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Your questions answered

Essential advice from the team on everything from trail-running tips for newbies to the best recovery foods. Plus: just what should you look for when buying a sportswatch that won’t break the bank?


I’m keen to try trail-running – do you have any tips?

If you’re new to running off-road then little and often is the key to start with, as the stresses on your body are very different from pavement or treadmill running. Increase your distance and speed as you adapt to the new terrain. Incorporating strength and balance work into your training will really help, too.

Invest in some well-fitting off-road shoes, particularly in winter when the trails can be muddy and slippery. These should offer good grip and protection with enough cushioning for any firmer sections.

We’re lucky in Britain to have plenty of running trails. The National Trust ( and the Forestry Commission ( are great online resources for finding running trails in beautiful places. Ordnance Survey’s online mapping service ( is excellent too, enabling you to view maps of any part of the country. And my book, Wild Running, details 200 routes across the country, with accompanying online maps and directions. If you’re heading into the hills, make sure you’re confident about navigating and go prepared for the weather. Tell someone where you’re going and what time you expect to be back and take a fully-charged mobile phone and plenty of warm clothing, food and water with you, just in case of emergencies or delays. JB

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Women’s Running - February 2019
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February 2019
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About Women’s Running

Our new-look magazine is going from strength to strength, as are our tribe of happy runners! This issue we spoke to Mara Hafezi, a runner who is defying both her own and others’ expectations by sailing through the Marathon des Sables and by encouraging women of colour to take up running. If you’re inspired by Mara, our beginner’s guide will get you off the sofa and into your trainers in no time, and then for a bit of extra motivation, you might want to have a glance at our half marathon training guides. There’s one for beginners as well as for those of you who want to smash your PB at the next 13.1-miler. We focus on speedwork this issue too, and how building on your speed can power the rest of your running – even if it hurts while you’re doing it! Plus this issue, we’ve got the only core workout you’ll ever need: build it into your running schedule to see quick results with your strength and speed on the road. Then wind down with our feature on Sophrology: just how can this mindful practice help us live more in the moment and actually run better?