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Digital Subscriptions > Men's Running > October 2018 > FIELD OF DREAMS

FIELD OF DREAMS

IN HIS NEW BOOK, RUNNING FREE, RICHARD ASKWITH SWAPS TIMES AND TARGETS FOR A MORE CARE-FREE APPROACH TO RUNNING – AND ENCOURAGES YOU TO DO THE SAME

TRAIL RUNNING SPECIAL/RURAL RUNNING

Ditch the watch, forget your split times and head to your nearest park or field. Smell the fresh air, feel the ground beneath your feet and run as fast or as slow as you like. You are now running free, an approach Richard Askwith espouses in his thought-provoking new book. Many of you will be familiar with Askwith as the goal-obsessed runner at the heart of Feet in the Clouds, his acclaimed debut about the obscure British sport of fell running. Among other things, the book recounts Askwith’s various attempts to complete the gruelling Bob Graham Round, a circuit of 42 peaks in the Lake District that must be completed in under 24 hours. Nowadays, you’re more likely to find him running around the fields of Northamptonshire, accompanied by his loyal dog, Nutmeg. MR caught up with him to find out more about his new approach to running.

MR You didn’t always have such a back-to-basics approach to running. What prompted you to start running in a simpler, less competitive way?

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About Men's Running

When I first started running, venturing off-road was all about school cross-country races, generally around anodyne playing fields in heavy football boots. It wasn’t the kind of experience that books are written about. In fact, it was the kind of experience that scarred many would-be runners for life. But fast forward, cough cough, a few years and trail running is now big business. The clamour for places in the ‘big daddy’ of all trail race, the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, is as fervent as the Virgin Money London Marathon and shoe companies now have entire ranges dedicated to trail and off-road. Why is it so popular? If you haven’t yet ventured off the beaten track, trail running is about being more in-tune with nature and taking stock of your surroundings. It’s not about times or even really distances; it’s about testing your body over different terrain with vistas to die-for! In this Men’s Running special, we talk about everything trail, from training to technique. We even cover a few races for good measure. We hope you enjoy!