In my time as a runner I have previously, and in some cases continue to, subscribed to a number of different running magazines. I think as a runner starting out – entering WHSmiths (or similar) most people are normally drawn to Runners World as I think it is perhaps the most well known of magazines available to the uninitiated. When I first started running I was certainly drawn to this magazine. A year or so down the line though, I was bored with the repetition involved in the articles and the contradictory nature of it. Not simply through improvements in research from month to month, but in some cases the articles in the same magazine would be making opposing arguments.
When Mens Running came out, it was like a breath of fresh air. Articles were interesting and different – not simply aimed at couch to 5k plans but also contained some inspiring stories too. Within months though, this tailed off and the repetition kicked in. I stopped reading it. It is interesting to note (as Coxy occasionally does on twitter), that it is bizarre that the mens magazine always focuses on strength and running fast, whereas the womens edition focuses on jogging to lose weight:
this is FUCKING RIDICULOUS gender stereotyping. PBs for men. Fat loss for women. pic.twitter.com/HtwXWdiw1Q
— Rebecca Cox (@Coxwolds) December 1, 2013
Since my love affair with the mountains and all things dirt and trail, I have really enjoyed reading the Trail Running magazine which offers a slightly more specific set of articles and the subject matter encourages beautiful imagery too. Oh, and I’ve featured in it which makes it even better!
And now a new contender has stepped into the ring.
And this is like pairing a heavyweight against Billy Elliot.
The work that Simon and Julie over at Freestak have put into this new venture of theirs is evident the minute I opened the envelope this magazine came in. In the hand the paper stock feels exquisite and the front cover pictured above gives a quick glimpse into what is to come.
What becomes clear very quickly is that this is not so much a magazine about running – and it certainly won’t tell you how to do it better – instead it is almost a book about life seen through the eyes of running! What it will do is provide inspiring and thought-provoking texts from accomplished runners and writers. Stylistically it is full of original artwork, illustrations, graphic design and photography which totally appeals to me as a creative-type.
From the opening dreams of mountain running, to the beautiful letter that Leon Lutz has written to his young daughters, and James Adams’ interesting ideas for overcoming despair, the pieces are readable, digestible, and leave you wanting more. This is a good thing as I found myself quickly turning the pages to read the next article.
The magazine itself came out in February, and you can still get yourself a copy here. With Delilah keeping me busy, yesterday was the first chance I had to really sit down with the magazine. I practically read it from cover to cover. But still I find myself going back to it and having another look at the artwork, picking it up and thumbing through the pages to find some inspiration in my time of injury – either through words or photographs.
If you haven’t got a copy, get one. If you have, what is your favourite article?
*The official bit – I paid my own good money for this magazine, I haven’t been asked to do a review of it – I just bloody love it and I wanted to share that with you all!