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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Feb-18 > MIXING IT UP


Used to running long distances but want to try shorter runs? Or are you a fast runner who wants to make the switch to distance running? Both can be done with the right training

When you’ve been running for some time, it’s easy to get into a rut and find yourself doing the same sessions at the same speed. Things can become stale. Mixing up your training and varying your distance and speed can not only improve your fitness (by creating a new stimulus and forcing the body to adapt), but can improve motivation levels.

If you’re a distance runner used to clocking up endless miles, you may have assumed you’re not suited to shorter distances, but you can make the switch. It’s also possible to switch from being someone who covers shorter races at a faster pace to an endurance runner. “You only have to look at Mo Farah to see it’s possible to excel across a range of distances,” says Professor John Brewer, head of the School of Sport, Health and Applied Science at St Mary’s University ( and co-author of Run Smart (£7.14, Bloomsbury Publishing).

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About Women’s Running

We all take up running for different reasons – to improve our health, lose a few pounds, raise money for charity, or perhaps because we drunkenly made a pact with a friend. But, whatever the reason, we all share the benefits of what running can deliver: inner strength, fearlessness, fitness, self-belief, self-esteem - the effects are countless. You only have to read this month’s cover star Viv’s incredible story to hear the effects of running. After undergoing a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis, Viv made the courageous decision not to have reconstructive surgery – a decision directly influenced by taking up running and the newfound body confidence this gave her. As we move into the New Year, confidence is going to be key to ensuring we reach our goals, whether that’s taking up running for the first time, upping our distance or losing weight (you can find plans for all three on page 32). Now is the time to harness self-belief and, to help you do so, we’ve got tips for you from life coach Steve Chamberlain. When you let go of limiting beliefs, you’ll be surpised how far it can take you, after all, as Chamberlian says, “beliefs are just thoughts we buy into, so it’s important we choose wisely!”