keeps the motivation fresh with features that appeal to many different levels of runners. recipes and strength/stretching exercises add variety to your year.
You'll find topics such as injury prevention and treatment, training information, reviews of running shoes, etc. Best are the articles of inspirational runners and their lives...ranging from the ordinary person who falls in love with a goal, to olympic runners. Truly fun to read, and for this hobbish runner, always makes me want to get back out there.
No More Marathons
Scolastic Coach provides excelent articles from a coaches perspective and helps you train yourself like your coach would train you. Unfortunately, the Runner's World magazine has far too many marathon articles and fillers.
Know Your Running Self
The name "Runner's World" is a fitting name for this publication; the magazine caters to the general population rather than the faster and more serious-minded runners. Most of the articles deal with motivation, first-timers, basic training techniques, and a general "hikers" take on the sport of running. I can't count the number of times a writer/contributor in "World" comments on the meaning of running. Imagine if you're a decently serious baseball fan and you find yourself reading a magazine about people who just began playing baseball or have been doing so for a long time, but are far from any kind of authority on the sport. On top of that, the magazine attempts to uncover the spiritual secrets of your sport when it (a) knows less about it than you do and (b) can't play it as well as you can. If you're serious about running, that's what it feels like to read Runner's World.
Of course, the beginner's mag serves its niche, which is to help out the first timers, old timers, and slow timers. RW does it well, providing encouragement, tips, and most importantly, a community. In fact, the featured spreads are usually excellent. Unlike the general theme of the mag, they go beyond just the basics (recent article about U.S. marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi was great).
I worry about the mag's message. I feel like I'm in some kind of fantasy land that slowly dulls my thoughts and aspirations. The writers' unwavering encouragement and lack of force creates a fembot-like effect on me; I'm Leo DiCaprio in Revolutionary Road trying to get out of the suburbs and into the more competitive city. RW doesn't ask anything extraordinary out of their readers; they just ask us to run, claiming that's extraordinary in itself. For a college runner like myself, that undermines the sport. While I think its great if people got out there and ran, I don't qualify it as some kind of milestone. If you can keep at it and keep trying to get faster, then maybe you have something. I feel as if RW readers will always be RW readers, when really they should graduate to more in depth magazines.
Perhaps I'm just the wrong person for this review or perhaps I'm exactly the right person for this review. Whatever the case, I recommend you serious runners choose Running Times (solid running mag) over RW. For beginners, RW makes for a great start. Just know when to move on.
The magazine for semi elite runners
I like this magazine. As a person who is training for a marathon and has run 5k and 10k events for the last 7 years, this magazine has great tips. One of the drawbacks though, is the advice and training programs published in this magazine as geared for runners of a high caliber than me. I'm a slow runner and I just can't meet any of this time goals that they publish in this magazine. The dietary and stretching exercises are helpful. I also like to see all the runs that will be coming up in the next month throughout the world. It helps me plan which runs I want to go to someday and my vacation plans. I live on the central coast, but this area is devoid of runs. I have to travel to northern California for 5k and 10k almost twice a month. This magazine gives me a heads up on where to go and which ones to go. I like the poetry of the staff members. It is inspirational, but I also know that I won't ever be running as fast as the staff does on this magazine. I would like to see more articles geared to us back of the back people. I also enjoyed Women's Sport's and Fitness. It was geared toward women of all abilites and ages.
Well, it beats the other stuff
Out of the mags in this field, Runners World has the best writers, format and tips, but stresses the losing weight aspect of running more than just plain enjoying it. Although I'm not too fond of the usual articles on burning calories and eating power gels, the monthly columns are well-written. I especially enjoy "On the Road," which directs you to the good paths in various cities and where to stay. However, after a year's subscription, this mag has run its course -- nothing new comes up besides the race dates.
Quality has faded in recent years
As other reviewers have noted the quality and depth of the articles in this magazine have faded over the years. Everything has been scaled back except advertising and large pretty pictures. The racing coverage is almost non-existant now. The good feature articles are now brief one-line and two-line snippets. Also, the issues are very much the same month after month. I was very disappointed with the redesign a few years ago. It seems they took a lot of the good editorial away in favor of a fast-food type, quick-read, one-size-fits-all approach. Experienced runners will not get much out of this magazine. New runners will enjoy it for a year or two and that's about it.
Fast food and headline news for the runner
If you like the "quick and dirty" format that is conducive to a busy lifestyle, you'll like this magazine. As a long time runner, I have been a long time subscriber. Many times, I read a headline on the front page only to find a paragraph or two devoted to the advertised subject. A recent example mentioned a faster recovery from long runs. Sounds great. At the age of 49, I'm up for anything that helps with recovering from a 20 miler. The "article" was a couple of paragraphs on soaking yourself in an ice bath. It even suggested biting on a towel so you don't wake the neighbors!
If you're the type who would rather run by a fast food restaurant than cook dinner, or prefer CNN's Headline News format to their "regular" news because you don't want to be bothered with all the extraneous discussions, you'll like Runner's World. Personally, I devour it as soon as it arrives, but I rarely find myself referring back to old issues.
Moderately enjoyable fluff
Why is it that every issue of Runners World seems to have some hot babe on the cover, at least 1 article on how to drop five pounds, and another article along the lines of "energize your workouts?" I have a current subscription which I got free with some airline miles, but I'm not sure I'd spend my own money to subscribe. I do enjoy the feature stories they'll do from time to time on prominent distance runners.
No log with this subscription
Excellent magazine for my Runner! But this subscription did not contain the Runners Log that others offer at the same price. It was a renewal and I'm not happy with my choice.