligence that the Persians had sent their cavalry back to their ships and were planning to split into two groups and surround the Greeks. The most prudent strategy could have seemed to be to retreat to Athens to defend the city and wait for the Spartans to join the ﬁght. But, thanks to Pheidippides, Miltiades knew the Spartans wouldn’t come soon enough. He decided that the Athenians would wake early the next morning and attack the Persian position while their horsemen were absent and before they had time to carry out their plan. Taken by surprise, the Persians were defeated.
6 APPARENTLY HIS PLEA WAS convincing. But the moon wasn’t full, and religious law forbade the Spartans to battle until it was, which wouldn’t be for another six days. Pheidippides had to let his people know about the delay. So he did the unthinkable. After a brief rest and some food, he awoke before sunrise and set out on the return trip – about 150 miles back to Athens. With his constitution compromised, Pheidippides found himself trudging back over Mount Parthenion, when suddenly he had a vision of the god Pan standing before him. With the face of a human but the body and horns of a goat, Pan was an unsettling ﬁgure to behold. According to the historian Herodotus, Pan explained that while he was loyal to the Athenians, they must worship him properly to preserve the alliance. Pan had great powers that could unravel the enemy, and he would bestow the Athenians with these abilities, but only if they were to revere him as they should.
The literal translation of the word ‘marathon’ is ‘a place full of fennel’ (yes, the aromatic herb). Why fennel? Because when the invading Persian military forces landed on the shores of Greece in 490 BCE, they encountered a massive ield of fennel. It is here that the Battle of Marathon took place.
Adapted with permission from The Road to Sparta, by Dean Karnazes. Published by Rodale.
8 IF PHEIDIPPIDES HAD FAILED in his 300-mile ultra marathon, one of the most critical battles in history might have been lost. Thus was the battle ultimately waged and won at Marathon. Eventually, the Spartans arrived in Athens and learned of the outcome. Before they got there, a messenger – but not Pheidippides, according to scholars – had run 25 miles to deliver the good news. So why do we run 26.2? Why are we not running some 300 miles, the distance Pheidippides ran from Athens to Sparta and back? Why highlight the shorter run when a much greater feat occurred? Perhaps because in that ﬁnal jaunt from the battleﬁeld of Marathon to Athens, the other messenger supposedly died at the conclusion. To the Ancient Greeks, nothing could be nobler than dying after performing a heroic deed for one’s country. MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 071
WHEN YOU’RE AT THE OFFICE
PERPETUAL MOTION Why you get a lot more from your miles if you move a little all day SITTING KILLS. We’ve heard the message
– but recent studies suggest it’s not the whole truth. ‘Remaining in a ixed position for a long period is the health hazard,’ says chiropractor and physio AJ Gregg of the High Performance Sport Center in Arizona, US. The seatedin-a-chair position is simply where most of us spend that motionless time. And while runners may not think they are sedentary, research shows we are parked almost as much as our inactive pals – about nine hours a day. ‘The body is meant to move,’ says Gregg. When you're motionless, the hamstrings, lower back muscles and hip lexors become tight, which can hinder running performance and leave you injured. Sitting allows your glutes to sleep, too. When that muscle group is underutilised, you bring less power and stability into your runs, and you overwork smaller nearby muscles in ways that could lead to injury. Sitting also slows your circulation and turns of fat burners, upping your odds for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Ready for some good news? There’s a simple ix: ‘By bringing more movement into your non-exercise time, you engage forgotten muscles and ofset those sitting efects,’ says biomechanist Katy Bowman, author of Move Your DNA (Propriometrics Press). ‘It doesn't have to be intense, it just has to change your geometry.’ 072 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
Stand, sit or balance on a ball? Actually, it’s best to alternate between whatever positions are available, says Gregg. If you’re chair-bound, perch at the edge of your seat to roll your pelvis forward, or rest the ankle of one leg on the top of the other thigh for a piriformis stretch, says Bowman. Set an app (such as Stand Up! The Work Break Timer) to remind you to take three-minute breaks every half an hour to do some desk stretches. Try ones that work your upper body: arm and shoulder strength and lexibility help propel you forward as you run. ‘Wall angels’ are good (align your back and the backs of your hands against a wall and move your arms in a snow-angel motion), or you can put your hands on your desk and drop your chest for a thoracic stretch. The bonus is that most colleagues will leave you alone, assuming you are having a breakdown. MOVE MORE
AWAY FROM YOUR DESK Go for walks during cofee or lunch breaks and make the most of your time in the queue for your lunch: instead of resting on your
WO R D S : K R I S T E N D O L D. I L L U S T R AT I O N S : K I R S T E N U LV E
hip lexors (the go-to stance for most of us), try pelvic lists: shift your weight back to your heels, then push your right hip towards the loor to lift your left foot slightly of the ground. Switch sides and repeat. This engages your glutes and lateral hip muscles, says Bowman; activating them throughout the day can make using them on a run feel more natural.
EVEN ON A LONG-RUN DAY A 20-30-minute nap and/or a cup of cofee should be about the most you need to avoid slumping after a long run, so if you ind yourself sofa-bound (or desperately wishing you could be), you may need to cut back on mileage or pace, says Ian Torrence, lead ultra-running coach for McMillan Running. Upgrade the downtime you do have by hitting the loor instead of the sofa – you can speed up recovery by using your trusty foam roller, performing hip-opening
yoga moves (try pigeon pose or happy baby), or cycling through a number of seated loor positions (see Exercise hacks, right) every 15 minutes. MOVE MORE
ON YOUR REST DAYS On your non-long-run weekend day, you might go for a quick jog, but it’s easy to get your limbs in motion without lacing up. Lift your kids at the park, garden on your hands and knees, or call friends while tidying up the house. A walk on steep and/or uneven terrain will engage your glutes as well as the stabilising muscles in your feet and ankles that keep you upright while running. Just be careful, especially if you have a race coming up – seemingly low-key activities (such as raking leaves) could leave you sore if the motions are unfamiliar. Finally, hit the hay early: a solid night of sleep is one time that being sedentary works in your favour, says Gregg.
Exercise hacks Small changes to your routine engage muscles that don’t usually see much action
1 / SIT ON THE FLOOR With a pillow under your bum, sit on the ground while reading or eating lunch. ‘There are loads of ways you can position your joints – sitting cross-legged, sole-to-sole, with your legs out in a V, with your knees tucked up – that encourage mobility we don’t get from a chair,’ says Bowman. 2 / STRETCH YOUR CALVES Work tight calves by placing a rolled-up towel on the floor where you stand during the day, such as in front of the bathroom sink. When brushing your teeth, put the ball of your foot on the towel and your heel on the floor for a gentle stretch. 3 / HANG OUT It’s rare for we adults to support our weight with our upper bodies, so we develop weak shoulders. Hang from a horizontal bar for 15 secs to a minute (put a chin-up bar in your doorway or head for the monkey bars in a park). If that’s too hard, grasp a vertical pole and lean away from it.
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I L L U S T R AT I O N : R A M I N I E M I . P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L
Cross-training...................... P80 10 best benchmark workouts.. P82 Jo Pavey............................. P85 Fell runner Jasmin Paris........ P86 Test your speed................... P87 Get your cafeine ix............. P92 Power up on plants............... P93 Improve your posture............. P94 The joy of running alone......... P99
C ACH REACH your PERSONAL BEST
DON’T MESS ABOUT You can pile on weight through bad eating habits (and we don’t mean pouring chocolate over your chips). Here’s how you can come clean
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CROSS-CHECK Runners cross-train to avoid or recover from injury – but it’s not without its risks IN 1980, WITH THE US Olympic trials looming,
marathoner Alberto Salazar had a sore knee. So he hit the pool…and got hurt. ‘I swam so much I gave myself tendinitis in my shoulder – so severely that I could barely manage to brush my teeth,’ he recalled in Alberto Salazar’s Guide to Running. The lesson? When it comes to any cross-training, build your volume and intensity gradually, and know the risks.
SWIMMING Former US Olympic swimmer Tom Malchow is not surprised by Salazar’s account. ‘You’re asking your shoulders to do things that are a little unnatural,’ he says. The primary risk is to the rotator cuffs, whose development can easily become unbalanced. The solution, he says, is to supplement your swimming with strength work using resistance bands or weights to make sure all parts of the cuff develop evenly. It also helps to learn proper swimming technique. CYCLING Cycling has its share of repetitive-stress injuries. The most effective way to avoid such issues is to have your bike properly fitted. When sitting normally on the saddle, your leg
should be straight when you’re at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Your position should allow you to ride with elbows bent, so the arms serve as a shock absorber and keep road jolts from travelling up to your shoulders, neck and back. Another factor is the tilt of the saddle, which, if wrong, can put too much weight onto your hands. A common cycling injury is iliotibial band syndrome, which may be produced by cleated shoes that lock your feet into the pedal at the same angle for miles. You can avoid this by dispensing with cleats, or by adjusting them. Most cleats allow a few degrees of play to each side, says Kevin Dessart, director of coaching education for USA Cycling. Grinding out workouts in too
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One of the easiest ways to avoid becoming injured from swimming is to learn proper technique.
high a gear can cause stress, usually in the knees. Instead, spin at a higher cadence in a lower gear. If you’re new to cycling, find the gear that gives you a cadence of at least 85RPM, says Dessart. (That means 85 full circles, or 170 pedal strokes.) This will reduce knee stress while you strengthen your legs. Finally, be aware that cycling’s limited range of motion can produce tight hip flexors. ‘I encourage all cyclists, especially runners using cycling as cross-training, to stretch their hip
flexors as soon as they get off the bike,’ says David McHenry, lead therapist and strength coach for Nike’s Oregon Project. GYM MACHINES Rower: The biggest concern is your back. To protect it, pull with the muscle groups in descending order of power – first the legs, then the back, then the arms, says former elite rower Kelly Barten. Return to your starting position in reverse order – first extend the arms, then lean forward, then finally pull forward with your legs. ‘Legs,
WO R D S : R I C K LOV E T T. P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y
adjust the resistance or cadence. If you still get symptoms, you might need to find another mode of cross-training.’ Exercise bike and spin classes: Just as road bikes need to be adjusted, so do exercise bikes. If you’re having trouble, try switching to a recumbent bike, where you can fine-tune your reach to the pedal by stuffing a towel behind your back. ‘I think [recumbents] are better,’ says Matthew Matava, professor of orthopaedic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, US. The same warnings apply to spin classes. ‘The quickest way to hurt yourself is to be fit improperly on your bike and then try to hammer the workout for 60 minutes,’ says McHenry.
back, arms…arms, back, legs,’ says Barten. Also crucial, he says, is to keep your back straight: pivot it from the hips, rather than arching it from the waist. Elliptical trainer: Not all elliptical machines are alike; some can produce unnaturalfeeling motions or force your feet into awkward positions. Also, the machine’s controls need to be set at the levels that work for you. ‘Be attentive to your body,’ says McHenry. ‘If you start to feel soreness or tightness, you might need to
STRENGTH WORK In strength training, says Matava, the main concern is to ensure you work both sides of opposing muscle groups to avoid developing imbalance. ‘Supplement pull with push,’ he says, such as doing both leg curls and leg presses. Also, he says, don’t work the same muscle group two days in a row. Be careful with plyometrics – these exercises involve high-impact landings followed by explosive rebounds, so they’re more stressful on the muscles, says Matava. McHenry adds that plyometrics must be built on top of a good base of strength and power, not just cardiovascular fitness.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM AN EASYGOING COACH
BY JEFF GALLOWAY
RETURN TO SPLENDOUR How to return to regular running after time away from exercise It happens to almost every runner at some point: you get busy, ill or injured and you don’t run for a few weeks. A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a few weeks turns into a month – or longer. However, when you’re finally ready to return, beware of overexuberance. Here’s how to restart your routine. minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 30 seconds until your total time is 30 minutes.
If you’ve been away from running for more than a few weeks (or if your enforced break came just a few months after you began running consistently), your first goal is to work up to feeling strong throughout a 30-minute walk. If that’s not something you can do right now, start with a gentle 10-15-minute walk and increase by three to five minutes every other day. Adjust your pace to avoid feeling short of breath. EASE IN
Next, add running: walk for five minutes, alternate between a 10-second run and a 50-second walk for five minutes, then walk for three minutes. If you feel good, continue with five minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 40 seconds. Walk for three minutes, then decide whether to add five minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 30 seconds. Every other day, add three to five
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
If you stopped running because other obligations got in the way of your workouts, rethink your schedule. Many people find it easiest to stay consistent when they run first thing in the morning. Evening runners might bring their running clothes to work and change before they leave – it’s one less thing to do before heading out upon your return home. Do all you can to make running an easy choice. HEED YOUR BODY
Your body will tell you if it’s overwhelmed during your comeback – you just need to listen to it. If you’re huffing and puffing during a workout, slow down. You can also shorten your running time and lengthen your walking time to ensure your breathing is steady and controlled.
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BENCHMARK WORKOUTS Key sessions to gauge your fitness and build confidence for a forthcoming race
NO MATTER HOW WELL your training is
going, you may doubt your ability to hit your goal time on race day. How can you be confident that your hard work is paying off? The answer is a benchmark workout, done a few weeks before race day. ‘Being able to predict your time has many potential benefits, including enhanced mental preparation, informed goal setting, nutrition planning and fluid planning,’ says Dr Eloise Till, who researched a marathon-predictor workout for a recent study. But marathoners aren’t the only runners who can benefit: there are workouts you can do before your 5K, 10K or half marathon, says running coach John Henwood. ‘These workouts give you a good indicator of what you’ll be capable of on race day,’ he says. There are also simple formulas that don’t involve a workout that can give you an idea of your race potential. Legendary coach Frank Horwill observed that, most runners’ paces decrease by about four seconds every 400m as they move up from one race distance to the next. For example, a 25-minute 5K equates to 120 seconds per 400m. Using the four-second rule, this translates to 124 seconds per 400m for 10K (a time of 51:40), or 128 seconds per 400m for a half marathon (1:52:00). The workouts assume you are doing the necessary training and they are only estimations to give you an idea of your potential, rather than predict your finishing time to the second – they can’t factor in the course profile or climatic conditions (such as heat, humidity or a strong wind) you might encounter.
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GET SET Predictor workouts boost confidence and tell you if you’re ready to race.
1 / MAGIC MILE WHY Devised by
coach Jeff Galloway, it’s a simple way to estimate race times. HOW After a warm-
up, run a mile as fast as you can, pacing yourself as evenly as possible. You should finish feeling you couldn’t now run more than 100m at the same pace. Add 33 secs to your mile time for your pace for a 5K; multiply it by 1.15 for your 10K pace; by 1.2 for half-marathon pace; and by 1.3 for marathon pace. On subsequent efforts, try to beat your previous time.
PHOTOGRAPH: BEMJAMIN RASMUSSEN
6 / 13.1 PREDICTOR
2 / 5K BASELINE WHY If you’ve never run the distance, you might not know your 5K pace. HOW Run two miles at conversation pace and speed up in the final mile to a speed at which you can only say a few words at a time. A few days later, run three one-mile repeats at the pace you ran your third mile, jogging 800m between each. If your third repeat is at least as fast as the first, your baseline pace is ideal. But if you slow down, use the average pace of the three mile repeats.
7 / 5K REPEAT TEMPOS
3 / 5K PREDICTOR WHY ‘It’s a very good indicator of whether you can handle five kilometres at a certain pace even with rest in between, since a 5K is less about endurance and more about short bursts of energy,’ says Henwood. HOW Two or three weeks before race day, run 5×1000m at your 5K goal race pace, with a 400m recovery jog between each interval. Take the average of your five single kilometre times and multiply it by five to get your predicted time.
8/ 26.2 PREDICTOR
4 / 4 X 800S
5/ 10K PREDICTOR
WHY For new and intermediate runners, half-mile repeats help you gauge your speed without worrying about pacing yourself over a longer distance. HOW After a warmup, run 800m at a comfortably hard pace. Adjust pace in the next three reps depending on how you feel (take a 5-min walk between each). Take the average pace of your reps to find your 5K goal pace. Over three months, increase the reps to five or six, or decrease recovery.
9 / YASSO 800S
WHY ‘A mile is long enough to tap into the endurance you need in the 10K race, so it’s a good predictor,’ says Henwood. HOW Do this workout two or three weeks before race day. Run 5×1 mile at your 10K goal race pace, taking a 400m or two-minute slow recovery jog between each repeat. Work out what your average pace was across the five mile repeats and then multiply the result by 6.2 to get an approximate idea of your 10K finishing time.
10 / THE SIMULATOR
WHY ‘A 10K is great
WHY A half marathon
WHY ‘Long runs are
WHY Invented by Bart
WHY Created by
because it has that endurance aspect of a half marathon but doesn’t require you to run too much so close to race day,’ says Henwood.
demands speed and endurance. Because you’ll be running just below your lactate threshold, longer (3-6K) tempo efforts at pace are the best way to train the body to sustain pace without tiring.
great marathon predictors because a marathon is just one really long run,’ says Henwood.
Yasso from Runner’s World US: take your goal marathon time and then try to run that time over 800m – using minutes and seconds rather than hours and minutes.
coaching brothers Keith and Kevin Hanson, the aim is to simulate a marathon as closely as possible without overtaxing the runner.
HOW If your aim is a four-hour marathon, your Yasso goal time is four minutes. Earlier in your schedule, start with six reps at your goal time, with a recovery time equal to the rep (in this case, four minutes). Repeat the workout regularly and add reps, up to a maximum of 10, a few weeks out from your race.
HOW Run 26.2 kilometres (just under 16.3 miles) at goal marathon pace three or four weeks out from your race. This is long enough to test your ability to sustain your marathon pace and let you know if it’s realistic (and it will also boost confidence), but not so long that it will deaden your legs for days.
HOW Three to five weeks before race day, run 10K at 80 per cent effort (a ‘comfortably hard’ level of exertion). Take this 10K time in minutes (for example, a 55:30 is 55.5 ) and add 0.93. Multiply the result by 2.11. Using this formula, a 50-minute 10K at 80 per cent effort predicts around a 1:47 half marathon at race effort.
HOW After warming up for a few kilometres, run three sets of 5K at goal half-marathon pace, with a 5-min recovery jog between each. If you can get through the final repeat feeling challenged but in control, your goal pace is about right.
HOW Run at your marathon pace for 10-14 miles of a 20-mile long run. Take the average mile time from your race-pace miles and multiply it by 26.2. Do this run five weeks before race day for intermediate runners; and a second time two weeks later for advanced runners. (Beginners should skip this workout and use their longrun pace as a goal race pace.)
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TRAINING YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR RESIDENT OLYMPIAN
BY JO PAVEY
Jo on winter training
I L L U S T R AT I O N : JAS O N F O R D. * P L E A S E N OT E : J O PAV E Y I S U N A B L E TO R E S P O N D D I R E C T LY TO Q U E R I E S
ICE AT A PRICE A postrun ice bath can aid recovery , but it’s not for everyone
How should I recover after a long run? It’s important to go into recovery mode soon after your long run because your body and immune system will be quite vulnerable. Have a sports drink that contains carbohydrates and electrolytes as soon as you’ve inished. If conditions are wet, change into dry kit before you get cold. Do some light stretching of the major muscle groups, focusing on any areas that feel particularly tight. Within the irst 20 minutes to half an hour, eat a protein-rich snack or recovery drink. After stretching, an ice bath is helpful (if you can tolerate it!), especially if you’re in an intense training phase and quick recovery is paramount. But it’s not essential if a rest day follows the long
run in your schedule. Have a decent meal within a couple of hours. This is when your body is very receptive to restocking your glycogen stores. It often takes time to properly rehydrate after a long run, so keep taking in luids during the rest of the day. If possible, have a nap two or three hours after the run. The day after, don’t attempt a hard run, but a short, gentle recovery run can be helpful. A massage will aid recovery on the day of the long run or, if that’s not possible, the day after. During a long run try to take on some sports drinks and, perhaps, gels; this will make it easier to recover, as you’ll be less depleted. And it’s good practice if you’re training for a marathon.
Email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject ‘Ask Jo’
I’m enjoying the challenge of training during the winter months. When the weather’s bad it feels particularly satisfying to conquer the conditions and complete your workout. It’s also been enjoyable to wrap up warm and still manage to get out to the forest to be active as a family. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found the lack of daylight a bit of a battle, though, as I’m sure many runners do. There are no street lights where we live in Devon, so I’ve often used the treadmill for my second run of the day. Otherwise I’ve braved the spookiness of running along country lanes wearing a head torch. But regardless of the weather, I’m looking forward racing in 2017. Hope you’ve all had a great start to the year and good luck, whatever your goals are.
Is a cool-down necessary? A cool-down helps your body to gradually return to its resting state. It also helps to eliminate metabolic waste products such as lactic acid, and reduces tightening of the muscles. The type of cool-down depends on the workout you’ve done. After an easy or steady run, a cool-down jog isn’t necessary. But it’s good to stretch to prevent your muscles tightening up. Postrun is a good time to stretch, as your muscles are nice and warm. Walk around a bit, too, rather than suddenly sitting for a long time. After a hard or tempo run, do a few minutes of easy jogging to cool down, then stretch. A good cool-down is most beneicial after an interval session – it should involve at least 10-15 minutes of jogging before stretching. What is ‘running tall’? It means running with your head, shoulders, torso, pelvis and hips in alignment, without slouching at the shoulders and bending at the hips. It also encourages a good foot-plant position under your body. When ‘running tall’, engage your core muscles and imagine you are lifting up out of your hips rather than sinking down into them – this should make you feel lighter on your legs. Don’t hold yourself rigidly while running tall – good form is relaxed, allowing your muscles to move freely. Don’t take the expression too literally; it’s important not to run so upright that it reduces your ability to drive forward and produce speed. Jo Pavey is a five-time UK Olympian and former European 5000m champion
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‘I RUN WELL IF I’M ENJOYING MYSELF’ JASMIN PARIS, 33, CHAMPION FELL RUNNER
I GREW UP IN THE PEAK District. I explored mountains from an early age and began serious running in 2008, after leaving university. Working in Glossop as a vet, a colleague said I should enter a fell race. I did, and I was hooked. I’M WORKING FOR A PhD, so I maintain the training/work balance in three ways: first, I don’t train as hard as many people think; second, I’m used to being flexible about what I do, which is partly why having a coach wouldn’t work; and third, we’ve no television. I RUN IN THE EARLY morning, and my husband, Konrad, tolerates being
woken at 5am every day when I go training. This guarantees I’ll get a run in, whereas if I leave it until later, work often gets in the way, or I’m simply too tired when I get home to motivate myself to go running. I DON’T HAVE A SET training plan. Most days I set off from our cottage, run for 10 minutes to the hills and take it from there. On weekdays I tend to go out for 60-90 minutes each day; sometimes I cycle to work; and I swim a few times a week too. At weekends I typically do a couple of longer runs (three to four hours), or mountain days with Konrad, and I do a weekly hill-rep session.
I’M NOT VERY GOOD about stretching, either, and could probably do more. I try to stretch my iliotibial band (ITB), as I’ve had ITB problems in the past, and stretching helps keep it at bay. I go for a monthly sports massage. I HAVEN’T ADJUSTED my diet for running because it’s reasonably balanced. I’ve always liked fruit and veg; and we cook from scratch most evenings. I don’t avoid treats and neither do I avoid the occasional glass of wine. Eating and drinking on the move is easy if I’m not pushing myself. On an easy, long run I take packable food – eg dried fruit/nuts, cereal bars, flapjack, salted nuts, a sandwich and buttered hot cross buns. But if I’m working hard − on the Rounds [fell running challenges] for example − eating becomes a challenge. In short races I eat gels or sweets, but for longer runs I try to consume something more substantial – baked beans,
rice puddings and pots of fruit salad work well.
FACT FILE LIVES Edinburgh CLUB Carnethy Hill RC Inov8 ambassador
2015 Isle of Jura Fell Race, female record – 3:38
2016 April: Bob Graham Round, England (66 miles, 42 summits), female record – 15:24 June: Ramsay Round, Scotland (58 miles, 24 summits), new record (beating male record by 46 mins) – 16:13 October: Paddy Buckley Round, Wales (61 miles, 47 summits), female record – 18:33 TWITTER @JasminKParis jasminfellrunner. blogspot.co.uk
MY BEST TIP FOR A runner wanting to start preparation for a hilly ultra is to hike in the mountains. My best performances have always followed trips to the mountains, when I’ve walked and wildcamped for a week or more. It’s training for long days on your feet. BREAKING ANGELA Mudge’s Isle of Jura Fell Race record in 2015 meant a lot. Jura is such a special place that I got married there. In terms of the Rounds, I’m proud of them all, but I’m proudest of the Ramsay because I set out aiming to break the men’s record and succeeded, and also because it’s my local Round, the wildest of the three and over the biggest mountains. FOR NEW CHALLENGES, I’ve got my eye on the Kima and Els 2900 Skyraces in Italy and Andorra, respectively, and I might attempt the Lakeland 24-hour record, but that could be a longer-term project. THE LANDSCAPE IS A huge part of why I run. I think my surroundings make me happy and I run well if I’m enjoying myself.
FELL IN LOVE Jasmin loves to run surounded by the majesty of nature
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WO R D S : G E O R G E F W I N T E R . P H OTO G R A P H Y: J O N A S C R O F T ( M A I N I M AG E ), R YA N M A X W E L L ( H E A D S H OT )
IN THE WINTER OF 20152016 I did a weekly fast run, racing Konrad around the reservoir beside our house. I’m not very good at pushing myself in training, so I acquire race fitness by racing.
TRAINING ADVICE FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE
BY ALEX HUTCHINSON
Solo time trials build mental toughness, but chasing a pacer may help you push harder.
RACE YOURSELF Test yourself (and build fitness) with a time trial A WEEK BEFORE HIS legendary race, Roger
P H OTO G R A P H : G E T T Y
Bannister ran a three-quarter-mile time trial: ‘I felt that 2:59.9 for the threequarter mile in a solo training run meant 3:59.9 in a mile race,’ he recalled. He ran exactly 2:59.9, giving him the confidence he needed to break four minutes. While coaches often warn their runners not to race in practice to avoid burnout, an occasional all-out time trial can be useful as a mental boost, a training stimulus or a reality check. Here are three ways to try it yourself. DRESS REHEARSAL Racing at PB pace is a trip into the unknown, but a well-executed time trial blazes a path for most of the route. Simulate race conditions: wear racing shoes and clothes, run at the same time of day on
similar terrain and do your usual prerace warm-up. Dress rehearsals work best before races of up to 10K. Aim to cover between half and three-quarters of your race distance (with shorter relative distances for longer races, eg 75 per
cent of a mile, 50 per cent of a 10K) at goal race pace, one to four weeks before the race. The danger is that you’ll find the time trial so hard that you won't be able to imagine holding the pace longer. But raceday nerves, spectators and other competitors will unlock reserves that a time trial can't access. That said, if you're more than five per cent off your goal pace, consider revising your race goal. SPEED TEST If you're preparing for a longer race (10K to marathon), time trials at shorter distances are a painful but efficient way of maintaining speed. Lowkey road races work too, but time trials require no entry fee and you can pick the date that works best.
For marathoners and half marathoners, aim for between 5K and five miles; if you’re preparing for a 10K, you can go as short as a mile. Include one or two speed tests in a buildup, with the last at least two weeks prerace. Unlike a dress rehearsal, your goal here isn't to maintain a particular pace – it’s to suffer in a way you don't during regular longerdistance training. Fighting off anaerobic fatigue will train your body to better handle slower paces. To maximise the effect, err on the side of starting fast – at least two per cent faster than your best recent time at that distance. STIMULUS PACKAGE Time trials exist in a grey area between workouts and races, and the distinction is blurriest when you add a time trial to a larger interval session. For example, to prepare for a 5K, you might run a mile time trial, recover for 10-15 minutes, then do a ladder of 1200m, 800m, 600m and 400m, with twominutes’ rest between each, starting at 5K pace and getting faster. The volume will stimulate more fitness gains than a speed test, but it requires more recovery – do it three to four weeks prerace. The time trial should still be run all-out, so try to forget about the rest of the workout until you're finished, and be flexible about the pacing and number of reps – don't give yourself excuses to save energy. A time trial isn't a race, but it should feel like one. MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 087
CLEAN UP YOUR ACT Address bad diet habits to slim down
WO R D S : M AT T H E W K A D E Y. I L LU S T R AT I O N S : R A M I N I E M I
Cluttered kitchen Jeans feeling snug? Take a look at your counter. A study from the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, US, found that people who spent time in a kitchen that had a sink filled with dishes ate twice as many cookies from an easily
accessible bowl as those who had a clean kitchen. Another Cornell study showed that people who left unhealthy snacks on their kitchen counters were up to 26lbs heavier than those who stashed these items out of sight or didn’t have them in the house at all. ‘If your kitchen is messy, it can lead to feelings of being out of control, which may
lead to mindlessly snacking on items you have easy access to,’ says Alissa Rumsey, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. ‘Even a handful of crisps or a few biscuits each time you go into the kitchen soon adds up.’ THE FIX Store treats out of sight – and out of mind. Research in the journal Appetite found that women who had to walk six feet for sweets ate about half as many as those who had them within arm’s reach. Instead of treats, leave out healthier snacks such as fruit and veg, says Rumsey. Subjects in the Cornell study who kept a bowl of fruit out in the open weighed an average
of 13lbs less than those who didn’t. DIET DISASTER
‘Healthy’ food labels The words on a package may have you eating more. In a study at Pennsylvania State University, US, subjects consumed more trail mix when the label included the word ‘fitness’ and an image of running shoes versus trail mix with no claims. And researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, US, found that people ate more popcorn when they were told it was ‘healthy’ than when eating popcorn deemed ‘unhealthy’, despite the fact both
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foods were nutritionally identical. And it’s not just fitness packaging. Research has also found that shoppers think foods labeled ‘organic’ are lower in calories and higher in fibre, and that’s often not the case. Additionally, confectionery bars in green packages – a colour associated with power foods such as kale and spinach – were viewed as healthier options. ‘Package claims and health halos often cause people to eat too much, thinking that since the food is healthy, it’s OK to eat a larger portion,’ says Rumsey. ‘Unfortunately a lot of these foods, such as protein bars, all-natural or gluten-free snacks and trail mixes, are high in calories. Eating extra portions can sabotage your training or weight-loss goals.’ THE FIX Don’t get drawn in by packaging claims. Read the nutrition label to determine what products have better ingredients, such as whole grains and fibre. People who read labels tend to weigh less than those who don’t. Practise portion control by measuring items onto
a plate based on serving size. Using a smaller dish will also prevent you from overeating – it can cut your calories by 30 per cent, says the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. DIET DISASTER
Paying with credit cards Using plastic can derail your plan to get to your racing weight. A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that shoppers tend to make at-the-checkout impulse purchases of less-nutritious foods such as sweets when they pay by card compared with those who hand over cash. THE FIX Make a shopping list and stick to it. Bring cash, don’t even look at the goodies by the cash till and have a healthy snack before filling your trolley or basket. Shoppers who ate an apple before their grocery run bought 25 per cent more fruit and vegetables than those who did not, according to research from Cornell University.
Drop the cake! Desktop dining can cause you to eat 10 per cent more calories.
Distracted dining Healthy eating isn’t just about what you eat; it’s also about how. Research from Northwestern University in Chicago, US, found that exposure to blue-enriched light (such as that emitted by your smartphone or laptop screens) before and during meals can increase
hunger and could lead to overeating. Looking at a screen instead of your plate may stimulate the regions of the brain that regulate appetite. And UK researchers found that people who ate their lunch while playing a computer game ate more biscuits 30 minutes later than those who ditched the electronics. But don’t rush your meal to get back to work. Studies show that people who eat their meals quickly consume more calories, feel hungrier and are more likely to carry extra weight. ‘When you eat while distracted or shovel in your food, you’re less likely to notice satiety signals,’ says sports dietitian Molly Kimball. THE FIX Treat your gadgets like your elbows and keep them off the table, take lunch breaks away from your desk, and don’t multitask during meals. Also, save your speed for the track: a study in Appetite found that people who chewed each bite for at least 30 seconds consumed fewer calories two hours later than those who’d eaten quickly. You can trick your brain into thinking you have more on your plate by cutting your food into small pieces, according to a study at Arizona State University.
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ESPRESSO ALMOND SMOOTHIE GO THE EXTRA MILE Almonds can help propel your distance workout. BLEND 1 sliced frozen banana with 125ml almond milk, 2 tbsp cooled espresso, 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 tbsp almond butter. Makes 1 serving.
EARL GREY LATTE FIGHT CAVITIES Black tea,
GREEN TEA RICE PUDDING BOOST BRAINPOWER The EGCG flavonoid in green tea may boost your memory. HEAT 125ml light coconut milk with 95g cooked brown rice, 1½ tsp honey and a pinch of salt. Steep a teabag in this simmering liquid for 2-3 minutes. Remove and squeeze teabag, then stir in diced mango. Eat warm or cover and refrigerate until cold. 092 RUNNR’SWORLD.CO.UK MARCH 2017
BUZZWORTHY Boost your day (and workout) with these caffeinated treats
Most adults can safely have up to 400mg of caffeine a day (three to five cups of coffee).
COFFEE OATMEAL BITES HELP YOUR HEART Oatmeal’s soluble fibre can reduce blood pressure. MIX 2 eggs with 300ml semi-skimmed milk, 190ml apple sauce, 2 tsp vanilla extract and 3 tbsp honey in a bowl. Add 270g quick-cook oats, 1 tsp baking soda, 1½ tbsp instant coffee, 1½ tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Combine with a handful of dried cranberries and chopped pecans. Pour into a greased muffin tin and bake for 20 mins at 175C/ 350F. Makes 12 servings.
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CHERRY CHOCOLATE BOWL STAY HEALTHY Vitamin C-rich cherries get their dark red colour from diseasefighting antioxidants. COMBINE 120g 2 per cent plain Greek yoghurt with a handful of pitted cherries in a bowl. Top with 2 tbsp darkchocolate shavings. Stir in honey, if desired. Makes 1 serving.
such as Earl Grey, can fight cavities by strengthening tooth enamel. And its antioxidants prevent free radicals from causing cellular damage. HEAT 250ml semi-skimmed milk with 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Pour into a mug and steep with 1 tea bag for 3-4 minutes. Serve with 1 peach.
NUTRITION ADVICE FOR HEALTHY, HUNGRY RUNNERS
BY LIZ APPLEGATE
POWER PLANTS Meat-free diets can rev up your running – as long as you’re smart about essential nutrients PACK IN PROTEIN This macronutrient helps you build and maintain muscle and recover better from workouts. Aim for at least 20 grams of protein at each meal from a variety of foods, such as tofu (and other soya products), beans, grains, nuts and seeds. Phytonutrients in veg, fruit, grains and other plant products may protect cells from age-related ailments.
SEEK OUT CALCIUM Spring greens, tofu and corn tortillas – as well as calcium-fortified drinks such as orange juice, almond milk and rice milk – are good sources of this key bone-building mineral.
P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L
DON’T FORGET D Everyone needs vitamin D. It’s an essential nutrient linked to many health and performance outcomes, including bone and muscle health, anti-inflammation and heart health. Research has also suggested that vitamin D has the potential to optimise your athletic performance. The richest sources include dairy foods, fatty fish and eggs,
BONUS BENEFITS Keep trim, stay healthy and live longer
A HAPPIER HEART Studies show that people following a plant-based or vegetarian diet generally have a lower risk of heart disease. Plant-based
diets contain less artery-clogging saturated fats.
LOWER COLON CANCER RISK Research shows a plant-based diet can reduce your
risk of developing colon cancer. Adding fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet at least once a week can further lower your cancer risk, studies show.
IMPROVED BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL A study review on type 2 diabetes found a plantbased diet boosts glycaemic control – your body’s ability to keep
so if you’re eating less of those, look for vitamin D-fortified vegan options, such as soya milk, cereal and orange juice. And mushrooms make their own vitamin D when exposed to UV light. FORTIFY WITH VITAMIN B12 Crucial for healthy nerve function and circulation, this vitamin is found in foods that come from animals. Cultured or fermented foods that contain live bacteria, such as sauerkraut and kimchi, provide a little vitamin B12 and you can also find it in fortified cereals. MIND YOUR MINERALS Iron and zinc play key roles in sustaining a healthy immune system. Meats, poultry and seafood are the best sources, but even runners who eat animal products can fall short. Eat plenty of whole grains, beans, leafy greens and nuts to make sure you’re getting enough.
sugar within a healthy range. The benefit may be due to a higher intake of fibre.
WEIGHT CONTROL A review in The American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants in several studies who ate pulses every day lost an average of 0.75 lbs over six weeks.
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BAD (EXTENDED) POSTURE
HEAD Over toes
Tight hips and hamstrings? The problem may be how you’re standing RUNNERS OFTEN
assume that tight hips and hamstrings are simply an occupational hazard, and that if they ever want to touch their toes again they’ll have to reduce the mileage or spend hours on the yoga mat. But physiotherapist Trevor Rappa says that running isn’t necessarily to blame – poor posture is probably at fault. And stretching will only provide temporary relief until the root cause is addressed. A lot of runners, and people in general, carry themselves with what Rappa and others call ‘extended posture’. In this type of stance, a person carries his lower ribs in front of his body, his glutes jut out behind, and there is a big curve in the lower back (see right). It’s not just a bad look: this alignment impairs the functioning of the diaphragm. ‘Your diaphragm should be your primary muscle of respiration,’ says highperformance coach Mike Robertson. ‘If you get
stuck in extended posture, the diaphragm flattens out and can no longer work effectively.’ When your diaphragm isn’t properly functioning, a cascade of problems results. Your brain, knowing that the body has to breathe, recruits help from other muscles – such as your hip flexors and lower back muscles. ‘If the diaphragm doesn’t work well, inefficiencies will result,’ says Jonathan Pierce, performance therapist to six-time world longjump champion Brittney Reese and a consultant to the Bowerman Track Club in Oregon, US. When your hip flexors are tight from repetitive use, corresponding tension can be present in the diaphragm. Tight hip flexors can also extend the lumbar spine, pull the pelvis downward and cause your glutes to stick out. Experts call this an ‘anterior pelvic tilt’. Robertson explains: ‘When your pelvis tips forward, it is literally stretching your hamstrings on the back
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LOWER RIBS/STERNUM Forward of the body
ABDOMINALS Stretched out
LOWER BACK Has a dramatic curve
DIAPHRAGM Flattened and not activated
GLUTES Pushed back and up
PELVIS Slants downward at more than a 10-degree angle This stance contributes to chronic hamstring tightness.
HEAD In line with heels
LOWER RIBS/STERNUM In line with chest
ABDOMINALS No longer elongated
LOWER BACK Slight curve
WO R D S : B R I A N S A B I N . P H OTO G R A P H Y: M I TC H M A N D E L
DIAPHRAGM Activated, fully functional
GLUTES Under pelvis
PELVIS Neutral or pointing downward slightly (less than 10 degrees)
HAMSTRINGS Normal length
side, which can make them feel tight.’ But, wait, aren’t stretched-out hamstrings a good thing? Not if it’s your pelvis that’s doing the stretching, says Robertson. Working to lengthen and elongate your hamstrings can be good – if your hamstrings are actually shortened. However, Robertson says an anterior pelvic alignment is often putting tension on your hamstrings and it needs to be fixed if you’re going to get any lasting relief. Stretching your hamstrings in a downward-facing-dog pose feels good as you’re doing it – but it won’t stop chronic tightness, he says. Experts say the real solution starts with posture correction. Being conscious of good posture and working to adjust your stance throughout the day is important. Robertson also recommends a simple breathing drill to activate your diaphragm (see right) and exercises to strengthen your hamstrings (see Adopting p95). Master this posture these and will help you’ll shut release tension down those on the hamstrings. overactive hip flexors, restore proper posture and give your hamstrings long-term relief. Here’s the first step to standing taller, breathing deeper and running better.
To develop better posture you must fully exhale, activating the diaphragm and restoring proper pelvic position. Do this drill daily to find the best alignment.
1 / Lie on your back, feet flat on the floor. Breathe in through your nose. Notice how your abdominals lift and your tailbone pushes into the floor.
2 / Exhale through your mouth. Push all the air out of your lungs. Your abs will move closer to the floor, your back’s curve will lessen and more of your pelvis will touch the floor.
3 / Hold the bottom of the exhale for 3-5 secs. Your ribcage will come down. Use your lower abs to pull the pelvis into neutral alignment, midback and upper glutes against the floor. On the next inhale, maintain this alignment, breathing into your belly and chest. Take 4-5 breaths this way.
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HAMSTRING HELPERS A simple strengthening workout relieves a common tight spot CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, stretching
won’t necessarily improve hamstring flexibility and restore range of motion. If poor alignment is to blame, your hamstrings are already in an overextended position and stretching can be counterproductive, says high-performance coach Mike Robertson. The first step in finding relief, he says, is to work towards achieving proper pelvic positioning, which will alleviate tension down the back of your thighs (see p95). The second step is to strengthen your hamstrings so they can help you maintain that good alignment – while sitting, walking or running. Robertson recommends the following two-day workout. Do the warm-up moves to help you first achieve good pelvic positioning. Then do the first two strength moves on one day and the second two on another day. If you run two or three times per week, do these workouts on your rest days. If you’re running more regularly than that, do them after you run.
ALL FOURS BELLY LIFT Get on your hands and knees, palms lat on the ground beneath your shoulders. Exhale and round your back towards the ceiling. Keeping your back curved, take 4-5 breaths, then relax. That's one rep. Do 5 reps.
90-90 HIP LIFT From the position above, exhale. Lift your pelvis so your lower back lattens. Maintain that as you breathe in, then out fully. Hold the end of the exhale for 3-5 secs. Take 5 breaths; hold the exhale on each. Repeat 5 times.
DEAD LIFT Holding dumbbells, hinge at the hips by pushing your glutes back and lower the weights in front of your legs. Lower as far as lexibility allows, then push with your hips and thighs to return to start position. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
WO R D S : B R I A N S A B I N . P H OTO G R A P H Y: M I TC H M A N D E L
STABILITY BALL LEG CURLS Lie on the loor with your heels on top of a stability ball. Lift your pelvis so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels; exhale, then use your heels to roll the ball towards your glutes. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
SINGLE-LEG DEAD LIFT Hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Hinge at the hips to lift your left leg out behind you as you lower the weight down. Return to standing. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side.
NORDIC HAMSTRINGS Kneel with your feet secured. Exhale and lower your torso to the loor. Keep the movement slow for as long as you can. When you start to accelerate, place your hands in front of you. Press through your hands to push back up. Do 3 sets of 3-5 reps.
Keep your back and hips in a straight line by contracting your abdominals.
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SELF, SUFFICIENT Are your top training partners me, myself and I? Here’s how to put your best foot forward when you’re alone
Checking in with a virtual running buddy or group can help keep you motivated.
PUSH YOURSELF When you’re always on your own, it’s easy to fall into a comfortable pace, week after week. And that can keep you from seeing improvements in fitness and performance. Cindra Kamphoff, director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University, US, and a 3:05 marathoner, says it’s essential to set goals and have a plan to reach them. If you want to get faster and lose weight, make Tuesdays your speedwork day to help you pick up the pace and burn extra calories. Try an app such as Garmin Connect to track your runs and see your progress. Competitive? Strava lets you race against runners from around the world or just two streets away.
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BE ACCOUNTABLE It’s tempting to sleep in when no one is relying on you to show up. But Jeff Brown, psychology professor at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Winner’s Brain (Rodale), says a training partner doesn’t have to be physically waiting for you to provide motivation. ‘You and a friend in a different place could sign up for a race and train “together”, checking in with texts after each run.’ Social media can also provide positive
SOLITARY ENJOYMENT RW's Facebook friends on going solo
‘I run alone; it’s my time for reflecting, de-stressing and planning. My Garmin tracks my miles and pace. I set out with a goal and stick to it.’ Jennifer Ross
‘I travel the country each week for business and take selfies to document all the places I go.’ Rick Mabe
‘I stay accountable by knowing I won’t make my race goals if I wimp out and by just generally wanting to be a badass.’ Cathy Businelle
reinforcement. ‘Having an audience for your successes is a great way to reinforce that behaviour,’ says Kamphoff. There are also virtual running groups. The Sub-30 Club, founded by RW US columnist Ted Spiker, is one example of runners connecting online to keep each other moving. BEAT BOREDOM Running isn’t all excitement and euphoria, even for coach Heather Burroughs, who works with elites Kara Goucher and Jenny Simpson. ‘There are days when I’m counting down the minutes as soon as I step out the door,’ she says. Burroughs recommends mixing up your runs and your routes to help time pass faster. A little imagination helps, too, says Kamphoff, who recommends playing mind games – visualise yourself finishing the race you’re training for or plan your next holiday. PRIORITISE YOU Solo runs are selfish runs – they’re all about your pace, your schedule, your body. And some days that’s just what you need; for example, if you’re nursing an injury or an ill child kept you up half the night. In these cases, going it alone rather than running with a buddy, so you can set your own pace and distance, will prevent you from going too hard.
‘I use Nike+ and have friends I compete with to keep it interesting. I also mix in trails and hills, so I’m constantly in new environments.’ Bryon Linthicum
‘I joined the virtual group RunJunkEes. Taking pics, sending out good vibes and chatting about our runs motivates me.’ Katie Cordova
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GEAR GIVE YOURSELF the EDGE
THULE GLIDE STROLLER
WO R D S : R U T H A L L E N . P H OTO G R A P H Y: E DW I N M A D E R A , PAV E L D O R N A K
ON A STROLL RW puts this runningspecific buggy through its paces
Assembled in less time than it took partner to change the baby’s nappy.
Easy to control on bumpy path, thanks to the low weight and great suspension.
Tracking superb thanks to ixed front wheel. Buggy rolls straight by itself.
KEY FEATURES Lightweight (9.9kg) Rear suspension Two brakes: one on the handlebar and one foot-operated wheel lock Height-adjustable handlebar Padded straps Five-point harness system
Wrist strap too short and has no elasticity. Would use for security going downhill.
Did irst Parkrun with baby and buggy. Easy to use even on a crowded course.
RW VERDICT • This has been designed with the runner in mind. It’s a dream to operate and you don’t have to be strong to control it. It’s sturdy, light and secure for you and baby. It’s not an everyday buggy – the undercarriage basket has only a 3kg capacity and the wide rear wheelbase and fixed front wheel make it tricky to manoeuvre in shops. But overall this is very impressive.
Rain. Cover from other buggy didn’t work. Will have to buy a £35 Thule cover.
Baby slept when put in buggy prior to run and stayed asleep for 50-min run.
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GET APP TO SPEED Our pick of the best free training apps import data from Strava, Garmin and Endomondo and still cash in.
1 / SAUCONY STRIDE LAB iOS
Some running apps want to track your runs, but Stride Lab aims to help you run better. It takes everything Saucony has learned from its performance lab over the past 10 years and adds insights from biomechanics expert Jay Dicharry to put a cutting-edge, virtual biomechanics lab in your smartphone. After guiding you through a personal evaluation of stance, mobility, stability and stride, the app crunches your data and provides a customised training plan that will help you improve where you need it most.
3 / TRUBE iOS
Booking a personal training session made as easy as it gets. Think Uber but instead of hailing a taxi, you summon a personal trainer to come to your home, office or local park. From kickboxing and CrossFit, to specific task-focused training, there’s a great variety of runner-friendly sessions to choose from. Your trainer brings all the kit you need, and you can arrange sessions for under £35. The service is currently London-based only, but is planning to expand nationwide in the near future.
READ IT AND PEAK There’s a running app out there for you, no matter what your goals are.
2 / MY MONEY TIME iOS, Android
4 / RACEFULLY iOS
Running buddy just moved to the other side of the world? No problem, Racefully has your back. This clever app lets you run virtually, in real time, with your own tribe of race mates from anywhere on the planet. Invite fellow runners on a run date and during the session the app’s audio commentary keeps everyone updated about how they’re doing
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WO R D S : K I E R A N A LG E R. I L LU S T R A I O N : PAU L B LOW
Turn miles into money. Yup, this app is real. The catch? You can only spend what you earn in certain partner stores. A 10-mile run earned us £48.80 in vouchers; the money had to be spread across multiple brands, but with the likes of Asics, Polar and Under Armour as partners, it’s worth clocking up the miles. You won’t even have to stop using your favourite run-tracking app because you can
in the group. The app even recognises if one of you is toughing it out on hills and adjusts itself to ensure a fair race. For the competitive among you, there are leader boards, badges and achievements to unlock, too.
5 / NIKE+ RUN CLUB iOS, Android
Updated in 2016, the Nike+ Run Club app hasn’t been to everyone’s liking, thanks to changes that have made sharing workouts to Facebook more difficult, and the removal of some community challenge features. But Nike’s app is still a great GPS run tracker and you’ll be hard pressed to find personalised coaching plans that are easier to set up. There’s also full support for the Apple Watch Series 2 and useful touches, such as in-app Spotify controls.
6 / UNDER ARMOUR RECORD iOS, Android
More a total health solution than a running app, this bills itself as the world’s first 24/7 connected health and
Running buddies Two ingenious services that unlock added potential from your favourite running apps
An artificially intelligent personal-coaching system that sources data from other runners around the world (over one million kilometres of data) and uses it to create smarter training plans for people trying to achieve similar goals. It’s Robocoach. Connect your running app or GPS watch, share some stats and TrainAsOne gives you a tailored training plan to help you achieve your goals. trainasone.com
fitness system. That’s a fancy way of saying it syncs with Under Armour’s body-fat scales and heart-rate monitor, will track your training using GPS for distance, pace and the like, and also keep tabs on other lifestyle factors that influence how well you run and how fit you feel, such as steps, sleep quality and nutrition. But its neatest trick might be comparisons that let you check a run performance against a night’s sleep or a day’s food intake to see how that affected you.
8 / GHOSTRACER Android
Race against a ghost partner, all based on past runs from Strava. Choose to beat your personal best or take on another runner from the Strava leader board, racing as if you’re there live, with the data shown on your Android Wear smartwatch. You get to see in real time if you’re lagging and there are audio-coaching pep talks to keep you on track. The stats upload to Strava, making it easy for you to take your place at the top of the leader board.
7 / CHARITY MILES iOS, Android
The link between charity and running is now even stronger, thanks to this award-winning app that lets you earn money as you log your miles. Dosh is donated by brands sponsoring the app (Johnson & Johnson is among the larger companies featured) and you can choose to donate to a charity of your choice from a list of (currently) 40, including Save The Children, WWF, RED and the Ironman Foundation. So far, the app has raised over US $2m (£1.65m) and you can now even join teams to run for specific causes, such as Stand Up To Cancer.
9 / RUNZI Android This is all about improving cadence and reducing impact. The idea is simple: you get regular cadence readouts along with an audio metronome, with pulses soundtracking runs, helping you push for a 180 BPM (beats per minute) foot-strike rate. The aim is to improve form and efficiency, and reduce impact on your joints. There’s a daily, weekly and monthly impact tracker, so you can avoid injury while pushing your limits.
Web-based platform Smashrun helps you spot trends in all those stats you log using a smartphone app or running watch. You get brilliant visuals of your running history and clever insights, such as the days you tend to run least. But that’s just the half of it: There are also the hundreds of badges you can earn for all kinds of challenges, such as run 10 times at 7am to notch the early bird badge. smashrun.com
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Brand focus Ashmei
MEASURE OF SUCCESS
High-end British performance sportswear
SKULPT CHISEL £79.99, amazon.co.uk
WHAT IS IT? A scanner that measures body fat and muscle-group quality (strength) to help you ind weak areas and reduce your injury risk. HOW DOES IT WORK? It uses Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM), which was developed to assess neuromuscular diseases. You hold the 12 sensors against a muscle group and an electrical pulse measures current low in diferent directions and to various depths. It can diferentiate between fat, bone, muscle and skin. OTHER KEY FEATURES Muscles measured: biceps, triceps, shoulders,
60-second gear guide Three antiperspirants to ight of the funk
abdominals, forearms, pectorals, upper back, lower back, quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Pairs with Skulpt app via Bluetooth to give information on: fat and the strength of your muscles as well as an overall reading on these for the whole body; and data and advice on how your nutrition and training are afecting your itness goals. Lightweight Long battery life Android/iOScompatible WHO IS IT FOR? If you’re substantially overweight or a casual exerciser the level of detail may be of-putting, but it’s a handy tool for dedicated athletes looking for extra training data.
LYNX ADRENALINE £2.50 for 150ml, boots.com The makers say this releases microparticles of deodorising chemicals at regular intervals to keep you fresh. It’s a claim we can back up – it kept us dry all day.
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SURE WOMEN MAXIMUM PROTECTION £4.99 for 45ml, boots.com A one-a-day roller deodorant that ofers protection from wetness and odour, and also moisturises the skin.
VASELINE ACTIVE FRESH 48-HOUR 95p for 50ml, wilko.com A compressed spray that’s great for those with sensitive skin. We liked the light scent and the 48-hour dryness claim stood up to testing.
When Stuart Brooke founded Ashmei in 2011 he created it with a vision – to forge the ultimate premium-performance sportswear company. Having designed for the likes of Rapha and The North Face, Brooke was determined there would be no new-to-market uncertainty about the products. The brand was an immediate hit with runners. The restrained colour palette (red, grey, black and white), understated logo and attention to detail mark it out as different, as does the prevalence of merino wool. Using such a premium material as a staple fabric adds to the cost but Brooke insists it’s worth it: ‘Merino is the perfect solution to most of, if not all, a runner’s needs,’ he says. ‘It’s naturally temperature-regulating in both hot and cold, ultra-fine and light, antibacterial, anti-odour, super-comfortable, odourless, biodegradable and sustainable.’ Despite prices such as £90 for the men’s shorts and £109 for the women’s long-sleeved top, Ashmei has thrived; the collection has now grown to over 30 styles for both men and women. And the name? It’s an anagram of the name of Stuart’s daughter Meisha. The big softie. ashmei.com
WO R D S : K E R R Y M C CA R T H Y
A nifty hand-held body-composition device
LET YOUR RUNNING LOOSE
SERIOUS BUSINESS That’s the ‘PreLondon Fleet Half Marathon’ to you.
FLEET OF FOOT With its no-nonsense approach, the Fleet Half Marathon is all about the running, inds Kerry McCarthy
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THE PHRASE ‘BY RUNNERS, for runners’ has been a source of curious amusement in the RW oice. Our inboxes receive a steady trickle of press releases using the expression to show that whatever race, product or service is being plugged is more genuine, more authentic and somehow more connected to the runner on the street than that of any competitors. For the most part it’s tosh, but when it comes to the Fleet Half Marathon (whose organisers are not averse to busting out the slogan themselves on occasion), it’s a claim that is easily justiied. The expertise and in-depth knowledge of the organising team is evident everywhere: the ample space aforded to the Calthorpe Park
WHAT BLINGS YOU HERE? One more medal for the collection
FLAT OUT But there were a few hills to tackle, too
THE RUNDOWN race HQ so runners don’t feel on top of each other; the iTab timing strips on the back of your number so you don’t have to wrestle with timing chips in your laces; the thoughtfully plotted course that gives you just enough variety in proile but never at the expense of fast running; the water pouches that you rip open with your teeth so you don’t have to slow down and iddle with a bottle top; the well-marshalled marshals; the quality medal; there are even – whisper it – enough toilets. It should be no surprise, really. When the race launched in 1982 Fleet & Crookham AC stated its mission: ‘The primary aim is to provide a well-organised race that places the runners’ needs and enjoyment above all else. By aiming for a perfect race, rather
Fleet Half Marathon Hampshire 2015 stats
First man: Michael Kallenberg, 1:07:49 First woman: Mel Woodward, 1:22:49 Last finisher: 3:19:44 No. finishers: 2,583
Finishing stats ● 1:00-1:29 11% ● 1:30-1:59 53% ● 2:00-2:29 29.9% ● 2:30-2:59 6% ● 3hrs+ 0.1%
than maximum proits, the whole event becomes a “spectacular” for participants and spectators.’ It was this outlook that persuaded London Marathon co-founder Chris Brasher to allow them to oicially call the race the ‘Pre-London Fleet Half Marathon’ and market it as the perfect event to tune up for the big day in April. It’s testament to the success of the formula that, in the 35 years since that irst race – when Gurkhas entertained the crowds with pipes and drums, and the Red Devils dropped in to run the race before departing immediately for the Falklands – that the essential DNA of the event has remained the same. Sure, the route is not particularly memorable – we ran on a mix of suburban and country roads, with a couple of crossings of the M3 motorway thrown in – but sometimes the fact that you get to the end of a race and can’t really
remember any landmarks of note is irrelevant if you’ve been given the chance to run your backside of and have crossed the line with your running lust thoroughly sated. The evidence shows that I’m not the only one who appreciates the quiet professionalism of events like this: almost all the 3,500 available places are snapped up before Christmas each year so if this sounds like your bag it’s one to stick in the diary well in advance. Now if only there was a slogan to show what the race stands for… Hampshire, March 19. fleethalfmarathon.com
‘The course could do no more to me. A long hill was next and I took it at a reasonable clip, feeling oddly liberated to be running on.’ YOU SAID
P H OTO G R A P H Y: R O O F OW L E R
Like this? Then try three more fantastic pre-London tune-ups READING HALF MARATHON
WILMSLOW HALF MARATHON
Over the last 34 years this half has almost quadrupled in size, and it was pretty big to start with. Five thousand runners toed the irst start line in 1983 and this year the organisers are expecting entries to top out at 19,500. We strongly suggest you try to be among them: the course has been tweaked this year to make it even quicker so, the odd short undulation aside, it’s a very lat route that takes you through the beautiful grounds of Reading University, around the town centre (where crowds gather) and inishes in front of 15,000 people in the Madejski Stadium.
This half marathon is a niche event with a small-to-middling ield (just under 600 runners took part last year) but if you live in the southwest it’s well worth considering. The route is lovely, including as it does plenty of both coastal and countryside views. Starting near Pendennis Castle, the route also takes in vistas of Gyllyngvase, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches, before heading inland and passing through the village of Mawnan Smith. The all-road course features a mix of long lat stretches, where you can push the pace, and sharp climbs to challenge your hamstrings.
If you’re after bands and giant foam ingers, a cheering throng and the general sound and fury of a mass-participation race, this is not for you. It sits conidently in the UK race scene’s middle ground – hitting that sweet spot of having the feel of a lovingly organised local race that attracts a large, buzzy ield; in this case, 5,000 runners who know the lack of any kind of kerfuffle out on the Wilmslow course means they can get on with the serious business of putting on the afterburners and battering their legs on the lat country roads of rural Cheshire.
Berkshire, March 19, readinghalfmarathon.com
Cornwall, March 12, cornwallhospicecare.co.uk
Cheshire, March 19, wilmslowhalfmarathon.org.uk
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WIGAN HALF MARATHON
There’s an international food festival and live music at the town centre start to keep everyone entertained before the hooter sounds. You soon pass Mesnes Park, where a bronze statue of 19th-century politician Sir Francis Sharp Powell stands; a local tradition is to rub his foot to bring good luck.
Race director Matt Johnson describes a new race in the North West Matt Johnson says ‘I organised the irst Wigan 10K in 2013 and because it was such a success I was inspired to organise a new running festival for this March. It will include a family mile, a 5K and a half marathon. We hope to get about 2,000 runners doing the half. The route has been designed to showcase the historic and more interesting parts of Wigan, as well as being a bit of a challenge whatever your level of running. It’s not too hilly, with just that one climb in the middle – and I think people will be surprised how green the area is. If it’s anything like the 10K has been, the crowds will really turn out to support the runners, too.’
With the River Douglas on your left, you loop round the outside of the DW Stadium, home to both Wigan Athletic FC and Wigan Warriors rugby league club.
MILE 2 You pass the national HQ of food giant Heinz, not far from its factory, which makes a staggering 1.5 million cans of baked beans every day.
Runners pass Wigan Pier, the canalside area made famous in George Orwell’s study of workingclass life, The Road to Wigan Pier, which was published 80 years ago.
09 11 Haigh Woodland Park
The debut 2017 race is on March 19 wiganhalfmarathon.co.uk
Brocket Arms Pub
FINISH As well as the usual postrace goodies, you’ll receive a bag of the famous local sweets, Uncle Joe’s Mint Balls, to munch on on your way home.
Sir Francis Sharp Powell Statue
WIGAN DW Stadium
MILE 7 After skirting the town hall you leave the town behind and follow the historic LeedsLiverpool canal for a while.
05 Wigan Pier
MILE 12 MILE 8 This is where you arrive at the first climb of the race, which lasts around a mile-and-ahalf as you ascend towards Haigh Woodland Park.
After an exhilarating descent through Haigh Woodland Park you pass through the leafy Swinley area. The terrace of the Brocket Arms pub here makes an ideal viewing spot.
P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y
The route leads you around the magnificent town hall and the Life Centre, which houses various amenities, including the main library.
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THE START LIST Our selection of the best, fastest, toughest, quirkiest and most enjoyable UK races this month
Gloucester Road Relay This flat race in Haresfield is something of a rarity these days: men and women are separated and run relay races against other teams of their own sex. The onelap 5K course is the same for both; however, male teams run it four times while the women do three laps.
Secret London Runs Half Marathon THE HIGHLIGHT Saying things like ‘The game’s afoot! And so are we!’
March 4, Gloucestershire beyondthelimitations.org.uk
Rhayader Round The Lakes This showcases some of the best scenery you’ll find in rural Wales. One participant last year summed the event up as follows: ‘More scenic than the Snowdon Marathon and six miles shorter – what’s not to like?’ The route takes you around the reservoirs of the Elan Valley and, mercifully, stays on the road. March 4, Powys, rhayaderac.org.uk
Eastbourne Half Marathon ’A great run along the beach and seafront. There’s a huge hill at the threemile mark, so not a good PB course, but the descent back down is pretty fun. Good support from marshals and the public along the route.’ — Chris Thomas March 5, East Sussex, eastbournehalf. co.uk
Berkhamsted Half Marathon This is one of those early spring half marathons that, despite a relatively modest budget, quietly goes about its business of mopping up its fair share of marathon-training runners looking for a mid-schedule tester. It’s been doing just that for 35 years and these days attracts a regular field of about 1,300 runners. The gorgeous Chilterns scenery might have something to do with its popularity. There’s also a very popular five-mile race that shares some of the same route. March 5, Hertfordshire, berkorun.com
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If you’ve ever played Cluedo and thought, ‘This is fine but what it needs is to be played on the run,’ then your luck’s in because this event does just that. The concept is simple: teams of three or four run 13 miles around the streets of the capital to locate various waiting actors. Your job is to find witnesses, gather clues, interrogate suspects, decide who the murderer is and then meet back at the pub later on to find out who got it right. The start point is a secret briefing location in East London, which will be revealed when you sign up. The theme is 20th-century East End gang crime. Fancy dress, turning up in high spirits and leaving your GPS at home are all good ideas. March 5, London, secretlondonruns.com
And there’s a bacon butty and a pint for brekkie the next day! March 11, Scottish Borders, ratrace.com
Warwick Half Marathon Part of the stable of events organised by the British Heart Foundation, this is a pleasant trot through Warwick, starting and finishing at the racecourse. It’s flat throughout, so the going is good. Finally, a race where time being an also-ran is desirable. March 5, Warwickshire bhf.org.uk/warwick
Inverness Half Marathon The Mighty Deerstalker Some of the best fun you can have with your trainers on – but bloody hard work too. Ten kilometres through rivers, forest and over the odd Munro, all tackled in darkness. Competitors are expected to dress up, preferably in plus fours and, yes, deerstalkers. There’s an after-party, with booze and food in a heated tent.
A beautiful run suitable for all levels of ability is the best way to describe this venerable race through the capital of the Highlands. For over three decades, runners have been enjoying the views as they trot along the banks of the River Ness, run past the imposing, handsome Inverness Castle and thrill to a stadium finish at Queen’s Park. March 12, Highlands invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk
THE START LIST We asked readers: What’s the best snack you’ve had at a mid-race fuel station?
event. The organisers say the course comprises ‘a good mix of terrain – woodland trails, rocky climbs and open fields, with great views over to Glastonbury Tor.’ Sounds like a great day out to us. March 19, Somerset, relishrunningraces.com
Bath Half Marathon This ever-popular 13.1 sells out every year, with the capacity now standing at a tremendous 15,000 runners. The course is a two-lapper through the heart of the historic city, so it’s perfect if you’re taking a crew of spectators with you. The route is generally flat but a little twisty in places, just enough that you can’t completely tune out. March 12, Avon, bathhalf.co.uk
HISTORIC at the Stockholm Marathon and salted boiled spuds at the Tollymore Trail Marathon.’ — Agnew Mercer ‘Flumps at mile 19 of the Snowdonia Marathon.’ — Kath Cheadle
‘Guinness cake with mulled wine at the Bovington Half.’
New Forest Running Festival There are six distance options available in this two day event: 10K, 10 miles, 20 miles, half marathon, 50km and 75km. All are run on well-established trails through the gorgeous heart of the New Forest and all are ‘undulating’, so think carefully before you choose.
— Michael Guy ‘Hotdog with all the trimmings at mile four of the LA Marathon.’ — Martin Beresford
March 18 &19, Hampshire rgactiveevents.com
WO R D S : K E R R Y M CCA R T H Y. P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y
March 18, County Antrim larnehalfmarathon.webs.com
Ebbor Gorge 10K Viewed by locals as the little brother of Cheddar Gorge, which lies just 10 miles down the road. It’s a National Trust-owned nature reserve and this is the first time the 150-acre site has been opened up to a running
Hastings Half Marathon
Jurassic Coast Three-Day Challenge
This year will be the 33rd outing for a perennial premarathon favourite. It’s very much a half of two halves, with the first six miles being uphill and the final seven either flat or downhill, so you’ve got a fair chance of a negative split. Starting at the seafront, you’ll follow the route of William the Conqueror towards the town of Battle, taking in the ‘Old Town’ and fishing village before heading back along the seafront for the final two miles, finishing where you started. And if the route doesn’t sound like enough fun, there are bands, pop-up discos, choirs and a cheerleading troupe to entertain you. The crowd support is terrific, too.
whole thing is a highlight The total distance to be covered over the three days is 78.6 miles, which equates to a marathon a day. Throw in the undulating and very varied terrain and you have a substantial challenge. But balanced against that is the fact that this is – without a doubt – one of the most jaw-dropping runs you can find in the UK, as you hug the Dorset coastline from Charmouth to Lulworth Cove to Shell Bay. The details (accommodation, meals, maps and massage) are taken care of, so all you have to focus on is ensuring you hobble over the finish line in one piece.
March 19, East Sussex, hastings-half.co.uk
March 24, Dorset, votwo.co.uk
THE HIGHLIGHT What do you mean? The
Larne Half Marathon A stunning run along the Antrim coast road, offering beautiful clifftop sea views. This sells out in advance every year and the capacity has been capped at 2,000 runners, split between solo participants and teams of three tackling it as a relay. There are pacing groups and music along the course to help you round.
THE HIGHLIGHT Conquering the beast
RW ONLINE RACE LISTINGS
Staged at Aylesford Equine Cross Country Course, this is just as tough as the name suggests. There are 40 (give or take) obstacles to tackle, including water jumps, hills and camouflage nets. It’s a five-mile route and you can decide on the day – or even as you’re approaching the very welcome finishing straight – if you want to stop here or do it all over again. Apparently some masochistic nutters do plump for doubling up. Twice the fun, it seems. March 5, Leicestershire, thebeastrun.co.uk
Thirsty for more? Go to runners world.co.uk/ events, the UK’s most comprehensive race database, where you can search over 4,500 upcoming races by location, terrain, distance and more. MARCH 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 111
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I’M A RUNNER
RUBY TANDOH THE FOOD WRITER ON BAGGY TRACKSUITS, COOKIES AND RUNNING WITH HER NAN people with eating disorders, which I sufered from on and of through my teenage years. RUNNING USED TO PLAY INTO MY EATING DISORDERS. I used it as a way
to burn calories, as a way to punish myself. In all that time I never got any faster because I wasn’t fuelling myself in the right way. NOW I HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY CALORIES I’M BURNING, and nor do I
‘I prefer being able to zone out and run with no distractions’
care. It’s really nice for my running to have completely turned around now. I do it for the joy of it. I USED TO USE TRAINING APPS, but I don’t anymore. I found that they made me ﬁxated on exactly how far and fast I had run and my preferred approach is to do roughly the right amount and make sure I’m adapting based on how I feel. I DID MY FIRST 10K RACE IN DECEMBER LAST YEAR. It was the Percy Pud
event in Sheffield – it was quite ﬂat, had beautiful scenery and everyone was given a Christmas pudding at the end, which was a joy! I OFTEN WEAR BAGGY TRACKSUIT BOTTOMS AND A BIG OLD T-SHIRT ON RUNS. At the end of the day, I’m not
operating at a level where slightly less air resistance is going to make any diference to my time.
WHEN I WAS 12 OR 13, MY NAN RAN LOADS. I used to go running with
her and her club. It was a really nice way to bond with her. She didn’t start running until she was 40. I think she’s run six marathons. She doesn’t run anymore – she had a knee injury, so now she powerwalks everywhere.
them, but I loved them. I used to train during the holidays. I’M TRAINING FOR THE LONDON MARATHON with my girlfriend, Leah.
We’re roughly the same ﬁtness level, so we take it in turns to play at being coach, which is good for motivation.
I LOVED CROSS-COUNTRY AT SCHOOL. I
I KNEW I WANTED TO RUN THE LONDON MARATHON at some point and
used to really look forward to doing those races. Everyone else dreaded
especially wanted to raise money for the charity Beat, too. They help
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Ruby’s cookbook, Flavour: Eat What You Love (Vintage Publishing) is out now. She can be found on Twitter (@rubytandoh) and Instagram (@ruby. tandoh). For more on Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, visit b-eat.co.uk.
I’LL EAT ANYTHING. I try to keep my meals pretty balanced, a bit of protein, carbs and veg. I like making chocolate chip cookies, which I usually have ready for when I get back from a run. MY NAN GAVE ME THE BEST RUNNING TIP I’VE HEARD. She’d remind me to
listen to my body and, regardless of what I set out to do, to just walk it if I felt awful ﬁve minutes into a run. It’s important not to be embarrassed to turn the intensity up or down depending on how you’re feeling.
I N T E R V I E W: G E O R G I A S CA R R . P H OTO G R A P H : DA N R O S S
I LISTEN TO MUSIC SOMETIMES but I prefer being able to zone out and run with no distractions. I think it’s really good for mental health to just have that blank time.