I’m 20 and the pressure of being a virgin is overwhelming | Life and style

I am a 20-year-old woman who has struggled with my body image since I was 14. My first proper kiss was when I was 18 and I almost lost my virginity a year ago but, for some reason, it didn’t happen. The pressure of not having had sex is overwhelming – people look down on you when you say you haven’t. I feel as if people my age judge me as immature because I’m a virgin and, lately, it has compromised my social skills in general. I feel more confident about my body, but still wonder if I’ll meet someone with whom I’ll be comfortable enough to be naked.

First of all, your sexuality – including your experience or lack of it – is nobody’s business except your own. You do not have to disclose such private information, and it is well to bear in mind that many people lie about it anyway. It would be smart to avoid submitting to this pressure.

Rehearse some answers you might give if the subject arises, and enjoy being mysterious and noncommittal. Most importantly, make friends with your body. This is a vital, long-term prerequisite for personal happiness, so start finding ways to make peace with it. If you assume that prospective lovers will always judge you, it will be harder for you to connect erotically with them. But if you are comfortable with your body and know what feels exciting and sensually appealing to you, others will be attracted to you.

Take your time. There is no rush to explore your sexuality. Find someone you genuinely like and trust – and avoid agreeing to hasty intercourse just to complete a checklist. Learning to enjoy sex with another person is a challenging process of trial and error, so give yourself an advantage by soberly choosing kind, accommodating and trustworthy partners; they do exist.

Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

If you would like advice from Pamela Stephenson Connolly on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms

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2018 James Beard Award winners: A local chef just won

The winners of the 2018 James Beard Awards — aka the Oscars of the food world — were announced at a gala Monday night, and one local chef brought home some hardware.

Karen Akunowicz, a “Top Chef” alum and executive chef at South End Asian-inspired small plates restaurant Myers + Chang, won the award for Best Chef (Northeast) for the first time, after receiving nominations in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Including Akunowicz, four of the category’s five nominees work in Boston-area restaurants, with Akunowicz besting fellow local chefs Tiffani Faison of Fenway Southeast Asian spot Tiger Mama, Tony Messina of Back Bay izakaya Uni, and Cassie Piuma of Somerville Mediterranean restaurant Sarma.

Two other local finalists also received James Beard Award nominations but came up short Monday night: Ken Oringer (Coppa, Little Donkey, Toro, Uni) in the Outstanding Restaurateur category, and Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge in the Outstanding Baker category.

Two locals did receive previously announced awards at the ceremony. Restaurateur Jody Adams (Porto, Trade, and Saloniki) was named an inductee into the “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America,” the foundation’s de facto Hall of Fame. And North End pizza place Galleria Umberto, a no-frills, cash-only restaurant prized for its Sicilian slices, was named one of “America’s Classics,” an award given by the JBF to “regional establishments, often family-owned, that are cherished for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.”

Here is a full list of winners from the 2018 James Beard Awards:

Best New Restaurant: JuneBaby, Seattle

Outstanding Baker: Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Outstanding Chef: Gabrielle Hamilton, Prune, New York City

Outstanding Pastry Chef: Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama

Outstanding Restaurant: Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, Alabama

Outstanding Restaurateur: Caroline Styne, The Lucques Group, Los Angeles (Lucques, a.o.c., Tavern, and others)

Rising Star Chef: Camille Cogswell, Zahav, Philadelphia

Best Chef (Great Lakes): Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago

Best Chef (Mid-Atlantic): Jeremiah Langhorne, The Dabney, Washington, D.C.

Best Chef (Midwest): Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Best Chef (New York City): Missy Robbins, Lilia, Brooklyn, New York

Best Chef (Northeast): Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Best Chef (Northwest): Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Best Chef (South): Nina Compton, Compère Lapin, New Orleans

Best Chef (Southeast): Rodney Scott, Rodney Scott’s BBQ, Charleston, South Carolina

Best Chef (Southwest): Alex Seidel, Mercantile Dining & Provision, Denver

Best Chef (West): Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

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Hill panel probing opioids abuse targets distributor firms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies to explain how that happened.

Current and former officials from five distributor companies are set to give sworn testimony on the subject Tuesday to a House subcommittee. Their appearances come during an election-year push by Congress to pass largely modest legislation aimed at curbing a growing epidemic that saw nearly 64,000 people die last year from drug overdoses, with two-thirds of those deaths involving opioids.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee began investigating the distribution of prescription opioids last May. The panel has said distributors sent more than 780 million pills of hydrocodone and oxycodone — prescription pain-killers that have caused many overdose deaths — to West Virginia from 2007 to 2012. That’s an average of more than 400 pills per person over that period in the state, where around 1.8 million people live.

Investigators said 20.8 million opioid pills were shipped from 2006 to 2016 to Williamson, population 2,900. One pharmacy in Kermit, with around 400 residents, ranked 22nd in the U.S. in the number of hydrocodone pills it received in 2006, according to the investigation.

West Virginia had the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate of 52 per 100,000 in 2016, according to federal figures. Other states with high death rates included Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, as well as Washington, D.C.

Nearly 12 million people misused opioids in 2016, according to federal figures.

Executives slated to testify included top officials from Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and McKesson Corp., the nation’s three biggest wholesale drug distributors. The executives were appearing before the Energy and Commerce committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee.

The government requires distributors of controlled substances to report suspicious drug orders to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and to deny questionable transactions.

The Trump administration and lawmakers of both parties have been drawing attention to opioids, a range of pain-killing drugs that can be addictive when misused. They include prescription drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl that can be made illegally, and illegal drugs like heroin.

The Energy and Commerce panel has been working on dozens of bills that include encouraging doctors to use non-addictive pain killers, spurring research on such products, broadening access to treatment and giving financial incentives for drug treatment specialists to work in underserved areas. Senate committees are working on their own legislation.

The setting was reminiscent of 1994 hearings at which executives of the nation’s tobacco companies testified before the Energy and Commerce panel, then controlled by Democrats. The officials said they didn’t believe cigarettes were addictive, despite evidence to the contrary.

Four years later, the industry reached a settlement to pay the states more than $200 billion over 25 years to reimburse them for tobacco-related health care costs.

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A 28-year-old healthy Florida mom talks about having a stroke

When you think of someone having a stroke, you don’t necessarily envision a 28-year-old woman. Especially a healthy one who exercises, gets regular checkups and eats well.

While suffering a stroke in the prime of your life is indeed rare, Jacksonville resident Alyssa Duane defied the odds last July.

The married mother of a toddler spoke to Jacksonville.com almost a year after her ordeal in honor of May, National Stroke Awareness Month. Stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of long-term disability for adults, reports the American Heart Association.

Last July, Duane was in her kitchen getting ready to drop off her 10-month-old daughter Maggie with a relative and head to work.

Suddenly, Duane could barely move or speak. She fell to the ground, bumping her head, reports the AHA.

Fortunately, Duane had her phone in her hands. When her husband Kevin had been alerted she hadn’t shown up for work or dropped off their child, he called.

Alyssa was able to swipe open the call and moan into the phone, with her baby by her side. Duane called 911 and raced home; paramedics had already bust down the door.

After doctors diagnosed her of having an ischemic stroke (when the flow of blood to the brain is blocked), the young couple was shocked. Alyssa had no family history of strokes and she was in good shape and ate healthy.

“I fell into the trap thinking that these things happened to other people but not to me,” Kevin told Jacksonville.com. “Make sure you have an emergency fund. Get disability insurance. Prepare yourselves for something like this, so you’re not unprepared if the time comes.”

As for Alyssa, she thought her flu-like symptoms leading up to the stroke (a headache and nausea) would have been more severe.

“It was not the worst headache,” said Alyssa, who has since gone through months of rigorous physical therapy, which continues to this day. Her long-term goal is to run again, a workout she enjoyed before becoming ill.

“I just want to get back to normal, as normal as things can be now,” said the now 29-year-old, who returned to work as a pharmacist at CVS on Monday.

For more information on strokes, click here

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Renting an Airbnb Could Be Risky For Your Safety, Study Says

Booking an Airbnb rental may come with safety concerns you probably haven’t considered, according to a new study.

A survey published Monday in the journal Injury Prevention reveals that many Airbnb properties do not contain safety equipment including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits, potentially putting guests at risk in the event of an emergency.

Researchers used InsideAirbnb.com, a third-party website that compiles publicly available information about Airbnb properties, to assess the prevalence of these resources in nearly 120,700 rental properties spread across 16 U.S. cities. The data spanned October 2015 to December 2016.

The researchers found that 80% of homes reported having a smoke detector. But only 58% reported having a carbon monoxide detector, 42% reported having a fire extinguisher and 36% reported having a first aid kit. The actual numbers may be even lower, since there was no way to verify that each listing actually contained the amenities it claimed to have, or that they were in good working order, the authors say.

On the other hand, some apartments or condominiums may have building-wide safety features independent of those reported by individual residents, the authors note.

“At Airbnb, safety is our priority,” said Nick Shapiro, Airbnb Global Head of Trust and Risk Management, in a statement to TIME. “All hosts
must certify that they follow all local laws and regulations. We run home safety workshops with local fire and EMS services all over the world, making sure our hosts have access to the best information in order to keep their guests, their homes and themselves safe. Every listing on Airbnb clearly states the specific safety amenities it has, including smoke and CO detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits, so guests can look first and then decide whether that home, tree-house, yurt, or igloo is the one they want to book or not.” Shapiro added that Airbnb supplies free smoke and CO detectors to any host who requests one, and that according to a 2013 U.S. Census survey, only 41% of homes reported having working CO detectors.

According to the current survey, certain cities excelled — or lagged — in specific areas. In Nashville, where Airbnb hosts are required to obtain a permit and submit a drawing of their home that shows smoke detector locations, 90% of properties reported having a smoke detector, for example. Austin, meanwhile, fell below the average for both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, at roughly 74% and 37% of homes, respectively.

Travelers should keep in mind that Airbnbs are not subject to the same safety regulations as hotels, and instead typically fall under the purview of local laws, the authors note. Renters who use Airbnb are also putting their faith in individual hosts‘ adherence to these policies, the authors add.

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Is a Higher Standard Needed for Campus Sexual Assault Cases? – Room for Debate


A Higher Standard Is Needed for College Sexual Assault Rulings

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The Title IX tribunals that have proliferated on U.S. college campuses since 2011 have been enormously problematic.

By federal mandate, U.S. colleges and universities — if they want to maintain access to federal funds — must adjudicate accusations of sexual violence using the “preponderance of the evidence” standard: If a defendant is deemed more than 50 percent likely to have committed the accused act, he or she is declared guilty.

That means that even if the tribunal reviewing the evidence concludes there is a 49 percent chance that a defendant did not engage in the accused conduct, he or she will still be pronounced guilty.

Even though this standard is used for civil trials, the burden of proof for regular criminal trials — which include sexual assault cases adjudicated in criminal courts — is much higher. Criminal convictions require establishing guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Even if a panel concludes there is a 49 percent chance that a defendant did not engage in the accused conduct, he or she will still be pronounced guilty.

In my research, I have found that innocent defendants face a significantly greater risk of being found guilty under preponderance of the evidence than under beyond a reasonable doubt. Qualitatively, that result is obvious, but the quantitative level of increased risk is far less obvious and much more sobering.

Proponents of using preponderance of evidence in campus Title IX tribunals argue that because colleges and universities don’t have the power to incarcerate those found guilty, the lower burden of proof is justified. This implies that false convictions of sexual assault in these proceedings aren’t as consequential to the accused. But consider the fate of an innocent defendant who is found guilty in a university Title IX proceeding, expelled from school and then publicly disparaged on social media as a perpetrator of sexual violence. What of the investment that was put into pursuing a degree that will now be wrongly withheld? And what will happen when this person attempts to re-enroll at another school, get a job, rent an apartment or run for political office?

In addition to the low burden of proof, campus Title IX proceedings have a glaring lack of due process. No justice system should be evaluated solely on the basis of how effectively it punishes the guilty. It is also crucial to consider the risks faced by the subset of defendants who are innocent.


‘Preponderance of Evidence’ Is the Correct Standard for College Sexual Violence Cases

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It is an undisputed fact that sexual violence is a major problem in college.

Sexual violence often violates criminal laws but when students are the ones victimized, it also violates Title IX, one of the civil rights statutes that guarantees equal educational opportunity to all students in U.S. schools.

Schools cannot enforce criminal laws, but they do have responsibilities under Title IX. They can’t determine the guilt of those accused of criminal sex offenses, but they must address sexual violence — as a severe form of sexual harassment — when it affects their students.

Schools cannot enforce the criminal law, but they do have responsibilities under Title IX.

Therefore, most colleges and universities voluntarily rejected criminal standards of proof like the “clear and convincing evidence” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” standards long ago. Instead, they adopted the “preponderance of the evidence” or “more likely than not” standard of proof for all student disciplinary proceedings — and not just the sexual assault cases — well before the Department of Education issued its 2011 guidance. This is the standard that both Democratic and Republican administrations have consistently supported and enforced for decades.

Criminal standards would require evidence of a quantity and type that is virtually impossible for schools to access, as they lack court powers such as the subpoena which would compel the production of evidence. But more important for the protection of students, the preponderance standard itself is designed to be equal — it expects the victim and the accused to carry virtually equal evidentiary burdens (with the victim’s burden just slightly heavier than the accused’s).

Criminal law-based standards of proof make protecting the equal rights of all their students harder for schools because they require victims to carry a much heavier evidentiary burden than accused students — “stacking the deck” against them. This unequal treatment further compounds the discrimination experienced by victims, whose educations and lives have already been marred by trauma, fear and often, expensive consequences.

The consequence of treating students unequally, for schools, is more lawsuits and complaints to the federal government. In the past few years, students have filed over 200 complaints against their schools for sexual violence alone. They have also filed private lawsuits, with significant success. In the last 10 years alone, such actions resulted in three publicly disclosed seven-figure payouts by schools and several more just below a million.

These events confirm that colleges and universities should voluntarily stick with the preponderance standard, not just because of our nation’s historical and moral commitment to equality but also for their own self-interest. It makes no rational sense for schools to select an evidentiary standard of proof that makes it harder to comply with Title IX’s equality goals and increases their risk for costly liability.


Join Opinion on Facebook and follow updates on twitter.com/roomfordebate.



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Walmart to limit opioid prescriptions at pharmacies amid epidemic

Walmart announced Monday the retail giant will begin to restrict opioid prescriptions to help stem the deadly drug epidemic.

Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacies are set to limit customers’ opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, with up to a 50 morphine milligram equivalent maximum per day, the company said in a news release.

HOW THE WHITE HOUSE IS TACKLING THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC

The new rules align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines which suggest “three days or less will often be sufficient” for those prescribed the painkillers, and “more than seven days will rarely be needed.”

Walmart will follow state laws for those which require opioid prescriptions to be filled for less than seven days.

According to the CDC, an estimated 115 Americans die each day from an opioid overdose. Opioids, including prescriptions and heroin, killed 42,000 people in the U.S. in 2016 — the highest on record.

Additionally, by January 2020, Walmart pharmacies will require e-prescriptions for controlled substances, as they have “proven to be less prone to errors, they cannot be altered or copied and are electronically trackable.”

“We are taking action in the fight against the nation’s opioid epidemic,” Marybeth Hays, executive vice president of U.S. Walmart’s Consumables, Health & Wellness, said. “We are proud to implement these policies and initiatives as we work to create solutions that address this critical issue facing the patients and communities we serve.”

The updated pharmacy guidelines come four months after Walmart said it would give customers who were filling opioid prescriptions a packet of powder to dispose of excess medication.

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn contributed to this report.

Nicole Darrah covers breaking and trending news for FoxNews.com. Follow her on Twitter @nicoledarrah.



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Hill panel probing opioids abuse targets distributor firms

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional investigators say wholesale pharmaceutical distributors shipped hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs. Now, lawmakers want executives of those companies to explain how that happened.

Current and former officials from five distributor companies are set to give sworn testimony on the subject Tuesday to a House subcommittee. Their appearances come during an election-year push by Congress to pass largely modest legislation aimed at curbing a growing epidemic that saw nearly 64,000 people die last year from drug overdoses, with two-thirds of those deaths involving opioids.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee began investigating the distribution of prescription opioids last May. The panel has said distributors sent more than 780 million pills of hydrocodone and oxycodone – prescription pain-killers that have caused many overdose deaths – to West Virginia from 2007 to 2012. That’s an average of more than 400 pills per person over that period in the state, where around 1.8 million people live.

Investigators said 20.8 million opioid pills were shipped from 2006 to 2016 to Williamson, population 2,900. One pharmacy in Kermit, with around 400 residents, ranked 22nd in the U.S. in the number of hydrocodone pills it received in 2006, according to the investigation.

West Virginia had the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate of 52 per 100,000 in 2016, according to federal figures. Other states with high death rates included Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, as well as Washington, D.C.

Nearly 12 million people misused opioids in 2016, according to federal figures.

Executives slated to testify included top officials from Cardinal Health Inc., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and McKesson Corp., the nation’s three biggest wholesale drug distributors. The executives were appearing before the Energy and Commerce committee’s oversight and investigations subcommittee.

The government requires distributors of controlled substances to report suspicious drug orders to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and to deny questionable transactions.

The Trump administration and lawmakers of both parties have been drawing attention to opioids, a range of pain-killing drugs that can be addictive when misused. They include prescription drugs like hydrocodone, oxycodone and codeine, synthetic opioids like fentanyl that can be made illegally, and illegal drugs like heroin.

The Energy and Commerce panel has been working on dozens of bills that include encouraging doctors to use non-addictive pain killers, spurring research on such products, broadening access to treatment and giving financial incentives for drug treatment specialists to work in underserved areas. Senate committees are working on their own legislation.

The setting was reminiscent of 1994 hearings at which executives of the nation’s tobacco companies testified before the Energy and Commerce panel, then controlled by Democrats. The officials said they didn’t believe cigarettes were addictive, despite evidence to the contrary.

Four years later, the industry reached a settlement to pay the states more than $200 billion over 25 years to reimburse them for tobacco-related health care costs.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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Many Airbnb rentals in U.S. cities lack fire safety features

(Reuters Health) – Even though most rooms and homes rented through Airbnb in major U.S. cities have smoke detectors, only about half have carbon monoxide detectors and even fewer have fire extinguishers or first aid kits, a new study suggests.

Researchers focused on fire safety features listed among the amenities in almost 121,000 rental listings available through Airbnb in 16 cities including Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C.

Smoke detectors were listed among the amenities in more than 96,000 venues overall, representing 80 percent, the study found. But just 58 percent of rooms and homes in the study had carbon monoxide detectors, only 42 percent had fire extinguishers and a mere 36 percent had first aid kits.

“This is really surprising because most fire deaths and carbon monoxide poisonings happen in residential housing,” study co-author Vanya Jones of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore said by email.

There were more than 1.3 million fires resulting in over 2,500 deaths and $14 billion in property damage in the U.S. in 2015 alone, the researchers note in Injury Prevention.

While hotels in the U.S. are required to provide fire safety features like maps to exits, fire doors, fire extinguishers, sprinklers and smoke detectors, the same regulations don’t apply to short-term accommodations rented in private residences, they write.

Airbnb has more than 4 million venues for rent worldwide, in 65,000 cities and 191 countries, according to the study authors. This includes approximately 600,000 listings in the U.S.

Airbnb hosts can list many features as amenities available with their listings, including parking, wi-fi, laundry or a pool, as well as safety features like fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors.

Across all the cities in the study, the availability of smoke detectors ranged from a low of 74 percent of listings in Austin, Texas, to a high of 90 percent of venues in Nashville, Tennessee.

About 58 percent of venues listed carbon monoxide monitors, with a range from 37 percent in Austin to 74 percent in Denver.

Fire extinguishers were less common, and were listed in only 29 percent of rentals in New York City. Portland, Oregon, was the only city where more than half of the venues had first aid kits.

The relatively high rates of smoke detectors in Nashville and Portland might be explained by both cities requiring prospective hosts to register a venue and obtain a permit, the study team writes.

To assess fire safety features, researchers examined data collected by the website InsideAirbnb.com between October 2015 and December 2016. InsideAirbnb.com is an independent website that compiles publicly available information about Airbnb listings posted by Airbnb hosts.

The data cover a broad period and capture a snapshot of amenities reported by hosts that might not represent what’s actually available in venues nationwide, the authors note. Some hosts might not list these features even when they have them available, especially if they live in apartment or condo buildings that are responsible for providing some of these amenities, the researchers also point out.

In February 2018, Airbnb introduced a new rental program with enhanced features and amenities, Airbnb Plus, which only includes listings with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, Nick Shapiro, global head of trust and risk management for Airbnb, said in an emailed statement.

“Every listing on Airbnb clearly states the specific safety amenities it has, including smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits, so guests can look first and then decide whether that home, tree-house, yurt, or igloo is the one they want to book or not,” Shapiro said.

“Whether a home is listed on Airbnb or not, all homes and hotel rooms should have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and first aid kits,” Shapiro added. “At Airbnb we give out free smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to each and every host who wants one; we have been doing this for the last three years.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/1jYt7f0 Injury Prevention, online May 7, 2018.

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The Benefits Of Running On Sand

On the flat… Aim to spring

Don’t rule out flat surfaces: a 2013 study found that athletes who did intervals on level ground made larger VO2 max improvements than those who ran entirely on hills. Off-road when you can – it’ll reduce the impact you take from each step.

Need to know “Keep your cadence high,” says Saucony UK athlete and British world championship representative Ieuan Thomas. “Make your ground contact time minimal and try to spring off the ground.”

On trails… Be mindful

Uneven terrain requires you to be more aware with each step, and that’s a good thing. Running on these surfaces can make you stronger by improving the stabilising muscles you use for balance. It’s almost a form of mindfulness.

Need to know “If you’re off-road, be wary of loose and unstable terrain,” says Thomas. “Look up and ahead to spot your next foot placement rather than looking directly at the floor.” And watch out for low branches.

On sand… Keep it short

There’s a reason Rocky did it. Running on sand takes 1.6 times as much energy as staying on a hard surface, according to a study in the Journal Of Experimental Biology. Your body can’t rely on a heelstrike, which forces your calf muscles to push harder.

Need to know Plan your first run for low tide and run on the packed sand close to the water, advise the study authors – you can always graduate to the softer sand after a couple of practice runs.

In the hills… Push harder

Kenyan marathoners treat mountain efforts as mental training, but there are physiological benefits – going up, you’ll build leg strength and aerobic capacity, and going down you’ll get eccentric training that gets your legs used to long efforts.

Need to know “Fight the urge to lean forwards,” says Thomas. “It’ll reduce your range of motion, bringing down your power output. Drive with your arms – and remember, if you’re on a slope above 15°, walking is actually more efficient.”

In snow… Slow down

Bundle up and tough it out – you’ll benefit from improved performance, say researchers from St Mary’s University. In a study, participants doing 10Ks in winter conditions did better than those in summer heat – benefiting from a lower heart rate and lower perceived exertion.

Need to know Intervals are likely to be too taxing on your respiratory system, especially if you’re breathing hard. Keep it steady, but wrap up and aim for distance.

In water… Recover

You might’ve experimented with it on holiday, but there are tangible benefits to jogging in the deep end. A 2017 study found that it offered enough aerobic stimulus for training, as well as reducing load on the spine. If you’re injured, it’s a good bet.

Need to know Warm up by moving around in the pool, then up the intensity by running in place, driving your knees up as if you were treadmill sprinting. Yeah, best keep this one for quiet times at the pool.

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