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Our annoyingly cheerful ultrarunner Damian Hall has been facing his demons and doing some public speaking
© BEN LUMLEY

I’m not sure I’ve ever been quite as frightened of anything, as I used to be of public speaking. The idea of all those people staring at you. All that pressure to entertain them. What if you forget your line? What if you get heckled – and everyone laughs at you? What if you stutter, freeze, lose control of your bladder or whatever it is that controls flatulence? The scenario filled me with sweat-inducing dread. That’s partly why I like writing. The cowardly idea that when someone reads your words you’re not there to be instantly accountable (plus you have several chances to hone those words before they’re released).

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About Women’s Running

Grow your mental – and physical – strength with the June issue of Women’s Running, on sale now! From the performance-enhancing benefits of adopting a competitive mindset, to the best ways to develop your mental toughness, we’ll show you how to become a more confident runner. You’ll also discover how running can help boost your mental self-image – hear how running gave cover star Anna Pearce confidence and courage as she overcame a highly traumatic life event. And if you’re focused on getting your body stronger and fitter this summer, the issue is packed with helpful advice. We’ve got a six-week training plan for runners looking to make the step up from 5K to 10K, and a fantastic workout to boost power in the hamstrings and glutes, helping you run faster and stay injury-free. Find all this plus the usual inspiration, recipes, tips and gear reviews.
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