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Want to vary your trail running and start tackling harder terrain ? Be prepared to put in some hard work , says Christina Macdonald


Want to vary your trail running and start tackling harder terrain ? Be prepared to put in some hard work , says Christina Macdonald

If your trail routes usually involve flat grass and you fancy moving on to more challenging trails like hills, woods and overgrown forests, there’s good and bad news. The good news is you may well burn more calories if you find the terrain challenging and you’ll probably enjoy the variety. The bad news is you could be more likely to twist an ankle or a knee, or fall over. The solution is to train your body first to get fit for uneven terrain to help you avoid falls and injuries. It’s also important to park those PB aspirations at first and be prepared to adjust your speed.

“If you’re used to terrain like fairly flat grass, where every step is virtually the same, then you’ll need to adapt to the fact that every step [on rougher ground] potentially places new demands on muscles in a different combination,” says personal trainer Jeff Archer from The Tonic Corporate Wellbeing ( “Slow down to avoid putting any high-intensity pressure on any area of your body. Running more slowly will give you the chance to adjust your position when necessary, while maintaining control of your movements.”

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About Women’s Running

We’re getting into marathon-training mode in the March issue of Women’s Running, out now! Join in our #BigMarathonChallenge with one of our three targeted 12-week training plans - you’ll find part one in this issue. We’ve also got an eight-move workout designed to get your body ready for marathon running. Using your commute to get some miles in? Find the right rucksack for you with our test. Elsewhere in the issue you’ll find a guide to running for new mothers, be inspired to smile as you run, and try three fresh recipes from Clean-Eating Alice. Plus, we’ve got all the usual great gear reviews, inspiration and quick training advice.