Interview: Claire Maxted, Editor, Trail Running magazine
Interview with Claire Maxted, Editor, Trail Running magazine
We are delighted to interview the “tour de force” of trail running that is Claire Maxted. Claire shares her thoughts on her own trail running adventures, the trail running community, oh and a bit of food 🙂 Enjoy!
Claire, since launching Trail Running magazine in May 2010 you’ve take the publication from strength to strength. What is behind its increasing appeal?
These days, increasingly, people are craving experience and adventure over material goods. Trail running, ultra running and adventure racing is the new Porsche!
How did you get into trail running yourself?
I hated running at school so much I actually developed a slight phobia of it, feeling panicked beforehand & finding excuses not to. At uni, drinking a lot of beer I first realised I might get a bit fat! And I wanted to do a triathlon and adventure races which required running. I wanted to beat my phobia, keep fit & lean, & do these exciting races so I conquered my fear by just doing running. I joined a club too which really helps & makes you get out there even when you don’t want to. Now I LOOK FORWARD to running, and edit a running mag! Who’d have thunk it?
Superb! And what is your favourite local route?
Ooh tricky! I absolutely love my solo Saturday silence runs (the one time I’m not chatting & totally alone lol!) around Yawell Quarry, Southwick Woods and Warmington to Elton villages near Peterborough. The thing I love most is just choosing the route on a whim, like the views and trails they are old, welcoming friends I can revisit when I feel like it.
Where are your other favourite places to run and why?
The Peak District, the Lake District, obviously, but mainly exploring new and unexpected places. Like recently I was on a course in Warsall, Birmingham, and found a brilliant route around Sutton Nature Reserve without a map, just went exploring.
In three words please describe The Coastal Challenge…
Argh! Too! Hot!
What did you learn about yourself in doing this?
That my mind is the power. If I’d have wanted to finish it, I would. I’ve been in worse pain & more tired. But for the first time in my life I let myself quit because I wasn’t enjoying the insane heat. I’m not proud of that DNF but it will make me only enter races I really want to do in future (ie not hot ones) despite being tempted by all the exciting challenges on offer through my position at Trail Running mag.
What key advice would you give anyone preparing for their first multi-stage race/event?
Ha ha ha, probably train with Rory Coleman! He will definitely get you through and is worth every penny if you pay attention to him. Respect the challenge. Understand that good training will require a substantial proportion of your time so you must make sure you can fit this around your family, work & friends, and that you will enjoy this training journey. It’s not all about that week of racing but the months of prep beforehand.
You also completed the Bob Graham Round (BGR) in 2013, in a magnificent 26hrs 36mins. Will you be trying this again?
YES! It very much scares me but I really really want to be able to say “I’ve done the BG” without the “but it was outside 24hrs” on the end. 2017 is he plan, come and support me!
What do you most enjoy about editing Trail Running magazine?
The absolutely AMAZING people in this sport, the readers, the athletes, the team I work with, the kindness & enthusiasm of all is quite simply astounding. I will never get tired of it, it gives me my energy.
Where do you get your boundless enthusiasm from?
Ha ha I just answered that above without realising it would be the next question. I don’t know! It does take a lot out of me, I need a lot of sleep and I do get exhausted, but it just doesn’t take a lot to get me excitable. My other half likens me to a spaniel…
Ha ha okay, so what does the spaniel’s typical weekly training consist of?
Every morning 10mins core, plank, press ups, medial glute, ab crunches and pelvic floor exercises.
- Mon – Rest & yoga
- Tue – Run club 7-8miles threshold/long intervals
- Wed – Rest or 7 miles steady if training for a long or multi-dayer
- Thu – Hills (e.g. 8 X 60 sec efforts after 2 mile jog warm up)
- Fri – Rest (sometimes dancing at a parrrrrtay!)
- Sat – 10-15miles long steady run about 150bpm
- Sun – 10-20 miles LSR same HR
Circular or point to point?
Ooh also both! I just like variety I suppose. But I do like races that are a journey so maybe point to point actually.
You can’t beat a morning run! Now… 3 favourite fuel foods, go:
- Pre-run: 2 eggs with mushrooms & maybe a slice of toast a couple of hours before, then just prior, not much – recently a couple of almonds with a sugary earl grey coating from M&S, check them out!
- During: Not usually anything, even on my 20 milers. Gels don’t agree with me. Chia flapjacks are great.
- Post-run: Now we’re talking. Salty chips, apple crumble with custard and ice cream.
How would you describe the trail running community?
Fantastic! Enthusiastic, welcoming, fun, adventurous, exciting, lovely, supportive of each other. Wonderful and it is an absolute pleasure to be part of it.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you?
Treat yourself as you would a friend. I’m still trying…
What does the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
Oooh these are good questions Jeff!
- Keswick Mountain Festival 25k May
- Race To The King double marathon on the South Downs Way June
- Ice Bug Xperience 3-dayer Sept
- Great Eastern Run fast flat half marathon to test my speed endurance Oct.
Wow! An exciting year then Claire 🙂 And what’s on your running playlist?
I never listen to music on my run cos I like to connect to my body, think about stuff, listen to birds chatting, be aware of my surroundings and I can’t be faffed with all the wires.
I love hearing it while running past it on a race though. Steel bands are a fave. I love radio 6 for my morning core exercises. I’m currently very into chilling out with This Is The Kit and Rozi Plain.
Lastly, what should Trail Running magazine readers look forward to most in forthcoming editions?
Very exciting articles on fell running greats Joss Naylor, Billy Bland & Kenny Stuart. I’d like us to do something on Ricky Lightfoot’s Winter BG and Mira Rai from Nepal too, and more brilliant routes from around the UK. Items on stretching, training despite injury, and many many inspiring photos of stunning trails to inspire readers, and their amazing stories too.
Brilliant! Claire thank you so much for sharing your passion for trail running and adventure. 2016 promises to be a very exciting year for you and Trail Running magazine readers 🙂
* All image courtsey Claire Maxted Blog