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Athletics Weekly is not aimed at the recreational runner. The target audience is the competitive athlete, even if only at regional level, but it will also appeal to the die-hard athletics fan, whether they participate or not. I have recently been gifted a pile of old copies from a coach at my running club and I am thoroughly enjoying working my way through them. If I could afford it, I would subscribe to this magazine in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately it costs much the same as monthly magazines but comes out every week, which puts it well beyond my budget on a regular basis.
The journalism is first rate, with well-written reports coming from all of the major, and some of the not so major meetings worldwide. Respected sports journalists, statisticians and top coaches contribute to the magazine, which also includes feature articles from other specialists in fields such as physiotherapy and nutrition.
Club level athletics is also featured strongly, which is why this publication interests me so much. I've had my name listed in the results a few times and one day I hope to see my picture in there. Hopefully in a few years time when I am competing on the Masters circuit I might stand a chance of sneaking in there!
As with most magazines there are certain features that appear every week. These are:
News - the headlines from the world of athletics.
Comment - a current issue is debated or discussed.
Your Say - letters from readers.
Young Athlete - a feature on a promising young athlete.
Dip Finish - a bit like the 'and finally' section of TV news broadcasts. The silly stuff!
Each issue will also feature a number of detailed race/meeting reports from elite level down to regional championships, and also major road races. The issue I have in front of me right now includes the Monaco Diamond League, BMC (British Milers' Club) races from Solihull, BMAF (British Masters Athletics Federation) Championships from Derby, Welsh International and the SIAB (Schools International Athletic Board) from Ashford.
There will usually be at least one interview with a top-level athlete, and a feature on another athlete, or perhaps a coach or physio. 5 or 6 such articles would not be unusual each week.
Kit reviews and articles on new advances in shoe/fibre technology will often feature, or it could be advice on nutrition or cross training, or an analysis of the training patterns of past heroes.
There are adverts of course, but they're all relevant to athletes, including clothing and shoe retailers and race organisers. They don't detract from the articles and in fact I quite enjoy looking at the ads as well.
Unlike other magazines aimed at runners, the articles are not repetitive. They are always based on the latest research and written by experts. Also, I've never yet spotted a typo or grammatical error. This drives me to distraction in Running Fitness, and they have an entire month to proof read rather than just a week.
A fan of international elite level athletics will find plenty to interest them in this magazine, although it is probably the club level, competitive athlete who will benefit most. I count myself in that niche, and I love it!