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TAKE YOUR RUNNING FROM TARMAC TO TRAIL

With it s dry trail s, blue skies and lighter days, summer is a prime time to take your running off the beaten track. From kit to technique, we quiz the experts for their top tips to help you get started
Trail queen Fernanda Maciel training in Lapinha da Serra, in her native Brazil

Considering taking your running from tarmac to trail? Great! Trail running’s scenic views and peaceful, undulating routes offer something for runners of every ability – despite the common perception that it’s solely for hardened athletes.

“The most common misconception I hear is, ‘It will be too tough for me,’” says Dave Taylor of Fell Running Guide (fellrunningguide.co.uk), who takes groups of all abilities on coaching sessions in the Peak District. “Trail running can be as easy or as difficult as the trail that you choose. Trails encompass everything from nice easy footpaths to bridleways and disused railways. You don’t have to run up a mountain into the back of beyond!”

There’s also a big tick list of physical benefits that comes with moving your running off-road. “Muscularly, trail and fell running work your body differently to road running, where you repeat the same movement mile after mile,” says Laura Inglis, endurance coach at Accelerate Performance Centre (accelerateuk.com/accelerateperformance). “On uneven ground, you need to engage your core muscles and all the stabilising muscles around your joints, as you alter your stride and position to best navigate the trail. Running on trails can act as a strength workout and reduce the risk of repetitive injuries and muscle imbalances.”

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About Women’s Running

It’s a strange thing, our relationship with food. We tuck into our favourite snacks and meals to reward ourselves, cheer ourselves up and celebrate special occasions. Mealtimes can be something to look forward to after a tough day or training session, an opportunity to share quality time with loved ones. For me, food is associated with homeliness and family, but also with health and wellbeing. Fuelling my body nutritiously gives me enormous satisfaction – it gives me a feeling of control, knowing I’m supporting my health and my running. But because of such emotional associations, our relationship with food can become very complex. And, in some cases, even detrimental to health. Over the coming pages, we look at a number of topics surrounding nutrition. From the highly emotive issue of eating disorders (page 30), to the growing trend of going meat-free (page 62), we give you the facts to help you make sense of how your diet impacts your training and heath – mental and physical. If you are moving to a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’ll find heaps of expert advice on everything from getting the right protein intake to vitamin and mineral deficiencies – and even a seven-day, meat-free meal planner (page 69). Of course, there’s lots of non-food content, too, including one feature guaranteed to get you out the door, even for just 15 minutes (page 44).