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A good fuelling strategy needs to go hand in hand with your training plan. Sticking to a healthy diet can not only have a dramatic effect on your stamina, recovery and performance, but it can also simply make your training feel easier.

One of the biggest mistakes runners make is not fuelling their bodies properly. Runners really do have unique nutritional requirements, so you will need to eat more than the average person. If you eat too little, or fuel up with sugary snacks instead of well-planned meals, then your body won’t get the fuel and nutrients it needs. Instead of getting stronger and faster, you’ll lose muscle, stamina and speed.

Knowing how much to eat, though, can be quite tricky. You can estimate your calorie requirement using online calculators (such as, but here’s another quick method. First, multiply your weight in kilograms by 22 to get your resting metabolic rate (the number of calories your body expends maintaining itself at rest). Next multiply by 1.4 (if you are moderately active and run for less than one hour, one to three times a week); 1.5 (if you run for less than one hour, three to five times a week); or 1.7 (if you run for longer than one hour, more than three times a week).

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About Women’s Running

We all take up running for different reasons – to improve our health, lose a few pounds, raise money for charity, or perhaps because we drunkenly made a pact with a friend. But, whatever the reason, we all share the benefits of what running can deliver: inner strength, fearlessness, fitness, self-belief, self-esteem - the effects are countless. You only have to read this month’s cover star Viv’s incredible story to hear the effects of running. After undergoing a double mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis, Viv made the courageous decision not to have reconstructive surgery – a decision directly influenced by taking up running and the newfound body confidence this gave her. As we move into the New Year, confidence is going to be key to ensuring we reach our goals, whether that’s taking up running for the first time, upping our distance or losing weight (you can find plans for all three on page 32). Now is the time to harness self-belief and, to help you do so, we’ve got tips for you from life coach Steve Chamberlain. When you let go of limiting beliefs, you’ll be surpised how far it can take you, after all, as Chamberlian says, “beliefs are just thoughts we buy into, so it’s important we choose wisely!”