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Thursday, January 05, 2006

The RW

For most runners, "Runner's World" is like the Bible. We eagerly study it and memorize the tips and articles; we use the training guides and heed the advice regarding shoes and other gear. And I too like RW, and find many of the articles helpful and motivational; however, I've observed in the past months that a lot of runners, at least runners with blogs, seem to be women (I don't know, maybe we just like to talk, I'm not sure, but I see a lot of running blogs by women). And it made me think -- maybe there should be an RW just for women.

I don't want another "Women's Health" as Rodale (RW's publisher) already does; no, I mean a women's RW that speaks specifically to women runners and their needs and wants. Because I don't know if you other ladies are aware of it, but when I flip through RW, I certainly feel a masculine dominace, and if you quickly glance at the list of writers, contributors and editors, you'll see why: They're mostly men. And I was thinking the other day when I passed both women and men runners on my route that men's running might be significantly different from women's running.

Physically, women and men are very different -- most women have higher percentages of body fat, and we have boobs and hips: How do these factors affect how we run? Is it different? What factors of gear, motivation, training, pacing, speed, distance, diet are different? Many women might have children, or are pregnant, and how does that affect our lives as runners? These questions and other lead me to believe there's enough material to constitute another publication.

Maybe I'm just being uber-sensitive, or maybe I just need RW to have a few more articles about sports bras and the ever important issue of inner thigh rub. But I don't really think that's it. I think I've actually stumbled onto a fairly ingenius (obvious, I'll admit) idea. Perhaps it could be called "Radical Women Runners" or "Gnarly Girls Going the Distance" -- okay, those titles suck, but it's hard trying to come up with titles while keeping the Ninja Turtle language alive.


mouse said...

I stopped reading RW over a year ago. I gave them a chance when they switched to the new format, but I found the old format much more informative and was just too disappointed with the new version to keep reading it.

Having said that, I've found the forums on their website to be much more informative, and the women's forum in particular tends to cover many of the topics that you mentioned. If you haven't already, it's worth checking out.

I agree that there are many aspects of women's running that make it significantly different from men's running, but I'd be worried that if they spun off a "women's runners world" that it would be fairly useless, as I've found most of the recent issues to be.

Maybe we should gather all the women bloggers and start our own online running magazine...

Dirt Runner said...

Save your money and don't read RW. Most people refer to it as Jogger's World. Weak shoe reviews, weak articles to much advertising not enough real substance. There are a lot of really good books written by really good runners on how to get better, stronger and faster. RW is about the pictures. Runner Times isn't any better. I dropped them too. Every cover had a Nike sponsored Athlete or the people on the covers were wearing Nike gear. At least RT had some trail articles.

Vince Hemingson said...

It's an interesting idea, but do you really feel "gender-slighted" by the content of most running magazines? I'd be worried that a running mag spun off specifically for women might end up being "balkanized" and given short shrift.

Jennifer P said...

RW is my crack habit. I never follow any of the tips, buy any of the gear and download any of the tunes. But I can't stop buying it.

And yes, why is chub rub never discussed? The shorts they feature are not made for thighs like mine (or any other woman I know).