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Thread: Running magazines: yes or no page

  1. #1
    jamesf3i's Avatar
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    Does anyone read running magazines? I've looked at a couple while at Barnes and Noble but they seem to be oriented towards long distance, everyday, intense training. (They are also, heh, geared towards those fortunates without any body fat.)


    I've considered purchasing a subscription to one or two but I haven't been able to decide the actual value of the magazines.


  2. #2
    Geoff's Avatar
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    As a recovering distance runner I was a regular consumer of running magazines for years. I find that the quality of the writing in U.S. running magazines has really declined over time. You are correct that the dominant focus of those magazines' training advice is the "chronic cardio" model. I've seen a handful of articles about Tabata sprints recently but the bulk of it is all about "chronic cardio" whether long running, "tempo" runs, or track intervals.


    "Runner's World" has become the "People" magazine of the running world publishing more and more lifestyle articles and latest CW flavor of the month dietary advice. This is probably the most "beginner friendly" magazine, but, perversely also the most damaging for beginners because it promotes both CW dietary and training advice. I find that the "success stories" they publish often aren't representative of most runners actual experiences, either.


    "Running Times" (since being acquired by Rodale) has been "dumbing" down its content. It used to be aimed at high level competitive runners but it too seems to be aiming at the ever-growing chronic cardio demographic.


    "Trail Runner" seems to be focusing more and more exclusively on ultraendurance events and mountain racing. The athlete features and race reports are almost all of events 100-K and over. My subscription (and now my only running magazine subscription) is expiring soon and I don't intend to renew it


    "Marathon and Beyond" is trying to bring back what "Runner's World" was in the 1970s - a homey "just us" look at long distance running from the perspective of the ordinary guy/gal mid-pack runner. Unfortunately, 2/3 of its content are simply race reports that were (I can only assume) vastly more interesting to the writer than to the general public.


    Oh yeah, let's not forget all of the advertising - the real raison d'etre for these things. There are pages and pages of "hard" advertising as well as even more "soft" advertising in the form of gear reviews, product placement, and name-dropping in the articles. Like so many magazines they're really about promoting ways to spend yet more money (on shoes, races, food, recovery aids, etc.). Frankly I think it's a crime that publishers even charge for the magazines - with all the ad revenue they generate from each issue they could give the magazines away and still make money.


    If you want advice about running, I recommend that you read some running books from your library - there are good books on everything from youth middle distance track to masters ultraendurance running. You'll find what you're looking for there with a lot less hype, and you'll more money in your pocket for other things.


  3. #3
    Charentais's Avatar
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    The Runner's World topics tend to get recycled year after year. So, if you subscribe for one year, you've pretty much got all of RW's accumulated wisdom and can cancel your subscription to save money.


    I suppose most magazines are that way.


  4. #4
    OnTheBayou's Avatar
    OnTheBayou is offline Senior Member
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    All journalism is dumbing down. "More pictures, smaller words." Like children consume. Even Scientific American. I was shocked when I looked at a recent issue.


  5. #5
    jamesf3i's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys. Your opinions pretty much match my own.


    LOL @ OnTheBayou. I'm giving up my Scientific American subscription. The magazine has really fallen by the wayside, hasn't it?


  6. #6
    Scout's Avatar
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    It is not a "running" magazine, but I really like Outside.


  7. #7
    Zophie's Avatar
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    I run a 50mile trail run every year. I get Runners World and Trail Runner. Sometimes they have some cool info, but mostly I just use them to check out new products. I just got the cutest purple head lamp and finaly somone made a running bra with a pocket. =)


    I agree with Goeff, Hit the library and have fun. xox


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