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Sport presenter Rachel Stringer has put the pressures of the track behind her – but, she says, she’ll never lose her love of running

Elite sport is a hard taskmaster. To race against the best requires toughness and a ruthless competitive edge. But despite her background as one of the country’s top junior middle-distance runners, there’s little evidence of those traits in Rachel Stringer these days. It’s easy to see how her personality has helped her translate her sport background into a career as a sport presenter: a warm, constantly positive presence, she’s relaxed and clearly in her element leaping through the mud on Hampstead Heath, London, for our cover shoot. “Maybe I’m just more chilled in my old age!” she jokes when asked about it.

Of course, this is all relative. Rachel’s “old age” is 26, but she’s already fitted in half a lifetime of running, beginning her competitive career aged 12. And, although she’s no longer studying her competitors’ form when she lines up for a race, she’s clearly still a disciplined runner and sets herself high standards – like the sub-three-hour marathon she’s keen to achieve next year.

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About Women’s Running

Get set for a great year with the new issue of Women’s Running! We’ve got three four-week plans for you to set up a brilliant year of running and get back into shape – and we’ll show you how to hit your racing weight when you’re training for marathon. Fundraising for a spring marathon? Find out how to raise thousands of pounds by the women who’ve done it. And don’t enter your 2017 races without reading part one of our 2017 Ultimate Race Guide, with 100 brilliant events you’ll love to do up to June this year. Plus, we’ve got healthy recipes for runners, a guide to avoiding fatigue while you’re training, and six of the best running watches for women. Grab your copy today!