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The race is vertical by name and nature

“ Oh well, it’s only a 5K,” said a runner, sarcastically, contemplating what lay ahead. For this was no ordinary 5K. This was the UK’s first ever Vertical Kilometre (VK), the ultimate test of man versus mountain – in this case, Na Gruagaichean in the Highlands.

For the uninitiated, a VK is an uphill-only time trial. We would be starting at sea level in the relatively midge-free village of Kinlochleven in Lochaber, before climbing to 1,000m in just under 5K. Forming part of the Skyrunning UK Series, the VK was followed on Saturday by the daunting 29K Ring of Steall, before culminating on Sunday in the formidable 55K Glen Coe Skyline.

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About Men's Running

The temperature may be dropping but, unlike bears and bats, real runners don’t hibernate. Quite the opposite. The autumn and winter months are, in fact, when the fun begins. To inspire you to take the season by storm, this issue is packed full of adventure-aiding advice. And the good news is, you don’t have to travel far to find it. You could, for example, try your hand at some local fastpacking. (That’s the hybrid of running and backpacking, by the way, not hurriedly cramming your belongings into a suitcase.) For the price of a cheap train ticket, ultrarunner Matt Maynard fastpacked his way along the 153-mile North Downs Way, chopping his toothbrush in half in a bid to cut down any extra weight. On page 52, he tells you all you need to know about the art of travelling fast and light. Speaking of fast and light, we caught up with two Olympians who embody both those qualities: new 400m world record holder Wayde Van Niekerk and rising star of British marathon running Callum Hawkins. Although they specialise in very different disciplines, they both have some lessons for us mere mortals. A lesson that many runners – including this one – have failed to grasp, is the art of the B race. Getting these warm-up races right can be a great launch pad to success, while getting them wrong can be a real confidence-crusher. On page 60, Damian Hall tells you how to strike a balance. So embrace the colder months and enjoy this issue – it’s a brrr-illiant one.

Single Digital Issue Dec-16
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Men's Running subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.

Other Articles in this Issue

Editor’s Letter
There’s this saying in jazz quarters: “It’s not the notes
A couple of years ago I started entering races, progressing
Recently, I was out leading a group run when I
It is my experience that, with most running groups, they
@Tucksy81 – Compete silence in the woods this morning. Best
Pictures from the pain cave: a gallery of your grizzliest
Runners pick their way down a steep slope at the
A heroic runner has recently completed 401 marathons in 401
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Q “I’m new to running and get confused by how
Thinking about throwing out your old shoes? Think again. On
A love story between a man and his favourite pair of shoes
Elite insights from former ‘fat bloke’ turned Olympic marathon man
The IBF heavyweight champion of the world steps out of the ring to talk strength, greatness and running with Ramesses
Running a marathon is tough enough. But Mexico’s Germán Silva
Carb-rich and full of protein, milk is udder-ly wonderful for runners
Versatile cauliflower makes a great grain-free, low-carb base for this
Starting a family forced Rob May out of his healthy habits and he began to put on weight. But a sermon from his vicar got him on the road to running it off – and he hasn’t looked back since
Looking to stay well this winter? Renee McGregor lists five foods to keep you healthy
There is much debate over whether or not El Guerrouj
Our monthly guide to running etiquette looks at attempting to control emotions on race day
The treadmill is a tempting option when the cold weather begins to bite, but it shouldn’t completely replace your outdoor running
Laura Fountain looks at how a running shoe collection can spiral out of control
Resident running expert Martin Yelling on how to embrace night-time running this winter
All the exercises in this month’s workout require a barbell. Barbell work can be very beneficial to runners because the core is forced to work so much harder to stabilise the body than when using bodyweight, dumbbells or machines. Keeping the weight relatively light and the reps high, the following moves will leave you with a core primed for strong, fast, injury-free running
With so many different running products on the market, it
Too often regarded as a poor man’s Alps, the Pyrenees is a below-the-radar paradise perfect for a running adventure. Resident Tobias Mews says it’s high time you discovered its charms for yourself
How will Britain’s impending departure from the European Union affect running from an elite to amateur level? Michael Donlevy investigates
Naively going where no MR staff member has gone before, Isaac Williams tests his mental and physical limits at the Self-Transcendence 24-Hour Track Race
As race day approaches, the Project Trail team learn more about the importance of mental strength
International ultrarunner Robbie Britton has some lessons from the frontline
Ceri Rees braves beards and brutal hills at the recent Red Bull Steeplechase, a 23-mile race where only the fastest 40 runners make it to the finish
The Bear Grylls Survival Race has a few minor issues to iron out, but it’s a fun challenge for the whole family, says Nick Beavitt
Karon Davis finds a friendly welcome and a fast course at the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon
Jim Old heads reluctantly to the running track to outsprint some schoolchildren