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FEBRUARY 2017 £4.60


IN THIS ISSUE REGULARS

WARM-UPS

HUMAN RACE

FEATURES

FEBRUARY 2017

COACH

GEAR

RACE

ON THE COVER

HEROES, WELCOME TAKE A BOW, MO FARAH AND OTHERS

P42

106 Running Upgrades Easy ways to get better

P52

Lean For Life Lose fat for good

P59

Six-week beginners’ running plan Start today, run forever

P64

P80

Top 10 Endurance Workouts Go long, get faster and stronger

P91

Injury-Free In Just 10 Minutes Give a little, get a lot

P101

The UK’s 50 Best Races Honestly, it’s an embarrassment of riches

P68

004 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

Run Strong All Winter It can be done


DISTANCE YEARNING Build your strength and speed

EWE HAVE TO TRY THESE Top tips to boost your running

WE’RE ALWAYS RUNNING AT RUNNERSWORLD. CO.UK

MOBILE-FRIENDLY No more pinch-tozoom browsing on runnersworld.co.uk! Get ready for a userfriendly layout that’ll make our content easier to access.

P8

Rave Run Keystone, Colorado

P114

I’m a Runner Actor and singer Kat Graham

P33

Inbox Your views

P37

Tonky Talk Paul can give up cross-country. No problem

P39

Q&A Strava’s Mark Gainey FEATURES

WARM-UPS

C LOT H I N G : A S I C S (JAC K E T & S H O E S ), N I K E ( S H O R T S ), S U U N TO ( WATC H ). P H OTO T H I S PAG E : AG ATA P E C

C OV E R P H OTO G R A P H : S A M R O B L E S ; H A I R & M A K E U P B Y S TACY S K I N N E R F O R C E L E S T I N E AG E N C Y; S T Y L I N G B Y A R GY KO U T S OT H A N AS I S ;

REGULARS

P13

Group Dynamic Running with others is good for your speed

P15

Fitness How to stay upright in treacherous weather

P17

Nutrition Use your brain to lose those festive pounds

P19

Mind + Health Why running fast is a dead cert Injury Bend your way faster

P21

‘If other women can get off their ass, then I can do it too’

P27

P78

Pick Up The Base Base training is your cornerstone

P83

Ask Jo Heart-rate training

P85

Fuel Heart-healthy avocados

P87

Warm Up Your Cool-down Antioxidant-rich hot drinks

P88

‘Running Truly Is The Best Medicine’ Lacing up helped Edward Batch, so he donated one of his kidneys. As you do Social Movement The running club at the top of the world

P29

Murphy’s Lore Warm up to warming up, says Sam

P31

By The Numbers 9,000kcals, 5 tantrums, 1 puppy

Heroes The men and women who inspired us in 2016 COACH

HUMAN RACE P23

P68

Put Your Mind To Rest Think your way faster GEAR

The Apple Watch Nike+ A smartwatch that’s fit for purpose

P94

Hi-viz Kit Be seen at all times

P99

On Test Apple Watch Nike+

RACE LISTINGS 2.0 Our overhauled event registration system makes it simpler to find races in your area. And all your ratings and reviews are there, too.

EASY TO NAVIGATE An upgraded search function and all-new optimised navigation mean you can access healthy and simple recipes, training tips and injury advice with ease.

RACES P108

The Start List Our choice of this month’s best races FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 005


EDITOR’S LETTER

EDITOR

ANDY DIXON DEPUTY EDITOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

COMMISSIONING EDITOR

JOE MACKIE

WAYNE HANNON

KERRY MCCARTHY

CHIEF SUB EDITOR

ART EDITOR

SECTION EDITOR

JOHN CARROLL

DEAN FARROW

SAM MURPHY

DIGITAL EDITOR

DEPUTY DIGITAL EDITOR

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR

BEN HOBSON

GEORGIA SCARR

JO PAVEY

What’s your new year’s running resolution?

CONTRIBUTORS

LIZ APPLEGATE, MARK BAILEY, KELLY BASTONE, DUNCAN CRAIG, NOAH DAVIS, WESLEY DOYLE, JEFF GALLOWAY, MACKENZIE LOBBY HAVEY, ALEX HUTCHINSON, YISHANE LEE, KATIE NEITZ, AC SHILTON, NICK WELDON

GROUP PUBLISHING DIRECTOR WORKFLOW DIRECTOR SALES DIRECTOR BRAND DIRECTOR BRAND EXECUTIVE GROUP CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTOR GROUP CREATIVE SOLUTIONS ART DIRECTOR CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS DESIGNER GROUP CREATIVE SOLUTIONS SNR PROJECT MANAGER GROUP CREATIVE SOLUTIONS PROJECT MANAGER PRODUCTION MANAGER HEAD OF MARKETING AND EVENTS MARKETING AND EVENTS EXECUTIVE

CHIEF EXECUTUVE OFFICER DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS PR MANAGER VP, STRATEGY & PRODUCT MANAGEMENT CHIEF DIGITAL OFFICER

ALUN WILLIAMS KRIS PACE MATTHEW DOWNS KATHERINE KENDALL

ANDREA SULLIVAN MORGAN HARRISON-DOYLE BEN BRILEY AOIFE KAVANAGH VICTORIA STEPHEN KATHRYN TAIT ROGER BILSLAND JANE SHACKLETON MEG STEPHENSON

ANNA JONES

LEE WILKINSON DARREN GOLDSBY

ELLA DOLPHIN

CIRCULATION MANAGER

Andy Dixon

BEN BOLTON

REID HOLLAND

MANAGING DIRECTOR, BRANDS

‘To finally do my twice-deferred half ironman and more trail races.’

LISA QUINN

GROUP COMMERICAL DIRECTOR

HEAD OF NEWSTRADE MARKETING

Georgia Scarr

BEN FARMAR

MARKETING AND CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

HR DIRECTOR

‘To take regular scheduled rest days instead of training till I burn out.’

SURINDER SIMMONS JENNIFER SMITH BIANCA LLOYD-SMITH MICHAEL ROWLEY

‘To finish just one race and not immediately insert my face into a giant bag of cheeseflavoured corn snacks as a reward.’

HAPPY NEW YEAR! In the spirit of self-renewal that’s common at this time of year, you’ll notice a few differences in this issue, as we’ve refreshed the design and sprinkled in a few new ideas. But rest easy, loyal readers! We will continue to deliver the best advice on training, nutrition, racing, injuryprevention and gear. Columnists Sam, Paul and Jo are all still here, Rave Run is still at the front and I’m a Runner remains at the back. The changes we have made are designed to make RW more useful and reflective of what’s happening in the sport. Because running is an increasingly social activity – whether via good old-fashioned human contact or social media – you’ll find an expanded Human Race section (p23). We’ve beefed up the Coach section with new columnists focused on runners of all levels and nutrition. We’ve also moved race listings out of the magazine to live solely on the RW website, since searching online does a much better job of finding a race to match each runner’s criteria. To balance this, we’ve introduced a new regular called The Start List, a curated list of the month’s must-do races (p108). Most importantly: regardless of how far or fast you run, this magazine is for you. If history is any guide, there will be lots of opinions on how good/ idiotic the changes are, and I look forward to hearing them. We, too, have come a long way, but are always striving to do more.

ANDY DIXON EDITOR

@RW_ed_Andy

John Carroll RODALE INTERNATIONAL

CONTRIBUTORS

P H OTO G R A P H S : G E T T Y

ROBERT NOVICK SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, RODALE INTERNATIONAL KEVIN LABONGE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL LICENSING JOHN VILLE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR ANGELA KIM DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & GLOBAL LICENSING VERONIKA RUFF TAYLOR EDITORIAL DIRECTOR, RUNNER’S WORLD INTERNATIONAL TARA SWANSEN DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL MARKETING KARL ROZEMEYER SENIOR CONTENT MANAGER NATANYA SPIES EDITORIAL & CONTENT COORDINATOR

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

0300 123 2220 OR VISITWWW.IPSO.CO.UK RUNNER’S WORLD, ISSN 1350-7745, IS PUBLISHED MONTHLY, 12 TIMES A YEAR, BY HEARST RODALE LTD C/O USACAN MEDIA CORP. AT 123A DISTRIBUTION WAY BUILDING H-1, SUITE 104, PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID AT PLATTSBURGH, NY. POSTMASTER: SEND ADDRESS CHANGES TO RUNNER’S WORLD C/O EXPRESS MAG, P.O. BOX 2769, PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-0239. HEARST MAGAZINES UK ENVIRONMENTAL STATEMENT ALL PAPER USED TO MAKE THIS MAGAZINE IS FROM SUSTAINABLE SOURCES AND WE ENCOURAGE OUR SUPPLIERS TO JOIN AN ACCREDITED GREEN SCHEME. MAGAZINES ARE NOW FULLY RECYCLABLE. GO TO WWW.RECYCLENOW.COM TO FIND YOUR NEAREST SITES. RODALE INTERNATIONAL RODALE INC, 33 EAST MINOR STREET, EMMAUS, PENNSYLVANIA 18098, USA EDITORIAL EDITORIAL, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT SHOI GREAVES, BUSINESS DIRECTOR, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND GLOBAL LICENSING ANGELA KIM, INTERNATIONAL FINANCE MANAGER MICHELE MAUSSER

HEARST RODALE LTD 72 BROADWICK STREET LONDON W1F 9EP EDITORIAL: 020 7339 4644 ADVERTISING: 020 7339 4432 SUBSCRIPTIONS: 0844 848 5203

‘Less work, more running!’

Wayne Hannon

WESLEY DOYLE

SAM ISLAND

Over 15 years as a fitness journalist has seen Wesley cycle up mountains and deepsea scuba dive, but his debut marathon gave him new respect for runners of every stripe. He meets four whose loss should gain all our respect in The Biggest Losers on p58.

The Toronto-based illustrator has worked for a stellar list of titles, including The New York Times and Vanity Fair. A visual storyteller, Sam’s lighthearted and engaging style was perfect for bringing to life the tale of a runner’s first, magical mile on p53.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNER’SWORLD.CO.UK 007


RAVE RUN

KEYSTONE, COLORADO, US

THE EXPERIENCE Loveland Pass connects the Keystone and Arapahoe Basin ski areas in the Rocky Mountains. Starting in Keystone, the five-mile stretch climbs 1,500 feet to Arapahoe. QUICK TIP Between November and April, the road is busy with ski-season traffic. During that time, your best bet for a quiet run is on weekday afternoons. FAST FACT In 2016 the city of Denver, less than 70 miles east, was named as the best place to live in the US by the influential US News & World Report. KICK BACK Head up to Broken Compass Brewing in nearby Breckenridge for unique beer styles, such as grapefruit IPA. PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Maguire RUNNER Robert Knight


FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 009


FITNESS

NUTRITION

MIND+ HEALTH

INJURY

WARM-UPS

The TIPS YOU NEED to GET UP to SPEED

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS Gather a few friends together, go for a run and you’ll be on track for a faster time.

GROUP DYNAMIC

WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : C H R I S S E M B R OT

A friend in need can be a friend in speed

HERE’S AN EASY WAY to run faster: recruit a buddy – or a whole bunch of them. According to the theory of social facilitation, performing a familiar task alongside others can help you raise your game. It’s called the ‘co-action effect’. One study, from the University of Essex, found that the presence of a competitor drove athletes to a faster time trial finish. Other recent research, from the University of Pennsylvania, US, suggests competition motivates people to stick to exercise. In the study, exercisers who were told their session attendance was being recorded did almost twice as many sessions over 11 weeks as those left to their own devices. Time to attack that Strava segment...

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 013


WARM-UPS

SLIP NOT

0.78%

Winter weather presents hazards underfoot. Here’s how to stay safe

The percentage by which runners slowed for every 100g of weight added to their shoes. Lighten up for faster times.1

‘On unstable terrain such as mud or snow, shorten your stride and increase your cadence so if you slip or slide, your next foot placement follows quickly to help you regain balance,’ says trail runner Tracy Dean, winner of the 2016 Scafell Pike Trail Marathon. ‘Keep your feet lower to the ground if it’s snowy or icy – for better stability,’ adds running coach Jenny Hadfield.

WO R D S B Y S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H Y B Y DA N PAT I T U C C I , G E T T Y 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 SYC H O LO GY

SHOES

EIGHT-SECOND HILL REPS

The right shoe will help you cope with winter terrain. ‘For mud, you want deep, pointy multidirectional lugs on the outsole that maximise grip and don’t clog,’ says elite fell runner Ben Mounsey. A traction device such as Yak Trax (from £15, blacks.co.uk) can

An eight-second rep may sound easy, but when it’s up a steep hill, at maximum pace, things get tough. It’s worth the effort: ‘Hill sprints increase power, engage more muscle fibres, strengthen muscles and connective tissues and help prevent injuries,’ says coach Jason Fitzgerald (strengthrunning.com). Here’s how to do them: O

up first, and use the first rep as a ‘practice’ run. DO pick a gradient of 5-7 per cent. DO begin with just three reps. Add one per week and cap at 10 reps. DON’T hold back. This is all-out sprinting. DON’T skimp on recovery between reps. Aim for 1.5-3 minutes. DON’T perform more than twice a week.

help you stay upright on snow and ice.

STRIDE

Try this

DO ensure you are warmed

FITNESS

SURFACE

Woken up to a winter wonderland? ‘Fresh snow is better for traction than packed snow,’ says Hadfield. If it’s muddy, run early in the day, when trails will be firmer. ‘Don’t be afraid to run through puddles,’ adds Dean. ‘Avoiding them can cause you to change direction suddenly, which may result in a face plant. If the puddle surface is frozen, place your foot on cracked rather than glassy areas, for grip.’ Assume wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery. Dew or water vapour can freeze on cold surfaces forming a thin, near-invisible layer of ice. Take care on bridges or walkways, where cold air above and below the surface mean ice is more likely to form.

GROUND CONTROL Tough conditions are no excuse to put your feet up

GO FOR IT A quick start might be the thing for you

ORunners are warned against going off too fast because of the slowdown later on – but the strategy could be just the ticket for new or less-fit runners, suggests a study from Iowa State University, US. 2 Researchers split exercisers into two groups. One did a workout that started easy

and gradually got harder; the other started tough and eased off, but the overall intensity was the same in each case. The decreasing-intensity group rated their enjoyment during and after the workout more highly and were more positive about how much they’d enjoy future workouts. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 015


WARM-UPS

A NEW WEIGH OF THINKING

NUTRITION

Try this

Losing a few pounds in the new year means knuckling down and doing the hard work. But you also have to put your mind to it

THE BEE’S KNEES

WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : P E T E R C R OW T H E R . 1. C E L L R E P O R T S

GREY MATTERS Get your head around the fact that your brain can help you cut calories

IF CUTTING BACK on calories is part of your new year plan, weigh in with some superior brainpower to make things easier… Step on the scales every day People who weighed themselves daily lost more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not, found researchers from Stanford University, US. Be reflective If you’re on the edge of a binge, take a good look at yourself – literally. Research from the University of Central Florida, US,

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH LIQUID? Monitor these three variables for a few days (always do so first thing in the morning) to find out. A positive result on two of them suggests that your fluid intake is inadequate – and if you get a yes for all three, it’s highly likely you’re low on liquid.

W

found eating unhealthy foods in front of a mirror curbed consumption, which didn’t happen when subjects saw themselves eating healthy food. Flex your willpower A study in the Journal of Consumer Research found people were better able to resist unhealthy fare when they flexed their muscles. The researchers believe that the brain may make an association between firm muscles and firm willpower. Tickets to the big gun show, anyone? No? Fair enough.

U

O

T WEIGHT More than 1% weight loss is a red flag.

URINE Dark pee suggests inadequate fluid.

THIRST A conscious desire for water.

4,836

Kcals you’ll avoid in a dry January (based on 14 units, in the form of six pints of 4% abv beer per week).

Manuka honey is well known for its health properties, but the fact that it consists of 80 per cent carbohydrate (from the simple sugars fructose and glucose) and 18 per cent water is what makes it the ideal base for a real-food energy gel. Manuka Sport’s Bee-Fit Gel (£1.99, manukasport. com) blends honey with fruit juice and electrolytes, delivering 27.5g of carbs per 45g serving. The best bit? The moreish flavour. Our tester even poured one over her bowl of porridge on race morning. You know, for the buzz.

THE DOWNSIDE OF PROTEIN A high-protein diet can aid fat loss by preserving lean muscle mass and increasing satiety. But new research1 suggests there may be a downside. The study compared dieters consuming 0.8g of protein per kg body weight (.75g is the recommended daily allowance in the UK) with those consuming 1.2g/kg. Both groups shed considerable amounts of weight and the higherprotein group did indeed lose a little less lean body mass. However, they experienced no improvement in insulin sensitivity – key in the prevention of diabetes and other metabolic diseases – while those on the lower protein intake gained improvements of 25-30 per cent. O

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 017


MIND+HEALTH

WARM-UPS

A RUN TO DIE FOR

THE JOY OF FLEX Got a new running goal in mind? ‘It’s great to have a goal and a programme,’ says mental-performance coach Midgie Thompson, author of the Winning Strategies Workbook (Gabrielle Lea Publishing). ‘But there’s a tipping point between commitment and obsessiveness. Sometimes, pursuing your goal will put you in conflict with other things, such as spending time with your family or safeguarding your health.’ So how do you know when to do, ditch or defer? O

Let’s face it, none of us can outpace the Grim Reaper. But that sobering thought can at least make us run a little faster HERE’S AN OFFBEAT STRATEGY for nailing a PB: spend some time on race morning contemplating your death. A study from the University of Arizona, US, suggests it could elevate your performance. Athletes who were asked questions about dying (such as, ‘What do you think will happen to you as you die and once you are dead?’) between two basketball matches improved their performance by 20 per cent in the second game, while those

who answered questions about their sport made no gains. The researchers theorise that being faced with mortality triggers a subconscious effort to boost self-esteem by accomplishing things you care about. ‘Everybody has their own thing in which they invest, as their legacy and for symbolic immortality,’ say lead researchers Uri Lifshin and Colin Zestcott. ‘This is potentially an untapped way to motivate athletes and also people in other realms.’

PUT IT IN CONTEXT

PRESS FAST FORWARD

Imagine yourself in the future. ‘What will the consequences be if you run and if you do not run? In each case, how will you feel?’ asks Thompson. USE YOUR EXPERIENCE

Think of an occasion when you faced a similar tricky decision. What did you do that time, and did you make the right call?

MORTALITY RATE Live your life in the fast line

47.3

65

40

Never

Pre-30

VO2 max

RHR 56.8

VO2 max

55

RHR 58.1

60

VO2 max

45 44.6

70

33

O Good news! You can reap running’s benefits even if you start at 40 – or later. Scientists compared two markers of cardiovascular health – resting heart rate and VO2 max – in athletes who took up training before 30, those who started after 40 and those who didn’t exercise.3 Here’s what they found:

workers with a low fitness level, but not in fit-butstressed workers. So keep running even when the going gets tough elsewhere in your life, but watch the anger – another recent study 2 found exercising while angry raised heart attack risk threefold. Rage raises heart rate and blood pressure – so the added strain of exercise can be risky.

50

VO2 max

Running may not prevent work stress, but it can fortify you against its detrimental effects, shows new research1. The study found that while stressed people had higher values for most cardiovascular risk factors than non-stressed people, fitness lessened the negative effects. For example, LDL cholesterol values were clinically high in stressed O

75

69.7

FITTER AFTER 40

RHR

STAY IN SHAPE TO STYMIE STRESS

Resting heart rate (RHR)

WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : AG ATA P E C. 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. M C M AS T E R U N I V E R S I T Y, CA N A DA . 3 I N T E R N AT I O N A L J O U R N A L O F S P O R T S M E D I C I N E

‘Ask yourself where pursuit of your goal ranks among your values,’ says Thompson. ‘If you’re clear on what’s important to you, it’s easier to make a decision when it comes to the crunch.’

35

30

40+

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 019


INJURY

WARM-UPS

FITTER AND TWISTED

BACK ON TOP A flexible spine will help reduce your risk of injury

Don’t fall into the spinal trap. Stay mobile – and put your back into it

RECOVERY DATA O What recovery strategies do runners use? It’s not ice baths, that’s for sure. A survey of participants in the Great North Run found that 71 per cent gave an icy dip the swerve1. Here’s what they did instead…

Stretching 93% Active recovery 75%

WO R D S : S A M M U R P H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : H E A R S T S T U D I O S . I L LU S T R AT I O N : L I Z Z Y T H O M AS . 1. J O U R N A L O F S P O R T R E H A B I L I TAT I O N

A LACK OF MOBILITY in the spine

can alter loading patterns and raise your injury risk, says a new study published in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. For the study, runners’ spines were ‘splinted’ to prevent rotation. When rotation was restricted, the subjects experienced higher ground reaction forces. ‘The spine and pelvis are the engine that drives human locomotion, especially running,’ says study author Joseph Morley. To restore rotation, he recommends exercises that combine spinal rotation with counter-rotation of the legs and pelvis to improve mobility.

Massage 73% Nutrition 67% Rest 60%

TREAT YOUR FEET Running in minimalist shoes builds stronger feet, says a new study from Hong Kong. The researchers found the volume of the intrinsic foot muscles – important arch stabilisers that are also called the ‘foot core’ – increased by 8.8 per cent in six months in runners assigned to minimalist footwear. A control group, using traditional running shoes, experienced no improvement in foot musculature. However, it’s important that you transition gradually to minimalist shoes: the study subjects were given exercises and advice to help them make the shift.

O

PRE-RUN...

POSTRUN…

BETWEEN RUNS…

The corkscrew

Side-lying T-stretch

Kneeling thoracic rotation

Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and your knees soft. Begin to rotate your torso rhythmically from side to side, keeping your hips facing forward but allowing your arms to follow the movement and ‘flop’ against you. Gradually increase your range of motion, staying tall throughout. Perform the move for 30-60 seconds.

Lie on your left side with your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees, arms outstretched in front of you, palms touching. Keeping your knees together, open the right arm in an arc across the body as far as you can. Focus on extending from your left hip to your right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing freely. Swap sides and repeat.

Quick tip

Begin this move on all fours but with your hips situated slightly behind your knees. Next, place your right hand behind your head, with your elbow pointed directly out to the side. Rotate the torso towards the left arm as far as you can, pause, then rotate to the right as far as you can. That’s one rep. Complete 2 × 10 on each side.

Got a niggle and can’t decide whether to run? Try physio Brad Beer’s hop test: if you can do 25 hops on the spot without feeling pain you can head out.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 021


WORLD’S COLDEST RUNNING CLUB p27

521 MILES...ON A TREADMILL p31

‘RUNNING TRULY IS THE BEST MEDICINE’ Taking up running helped Edward Batch reclaim his own life – and save another

WO R D S : 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

WHAT MAKES a man give up one of

his organs to a stranger? For Edward Batch, the answer can be traced back to running. ‘It all started when I responded to a request on a local running Facebook page to run a marathon wearing a T-shirt raising awareness of live kidney donation,’ explains the 39-year-old. The post was from fellow runner Craig Pietrzyk, the father of an 11-year-old boy, Matthew, who needed a kidney to save his life. Edward, from Leicestershire, took up running three years ago and has completed events from 5K to ultra distance. ‘I experienced physical and sexual abuse as a child, and over the years I had tried many other ways of coping with the post-traumatic stress disorder I suffered,’ he says. ‘Running was the answer. It truly is the best medicine.’ Edward was struck by the friendliness of the running community, so although he had never met Matthew or his family, he wanted to help. After receiving his

STANDING TALL Edward Batch used running to help get his life back on track. It also inspired an act of great generosity

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 023


H

R Edward Batch Craig Pietrzyk,GRQ·WNQRZLILW·VDV HDV\DVWKLVVRH[FXVHP\LJQRUDQFH EXW,KDYHDVSDUHNLGQH\LILWKHOSV ,·PPRUHWKDQZLOOLQJWRGRQDWHWRD JRRGFDXVH

Edward’s remarkably straightforward Facebook message to Craig

T-shirt and wearing it in many races, Edward decided he wanted to do more. ‘I sent a Facebook message to Craig saying, “I don’t know if it’s as easy as this, so excuse my ignorance, but I have a spare kidney if it helps. I’m more than willing to donate to a good cause”.’ Matthew had had a kidney transplant when he was two, but it was not successful. He was on daily dialysis and taking 18 tablets a day to stay alive. ‘Craig told me that the odds of finding a match were extremely remote,’ says Edward. ‘But he said that if I was willing to donate, I should go register an interest and take it from there. I resolved that even if I was not a successful match for Matthew, I’d donate to anyone who could benefit.’

FIRMLY FOCUSED Edward is already running 30-40 miles a week and is training for two ultra events

Why? ‘The only answer I can give is, why not?’ says Edward, who is married and has three sons. ‘I have all I need in life and Matthew needed something I had but did not need to live, so why wouldn’t I help?’ Determining Edward’s suitability was not a quick or simple process. ‘Every day I wasn’t at work I would be at the hospital for some kind of test or scan,’ he says. The tests he had to undergo were not just to determine the compatibility of his kidney, but also to establish whether he was physically and mentally prepared for what was to come. After a year Edward got the news: he was a perfect match and the operation could go ahead.

‘I have all I need in life and Matthew needed something I had but did not need to live, so why wouldn’t I help?’ 024 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

‘I firmly believe that it’s down to running that I was fit enough to be suitable for the operation,’ he says. ‘I adopted the same method of preparation for the testing process and the operation itself as I would for an ultra. I broke everything down into smaller steps to make it easier and each step was a winning point for me. I never thought about pulling out – I knew I would see it through, regardless of what it took.’ Edward met Matthew for the first time a week before the operation. ‘It was surreal because even after such a lengthy process and the nature of what you’re doing for them, you are meeting as complete strangers. You worry about how you’ll come across and whether they’ll like you.’ On July 28, 2016, Edward and Matthew were admitted to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for their operations. It was the

Edward rests (briefly) after donating his kidney

Matthew and Edward after their operations. Both have recovered well

first time Edward had stayed in hospital, but he wasn’t daunted. ‘I never once felt scared or ever doubted I would do it,’ he says. ‘I just knew it was my path in life and I was happy to walk it.’ The operations were a success. Matthew is doing extremely well and has even been for a run. ‘He says his new kidney makes him a runner,’ says Edward. ‘It’s been nicknamed “Eddie Junior”.’ The pair have only met once since the operation but Edward hears about Matthew’s continuing progress from his parents. ‘It’s so important that Matthew settles and gets back to a normal routine’. Edward’s own recovery has been remarkable, too. Having been warned that he may have to remain in hospital for up to two weeks, he was discharged after 48 hours. Three weeks later he started on a Couch to 5K plan and built from there. ‘Again, I believe my running has been a factor in my recovery,’ he says. ‘I tried to view the process as like starting a training plan. I began just by getting out of bed, then walking and then trying to get a little further each time.’ Edward is back at work and running 30-40 miles per week, and although he says it will be some time before he’s back to the level he was at before his operation (‘I’ve had to have a look at my diet, because the donation can affect protein levels’), he has his sights set on two ultras this year, a solo 24-hour event in September and, before that, the Grand Union Canal Ultra. ‘It’s 145 miles non-stop. If all goes to plan it’ll be less than a year from operation to ultra. Running is part of my identity now. It’s given me so much and I can’t imagine my life without it. I’m so glad that I was able to help a fellow runner and his family.’ For information on organ donation, visit organdonation.nhs.uk


RUNNING AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD

SOCIAL NT O M VEME

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It’s -16C, it’s dark and was that a polar bear I just heard? Time for a brisk run

WO R D S : N OA H DAV I S . P H OTO G R A P H Y: M E L A N I E B U R F O R D

NEXT TIME you’re struggling to get out the door for a run on a chilly morning, spare a thought for members of the Longyearbyen running club in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. Winter temperatures there range from -7C to -16C, and between midNovember and late January, the area experiences ‘polar night’ – absolute darkness 24 hours a day. And then there’s the local polar bear population to contend with. People are advised to always carry a rifle when travelling outside ‘downtown’ Longyearbyen. Despite all this, Trine Hakonsen, a run leader with Svalbard Turn Joggegruppa, the local running club, insists Longyearbyen is a great place for running. Twice a week, 52 weeks a year, Trine, 51, who heads the finance department of a local company, leads runners on a five-mile loop SNOW MOBILE Pernille Bronken Eidesen (in yellow) and a fellow runner , and (inset, in purple) Trine Hakonsen and other members of the Svalbard running club

in and around town. The runs start at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and 4.30pm on Thursdays. And if you ever happen to be in town, she’d like you to come along. ‘The polar bears are seldom close to the city,’ she says. Longyearbyen is the third-northernmost town in the world, perched on the edge of Spitsbergen, the archipelago’s largest island. It is closer to the North Pole than it is to Oslo. With a population of little over 2,000 – and a transient one at that (some researchers stay for a few months at a time) – it’s often a small group that gathers for the run. But the hardy souls who do venture out value it greatly. In a town where life revolves around long, cold, dark winters, having a group activity twice a week helps relieve cabin fever. ‘At one point I felt that one of my fellow runners almost acted as my private psychiatrist, and I hers, but we never met up

LAYERS ARE ALL THE RAGE Typical attire for a Longyearbyen runner consists of woollen underwear, three wool shirts, a pair of wool pants, windproof jacket, windproof pants and thick socks. ‘There is no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing,’ quips member Leif-Erik Stormoen. He’ll add a face mask, hat, hood and mittens to prevent frostbite. ‘In winter, when it’s snowing and blowing, it’s like someone is whipping your face,’ he says.

outside of running,’ says Pernille Bronken Eidesen, 42, an associate professor in terrestrial biology at the University Centre in Svalbard and a frequent Tuesday-night participant. Trine doesn’t know when Svalbard Turn Joggegruppa started, but she has been a member since 2001 and took a leadership role in 2007. The club is open to runners of all abilities. After all, she says, it’s the shared experience of running through a brutal yet beautiful landscape and embracing the elements together that makes runners compatible. ‘The running group is particularly nice to have when the weather is bad and you would rather be inside,’ says Pernille.‘It

gives you that extra push to get some fresh air.’ Come early summer, group-run participation tends to increase, as the temperature rises to 6C and the annual Spitsbergen Marathon draws near. The June event, which attracts runners from mainland Norway as well as the wider world, is the most popular running event on the Svalbard calendar. But it’s winter when Longyearbyen’s runners experience the best rewards of being part of the running club at the top of the world. ‘In the wintertime, light pollution is at its least,’ says Pernille. ‘If it’s a clear sky, we run the road toward the Longyear Glacier and watch the Northern Lights.’

LONGYEARBYEN, NORWAY FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 027


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Murphy’s Lore BY SAM MURPHY

WARMING UP ISN’T VITAL – IT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT

WHAT SAM... Read…

I L LU S T R A I O N : P I E TA R I P O S T I

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icture a start line in the final minutes before the gun. Whether it’s an Olympic track, a big-city marathon or the Little Codswollop 5K, you’ll see runners putting the final torso-twisting, quad-stretching touches to their race preparation. And quite right, too: the warm-up – for that is what we’re talking about here – plays a supporting role in efficient running performance, helping to gear you up metabolically, physiologically and psychologically. In a recent review of 32 studies, the majority found that a warm-up of some kind improved exercise performance compared with no warm-up. Setting off without one is like putting the gas on under the pan before you’ve even chopped your vegetables. But spy on the average running-club meeting on a Tuesday evening – not to mention many a solo-runner’s jaunt – and you’ll find the all-important warm-up is dispensed with. It is absent even, dear reader, from team RW’s lunchtime outings to Hyde Park. Just as I’m about to start my sun salutations and preparatory drills, my colleagues’ GPSs lock on and they disappear round the corner at eight-minute-mile pace. So why is it that something considered so valuable on race day is reduced to nothing more than ‘I’ll shuffle from foot to foot while my Garmin finds a signal’ at all other times? If it helps to improve performance, surely it shouldn’t be saved for special occasions only? So I gathered up some excuses from my running buddies – ‘It’d eat into my running time’, ‘I always forget when I’m on my own’, ‘I don’t want to use up all my energy’. I don’t buy any of it. For me, a warm-up is as much a part of the run as watching the trailers is a part of a visit to the cinema. It’s not the main event, but the whole experience is more complete and satisfying with it. Perhaps it’s all in my head. Sport psychologists have noted the value of pre-performance rituals – a sequence of events that you always run

The Running Club at the End of the World, by Adrian J Walker. There aren’t many good novels about running – this dystopian tale is worth your time.

Ran… 11 miles in three hours, with four pub stops, in my club’s biannual booze run. Note to self: port outperforms beer – no sloshing or bloating!

Found… a range of handmade pop-up cards for sporty types that uses the Japanese art of kirigami. cardology.co.uk

through in the same order, the completion of which signals to your body and mind that you’re ready to perform. One study found that establishing and using such a routine had a major impact on performance. Why? Maybe because the actions narrow the beam of your attention to the task at hand. Or perhaps because you give yourself space to mentally rehearse the act you’re about to perform, rather than simply doing it, which helps to hone your skill. When it comes to the claim that a warm-up will help you avoid injuries, the water is murkier. It’s certainly something I’d stand by – and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence – but studies that have attempted to find a correlation between warming up and reduced injury rates have been inconclusive (partly, perhaps, because the warm-ups included in the research encompass a large and disparate range of actions, some of which may hinder more than they help). But a study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Research recently found that when high-impact forces are involved (think running, not walking), calf muscle tears are more likely when muscle temperature is lower (less than 32C), leading the researchers to stress the importance of warming up. As far as I’m concerned, one of the most compelling reasons to warm up is that it makes the run feel much easier – bypassing the toxic 10 minutes I otherwise endure if I try to run before I’ve walked. ‘But you can warm up on the run!’ I hear you argue. Yes, it’s true that taking the first mile or two slowly will allow your heart rate, body temperature and breathing rate to climb gently, but is it the best way to get your muscles firing and your brain onside? I think not. Just do it. But warm up first. Sam Murphy tweets @SamMurphyRuns

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 029


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YOU’RE ! AMA ZING

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BY THE NUMBERS

AMY HUGHES

DAMIEON HARTLEYPICKLES Wheelbarrow pusher

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, CA R L S U KO N I K , T H E VA I N P H OTO G R A P H S , JAY CA I N , G E T T Y

If, at your next race, you spot a man wearing a police helmet and pushing a wheelbarrow kitted out like a police car, you’ve just encountered Barrowthonman, a regular on the race circuit in the north of England. ‘I’ve wheeled 31 races,’ says Damieon Hartley-Pickles, the man behind the barrow and a real police officer in Oldham. He has a wheelbarrow half-marathon PB of 1:51. Barrowthonman raise funds as well as smiles. ‘The idea of the wheelbarrow is that people can donate on the spot,’ says Damieon, whose chosen cause is Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham. Barrowthonman used to run full marathons, but he was advised by a specialist to stop because of a degenerative hip problem. ‘But I couldn’t; I’d caught the bug.’ So Damieon downsized to 10Ks and half marathons and he remains on the straight and barrow.

28, CHESHIRE, RECORD BREAKER

AMY HUGHES ran into the record books in 2014 when she completed 53 marathons in 53 days. In September last year she set another record, running the greatest distance in seven days on a treadmill – 521 miles. ‘Running for up to 20 hours straight was a big challenge, but I trained myself to break it into chunks of time to manage it,’ says the sports therapist from Cheshire, who was raising money for the 53 Foundation, the charity she set up to help disabled people get into sport.

9,000 KCALS BURNED EACH DAY.

4

TOM HUNT Youngest lengthof-Britain runner

Last August, 18-year-old Tom Hunt set out from Land’s End on a quest to become the youngest person to run the length of Britain. Thirty-one days, 995 miles, 1.6 million steps and seven kilograms of porridge later, he touched the post at John O’Groats. (At time of going to press he was awaiting confirmation of his record from Guinness World Records.) ‘The toughest stretch was between Shrewsbury and Warrington,’ says the student from East Sussex. ‘I tore a ligament in my ankle, broke a finger and had lacerations on the backs of my legs from my knee supports.’ Tom only found out he liked running in 2015, after an injury ended his rugby career. ‘I zone out when I run. I feel I could go forever.’ Tom raised £20,000 for the ME Association and says he’s already thinking about his next challenge.

The number of miles by which Amy beat the former record.

30

bags of Percy Pigs eaten. They’re Amy’s ‘trusty favourite’.

3-4

AVERAGE HOURS OF SLEEP PER NIGHT DURING THE CHALLENGE.

ONE

938,000 steps taken over the seven days.

TREADMILL FALL. ‘I FELL ASLEEP, FELL OFF AND WOKE UP MORE AWAKE THAN I’D BEEN ALL WEEK.’

90

13

Blisters suffered. ‘It looked like I had gained an extra four toes.’

bottles of water drunk. Amy also downed 31 bottles of isotonic drink and a daily recovery shake.

5

MELTDOWNS. ‘THE WORST ONE WAS PROBABLY 10 MINUTES FROM THE FINISH, WHEN I’D BROKEN THE WORLD RECORD BUT MY SUPPORTERS WOULDN’T LET ME GET OFF UNTIL MY OFFICIAL TIME WAS UP!’

toilet breaks.

RIDICULOUSLY ADORABLE PUPPY GAINED AS A REWARD. ‘MY BOYFRIEND PROMISED ME A PUPPY IF I GOT THE RECORD. WE’VE CALLED HER MILES.’ FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 031


YO U R WORLD

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LETTER OF THE MONTH

UNDER-AGEISM IS AN ACTUAL THING

SNAP CHAT

#MEDALSTASH

Most of the discussion about the fairness of various age categories has focused on the older age groups, so I'd like to voice an opinion from a young athlete’s perspective. The vast majority of local races, in Cornwall, where I live, at least, award prizes for the first three under-35s, then go up in five-year bands in the vets’ categories. I’m 23, and it seems unfair that I have such a broad spectrum of ages to compete against. All the best girls are around 30 years old and it’s tough going up against them every weekend. I feel that a lot of runners in my position would feel much better about themselves – and be encouraged to keep competing – if they had more of a chance of taking home a trinket once in a while.

RW readers reveal how they like to display their hard-won race bling

Emma Stephens, Bodmin, Cornwall 'My absolute pride and joy, each one with a story behind it.' @Michelle_runsforwine

PLAY BEFORE WORK I recently took up running and love the sense of achievement I get at the end of each run. I’ve started doing it before work (I’m a teacher) and a colleague asked if they could join me. Now there are three of us running before school and we have built a stronger working relationship because of it. Ed Gilchrist, London

P H OTO G R A P H S D I A N A Z E Y N E B A L H I N DAW I

MY NEW CHINA I used to run with the Billericay Striders in Essex. Now I live and work in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province in China, and recently competed in the local half marathon, my first since 2011. Overall, 15,000 people took part in the 5K, half and full marathons – it was a great day. I can't tell you how many times people shouted ‘Laowai, jia you, jia you!’ (‘Foreigner, come on, come on!’) All competitors were asked to wear a small red scarf to commemorate the soldiers who fell in the great wars – Nanchang is historically known as the ‘city of heroes’.

Tom Bailey (left) is all smiles after his first half marathon since 2011. His friend looks as if he could run another one

than one car, so we walked, cycled or ran for the bus. If we wanted to phone someone, we walked to the phone box. Everyday life was strength training, without all the labour-saving devices we have now. Fewer supermarkets with adjacent car parks meant you carried bags of shopping all the way home. You even had to get off the couch to change TV channels! This overall strength and fitness might explain why runners in those days could cope with high mileages. It's no wonder that some of our older club members had race PBs in their day that the younger ones can only dream about!

‘My cat likes the noise the medals make when they jangle.’ Mark Taylor

Anita Worthing, Aberystwyth

STICKS AND STONES Thanks so much for Running the world (RW, Dec 2016). The story about Fathia Ali Bouraleh was incredibly inspiring. If she can run with people throwing stones and insults at her, I can definitely make it up a hill in the wind and rain. She has totally given me my running mojo back.

Tom Bailey, Nanchang, China

‘Five years agon I ran my first race and a passion was born.’ @GJest4

Rebekah Whittaker, by email

FIT FOR LIFE As an ‘older’ runner (born in 1955) I really enjoyed your 50th anniversary edition. Yes, there have been changes in technology, nutrition, shoes, clothing and training methods but there has also been a huge change in basic fitness. In my teens and 20s, it was unusual for a family to have more

Fathia Ali Bouraleh: student; running coach; Olympian; inspiration

SOMETHING’S BUGGING ME I refer to a letter you published (RW, Nov 2016) from a runner who completed a six-mile race with his two-year-old daughter in a pushchair. How wonderful he must have felt when his daughter was awarded first female. I wonder if the first running female to finish

‘My Dad's old tie hanger is the perfect way to display my medals.’ Lorna Simpson

Next month: Share your #wintertraining pictures with us on Instagram – @runnersworlduk

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 33


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R WE ASK, YOU ANSWER

WE’RE ALL BARKING Following your story about Barkruns (RW, Jan): my last dog, Rover, came from an RSPCA foster home. Rover regarded group walks as a race and ran the other dogs off their paws. Luckily he was more tolerant of my slowness and would dab the back of my nearest leg with his tongue as he passed me, as if to keep in contact. William J. Houlder, Pontefract, W Yorks

KEEP MOVING In response to P Coleman’s request for help to rediscover her love of running (RW, Dec 2016), I truly believe that the love of running can only be discovered, rediscovered or retained by focusing on the simple joy of moving forward. I love RW but surveys about things like whether it’s OK to wear shorts over tights become part of the problem. The answer to such a question should always be, ‘Who cares? Live and let live.’ Don't worry about what anyone else is doing or saying, just run!

OUR WORLD

We put ourselves in the picture, for better or worse

‘Something to tell me exactly how much water, salt and calories to take and when during a long run.’ —Jonathan Meadows Deputy digital editor Georgia couldn’t resist grabbing a selfie when she interviewed Mo Farah

‘A switch to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones.’ —Anne Devenney ‘A blow-up physio.’ —Andrew Thomas ‘A wee engine attached to my trainers.’ —Sharon Carew

Suffering is etched on the face of chief sub John after the very hot Santa Cruz Half Marathon in Tenerife

Paul Harper, Essex

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT I was enjoying a pint after a big-city half marathon when a woman came into the pub, offering everyone a free finisher’s T-shirt. It turned out she had nothing to do with the race but seeing all the leftovers being binned, and appalled by the waste, she’d filled her car with the discarded T-shirts, bananas and bottled water. It raises questions

‘A cubicle that dresses you in your running gear in seconds, then washes and dresses you afterwards.’ —Ilze Garbers Jacobs

Columnist Paul Tonkinson (left, with editor Andy Dixon) dropped in for his new mugshot

about the policies of companies dealing with the various kinds of surplus big races inevitably produce. Phil Box, Bude, Cornwall

SEE THE LIGHT I began running about a year ago, approaching 50. It has not come easy to me but I’m determined to stick with it. However, I’ve struggled with running in the dark over the winter – I’m nervous of slipping or falling. Then I read the article about ‘Blind Dave’ (RW, Dec 2016) and what a wake-up call! Now when I run in the evening, I’ll think of Dave and kick on, faster and longer. I’ll absorb the sights and the sounds and appreciate how lucky I am to be able to get out and run. Caroline Smardon, Bristol

15%

35%

36%

14%

5K

10K

MARATHON ‘Half marathons are only half as much fun

'5K, so I wouldn’t

‘10K: long enough to

HALF MARATHON

miss out on

be a challenge, short

‘I still have

my Parkruns’:

enough to enjoy’:

to get under 1:30!’

as full ones!’

—@26milesdone

—@powelina

—@neilambrose76

—@Darrenatdockys

34 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

‘A bladder that didn’t need emptying.’ —Katherine Martin ‘A device that turns traffic lights red when I’m 15-20 metres away.’ —Nick Jenkins ‘A drone that trails me with a supply of water and gels on long runs’ —Maria Fascione ‘An app that sets the bath running when I'm 10 minutes from home.’ —Hannah Jones

HOLMFIRTH SWEET HOLMFIRTH What a lovely piece on the Holmfirth 15 (RW, Dec 2016). I live in Holmfirth and it’s a beautiful place to live and run in and around. I often run (slowly) the route that the runners took and felt really chuffed it was described as ‘undulating’, as to me it’s the norm. It’s definitely a race I’ll be looking to run next year. Rebecca Peace, Holmfirth

MAN WITH A PLAN Having done my own thing for years, I finally followed a Runner’s World training plan, in this case, a sub-40-min 10K programme. The result? 39:42! An improvement of one minute 19 seconds on my PB. Thank you, RW! Graham Gillham, Chertsey, Surrey

THE POLL

If you could only ever race one distance from now on, what would it be?*

‘Disposable, biodegradable running wear, to give my washing machine the odd rest day too.’ —Dominic Whitehead

WHAT’S INSPIRED OR ANNOYED YOU? THE WRITER OF THE WINNING EMAIL OR LETTER RECEIVES A PAIR OF SAUCONY HURRICANE ISO 2S, WORTH £135 Email letters@runnersworld.co.uk Tweet @runnersworlduk Facebook runnersworlduk

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 8 73 R U N N E R S .

Roland Gibbard, by email

WHAT INVENTION WOULD MOST BENEFIT YOU AS A RUNNER?

P H OTO G R A P H S B Y 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 CO M E T H E S O L E

was similarly elated? And did the father – let alone the race director – ever think of the safety implications of a two-year-old in the middle of a race? So perhaps your readers could answer the question – was this a great thing to do, or just plain stupid?


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Tonky Talk BY PAUL TONKINSON

‘IF RUNNING IS A DRUG, CROSSCOUNTRY IS ITS CRACK COCAINE’

RUNNERPEDIA

I LU S T R AT I O N : P I E TA R I P O S T I

I

recently ran my first cross-country race in 30 years and days later I still couldn’t stop smiling about the experience. At my running club, cross-country devotees had rhapsodised about local races. These guys looked as fit as butchers’ dogs. They talked about the purity of it, its watch-free, animalistic essence. I started to feel its wild call and wondered if it was still the same as it was when I was a lad. That mass of freezing bodies sprinting for the first corner and then seemingly carrying on at the same reckless speed for the entire course – jumping over tree trunks, falling, twisting and turning through forests. I bought my first pair of spikes in three decades and signed up with glee. The race was part of the London XC Championships at Parliament Hill Fields. It was a stripped-down affair – no communal warm-up or forced jollity. That’s not to say people weren’t happy – on the contrary, their eyes shone with a masochistic glee. Everyone was there to run hard. Part of the thrill of cross-country is that the team factor changes the dynamic. You’re running for yourself, of course, but you’re also part of something bigger. As I jogged to the start I was reminded of Sunday football matches on Hackney marshes – the adrenaline, the shared identity. Another aspect of the race that stood out was the categories: I was in the senior men’s race so it was all blokes, massed together in vests. There was a rawness to it that, frankly, I found a bit unnerving. When younger, I’d jog a lap of the course, stretch, put my spikes on, do some strides, line up and then leather it like a maniac for the first 400 metres. This time I took it more gently, as if I were tentatively meeting an old but notoriously feisty mate who might kick off at any moment. I edged to the back of the pack. As the chat softened to silence I took a deep breath; then the sound of the klaxon pierced the air and we were off.

Shyometrics Reluctance to perform bounding exercises in the park, where people can see you.

Running economy The part of a country’s economic activity generated by runners buying more shoes than they’ll ever need.

Stability shoe A shoe that will keep you grounded and remind you that, hey, it’s going to be OK. Always has a little money set aside.

The start was uphill, through soft clumps of grassy turf. I ran quite smoothly into the first corner, over the top and coasting down the other side. It felt exhilarating and combative, breezing past people on the outside of the line, then digging in up the other side of the hill. Just ahead I could see fellow club runners who, I knew, were much faster than I was. Maybe I could pace off them and spring a few surprises. Invigorated, I strode on. If running in general is a drug, cross-country is its crack cocaine – jarring, euphoric, dangerous. There were blissful moments followed by crashing lows. I was searching in vain for rhythm over the constantly changing terrain. In retrospect, I was seriously overextending myself in a very hilly offroad race. The runners I’d recognised early on were well ahead now. Indeed, I was locked in a four-way battle with three clubmates whom I usually outpaced on the track on a Tuesday evening. I couldn’t get rid of one runner in particular. I’d pass him on the straight, only for him to overtake me on the next hill. With 600 metres to go I had 20 metres on him and, turning a corner, I saw defeat in his eyes – his face glowed a deep puce and he had no form to speak of. With 150 metres to go he charged past like a gazelle and finished 30 metres ahead of me. As I look back now, I realise that I lost all my personal battles in the race. I’d been outsprinted, out-thought and outfought. The meditative, competing-against-myself marathon mentality had weakened me; I had forgotten the intense joy of fierce competition. Next day I was at home, pencilling in as many cross-country races as possible. I’m ready to go wild in the country. Check out Paul and fellow comedian Rob Deering’s new running podcast, Running Commentary – available on iTunes and Acast. @RunComPod

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 037


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Q&A

MARK GAINEY

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48, CO-FOUNDER OF STRAVA

FORMER Harvard rower Mark Gainey planned to create a ‘virtual locker room’ when he launched the athletes’ social network Strava in 2009, but the GPS app has achieved runaway success, attracting 180,000 new members each week. When he’s not out running on the trails of California, Gainey stays busy developing new tools to keep the Strava community motivated.

WO R D S : M A R K BA I L E Y. P H OTO G R A P H : S T R AVA

HOW DID STRAVA BEGIN? I met my co-founder, Michael Horvath, at Harvard in the late 1980s when we rowed crew. Rowing at Harvard was a special experience, not just the competition, but the esprit de corps. My degree should say ‘crew’ [Gainey has a BA in General Studies] because I spent the majority of my time at the boathouse. The problem is that you graduate. Then, poof, the magic’s gone. We have a business plan from 1995 that says: if we could recreate that camaraderie but use software to expand it, how cool would that be? But it was less about the sport and more about the motivation that came from being engaged with other people. ARE ALL STRAVA USERS COMPETITIVE? Some people love to compete; they love the leader boards, challenges and segments. Others are social so they might just share a photo and enjoy the kudos from their sunrise shot. We try to understand the different personalities and cater for them all. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE DIFFERENTLY FROM YOUR RIVALS? A lot of our members say they ‘download’ other apps but they ‘join’ Strava. That’s the differentiation. It is about downloading a piece of tech versus joining a community.

Probably 90 per cent of our growth comes from word of mouth. We are not in the business of building new communities – there are already lots of microcommunities all over the world, whether that is buddies running at the weekend, NUMBERS GAME or clubs. We Mark Gainey is just give them always on the a whole new lookout for new platform. ways to improve Strava

WHAT’S THE IDEA BEHIND THE NEW ‘CLUBS’ BUTTON? There is a new ‘explore’ function on the Strava app menu that lets people find clubs and events in their area, stay in touch with them, follow other runners participating in them and compare times. We’ve onboarded 800 Parkruns in the last month. It’s about how we can bring these organisations together in one place. We can help them thrive within their communities. WHAT HAS STRAVA’S DATA TAUGHT YOU ABOUT RUNNERS? We are fascinated by how event-centric runners are. They’re always training for something, whether it is their first 5K or a marathon. With cyclists, that is not necessarily the case. Runners are also creatures of habit. For most Strava athletes, around half of their runs are on routes they’ve done before. I also speak for myself: I have about

‘A lot of our members say they “download” other apps but they “join” Strava’ six routes near my house, from 30 minutes to an hour, and I like to repeat them. It’s about efficiency. WHERE DO YOU RUN? I am incredibly fortunate because within three minutes of leaving my house I can be on the trails of northern California. There are miles of trails that I can connect to take me to the ocean. I have done triathlons and one Ironman but I will always be a runner at heart.

When I go on a run, I feel good in zero minutes. DO THE STRAVA STAFF WANT TO BEAT YOU? We have fast employees at Strava and I have long since relinquished any records. I went for a run with our UK team in Bristol and when I was leading on a segment nobody nudged ahead. But I could tell from the talking going on behind me, while I was huffing and puffing, that they were just being nice. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 039


106 RUNNING

A cornucopia of simple tips, tricks and tweaks to improve and upgrade every aspect of your running life in 2017 042 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017


TOP TIPS

1

Feel the burn Can’t make the mountaintraining camp this weekend? Training in hot conditions delivers similar fitness gains to training at altitude, according to research from the University of Coventry, so grab some extra layers and run in your own mobile heat chamber.

2

PUMP UP YOUR ENDURANCE

3

WORTH THE WEIGHT

It sounds counterintuitive, but performing heavy leg-resistance work before you run could improve your speed and stamina, according to a Brazilian study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. This ‘post-activation potentiation’ effect delivered a six per cent performance boost for cyclists in a post-weights 20km time trial.

Still not hot to squat? Here’s a health bonus…weight training promotes uniformly sized red blood cells, an indicator of low heart disease risk, according to recent research at the University of Mississippi, US.

4

GET IT ‘OM’

Time for flexible thinking: A 10-week programme of twice-weekly yoga sessions delivered significant gains in flexibility and balance in a study reported in the International Journal of Yoga.

NO.4

5

NUT JOB

Give your heart a helping handful. A study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found eating a 28g serving of nuts five or more times a week significantly lowered several inflammatory biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease.

6

GO GREEN

Eating a single Kiwi fruit every week raises ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of heart attack-inducing blood clots, found research in Nutrition Journal.

7

SPRING FORWARD

Sunday March 26th: Instead of skipping your run because you lost an hour to clocks going forward, set your alarm for some miles in the morning, says Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute in North Carolina, US. By running when it’s light out, you trick your internal clock into accepting the new schedule. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 043


8

TRYP YOUR PROTEIN SWITCH

17

Tryptophan primes your small intestine to absorb more muscle building/repairing amino acids from your food, according to researchers behind a study published in Amino Acids. Nuts, seeds, cheese, lamb and pork are good sources of tryptophan.

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NO.15

- 13 GREEN ENERGY

Another reason to eat your greens: they’re a great source of lutein, which triggers the release of AMPK, dubbed the ‘marathon enzyme’ because it switches your mitochondria – the powerhouses in your muscle cells – into fat-burning mode. A study in PLoS One confirmed this enhances stamina during endurance exercise. Top lutein sources are: Kale, spinach, broccoli, cress and Swiss chard.

14

CHEW THE FAT

The research also found that consuming fats at the same time can triple your body’s absorption of lutein, so think oily fish, avocado or peanut butter.

15

KEEP TRACK

The track is a great place for nailing speedwork sessions, but research in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness cautions that you may need to pay attention to not just your split times, but the total time you spend on the oval. The study of 5K runners

found doing more than 25 per cent of training on a tartan track surface was associated with plantar heel pain.

16

PYRAMID SCHEME

Want a session that’ll deliver maximum gains in minimum time? Ian Burrell, who finished 25th in the 2015 World Marathon Champs in Beijing despite working full time as a lawyer, recommends this key workout: WHAT A fartlek ‘pyramid,’ with 1-minute jogs between fast segments. WHY ‘It adds a nice mix of speed and strength together to goose up the legs – it’s gruelling,’ says Burrell. WHEN Twice during a 12-16-week marathon training cycle, in week 6 or 7 and once more in week 9 or 10. HOW Starting at marathon pace, run segments of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 minutes, then 4, 3, 2 and 1. Do the second 3-minute effort at half-marathon pace and the second 2 and 1-minutes at 10K pace. Then repeat the entire pyramid.

SEE A 3D MOVIE

An in-store treadmill trot under the gaze of lightly amused shop staff is one thing; a full biomechanical analysis is quite another and it’s something that can reveal the kind of information that could help you minimise injuries and become a more efficient runner. At Run3D Clinics in Oxford and London (run3d.co.uk), five infrared cameras record you running from the side, front, back and above, capturing 200 frames per second. The resulting data is compared with a huge biomechanical database of uninjured runners to detect any deviations. ‘This allows us to identify the factors causing or likely to cause overuse injuries,’ says clinic director Dr Jessica Bruce.

18

- 19 STRETCH YOUR ENDURANCE

The key to your next great race or PB may be in your warm-up. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found well-trained distance runners ran significantly further before reaching exhaustion following a dynamic stretching session than they did after no stretching. Make time for static stretching in your life, too. It may not lower your injury risk but, according to recent Japanese research, static stretching can lower arterial stiffness and thus heart attack risk.

20

PULL THE UDDER ONE

Your perfect postrun rehydration option may already be chilling nicely in your fridge. Unfortunately it’s not the Sauvignon Blanc…a study in the British Journal of Nutrition found milk was more effective at hydrating the body after exercise than either water or a carbohydrate-electrolyte solution.

21

USE THE ULTRA-FIT FORMULA

In modern-day running maths, 26.2 is no longer enough for many runners, but can you really train adequately for an ultra while holding down a full-time job and spending time with your family? Yes you can, especially if you target a ‘short’ ultra, says 14-time Western States 100-mile champion and coach Ann Trason (trasonrunning.com). ‘For a 50K [31-mile] race, apply the 10/10/10 rule from a marathon plan,’ says Trason. ‘Lengthen your long runs by 10 per cent, slow long-run pace by 10 per cent and recover with 10 per cent more rest or cross-training days. For a 50-miler, the formula is 20/20/20.’


TOP TIPS

29

SMART MOVE

Forget those admonishments from exasperated parents and teachers – fidgeting, it turns out, can be a very good thing, at least as far as your health is concerned. Those constant small movements keep your calorieburn ticking over during otherwise sedentary periods and can combat obesity and heart disease, according to a Mayo Clinic Proceedings review. They’re still annoying, though…

30 NO.30

WORDS: JOE MACKIE. PHOTOGRAPHS: JOBE L AWRENSON (PREVIOUS SPREAD); PEE TER CROW THER, GE T T Y

22 23-28 7PM: RUN Early evening exercisers slept the best, found a study by Appalchian State University, US. Exercise aids rest by raising body temperature (like a warm bath), researchers said.

More shut-eye doesn’t just mean better recovery and improved breakfast chitchat; research published in the Journal of Andrology Research found it can raise testosterone levels, which in turn boosts your ability to burn fat. So, you snooze, you lose. In a good way.

DREAM TICKET Becoming a better runner is as much about getting enough rest as it is about the miles.

6PM: DISCONNECT Skip the Facebook binge. University of Pittsburgh research found that over two hours a day on social media makes you more likely to struggle sleeping than those logging less than 30 mins.

Sceptical as we are of slogans, it seems you might be able to take this one as read, rather than think it’s a load of bull. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, runners who drank two cans (500ml) of Red Bull energy drink one hour before a 5K time trial improved their performance by an average of 30 seconds compared with a placeboimbibing group. There were no differences in rate of perceived exertion or heart rate. And no, there was no vodka in there…

31

Shear fat

8PM: TURN OFF THE WIFI Electromagnetic frequencies in your bedroom were shown to adversely affect sleep in research published in the Saudi Medical Journal.

9PM: SUPP UP Topping up your levels of the sleep hormone melatonin will help you drop off faster, found US research from the University of Maryland. (£5.45 for 60 tablets, evitamins.com)

GIVE YOURSELF SOME WINGS

JOIN THE RESISTANCE

Some carbs can actually help you peel off the pounds, which is music to our ears. Resistant starch is an undigestible fibre found in grains, beans and potatoes (especially cooked and cooled); it promotes weight loss by filling you up, shutting down hunger hormones and foiling your body’s attempts to turn it into sugar. Unlike other carbs, which get turned into body fat when we eat them in excess, resistant starch passes on through. What’s more, it may also reduce cancer risk and boost your immune system, says Dr Christine Gerbstadt, a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

11PM: PUT A SOCK ON IT A study published in Nature found warm feet mean enlarged blood vessels and this lowers your core temperature and turns on your sleep mechanism. Result: you doze off.

11.05PM: ROLL OVER US doctors at Philadelphia Graduate Hospital found sleeping on your left side means less chance of acid reflux. Lean to the right? Try sleeping wth a pillow at your back.

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32-37 Licence to grill

Power up with these grilled cheese sarnie upgrades from nutritionist Matthew Kadey. For each recipe, grill the sandwich until both sides are crispy and the cheese has softened. SMOKY BLACK BEAN Stay fuller for longer with the fibre and plant protein from black beans. TOP 1 slice wholegrain bread with mashed black beans, sliced roasted red pepper, grated smoked cheddar cheese, thinly sliced avocado and a second bread slice.

38

- 40 RAISE-THEBAR SNACKS

Struggling to get enough protein to fuel your recovery? Try these protein-packed snacks: Slice wholeweat toast + coating of cottage cheese + drizzle of honey = 11G PROTEIN Hard-boiled egg, halved + dollop Greek yoghurt + sprinkle of paprika = 7G PROTEIN Large piece beef jerky + big dollop guacamole + squeeze of lime juice = 7G PROTEIN

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- 46 CRANK YOUR METABOLISM

Research on mice published in the FASEB Journal found adding rutin to the rodents’ diets mimicked the effects of cold on brown fat and boosted metabolism. You can get rutin from mulberries, (unpeeled) apples, buckwheat, elderflower tea, figs or a supplement (£14.99 for 500mg, hollandandbarrett.com).

APPLE CHEDDAR Antioxidant-rich apples and omega 3packed walnuts add crunch. TOP 1 slice wholegrain bread with thinly sliced apple, grated cheddar cheese, chopped sage, chopped walnuts and a second bread slice. BEETROOT SALMON Nitrates from beetroot and omega fats in salmon may improve your muscle endurance. TOP 1 slice rye bread with smoked salmon, lemon juice, a smear of cream cheese, sliced roasted beetroot, dill and a second bread slice coated with cream cheese. CHICKEN FIG Roasted chicken is high in protein and figs give you bone-building calcium. SPREAD fig preserve on 1 slice wholegrain bread and top with chopped rosemary, sliced roast chicken, baby spinach, fontina cheese and a second bread slice. CAPRESE The vitamin C in tomatoes helps protect runners from colds. SPREAD basil pesto on 1 slice sourdough bread and top with thinly sliced prosciutto ham, grated mozzarella cheese, sliced tomato, rocket and a second bread slice. STEAK KIMCHEEZE Energise your runs with the iron in steak, and keep your gut healthy with the probiotics in kimchi (see 87-91). TOP 1 slice wholegrain bread with grated havarti cheese, thinly sliced cooked sirloin steak, chopped kimchi and a second bread slice. 046 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

NO.46

47

BREATHE EASY

Asthma sufferers have another reason to soak up some extra sunshine vitamin. A Cochrane Review of seven international studies showed that a vitamin D supplement reduced the incidence of severe attacks in subjects with mild to moderate asthma.

48

HINGE BENEFITS

Turn up the heat on knee pain. In a study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, patients with chronic knee pain who applied low-level continuous heat packs to sore knees six hours before exercise enjoyed reduced knee pain and increased knee strength.

49

SOCIAL CLIMBING

Social media can help your running, but only if you avoid comparing yourself to others, says coach Lora Johnson (crazyrunninggirl.com), who instead recommends analysing what friends post. ‘If someone shares a favourite interval routine, consider how it might boost your fitness,’ says Johnson.


TOP TIPS

50

REFINE DINING

Supersizing your lunch could downsize your belly. In a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, subjects who ate their main meal at lunchtime experienced higher average weight loss, greater reduction in BMI and improved insulin resistance compared with those getting the majority of their calories at dinner, despite both groups eating the same total number of daily calories.

51

TRAIN TO THE MAX

2:24:55). ‘Enjoy the buildup to a marathon. Join a group and make it social,’ says Wells.

54

PASSIVE GAINS

Some news on the debate over passive v active rest in interval sessions: a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that in a session consisting of 10 sets of 20m sprints, passive recovery (walking back to the start position and standing still until the next sprint) between efforts led to significantly faster splits, lower perceived exertion, less blood-lactate accumulation and lower post-workout heart rate than active recovery (jogging between sprints). For short, sharp speedwork at least then, it seems total rest is best.

How much oxygen your body can take in and use per minute, per kg of your body weight – aka your VO2 max – is a key measure of aerobic fitness; it’s routinely monitored in elite athletes. But you don’t have to be an elite to get yours measured in the lab and benefit from precision training based - 63 BEAT THE ELEMENTS on your results. ‘It doesn’t matter what level you are, the test is tailored Bad weather doesn’t to you as an individual,’ says Vincent have to put your training on ice… Christan, head physiologist at the if you wear the right kit. Nuffield Health Sports Performance COLD Ashmei Merino gloves, £30, Lab in London (nuffieldhealth. ashmei.com; Arc’Teryx Trinio com). ‘Your results help to Beanie, £30, arcteryx.com; identify your strengths Patagonia Merino and weaknesses, from Air Hoody, £110, which an effective patagonia.com training programme can be created.’ A VO2-max test demands your all – sport science labs traditionally placed mattresses against the NO.51 wall behind treadmills to cushion the blow for those flying off the back. At Nuffield a harness suspended from the ceiling sweeps you off your feet if you lose control. Your dignity may suffer a little.

55

WORDS: JOE MACKIE. PHOTOGRAPHS: MAT T RAINEY, GE T T Y, MITCH MANDEL

66

52

SWEAT, THE DETAILS

If your post-run aroma is a source of concern, clean up your diet. In a study published in Evolution and Human Behavior, women judged clean-eating men (lots of fruit and veg) to have the most aromatic sweat, using adjectives such as ‘floral’, ‘fruity’ and ‘sweet’ to describe the scent. Oddly, eating fat, meat, eggs and tofu also produced pleasant-smelling perspiration. The bad news? Stinky sweat came from consuming carbs.

53

LOVE THE JOURNEY

To boost long-term motivation and gain maximum enjoyment in your running life, remember that running is about more than just results, says Clint Wells, the top masters finisher at last April’s Boston Marathon (he clocked

Climb it, change

RAIN Gore Running Wear ONE Active Run Jacket, £230, wiggle.co.uk; Run Thin Ankle Sock, £30, sealskinz.com SUN Oakley EV Zero Path Polarized, £170, uk.oakley.com; Riemann P20 SPF 20, £13.99 for 100ml, boots.com WIND Ashmei Lite Jacket, £125, ashmei.com; Gore Fusion Windstopper Active Shell Pants £99.99, goreapparel.co.uk

64

THE IMMORTALITY WORKOUT

New research suggests it may be possible stop the clock on age-related muscle decline. The study, in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, put older men (aged 65-83) through a 12-week weight-training programme of leg presses and leg extensions; it found this increased their muscle fibre size and capillary networks to a level matching that of younger men.

65

FOR YOUR SHINS

Take these steps from podiatrist Dr Stephen Pribut to keep shin splints at bay: Limit running on concrete Don’t overstride (aim for 160-190 steps per minute) Stretch your calves and your hamstrings postrun

Running up stairs is a great way to build strength and endurance. The plyometric motion works the same muscles as lunges and squats, and targets the gluteus medius. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that short bouts of stair climbing five days a week for eight weeks improved VO2 max by 17 per cent. TRY THIS stair-running session from Paul Romeo, who oversees stadium-step workouts as a coach for Koko FitClub (kokofitclub.com). After a warm-up, run up a set of stairs five to 10 times at 80 per cent effort. Walk down between reps and rest at the bottom if you’re still out of breath.

STEP UP When climbing, run tall, step lightly and swing your arms to drive yourself up.

NO.67

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HEALTHY START

76

We’re often told that breakfast is good for our waistlines, but a recent study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found overall daily calorie intake was very similar for consistent breakfast eaters and consistent skippers. However, the breakfasters had higher overall diet quality and greater intake of wholegrains, fruit, fibre, calcium, potassium and folate.

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NO.70

70

We know it’s good for hearts and soles, but new research from Georgia State University, US, has found red wine can also help your body fight upper respiratory tract infections, thanks again to that magic ingredient, resveratrol.

77

SIDE ON

Looking to shed lbs? Order the chips. In a study reported in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, subjects rated a meal eaten with chips as more satisfying and filling than one eaten with a side dish of either baked potato, mashed potatoes, potato wedges or pasta – despite the overall calorie content of the meals being identical. Which means adding chips may subtract calories later in the day.

048 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

…BUT JUST THE ONE

More than two units compromises your recovery, according to a study by heart rate-variability experts Firstbeat (firstbeat.com).

TRAIN NINE DAYS A WEEK

US elite Meb Keflezighi ran in his fourth Olympics last year, aged 41, and his longevity is no fluke. He has made adjustments to his training over the years. Before his 2014 Boston Marathon win, for example, he switched from a seven-day training cycle to a nine-day schedule to ensure recovery between hard workouts. The cycle involves three target sessions – an interval workout, tempo run, and long run – each followed by two days of recovery, says Scott Douglas, coauthor (with Keflezighi) of Meb for Mortals (Rodale). And if Meb doesn’t feel good after two easy days, he’ll take another. ‘The point isn’t that nine is better than seven,’ says Douglas. ‘It’s that you should be flexible.’ This approach isn’t exclusively for older runners: Keflezighi got the idea from Paula Radcliffe, who used an eight-day ‘week’ in her heyday. Of course, seven-day cycles suit non-professionals, so you could try thinking instead in two-week cycles, aiming for five hard days in every 14.

DRINK TO YOUR HEALTH

Beat the clock Don’t panic when you can’t fit a long run into your schedule – scientists at McMaster University, Canada, found three 20-sec allout sprints led to the same cardiorespiratory benefits as 50 mins of low-intensity exercise. With just three sessions a week, subjects improved oxygen uptake, despite only exercising for one fifth of the time.

72-75 Tame the trail

78

HILLS WITHOUT SPILLS

If you can’t face a hill session, get on your bike instead. ‘Pedalling against high resistance will help you power up hills when you run, and the faster cadence of cycling will improve your turnover,’ says running coach and spinning instructor Kourtney Thomas. ‘Substitute a spin class for a weekly run, but go easy on tired legs the next day.’

To move from road running to a trail race, Colorado-based trail-running coach Ellen Miller recommends training offroad at least twice a week to help your body adapt to the uneven surfaces. Miller also offers these pointers on adapting your technique: Shorten your stride Lift your feet higher Pay attention to the ground ahead Expect to run slower than you do on the roads


TOP TIPS

PHOTOGRAPHS: JOBE L AWRENSON, GE T T Y

79

- 81 FEAT IN THE CROWDS

Coach Jenny Hadfield (jennyhadfield.com) advises on how best to navigate a crowded race and ensure a fast, strong finish that leaves you with a smile on your face (or, at least, the absence of a grimace): GO WITH THE FLOW ‘Trying to get ahead early by surging and weaving around runners is a big – and common – mistake. It uses up tons of energy, causes physical and mental stress and drives up your heart rate. The more energy you burn early, the worse you’ll fare in the final miles.’ THINK INSIDE THE BOX ‘Most large races have start pens based on estimated finish time, so line up near the front of yours and towards the centre of the road to give yourself room to navigate in either direction. Mass starts are trickier, as it’s hard to know how close to the front you should be but, again, avoid the sides, where you might get boxed in.’ MIND THE GAP ‘If you find yourself stuck behind runners going slower than you’d like, exercise patience and, when possible, wait for a natural opening. If one doesn’t appear, tap one of the runners on the shoulder and let him/her know you’ll be passing. This minimises energy-sapping weaving and the risk that you’ll get tripped and fall.’

Try a steak out!

82-84 Good news for those who like a rare (or medium) treat: the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in red meat helps you strip fat while also maintaining muscle mass, according to research from the University of Wisconson, US. Add garlic and onions: they boost your absorption of the minerals in red meat, such as iron and zinc.

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85

VITAMIN BEE

Most honey has mild antibiotic qualities, but research shows this can be compromised by contact with saliva or blood. Manuka honey derives its antibacterial activity from a substance called Methylglyoxal (MGO), which retains its qualities in the body. Research at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, found an MGO level of 300mg/kg is key for unlocking the health benefits from Manuka. Try specialist producer The True Honey Co. 300+ MGO Manuka honey, £37.99 for 250g, truehoneyco.co.uk

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- 91 PRO ACTIVE

If you’re looking for the health boost of probiotics, skip the supps. University of Copenhagen research found probiotic supplements had no effect on gut bacteria. Naturally fermented foods have been shown to deliver a probiotic punch that can improve your immune response, hormone regulation and protein absorption. Kefir packs triple the beneficial probiotic hit of standard yoghurt. Greek yoghurt contains bacteria that could cut your risk of colon cancer, reported a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. ...AND RELAX Kimchi 100g daily boosts immune system ‘Running activity by 75 per cent, with tense muscles NO.85 found research at Pusan limits your range of motion National University, South Korea. and brings on fatigue sooner,’ says Sauerkraut helps you absorb running coach Victoria Fiddick. ‘To muscle-repairing nutrients, reports “run relaxed” stay mindful of moving research in the Journal of Science. fluidly. Focus on running with a “tall” Kvass boosts digestion to speed posture, a slight forward lean from recovery, according to University your ankles and a relaxed arm swing of Michigan research. from low and loose shoulders.’

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92-93 Fuel like a legend

OLD SCHOOL FUEL GRETE WAITZ’S PR-RACE STEAK On the eve of her first marathon, in 1978, Grete dined on steak, red wine and ice cream, according to her husband, Jack. The next day she won her first of nine New York City marathons; a year later she became the first woman to run the marathon in under 2:30. Season a fillet steak with salt and pepper and cook over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on each side. Plate up and cover loosely with foil for 5 minutes. Serve with potatoes or rice and antioxidant-rich red wine. 050 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

NEW SCHOOL FUEL ELIUD KIPCHOGE’S PRE-RACE UGALI Many of today’s top Kenyan athletes, such as Olympic Marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge, fuel themselves with a traditional meal of ugali (a cornmealbased porridge) paired with eggs or meat, and greens. Add 150g finely ground cornmeal to 355ml of boiling water. Stir until thick, so porridge holds its shape, adding up to 120ml more water, as needed, to moisten the cornmeal without making it soupy. To replicate a full Kenyan meal, serve hot with sautéed kale or collard greens and stewed mung beans.

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- 96 GO NUTS FOR A SIMPLE SNACK UPGRADE

If you find that you’re peckish between your (invariably healthy) main meals, grab a handful of almonds, as research suggests the fibre in their skins may act as a prebiotic, which will enhance the effect of probiotics (see 87-91, left). And that’s not the only reason to go this particular type of nut: in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, subjects who ate 35g of almonds per day over 12 weeks lost more total fat and more visceral adipose tissue (belly fat) than those on a diet with the same calories but no almonds. The almond eaters also displayed a significant decrease in diastolic blood pressure.

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COACH CLASS

98

- 99 SPEED DATING

You might think that running coaches are just for elite athletes? ‘Not so,’ says coach Jason Fitzgerald (Strengthrunning. com). ‘A coach, whether in-person or online, can help you reach goals faster and safer than using a stock plan or winging it by yourself.’ Commonwealth Games marathon bronze medallist and two-time Olympian Liz Yelling (yellingperformance.com) agrees. ‘A coach not only provides structure but can tailor the plan towards your goals, maximising training priorities within your lifestyle and helping you better understand your personal responses to training,’ she says. The best coaching relationships are two-way – you have someone to listen to you and get feedback from – something you won’t get from a training journal. You will also have someone else to blame when you find yourself wasted after a particularly brutal training session.

A date with a running buddy is good news for your training and motivation, but what will help you more, running with someone you have to work hard to keep up with, or someone who can’t match your pace? It all depends, says coach Jamie Adcock. ‘On easy or recovery days, it’s best to run with someone whose company you enjoy, who runs at your comfortable pace or a bit slower,’ says Adcock. ‘Trying to keep up with a faster runner during these runs would defeat their purpose and leave you fatigued, and possibly injured. However, when you’re doing speed workouts or other hard sessions, your faster pal will keep you on pace to hit your targets.’


TOP TIPS

101

Jog your memory

GO SUB-30

A foolproof plan to get your Parkrun/5K time under the half-hour mark: ‘If you’re not running four to five miles three to four times a week, build up to that base,’ says exercise physiologist and running coach Holly Jamison. ‘Then add weekly 400m repeats, with a 10-minute jogging warm-up and cool-down, and two minutes of rest between each rep. Aim for 2:14 for 400m (9:00 min/mile pace) to build the speed you’ll need to average 9:39 min/mile for a sub-30. Start with four reps, and add one or two each week to hit eight by the second-to-last week before the 5K.’

100

Train your brain to lock in information with a judiciously timed post-work workout. Research published in the journal Current Biology found that heading out for a run four hours after a learning task increases activity in the hippocampus – not a higher education facility for African wildlife, but a key area of the brain involved in memory.

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NO.104

- 104 DITCH THE STITCH

Three ways to beat one of the banes of our running lives, courtesy of exercise physiologist and running coach Angela Bekkala: ‘Slow down or stop and breathe slowly and deeply. Press the stitch and/or stretch your arms overhead.’ ‘Extend the arm on the same side as your stitch and bend to the opposite side.’ ‘Run tall – slumping restricts the diaphragm, the muscle beneath your lungs that helps you breathe.’

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THE LONG AND SHORT

Got a marathon and a 5K in the diary? Weekly anaerobic threshold (AT) runs will prep you for both, says Rebekah Mayer, national run training manager for Lifetime Run in the US. ‘These workouts train your body to sustain a hard pace as your muscles learn to quickly metabolise lactic acid – and your mind learns to manage fatigue,’ says Mayer. ‘The pace needs to be hard enough for conversation [more than a few words at a time] to be difficult. A 20-minute run at AT pace, with a five-minute jog before and after, is a solid 5K or marathon workout.’

CELEBRATE RUN-WITHOUTTELLINGANYONE-ABOUT-IT DAY

PHOTOGRAPHS: MITCH MANDEL, GE T T Y

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Give all your non-runner friends a break from the tyranny of sharing (be that face- to-face or on social media) on this holiday for runners that, yes, we have just invented. Leave your smartphone at home and just run – no selfies, no hashtags, no tweets. Ponder life’s deep questions, such as: if a runner goes for a run, and no one sees the data, did it still happen? The answer is yes. You’ll know. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 051


THE

STEVE WHITE, 39 Weight lost: 7st p55

EMMA ELSE, 47 Weight lost: 13st p54

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MIDDLE MANAGERS

Our star weight-losers share their strategies for keeping the pounds off and staying healthy in the very long run ver the years our regular How I Ran It Off page has featured people who have utterly transformed themselves. But, you may ask, did they keep off the weight? It’s a valid question, as research shows many who lose weight rapidly through extreme diet plans and unsustainable exercise regimes fall – heavily – off the wagon, regaining all the weight they lost, if not more. ‘Extreme dieting methods do not work,’ says dietitian Helen Bond, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association. ‘It’s important to make a long-term plan if you’re going to make real, lasting changes.’ A long-term plan that combines sensible eating with the weightmanagement benefits of regular running has been the key for our four biggest losers; those who had made the greatest changes to their lives when we first featured them, and have not only kept the pounds off since, but are now enjoying benefits way beyond their trim waistlines. Whether that‘s a new social circle, increased family time or regaining their mental balance, our ‘losers’ are winners when it comes to a renewed appetite for life. Together they’re an inspirational testament to the lasting power of lacing up your running shoes and sticking to the right path.

O

ROHAN KALLICHARAN, 42 Weight lost: 7st 2lbs p56

RUTH HOWIE, 52 Weight lost: 10st p57

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to keep a written record of everything: what you eat, when you exercise, how you feel and what you weigh. This was crucial for me. And plotting my weekly weight loss on a graph to see the downwards curve was the best motivation of all. Exercise is a vital part of it, and I’d say to people don’t be shy. I was very nervous walking into the gym for the first time, as I thought it would be full of thin, fit people. But I was surprised to find lots of people like me, just trying to get less wobbly. You soon realise no one is looking at you, they’re just doing their own thing. Becoming a runner doesn’t mean immediately donning Lycra and entering races if you don’t want to, but once you lose the weight and feel the health and fitness benefits you have all the motivation you need to keep going. Of course there are times, like holidays and Christmas, when you put on a few pounds. My strategy is proactive. If I know there’s an occasion coming up when I’ll want to indulge, I lose a few pre-emptive pounds in the weeks beforehand.’ I try not to look back but I do regret how many years I wasted being overweight and feeling unhappy. Running has made me such a happy person. If you think running isn’t for you, please put aside your doubts and try it. You’ll soon find, like I did, that there’s a really supportive community out there waiting to welcome you.’

‘WRITE EVERYTHING DOWN’ EMMA ELSE, 47, Bedford, Bedfordshire Weight before 24st Weight now 11st Weight lost 13st Kept it off for 5 years

RW, SEPT 2016, (WITH HUSBAND NEALE)

BEFORE THE JOURNEY

HOW I LOST IT ‘I had no intention of becoming a runner when I decided to lose weight. I watched the London Marathon in awe, but felt it wasn’t for me. I initially lost weight by sticking to 1,000kcals a day and minimal carbs. When I was almost at my target weight, I had the confidence to join a gym and try the treadmill. My husband, Neale, encouraged me to come out on the roads with him. Running gave my weight loss the boost it needed and has kept my weight stable ever since. I can’t imagine life without it.’ HOW I’VE KEPT IT OFF ‘These days I eat a few more carbs – as a runner you need to. If I’m running

more than 10 miles I’ll have a bagel with peanut butter and jam beforehand. During long runs I have gels or Trek bars, and I have protein straight afterwards, then a normal, healthy meal. I stick to lean protein, such as chicken or fish, with lots of veg and some wholegrains. Neale and I recently ran our first ultra, the Stort 30, in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire. I’ve also run the London and Milton Keynes Marathons. I’m not the fastest, but I’m happy with that. I can go for hours at my own pace, taking in the scenery and chatting with friends. I’ve fallen in love with running so sticking to exercise isn’t hard. I’m not someone who needs

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a race on the horizon to keep my training up. I like thinking, “How far would I like to run today?” rather than, “How far do I have to run?”. I run four times a week: once with my local running group, Happy Feet, twice on my own, then a long run with my husband or friends. ‘My advice to anyone looking to lose weight is THE EXPERT VIEW ‘For most people keeping a food and mood diary makes such a difference,’ says Bond. ‘Anything that passes your lips should be recorded. It makes you much more in tune with what, how much and why you’re eating.’ ‘Don’t just use it for food,’ says personal trainer Stuart Amory. ‘Record everything: weight,

measurements, running stats, mood – that way even if you’re having a bad week you can still see that you’re progressing. It’s a great way of looking back and seeing how far you’ve come and a great motivational tool that will not only keep you focused but will also show you that your dedication is paying off.’


MIDDLE MANAGERS

‘THE WHOLE FAMILY RUNS TOGETHER’ STEVE WHITE, 39, Newark, Notts Weight before 22st 2lb Weight now 15st 2lb Weight lost 7 stone Kept it off for 3 years

WORDS: WESLEY DOYLE. PHOTOGRAPHY: JON ENOCH

HOW I LOST IT ‘My weight was always an issue but it got worse. I had high blood pressure and in 2014 I had to have an ECG for suspected heart failure. It came back clear but I told my wife, Lisa, that I would change. I worked on my diet first and when I’d lost some weight I started running. Soon Lisa joined me and we started entering events together. It’s funny how people view you; Lisa was walking our kids to school and another kid said to their mother, “Why is that lady walking? She usually runs everywhere, she’s the ‘running lady!”’ HOW I’VE KEPT IT OFF ‘We still run a lot. There were a couple of months last year when we had an event almost every week. The kids are involved now, and our son Alex, 14, wants to run with us and do some of the bigger events. Even our six-yearold, Melissa, ran the Kids’ Mile at the Donnington 10 Mile. I ran with her after the main race and she pulled out a 10-minute mile, which nearly finished me off! There’s healthy competitiveness between our kids and they all now play sports alongside running – a couple of years ago there was none of that. But now you can’t move in the house for trainers. Weight-wise I let things relax a little at the end of last year before marathon

training kicked in again. We still maintain our approach to healthy eating, although if we do a big run we’ll have a pizza afterwards. It’s all about moderation and earning it. Most nights we run together, chatting. That’s replaced watching TV with a takeaway. I’m not worried that we’ll slip back to how we were – we enjoy the events, we enjoy the people we see and the circles we mix in. It’s amazing how life changes.’ ‘The big thing is you’ve just got to get out and do it. Because of the size we were and the stigma that carries, we initially ran late at night or early in the morning. You think everyone out there is a Mo Farah-type, but they’re not, they’re all shapes and sizes. And once the weight starts coming off there’s a buzz, it becomes like an addiction that feeds itself and it starts taking priority over the takeaways. It pulls your diet into line because you don’t want to go for a run with a belly full of chips. If we run past a chippy now the smell is just a complete turn-off. The social side of things is massive for us, too. We’ve made friends with the organisers of the Jane Tomlinson events so now the family is known when we turn up. And since the last Runner’s World piece people now come up and ask us for advice.’

RW, MARCH 2016 (WITH WIFE LISA)

BEFORE THE JOURNEY

THE EXPERT VIEW ‘If you’re looking to make a change in your life, tell people about it,’ says Amory. ‘It may make you feel pressurised, but it’s a good pressure. You can’t overestimate the importance of having a support network, particularly when it’s family.’ ‘Support with any eating regime is essential,’ says Bond.

‘Having a fitness buddy keeps you so much more motivated to achieve your goal, plus you’ll have someone to share recipes and banter. Getting your family on board can be a great help, as you can feel excluded at meal times if you’re eating something different. That won’t happen if the family is on the same page.’ FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 055


‘BE REALISTIC BUT DON’T BE SCARED’ ROHAN KALLICHARAN, 42, Streatham Hill, London Weight before 18st 10lb Weight now 11st 8lb Weight lost 7st 2lb Kept it off for 3 years

HOW I LOST IT ‘I’ve lived with bipolar since my teens so I always focused on my mental health at the expense of my physical. Eventually my GP told me my weight and my lack of activity were a real concern, so I overhauled my diet, joined a gym and then signed up to run a 10K to raise money for charity, which gave me extra impetus. Running now gives me focus, purpose and a great deal of pleasure. When I was heavier and inactive I constantly had colds, flu, you name it. I can’t remember the last time I went down with anything. Running has simply transformed my life.’ HOW I KEPT IT OFF ‘It’s a mixture of running and healthy eating, but I’m not as regimented with my diet as I was. I eat healthily, but rarely go a day without a treat. Still, running 50 miles a week gives me the freedom to eat well. Running is as important to me as ever, though I had a setback last year when I suffered a vertigo attack while running. I went over like a sack of spuds. I didn’t run for four months and as running is a big part of managing my mental and physical health, it was a difficult time. Now I’m on medication and I’m running again. Last time I spoke to RW I’d set myself a sub-3.15 marathon target, but the

vertigo set me back. When I returned to running I had no goal, but found myself enjoying it; and with the pressure off I hit a PB of 3:00:23. I can be compulsive with entering races but it keeps me focused and allows me to continue fundraising [Rohan has raised over £10,000 for the mental health charity Mind]. I’m as light as I’ve ever been and I won’t go back. Running is my biggest mechanism for balancing my mental health so that’s as much a motivation as maintaining my weight. It’s also the lifestyle – I love eating and the more I run the more I can eat! Also, my holidays are now based around running. I’ll fly somewhere on the Friday, run the marathon on the Sunday, then spend five days on holiday. ’ If you’re starting from a point like I was, 11st overweight, it’s going to be tough. To motivate yourself, set small goals, things like small amounts off weight loss, or running for a certain time without stopping. Be realistic but don’t be scared and don’t ever judge yourself by the standards of others. This is your journey, not theirs. Running has taught me how to set goals I can achieve and that’s had an impact on the rest of my life, too. I face every challenge using my running tactics, and nothing is insurmountable.’

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RW, MARCH 2015

2013

THE EXPERT VIEW ‘Deciding to make such a big change is a positive step, but it can soon be demotivating if change doesn’t happen quickly enough,’ says Amory. ‘Breaking it down into small steps is a great way to maintain focus. Imagine a ladder with your main goal at the top, then make each rung a smaller goal to hit on your way to

it. Every five steps, give yourself a reward, something that will motivate you to do more.’ ‘It’s a well-used mantra,’ says Bond, ‘but small steps make a big difference, especially with weight loss. Mastering a small step means you’ll quickly move on to the next one and before you know it change will have occurred.’


MIDDLE MANAGERS

‘TAKE THINGS ONE DAY AT A TIME’ RUTH HOWIE, 52 Crieff, Perthshire Weight before 20st Weight now 10st Weight lost 10st Kept it off for 3 years

HOW I LOST IT ‘In August 2013 I decided to lose 10 stone, for health reasons – I was a heart attack waiting to happen. It took me 11 months. Losing weight can be lonely, it can take up your life. Fortunately my family – husband Gavin and children Sophie Mae and Zak – were behind me. Joining a running club and getting their support was also key. I started running in week two and soon felt confident enough to join Zak’s club. My new friends at the club gave me so much encouragement.’ HOW I’VE KEPT IT OFF ‘When I’d reached my goal I promised myself I’d never regain more than a stone. I knew running was the key and by that time I’d fallen in love with endurance events and taken up ultra running. In April 2015 I finished a race as first female over 50. I couldn’t believe it; I’d never won anything in my life! Then I ran the 53-mile Highland Fling. Appearing in RW was an amazing motivator, too. Several people sent me lovely messages via social media, congratulating me and saying I’d inspired them. We’ve kept in contact and become friends and I’ve helped them with their weight loss. I tell people to take things one day at a time. You can’t look 10 stone ahead, you have to work in small increments.

RW, FEB 2015

BEFORE THE JOURNEY

Another big lesson I’ve learned is not to rely too much on one thing to keep your weight in check. I learned the hard way when I pulled my calf muscle and should have taken some time off running. I didn’t, ended up tearing the muscle and had to take five weeks off. When I returned to running I’d lost pace and didn’t feel great. My life revolves around running and it’s vital for my mental wellbeing so I hated taking time off. Also, I continued to eat like an ultra runner, and the weight started to creep back on. When you’re running 80 miles a week you can eat a lot! So I had to get disciplined with myself and go back to a stricter diet.

The support of the running community really kicked in. They encouraged me to keep in contact socially and to feel connected by volunteering at events. I’d recommend doing the same if you’re injured or unwell – stay involved. And do what you can do. Maybe you can’t run but you can still get out for walks. I started cycling, which gave me the endorphins and fresh air I’d been missing.

There will be times when you can’t run, so make a plan for what you’ll do in that event. Get stricter with your food intake, stay involved in the running community and try cross-training. Above all, respect your injury or illness and don’t rush back without making a full recovery. Patience paid off for me. I’ve entered the Highland Fling for this year and I am determined to beat my time.’

THE EXPERT VIEW ‘If you have an exercise focus and it’s taken away, just transfer it to another activity,’ says Amory. ‘Swimming, cycling, anything that doesn’t affect the injury.’ ‘The weight-maintenance equation in calories is making sure you take in enough for your day-to-day activity,’ says Bond. ‘Running burns around 500kcals

an hour so if you can’t run, you’ll need to take that deficit into account. A healthy calorie intake is 1,500kcals for women and 1,800kcals for men. Break it down into 20 per cent breakfast, 30 per cent lunch, 30 per cent evening meal and 20 per cent snacks, then alter that to reflect the fuel you need to do your exercise.’ FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 057


NEW RUNNERS

A runner’s first mile is a magical moment and we can get you there. If you’re new to running, over the next four pages RW’s resident coach Sam Murphy marshals the knowledge of the RW team and our experts to guide you every step of the way

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YOU ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN your journey towards becoming a runner. The ‘finish line’ is one mile away; the start line is right here. It doesn’t matter how improbable it might sound right now – embark on it with commitment, confidence and patience, and with the guidance you’ll find on the following pages you will get there. Couch to 5K programmes have introduced thousands of people to running. But we understand that for some, that distance feels too daunting. One mile (1,609 metres) is a distance everyone can get their head around and anyone – including you – can achieve, no matter how unfit you may feel right now. You may not remember when you last ran a single step. You may look back on school cross-country runs with a distinct absence of fondness. You may be filled with doubts about whether running is for you. Don’t worry, you’re in the right place. Our First Mile programme will ease you into regular activity, gradually increasing in time and intensity over six weeks. Or, if you can’t currently walk for 20 minutes non-stop, we’ve included a four-week pre-plan to first get you to that level. For inspiration, we’ll share the physical, mental and spiritual rewards running will bring. And we’ll show you how to get started, how to progress safely and how to avoid every obstacle in your path. Your journey of 1,609 metres starts with a single step – take it by reading on…

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Why should you run? → If you’ve never run a step, you may wonder if you should try. The answer, for so many reasons, is yes Running delivers myriad health benefits for body and mind. These are too numerous to cover in full here, but let’s give you a taste: in a study of 55,000 people, US researchers at Iowa State University found running three times a week for an average of just 17 minutes each time reduced the risk of fatal heart attack or stroke by 55 per cent. Three weekly aerobic exercise sessions also improved glucose control in a University of Ottawa study, while research from the University of Costa Rica found running lowered blood pressure more effectively than cycling. Studies have also shown running can help you feel calmer, happier and more resistant to stress. Polish researchers found 15-30 minutes of running three times a week reduced anxiety and depression, and improved mood. There is also a a wealth of research that shows in the long term it can combat – or even reverse – cognitive decline. If running is beginning to sound like a miracle drug, that’s because it is. Those regularly lacing up their trainers have a far lower risk of type 2 diabetes as well as many cancers, including breast, colon and lung. And contrary to the oft-repeated contention, it won’t wreck your knees. Far from it: research from Stanford University, US, shows recreational runners actually show less wear and tear on their joints. The weight-bearing nature of running also helps to safeguard bone density, reducing your risk of osteoporosis. Research in the journal Osteoporosis International found older runners had higher bone mineral density than sedentary people and swimmers of the same age. Then there’s the dramatic effect running has on your waistline. Any increase in physical activity aids weight loss, but running tops the calorie-burning charts. A 66kg woman, for example, will burn twice as many calories by running at a 10-minute-mile pace compared with walking at a 15-minute-mile pace for the same time.


NEW RUNNERS

→ So there you have it. The reasons to run are many and varied. At the same time, we understand that this doesn’t mean you won’t have a long list of (seemingly perfectly good) reasons why the contention that ‘anyone can run’ simply doesn’t apply to you. Let’s take a closer look at these ‘terrible toos’…

at others when they are running? Probably not. You’ll find people are generally far too busy with their own concerns to notice you as you run by, and they sometimes may turn out to be more supportive than you would expect. Remember, everyone had to start running sometime. If it helps, try a preemptive strike. Confronting embarrassment head-on worked for RW reader Amanda Phillips. She had a T-shirt printed that said ‘Fat Bird Running’ on the back and she told us (in

August last year) that the responses she got were unanimously supportive. If you’re not ready to be so direct, there are options: other readers have told us that when they first started running, they’d go early in the morning, or after dark. Later, they felt confident enough to go out at other times. Alternatively, finding a friend or group to join you on this programme is a great way of overcoming embarrassment, and can also help everyone stick with it and make the whole experience more fun.

‘I’M TOO OLD’

WORDS: SAM MURPHY. ILLUSTRATIONS: SAM ISL AND

You can reap the health and wellbeing benefits of running at any age. A recent University College London study found people who began to exercise in their 60s and 70s still gained significant health benefits. Just ask Sandra Bridger, who took up running at 66 and says she feels more alive than ever. Or Charles Eugster, who only began at 95 and now holds multiple world records in his age group. And while there are certain conditions – such as osteoporosis, osteoarthritis or a serious heart or lung condition – that might affect your ability to run, they don’t necessarily rule it out. Movement is medicine, provided it’s delivered in the right dose.

‘I’M TOO EMBARRASSED’ Feeling self-conscious about exercising outdoors is understandable, particularly if you’re not entirely comfortable with your body, but ask yourself this question: do you look

‘I’M TOO OVERWEIGHT’ → Too many people say ‘I’ll start running when I’ve lost weight.’ Which is a shame, as running is a powerful weapon in the battle against the bulge. RW reader Annette Johnson made full use: ‘At first, I was so heavy I couldn’t jog so I had to power walk,’ she told us, having shed five stone. ‘But soon I was able to mix short periods of walking with jogging.’ When Cuban researchers assigned overweight women to thrice-weekly jogging sessions for eight weeks they not only shed pounds, but also lowered their blood pressure and improved their cholesterol profile and waist-to-hip ratio. Research from Aarhus University, Denmark, shows the best way for heavier new runners to avoid injury is to keep total distance low in the early stages, and to increase it by no more than 10 per cent per week – the gradual progression that you’ll find in our training programme on page 62.

‘I’M TOO UNFIT’ → Our First

Mile plan is far cry from the ‘No pain, No gain’ mantra beloved of old-school PE teachers. This is a gradual journey in which each step builds only a little on the last. It’s all gain, no pain. Worried you’ll be worn out? A review of 70 studies, published in Psychological Bulletin, concluded that exercise boosts energy levels and reduces feelings of fatigue. But don’t even think about running non-stop on your first few outings – this is something to work up to. Change won’t come overnight, but if you stay committed you’ll see great changes over the next few weeks.

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→ Not fit enough to tackle the 20 mins of walk/run in week one? The four-week ‘pre-plan plan’ starts with 10 minutes of walking, which can be broken into two five-minute walks. WHAT SHALL I WEAR? All you need are comfortable trainers and clothing. It need not be runningspecific gear to begin

with, just something that won’t chafe or get too hot or heavy if you sweat.

WHERE DO I START? The ideal surface for your first sessions is a level park path or grass, but if you only have pavements at your disposal, that’s fine. ‘Out-and-back’ routes have an in-built mental advantage: you’re

THE FIRSTMILE PLAN → Ease into each session gradually. Try to begin with some gentle mobilising moves such as shoulder rolls, torso twists, knee lifts and heel raises; these easy moves will get your body warmed up before you begin. At the end of the session, don’t suddenly put the brakes on; come to a gradual stop to allow your heart rate and breathing to return to normal. Finish with the stretches on p57 to relax and lengthen your hard-working muscles. Do each one on both sides and hold for 15-20 seconds.

heading home from the halfway point. Or if you’re not sure you can continue for the allotted time, small laps near your house eliminate the risk of ending up too far from home.

WHAT ABOUT EATING? Ideally allow a couple of hours to digest a meal before exercising, but if you haven’t eaten for four

or five hours, have a small snack, such as half a banana or a pot of yoghurt an hour before, for energy.

being your maximum effort – you want to rate your effort at around a 5 or 6.

HOW SHOULD I FEEL?

HOW ABOUT TECHNIQUE?

It’s fine to feel a little breathless and to get a bit hot. But you shouldn’t feel too uncomfortable during the session, or exhausted by the end of it. Imagine a scale of 1 to 10, with 10

Stay relaxed but ‘tall’. Imagine you have a helium balloon gently drawing you upwards. Keep your stride short and think ‘fast and light’ when your feet touch the ground.

THE RUNNER’S WORLD FOUR-WEEK PRE-PLAN PROGRAMME FOR NEW RUNNERS WEEK

DAY 1

DAY 2

DAY 3

DAY 4

PRE

Easy walk 10 mins (2 x 5 mins, 1-2 min breather if needed)

Easy walk 12 mins (or 2 x 6 mins)

Easy walk 10 mins. Include 3 bouts of 20 steps of running

Easy walk 15 mins (or 3 x 5 mins)

Easy walk 12 mins (or 2 x 6 mins)

Easy walk 14 mins (or 2 x 7 mins)

Easy walk 12 mins. Include 4 bouts of running 20 steps

Easy walk 21 mins (or 3 x 7 mins)

Alternate 1 min easy, 1 min brisk walk for 15 mins

Easy walk 15 mins. Include 4 bouts of running 25 steps

Alternate 1 min easy, 1 min brisk walk for 15 mins

Easy walk 24 mins (or 3 x 8 mins)

Brisk walk 20 mins. Include 5 bouts of running 25 steps

Alternate 1 minute easy, 2 mins brisk walk for 21 mins

Easy walk 27 mins (or 3 x 9 mins)

20-min test. See how far you can walk without stopping*

1 PRE

2 PRE

3 PRE

4

THIS SIX-WEEK PLAN WILL LEAD YOU TO YOUR FIRST RUNNING MILE. GOOD LUCK! WK

1 WK

2 WK

3 WK

4 WK

5 WK

6

Alternate 30 secs jog with 90 secs brisk walk 10 times. 5 mins easy walk**

Optional easy walk 20 mins

Alternate 30 secs jog with 90 secs brisk walk 10 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 60 secs jog with 90 secs brisk walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 60 secs jog with 90 secs brisk walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Optional easy walk 25 mins

Alternate 60 secs jog with 60 secs brisk walk 10 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 60 secs jog with 60 secs brisk walk 10 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 90 secs jog with 60 secs brisk walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Optional easy walk 30 mins

Alternate 90 secs jog with 60 secs brisk walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 2 mins jog with 60 secs walk x 4. Jog 3 mins, walk 90 secs. Repeat pt 1 of session

Alternate 2 mins jog with 60 seconds walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Optional easy walk 30 mins

Alternate 2 mins jog with 60 seconds walk 8 times. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 3 mins jog with 60 secs walk x 4. Jog 5 mins, walk 2 mins x 2 . 5 mins walk

Run for 5 minutes, walk for 2 minutes x 3. 5 mins easy walk

Optional brisk walk 20 mins

Run for 5 minutes, walk for 2 minutes x 3. 5 mins easy walk

Alternate 4 mins jog with 60 secs walk 3 times. Jog for 10 minutes. 5 mins easy walk

Run for 6 mins, walk for 1 minute x 3. Five mins easy walk

Optional brisk walk 20 mins

Run for 6 mins, walk for 1 minute x 3. Five mins easy walk

Time yourself jogging one mile. Finish with 5 mins easy walk

* If you can’t walk a mile, repeat pre-weeks 3 & 4. Otherwise, proceed to the six-week plan. ** Begin each session on days 1, 3 and 4 with a brisk 5-min walk. 062 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017


NEW RUNNERS

STRETCH IT OUT

WHAT NEXT? → Note the

QUADS Your quadriceps are the muscles at the front of the thighs. Stand tall and, keeping your knees together, take your right foot in your right hand, pulling it close to your bum.

HIPS Hip mobility is vital for efficient running. Take your right foot across your left thigh, let the knee drop out to the side and bend your left knee, taking your hips backwards and arms forward for balance.

CALVES

Running into trouble? → You may have concerns early on, but with the

Take a big step back with your right foot, bending your left knee. Check your right foot is pointing directly forwards and gently press your heel into the ground, keeping your leg straight. Then take half a step forward with your right foot and bend your right knee to stretch the lower part of the calf.

HAMSTRINGS These are the big muscles at the back of the thigh. Place one foot on a step or bench, directly in front of your hip. Hinge forward from the hips over that leg, keeping your knee straight.

right information and you can stay on the road

‘I’M SORE. SHOULD I SKIP MY NEXT RUN?’

 

A little muscle soreness in the early days of any new exercise regime is normal, though you may want to juggle your days to take an extra rest day before your next session if you’re really tender. However, if you have a more specific, sharp pain, take a couple of days off and apply ice to the affected area to ease inflammation. If it doesn’t go away after 72 hours, consider seeing your doctor or a physiotherapist to make sure it’s nothing serious.

‘I’M WORRIED ABOUT HOW BREATHLESS I GET’

 

The demands of running mean your muscles need more oxygen, which drives you to breathe harder. So, don’t worry unduly, but there are a couple of things to consider: are you starting out too quickly, without sufficient warm-up time? Are you trying to run too quickly? Both can make you feel breathless. However, if the breathlessness leaves you wheezing or is accompanied by chest pain, see your GP to rule out any serious issues.

‘I’M STRUGGLING TO PROGRESS TO THE NEXT WEEK OF THE TRAINING PLAN’

 

Don’t worry – everyone progresses at different rates. The plan is a guideline and the key is that you progress at your own pace. It’s fine to repeat a week or take more rest between each workout. Stay focused on the long-term goal: you’ll get there.

time it took to run your first mile. Keep exercising three/four times a week, building duration by a couple of minutes each time. Work at a comfortable effort, mixing jogging and walking as you need to. Every four weeks, time yourself on the same route to see your progress. For more details advice, visit our First Miles hub at runnersworld. co.uk/ FirstMiles. To share your story, seek support or share the programme with someone else, join the movement by posting on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #rwmyfirstmile.

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running in the cold – an increase of almost a third in their level of comfort and, crucially, in their perception of their ability to sustain the effort in that temperature. In other words, you feel stronger and more confident when you are running in cold weather.

Gain, not pain

Next time you dream about running in places where warm breezes ruffle palm trees and a postrace cocktail is always an option, consider this: Britain’s average winter temperature is closer to a runner’s ideal training environment, says Chris Tyler, senior lecturer in environmental physiology at Roehampton University, southwest London. ‘Studies [at the University of Aberdeen’s medical school] have shown that the ideal temperature for making endurance performance gains is actually 10-11C,’ he says. ‘Either side of that and you start experiencing a drop in how long you can keep going at the same intensity.’ Tyler goes on: ‘One of the main factors is heart rate. Your heart has to work harder to maintain the same intensity when it’s hot compared with when it’s cold. In heat you have to send blood to the skin to be cooled by evaporation, which means to maintain your cardiac output – how much blood you pump around the central part of the body for it to function effectively – your heart rate must go up. In the cold the opposite is true; you’re not sending blood to the periphery, so you end up with greater central blood volume, which means for the same pace you can run that at

a lower heart rate – up to around 15 beats per minute fewer.’ Take that idea a step further and you can use chilly conditions to turn up your performance gains, while minimising risk. ‘Running with a lower heart rate means you’re going to be less fatigued at the end of a run,’ says Tyler. ‘Winter is a great time to use the comparative lack of tiredness and muscle fatigue to practise things like midrun surges, kicking near the end, adding fartlek sections or throwing in a few late hill reps to make the adaptations you need to increase your strength, speed endurance and ability to push hard through discomfort in a race.’ You can then take full advantage of this by signing up for one of our pick of the month’s best races on p108.

‘WINTER IS A GREAT TIME TO PRACTISE MIDRUN SURGES’

Don’t sweat it

Running in the cold means you’ll need to take on less fluid than in the heat. So far, so obvious, but what may surprise you is just how much less. The St Mary’s research showed that, on average, subjects lost almost twice as much fluid through sweat in the summer conditions (1.3L) than they did in winter training (0.7L) over the course of a 40-minute run. ‘This means you’d have to carry and consume twice as much of your chosen drink to replace fluid in the heat,’ says Brewer. ‘One runner lost 1.6 per cent of their body weight through sweat on a 40-minute hottemperature run; if you lose over two per cent you’re then getting into the dangerous range where loss of motor function can come into play. So if

Stoke the fire This 10-minute cold-weather warm-up from endurance coach Tom Craggs, which can be done in your house, gets your body primed to brave the cold in comfort and injury-free ‘These five exercises are a combination of activation of key muscles used in running, and dynamic stretching,’ says Craggs. ‘Do each exercise twice, for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds’ rest, before moving on to the next move.’ 066 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

THE FINGER CRUSHER

BRIDGE

ANKLE/ CALF MOBILISATION

WHY To engage your lower abs and activate your hip flexors. HOW Lie on the floor in a sit-up position. Place your hands under the arch in your back and engage your lower abs and pelvic floor to push your spine onto your hands (to ‘crush’ your fingers. Keeping the pressure, add alternate leg lifts (a few inches off the floor).

WHY It wakes up the glutes, and develops hip and spine stability. HOW From a sit-up position, engage your glutes and push your hips up to form a line from your shoulders through your hips and to your knees. Keep your hips high by squeezing your glutes. To add difficulty, extend one leg at a time out in a straight line, hips held high.

WHY Protects against Achilles, calf, shin and plantar issues. HOW Standing in a clear hallway, lift one foot and very slowly put it back down, landing with the toe and ball of the foot first, rolling the rest of the foot down so the heel lands last. Repeat with the other foot and continue alternating, moving slowly backwards as you go.


WINTER TRAINING keeping adequately hydrated is sometimes tricky, you’ll find it much easier both physiologically and logistically in colder weather.’ The fact that you also don’t feel as thirsty in cold conditions is also an important performance tool, says Tyler. ‘Very recent research that hasn’t even been published yet shows that people who believe they are hydrated can perform better in the short term, even if they’re not,’ he says. ‘In the study, two groups of athletes were deliberately dehydrated, but only one group was told this would happen. The group who were not told they were dehydrated performed COLD SNAP five per cent better in Running in winter subsequent exercise tests.’ can actually help you become faster Five per cent might not and stronger. sound much, but that would take your 5K time down from 25 minutes to 23:45, says Tyler.

Spring in your steps

WORDS: KERRY MCCARTHY. PHOTOGRAPH: GE T T Y. ILLUSTRATIONS: LIZZY THOMAS

However cold the day, rest assured that running will thaw you from within. Muscles generate heat every time they contract (hence shivering, which is your muscles contracting involuntarily to warm up). And once you start running you’ll really crank up your internal thermostat. ‘As soon as you start to move at greater than walking pace there’s a big increase in your metabolic rate,’ says Brewer. ‘The average person will have an oxygen uptake of 3ml per kg of body weight per minute when they’re at rest. But if they start to run at about 10 minutes per mile that figure will jump to around 30ml per kilo per

WALKING LUNGE

HAMSTRING SWEEP

WHY Works the key running muscles; strengthens the core. HOW Stand in a hall. With hands on hips, step forward with one foot into a lunge, your back heel lifted, squeezing the glute of your rear leg. Now use your front leg to stand up and bring your back leg into a lunge. Keep going, toes, hips, knees and chest pointing forward.

WHY Stretches posterior chain. HOW From standing, put one leg straight out, with just your heel on the ground. Bend your back knee slightly and push your bum out as if you’re about to sit down. Reach forward and, hands dangling, sweep your arms forward and backwards for 2-3 secs. Repeat on the other leg; alternate every few seconds.

minute of oxygen that they need to function. That tenfold increase in metabolic rate brings a tenfold increase in heat production.’ Have faith that you’ll have stopped shivering and be quite warm after 10 minutes or so, and since you don’t want to be shedding – and carrying – multiple layers, Brewer’s advice is to dress as though it is 20C warmer outside than it is. ‘It may seem Baltic when you first step outside but this is just peripheral cold on the surface of the skin,’ says Brewer. ‘Inside you’re not actually as cold as you feel.’ The message is: be bold, start cold. But the exception – and the key areas to keep warm – are your extremities, says Tyler. ‘When you’re cold, you start to shut off the peripheral blood supply,’ he says. ‘Your body redirects the blood to your core to warm you up, so your hands, ears, nose and toes can all still get cold while the rest of you is fine. This is why you sometimes see footballers wearing gloves with a short-sleeve shirt. It looks odd but actually makes sense.’ Tyler also suggests that if you don’t want to go through that initial shivery discomfort barrier, you should get a light sweat on by warming up thoroughly indoors before you step out [see Stoke the fire, below left].

Freeze the pressure

Good news for those suffering from data overload. If you need a break from your sports watch, winter is the time to do it, says endurance coach Tom Craggs (runningwithus. com). ‘Increasingly with the march of technology, runners worry about hitting pace or splits,’ he says, ‘either for training purposes or because they don’t want their Strava friends to see that they logged a less-than-perfect run. In the winter this has more risk attached to it because in the pursuit of a minutely fine-tuned session I’ve seen clients pull cold muscles, or slip and fall on wet or icy ground.’ Craggs recommends leaving your watch at home and running by perceived effort rather than pace. You will be less prone to slips and you’ll learn more about your body as you tune in and get a better sense of what’s going on under the bonnet. If your competitive urge is not so easily dampened, ‘take a drive into the countryside away from your normal environment and try running on different surfaces’, says Craggs. ‘The new and unfamiliar challenge to your muscles will take the sting out of your brain telling you to go harder. That and the – hopefully – beautiful surroundings will make you relax and remember why you go running in the first place.’ FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 067


H E R O E S of

RUNNING 068 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017


HEROES

THE FIGHTER

Mo Farah YOU KNOW

you’ve made it when the whole nation can collectively dispense with your surname: Daley, Paula, Jess... Mo’s ascension to this exalted echelon of UK sports stars has come about thanks to the well-documented victories that have made the 33-year-old Britain’s most successful track athlete of all time. His stunning triumphs in Rio made him a double World and Olympic Champion over both 5000m and 10,000m; he is the undisputed current king of distance running, but that’s only part of the reason we have chosen to pay homage here. Those beautifully executed wins may have looked like the inevitable spoils coming to an athlete blessed with a supreme gift, but it’s only when you look deeper and begin to examine what it took for him not only to reach these stratospheric heights but to stay at the top that you really get the measure of this remarkable man. What makes Mo a true hero is not his elegant stride or his brutal finishing kick, but the indomitable fighting spirit that have shaped them and him. Since coming to England from Somalia at the age of eight, Mo has had to fight. Overcoming playground bullies, struggling first to learn the language and later, as a young athlete, to make ends meet in his chosen vocation. In his early 20s he struggled to unlock his potential, something which he worried was having a direct effect on the welfare of his family. Athletics offers nothing like the riches of, say, football and a period of (relative) mediocrity between 2008 and 2011 meant sponsorship deals were jeopardised, bonus deals retracted and pay cuts suffered. So Mo moved his wife and stepchild (the

couple later had three children together) to the other side of the world and the Nike Project in Oregon, US, where he set about turning himself from the guy who faded down the home straight, to the seemingly unbeatable megastar we saw triumph yet again in Rio. Training twice a day six times a week; clocking up to 130 weekly miles interspersed with intense strength, conditioning and flexibility sessions in the gym, running in the howling wind, the lashing rain, the cold and dark of winter, when the rest of us start spending a lot more quality time with Netflix. In the second half of 2015 and into last year Mo was caught up in the doping scandal that swept through track and field, all because of his association with coach Alberto Salazar, whose methods had come under intense scrutiny. Instead of being able to focus solely on training for the Olympics Farah was forced to spend months fighting to defend his innocence amid a frenzy of media attention. In the midst of, and possibly because of, this distraction, questions were raised over his form and mindset when he finished a distant third at the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff in March, crossing the finish line in visible distress. He may have been knocked down, but on the Olympic stadium track in Rio, he picked himself up and fought his way back to become the first distance runner to win a ‘double double’ since the great ‘Flying Finn’ Lasse Viren (who took 5000m and 10,000m gold at the 1972 and 1976 Olympics) and thus cement his place in the pantheon of modern distance greats alongside Haile Gebrselassie, Paul Tergat and Kenenisa Bekele. The richly deserved knighthood may be pending, but in the meantime we salute you, Sir Mo. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 069


HEROES

‘THIS IS

Congo,’ says Makorobondo “Dee” Salukombo, 28. ‘Here, people run to save their lives.’ Since 1996, civil wars have killed nearly six million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo – more than any other conflict since the Second World War. One survey found that more than 1,000 women are raped every day in the beleaguered central African state, and there are an estimated 30,000 child soldiers. Salukombo and his family fled their village of Kirotshe, near the Rwandan border, in 2001, and ended up in the United States, where he became an All-American school champion in cross-country running and on the track. Salukombo graduated from university in 2012 and then started ProjectKirotshe, a youth running programme with an educational focus; it’s based in his former village. He raised enough money to send 13,000 textbooks, 55 computers and athletic equipment to supply the village’s new community learning centre and running team. Then he returned home for the first time, to launch his vision of turning kids into students and runners. Through donations, the project – now called the Kirotshe Foundation – pays their school and higher education expenses. In a country where militants lure kids with guns and money, education is critical, says Salukombo. The kids, most of whom have been left orphans by the war, participate in running groups and compete in local and national events. ‘By running together, they’re creating a family that most of them never had,’ says Salukombo. He spent much of last year training with his top runners as well as coaching them. In August, he and his best runner, 5000m ace Beatrice Kamuchanga, then 18, went to Rio to represent DR Congo in the Olympics. Kamuchanga didn’t advance out of her heat and Salukombo finished 113th in the marathon (in 2:28:54), but it was being there that mattered most, he says. ‘The Games gave the youths the confidence to believe they can get that first Olympic medal for Congo.’ Salukombo is now back in the US, fundraising and coaching his runners remotely. He remains determined to help as many kids as he can. ‘Why not use my strength to try to inspire them?’ 070 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

THE HOPE GIVER

Makorobondo Salukombo


THE RECORD BREAKER

BEN SMITH

IF EVER THERE WAS A STORY that confirms

Salukombo is determined to help as many kids in his former home as he can. (Inset) Some of the children who have benefited from the Kirotshe Foundation.

the redemptive power of running it is surely that of 34-year-old Ben Smith. Five years ago he was a smoking, heavy-drinking, overweight depressive; on October 5 last year he completed a record-breaking 401st marathon in as many days. It marked the end of an extraordinary journey. Smith was bullied at school, which led to depression and two suicide attempts in adulthood. After suffering a mini-stroke at the age of 29 and coming out as gay, he planned an adventure that would raise awareness about bullying, as well as helping him to turn his own life around. The 401 challenge (the401challenge.co.uk), would entail running around the UK and, in the process, raising money for two charities close to Smith’s heart: Stonewall and Kidscape. Having sold his house to fund the challenge and with the constant support of a new partner, Kyle, who gave up his own job and PhD studies to help out, Smith set off from his hometown of Bristol on September 1 2015, running self-planned routes during the week and taking part in official marathons at weekends, including the Isle of Wight, Bristol to Bath, Brighton, Greater Manchester, Edinburgh and London. Along the way he battled injuries to his spine, knees, heels and shins but was helped by almost 9,500 people who had read about the challenge and who turned up to run with him for a leg or two. Four hundred and one days – as well as 10,506 miles, 22 pairs of trainers, 2.5 million kcals, 19kg of weight lost and £307,000 of funds raised – later he breasted the tape at a special event in Bristol, where he was greeted by Kyle, his family and well wishers. Following a three-month ‘cool-down’ period to bring his body back to normal, Smith continues his work – he plans to set up the 401 Foundation, which will work to build confidence and self-esteem in children. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 071


THE RISING STAR

CLAIRE LOMAS

CALLUM HAWKINS

A BRIT WAS FIRST across the line at the Great North Run last year and no, it wasn’t Mo. Before the elites, wheelchair racers and fun runners streaked along the South Shields seafront on September 11, 36-yearold Claire Lomas was lapping up the cheers of thousands as she crossed the line – five days after she set off. Lomas, who was left paralysed from the chest down in a 2007 horse-riding accident, started her monumental effort on Wednesday, September 7, and covered a little over three miles a day, sheathed inside a robotic exoskeleton reWalk suit, and using the working muscles she did have to trigger the motion sensors required to get the suit to move. The going was extremely slow (it took her four hours to complete the first mile) and painful, with chafing, temperature regulation, hills and fatigue among the issues she had to deal with. And if that wasn’t enough, Lomas was also 16 weeks pregnant with her second child. ‘I had quite a lot of morning sickness in training so I didn’t have the lead-up I wanted – I didn’t get much sleep along the way, either – but I really did not want to lose this opportunity,’ she says. ‘There were times when I thought I was going to quit, but I’m so glad I made it.’ Lomas’s husband, Dan, walked every step of the way with her and each day the pair stopped at schools along the route to talk to pupils about her battle to overcome her injuries and about spinal injury research – to date Lomas has raised around £560,000 for the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation. As well as capturing the hearts of the nation, it’s fitting that Lomas drew praise from another of our Heroes, Mo Farah. ‘It’s pretty amazing,’ he said when she finished the race. ‘What she went through, and then to finish the Great North Run. I want to congratulate her – this is what the Great North Run needs. To have the courage to be able to compete is amazing.’ We couldn’t agree more.

IN APRIL 2015 , when Eliud Kipchoge was storming to victory in the London Marathon, Callum Hawkins had never even run the distance. Little more than a year later he was holding off his idol, and the rest of the field, at the halfway mark of the Olympic marathon in Rio. Hawkins was eventually caught, but still finished ninth, the culmination of a meteoric rise during 2016 that saw him emerge as one of Britain’s most promising young athletes. Rio was only the third marathon for the 24-year-old from the village of Elderslie, near Glasgow, who’d previously specialised in crosscountry, 5000m and 10,000m – competing in the latter at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014. Frankfurt, in October 2015, was Hawkins’ marathon debut, and he backed up a strong showing in Germany by finishing eighth in London, with a PB of 2:10:52, qualifying in the process for Rio as highest-placed Brit. ‘I knew once I moved up to the marathon I’d be semi-decent, but I never thought I’d be this good,’ he says. After Rio, Hawkins returned to his native Scotland, winning the Great Scottish Run in October. He was the first British winner of the event in 23 years, but it was his course-record time that stood out – 60:22, the secondfastest half marathon ever by a Brit (behind Mo Farah). ‘I wasn’t expecting that at all. I never thought I’d go under 61 minutes,’ says Hawkins. Is breaking the hour for the half now in his sights? ‘It wasn’t in my mind before then but it has certainly jumped in there now.’ His performances suggest a maturity that bodes well for the years ahead – particularly since marathon runners typically don’t peak until their 30s. ‘I used to fear taking on the world’s best but now I don’t get anywhere near as intimidated,’ he says. ‘It’s a real buzz being up there with the leaders, but I just focus on my running and try not to get too carried away.’ Yes, you can leave that to the rest of us.

072 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

WORDS: KERRY MCCARTHY, DUNCAN CRAIG, AC SHILTON, NICK WELDON. PHOTOGRAPHY: (SECOND SPREAD) CHRIS L ANGER, AL AMY; (THIS SPREAD) COURTESY OF STEPHANIE CASE (CASE WITH RUNNERS), GET T Y

THE INSPIRATION

Case (far left) with some of her runners in Afghanistan. ‘Sports are a great way to break down barriers,’ she says. ‘On the mountain, everyone is equal.’


HEROES

THE ULTRA ACTIVIST

Stephanie Case

FOR

Stephanie Case, running in Afghanistan usually meant logging laps inside the United Nations compound in Kabul, where she worked as a human rights lawyer. Then, one day, the 34-yearold ultra runner hitched a UN helicopter ride to the Koh-e Baba Mountains for a day of unrestricted running. During that run, she thought, I’d love Afghan women to experience this sense of freedom. When Case floated the idea of a running club for women, other organisations dismissed it as too dangerous. To her surprise, it was Afghan women who pushed for the idea. ‘I thought, if they’re interested and brave enough to try this, I should be brave enough to help them,’ she says. So in 2014, Case founded Free to Run. Its goal: to use the sport to empower women and girls affected by conflict in their countries. Twelve women from Bamiyan, a town about 80 miles northwest of Kabul, joined her for two days in the mountains; after that inaugural outing, the group met once or twice a month. In 2015, a Free to Run member became the first female Afghan to complete a 26.2 in her own country, the Marathon of Afghanistan in Bamiyan, and in February 2016, the country’s first mixed team – trained by Free to Run – finished RacingThePlanet, a 155-mile ultra in Sri Lanka. Today, there are teams in three Afghan provinces and Case has expanded her initiative to Hong Kong (where it is aimed at refugees). In November 2016, more than 100 women and girls from Free to Run programmes ran either the 10K or the 26.2 at the second Marathon of Afghanistan. Stephanie now lives in Geneva, but keeps in contact with her teams, coordinates their training and visits often. She’s hoping to expand her programmes. ‘Changing the perception of women’s role in society is a way to achieve peace,’ she says. ‘It’s not for the to-do list after there’s peace.’

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Base training.................... ..... P78 The 10 best long runs............. P80 Jo Pavey ............................. . P83 Postrun hot drinks.................... P87 Mental strength....................... P88 Quick stability workout............ P91

C ACH REACH your PERSONAL BEST

GREEN FUEL

P H OTO G R A P H Y: M I TC H M A N D E L , M AT T R A I N E Y

Creamy, versatile and packed with nutrients, avocado should be on every runner’s list of go-to foods. We show you nine great ways to get your fix

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 077


Lay the groundwork now to run stronger all year. How? It’s all about that base

WHETHER YOU’RE

hoping to crush a time goal, lose weight or simply enjoy a consistent running routine this year, you’ll benefit from devoting a month or two to base training. This focus on logging easy-effort miles develops a solid aerobic foundation that you can then maintain or build on (with tempo runs or speedwork). ‘Putting in those miles creates changes in your body that go all the way down to the cellular level,’ says running coach and exercise physiologist Janet Hamilton. During base training, you enlarge

BASE YOURSELF Put the work in now and hit your targets throughout the year.

078 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

your heart chambers, build mitochondria (your cells’ power stations), strengthen tendons and other connective tissues, and also expand your glycogen-storage capacity. Those invisible metamorphoses make you better able to handle – and benefit from – more intense workouts later on. ‘You’re training to train,’ says running coach Dennis Barker. A good base for a new runner might be 10 miles per week (including a three-mile ‘long’ run), while experienced runners targeting half marathons or longer should aim for 30 or more weekly miles. If you’re a

GETTING STARTED

All runners should build mileage gradually – never exceeding 10 per cent increases from week to week – and should vary the length of their runs. Hamilton recommends one long run (30-40 per cent of total weekly mileage), two medium runs (20 per cent) and one or two easy, shortmileage runs (10 per cent) per week. Rein in your pace and save high-intensity speedwork for later: even moderateintensity runs should represent no more than

10-15 per cent of your weekly mileage. If your joints ache with the mere thought of running four or five times each week, swap out your easiest run (or runs, if you’re planning five workouts per week) for cardio cross-training. ‘It takes some stress off your legs while still building aerobic fitness,’ says 2008 Olympian Amy Yoder Begley, now a running coach at the University of Connecticut, US. (See Cross-check below to learn how to fit cross-training sessions around your runs.) Begley recommends non-weight-bearing exercises such as cycling or aqua-jogging, which give your joints and muscles a break from running’s impact forces while still challenging your heart and lungs. In her training programmes, every 10 minutes of cardio cross-training equals one running mile. ‘But they WO R D S : K E L LY BAS TO N E . P H OTO G R A P H : I A N CO B L E . I L LU S T R AT I O N : M A R K M ATC H O

PICK UP THE BASE

racer, solid base fitness preps you for faster finishes. Base-building has mental benefits, too: ‘You’ll feel stronger, which ups your enjoyment of any run,’ says Hamilton. Here’s how to build your base – and how to strengthen an already solid foundation.

CROSS-CHECK How (and when) to reap the most benefits from cardio cross-training


TRAINING have to be quality cardio sessions; you can’t just be out for a stroll,’ says Begley. Cycling workouts, for example, should use a fast cadence (above 90 rotations per minute). Make sure you keep a midweek long run, about 75 per cent of the length of your longest run – so if you’re logging 15 miles at the weekend, your midweek ‘long’ run should be 10 or 11 miles. ‘Your goal is quantity, not quality, so don’t worry about pace,’ says Barker. But build in good recovery after each longer run. BUILDING UP

If you have already been consistently logging solid mileage for months, there’s still room for you to shore up your base before diving into more intense training. You can try adding a midweek longish run or running doubles (that is, going

out twice in one day). Logging two longer runs each week builds your capacity for distance, which is especially beneficial for runners targeting marathons later in the year. When work or family commitments prevent hours-long workouts during the week, occasional doubles can be an effective way to enrich aerobic capability. Start by breaking up a normal mid-length easy run into two sessions: one in the morning and another in the afternoon or evening. ‘Do no more than two doubles per week for the first two weeks,’ says Barker. If your body handles the additional sessions without much complaint, try adding a mile or two to one or both of the sessions. Doubles are typically the realm of advanced runners, says Barker, so listen to your body and back off if anything hurts.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS FROM AN EASYGOING COACH

BY JEFF GALLOWAY

HEALTHY, HAPPY RUNNING My advice for staying injury-free forever On July 12, 2015, I ran the Missoula Marathon (Montana, US), my 200th 26.2-miler, to celebrate turning 70. I competed in the 1972 Olympics in the 10,000 metres, and as I trained to remain a top athlete I developed an Achilles problem in 1977. Then I had an epiphany: I wanted to enjoy every run, pain-free, for the rest of my life. I’ve run almost every day since 1978 without injury. Here’s how I do it – and how you can, too.

CYCLING Great if you’re doing hills (equivalent to a moderate-to-high resistance setting on the spin bike). Don’t do it the day before or after a long or tough run.

SWIMMING Since it taxes non-running muscles, swimming is a good crosstraining option any day, even the day before or after a tough running workout.

ROWING This glute strengthener is fine anytime. New runners may feel some post-workout muscle soreness or fatigue, but it’ll diminish as you adapt.

TAKE WALK BREAKS Doing a mixture of running and walking gives me control over how I feel on a run and how quickly I recover. If I start to feel sore or tired, I can adjust the amount of running and walking to heal while I continue my daily runs. Run-walking in races helps me bounce back quickly. SHORTEN YOUR STRIDE Taking short steps and keeping your feet close to

the ground reduces stress on your feet, legs, joints, muscles and tendons. A short stride, paired with walk breaks, can keep your legs feeling strong even as your body loses flexibility and muscle mass with age. RACE YOUR WAY FIT I stopped speedwork in 1978 – if I wanted to run fast, I’d enter a 5K. I also started to look at marathons as long training runs rather than races – two years later I ran my PB (2:16). Races offer a sense of community and a mental boost that help you run faster with less effort. BE OPEN TO CHANGE Runners are stubborn, especially those who’ve been at it for years. Many hesitate to slow down, add walk breaks or run fewer days, even as they stop enjoying their runs (and get injured). But change is good – the right strategy can allow mature runners to feel good on every run.

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LONG RUNS

No matter what your preferred race distance, the long run is invaluable in training

WHETHER YOU’RE TRAINING FOR a

marathon or just looking to improve your fitness, regular runs that boost your endurance should be a cornerstone of your schedule. And the best workouts for that are long runs. ‘The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat,’ says Bill Squires, who was coach to marathon greats such as Alberto Salazar. For decades, serious and recreational runners have agreed, with weekend runs lasting for hours – whether solo or in groups – becoming a tradition. The primary benefits of the long run are better stamina, stronger muscles and connective tissue, and improved running economy and fat-burning efficiency. The long run is valuable whether you’re targeting 5K or a marathon – both are primarily aerobic challenges. While the steady-state long run (number one in the list) is one of the simplest and most effective endurance workouts there is, there are also a number of variations to it, some specific to marathoners, but others offering a proven way to build general running fitness. Drop one of the following into your routine to build firm endurance foundations.

080 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

THE LONG WAY When it comes to the long run, there are plenty of options.


TRAINING

1 / STEADY-STATE WHY DO IT To build stamina, muscle and connective tissue, improve running economy and fat-burning efficiency.

PHOTOGRAPH: SCOT T MARKEWIT Z PHOTOGRAPHY, INC

HOW TO DO IT Long runs vary widely according to goal race (they are key in marathon training), but in general terms, a weekly long run done at a conversational pace (you should be able to talk in sentences) and lasting for at least an hour is a good starting point (beginners should build up to this point).

2 / MEDIUM LONG WHY DO IT Popularised

by coach Pete Pfitzinger, these are run midweek. This means, he says, ‘the muscles must maintain a sustained effort every three or four days, which leads to greater adaptations’. HOW TO DO IT Medium-

long runs are 75-85 per cent as long as your regular long run and done at a conversational or, if you want to push it, steady pace. They might be run the day after a more intense run so they also boost your powers of recovery.

6 / SURGE LONG RUN

7 / TEMPO-LONG

WHY DO IT Intervals of faster running in the last few miles of a long run recruit fast-twitch muscle fibres and teach them to kick in even at slower paces. Breaking out of a settled pace when tired also requires focus.

WHY DO IT Running a

HOW TO DO IT Insert five

HOW TO DO IT Warm up

30-sec surges (or ‘strides’ – smooth increases in pace), with two minutes of easy running between them, for the last few miles of a long run. Keep the surges comfortable – around tempo pace (it should be comfortably hard, but not flat out).

for three miles, run three to four miles at tempo (comfortably hard) pace, then slow down to easy (conversational) pace for the next hour. Then, once again, run three to four miles at tempo pace, before cooling down.

good marathon is about running a solid 10K after hours on your feet, meaning increased effort late in the race. This hard workout helps prepare you. Insert it once or twice in place of a long run.

3 / DOUBLE DAY WHY DO IT You get an aerobic-training stimulus twice a day; running pre-fatigued during the second run accesses different muscle fibres, but it doesn’t beat your body up as much as a longer single run. HOW TO DO IT A double

day works well as a substitute for the medium long run (left) the day after a quality workout. So if you do intervals on Tuesday, instead of an eight-miler on Wednesday, do two runs of four miles each – one in the morning and one late in the afternoon.

4 / LONG-FARTLEK

5 / PROGRESSION

WHY DO IT Breaks up the monotony of long runs.

WHY DO IT Teaches the body to hold form when tired.

HOW TO DO IT Run for

HOW TO DO IT Marathon trainees should do this instead of a 20-mile long run a week or two before tapering. Run the first five miles at two minutes per mile slower than marathon goal pace. Gradually increase the pace to one minute per mile slower than marathon pace by 10 miles, then 30 secs per mile slower than marathon pace by 15 miles. Run the last three miles at, or close to, marathon goal pace.

20 minutes at a very conservative pace, then start to gradually speed up to about one minute slower than your marathon goal pace. After the 60-minute mark, do the first 20-60 secs of each remaining mile at a faster clip – up to a minute per mile faster than marathon pace. ‘These bursts force you to push it when you’re tired,’ says Josh Cox, the US record holder in the 50K.

8 / MARATHON PACE

9 / HILLY LONG RUN

WHY DO IT Helps you practise running marathon pace when tired.

WHY DO IT Builds leg

and mental strength, and cardiovascular endurance.

HOW TO DO IT Pfitzinger

HOW TO DO IT

advises one or two long runs where you run 12-15 miles at goal marathon pace (eg, do 20 miles with 12 miles in the middle at goal pace). This type of long run is great for faster marathoners who run their long runs slower than their marathon pace. For slower runners who are already running at marathon race pace in their long runs, he suggests running the faster segment at a steady pace.

Legendary New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard had his runners do a hilly 22-mile route in base training. To emulate it, find a 15-20-mile looped route with a flat start for at least a few miles and then a climb when you’re into your rhythm, followed by an undulating profile and then a gradual descent to a flattish finish. Feeling more daring? Try adding another climb just before the end.

10 / DEPLETION LONG WHY DO IT Going long in a carb-depleted state improves your body’s ability to metabolise fat as an energy source. HOW TO DO IT Not one

for new runners; others can try it once or twice in base training. Set out in the morning – having not had breakfast – and run for at least 90 mins without taking on carbs (water and/or electrolyte drinks are fine). Keep the pace conversational to maximise fatfuelling and reduce the risk of crashing and burning. Carry some energy gels – just in case.

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TRAINING YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR RESIDENT OLYMPIAN

BY JO PAVEY

HAVE A HEART Training with a heartrate monitor gives you heaps of information that will help improve your running

Get in the zone

/ ZONE 1 60-70 per cent of MHR; very comfortable, easy recovery running. / ZONE 2 70-80 per cent; steady running; comfortable enough to hold a conversation; most training is done here.

P H OTO G R A P H : G E T T Y. * 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 ’

/ ZONE 3

What are the main benefits of training using my heart rate as a guide? Wearing a heart-rate monitor means you can get detailed feedback on how hard you’re working. This enables you to train smarter, allowing you to get the desired training effect out of each workout. The first thing to work out is your maximum heart rate (MHR). A rough guide is 220 minus your age. Or there are field tests that can be done to get an approximate reading – such as doing a two-mile time trial on a track or level ground with a heart-rate monitor at the fastest pace that you can sustain, trying to run each mile or lap at roughly the same pace. Look to see the MHR that was hit. You can then work out your heart-rate zones, allowing you to train at different intensities based on percentages of your MHR (see Get in the zone, right). This is sometimes referred to as ‘zone training’.

This prevents you from running too hard on your easy/recovery runs, reducing the risk of fatigue and overtraining; it also helps you to recover. By recovering properly during your easy runs your legs will also be fresher for your next hard session or race. Equally, you will be able to accurately track your effort in interval sessions, when you want to be working at a higher intensity. Heart-rate (HR) training is particularly useful for tempo runs, when getting the exertion level right is important for reaping the benefits from the workout. Training to heart rate also helps you moderate the influence of external factors such as heat and humidity, which require your heart to work harder. Remember that although HR training is useful, being able to instinctively ‘feel’ pace and effort is also a valuable skill.

Email questions to: rwedit@runnersworld.co.uk with the subject ‘Ask Jo’

80-93 per cent; tempo effort or ‘comfortably hard’; you may be able to speak in short, broken sentences.

/ ZONE 4 94-100 per cent; hard effort; interval and 5K pace; conversation is limited to a few words at a time.

Does drafting behind another runner help? When you’re running into a headwind, drafting behind another runner is beneficial, as it lessens energy cost by reducing air resistance. However, when it’s calm, it only really has an effect if you’re running faster than 7:00min/mile. You have to be close behind to get an advantage – more than one metre and any help is significantly reduced. This is also true if you’re not directly behind. Runners also find drafting behind a runner helps them relax, as they don’t have to focus on their own pace. There aren’t rules to prohibit drafting, but it may be seen as unsporting if you stay close behind someone for many miles in a road race. In general, it’s nice to share the pacesetting with others. What can I do to motivate myself to run when I don’t really feel like it? All runners have this feeling at some point. Running shouldn’t feel like a chore, so look to boost your enjoyment. Try a new route, or go somewhere with beautiful scenery to run. Remind yourself how good you’ll feel when you’ve finished your run. Make plans to run with others – you’re more likely to go if it’s a social occasion. It also helps if you think of running as a part of your routine. You may find that you just get on with it without too much thought. Or tell yourself that you’re just going to go out for 10 minutes and see how you get on. Once you start, you often forget that you didn’t originally feel like it. Jo Pavey is a five-time UK Olympian and former European 5000m champion

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 083


FUEL

COME AND AVO GO

Why and how marathoner and chef Nate Appleman eats an avocado every day PACKED WITH heart-healthy monounsaturated

fats, avocados supply more than 20 runneressential nutrients, including the minerals potassium, copper, zinc, and vitamins C, E, K and B6. At 230 calories per medium avocado, it’s a healthy alternative to butter. Here are some of chef Nate Appleman’s favourite ways to eat the smooth green superveg-that’s-actually-a-fruit. another slice of bread. Open the sandwich and stuff in sliced avocado. . AVOCADO LOLLIES Blend two avocados, a can of coconut milk and the juice of a grapefruit. Add honey to taste. Pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze. GRILLED RIBEYE Grill a ribeye steak with spring onions and serve with fresh tortillas, tomato salsa and sliced avocado doused in extra virgin olive oil and topped with sesame seeds and sea salt. AVOCADO ‘TORTILLA’ Rub a halved avocado with olive oil and salt and place on a very hot grill. Remove when grillmarked. Serve with a mild feta cheese and salsa.

P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L

People who often eat avocados have a smaller waist size and lower body mass index than abstainers.

GUACAMOLE Mash an avocado with chopped onion, jalapeño and coriander; mix in lime juice and cumin. TOAST WITH EGGS Fry eggs, remove, then put grated Parmesan in the pan to form a crispy cheese wafer (‘frico’). Smash some avocado on toast and serve with the frico and eggs. GRILLED CHEESE Grill buttered wholewheat bread topped with cheddar and ham and

AVOCADO SMOOTHIE Blend a frozen banana, half an avocado, a big handful of chopped kale, a tablespoon of almond butter and a handful of frozen pineapple chunks. TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD Chop tomatoes, red onions and avocado chunks, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. Serve with mayonnaise mixed with anchovies and tuna. SALMON AND AVOCADO SALAD Mix chopped lettuce with veg (such as steamed broccoli). Top with a baked salmon steak, lemon juice and soy sauce, sliced avocado and pine nuts.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 085


EVENT

BOOK NOW! THURSDAY 9 MARCH VICTORIA HOUSE, LONDON 5:30 – 9:30PM TICKETS ONLY £29

presents Get your sweat on in style and be part of the first ever Women’s Health Fit Night Out, an exclusive evening of workouts and wellness. Train with the UK’s hottest PTs, get top tips from your favourite foodies, discover the latest health must-haves and much more. Full line-up to be announced soon!

YO U R T I C K E T I N C L U D E S :

REGISTER NOW AT WWW.WOMENSHEALTHMAG.CO.UK/FNO


FUEL

NUTRITION ADVICE FOR HEALTHY, HUNGRY RUNNERS

BY LIZ APPLEGATE

WARM UP YOUR COOL-DOWN Defrost and recover faster after your winter run with these antioxidant-rich hot drinks

P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L

Drinking tea has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

MEXICAN-STYLE HOT CHOCOLATE Bittersweet chocolate has polyphenols, which can help boost blood flow and improve running performance. The heat from cayenne pepper may also rev up your metabolism. The protein and carbs in milk will help your muscles recover. DRINK UP Mix 250ml semiskimmed milk, 30g of a 70 per cent cacao chocolate bar (chopped), 2 tsp raw sugar, 1⁄4 tsp vanilla extract and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Warm in a pan, stirring until the chocolate melts. TURMERIC TEA Turmeric contains curcumin, an antiinflammatory. In Eastern medicine, it is used to treat digestive disorders and arthritis. Research has also found that this phytochemical may fight oxidative damage from tough workouts. DRINK UP Steep slices from a 1˝ piece of fresh turmeric for 4-5 minutes and strain. Or try turmeric tea bags, which are often mixed with ginger, which can aid digestion. HOT APPLE CIDER Unfiltered cider from fresh apples (and their skin) is packed with quercetin, which may protect you from cancer and heart

disease. Quercetin may also boost exercise performance by improving your body's ability to use oxygen. You'd need a lot of cider for some of these benefits, so make sure to eat other quercetinpacked foods such as onions and citrus fruits. DRINK UP Heat apple cider and then add some ground cinnamon. CINNAMON COFFEE A sprinkle of ground cinnamon in your morning coffee can help curb blood sugar spikes, which have been linked to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Caffeine is linked to improved athletic performance. DRINK UP Add a dash of cinnamon to your brew (or steep with a stick of cinnamon for 5 minutes). HOT TODDY Feeling sniffly? Nip it in the bud with this winter favourite. The flavonoids in lemons may help keep the cold at bay, and the honey will ease your cough and sooth your throat. DRINK UP Steep 1 rosehip (or other herbal variety) tea bag in 250ml of hot water; add 25ml whiskey, 2 tsp honey and juice from 1⁄4 lemon. Place a lemon wedge in the bottom of the cup and stir. Liz Applegate is director of sports nutrition at the University of California, US

Questions from the crowd

/ IS IT OK TO HAVE COFFEE BEFORE AND AFTER MY RUN? Pre-run caffeine can make hard efforts feel easier. Try it in training so you know how it affects you. Post-workout coffee is no bad thing (it can help boost your mood and energy levels), but it shouldn’t replace your carb-protein recovery meal.

/ HOW SHOULD RECOVERY REFUELLING CHANGE AS YOU AGE? As you get older, your calorie needs decrease, due to a slowing metabolism. And muscle-building also slows down. This means you have less room to indulge and should focus on making every calorie count, especially after a workout. Choose quality foods (lean meats, eggs, dairy, soy) to get your 10-25g of postrun protein.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 087


Overcome your brain’s annoying tendency to slow you down YOUR LEGS ARE SCREAMING and

you’re sure this is as fast – or as far – as you can go. When you feel as if you can’t run another step, it’s natural to assume your body has had enough. But science suggests your mind is slowing you down prematurely, and you possess more power than you realise. Researchers tested the mus cle contractions of runners over 20km. Some ran normally, their muscles contracting on their own – the brain in control. Another group’s muscles were contracted via electrical stimulation – the muscles were forced to contract externally without the brain’s input. The first group’s muscle contractions weakened after 15km. But the other group’s contractions were as strong at the end of the

20km as they were at the start of the run. This suggests the brain can convince the body it’s tired even when muscles are still able to work hard. ‘We’re wired to leave something in the tank,’ says sports psychologist Jim Taylor. ‘Years ago, when we hunted for meals, we needed to conserve energy to get back home. Our minds want to make sure we don’t fatigue completely.’ Taylor says that with practice you can learn to defy the brain’s overprotective nature to see just how fast and far you can really go. First things first: you have to put in proper training to perform your best. Mental strategies alone won’t propel you to a PB. But while you’re hammering out the long runs, you can work to break down the hurdles in your mind to reveal

TAKE CARE The instinct to slow down or stop shouldn’t be dismissed if you are injured, ill or truly need to back off.

PICTURE A STRONG SPRINT TO THE LINE Envisioning the runner you want to be – one who doesn’t let up or give in – is one of the most important mental skills you can harness if you want to push your limits, says sports psychologist Dr Grayson Kimball, author of Grateful Running: Mental Training for the Long Distance Runner (lulu. com). ‘Negative thinking can be a self-fulfilling prophecy,’ he says. ‘If you think you’re too tired to go on, then you’ll probably stop. If you see mile marker 22 and think, Oh,

Pro pep talk

When fatigue begins to set in, negative thoughts are not too far behind and then your performance suffers. Training your brain to harness positive thinking can help you stop that cycle. Here's how a few elite runners do it.

088 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

WO R D S : M AC K E N Z I E LO B B Y H AV E Y. P H OTO G R A P H Y: C R A I G M I TC H E L L .

PUT YOUR MIND TO REST

GAUGE YOUR DISCOMFORT If you are pushing the pace to get faster or adding distance to go further, your body is going to talk back to you. Be a good listener. During training, learn to distinguish ‘good pain’ (discomfort from leaving your comfort zone) from ‘bad pain’ (something that verges on injury). ‘There is a difference between muscles that burn at the end of a workout and something that hurts every time you take a step,’ says Taylor. ‘Part of training is learning body awareness. You also need to experience some discomfort so it’s not a foreign feeling when it occurs in a race. You know you can push through it.’


BODY + MIND this is where I always fall apart, then you probably will. If you can envision yourself running strong, gliding up hills and sprinting across the finish line, you can boost your self-confidence and use it to power you.’

TRAINING ADVICE FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE

BY ALEX HUTCHINSON

CELEBRATE THE SMALL VICTORIES Kimball suggests breaking a race down into chunks, each with individual goals. You could aim to maintain good running posture when climbing a hill, or to have a plan to hydrate quickly at aid stations. Each time you check one off, you feel better about your capability to achieve your ultimate race goal. ‘Achieving success more often keeps you more optimistic, which will help you in the later stages of a race,’ he says.

THINK FAST A strong mental game can help you run your best on race day For decades, sports psychologists have told runners that focusing on the act of running is the best way to chase PBs. But what are you supposed to think about? New research suggests that certain midrun thought patterns are helpful, while others can do harm. And the more mental tactics you practise, the more likely you are to have one that works in any race situation, says Ulster University sports psychology researcher Noel Brick. To master the mental side of your next spring race, start training to use these tactics now.

REPEAT A MANTRA Having a go-to phrase that you can repeat can help you push through tough parts of workouts and races. Just choose it carefully, says Kimball. ‘A lot of runners fall into the trap of having a negative mantra that they think is positive, such as “Don’t crash’ or “Don’t stop”,’ he says. ‘That runner is creating a mindset to avoid failure versus a runner who will say something positive, like “Power up” or “Move those legs”.’

‘On uphills, my mantra is “Keep it together!”. I also think, over and over, “Quick and light.”’ Sage Canaday, 2014 The North Face Endurance Challenge 50-mile champion

‘I like “Do the work” when I’m doing long workouts. I cope with negative thoughts by replacing them with that mantra.’ Kim Conley, 5000m Olympian in 2012

THOUGHT PATTERNS Elite runners are masters of ‘metacognition’, or thinking about thinking, says Brick: they plan what they should think about at various stages of a race to maximise their performance, and they practise those thought patterns in training. After the race, they assess which strategies were successful and which weren’t. Did you start falling off goal pace when you focused on staying relaxed, and then pick it back up when you started looking ahead to the runner in front of you? Take note of that pattern.

‘I like this, from the novel The Power of One: 'First with the head, then the heart, that's how a man stays ahead from the start.’ Tyler McCandless, 2:15 marathoner

CHECK IN, THEN OUT ‘Can you maintain this pace to the finish line?’ is the big question in racing. To answer it, you need to assess how you’re feeling, then slow down or speed up accordingly. But if you focus non-stop on how you’re feeling, it can make the run feel harder. Instead, Brick suggests, do a periodic body scan – at each mile marker in a marathon, for example – and if all is well, turn

your attention back to other matters, such as your running form. Experiment in training to find form cues that help you feel smooth and fast. Focus on maintaining a quick cadence and light steps, or keeping your shoulders down and arms swinging freely. TALK TO YOURSELF Your internal dialogue isn’t just a response to how you’re feeling; it also helps shape your reaction. Thinking that you feel like crap isn’t going to make your race any easier. In a 2014 study, researchers showed that positive self-talk improved time to exhaustion by 18 per cent in a cycling test. Draw up a list of mantras to use at different points in a race (eg, ‘Feeling good!’ early on and ‘Push through this!’ in the closing miles) and try them in training to determine which feel comfortable. Then practise them until they become automatic. Alex Hutchinson is a former elite athlete and the author of Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights? (William Morrow)

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 089


BODY + MIND

READY, WILLING AND STABLE

Get stronger and avoid injury postrun with this 10-minute stability workout

WHEN JAY CARDIELLO ran as an

amateur track athlete at university, he never took the time to work on the postrun extras that keep a body healthy. ‘After a workout, I just wanted to go home,’ he says. ‘I ended up with a cracked tailbone, which cut my college career short.’ As Cardiello rehabbed his back, he noted the muscular weaknesses and imbalances that had contributed to his fracture. He resumed running with a new a commitment to staying strong and balanced. Cardiello wants runners to benefit from all he’s learned on the road to

recovery. His goal is to help runners go faster and further – without getting hurt. That’s why he created this 10-minute postrun routine to build stability. The workout, designed by Cardiello specifically for Runner’s World, is short, simple and doesn’t require much space or any equipment. Do the stability routine shown on the pages that follow after an easy run. The 20 moves feature core and one-legged strength work. ‘Investing just 10 minutes will make you stronger and also happier,’ says Cardiello, below left, now a strength and conditioning coach who works with sports teams and celebrities. ‘You’ll enjoy running more, knowing you are taking care of your body.’

WO R D S : K AT I E N E I T Z . P H OTO G R A P H Y: M AT T R A I N E Y

STEADY ON! Building core and leg strength takes less time than you think and it will give you the balance of power.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 091


STABILITY PERFORMANCE WORKOUT LUMBERJACK SQUATS Interlock your fingers above your head. Lower into a squat while swinging your arms down. Rise back up while swinging your arms back overhead.

LEANING ROTATIONS WITH REACH (RIGHT) Stand on your right leg; lean forward and extend your left leg back. Rotate your torso as you reach your left hand to your right foot.

SQUAT TO KNEE RAISE Lower into a squat, then quickly drive your right knee as high as possible out to your side. Lower your right leg back down, then repeat on the other side.

LUNGE TO GLUTE KICK (RIGHT) Step back with your right leg and lower down into a lunge. Come back up to standing and kick your right foot back toward your glutes.

STABILITY KNEE DRIVERS (RIGHT) With your arms in running position, brace your core and drive your right knee up as high as possible. Lower to standing Do as many reps as and repeat.

LUNGE TO FRONTKNEE DRIVE (RIGHT) Step back with your right leg and lower down into a lunge. Come back up and drive your right knee up towards your chest.

ACTION/ REACTION (RIGHT) Drive your right knee up and extend it forward, to mimic the motion of running. Flex your right foot and scrape the ground.

SINGLE-LEG SQUATS (RIGHT) Lift your left leg off the ground, keeping the leg slightly bent. Bend your right knee and lower down into a squat. Pause, then return to standing. 092 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

you can in 30 secs, working to increase the number of reps you can do in that time as you get stronger.

STABILITY KNEE DRIVERS (LEFT) With your arms in running position, brace your core and drive your left knee up as high as possible. Lower back to standing and repeat.

ACTION/REACTION (LEFT) Drive your left knee up and then extend it forward, to mimic the motion of running. Flex your left foot and scrape the ground with your forefoot.


BODY + MIND

Jay Cardiello’s comprehensive, focused 10-minute routine (spend 30 seconds doing each exercise) builds leg and core strength. Many of the moves here are single-legged; this is designed to mimic the demands of running (which is, essentially, a one-legged balancing

act repeated over and over) and also to prevent the development of asymmetrical imbalances that can affect performance and increase your risk of injury. A mere 10 minutes a couple of times a week to become a stronger, healthier runner? It’s what they call a no-brainer.

SINGLE-LEG SQUATS (LEFT) Lift your right leg off the ground, keeping the leg slightly bent. Bend your left knee and lower down into a squat. Pause, then return to standing.

BALANCE BEAMS Get in a plank position. With your back flat, raise your right arm and left leg parallel to the floor. Return to the plank. Repeat with your left arm and right leg.

LEANING ROTATIONS WITH REACH (LEFT) Stand on your left leg; lean forward, extending your right leg back. Rotate your torso as you reach your right hand to your left foot.

FORWARD WALKOVERS Step forward with your right leg, lifting your leg high, as if you are going over a hurdle. Repeat with the left leg. Continue alternating legs.

LUNGE TO GLUTE KICK (LEFT) Step back with your left leg and lower down into a deep lunge. Come back up and kick your left foot back toward your glutes.

BACKWARD WALKOVERS Step backward with your right leg, lifting your leg high, as if you are clearing a hurdle behind you. Repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating legs.

LUNGE TO FRONT KNEE DRIVE (LEFT) Step back with your left leg and lower down into a deep lunge. Come back up and drive your left knee powerfully up towards your chest.

ALTERNATING LEG SWINGS Extend your arms in front of your body. Swing your right leg forward. Bring it back down. Then swing your left leg forward. Continue alternating legs.

WALKOUTS Stand tall. Reach down to put your palms on the ground. Walk out until you are in a plank position. Walk your hands back to your feet. Return to standing.

SALUTATIONS Come into prayer position, palms together in front of your chest. Take a deep breath, exhale and circle your hands out to your sides, then up overhead. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 093


GEAR

1 / NEW BALANCE BEACON JACKET

GIVE YOURSELF the EDGE

£165, newbalance.co.uk

This is on the pricey side, but worth the investment – it’s waterproof and windproof, down to the tapes and seams. And you won’t struggle to be seen, thanks to the glow trim on the front and the reflective pattern on both arms. 2 / RONHILL VIZION RADIANCE JACKET £100, ronhill.com

1

LIGHT ON YOUR FEET

Brilliant kit to make sure you dazzle on dark winter runs

2

3

4

There’s more to this jacket than just the fluoro feature – although that definitely helps you be seen from a fair distance. It comes with 360-degree reflective detailing and two LED lights, which can be attached to the front and back. It’s also weather-resistant. 3 / DHB RUN REFLECTIVE JACKET £45, wiggle.co.uk

In terms of weatherproofing this is better suited to light rain and/ or moderate wind than to anything biblical, but the star of the show is the all-over reflective pattern, which gives you brilliant visibility for such a modest price. But it’s quite rustly, so you’ve no chance of quietly catching up on another runner. 4 / PEARL IZUMI PURSUIT SOFTSHELL JACKET £199.99, madison.co.uk

Soft, fluffy and warm on the inside; tough, gritty and weather-defeating on the outside. The streamlined cut of this is not especially forgiving, but if you’re a slimmer runner it will feel as if it’s part of you. A zip pocket on the left arm will take a standardsized mobile phone. 094 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017


5 / CRAFT MIND REFLECTIVE TIGHTS £59.99, zalando.co.uk

Suitable for less fierce winter conditions, these lightweight tights are a decent mid-range option for the price, offering a looser cut on the leg, a durable polyesterand-elastane weave, and a reflective-square design that makes these one big mass of shimmering silver. 6 / 2XU HYOPTIK COMPRESSION TIGHTS £75, 2xu.com

A great next-to-skin layer with moisture-wicking, antibacterial fabric, plus flatlock seams to prevent chafing. Reflective logos keep you visible when training in low light, while there’s compressive support for the glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles, and graduated compression to promote blood flow.

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7 / ASICS LITE-SHOW WINTER TIGHT £48, asics.co.uk

These feature what Asics calls ‘stealth reflectivity’ on the legs. What that means is that the reflective dots look a sober grey until they’re hit with light – at which point they All jackets and get to worky. running tights Cutting through are available in the jargon, these men’s and women’s versions, aside are a good from Lululemon option for those (women only) who want running tights that look, well, normal, in daylight. They also feature a wide waistband with a soft draw cord. 8 / LULULEMON SPEED TIGHT (SPLATTER) £258, lululemon.co.uk

No, it’s not a typo – these

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9

tights really will set you back – a lot. For that, though, you get an extremely well constructed and comfortable piece of kit: flatlock seams, great breathability, a wide waistband, ergonomic cut, thick and stretchy fabric, and 360-degree reflectivity that’s among the most effective we’ve ever come across. 9 / RONHILL VIZION RADIANCE TIGHT £50, ronhill.com

As well as fluoro logo and zip sections, the lower legs of these tights have a reflective pattern wrapping all the way round the shin and calf. The material, which has a very high elastane content, offers a four-way stretch to ensure the tights move easily with you instead of constricting, and there’s a handy zip pocket on the rear. The elasticated hem also helps keep them in place. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNER’S WORLD 095


10 / ULTIMATE PERFORMANCE HIGH-VIS LEDVEST £19.99, ultimateperformance.co.uk

Thanks to adjustable side straps, this will fit over the top of even the bulkiest of outer wear. It’s made from durable nylon and offers triple-visibility protection: high-vis orange strips, reflective sections and flashing LED lights on the front and back. 11 / SEALSKINZ HALO RUNNING GLOVE £22.75, sealskinz.com/uk Sealskinz has not only produced a temperatureregulating thermal glove that is entirely waterproof, but the flashing LED lights and reflective detailing on the backs of the hands make them perfect for lowlight running. 12 / PROVIZ REFLECT360 WATERPROOF DOG JACKET £24.99, provizsports.com

If you take your pooch with you on your evening runs, use this Velcro Emitting your own attachment light not only helps you to be seen, but jacket from it can also help you high-viz see your way on specialists dark stretches. Proviz to make sure they’re as easy to see as you are. When lights strike the jacket, your dog will have nowhere to hide. 13 / LED BEANIE HAT £9.99, dzinedirect.com Thick and toasty, this hat is best kept for the coldest days. It’s one-size-fits-all and the removable bright white light on the front is an innovative addition to your night-time-running winter wardrobe.

096 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017


GEAR 14 / NATHAN ORION STROBE LED LIGHT

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£28, apex-sports.co.uk

A unisex belt with a small but powerful white light, as well as three strobes to let everyone know where you are. Attach it to a backpack or wear it round your waist. It recharges with a USB. 15 / PROVIZ REFLECT360 RUCKSACK USB recharging removes the hassle and expense of replacing batteries and can shave precious weight, too.

£69.99, provizsports.com

Sometimes it’s a bit of a faff having to wrap a high-vis cover on your backpack before you run home. With this backpack you don’t have to. It’s highly reflective, water-resistant and has a padded back, chest and waist straps.

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16 / LITTLE MONSTER SAFETY LED LIGHT COLLAR

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£8.50, petspyjamas.com

Deck out your dog with a bit of winter bling – this durable nylon collar has LED lights that operate on three settings: daytime (off), static or flashing. Perfect for night-time adventures with your four-legged friend.

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17 / CRAFT BE ACTIVE THERMAL GLOVE

WO R D S : K E R RY M CCA R T H Y. P H OTO G R A P H S : KAT P I S I O L E K

£15, wiggle.co.uk

Touchscreen-friendly, high-vis, reflective, thermal, fitted, stretchy and with a towelling section on the thumb to wipe away sweat, these gloves have an abundance of features.

The footlights If you want to take the belt-and-braces approach to safety, choose running shoes with added reflectivity.

Asics Gel Nimbus 18 £145, asics.co.uk The Asics logo has subtle reflectivity – every little helps.

Brooks Glycerin 14 £130, brooksrunning.co.uk A fluoro section in the forefoot and the midfoot wraps are reflective.

Saucony Ride 9 Reflex £120, saucony.com/uk A reflective coating on the midsole make these easy to see at night.

Nike Lunar Epic Flyknit Shield £155, nike.com/uk Highly reflective and water-repellent, too.

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNER’S WORLD 097


GEAR

WATCH AND LEARN Apple has teamed up with Nike to produce a more sport-focused version of its smartwatch

APPLE WATCH NIKE+ From £369, apple.com/uk

• This updated version of the original Apple Watch does a great deal more than just pay lip service to fitness functionality – it will appeal to those who want their smartwatch to run their life and their training. RW VERDICT Apple has produced a smartwatch that is definitely fit for purpose when it comes to running training. It won’t give you detailed metrics but the GPS lock-on is almost instantaneous and it never drops out because the watch constantly searches for Wi-Fi signals when you’re running. We measured the training-data accuracy against more traditional devices and it was spot on, while the brighter screen, longer battery life and more sensitive darkscreen functionality (the watch snoozes until you turn your wrist inwards) are all far better than they were on its predecessor.

KEY FEATURES built-in GPS offers speed, distance, time, pace and calorieburn data customisable training screens wrist-based heartrate measurement features multisport functionality, including swimming metrics waterproof to 50m lightweight, rugged sport strap with ventilation holes syncs to Nike+ Run Club training app optional periodic voice updates on run data

WO R D S : K E R R Y M CCA R T H Y. P H OTO G R A P H : M I TC H M A N D E L

••••••••

Brand focus Castore High-end running kit for men In recent years a wealth of women-only clothing brands has sprung up, but no men-only labels – until now. Castore, from brothers Tom (26) and Phil (23) Beahon, is pitched at the premium end of the market. There are currently five items in the range, but with a long-sleeved T-shirt selling for £95 the onus is on quality rather than quantity – for ‘serious athletes who need serious kit’, as Tom puts it. What makes it worth the money?

‘It’s about the details,’ he says. ‘We tried every fabric on the market and weren’t happy with them so we spent nine months developing our own. It’s 50 per cent lighter than most fabrics; it stretches up to seven times its normal length, so despite the athletic cut it’ll move with your body as much as you need it to. Every prototype is tested for 100 days by athletes to ensure it’s doing everything they want.’ With a design team drawn from Rapha, Nike, Musto and Henry Lloyd, the Beahons are brothers with high ambition, as the name Castore suggests: it’s a reference to Castor and Pollux, the twin stars that form the constellation Gemini. castore.co.uk FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNER’SWORLD.CO.UK 099


RACE

LET YOUR RUNNING LOOSE

UK’S 50 BEST RACES

From 10Ks to ultras, and road races to mountain challenges, there’s something for everyone

Welcome to the Runner’s World roundup of the UK’s best races. It’s a pity that owing to space constraints we’ve had to limit ourselves to 50, as the number and variety of races has grown enormously in recent years. How did we put this list together? Good old-fashioned experience. Collectively, the RW team has more than 60 years of running experience and 35 years of working on the magazine – that’s a lot of races. We chose a mix of old and new, fast and slow, large and small, rural and urban, while also ensuring we covered the whole of the UK to bring you a list that will help to form the backbone of your race schedule for 2017. We left out giants such as Race For Life and Parkrun as they’re race series rather than standalone events. Now go fill your diary.

HIGH CLASS The Fort William Marathon has plenty of ups and downs. See p103

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chirpy field who are unruffled by the traditional northern weather.

MARATHONS

Manchester, April 2 greatermanchestermarathon.com

YORKSHIRE MARATHON ROAD - RURAL - FLAT

A popular and picturesque run that has quickly established itself as one of the highlights of the White Rose County’s sporting year. Although not completely flat, it has decent PB potential and sees participants absorb some of York’s splendid historic sites and scenic country roads, making it an attractive prospect for runners of all abilities. Yorkshire, October 8, theyorkshiremarathon.com

GIANT’S HEAD MARATHON TRAIL - URBAN - HILLY

Edinburgh Marathon ROAD – TOWN/RURAL – FLAT

If you’re after a challenge, you’ll get your money’s worth here. This very hilly but beautiful course takes you through the Sydling and Cerne valleys and under the famous Cerne Abbas Giant. Upon finishing, you won’t know which to visit first – the beer stall, the hog roast, the after-party tent or the ice cream van.

This is the biggest marathon in Scotland: each year around 16,000 runners turn out to enjoy cruising past some of Edinburgh’s best-known landmarks (including Holyrood Palace, Arthur’s Seat, Meadowbank stadium and Musselburgh Links golf course). The fast and flat route also offers bracing views of the East Lothian coastline. It sells out every year, so get moving.

Dorset, June 24, whitestarrunning.co.uk

Scotland, May 28, edinburghmarathon.com

TRAIL – RURAL - HILLY

LONDON MARATHON ROAD - TOWN - FLAT

What kind of best-race rundown would this be without the London Marathon? Thirty-six years old and growing bigger every year, it’s a must-do for elites, club runners, those ticking off a bucket list (or attempting a nutty world record), charity runners and the rest of us. London, April 23, virginmoneylondonmarathon.com

CHESTER MARATHON ROAD – TOWN/RURAL - FLAT

This is one marathon where carrying your smartphone might be the smart thing to do – there are so many sights to snap. Running in both the historic city centre and through surrounding countryside, you’ll take in the Roman Walls, the Cathedral, the Duke of Westminster’s Estate and much more. Cheshire, October 8, activeleisureevents.co.uk

WALLED CITY MARATHON ROAD – TOWN/RURAL -FLAT

This is a great way to see the historic city of Londonderry. The race, now in its fifth year, takes in the city’s famous 102 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

walls – which have stood since the early 17th century – and sends runners along the banks of the River Foyle and out into the surrounding countryside before returning to end in Guildhall Square. Derry, Northern Ireland, June 4, thewalledcitymarathon.com

BOURNEMOUTH MARATHON ROAD - TOWN - FLAT

This speedy route takes runners along the stunning Bournemouth coast, first heading through Boscombe before doubling back all the way to Sandbanks beach. Runners return to Bournemouth Pier for a buzzing finish. The fast, flat course is ideal for first-timers and PB hunters, and there’s a beautiful sea view to boot. Bournemouth, October 8, bournemouthmarathon.com

MANCHESTER MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

The first thing that springs to the minds of race geeks/enthusiastic competitors when this race is mentioned is that it’s the flattest marathon in the UK, with less than 50m of climb in the whole thing. It also boasts wide roads, no difficult turns and an always

BEACHY HEAD MARATHON Formerly known as the Seven Sisters Marathon, this romp across the South Downs National Park near Eastbourne is now one of the biggest offroad marathons in the UK. As well as running over Beachy Head itself, there are 300 steps and 14 gates to negotiate. Leave your GPS watch at home for this one. East Sussex, October 28, beachyheadmarathon.co.uk

EDEN MARATHON

MIXED TERRAIN - RURAL - HILLY

This offers a unique experience. You’ll run in and around the Eden Project, taking in the gorgeous countryside, with its clay landscapes and mining heritage, and also get to trot past the imposing eco Biomes that have now become a such a popular tourist attraction. Cornwall, October 15 edenproject.com

SNOWDONIA MARATHON TRAIL - RURAL - HILLY

A previous winner of Runner’s World’s best marathon award, this 26.2 around the second-highest peak in the UK features a route that gives you the best of both worlds: you get some superb views of the mountain without having to haul yourself up the brute. Mid Wales, October 28, snowdoniamarathon.co.uk


RACE

LOCH NESS MARATHON ROAD – TOWN/RURAL - FLAT

You can make up your own joke about this being a ‘monster’ race while we focus on telling you that it is every bit as lovely as you imagine running alongside this famous loch would be. With its 2,500-strong field this is the biggest rural marathon in Scotland. Highlands, Scotland, September 24, lochnessmarathon.com

FORT WILLIAM MARATHON

HALF MARATHONS

Great North Run ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

If you’ve done the UK’s biggest half marathon before, you’ll know that the chief reason it’s so popular is not so much the course, which – the Tyne Bridge crossing near the start and the final, thrilling seafront dash aside – is not the most visually thrilling, but the cacophony coming from the enthusiastic crowds, who act as a wind at your back all the way round. Newcastle, September 10, greatrun.org

WO R D S : K E R RY M CCA R T H Y, KAT I E B R OW N . P H OTO G R A P H S : KO N R A D B O R KOW S K I , M A R AT H O N - P H OTO S .C O M , R O B E R T S S P O R T S_ E M F

TRAIL - RURAL - HILLY

A marathon set in the heart of the Highlands – what’s not to like? A tough, undulating section comprises the first six miles, but the views of Ben Nevis, the fields of wild flowers and one epic downhill section will make it all worthwhile. Mind you, there’s a hill at the end. Highlands, Scotland, July 30, fortwilliammarathon.co.uk

CAUSEWAY COAST MARATHON ROAD/TRAIL – RURAL - HILLY

Sometimes you come across a race so stunning you may be tempted to stop along the way and applaud the scenery. This event, which takes in the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway, is one such event. Northern Ireland, September 23, 26extreme.com

WATER OF LIFE HALF MARATHON OFFROAD - RURAL - FLAT

They obviously can’t get enough of half marathons in Marlow – this is one of two held there within the space of a month. It starts and finishes right next to the river at Bisham Abbey Sports Centre and, while not terribly hilly, the bridge crossings, rutted paths and stretches on grass will test your legs to the full. Marlow, Bucks, October (date tbc), purplepatchrunning.com

CROSS BAY CHALLENGE TRAIL – RURAL - FLAT

Bored with the same old road-based plods? We’ve got just the thing: this one will not only get you running in two counties (from Lancashire to Cumbria), but takes you across the sand of Morecambe Bay before the tide comes in – better speed up if you don’t want to wet. Actually, just accept it: your feet are in for a soaking. Lancashire, August (date tbc), cancercare.org.uk

BACCHUS HALF MARATHON MULTI-TERRAIN – RURAL - FLAT

Why wait to finish

your run before you hit the bottle? At this (increasingly leisurely) fancy dress jaunt round the Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, you’ll be served wine along the route, leaving those slight inclines feeling like Mount Fuji. More wine and a barbecue are but a short stumble beyond the finishing line. Surrey, September (date tbc), eventstolive.co.uk

BRIGHTON HALF MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

A beautiful seafront race that now attracts over 15,000 participants, thanks in part to the wide route – which offers ample room for overtaking – and the amazing crowd support. For added motivation there is a finish on Madeira Drive under the watchful gaze of the Steve Ovett statue – who better to spur you to a head-down sprint finish? East Sussex, February 26, brightonhalfmarathon.com

HARRIS HALF MARATHON ROAD/TRAIL – RURAL - HILLY

The Harris refers to the island of Lewis and Harris, better known for its tweed, but in future – we hope – also for its simply gorgeous race, which includes stunning views of the island of Taransay and


Windsor Half Marathon ROAD – RURAL - HILLY

This has garnered a reputation as one of the most scenic but challenging half marathons in the calendar. Even if Her Maj decides to take her morning constitutional you probably won’t be in a position to notice and give her a wave, as you’ll be far too busy either gazing in awe at Windsor Castle or struggling back up The Long Walk in the Great Park to the finish line. Berkshire, September 24, runwindsor.com

TUNBRIDGE WELLS HALF MARATHON ROAD – RURAL - HILLY

The route of this notoriously tough half is a prime example of why Kent is called the Garden of England, showcasing as it does some of the finest English countryside you could imagine. Unfortunately, it also contains a few climbs that should by rights be tackled with grappling hooks. Kent, February 19, twharriers.org.uk

BRISTOL HALF MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

This is the most recent addition to the Great Run series (although it’s been a fixture in the UK calendar for a good while). Over 10,000 runners every year make this an unmissable event, with a race-day atmosphere that’s second to none. The scenic, sea-level route takes runners past the Harbourside, out and back along the Portway before returning to Anchor Road to finish. Bristol, September 17, runbristol.com

HASTINGS HALF MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - HILLY

takes runners past the beautiful white sands of Luskentyre beach. Outer Hebrides, Scotland, July (date tbc), harrishalfmarathon.org

has only continued to grow since then – its universally appealing course and vast post-race village make it a very attractive autumn half-marathon option. London, September 24, ealinghalfmarathon.com

KIELDER HALF MARATHON TRAIL – RURAL - HILLY

Everyone should run round stunning Kielder Water at least once; it’s the largest man-made lake in the UK and is surrounded by the type of woodland Robin Hood and his men would have happily made their home in. There are also 10K and full-marathon options to choose from. Northumberland, April 23, kieldermarathon.com/half-marathon

Getting a place at this race is as hard as finding a sensible Donald Trump tweet. Places are allocated in a ballot each spring so get signed up early. The route is another greatest hits tour of central London, but it’s the minute attention to detail and phenomenally good organisation that set this event apart. London, October 8, royalparkshalf.com

EALING HALF MARATHON

ROAD – TOWN - HILLY

When this race launched six years ago the uptake was immediately high, demonstrating the appetite for credible large-scale races in west London. It 104 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

Be warned: the early sections of this long-established race (now in it’s 33rd year) will certainly test you, but the latter sections are flat or (bliss) downhill, so a PB is a definite possibility. The event is also great fun (with bands and cheerleaders to keep the spirits up) and exceptionally well organised. East Sussex, March 19, hastings-half.co.uk

BELFAST HALF MARATHON ROAD - TOWN - FLAT

Growing in popularity each year, the event, now in it’s fifth year, had over 4,000 participants in 2016. RW race reporter Adrian Monti ran it and was so taken that he said it was among the best half marathons he’s done in Europe. He was particularly impressed with the stream of sights and the raucous spectators lining the course. Belfast, September 17, belfastcitymarathon.com/half-marathon

CARDIFF HALF MARATHON ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

This one takes runners past several of the Welsh capital’s most impressive landmarks, including Cardiff Castle, the city’s football stadium, the Norwegian church, Penarth Marina, Cardiff Bay and Roath Park Lake – there’s so much to look at you’ll barely be aware of the miles passing. Maybe. Cardiff, October 1, cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk


RACE 10KS

MULL OF KINTYRE 10K OFF ROAD – RURAL - FLAT

A route famous for its stunning beach (and, yes, all right, that song, if you really must), this event has it all – a picturesque location, a great atmosphere and post-race celebrations of Danish pastries and ceilidh dancing. Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute, May 28, mokrun.com

MINNOWBURN 10K TRAIL – RURAL – HILLY

Starting at the Mary Peters Track – named after GB’s 1972 Olympic Pentathlon Champion – you’ll meander along track, forest trail and roads through the National Trust property at Minnowburn, then back along the banks of the Lagan river. Close to the city yet in the heart of the countryside.

British 10K

Belfast, April 23, born2runevents.com

ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

If you fancy coming to London and seeing a huge number of the capital’s sights in a very short time, this is the way to do it. Beginning on Hyde Park corner, the route takes in the London Eye, Big Ben, the Ritz Hotel, Westminster Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square. You finish at Whitehall, though running past 10 Downing Street is, sadly, not an option.

TRAIL – RURAL – HILLY

London, July 9, thebritish10klondon.co.uk

GREAT MANCHESTER RUN ROAD - TOWN - FLAT

Securing your place early is vital for such an in-demand event. With bands all along the route, charity cheer points, musical entertainment, thousands of spectators and BBC cameras zooming around, you’re sure to stay motivated all the way to the finish line. A half marathon has been added this year. Manchester, May 28, greatrun.org/great-manchester-run

CITY OF LINCOLN 10K ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

An event that is getting bigger by the year, thanks to the flat course and inclusive atmosphere. Almost 4,500 people finished the race last year, with entrants coming from all parts of the UK and abroad to take in some of Lincoln’s fine historic landmarks, including the cathedral and the city’s Roman Walls. Lincoln, April 2, runforall.com/10k/city-of-lincoln

LONDON ZOO STAMPEDE 10K ROAD - CITY - FLAT

This is a run with a difference – you can unleash your inner animal, with speedy cheetahs and leisurely sloths both welcome. The opening and final

KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL

sections take place in London Zoo itself, where you’ll run past more than a few furry friends (animal costumes are not a good idea, as they may scare the residents – they don’t often see tigers running on two legs), while the middle third offers the chance to put the hammer down in Regent’s Park. London, March 26, zsl.org

BATH SKYLINE TRAIL - RURAL - HILLY

Hilly, narrow and technical underfoot in some places, this is one of those races where you should really be taking in the splendid scenery but will probably be too busy trying not to take a tumble on the way round. Starting and finishing at the University of Bath, the route takes you up into the countryside immediately surrounding the city.

This weekend-long jamboree of all things outdoors includes videos, talks, hikes, art exhibitions and more. Nestled in there is a stonking 10K with a mixture of wide trails, single-track and easy hills. And there’s a great town centre finish. Cumbria, November (date tbc), mountainfest.co.uk

LEEDS 10K

ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

Seasoned runners can take advantage of this super-flat, fast route to compete for a PB, while new runners can embrace the incredible atmosphere to achieve their own goal. With a truly electric city centre start and finish, and great support around the course, this is one of the best urban events around. Leeds, July 9, runforall.com/10k/leeds

Bath, January 15, relishrunningraces.com

SWANSEA BAY 10K ROAD – RURAL - FLAT

The great thing about this race is – if you’ve brought your A game – that the fast route and wide turns will work in your favour; on the other hand, if you’re more bothered about just enjoying the morning, you can bask in the magnificent sweeping views of Swansea Bay and take in some bracing sea air. Swansea, September (date tbc), swanseabay10k.com

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RACE OTHER DISTANCES

a much-anticipated event in the city, and it really does bring out the crowds. Norwich, July 8, conac.org.uk

STOCKPORT 10 ROAD - TOWN - HILLY

This 10-miler has become something of a cult favourite in the RW office, thanks in part to what the organisers call the ‘tongue-in-cheek approach’ (check out the race website for some fairly eccentric race-related videos). The weather’s usually challenging but the goody bag is vast (and unique) and the support even more so. This one sells out every year, so get in early. Stockport, December (date tbc), stk10.co.uk

OFFA’S ‘ORROR

THE TERMINATOR OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

A shade under a half marathon, you’ll be thanking your lucky stars you don’t have to do the extra kilometre by the time you stagger to the end of this never-flat multiterrain run around Offa’s Dyke in Chepstow. No bells, no whistles, just the joy of pure, old-school trail racing.

The good news (or bad, depending on your point of view) is that after a review of this notoriously tough course the organisers have decided to keep it the same, which means you’re in for a series of muddy slogs uphill followed by some intoxicating collaborations with gravity on the other side. Twelve miles of love/hate running.

Monmouthshire, Wales, April 23, chepstowharriers.org.uk

Pewsey, Wiltshire, February 26, pewseyvalerunningclub.org

OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

LORD MAYOR’S 5K ROAD – TOWN - FLAT

How fast are you feeling? We only ask because if you’re not at the halfway point of this race in 10 minutes or under you’ll get pulled off the course, which means it’s one for speedsters. That strict rule and the race’s timing to coincide with the Lord Mayor’s parade make this

L

OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

This 36-mile ultra provides brave entrants with a cliff-edge perspective on life. The race is rated as merely ‘moderate’ on the CTS scale, which means you’ll only cry once or twice on

Isle of Jura Fell Race OFFROAD - RURAL - HILLY

the way round as you use every ounce of energy in your body to tackle the mud, grass, rock, shale and sand. Dover, January 14, endurancelife.com

HARVEL 5

OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

Friendly but competitive, beautiful but tough. This five-mile race packs a lot into its short out-and-back route, tracing a path through the beautiful Kent countryside over a wide variety of terrain, including plenty of mud. And you’ll get to refuel with a burger and beer on the green at the end. Kent, July 3, harvel5.com

SODBURY SLOG OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

A nine-ish mile course that’s not for the faint-hearted. RW’s John Carroll ran this in 2015 and still wakes up in a cold sweat over it, sometimes even in the office. Organisers Bitton Road Runners call this event ‘a lung-busting, trainer-ruining, hill-climbing, multiterrain challenge’ – and we think that sums it up rather nicely.

This is one for the stout of heart, firm of resolve and sturdy of limb – there are seven mountain summits and a total climb of 2,370m to be bested over the 28km distance. It’s a ferocious examination of your physical fitness and a test of your navigation skills. One of the toughest challenges you can find in the British Isles. But the views are astounding.

Gloucestershire, November (date tbc), sodburyslog.co.uk

Inner Hebrides, May 27, jurafellrace.org.uk

OFFROAD – RURAL - HILLY

BEWL 15

Turn up, lace up and zone out at this relaxing and very pastoral plod round the perimeter of Bewl Water reservoir. As well as a thoroughly charming route you’ll find one of the finest (and largest) cake stalls on God’s green earth awaiting your undivided attention at the finish. You’ll deserve it, so dig in without feeling the remotest twinge of guilt. East Sussex, July (tbc), bewl15.com

YOUR FAVOURITE EVENT NOT LISTED? TELL US ABOUT YOUR BEST UK RACE(S). EMAIL LETTERS@RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK, TWEET @RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK, FACEBOOK RUNNERSWORLDUK

FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 107


THE START LIST

Our selection of the best, fastest, toughest, quirkiest and most enjoyable UK races this month

NEW RACE

Fitstuff G3 There are a few reasons to take on this 10K cross-country run through the Surrey countryside. One is the satisfaction of completing a notoriously difficult course; another is the job lot of delicious home-made brownies and flapjacks at the end, and a third is the medal – it interlocks with the medals from the two other races in this series to form a rather snazzy whole. February 4, Surrey g3series.co.uk

POLAR BEARS

London Winter Run Thames Trot 50

THE HIGHLIGHT Bear hugs, obviously

Given the short notice, this 50-miler is best suited to experienced ultra racers or endurance junkies, but the route along the Thames from Oxford to Henley is (as you might imagine) wonderfully scenic, as well as mercifully flat. The cut-off is 11 hours. Plenty of time…

If you read the feature on page 64 you’ll know that the early part of the year has great PB potential (thanks, cold weather), so why not sign up to this superfast jaunt round central London. In keeping with the theme there are snow cannons at the start, giant penguins handing out high fives en route, a ‘swiss chalet’ hot drink station at halfway and Polar Bears giving, um, bear hugs to all finishers. This race is a great pick-me-up after the misery of January.

February 4, Oxfordshire gobeyondultra.co.uk

February 5, central London, Londonwinterrun.co.uk We asked readers: Would you find clocks at every distance marker (mile or km) of a race useful?*

HILLS AND MORE HILLS

37% 25% Definitely

No thanks, I only trust my own watch

15%

OLD SCHOOL

Stourbridge Stagger

Gloucester Marathon

As a measure of how challenging this 10-mile multiterrain race is, the cut-off time is a generous two and half hours. Some of the route is used for hacking by local horse riders, so expect some seriously churned-up ground and runners taking muddy tumbles on the downhills.

If you’re an old-school club runner searching among the proliferation of fun runs and obstacle races for a good old-fashioned battle of the vests, here you go. Five hundred or so runners, many of them club affiliated, flying along flat, quiet country roads and through villages – and not a charity rhino or giant bottle of beer in sight.

February 5, West Midlands srclub.co.uk

February 5, Gloucestershire, beyondthelimitations.org.uk

Nah, I race for fun, not a time

OLYMPIC LEGACY

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park 10K Get your game-face on to tackle this fast, traffic-free route, which takes you around the scene of a glorious summer in London in 2012. If you’re flagging near the finish just envisage Mo kicking for glory on Super Saturday and do the same. February 4, London theraceorganiser.com

108 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

23% No idea, let’s suck it and see Based on an online RW poll of 500 runners

OBSTACLES GALORE

Watford Half Marathon X’treme Challenge Staged in the grounds of Catton Hall, an 18th-century manor house on the boundary between Cheshire and Derbyshire, this 10K offroad race features both natural and man-made obstacles. As if the weather wasn’t enough to be getting on with…

With a heritage stretching back to the 1960s, this has a reputation for being a great self-assessment race for those training for a spring marathon – hence the 2,000+ entrants each year. It’s run on undulating, closed roads and is always very well organised.

February 5, Derbyshire kpevents.net

February 5, Hertfordshire, watfordhalf.co.uk


THE START LIST Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon

Bookham 10K The field for this event is limited to 400 in order to protect the natural environment on the North Downs route. It always sells out so move quickly to grab a slot. It’s a hilly (almost 300m of ascent and descent), muddy (be prepared to sink up to your knees) frills-free run that lets the gorgeous surroundings do all the talking while you do all the work. There is also a 2.5km fun run for those who want to take it easier on what is likely to be a chilly day. February 5, Surrey eventstolive.co.uk

ROMANCE

Valentine's 10K Last year the fastest few finishers out of more than 500 runners clearly didn’t get the memo about this being one to ditch your watch for and run hand in hand with your loved one – instead they knocked out sub-35minute 10Ks, the killjoys. Thereafter, though, it was a love-fest of chilled vibes, packets of Love Hearts being handed out on course and chocolates at the finish.

For over 30 years runners have been slogging their way up the 120-metrehigh Spring Hill at the halfway point of this race, and it doesn’t get any easier. There are numerous other climbs to tackle, so it might not be a bad idea to stop occasionally to catch a breather and take in the stunning Kent countryside. YOU SAID

February 5, Kent, ashfordanddistrict 10k.co.uk

WO R D S : K E R R Y M C CA R T H Y. P H OTO G R A P H S : S P O R T S U N DAY.CO.U K , O P E N H O U S E C R E AT I V E .C O.U K

Hampton Court Half Marathon

February 19, Surrey hamptoncourthalf.com

Bramley 20/10 Although this is a picturesque trot around quiet country roads, many of its 1,600 participants tend to use it as an alternative to a long Sunday run; it offers them a chance to practise their marathon race-day strategies and let the lid off some of their training. There are 10- and 20mile options, as the name suggests. February 19, Hampshire readingroadrunners.org

February 19, Kent twharriers.org.uk.com

Ashford & District 10K ‘The hills and descents are nicely spaced but you have to work to earn your time. This is a must do.’ —Joseph Chasseaud

February 12, Surrey 26point2.co.uk

Always a quick race, this year’s promises to be even quicker, thanks to some cunning course tweaks. But it’s still the same lovely run round historic Kingston upon Thames market centre, along the Thames towpath and past the magnificent palace itself. And the 8:30am start means you can be finished and in the pub nice and early for a warming recovery roast.

RACE

Endurancelife CTS Northumberland Trail-running fans know that when they see the innocuous acronym CTS (Coastal Trail Series) the race in question is going to involve a brilliant course that combines a level of difficulty that makes you want to sit down and weep, with vistas of such outstanding beauty that you want to sit down and weep all over again. This offers four distance options from 10K up to 35-mile ultra, with each course finishing with a dramatic flourish at Bamburgh Castle. February 25, Northumberland endurancelife.com

FAMILY FUN

Slay The Dragon

One of Yorkshire’s most famous and majestic stately homes throws open its gates for visitors to come and enjoy the grounds and views of the house at a rather quicker pace than normal. It won’t all be plain sailing, though – the course is mostly offroad through muddy, hilly forest tracks, so bring your trail shoes.

As well as the 10K main event there are Dragon’s Tail (4K) and Baby Dragon (2K) races, so this is a great opportunity to get the whole family involved (the Baby Dragon fun run is open to all ages). For the 10K, the often frosty conditions and mix of rough tracks, stiles, gates, rutted fields, hills and slippery terrain will put you in mind of cross-country race at school, which may or may not be something you wish to recall.

February 26, West Yorkshire bhf.org.uk/harewood

February 26, Somerset, slaythedragon.co.uk

Harewood House Half Marathon

Hardmoors Saltburn Trail Marathon THE HIGHLIGHT The views from the cliffs

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Hardmoors is the perfect description of this race, which allows runners a whopping nine hours to stagger to the finish. The windswept beauty of the North York Moors and the long section along the cliffs at Saltburn-by-the-Sea are worth the immense effort. But only take on this race if you’ve got plenty of trail running under your belt; it’s a real tough customer and will test you. February 12, North Yorkshire, hardmoors110.org.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. FEBRUARY 2017 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK 109


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VENUE - Rockingham Speedway, Mitchell Road, Corby, Northants, NN17 5AF  Medal and Goody bags for all runners !!! Age group awards and spot prizes

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26.2 mile, high altitude, mountain marathon on rough and steep trails in Nepal. Mountain running experience essential. Organised by Bufo Ventures Ltd (ATOL 4821)

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I’M A RUNNER

KAT GRAHAM

THE SINGER AND ACTOR, 27, OWNS THREE TREADMILLS BUT PREFERS TO RUN OUTSIDE I’m exhausted and it’s a real struggle [to get up for a run]. EVEN IF my schedule is erratic I know it will affect me mentally if I stop working out. I will become slow and sluggish, and I won’t have the energy to take on the day in the way I need to.

‘If I can get out for a run I have a really clear head afterwards’

I PRIDE MYSELF on not being some skinny, frail actor. I like the fact that my fans look at me and think, ‘She’s got muscular legs and she likes to work out.’ I’ll never be this tiny thing, and I love the fact that when I run I embrace that. I HOPE ONE DAY I can run 10 miles without stopping. I can do five at the moment, but not more than that. I’m working towards it every day. And if anybody has tips for me to reach that goal I would happily welcome them. WHEN I SEE women running, fighting towards a goal, those are the people who inspire me. I think that if they can do it, if they can get off their ass, then I can do it, too.

THE MUSIC I prefer to listen to when I’m running – such as Kanye West, The Prodigy, Eminem, 50 Cent and Britney Spears– has the message about persevering and winning. It’s really empowering. I’VE BEEN a dancer since I was three, so I assumed I didn’t need to do any other exercise. But once I got busy shooting The Vampire Diaries I couldn’t to go to dance class as often. So two years ago I bought three treadmills – one for my room on set, one for my house in Atlanta and another for my house in LA. I STARTED RUNNING to build up my endurance for live shows because I do a lot of dancing and I wanted to

114 RUNNERSWORLD.CO.UK FEBRUARY 2017

sing live. Running has really helped me with that and it still challenges me after doing it for a few years. I RUN ABOUT TWO MILES A DAY. I have to do it in the morning. If I don’t start my morning by running I let the day beat me up a little bit; if I can get out for a run I have a really clear head afterwards. I’M A WORKING runner. Sometimes, after days of filming for 15 hours,

Kat Graham plays Bonnie in the series The Vampire Diaries, currently showing on ITV2. She will also appear in the film All Eyez on Me, about rapper Tupac Shakur, to be released later this year.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE in perfect shape to start running. You can be at any age and in any sort of health, and know that you’ll be getting better by running. I THINK THAT YOU should always push yourself. The hardest you can push might be a half-mile or the hardest you can push might be around the block. Regardless of the time and regardless of the miles, I say keep going!

I N T E R V I E W: DA N A M E LT Z E R Z E P E DA . P H OTO G R A P H : H A R O L D DA N I E L S

IF YOU’RE on a treadmill, you’re aware of how much time is going by. When you’re outside, you just run and think about it later. We have the gorgeous, massive Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It’s nice to get that fresh air.


22 Tasty Recipes For Energy & Recovery

All-Day Plans – From Breakfast To Dinner

Protein For Runners

The Rules Of Carbs &


THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOOK

For runners, a healthy diet is vital. Need some pre-run energy? Want to kick-start your recovery? Look no further. In these pages you’ll find all you need to fuel your running, with tasty, healthy recipes in part one and, in part two, a guide on how to fuel up, hydrate well and recover faster.

PART 1: FUEL FOR LIFE

P10 P11 P12

BREAKFAST P4 P5 P6

Blueberry crunch granola Breakfast burrito Your perfect smoothie

P13

P16

LUNCH P9

Fusilli with avocado sauce

KEY FOR RECIPE PAGES

Look for these symbols to quickly see the key benefits of each dish.

PART 2: FUEL FOR RUNNING

Thai beef stir fry Chicken pittas Soup: the perfect runner’s fuel Minestrone soup

P23

DINNER P15

P17 P18

Salmon and lentil tabbouleh Turkey burger and sweet potato wedges Vegetable curry Five fab kebabs

P30

The rules of fuel Your questions answered on how to fuel your workouts with carbs, hydrate properly and recover faster with protein DIY energy bar recipes Make a batch from scratch

V Vegetarian

R Recovery

A Antioxidants

E Energy

F

B Bone health

I

LC Low-calorie

Immunity

Fibre

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

V

Q Quick to make 03

V


BREAKFAST // FUEL FOR LIFE

Blueberries are a good source of vitamin K, which is needed for healthy bones.

V E A

Serves: 4 Cooking time: 20 minutes 200g rolled porridge oats 20g dried blueberries 85g sliced almonds 75g raw cashews 50g brown sugar 30g shredded or flaked coconut 1½ tsp ground allspice 4 tbsp unsalted butter 2 tbsp pure maple syrup

BLUEBERRY CRUNCH GRANOLA PACKED with grains, nuts and fruit, granola is a runner’s

go-to breakfast, providing a good mix of energising carbs in the morning, balanced with protein when served with milk or yoghurt. Chef Marcus Samuelsson keeps it on hand for fuel before his six-mile loop through New York’s Central Park. ‘The beauty of making granola at home is that it’s cheaper and fresher and I can customise it,’ he says. ‘You can swap in other nuts or fruits that you prefer.’ Preheat oven to 150C (300F). In a large bowl, combine the oats, blueberries, almonds, coconut, cashews, sugar and allspice. Mix well. O In a small saucepan over a low heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup. Pour over the granola and toss to coat. O Spread granola on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until it’s golden brown. O Allow it to cool, then eat with milk or Greek yoghurt. O O

NUTRITION PER SERVING (without milk) Kcals 123, Carbs 14g, Protein 3g, Fat 6g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

04


BREAKFAST // FUEL FOR LIFE

Onions are very high in the B vitamin biotin, which is vital for a healthy metabolism.

Q R

Serves: 4 Cooking time: 15 minutes

BREAKFAST BURRITO

1 red onion, diced 1 small jalapeño pepper, diced 1 tbsp olive oil 1⁄2 tsp ground cumin 1 tin of black beans 4 eggs, beaten 90g low-fat Greek yoghurt Juice of one lime 4 10-inch wholewheat tortillas 50g shredded cheddar 1 avocado, sliced Salsa (optional)

CHEF and marathon runner Nate Appleman logs 35 miles a week and refuels after a morning run with this easyto-make dish that’s full of protein, carbs and fibre. ‘This burrito combines my two favourite foods – eggs and avocado,’ he says. One egg has six grams of protein to build and maintain muscle and increase feelings of satiety, while avocado is high in fibre and healthy fats. O Fry the onion and jalapeño in olive oil. When the onion is soft, add the cumin. O Add the beans and stir. When the beans are hot, add the eggs and cook until fluffy. Season with salt. O Mix the yoghurt with the lime juice and set aside. O Grill the four tortillas until they puff up. O Lay tortilllas out and divide the egg-and-bean mixture evenly among them. Top the eggs with an even amount of cheese, avocado and yoghurt. O Add salsa if required, and roll.

NUTRITION PER BURRITO Kcals 498, Carbs 57g, Fibre 14g, Protein 23g, Fat 24g

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05


BREAKFAST // FUEL FOR LIFE

YOUR PERFECT SMOOTHIE Simply choose an ingredient from each of these five sections to whizz up your ideal liquid brekkie – or select one of the recipes opposite / BUILD YOUR BASE

SKIMMED MILK A postrun glass

helps boost fat-burn and build muscle mass.

ALMOND MILK A low-calorie choice, with just 24kcals per 100ml compared with cow’s milk (35kcals).

SOYA MILK For muscle repair:

soya has six times the protein of almond milk.

/ BULK IT OUT

FLAXSEED Nature’s least

LOW-FAT GREEK YOGHURT

fishy source of omega-3 essential fats.

Around 10-20 per cent protein, which helps repair muscle.

FROZEN BERRIES

KIWI Just one contains

More convenient than fresh fruit, and just as nutritious.

your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C.

BANANA High in electrolytes that are lost in sweat, such as potassium.

ALMOND NUT BUTTER High

in anti-inflammatory vitamin E.

OATS Contain betaglucan, which lowers bad cholesterol.

/ GET FRUITY

CHERRIES Help to soothe soreness and aid muscle recovery postrun.

/ ENERGY BOOSTERS

HONEY Digested more slowly

COFFEE Improves endurance

than sugar, supplying more stable energy.

and lowers perceived exertion.

COCOA POWDER Has flavanols that help to balance blood pressure fluctuations.

/ A NUTRIENT KICK

GREEN LEAFY VEG Kale and

MATCHA TEA POWDER

GROUND GINGER

spinach are rich in iron and vitamin C.

Contains more antioxidants than green tea.

A daily dose can relieve postrun pain.

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

06


BREAKFAST // FUEL FOR LIFE

CHERRY BOMB

Soothes postrun inflammation and restocks glycogen stores. 180ml almond milk 2 tsp almond butter 100g frozen cherries 1 banana 1 tsp honey NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 230 Carbs 38g Protein 8g Fat 5g

E

CREAMY MOCHA

ICED GREEN TEA

Energises pre-run to boost stamina and endurance. 60ml skimmed milk 120ml Greek yoghurt 1 banana 1 shot espresso 2 tsp cocoa powder NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 160 Carbs 21g Protein 14g Fat 2g

E

Eases aching muscles; boosts your immune system.

PORRIDGE POWER

This high-protein shake helps repair muscles after a hard workout.

180ml almond milk 1 tbsp almond butter 1 banana 120g spinach 1 tsp matcha tea powder 1 knob of chopped ginger

240ml skimmed milk 120ml Greek yoghurt 1 tbsp flaxseed 100g frozen blueberries 20g porridge oats

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 230 Carbs 31g Protein 6g Fat 8g

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 290 Carbs 35g Protein 22g Fat 5g

I

R

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

07

SWEET AND LOW

For low-calorie, vitamin Cpacked postrun hydration. 120ml almond milk 1 handful fresh spinach 1 kiwi 1 banana NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 130 Carbs 22g Protein 2g Fat 2g

LC


LUNCH // FUEL FOR LIFE

Tomatoes are a rich source of (deep breath) vitamins A, C, K, B6 and E.

V E A Q

Serves: 4 Cooking time: 15 minutes 400g wholewheat fusilli 250g cherry tomatoes, halved ¼ tsp salt 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped 2 avocados, halved and pitted 3 large garlic cloves, chopped 60ml lemon juice 75g grated Parmesan cheese (optional) Sprinkle of ground black pepper

FUSILLI WITH AVOCADO SAUCE THIS DISH , created by chef and 10-time marathon runner

Pam Anderson, is the perfect carb-rich lunch. The avocado sauce is packed with heart-healthy fats, while the wholewheat pasta provides fibre and carbs to keep you fuelled up for longer. Throw in antioxidant-rich tomatoes and garlic, and you’ve got a healthy meal in 15 minutes. O Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender. Remove from the heat and reserve 250ml of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and set aside. O Place the tomatoes in a bowl and sprinkle with ¼ tsp of salt. Add the oil and basil and toss to coat. Set aside. O Scoop the avocados into an empty pot and mash with a potato masher. Add garlic and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Whisk in the pasta water, creating a light sauce. O Stir in pasta and tomato mixture to coat. Top with cheese, if using, and black pepper.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 485, Carbs 74g, Protein 13g, Fat 16g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

09


LUNCH // FUEL FOR LIFE

Mangetout are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant, and vitamin A, which supports the respiratory system.

Q A R

Serves 4 Cooking time: 10 minutes

THAI BEEF STIR-FRY

340g sirloin beef, thinly sliced 250g soba noodles or brown spaghetti 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 220g mangetout, trimmed 130g satay sauce 220g tin water chestnuts, sliced and drained Pinch of salt

YOU’LL BE surprised how little effort goes into this avour-

packed noodle dish. After a long, intense or challenging run, this tasty combination of carbohydrate and protein makes a perfect lunch to refuel depleted muscles. The beef packs protein and iron, which helps to transport oxygen to your muscles. Water chestnuts add crunch and contribute heart-friendly potassium and digestion-aiding vitamin B6. O Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and the noodles (or spaghetti). Cook according to the directions (usually about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside. O Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wok or large pan before adding the beef. Fry, stirring frequently, for three minutes, or until the meat is browned. O Add the mangetout and cook, stirring frequently, for a further three minutes. Add the satay sauce, water chestnuts and drained noodles (or spaghetti). Toss to coat everything with the sauce.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 538, Carbs 67g, Protein 35g, Fat 23g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

10


LUNCH // FUEL FOR LIFE

Chicken is packed with protein, which you need to repair and rebuild muscles after a hard run.

Q A R

Serves: 4 Cooking time: 5 minutes

CHICKEN PITTAS

15 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 2 red peppers, roasted and sliced 2 cloves garlic 25g walnuts 10g fresh mint 2 tbsp fresh oregano Pinch of cayenne pepper Pinch of salt 4 wholemeal pittas, halved 225g cooked chicken, shredded 35g rocket leaves 1 avocado, sliced

PERFECT FOR RECOVERY, this mix of carbs and protein bursts with avour. Sun-dried tomatoes are a concentrated source of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, while the oil adds healthy fat and helps to give the spread a smooth, rich consistency. O In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, half of the red peppers, two tablespoons of water, garlic, walnuts, mint, oregano, cayenne and salt to taste. Process until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. If the spread is too thick, add more water, a teaspoon at a time. O Place a tablespoon of the tomato spread in each pitta half. Stuff each pitta with an equal amount of the chicken, rocket, avocado and remaining red pepper.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 382, Carbs 43g, Protein 26g, Fat 13g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

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LUNCH // FUEL FOR LIFE

SUPER BOWLS Recover fast and watch your weight with the perfect runner’s fuel: soup WHEN made with the right ingredients, soup provides carbohydrate, protein and antioxidants, supporting your muscles like no other meal. Many runners think they

need hours to cook a decent soup, but you can make a delicious meal in 30 minutes with whatever is in your kitchen. Create your own by following these ďŹ ve easy steps.

congestion, too. Add one to two litres of warmed liquid (heating it speeds up cooking). Use one type of liquid or a mix if you want to create more complex flavours in your soup. TRY Vegetable, chicken, beef or fish stock; tomato puree and juice; beer or wine (up to a quarter of total liquid) / COOK THE AROMATICS / ADD VEGETABLES

These vegetables, herbs and spices will add flavour to your soup. In a large saucepan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil. Add 250g of diced veg (see below) and two tablespoons of dried herbs and spices; fry for five minutes. TRY Onion, garlic, celery, carrots; dried sage, thyme, oregano, bay leaves, rosemary, cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder. LIQUID ASSETS They add anti-inflammatory compounds that fight soreness. TIP Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking to prevent loss of flavour.

Veggies pack antioxidant vitamins and runner-friendly minerals. Aim for 750g to 1kg, cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook for five to 15 minutes (soft or pre-cooked veg needs less time; raw, hard vegetables need more). TRY Kale, carrots, peppers, bak choi, cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes. TIP Add the greens during the last five minutes; this will prevent overcooking.

/ POUR IN LIQUID

The liquid content will help keep you hydrated in the winter and it will relieve

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12

/ INCLUDE PROTEIN

Lean protein repairs muscles and provides iron. Use 400g of cooked meat or fish and one or two tins of beans for a vegetarian protein source. If you use dry lentils, add more liquid and cook for an extra 20 minutes. TRY Beans (all kinds); cooked chicken, beef, fish, prawns; tofu, edamame; lentils

/ TOSS IN CARBS

Carbs restock energy stores. Add 450g of pre-cooked carbs and heat through for five minutes (add extra liquid and cooking time if using uncooked carbs). TRY Cooked wholegrains (brown, black or wild rice, quinoa and barley); wholewheat pasta; potatoes TIP Small pastas such as macaroni work best in soup.


LUNCH // FUEL FOR LIFE

Cannellini beans are rich in leucine, an amino acid involved in recover after a hard run.

V F E

Serves: 8 Cooking time: 25 minutes

MINESTRONE SOUP

1½ litres vegetable stock 400g tin chopped tomatoes 400g tin cannellini beans 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 onion, diced 1 celery stick, diced 1 carrot, diced 2 tbsp Italian seasoning 1⁄4 tsp chilli flakes 220g frozen green peas 220g kale leaves, chopped 120g small pasta shapes (eg elbow macaroni)

THIS CLASSIC delivers nutrients from the vegetables and

energy from the pasta. The kale is rich in vitamin K, involved in maintaining good bone health, plus folate, which protects against heart disease. The beans, meanwhile, are an excellent source of fibre. O In a large heatproof bowl, microwave the tomatoes and vegetable stock for five minutes. O Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes. Add the Italian seasoning and chilli flakes. Cook for one minute. O Add the stock mixture to the pot. Add the beans, peas, kale and pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then partially cover and simmer on a medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 220, Carbs 41g, Protein 10g, Fat 4g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

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DINNER // FUEL FOR LIFE

The humble lentil is a nutritional heavyweight, high in dietary fibre, protein, iron and zinc.

F A R

Serves: 4 Cooking time: 15 minutes 4 wild salmon fillets 400g green or brown lentils, cooked 60ml extra virgin olive oil 100ml lemon juice 1 clove garlic, crushed 4 spring onions, thinly sliced Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1 cucumber, diced 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered 1 tsp salt, plus more as needed Juice of 1 lemon

SALMON AND LENTIL TABBOULEH THIS FISH FEAST is energising but light, making it a great late

dinner. Lentils replace bulgur wheat in this carb, protein and ďŹ bre-rich version of tabbouleh. This serves as a base for the grilled salmon, which is loaded with inammationreducing omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, the chromium in the onions regulates blood sugar, while the tomatoes deliver a hefty hit of bone-friendly lycopene. O To make the tabbouleh, toss the oil, lemon juice, garlic, spring onions, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes and salt in a bowl. Add the lentils to the bowl and mix. O To cook the salmon, squeeze lemon juice over the flesh side of the fish, then season with salt. Brush the salmon with oil, then fry, skin-side down, for four minutes or until the skin is crispy. Flip and cook until the fish is just cooked through. Serve the salmon over the tabbouleh and squeeze some lemon over the top.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 412, Carbs 25g, Protein 34g, Fat 20g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

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DINNER // FUEL FOR LIFE

Turkey is a rich source of the minerals iron, zinc and potassium.

R

Serves 2 Cooking time: 30 minutes 2 medium sweet potatoes 1 tbsp olive oil Ground black pepper 1 tsp ground cumin 200g lean turkey mince 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed 2 tsp harissa paste 1 small chilli, chopped 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped 2 wholemeal rolls 2 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise 1 tomato, sliced 20g watercress

TURKEY BURGER AND SWEET POTATO WEDGES A LITTLE TIME and effort in the kitchen can work wonders. Burgers make a tasty recovery meal, providing a great blend of carbs from the rolls and protein from the meat to replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle damage. O Heat oven to 180C. Chop the sweet potato into wedges and arrange on a baking tray. Coat with olive oil and sprinkle with black pepper and cumin. Bake for 25 minutes. O In a large mixing bowl combine the turkey mince with garlic, harissa, chilli and parsley, then shape into patties. O Over a high heat, fry the patties in a drizzle of olive oil for two minutes each side to seal. Lower the heat and fry for a further three to four minutes, flipping regularly until cooked through and brown on both sides. O Halve the rolls, then spread one side with mayonnaise. Build the burger by layering the tomato slices and watercress. Serve with the sweet potato wedges.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 600, Carbs 78g, Protein 36g, Fat 18g

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DINNER // FUEL FOR LIFE

Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C and is a good source of other antioxidants, such as quercetin.

V F E R

Serves: 2 Cooking time: 40 minutes

VEGETABLE CURRY

1 onion, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped 1 chilli, chopped 3 cm piece of ginger, grated 1 tbsp coconut oil 1 tsp turmeric 2 tsp garam masala 1 tsp cumin powder 200g lentils (cooked) 1 tin chickpeas

IN THE MOOD for something warming after a long run in cold

VEGETABLES 1 cauliflower 2 small aubergines 100g green beans, chopped 2 tomatoes, chopped 1 tin low-fat coconut milk 2 large handfuls of spinach 180g quinoa

weather? Try this hearty, healthy, low-fat curry. It’s packed with vitamins and provides a great balance of carbs and protein, and the grain quinoa is a source of magnesium, essential for both energy production and preventing cramp. O Whizz the onion, garlic, chilli and ginger in a blender until it’s a fine paste. O Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan before adding the paste, turmeric and garam masala. O Stir in the lentils, chickpeas, vegetables and tomatoes. Mix until they’re all coated with the paste. O Add just enough boiling water to cover everything, then add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked. (Add more water if necessary.) O Rinse the spinach, add to the pot and stir for three minutes or until the leaves are wilted. O Simmer the quinoa in 360ml of water for 10 minutes and then serve with the curry.

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 520, Carbs 85g, Protein 36g, Fat 12g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

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DINNER // FUEL FOR LIFE

LICENCE TO GRILL

R

Here’s how quick and nutritious kebabs can be a runner’s superfood METHOD Thread the main ingredients onto the skewers. Whisk the sauce ingredients and brush half the mixture onto the kebabs 15 mins before grilling. Heat grill. Grill the kebabs, turning once (see recipes for time). Brush on remaining sauce halfway through cooking. All recipes serve four. Pork souvlaki PORK SOUVLAKI

Pork fillet is a particularly lean cut that’s rich in protein, to speed recovery. Peppadew peppers (readily available in jars) add a sweet-spicy kick, and fennel lends a distinctive flavour. Grill time: 10 minutes SKEWERS 450g pork fillet, cut into 2½ cm pieces 125g Peppadew peppers 1 fennel bulb, cut into 2½ cm chunks

SMOKY MAPLE CHICKEN

B LC

Chicken provides muscle-repairing protein. Chipotle pepper contains capsaicin, which may help curb overeating. Grill time: 10 minutes SKEWERS 450g chicken, cut into 2½ cm pieces 2 courgettes, cut into 2½ cm-thick slices 2 peppers, cut into 2½ cm chunks

SAUCE 3 tbsp olive oil Juice of 1⁄2 a lemon 1 tsp dried oregano 1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika 1⁄4 tsp salt

SAUCE 3 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp cider vinegar 1 tbsp tomato paste 1 tsp chipotle paste 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder 1⁄4 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp cumin

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 272, Carbs 12g, Protein 25g, Fat 14g

NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 209, Carbs 17g, Protein 23g, Fat 5g

THE FIT FOOD HANDBOOK

Smoky maple chicken

18

Grilled halloumi


DINNER // FUEL FOR LIFE

GRILLED HALLOUMI

Halloumi provides plenty of bonebuilding calcium. Grill time: 8 minutes SKEWERS 280g halloumi cheese, cut into 2 cm cubes 150g cherry tomatoes 1 small aubergine, cut into 2½ cm chunks 1 red onion, cut into 2 cm chunks

Pesto steak

A SAUCE 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 2 tsp harissa paste 1 clove of garlic, minced 1⁄4 tsp ground black pepper NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 357, Carbs 9g, Protein 17g, Fat 31g Teriyaki scallop

PESTO STEAK

Beef contains iron, to aid top running performance. The anti-inflammatory powers of olive oil help soothe postrun inflammation.

R

Mushrooms are rich in the mineral selenium, which helps maintain a healthy immune system.

Grill time: 8 minutes SKEWERS 450g sirloin steak, cut into 2½ cm cubes

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225g button mushrooms, stems removed 8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise SAUCE 2 tbsp pesto 1 tbsp horseradish Juice of ½ lemon 2 tsp olive oil NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 424, Carbs 30g, Protein 31g, Fat 22 g

TERIYAKI SCALLOP

Scallops are high in protein. Avocado is rich in healthy fats. Grill time: 6 minutes SKEWERS 675g scallops, orange roe (coral) removed 1 large red pepper, cut into 2½ cm chunks 2 avocados, cut into 2½ cm cubes 330g pineapple chunks SAUCE 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp lime juice 2 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp Sriracha sauce 1 tsp grated fresh ginger NUTRITION PER SERVING Kcals 315, Carbs 26g, Protein 23g, Fat 14g


CARBS // FUEL FOR RUNNING

THE RULES OF FUEL

What you need and when you need it to run your best every time CARBS FOR ENERGY

HOW SHOULD I FUEL MYSELF DURING TRAINING OR RACES? For runs of up to one hour, you don’t need to take on carbs during the activity. Consume sufficient carbohydrates in the two days before a training run or event and you should have more than enough stored in your body for shorter races, such as 5Ks or 10Ks. ‘For longer runs, like a marathon, maximising carbohydrate supply becomes important to avoid hitting the wall,’ says Dr Ricardo Costa, a lecturer at the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics of Monash University, Australia. ‘This generally occurs at 18-20 miles, when you’ve got no more carbs in storage.’ So if you’re going to run or race for longer, you will need to top up your carb stores with a carb product.

HOW MUCH CARBS SHOULD I CONSUME? The body can typically absorb 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour, irrespective of

gender or body weight. Not all runners can stomach the higher end of this scale, though, so start low and see how your body responds.

WHAT KIND OF CARB SOURCE IS BEST FOR ME? There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Essentially, what you want is something that’s easy to take, will be light on your stomach and will allow you to continue running while delivering the right amount of carbs when you need them. Bear in mind that if you don’t like the taste you won’t want to use it. Keep trying until you find the right one – there are plenty out there.

WHAT KIND OF CARB PRODUCTS ARE THERE? SPORTS DRINKS These are liquid,

so carbs are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream. They typically contain around 30g of carbs per 500ml bottle. This means that in terms of volume it can be tricky to meet your needs in longer runs or events with sports drinks alone, as to

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get the optimal 60g per hour you’d need to glug a litre per hour, which could leave your stomach awash. But the larger volume also means sports drinks can contain beneficial electrolytes such as sodium (see p27 for more information on electrolytes). RW RECOMMENDS O Lucozade Sport, £11.99 for 12 × 500ml bottles, lucozadesport.com O Gatorade, £2.99 for 4 × 500ml bottles, asda.com O MaxiNutrition FuelMax (powder), £19.99 for 750g, shop.maxinutrition.com GELS Semi-liquid so they don’t

have to be changed from a solid during digestion. Think of a gel as a concentrated version of an energy drink. They typically contain 20-30g of carbohydrate per gel sachet, though some are more concentrated than this. They are also small and portable, and so can be carried in the hand or on a belt during a run. An important aspect to consider is whether you want an isotonic or non-isotonic gel. Isotonic gels can be taken without water, which can be more convenient in training.


CARBS // FUEL FOR RUNNING

RW RECOMMENDS O SiS Go Isotonic Energy Gel, £8.40 for 6, scienceinsport.com OMyprotein Energy Elite, £17.99 for 20, myprotein.com OHigh5 IsoGel, £24.75 for 25, highfive.co.uk ENERGY BARS These are solid, so

take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This may be a disadvantage in shorter races, but can work in your favour over longer distances. They’re also good before a long race. Some people find bars more palatable than gels. RW RECOMMENDS O Mule Bar, £44.70 for 30, mulebar.com O PowerBar Energize, £28.49 for 25, wiggle.co.uk O Torq Chew, £27.70 for 15, torqfitness.co.uk O Or see p30 for DIY energy bar recipes. SWEETS Anything with a high

sugar content will help restock your body’s glycogen stores quickly, although you won’t get extra ingredients like electrolytes. Sports nutrition sweets are also available. RW RECOMMENDS O Clif Bloks Energy Chews £2.50, tesco.com O PowerBar PowerGel Shots £19.99 for 16, wiggle.co.uk O Bassetts Jelly Babies £1 for 190g packet, tesco.com

WHAT KEY INGREDIENTS SHOULD I LOOK FOR WHEN I’M CHOOSING CARBOHYDRATE PRODUCTS? MALTODEXTRIN This is

often the primary carbohydrate source in gels and energy drinks. It’s derived from cornstarch, easy to digest and delivers energy quickly. GLUCOSE The most common carb in nature, also often known as dextrose. FRUCTOSE Derived

from fruit sugar, and absorbed via a different pathway to glucose, so when taken in combination it can increase your body’s maximum carbohydrateabsorption rate. SUCROSE Glucose

and fructose combined. Otherwise known as table sugar. SODIUM A key

electrolyte. ELECTROLYTES

Important body salts and minerals, which are lost via

sweat. For more information, see the hydration section, p26. CAFFEINE A stimulant

that has been proven to boost performance and lower perceived exertion. Research shows you need 3mg per kg of body weight, but consider the timing of your caffeine hit, as it only reaches peak effect an hour after consumption. Try it in training so you know how it affects you. RW RECOMMENDS O SiS GO Energy + Double Caffeine gel (150mg per gel), £11 for 6, scienceinsport.com O Myprotein Energy Elite + Caffeine gel (75mg per gel), £17.99 for 20, myprotein.com O MaxiNutrition FuelMax Plus gel (100mg per gel), £40.99 for 24, shop. maxinutrition.com

NITRATES Naturally occurring in some vegetables, (beetroot is a particularly rich source), nitrate is converted into nitric oxide in the body, which increases blood flow and oxygen delivery. Exeter University research found that drinking 500ml of beetroot juice a day for six days increased time to exhaustion by 15 per cent. Also, ‘acute doses’ taken just before exercise have been shown to boost performance. In one study, 6.6mmol (the amount of nitrate in a Beet It Sport Shot, see below) taken between two and two and a half hours before exercise improved performance by 2.8 per cent. RW RECOMMENDS O Beet It Sport Shots (70ml), £25 for 15, beet-it.com

WHEN SHOULD I REFUEL WITH CARBS DURING A LONGER RUN OR RACE? The golden rule is to not wait until you’re depleted before refuelling – start topping up your carbohydrate stores early. You can take a gel 20-30 minutes before the start of a long run or race and at regular intervals thereafter, up to the 60g per hour maximum. But it’s important to practise your fuelling strategy during training so you know what works and what really doesn’t.

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HYDRATION // FUEL FOR RUNNING

HYDRATION

HOW MUCH WATER DO I NEED TO DRINK WHEN I’M RUNNING? The best advice is to drink according to your thirst – it’s a strong predictor of your hydration needs. ‘Our thirst mechanism is pretty accurate,’ says Susan Yeargin, assistant professor of physical education at the University of South Carolina, US. In fact, drinking too much water can lead to a condition called hyponatraemia, in which salt levels in the blood become dangerously low, with symptoms that range from headaches and nausea to seizures, coma and, in extreme cases, death. A simple way to find out your hydration status is to check the colour of your urine. If it’s clear or pale yellow, you’re well hydrated. But if it’s the colour of apple juice or darker, you need to drink up. For runs shorter than an hour you can go without water, provided you’re well hydrated at the start. During longer runs the options are to wear a hydration pack (a backpack containing a water bladder and mouthpiece), or plot a route that passes your home or other point where you have stashed water. You could also try long runs with isotonic energy gels (which provide a little hydration, as they contain water) but without water itself – if trying this, build distance/duration gradually to allow your body to get used to them. During half-

marathon races and longer, drinking little and often (a few mouthfuls at each aid station), rather than gulping down lots in one go, will be easier on your stomach.

SHOULD I AIM TO REPLACE THE AMOUNT OF FLUIDS I’VE LOST AFTER A RUN? If you sweated a great deal, replenishment of fluids is important, but, again, you can judge how much you should drink simply by thirst. If you want to be more precise, there’s a fairly easy way to work out your needs,

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says Dr Chris Easton, lecturer in exercise physiology at the University of the West of Scotland. ‘Weigh yourself before going on a 60-minute run. Don’t drink anything while you’re out and towel off any excess sweat when you get back; then weigh yourself again. Each gram in weight you’ve lost equates to 1ml of fluid, so that figure is how much fluid you need to replace for every hour of training.’ So, if you lost 1kg of weight, your sweat rate is one litre per hour and you could aim to replace at least this amount over the course of the rest of the day.


HYDRATION // FUEL FOR RUNNING

When it comes to hydration, listen to your body: it knows what it needs.

WHAT ARE ELECTROLYTES, AND HOW IMPORTANT ARE THEY TO A RUNNER? Electrolytes are salts and minerals that control the fluid balance of the body, and they play a key role in muscle contraction and energy generation. Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are among the major electrolytes. They’re lost through sweat, so it’s good idea to replace them after a hard workout, especially if you’re a salty sweater (look for white marks on your kit or even your skin after a run). Some sports drinks contain electrolytes, and

you can also buy tablets that add flavour and electrolytes to water with virtually no calories or carbs. RW RECOMMENDS O O.R.S. Hydration Tablets, £6.99 for 24 tablets, ors.uk.com O High5 Zero, £5.83 for 20 tablets, highfive.co.uk O SiS GO Hydro tablets, £7 for 20 tablets, scienceinsport.com

WILL DRINKING TEA AND COFFEE DEHYDRATE ME? While caffeine provides a proven performance-

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boosting edge, it also acts as a diuretic, right? Well, not exactly. ‘Recent research shows that caffeine doses between 250 and 300 milligrams – the equivalent of about two cups of coffee – will minimally increase urine output for about three hours after consuming it,’ says Yeargin. ‘However, the research also shows that exercise seems to negate those effects.’ So, ultimately, you can consider tea and coffee (and other liquids such as fruit juice) as contributing to your daily fluid intake. Just be sure you get your caffeine hit at the right time (see p24).


PROTEIN // FUEL FOR RUNNING

A milk- or yoghurt-based smoothie is a good postworkout option.

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PROTEIN // FUEL FOR RUNNING

PROTEIN FOR RECOVERY

HOW IMPORTANT IS PROTEIN FOR RUNNERS? It’s essential. Recovering effectively between runs and after races is as important as the exercise itself, something runners often forget. Rest and recovery ensure your body gets the maximum rewards for your hard work – and protein is the key macronutrient in this process. ‘Every type of running causes microtears in your muscles,’ says Easton. ‘The higher the intensity, the more damage is likely.’ Protein helps repair your muscles, knitting together damaged fibres to make them stronger. It also plays a key role in building mitochondria, which act like furnaces inside muscle cells. The harder you train, the more mitochondria you need in order to burn fuel efficiently. What’s more, high protein intake has been shown to help maintain a strong immune system.

WHAT’S A GOOD POSTWORKOUT PROTEIN PLAN? The 30 minutes after exercise are crucial for accelerating recovery – during this ‘golden window’ your body is more receptive to nutrients to begin the rebuilding process. A 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein is optimum for post-workout recovery, as the protein increases your body’s ability to store and use the carbs. Research published in The

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found this blend promoted recovery and performance in subsequent sessions. Post-workout protein comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, including shakes, powders, water, gels and good old chocolate milk. RW RECOMMENDS O For Goodness Shakes Recovery shake, £17 for 10 x 500g bottles, athletestore.co.uk O MaxiNutrition Recovermax, £29.99 for 750g tub of powder (10 servings), shop.maxinutrition.com O Frijj Chocolate Milkshake, £1.30 for 471ml bottle, sainsburys.com

IN GENERAL, HOW MUCH PROTEIN DO I NEED? Runners need a lot more protein than sedentary people do. The International Society of Sports Nutrition says endurance athletes such as runners need 1.0 to 1.6 grams per kilogram a day (or 0.45 to 0.72 grams per pound). That translates to 64-102 grams of protein daily for a 10-stone runner.

AT WHAT OTHER TIMES SHOULD I EAT PROTEIN? Research shows spreading your intake throughout the day is the best way to match your body’s needs. After the golden window has slammed shut, having a healthy main meal containing at least 20g of protein, along with carbs,

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within the few hours that follow your run will continue the vital rebuilding process. Starting your day with protein will ensure you’re properly fuelling your training. The goal is to keep pace with your energy demands and never letting your body go into deficit. And eating a protein-rich snack before hitting the pillow will do your training a favour – sleep is a big recovery period, during which more nutrients are delivered to your hungry muscles. Opt for a dairy source: skimmed milk mixed with some protein powder is the perfect combination of dairy and protein to aid restoration. And even on rest days, protein consumption is important to support recovery and repair.

WHAT ARE THE BEST FOOD SOURCES OF PROTEIN? Runners need quality protein that contains branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are key in supporting muscle recovery. The amino acid leucine, in particular, helps stimulate protein building after exercise. Eggs, chicken, pork and lean beef are some of the richest sources of leucine. You can also get it from fish, soy and whey, a type of protein found in dairy products that the body can quickly digest and use to rebuild muscle after a workout. Legumes, nuts and wholegrains also supply protein, though, in smaller amounts.


ENERGY BARS // FUEL FOR RUNNING

DIY ENERGY BARS Craving a nutritious and fuelling snack? Here’s how to make them yourself. Once you go home-made, you’ll never go back BANANA, OAT AND RAISIN

CRANBERRY AND WALNUT

Makes 16 bars

Makes 16 bars

2 very ripe bananas 150g dark brown sugar 135g rolled oats 100g melted coconut oil 100g golden raisins 95g pecans, chopped 85g plain flour 30g coconut flakes 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract 1⁄2 tsp baking powder 1⁄2 tsp baking soda 1⁄2 tsp salt 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon 1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

125g walnut pieces 175g pitted dates 120g dried cranberries 60g unsweetened shredded coconut

O Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F. Coat a 9"-square baking tray with oil. O In a bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add sugar, oil and vanilla. Combine until smooth. O In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, oats and coconut. Add the banana mixture, pecans and raisins, and mix. O Pour the mixture into the baking tray and spread evenly. Bake for 20 mins. Allow to cool. Cut into bars and wrap in cling film to keep fresh.

O Preheat oven to 160C/ 325F. Place the walnuts in a small baking tray and bake for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. O Line an 8"-square baking tray with cling film. Coat the inside with oil. O In a food processor, combine the dates, cranberries, walnuts and coconut. Process until ground into fine pieces. Add one tablespoon of water. Process until mixture holds together when pressed with your fingers. Pour the mixture into prepared tray. O With the back of a spoon, spread the mixture out and press to compact. Refrigerate for one hour, then cut into 16 squares and serve. You can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.

NUTRITION PER BAR Kcals 231, Carbs 26g, Protein 4g, Fat 14g

NUTRITION PER BAR Kcals 130, Carbs 15g, Protein 2g, Fat 8g

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Banana, oat and raisin

Bananas are rich in the mineral potassium, which is needed to maintain healthy blood pressure.

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ENERGY BARS // FUEL FOR RUNNING

SUPER SEEDS

Makes 16 bars 40g golden flaxseeds 40g brown flaxseeds 40g chia seeds 50g rolled oats 125g chopped cashews 40g unsalted sunflower seeds 30g dried tart cherries or chopped dried apricots 26 pitted dates or fresh figs, roughly chopped 1â „8 tsp cinnamon 30g unsweetened coconut flakes (optional) 30g vanilla protein powder 30g unsweetened cocoa powder 100g honey Pinch of salt

Cranberry and walnut

Walnuts are a superb source of omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in antioxidants.

Line an 8"-square baking tray with cling film. Coat the inside with oil. O In a food processor, combine the flaxseeds, chia seeds, oats, cashews, sunflower seeds, cherries, dates, cinnamon, coconut (if using), protein powder, cocoa powder, honey and salt. Process for one minute, or until nuts and fruit are broken into small pieces and the mixture moves in one mass. O Pour mixture into the tray and press to compact. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Cut into 16 bars. Leave refrigerated until ready to eat. O

Super seeds

NUTRITION PER BAR Kcals 257, Carbs 45g, Protein 6g, Fat 9g

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Runner’s World UK – February 2017