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HARD AS Trails

Running well, especially off-road, means training hard but if you struggle to truly push yourself, Matt Maynard is on hand to help you run your socks off

Trying hard. It’s all relative, isn’t it? I learned this during my very first trail race. Approaching a broad country gate, a fellow competitor came panting past. Launching himself at the obstacle, he initiated a kamikaze roll. Gripping the horizontal slats, he threw his chest, followed by flailing legs, over the gate. This black-belt trail technique requires speed, skill and grace – it also requires the gate to be closed, tightly.

Swinging wildly into the field, the runner took flight. It was a crushing, cow-pat-smearing fall. Humiliating enough to hang up your race shoes and subscribe to Men’s Crocheting. But this Jackie-Chanof- trail-running seemed unfazed. I watched in awe as he sprang to his feet, and disappeared out of sight. When the time comes to put the effort in, there are people who try hard, sometimes land in cow slip, but fully commit. And there were other people, I was realising, like me, who were hardly trying at all. Learning where your real limits lie is a mindset that takes practice. Trying really, really hard is only possible occasionally. But the rewards can have repercussions, even beyond running.

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About Men's Running

The March issue of Men’s Running was designed with New Year motivation in mind. Whether you’re a persistent pavement pounder, or are completely new to running altogether, this issue is packed with expert advice on becoming a tougher, stronger, quicker and happier runner - from 14 easy-to-adopt ways to boost performance, to a three-page spread on learning to grit your teeth, push your limits and realise your true potential. We’ve also got exclusive reviews of the latest short-sleeved tops, shorts and running socks - with the best product in each category receiving the MR ‘Best in Test’ seal of approval. For a rarely covered behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to organise a large-scale race, head to our ‘Making a Marathon’ feature, and of course we’ve also got the usual training advice, race reports and nutrition know-how to help you hit the ground running in 2018.