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Performing runs (pun intended) in Chelsea Halfpenny’s family. Her mother is a DJ and her aunt is the actress Jill Halfpenny. It was her fellow actors that convinced her to try running, to raise money for Bloodwise.

Running is a relatively new thing in my life. The seed was sown when I was in Emmerdale. Chris Chittell (who plays Eric Pollard) is really into running and raises money for the blood-cancer charity, Bloodwise. We were very close and shared a lot of scenes together and he kept trying to get me to take up running, but I told him it just wasn’t for me. I was never that into sport at school. I was too focused on dancing and acting. Although I was okay at cross-country.

When I joined Casualty in 2015, many of the cast were runners and George Rainsford (who plays Ethan Hardy) ran for Bloodwise, too. It was like a sign and it’s such a great charity, so I finally gave in.

Slowing down

At that point, I was just going to the gym and occasionally running on the treadmill. I’d always hated it because, as it turned out, I was going too fast! But once I’d started training with a couple of the crew at work, I learned to slow down a bit and found I could run a lot further. I also started doing Cardiff parkrun and discovered I much prefer running outside. I love getting fresh air into my lungs and being outdoors makes me feel so much better in myself.

My first race was the Cardiff 10K in 2016 and I was quite nervous (I even cared up the night before). But I really enjoyed it and definitely caught the running bug. Once you start achieving more than you ever thought you could, it becomes addictive. I bought a Garmin watch and connected with other friends who also had Garmins, and seeing their runs really motivated me to get my trainers on.

I ran a few 10Ks and a couple of 10-milers, and then tried a half marathon. I trained with Jaye Griffiths (who plays Elle Gardner in Casualty) and she was really good at pacing me, making sure we didn’t go too fast. We’d go for runs in the morning before filming, and then longer runs at weekends, increasing it by one kilometre each week. I did the Cardiff Half Marathon and it was brilliant.

Learning from mistakes

Unfortunately I got injured in 2018. I had been getting cramps in my calf, but I’d signed up to the Great North Run in my hometown of Gateshead. I made the mistake of trying to ignore the pain. I could feel my calf twinging on the morning of the race, but thought it would be okay. After about 3K, I was in unbearable discomfort. I managed to walk-run to finish, but found out afterwards that I had a stress fracture in my shin, probably from hobbling my way around the race. I had to rest for a couple of months, but I’m back out running again and loving it – I missed it so much.

My running aspiration for 2019 is to get a bit faster at the half marathon distance. I’d intended to do the London Marathon this year, but I think my injury has set me back too far, so London 2020 it is!

The post Chelsea Halfpenny on the benefits of community running appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 3d ago

Ellie Greenwood was IAU World 100K champion in 2010 and 2014, earned the Western States 100-mile course record in 2012 in 16hrs 47mins and 19secs and was first place at South Africa’s famous Comrades ultra marathon in 2014, the first British woman to do so. She lives in Canada and works as a running coach.


My first proper race was the Great North Run in 2001, which I finished in 1hr 59mins and 57secs. I started to realise that I could be quite good at distance running in 2008 when I ran a marathon in under three hours and won a few local 50K races. Joining a running club with a coach made a huge difference. I had got stuck at finishing marathons in about 3hrs 20mins but within five months of joining my local club, I was down to 2hrs 55mins.

I find running very calming and relaxing. I don’t worry about things as much once I’m on a run – problems suddenly become smaller. It’s also an escape from the pressures of emails, text messages and social media; it’s like a pause button. Running also gives you confidence. When you achieve something you previously thought was impossible, whether running for 30 minutes without stopping or finishing an ultra, it makes you stronger.

My priority when I get back from a long training run is rehydrating straightaway, as it’s easy to forget and can leave you feeling awful later in the day. I’ll also refuel with proper food, so pasta with some veggies – even at 3pm. And I don’t miss out on the fun stuff after a run. I love coffee and a muffin after group runs.

When I won Comrades in 2014, I had been eight minutes behind the leader near the end of the race and she wasn’t in sight. Part of the way through that race, I’d had lots of negative thoughts, but then I finished my pity party and resolved to give it everything I had. I ended up winning.

Modern technology is a wonderful thing, but don’t get too caught up in analysing data from your watch or what your Strava kilometre total is for that week. When I started out, GPS watches didn’t really exist and that did me the world of good. I had no idea what weekly distance. I’d get back from a run and reflect on whether I’d enjoyed it or not.

I’ve been injured for a while and it took time for me to adjust to a new realityI’ve stayed sane by volunteering at races; it’s a great way to socialise and stay in touch with your community.

 

Follow Ellie’s running @instagram.com/elliejgreenwood

The post How I Train: Ellie Greenwood appeared first on Women's Running.

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Getting the right support is essential, and is key to a good run.

MAAREE Solidarity High-Impact Sports Bra

£59, maaree.com
Tester: Laura

This could be your new best friend. The fit is true to size and the small adjustable straps in the armpits are really useful. There’s minimal bounce and the clever design minimises the shape of the breast without you feeling strapped in and restricted, offering amazing support. The fabric is super soft with no danger of chafing even on a long run. It’s machine washable and easy to dry. Winner.

Shock Absorber Active Multi Sports

£33, wiggle.co.uk
Tester: Helena

Unpadded and non-wired, this simple yet effective crop-top design comes in a range of stylish colours and is suitable for runners with larger cup sizes who prefer a less sculpted structure from a high-impact bra. The keyhole between its two clasps is a clever feature that creates a feeling of security and the racer back option is included for those who want extra support, too.

Salomon High Impact Sports Bra

£80, salomon.com
Tester: Susan

The support is excellent without feeling restrictive, the seamless cups ensure there is no rubbing and a high degree of comfort. Easily adjustable at the front and back, this allows you to customise the fit to be perfect for you. Advanced skin technical fabrics keep you dry and comfortable, even during high intensity sports. Machine washable and quick to dry, this will become your favourite sports bra.

Runderwear Support Running Bra

£40, runderwear.co.uk
Tester: Louise

This is specifically designed for runners looking for the best comfort and reduced bounce. Moisture wicking and with mesh panels, it’s breathable and chafe free, and it has adjustable J hook straps with closure at the back. It also has removable pads so you can choose whether to have firmer support.

Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Bra

£36, boobydoo.co.uk
Tester: Laura

This has a stunning design and colour, so looks great on its own. It’s slightly tricky to do up initially, but once on the fit is superb, giving great support without feeling restrictive. The material is beautifully soft and breathable leaving you feeling dry and chafe free even after a long run.

Brooks Rebound Racer

£32-£40, brooksrunning.com
Tester: Louise

You will feel stylish and well supported in this high impact sports bra. It has adjustable front straps and back closure, and moulded cups and limited stretch keep everything in place. It keeps moisture away with sweat wicking fabric and built in power mesh ventilation. With a criss-cross racerback and fashionable pattern you could wear this on its own at the gym or under a running vest.

Brooks Juno

£40-£50, brooksrunning.com
Tester: Claire

The Juno has adjustable velcro straps and back closure gives a customizable fit. It is lightweight, and has a perforated uncap design which gives a supportive shape, while keeping everything where it belongs. The perforated sweat-wicking fabric and built-in mesh ventilation in key sweat zones keeps you dry and prevents chafing. It’s seamless and smooth, and really comfortable to wear, and it comes in lots of different colours and patterns too.

SHEFIT Ultimate Sports Bra II

£59, boobydoo.co.uk
Tester: Claire

What makes this bra stand out is that it is completely customizable and provides a fantastic fit with a two-way wear strap configuration (X-back or H-back) that lets you personalize your level of support. Made for cups A-I, its high-performance front fastening zipper makes this bra really easy to put on. It’s made with lightweight, comfortable, high performance fabric and is available in lots of different colours.

Under Armour Vanish High Sports Bra

£50, underarmour.co.uk
Tester: Claire

The Vanish High dries really fast and prevents sweat absorption, stopping the bra from clinging or chafing, perfect for warmer runs. It delivers strategic support for larger boobs and is tailored specifically for high impact sports, and the foam pads provide extra coverage, too. Plus, the adjustable straps and open back make it really easy to take on and off. A big thumbs up from us!

Anita DynamiX Star Sports Bra

£50, boobydoo.co.uk
Tester: Laura

The fit is great and gives a good shape without the use of padding, and more than ample support. The cups are really soft, using a combination of pique fabric on the outside and a terry cloth on the inside. The unique strap system on the back really does make taking the bra off after exercise easy and the adjustable shoulder straps are soft and easy to adjust. The bra dries in superfast time, too, making it your new go-to sports bra!

Freya Active Epic Underwired Mounded Crop Top Sports Bra

£33.60, boobydoo.co.uk
Tester: Helena

Freya’s Active bra is underwired but unpadded providing firm support with breathable spacer cups and a flat, comfortable bottom band. The microfibre sweat-wicking fabric and lightweight design adds up to a bra that’s a great choice for running longer distances. Plus, it comes in a range of fun colours from B-H cup.

Panache Ultimate Sports Bra

£32, boobydoo.co.uk
Tester: Helena

For women with a larger cup size reducing breast bounce is essential to a comfortable and enjoyable running experience and the Panache Sport does just that. The combination of the soft underwriting, wide cushioned straps and breathable outer layer make this a desirable option for all runners, but where it really excels is in its additional attention to off-setting the effects of high impact exercise with features like the slightly higher than usual racer-back clip.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 114 June 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

Looking for the best bras for smaller boobs? Check out our top picks.

The post Find the Best Sports Bras for Bigger Boobs appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 3d ago

If you want to track your mileage without having to lug your phone about, you need one of these beauties in your life.

Garmin Forerunner 645 Music

£399.99, garmin.com
Tester: Susan

Easy to set up, this watch provides you with all the running functions you would expect, and much more. You can store all your favourite tunes and play them via Bluetooth headphones. It’s waterproof, stylish and extremely comfortable to wear due to the soft silicone strap. It has a multitude of features, including phone/text notifications, (really impressive) GPS maps and Garmin Pay. Battery life is an impressive 14 hours, although this does recuse dramatically to five hours if you’re streaming music.

Fitbit Ionic

£279.99, fitbit.com
Tester: Caroline

The Ionic watch could potentially become iconic, as it has a plethora of features we never knew we’d need. It boasts a built-in GPS, with heart rate, it’s a water resistant up to 50m, has storage for up to 300 songs, delivers on-screen workouts and other features we’ve come to expect in a Fitbit tracker, while being fully supported by the excellent Fitbit app. The set up and functionality is simple too and you can personalise features from strap to clock face. The battery life is good and it’s easy to charge on the go – plus the price tag is very competitive, too.

Polar Vantage M

£249, polar.com/uk-en
Tester: Geri

The Polar Vantage M is a multi-sports watch with plenty to offer runners. It’s perfectly straightforward to use, with buttons on either side of the display. The device is surprisingly light and the strap is made out of plastic, which makes it fun, versatile and easy to clean. It has lots of features and sports tracking, all at an affordable price. If you’re more interested in sports tracking and training feedback, this is the watch for you.

Polar Vantage V

£439, polar.com/uk-en
Tester: Tina

This is a high spec multisport watch for runners who train seriously. The maximum battery life of 40 hours is impressive, while in the PolarFlow app you can see the entire day of activity. With the chest strap you can also delve into Recovery Pro metrics, but you may end up spending your time looking at your HR data, as it’s so detailed. You also get running power metrics. A flexible strap would make this watch sit better on the female wrist and you have to sync manually.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 111 March 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

Rather have an app for your phone? Check out our top picks.

The post Best in Tech: GPS Watches appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 3d ago

Summer is the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run. Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.

Merrell Momentous

£110, merrell.com
Tester: 
Claire

These shoes are great for running moderate trails. Both protective and durable, they’re ideal for those who want a more connected, fast experience. With features such as the Vibram megagrip, a Burrito tongue (which wraps the foot for a natural fit), a Hyperlock moulded heel counter for security, a TrailProtect rock plate (which protects feet from underfoot debris), and forefoot and heel cushioning pods, they ensure a comfortable ride. A knit upper and a breathable mesh allow great breathability. A comfortable, lightweight shoe.

New Balance Summit QOM

£100, newbalance.com
Tester: Esther

Ideal for both parkruns and longer expeditions, the QOMs give an initial hard ride, but a very supportive one – perfect for slippery and wet conditions, in which they perform brilliantly. The firm Toe Protect tip and Vibram sole make these ideal for a hike too. The lugs are fairly shallow, making them good for summer runs. If you normally go up half a size, do the same here – they were a perfect fit, adding to a very supportive feel. The hard ride eases off in use, and distance, and they look fantastic: perfect for that Insta post-run shot!

Salomon Speedcross 5

£120, salomon.com
Tester: 
Katia

The Speedcross 5 is the latest update to the iconic trail shoe. Gone is the overworked upper: now a soft stretch mesh enables the foot to move easily while providing an impressively tough outer. The Quicklace lacing system locks the laces in place, while Salomon say the mid-sole EnergyCell+ provides a springy step and that seems a fair claim. But what this shoe is known for is traction and this is reliably good: the deep lugs shed mud while the outer protects feet from rocks or roots. All in all, a great update to a superb shoe.

Saucony Switchback ISO

£120, saucony.com
Tester: Beccy

This shoe has cushioning and toe protection but makes an ideal racing shoe, with a very responsive ride. The grip is effective yet subtle on firm surfaces. The drop is a low 4mm, adding to a natural, minimal feel and a dial lacing system means no more tying laces with fumbling, frozen fingers. This is a fabulous trail shoe ideal for those wanting a lightweight, nimble, flexible product.

INOV-8 Roclite G 275

£130, inov-8.com
Tester: 
Geri

The Roclite is the perfect all-terrain trail shoe. It’s lightweight and versatile, while graphene grip gives great traction on all types of surfaces. The toe box is roomy but cushioned, and a secure fit makes them very comfortable. They are fast, light and durable. If they’re good enough for Jasmin Paris to destroy the Spine Race record, they’re good enough for us. Definitely winners’ shoes!

Salomon Sense Ride 2

£115, salomon.com
Tester: Tina

These were so comfortable we went straight out and raced in them fresh from the box! They didn’t disappoint – there weren’t any hot spots. There’s excellent support around the heel, you’re getting enough cushioning to protect your foot and ankle, but they don’t feel heavy or clunky. The lugs aren’t large – making them a dream for summer trails. The Quicklace system means you can slip them on, pull and tuck your laces away.

The North Face Women’s Ultra Endurance II GTX

£125, thenorthface.co.uk
Tester: Caroline

These shoes are a beast of a ride, packed full of features. Fully waterproof, the Gore-Tex membrane protects your foot from the wet weather and puddles while the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures stability across all terrains. Importantly, comfort isn’t compromised, thanks to the OrthoLite sole. The orange laces and sole are an attractive addition to the otherwise sturdy appearance.

Dynafit Feline Up Pro

£160, dynafit.com
Tester: Geri

This is a such a versatile shoe. Lightweight with a 4mm drop, the shoe features a quick-lace system which allows it to sit nicely around the foot. It has a perfect fit. This is a shoe which wants to run fast and it’s so comfortable you want to push harder on the trails. It’s a neutral shoe, though intended for people with narrow feet, designed to tackle mud, soft ground and snow. It’s a precise and reactive shoe and we loved it!

361 Taroko

£109.99, store.361europe.com
Tester: Katia

These are lightweight road-to-trail shoes with a breathable and soft knitted upper mesh that helps feet stay cool. The upper dries quickly and the mesh provides a secure and comfortable fit. The laces stay tied and the midsole has great responsiveness. They’re not as bouncy as other shoes but you have the ability to feel the ground. The rubber outsole is flexible straight out of the box but lacks toe protection, and we suggest sizing up.

INOV-8 Parkclaw 275

£125, inov-8.com
Tester: Tina

Another inov-8 model that works hard on the trails and transitions well to the road. Not as hardcore as the Roclite, the Parkclaw studs are small enough to feel smooth on a path or road. It’s going to perform brilliantly for parkruns or grass work, where you don’t need a heavy grip. On the move the heel counter feels soft on the inside yet sturdy, there’s a little bit of wriggle room in the toebox and they feel both light, soft in the upper and responsive. The grey and coral colourway is very fetching, too.

La Sportiva Bushido II

£130, lasportiva.com
Tester: Geri

This is a brilliant, versatile, lightweight trail shoe. It comes in fun colours and is perfectly designed for different types of terrain, due to its stability. The foot stays in place as it has a high level of support. It has an impact brake system which provides traction while climbing and going down paths. It’s also responsive, stable and comfortable. The kind of shoe you can take on your daily training runs or for long distance running.

Hoka Evo Mafate 2

£160, hokaoneone.eu
Tester: Caroline

Available from 1 July, the updated Evo Mafate is full of substance and style. The vibrant orange and black colourway strikingly extends to the outsole which has the impressive 5mm Vibram Megagrip lugs to keep your feet steady over the toughest terrain. The upper has been revamped to accommodate greater flexibility in the forefoot using Hoka’s Matryx fabric upper, which delivers exceptional stability, protection and water drainage. They score highly on comfort too.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 115 July 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

Looking for a pair of technical shoes instead? Check out our top picks.

The post Top 12 Trail Shoes appeared first on Women's Running.

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We’re offering you the chance to save an extra 15% on the ASICS sale with the promo code ASI15 if you buy before 24 July!

There’s so much gear up for grabs that you’d be forgiven for wondering where to begin – that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 sale items we’re loving. Go on, treat yourself!

Top 10 picks from the ASICS sale:

GEL-Cumulus 20 running shoes
£120 £90 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

GT-2000 6 running shoes
£120 £72 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Metarun Jacket
£160 £96 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Metarun Singlet
£55 £33 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

GEL-Nimbus 20 running shoes
£150 £105 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

GEL-DS Trainer 23 running shoes
£120 £72 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Lite-Show Jacket
£90 £45 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Lite-Show 7/8 Tight leggings
£52 £24 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Accelerate Jacket
£115 £55 PLUS extra 15% off with code ASI15

Not loving our list? Click here to shop the rest of the sale.

The post Top 10 picks from the ASICS summer sale appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 5d ago

Summer is the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run. Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.

Merrell Momentous

£110, merrell.com
Tester: 
Claire

These shoes are great for running moderate trails. Both protective and durable, they’re ideal for those who want a more connected, fast experience. With features such as the Vibram megagrip, a Burrito tongue (which wraps the foot for a natural fit), a Hyperlock moulded heel counter for security, a TrailProtect rock plate (which protects feet from underfoot debris), and forefoot and heel cushioning pods, they ensure a comfortable ride. A knit upper and a breathable mesh allow great breathability. A comfortable, lightweight shoe.

New Balance Summit QOM

£100, newbalance.com
Tester: Esther

Ideal for both parkruns and longer expeditions, the QOMs give an initial hard ride, but a very supportive one – perfect for slippery and wet conditions, in which they perform brilliantly. The firm Toe Protect tip and Vibram sole make these ideal for a hike too. The lugs are fairly shallow, making them good for summer runs. If you normally go up half a size, do the same here – they were a perfect fit, adding to a very supportive feel. The hard ride eases off in use, and distance, and they look fantastic: perfect for that Insta post-run shot!

Salomon Speedcross 5

£120, salomon.com
Tester: 
Katia

The Speedcross 5 is the latest update to the iconic trail shoe. Gone is the overworked upper: now a soft stretch mesh enables the foot to move easily while providing an impressively tough outer. The Quicklace lacing system locks the laces in place, while Salomon say the mid-sole EnergyCell+ provides a springy step and that seems a fair claim. But what this shoe is known for is traction and this is reliably good: the deep lugs shed mud while the outer protects feet from rocks or roots. All in all, a great update to a superb shoe.

Saucony Switchback ISO

£120, saucony.com
Tester: Beccy

This shoe has cushioning and toe protection but makes an ideal racing shoe, with a very responsive ride. The grip is effective yet subtle on firm surfaces. The drop is a low 4mm, adding to a natural, minimal feel and a dial lacing system means no more tying laces with fumbling, frozen fingers. This is a fabulous trail shoe ideal for those wanting a lightweight, nimble, flexible product.

INOV-8 Roclite G 275

£130, inov-8.com
Tester: 
Geri

The Roclite is the perfect all-terrain trail shoe. It’s lightweight and versatile, while graphene grip gives great traction on all types of surfaces. The toe box is roomy but cushioned, and a secure fit makes them very comfortable. They are fast, light and durable. If they’re good enough for Jasmin Paris to destroy the Spine Race record, they’re good enough for us. Definitely winners’ shoes!

Salomon Sense Ride 2

£115, salomon.com
Tester: Tina

These were so comfortable we went straight out and raced in them fresh from the box! They didn’t disappoint – there weren’t any hot spots. There’s excellent support around the heel, you’re getting enough cushioning to protect your foot and ankle, but they don’t feel heavy or clunky. The lugs aren’t large – making them a dream for summer trails. The Quicklace system means you can slip them on, pull and tuck your laces away.

The North Face Women’s Ultra Endurance II GTX

£125, thenorthface.co.uk
Tester: Caroline

These shoes are a beast of a ride, packed full of features. Fully waterproof, the Gore-Tex membrane protects your foot from the wet weather and puddles while the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures stability across all terrains. Importantly, comfort isn’t compromised, thanks to the OrthoLite sole. The orange laces and sole are an attractive addition to the otherwise sturdy appearance.

Dynafit Feline Up Pro

£160, dynafit.com
Tester: Geri

This is a such a versatile shoe. Lightweight with a 4mm drop, the shoe features a quick-lace system which allows it to sit nicely around the foot. It has a perfect fit. This is a shoe which wants to run fast and it’s so comfortable you want to push harder on the trails. It’s a neutral shoe, though intended for people with narrow feet, designed to tackle mud, soft ground and snow. It’s a precise and reactive shoe and we loved it!

361 Taroko

£109.99, store.361europe.com
Tester: Katia

These are lightweight road-to-trail shoes with a breathable and soft knitted upper mesh that helps feet stay cool. The upper dries quickly and the mesh provides a secure and comfortable fit. The laces stay tied and the midsole has great responsiveness. They’re not as bouncy as other shoes but you have the ability to feel the ground. The rubber outsole is flexible straight out of the box but lacks toe protection, and we suggest sizing up.

INOV-8 Parkclaw 275

£125, inov-8.com
Tester: Tina

Another inov-8 model that works hard on the trails and transitions well to the road. Not as hardcore as the Roclite, the Parkclaw studs are small enough to feel smooth on a path or road. It’s going to perform brilliantly for parkruns or grass work, where you don’t need a heavy grip. On the move the heel counter feels soft on the inside yet sturdy, there’s a little bit of wriggle room in the toebox and they feel both light, soft in the upper and responsive. The grey and coral colourway is very fetching, too.

La Sportiva Bushido II

£130, lasportiva.com
Tester: Geri

This is a brilliant, versatile, lightweight trail shoe. It comes in fun colours and is perfectly designed for different types of terrain, due to its stability. The foot stays in place as it has a high level of support. It has an impact brake system which provides traction while climbing and going down paths. It’s also responsive, stable and comfortable. The kind of shoe you can take on your daily training runs or for long distance running.

Hoka Evo Mafate 2

£160, hokaoneone.eu
Tester: Caroline

Available from 1 July, the updated Evo Mafate is full of substance and style. The vibrant orange and black colourway strikingly extends to the outsole which has the impressive 5mm Vibram Megagrip lugs to keep your feet steady over the toughest terrain. The upper has been revamped to accommodate greater flexibility in the forefoot using Hoka’s Matryx fabric upper, which delivers exceptional stability, protection and water drainage. They score highly on comfort too.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 115 July 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

Looking for a pair of technical shoes instead? Check out our top picks.

The post Top 12 Trail Shoes appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 1w ago

For run-commutes, longer runs and ultra races, a good backpack for our gear that doesn’t shift while we do is essential.

IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro

£137.99, iamrunbox.com
Tester: Caroline

While the price means it’s an investment piece, for run-commuting the Backpack Pro is spot on. It’s a solid case designed to carry clothes and laptop while you beat the traffic on foot. Surprisingly lightweight, there’s no bounce, largely due to the padded straps and close fit. It’s water resistant and there are some inspired touches, noticeably a folding assistant card to help clothes stay fresh.

TNF Flight Race MT 7

£100, thenorthface.co.uk
Tester: Tina

The front of this pack gives it the edge; it feels very secure across your chest, and the nozzles of the two soft flasks angle inwards cleverly so it’s very easy to drink from them – they don’t wave around. The padding makes it very comfortable, even on long hilly runs, and there’s ample stash room plus stretchy loops for more kit. The pack stretches with you so it’s excellent for comfort, too.

Ultimate Performance Tarn 1.5 Hydration Pack

£31.99, runnersneed.com
Tester: Geri

This lightweight hydration pack has a decent-size pocket for keys, money and food. The pack has fully adjustable chest, shoulder and waist fastening straps to ensure comfort and no bounce. A breathable air mesh allows air flow to assist with body temperature regulation. It’s great value.

Proviz Reflect360 Running Backpack

£59.99, provizsports.com
Tester: Beccy

Made with exceptionally reflective material, you won’t worry about being seen wearing this! Light yet spacious, it’s designed to keep weight off your back and it feels very supportive. Zip pockets on the waist strap allow easy and accessible storage.

Gregory Maya 10

£65, eu.gregorypacks.com
Tester: Susan

Lightweight and functional, this pack has a multitude of storage options plus room for a hydration bladder. It has a front zippered pocket, stretch-mesh side pockets and a zipped interior pocket. The fit is snug, with no moving parts and a good suspension system for rough terrain.

Salomon Adv Skin 8 Set

£115, salomon.com
Tester: Tina

It’s hard to fault this female-designed vest for comfort and fit – it’s shaped to eliminate pressure on your boobs. Long nozzles on the two included soft flasks mean you can drink on the go without rummaging around for your bottles. Storage is bountiful and it’s incredibly lightweight.

Montane Via Gecko Vest

£70, montane.co.uk
Tester: Louise

Weighing only 200gm, you hardly notice you are wearing this vest. Easy to get on and off, it has three-point stretch harness straps, with adjustable hooks and multiple attachments points. It has plenty of pockets, which are very easy to reach, with a larger one at the back big enough to carry a light waterproof. It also has an underarm pole attachment. Comfortable and stretchy, this will take you for miles when you’re out on long runs.

RonHill Pioneer 8L

£80, ronhill.com
Tester: Susan

A premium vest that is so lightweight, you really won’t notice you are wearing it. It’s compatible with a hydration system and has plentiful pockets and storage. The stretch webbing and panels, when combined with two elasticated, adjustable sternum chest straps, mean you can get the perfect fit. It also has two stretch mesh pockets with an adjustable draw-cord closure to fit bottles in. Also easy to get on and off.

INOV-8 All Terrain 15

£55, runnersneed.com
Tester: Geri

This is a very lightweight backpack designed for running or long hikes and it’s easy to use on the move. Access is simple through the roll-top closure and it handily compresses down in size for lighter capacity. The backpack length can be adjusted for better fit and comfort, and it has handy pockets for your essentials so there’s no need to rummage through the main bag. This is the perfect bag for trail running and it looks great too.

CamelBak Women’s Ultra Pro Vest

£99, upandrunning.co.uk
Tester: Louise

Very light (only 150g), this running vest has stretch overflow pockets and a secure section for your phone – you aren’t short of storage with this practical option. With two collapsible quick- stow 1.5L bottles for water, it’s perfect for hotter months. It also has trekking pole attachments and reflectivity strips on the back. In a striking shade of aqua it looks fashionable, too.

ASICS Running Backpack

£40, asics.com
Tester: Esther

This comfortable, waterproof backpack is great for mid-length runs, with handy pockets on the front of the straps for gels and bars, a zipped section
at the back for your bits and pieces, as well as a Velcro pocket to stuff in a water pouch. It has a super-handy kangaroo pouch in the lower back for items you need to get to quickly. However, the chest strap, although comfortable, doesn’t pull tight enough to prevent movement while running.

OMM Ultra 15

£65, runnersneed.com
Tester: Caroline

This is an exceptional running backpack. It looks deceptively simple, but it has an array of hidden features from the built-in whistle on the chest strap, to the numerous pockets, both zipped and elasticated, that are perfect for phone, keys and gels. The outer shell is reflective for good visibility on night runs. It is hydration ‘bladder pack’ compatible too, with loops for the drinking tube either over or under the shoulder.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 113 May 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

The post Group Test: Backpacks appeared first on Women's Running.

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Women’s Running magazine by Women's Running Magazine - 1w ago

The latest releases, with up-to-date technical advances and design, to power you through your training

ON Cloud Edge Moonlight

£135, on-running.com
Tester: Geri

From the funky colour to the amazing design and feel, you will fall in love with everything about the Cloud Edge Moonlight shoes. They are extremely comfortable to run in, with a snug fit. Everything is considered, with details such as a finger loop at the back, which helps with slipping them on and off, to the high-performance function of the CloudTec sole and Speedboard. The reflective material and laces just add to the desirable appearance. The outer material is breathable and the shoes are responsive and lightweight, which gives a smooth ride and cushioned feel with every stride. They’re perfect for a speed training session or for road running, rain or shine. The Moonlight comes in a very attractive Iris & Dust Grey combination of colour. A comfortable and versatile shoe. We feel confident you will be impressed. Every woman needs a pair of Ons! These shoes are not only high performance, but pretty sexy too. They’re lightweight, responsive, highly reflective, and they just look so good, too.

BROOKS Adrenaline GTS 19

£120, brooksrunning.com
Tester: Louise

Streamlined and sleek, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is a running shoe you want to be seen in, and works for all lengths of run. A smooth ride from the first wear, its newly improved cushioning is excellent. The plush tongue and collar mean no rubbing on feet or unwanted pressure. A two-part guide-rail system sits on top of the midsole and extends toward the upper, to keep the foot moving along its most efficient path, stabilising the knees. Roomy and comfortable in the toe area, what it lacks in structural support round the ankle, it makes up for in lightness and bounce. The DNA BioMoGo and DNA Loft (the gel inside the shoe) adapt to the force you apply, which worked well both on and off road. The chic colour combo is stylish-looking too. A great mid-priced shoe.

SAUCONY Triumph ISO 5

£140, sportsshoes.comsaucony.com
Tester: Caroline

A neutral shoe that’s so comfortable and responsive it’s bound to keep you going strong on long runs. The Everun sole is designed to give exceptional energy return on the midfoot. The addition of the Formfit sole in conjunction with the Isofit design, which adapts to your foot shape, result in a super-comfortable and luxurious ride. The upper is fine knit, designed for breathability but it also provides more flex – in fact, the Triumph ISO 5 is the perfect balance between sturdy and flexible. Extra loops on the laces add stability and support further up the front foot and more rigidity to the ankle. Reflective detailing is a clever feature and the aqua colour looks fresh, too. It’s not the lightest shoe around, but it’s a great choice for more cushion and comfort when upping mileage.

HOKA Mach 2

£125, hokaoneone.com
Tester: Tina

This shoe has excellent cushioning, from the Profly midsole, making it ideal if you have a niggle and want extra security. It’s a shoe definitely suited to long runs, but surprisingly it’s unbelievably light, too, so it also suits speed sessions. The fit isn’t overly tight, so there’s little risk of hotspots, such as getting blisters on your little toes, or feeling scrunched up in the toe box. The ventilation is spot on; you can feel the cold air rushing over your pinkies. The upper is thin but it hugs your foot and these felt secure around the heel. How can you not comment on the feminine pastel colour, as well – even if you’re not particularly girly, they look stunning on. These are definitely worth a try if you are looking for a lightweight but cushioned shoe.

361° Strata 3

£134.99, 361europe.com/en
Tester: Susan

These are a great choice for road running, or for light trails and are especially suited to overpronating runners. The arched sidewalls provide vital support to your midfoot area, help to control pronation and encourage a natural gait. The Morphit lacing system makes your foot feel streamlined and secure while keeping you feeling locked down. The fit in the toe area is generous and enhances the overall comfort. Cushioning is good, especially in the heel area, with no slippage. The mesh upper is very effective, protecting you from overheating. A specifically positioned flex groove mimics the natural movement of the foot, providing a natural ground contact. And they look good, too.

Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 110 February 2019.

How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners. Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders. We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance. We then give each piece of kit our star rating.

Looking for a pair of support shoes instead? Check out our top picks.

The post Best In Test: Technical Shoes appeared first on Women's Running.

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We’re excited to announce that the Women’s Running Injury Avoidance and Recovery Course is now upon for registration!

Enrolment is live and you can sign up here.

Enrolment will be only open until midnight on Saturday 13 July. Alongside the course, you will automatically receive a 12-month digital subscription to Women’s Running free of charge. And there are also TWO EARLY-BIRD BONUSES:

  1. The first 5 people to enrol on the course will receive a one-on-one, 30-minute coaching call with our training course running coach, Kerry Sutton. Worth £50!
  2. The first 50 people to enrol on the course will get a 12-month subscription to the print edition of Women’s Running magazine. Worth £54!

ENROL IN THE WOMEN’S RUNNING INJURY AVOIDANCE & RECOVERY COURSE NOW

About the course

We will take you through this specialist course to help you avoid and recover from running injuries the right way, and in doing so maximise your enjoyment of running for years to come.

The course includes over 24 videos, as well as work sheets, audio files (perfect to listen to on a run!), an exclusive Women’s Running Facebook private community, and a special bonus HIIT video module for everyone on the course.

The course is yours to keep for life, to refer to when you need it. And it’s also ongoing, as we will update it each year. These bonus updates will be included in your enrolment.

Plus, you’ll get a FREE digital subscription to Women’s Running when you sign up!

You can see the full course curriculum here.

About your course instructor

Your instructor will be Kerry Sutton, a professional running coach who loves getting out on the trails. Having run all distances from 10Ks to the Marathon des Sables, she loves the freedom running brings and shares her love through her coaching.

ENROL IN THE WOMEN’S RUNNING INJURY AVOIDANCE & RECOVERY COURSE NOW

The post Learn how to avoid and recover from a running injury with our new training course! appeared first on Women's Running.

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