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

Other Articles in this Issue


Women's Running
Phew – it’s finally February! Did you manage #redjanuary?
Claire Chamberlain is a writer specialising in health
LIFESTYLE
The people, campaigns, research and updates making an impact in our running community this month
If you’re looking for motivation, then you’ve found it right here: the latest accessories to spur you on in a frosty Feb
Should we carb load before training runs, or instead try to train our bodies to metabolise their own fat stores better?
The latest nutrition, beauty and health headlines: because running doesn’t end at your feet
Laura Fountain is a mother, a running coach, a personal trainer, a marathon runner and the author of The Lazy Runner and Tricurious. Follow Laura @lazygirlrunning
Lumbar spine Lower back strength and stability is crucial for runners, as a healthy lumbar spine helps improve posture and gives us vital shock-absorption
50-year-old mother of three, Glasgow-based Carol Martin talks ultramarathons, treating herself to pizza and how she’s defying cancer
Medical student Vicky Shaw shares her favourite off -road 10K route in inner city Birmingham, along the beautiful River Rea
Quick meal and snack ideas, energy bars to keep you going, and expert advice for runners who want to boost their training and their health
Until relatively recently, runners set personal, national and world records without GPS watches. But these days wearable tech is everywhere, giving us instant feedback on our performance. But is that helping or hindering us?
FEATURES
Mara Hafezi overcame a phobia of swimming to complete an Ironman and challenge the limits of what she thought was possible. Now she’s on a mission to inspire others to do the same
The six key things that helped Mara complete her Ironman and desert ultra
Running pioneer Kathrine Switzer’s infamous 1967 Boston Marathon run has led to the creation of a running network which is uniting and empowering women around the world
Women’s Running is your dedicated running coach, whether
Th e Casualty and Emmerdale actor on discovering the social running community, parkrun and going further than she ever believed possible
Are you looking for a way to sharpen your mental focus, relax your body and improve your running performance? Sophrology could be the answer
Try these two simple sophrology methods to sharpen your mental attention and relax before training or a race
REGULARS
This month our inspirational #WRTribe showed up and put their #BestFootForward on our #womensrunninguk social, with fantastic advice for newbies while enjoying some epic winter miles
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?
NEW RUNNERS
Got a pair of trainers? Great! Th en welcome to our tribe. Get fit and feel great with our easy guide to starting out. With just a few pieces of essential kit, and a super simple routine to kick you off, we’re with you every step of the way. Come and run with us!
Divide your run into three sections: warm up, the run itself, and cool down – each of these is equally important. Your warm up should include a brisk walk and the following dynamic (moving) stretches:
Th is schedule will have you running continuously for 15 minutes in one month, with just three sessions a week
COACH
Remember that amazing rush of endorphins aft er your first ever 10K, when you felt invincible and ready to tackle the world? You could re-live that feeling through ultra-marathons, says Lucja Leonard
If you’re considering an ultra, you’ll need to invest
Going further isn’t just for elite athletes: crossing the marathon barrier is just a state of mind. Th ese three amazing women discovered the world of the ultra-marathon, and made it their own
If you’ve completed a 10K (well done!) the next obvious popular racing distance to tackle is a half marathon. Laura Fountain explains how to succeed
Remember: both rest and cross-training are essential
Follow this 12-week half marathon plan if your goal
If you’re pushed for time, follow the orange boxes
Th e marathon and ultra-runner on enjoying every step of each run, venturing outside your comfort zone and coping with injury by volunteering
KIT
Th e latest releases, with up-to-date technical advances and design, to power you through your training
Being organised when you run is important for both safety and comfort, but which belts give you maximum bang for your buck?
Recovery and looking aft er your muscles are crucial for improving your running, and calf guards can help with both
Providing extra support for your calves as well as better circulation, compression socks can enhance both your performance and recovery
As spring training gets under way, make sure you stay ahead of your plan with the most scientific sports drinks on the market
Wise fuelling can help produce your best performances, but which gels and bars suit your needs and tastes?
A good headlamp not only enables you to have night-time adventures all year round, but it could help avoid injuries from falling
NUTRITION
Listen to your mind and body’s needs to help boost your diet and fitness routine, says nutritionist Louise Pyne
Make meal times – including preparation – a mindful practice and you’ll feel transformed
Power up with these energy-enhancing micronutrients, says nutritionist Louise Pyne
Joe Wicks shares three of his favourite recipes from his new book, Veggie Lean in 15. Th ey’re all quick, tasty and will help your body bounce back quickly aft er exercise
Delicious, healthy dishes to refuel aft er a run can be quickly craft ed from just five ingredients. Sceptical? MuscleFood.com shows you how, with these three eff ortless recipes
Fiona Russell, 50, has had a championship entry for the London Marathon for the past six years and her marathon PB, set in 2015, is 3hrs 4mins
BOOTCAMP
Speedwork has huge benefits for every runner, from those of us who plod around the block to runners wanting to beat their PBs, says Lisa Buckingham
These drills concentrate on your lead-knee lift and rear-leg drive, to help improve stride length and leg strength, says coach Laura Fountain. Perform each exercise 2-3 times for 30 metres, jogging back to your start position between drills. Focus on engaging your core and maintaining an upright posture
Looking for a PB this spring? Master these six exercises to help build your core strength, which will improve your posture and help you run faster
Get this ab strength move just right, and your core will thank you for it
Need a low impact, high cardio exercise to complement your training? Mollie McGuigan explores how swimming can benefit your running
RACE
With plenty of mud, hills and cake, this Cornish race has all the ingredients for a great trail-running day out
A winter solstice sunrise that lift ed a thousand spirits
A frosty frolic over challenging country terrain
Give your training some focus with our guide to the best upcoming races
Th e women’s 3,000m final at the LA Olympics saw Zola Budd pitted against Mary Decker. Th at race became one of running’s most iconic moments