Alecsa Stewart

Alecsa Stewart

Alecsa is a freelance writer and ultra-runner living in the French Pyrenees, where she goes out on long mountain days exploring the nearby summits as often as she can. When she’s not out running, she writes thoughtful content for brands who want to make their voice heard in English, French, and Romanian. She also shares stories from her adventures in running and travel publications around the world. You can see Alecsa’s portfolio and find out more about her services on her website. Follow her on the trails on Instagram or Twitter.
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How to Transition to Trail Running

When road running no longer excites you, it’s time to try trail running. Unfortunately, the transition from road to trail running can be humbling. One day you’re easily running a half marathon; the next, you’re gasping for air on dirt trails. However, trail running offers a good challenge and has

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Running in the Morning

If you’re not a morning person, waking up earlier than usual for a morning run can feel like torture. As you contemplate the idea, you should know morning runs have several benefits. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect and how to prepare for a morning run to yield the

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Who is an elite runner?

Whether you’re new to running or a long-time road or trail running fan, chances are you’ve been keeping up with what the elite or professional runners are up to. But do you also dream of learning what it takes to join the ranks of the elite? If yes, you’re in

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Easy Running

Running some easy miles is good for your body, relaxing for the mind, and can increase your dopamine and vitamin D stores fast. But there’s so much conflicting information about easy running, whether as part of your training program or just an easy run. Most people do their easy runs

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Recovery run

All good run training plans feature active recovery days and, importantly, a recovery run. No one needs to run hard all the time and the body needs time to absorb the impact of your high-intensity training days, while getting ready for your next harder session. While speed workouts, hill repeats,

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Runner recovery tools

Recovery tools for runners Updated: Whether you’re training for your first 100 miler or are new to running, you’ll have heard about the importance of good recovery. How you refuel and rest in between workouts is key to ensuring injury prevention and keeping you enjoying your running for longer. So,

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Running Shoes (Sneakers)

Hoka Mafate Speed 4

Jim Walmsley, probably one of the best American ultra-runners and a 3-time winner of the Western States 100, can attribute some of his winning runs to the Hoka Mafate v3. The EVO Mafate came into the trail running world as an absolute game changer. So, you can say that the

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Treadmill running

Treadmill running   Updated: When the temperatures plummet and the weather isn’t on your side, you’ll be forgiven for wanting to do your running on a treadmill. Actually, treadmills are fantastic tools that can complement your outdoor running at all times of the year. Treadmill workouts can offer lots of

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Benefits of Fastpacking for Endurance Runners

For many trail runners, the benefits for walking and hiking in the mountains become evident with their first bigger race. When you stand on the start line of a long event like a 100-miler or mountain race, you have to accept that you will not be running 100% of the

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How To Boost Endurance

Elite athletes and leisure runners all come across the same obstacles when they set out on an endurance race: the terrain, the difficulty of the race itself (including distance, elevation, how technical conditions are underfoot), the weather; all aspects that physical training can prepare you for to a certain extent.

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How to Use Data to Improve Your Running

From the Apple Watch to smart devices like the Oura Ring and including much more sophisticated watches and accessories, it has never been easier to access a wealth of data about your running and your fitness. However, the sheer volume of information can soon become overwhelming and it can be

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Training for Your First 100-Miler

Running 100 miles is one of the chief goals of trail and ultra running. While many runners will be content with more “achievable” personal goals, the 100-mile race is the Holy Grail for lots of us as we increase weekly mileage and overcome milestones in our training. And, from the

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Treadmill Training for the Mountains

If you live in a flat area and have signed up for a mountain race or a trail running event that includes a lot of elevation gain, you might be seriously concerned about how you’re going to get that vertical into your training plan.  Regardless of your level of fitness,

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Stamina vs endurance running

What’s the Difference Between Endurance and Stamina? We explain these two often misunderstood terms when running.

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What Is Polarized Training

When you look at your running logs, training time spent in various heart rate zones or at certain levels of RPE (rate of perceived exertion) will vary depending on your goals and training program. However, scientific research led by Dr. Stephen Seiler observed that the majority of elite endurance athletes

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How to return to running after an Injury

Losing fitness due to a break from running or having to stop training altogether because of an injury – these are risks that any runner has and they are part of the cycle of training, recovery and return to competition. However, coming back from running injuries can seem daunting, especially

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Strength Training for Runners

Just like a carpenter or a surgeon have to take care of their tools to make sure they’re doing the best job they can, so do runners need to ensure they look after their body to stay strong and fit. Adding tempo and fartlek runs to your training programs and

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Stride Length and Running

Running performance can be improved by looking at a number of intrinsic and external factors, which you can do by sticking to a regular training program that focuses not just on volume and speed increases, but also on your running form and economy. How does stride length play a part

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Hitting the Wall

Hitting the wall is synonymous with marathon running disaster. Usually happening around mile 20, this is when runners often feel they can’t go any farther as their glycogen stores are depleted and they feel exhausted. The good news, however, is that hitting the wall is definitely not unavoidable, and that

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How to Avoid a Side Stitch

When you run, lots of things can go wrong: you can get injured, you can get tired, and you might end up dehydrated or depleted from lack of enough food. How about side stitches, however, and the incredible discomfort they can cause to runners? What are side stitches, who runs

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How Often Should You Run?

Whether you’ve just taken up running and are absolutely loving it, or you’re working towards a personal fitness goal, training for a race, or simply for fun, running every day comes up in lots of runners’ questions. The benefits of regular exercise, running being just one type of beneficial physical

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

Using a foam roller is part of the oft-quoted advice for all runners, and indeed for active people who are looking to release tension in the muscles, address a tender spot or simply relax after intensive training. Moreover, foam rollers can be extremely beneficial regardless of the type of activity

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Glute Stretches

As a regular runner, no matter how often you exercise, you’re sure to have come across conversations around stretching and which stretches are best for maintaining your range of motion while keeping you away from injury. Glute stretches are one of the many types of stretches recommended for runners, as

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Heat Training for Summer Races

As temperatures go up and summer races are just around the corner, runners need to start preparing to train and compete in hot weather. This can be a challenge, from regulating your body temperature, to preparing for the sun and heat, to knowing what to eat and drink to be

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Barefoot running

The concept of barefoot running is simple: you were born barefoot, so your body will respond better to less cushioning and freedom from the grip of modern shoes. While this theory suggests that human feet can feel healthier and stronger from running and walking shoeless, or at least in minimalist

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Cross-training for runners

As a runner, whether you hit the tarmac on a regular basis or prefer getting lost on the trails, the bulk of your activity is repetitive (more for road runners than trail runners, but repetitive nonetheless). In time, repetitive motion can lead to injuries, strains, and even mental burnout or

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Dynamic Stretching

Stretching is one of the key elements of warming up and cooling down, regardless of the type of workout you do. For running, static stretches are great for relaxing warm muscles and bringing down your heart rate. And these are the stretches we’re most familiar with – the classic quadriceps

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Tempo Run

Whether you’re training for a specific race or a personal best, the tempo run is one of the key types of workout that you should include in your running training program. Most of us plod along at a slow pace for our recovery runs, then go all out on interval

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Stretches for runners: what you need to know

The idea that runners need to stretch before or after a run (or both) is… as old as time! Jokes aside, we all know that our muscles benefit from stretching, but what isn’t clear is whether that is always the case. For example, could you damage a muscle by stretching

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Hill Sprints

Most runners associate hill sprints with race-specific training, i.e., when you are training for a race that has a notoriously hilly course or where you know that there are one or more hills that could decide your race result. However, hill workouts can be beneficial for so much more than

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Anaerobic Threshold

For many years, scientists have been trying to pinpoint values and levels to measure against in order to understand what drives human performance. Not just in sports but also in day-to-day life scenarios and looking at patients recovering from various illnesses, these values or thresholds can come in handy in

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How to Breathe While Running

Breathing is not one of the topics most of us would spend too long thinking about, especially if you’re in good health and have no reason to watch your respiratory system. However, as you progress in your running or if you’ve just started running for fitness, you might find yourself

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Runners High

Aerobic exercise – and running in particular – has long been known to produce endorphins that make us happy and excited after a hard workout. Known as a “runner’s high,” this feeling is what keeps experienced runners lacing up their shoes again and again. It’s a great source of motivation,

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Heart Rate Training

Running training can be done on feeling, especially at the beginning of your running “career.” However, you’ll soon realize that you need some metrics to help you measure your progress and the amount of effort you put in. Especially if you’re looking to train for specific races, knowing your maximum

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Cadence Running

The world of running – professionally or for leisure – is benefitting more and more from sophisticated data and the ability to capture all sorts of information about our form, speed, endurance, and more. Running cadence is one of these metrics and arguably an element of your running that can

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Fartlek Running

Running regularly yields lots of physical and psychological benefits. It also helps you strive towards an end goal, usually one or a series of races throughout your running calendar. But, what happens once you reach a plateau and your running isn’t getting any faster or your endurance has remained roughly

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How to Run Faster

Your running speed might be the first and most important part of your running training focus, or it could be a secondary thought after you’ve been working on your endurance. Either way, how to run faster is a question that all of us have, from seasoned runners to beginners looking

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Fasted Cardio

Running on an empty stomach – or “fasted running” – has become a popular hack for losing weight and burning fat. This is because of the general concept that running on empty will lead to the body burning fat for energy, consequently helping you get leaner quicker and teaching your

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Nutrition for Runners

As a new runner or a seasoned athlete looking to level up your performance, nutrition for runners is a key area to look into, especially if you have related goals such as losing weight, improving muscle strength, getting lean etc. While there are many diets for athletes, as well as

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Trail Marathon Training

If you’ve been running for a while on roads and maybe sometimes on trails too, you might be getting to the point where a 5k or 10k run isn’t a challenge for you anymore. So you’ve set your sights on a trail marathon and want to see how running on

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Trail Running Training

Whether you’re a seasoned runner looking to spice up your running routine or a trail runner who is coming back from injury or searching for a structured trail running training plan, hitting the trails can yield multiple benefits for regular recreational runners. From giving your body a rest from pounding

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Benefits of Running

We all have that friend who boasts about going for a 30-minute jog every day, while conflicting reports suggest that perhaps they should take more time off. Is running every day a good idea? How often should you run, and should you run at all? The benefits of running are

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Running Shoes (Sneakers)

Running Shoes for Shin Splints

The 7 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints of 2022 (Review) Contents The 9 Best Winter Running Shoes of 2022 – Review Leading winter sneakers 1. Salomon Speedcross 6 GTX Pros Cons 2. Men’s Lone Peak All Weather Low Pros Cons 3. Hoka One One Women’s Speedgoat 4 GTX Pros

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