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Digital Subscriptions > Women’s Running > Women's Running - July 2019 - Race In The Sun > Strong legs for trails

Strong legs for trails

Do these 10 strength exercises to help fully condition your body for the unpredictability and variety of trail running, says Anne-Marie Lategan

Tail running requires your muscles to work slightly differently to road running because of the unpredictability of the surface you will be running on. For example your lateral stability muscles and the muscles in your lower leg have to work a lot harder on uneven, or much softer, terrain. Here are a variety of exercises that will help to keep you injury-free on the trails.

Warm up

The best warm up is to briskly walk over uneven terrain to get your body used to the differences. Start with a slow jog and slowly increase your speed. Improve your ankle mobility before each run by rotating it 20 times clockwise and anti clockwise. Jump 10 times left to right to improve lateral stability.

Sets and reps

Aim to do the programme twice a week. Do two sets of 10-15 repetitions. Quality is more important than quantity.

Cool down

Do a full-body stretch after your workout. Start from your upper body and work your way down. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Star side-plank with lift ing



Side muscles, inner and outer thighs (obliques, adductors, abductors)

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About Women’s Running

Sometimes a new bit of shiny kit is the one thing that motivates us to head outdoors and do that mid-week run. Sometimes, however, that new bit of shiny kit stays firmly in the drawer. It was cheap, it doesn’t fit that well, it was an impulse buy – our excuses are endless. But there is no excuse. The climate emergency is well and truly upon us, and it is up to us to start making a real difference, and one big way we can do that is by holding off on buying more kit that we don’t need, or buying kit that makes a positive difference. This issue, we reflect on the impact our sport has on the environment and how we can all make a difference. Elsewhere, we’re talking trails: our resident trail runner Damian Hall explains just what’s so great about leaving the tarmac behind – and how it can prevent that niggling injury from ever returning. We also explore how Reiki can transform your running, how to feed the runners in your family as well as the ankle-biters, and we interview Marina – who cheerfully "beat a bunch of blokes” in the Wadi Rum Ultra, when she coasted in third overall.