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FREEDOM OF THE CITY

IDYLLIC TRAILS AND HILLTOP VIEWS MAY BE ALL OVER #RUNNERSOFINSTAGRAM BUT, FOR MOST RUNNERS, DAY-TO-DAY TRAINING TAKES PLACE IN MORE BUILT-UP, URBAN ENVIRONMENTS. SUCH SETTINGS MIGHT NOT BE AS WORTHY OF SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT CITIES CAN BE THE PERFECT RUNNING PLAYGROUND – AS LONDONBASED RUNNER JAMES POOLE EXPLAINS

URBAN RUNNING

Running solo can be an incredible gift. That ‘me’ time away from work deadlines, overbearing commitments and overdue chores. There’s always something special about those miles logged in peace and quiet with only the rushing of blood in your ears and your inner monologue for company. Silently putting the world to rights one footstep at a time.

But perhaps the most beautiful thing about running is the smorgasbord of opportunity it presents. In general, most runners don’t think of running in a big city as an enjoyable experience: the noise; the traffic; the eternal wait at the lights for that tiny green man to turn from red to green.

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About Men's Running

While the calendar may be full of organised races and events, not everyone’s running life is dictated by competition. Goals come in many different shapes and sizes and so does the impetus to achieve them. If this issue has a theme it’s that reasons to run go way beyond simply wanting to be involved in a sport. Take for example the five blokes who used their unwanted weight-gain as a spur to getting out and reclaiming their lives (p55). Not only did they turn their health around they also found out things about themselves they never would have without running. You can also find #runspiration from your environment, whether that be the mountainous trails of Austria (p60) or the streets outside your own front door (p34). Hitting the books (and tablets, phones and laptops) is also a good way to find running inspiration. So we’ve curated our own Men’s Running library of essential reading and watching (p42), meaning you can gen up on training tips and courageous stories, while also keeping tabs on the amazing feats being performed by the professionals. Speaking of which, with athletic titans such as Mo Farah and Scott Overall entering the twilight of their careers, we look at the next generation of UK runners (p66) who’ll be inspiring people to lace up their trainers and find themselves through running. All this plus our usual mix of races, kit, recipes and training tips.