February Runner’s World (UK)

I don’t know why the issue of Runner’s World that arrives in early January is actually the February issue. It makes no sense but there we are. It is what it is. Anyway, I’ve just finished reading it. Well, reading the bits that I am interested in reading. Here are my thoughts.

It’s been a while since I picked up a Runner’s World but just before Christmas we saw a really good offer so bought a subscription and this was the first issue. I always quite like the science-y bits while I am reading them. I like knowing that, if I wanted to (I never do) I could go and follow up on the articles and snippets and actually find the research they are referring to. I also noticed though that I don’t remember the studies, I forget the info almost as soon as I have turned the page really and maybe that’s because most of this stuff is irrelevant to me. The potential gains in speed or performance these studies deal with don’t really apply to me – they apply to people who, you know, can actually run. There are however always a few things that might be useful. On p21 there are some exercises to help keep your spine mobile. While I always find it quite difficult to follow instructions from the pictures and short descriptions, the general idea that spinal mobility is important to running makes sense to me and I felt a little smug that our yoga routines include a good amount of work on this.

The 106 tips and tricks starting on p43 were a nice quick read and as well as some new info (Kiwis – I will eat more Kiwis) there were also some useful reminders – like trying to run relaxed and enjoy the journey not just the end race goal… usual stuff really. I shed my usual tears at the running heroes and the feature about people who had lost and kept off significant amounts of weight running and rolled my eyes at the price of of some the gear featured, reviewed and advertised but in this issue it was the ‘Your First Mile’ feature that caught my eye.

The programme presumes you can walk a mile or walk for about 20 minutes. Ok I’m good with that – it also has a 4 week programme to help you get there if you’re not at a point where you can walk for 20 minutes. The running bit starts with 30 second jog and 90 second walk – 10 times and by the end of that first week the running is up to 60 seconds and by the end of week 3 you’re at 2 min jog, 1 min walk x 4 plus 3 min jog, 90 sec walk and then another 2 min jog. I know this programme is designed by experts and I’m sure they know what they are doing and maybe I’m just a wimp and a little fragile but… If this programme is really for someone who works up to being able to walk 20 minutes, really for a total beginner then running at whatever pace for 30 seconds, even if it’s slower than walking pace, is a lot. I’m sure many people out there can do this and it looks great to me now (in fact I’m vaguely thinking it might be a nice confidence builder for me but I already have a plan) but I don’t think it would have looked that great to the me that couldn’t run to the postbox at the end of our road. I’d welcome your thoughts, maybe it’s just me.

There’s also some good stuff about the importance of the mind in running (don’t I know it – but how do I learn to break the negative cycle?!?) and some useful stuff about winter running. All in all not a bad issue – of course there’s the usual lack of larger size runners in the pictures other than the ones specifically featured in the weight loss section and somehow I always feel a bit sneaky reading Runner’s World, you know, like it’s not really for me – after all, I’m not really a runner.

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