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HOW TO BE A BETTER (without running)

Being a great runner isn’t all about putting in the miles. Cross-training your body with other sports can make you faster, stronger and less injury-prone. Read on to find out the most fun ways to boost your performance

ROCK CLIMBING

Climbing can be done in an indoor centre or outside on rock and increasing numbers of women of all ages are taking it up. You can go bouldering – climbing lower walls without a rope – or scale higher routes attached to a safety rope.

Why is it great for runners? While runners generally have strong, toned legs, the upper body is often neglected. Climbing remedies that by strengthening the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and chest, enabling you to keep a strong, open posture that makes it easier to breathe when you’re running and reduces upper-body fatigue on longer runs and races.

But good climbing technique also involves pushing up with your legs and engaging your core stability muscles to do dynamic moves and keep you balanced, so it’s a whole-body workout. The reaching and stretching improves your flexibility and climbing long routes will do wonders for your muscular and cardio endurance.

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About Women’s Running

The Community issue! The September Family issue is packed full of stories and information on just how vital our running community is. There’s no doubt that for many of our readers, as they head into the school holidays, their running community helps them keep going. That’s why we’ve strategically placed this theme to coincide with the summer holidays, and motivate readers to keep up their running, however tough that can feel. Why not join a running community, and make a difference to the lives of others? Tina Chantrey looks at the work of GoodGym, and how this nationwide movement is reaching out to hundreds of thousands of old people while getting fit at the same time. We have the inspiring story of Grace Mackintosh Sim, who combines her passion for art and running to help her local running community. There’s also the real-life stories of two incredible women; Emma Preston relied on the Run Mummy Run community to turn her life around and lose weight on her journey to fitness; Julie Cole turned to the Riot Squad crew to build confidence as she travelled through divorce, plus other major life issues. There’s also cover star Sorrell Walsh’s story, of how the London collective, Run Dem Crew, helped her realise her potential on her path to achieving the men’s, not just women’s qualifying time for Boston Marathon (sub three hours!). This issue is a celebration of the people around us who enable us to achieve the goals and dreams we never thought possible. Also covered in this issue: podcasts for runners, fun cross-training ideas, intermediate half-marathon training plan and holistic injury prevention, focusing on the kinetic chain. We’ve also got our Best in Test trail special, with trail shoes, back packs and accessories under test from our team of qualified runners.