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This is a crucial time of year. Get your base training right in autumn and you’ll reap the benefits in your spring races

As the nights draw in and the temperature drops, it’s tempting to stay on the sofa instead of heading out for a run. During the winter months, many runners find themselves between races without a training plan to motivate them. But if you’re hoping to race well and PB at a spring marathon or half-marathon, you should be spending the winter maintaining your base fitness.

Of course it’s not wise to train hard all year round, and the winter is a good time to take it easy and recover, ready for the spring race season. But ‘taking it easy’ doesn’t have to mean stopping running altogether.

Ultrarunner and Comrades Marathon winner Camille Herron isn’t a fan of taking time off running entirely. “I think we’re wired to move and move frequently,” she says. “I’m used to running twice a day, every day. My body gets cobwebs when I rest too much.

Even when tapering I keep up the same frequency (twice a day movement) so my body doesn’t get stiff.”

Hopefully you’ve taken a break to recover since your last big race. The next job is to gradually start running again.

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