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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > Jul-17 > Game changer

Game changer

If your running is in a rut adding elements of chance can turn training runs into challenges that are not only effective but fun too


Former British Army Captain, adventure athlete and writer Tobias Mews loves to race but he doesn’t like the wait between events. “Then it struck me,” he says, “I didn’t have to wait. I didn’t need to worry about not getting a slot in a race before it sells out. I didn’t even need to enter another race to get that outdoor fix. I could simply organise my own challenge, as I had been doing on and off for a decade.”

Mews likens racing to going for a special meal in a restaurant. “What I needed to do for the other days of the week was to learn how to cook for myself. Ultimately, the preparation and planning of an adventure is half the fun.”

In his new book Mews uses the knowledge and skills he picked up from his time in the army to show us how we too can upgrade our running and turn every opportunity to train into an adventure. “The best way to think of my new book is as a series of recipes for adventure – or templates for athletic challenges where, just like in a race, the emphasis is on performance. They’re not meant to replace organised races but to complement them, allowing you, in an act of spontaneity, to get outside and challenge yourself.”

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About Men's Running

Motivational mantras, preferably overlaid onto a picture of a runner in a dramatic landscape, are ubiquitous on social media. That isn’t to say they don’t have their uses: I have a couple of things I mutter to myself when the going gets tough although they’re unsuitable for publication unfortunately. I don’t believe the no one-size-fits-all mantras work because every runner is unique and has their own motivations. This variety is reflected in the sheer breadth of organised events available to runners right now. Which is why we’ve curated a list of 100 race (page 57) from both the UK and abroad, that we feel represents the scope of running for the remainder of 2017. From 10Ks to ultras, from road to trail, there’s something here for the beginner, veteran or just anyone who wants to simply try something new. Speaking of races The Marathon des Sables has been given the sobriquet of ‘toughest race on the planet’ so we felt duty bound to find out for ourselves if this claim is true. Our runner’s report (page 34) tells us that while ability is obviously essential, being able to get along with and support your fellow runners is the most important attribute required. Of course not every run has to be a race and there’s still satisfaction to be found in creating your own running adventures (page 21) or building goals from the reams of data floating around out there (page 42). Again it’s down to what individual runners want from their sport. All running together but with different destinations.