Stamford author Claire Maxted releases her first book, The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook
For most people 2020 has been a boring year - and January won’t offer much to look forward to either.
But for keen runner Claire Maxted it has brought two major blessings and the coming month promises even more excitement.
The former editor of Trail Running magazine, who lives in Stamford, is awaiting the publication of her first book on January 7, and her first baby on January 17.
“I had always wanted to write a book about trail running - a book is just a big magazine and writing has been the easy bit for me. The book distils a lot of the information that a running magazine would carry.
“It’s been nice to put my seven years of experience interviewing athletes and finding out about trail running to good use again.”
The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook isn’t a niche guide for athletes.
According to Claire it is equally appropriate for those who have just finished the ‘Couch to 5k’, who have only ever completed a Parkrun, or who consider themselves more experienced runners.
It covers tips and training plans for those looking at running 5k through to 50k distances, and is designed to help people improve their technique - as well as realise the enjoyment that can be gained from the activity.
“Trail running bridges the gap between running on roads all the time, and fell running, which is pretty extreme.
“Trail running is along paths and tracks, it’s through valleys, or over fields. It’s civilised, and it’s entirely ‘do-able’.”
For Claire, the best thing someone can do to improve their running is to increase their enjoyment, and rather than encouraging people to speed up, she focuses on taking in the scenery, breathing in fresh air and moving at a comfortable pace.
“Running shouldn’t be a chore,” she said. “If anything, I would say people should slow down a bit when they start trail running, and improve through increasing the frequency and length of their runs.”
Claire has run all over the UK and abroad, but says one of her all-time favourite trail routes is the Hambleton Peninsular at Rutland Water.
The Ultimate Trail Running Handbook will be available from January 7 in bookshops and online priced £13.59.