“ Magazines & Newspapers Publications Genre: Sports „
Running Fitness magazine is published by Kelsey Publishing, it comes out monthly and costs £2.99 per issue. It is probably the main competitor to the well established Runner's World Magazine, and it is currently the only running magazine to which I have a subscription.
I have been a subscriber for a good number of years now, probably 6 or 7. When I first took up running I was keen to read everything I could, and I subscribed to both Running Fitness and Runner's World. I enjoyed reading both, but when leaner times came and I had to cut back on my expenses it was Running Fitness that I chose to keep.
I'd say it is aimed at recreational runners who aren't complete beginners, up to club level competitive athletes. The articles are interesting and written with the assumption that the reader has some background knowledge. They also tend to include articles on the latest sports science research, which was notably absent in Runner's World.
The major drawback of Running Fitness though, is the shoddy proof-reading. I have read some absolute howlers in there. They used to have a regular feature called 'Role of Honour'. I pointed out the spelling error on their Facebook page and, funnily enough, that hasn't appeared in the magazine since! One article managed to spell heel strike and running gait as 'heal strike' and 'running gate'. Dear oh dear! I've also noted half finished sentences and editing errors such as incorrect photographs placed next to reviews.
Each month the features include:
Photo of the month - Usually a professional photograph of a runner or runners in a beautiful setting.
Diary of an anonymous female runner - This doesn't really interest me as it seems to be aimed at middle-aged women with children.
Running Into Your Future - A review of a new technical gadget or app. I find these quite entertaining.
Insight - This month we have an explanation of Kicksana, which seems to be an invented sport that can supposedly help runners.
Hot Topic - Looking at the latest scientific research. This is one my favourite items in the magazine.
Column by Charlie Webster - slightly dull if I'm honest.
Inside Stories - A couple of paragraphs from each of the magazine's 4 major contributors. This is usually a good read.
The Postbox - Reader letters.
Upfront Fitness Essentials- A 'masterclass', usually on style or injury prevention/rehab, a one-page profile of an elite athlete plus training tips. This is often repetitive and when you've read a number of issues of the magazine you start to notice the same things popping up, just worded slightly differently.
Upfront Motivation Mind and Body - Inspiring Runner - usually a 'normal' runner who runs for charity or has battled the odds to run, Book Review, Music - usually apps to create running playlists.
Upfront Nutrition - Recipe of the month taken from Kate Percy's books Run Faster Food and Fuel Smart for Race Day. General food facts and latest research. I rather like this page.
Ask the Experts - more reader letters presented as a Q&A.
Gear Guide - Reviews of the latest shoes, kit or nutrition.
Interview - This month is Jess Ennis-Hill. This is usually well written and interesting.
A selection of articles - This month we have meditation, optimum nutrition, pain free running, The Marathon de Sables and more kit reviews. These vary from very interesting to almost patronising.
Endurance - Features on ultra races and triathlon. I find these rather dull personally.
Charity News - More 'normal' runners stories.
60 second interview - Usually with a TV 'personality' I've never heard of who happens to also be a runner.
Clubwatch - A write up of a running club. Probably only interesting to members of that club.
Event Reports - Enjoyable write ups of recent races.
Event Locator - A reasonably comprehensive race listing of upcoming events.
Home Brew - A column by sports scientist John Brewer. This is always enjoyable.
The advertising isn't intrusive and is all relevant to runners. Often I find the adverts as interesting as the articles and I've found some good races to enter via their ads in this magazine.
On the whole it is a good all-rounder. After 6 or 7 years I'm only just now beginning to tire of it, and that is mainly because my own focus as a runner has moved on. I can highly recommend it to most recreational and club runners, especially those who either don't care about typos, or enjoy picking them out!