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Bad Boy Running’s Top 40 Magazines For Runners

Top magazines for runners

In these confusing times, it can be difficult to understand how to run.

Yes, you may think it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward at speed, but really it’s much more complicated than that. Just going for a run without reading a magazine first is possibly the most dangerous thing you can do.

You might get hurt. Or killed. Or end up having a strawberry milkshake thrown at you.

To prevent such ills befalling you, Bad Boy Running has compiled a list of the top 40 magazines for runners:

  1. Women’s Running – it’s a magazine about running for women. It isn’t strict on its readership policy, however, and anyone can purchase or read it. But the generally theme is running and women.
  2. Men’s Running – it’s a formerly funny magazine about running if you’re a man. It once featured an hilarious writer well-known for his witty pieces about doing badly in races. Since his departure, it is a husk of a magazine but still relevant if you are a) a man and b) want to run.
  3. Trail Running Magazine – offshoot of the popular Trail magazine designed for slightly faster hikers who don’t want to be thought of as elderly. Basically same content as Trail magazine but with some running gadgets and shorts. And less old people.
  4. Running Fitness – a magazine about being fit and running. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. You don’t even have to be fit to read it. Or run. Although why you’d buy it is a strange decision.
  5. Outdoor Fitness – a magazine about being outdoor and fit. Not appropriate if you intent to be outside and unfit or indoors and fit. It is really only worth being outdoors when you’re fit otherwise it makes running very hard. Unless you’re on a treadmill. Which isn’t covered here. Because it’s all about the outside. Running involved. But only outdoors. Definitely not indoors.
  6. Outside magazine. US publication focused on more stuff that’s not indoors. Which means nature generally although not cities or towns or anything that resembles modernity. Has a lot of climbers and kayakers. Some runners. Tries to feature the occasional cyclist before realising they’re cheats and unnatural.
  7. Men’s Health – a magazine for men who have no intention of being muscle-y but want to read about sex tips without looking at a women’s magazine. Running occasionally mentioned.
  8. Women’s Health – the same as the above but about women. Mainly features the same articles but with a pastel, handwritten font. Some running.
  9. Muscle & Fitness – if you like muscles and you like fitness, this is the perfect magazine. It combines both. And steroids. If you like them too. Running is generally frowned upon, though… it could burn muscle. But if you want muscle this is the place. There’s lot of it. LOTS of it. Well, not as much as in…
  10. Flex – no, not the publication of choice for electricians, this is another muscle-based fitness publication. But it has bigger, bolder writing and so seems more serious. Again, no running. It’s bad. Perfect for muscles, though.
  11. Muscle & Fitness Hers – yes, there’s actually a women’s focused issue of muscle and fitness… because women have different muscles and fitness, it seems. And clearly not enough purple and pink in the branding, either. Includes such features as “How not to chip a nail when hauling dumbbells” and “How to have a fab girls night in and smash steroids”
  12. Breathe – styled as a mindfulness magazine, this is perfect for runners who need to know how to absorb oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. In fact, we’re pretty sure no-one can survive without doing so. Even if you just read the title of this magazine, it’s great advice. Some running, too.
  13. Yoga Magazine – a magazine about yoga. And everyone knows yoga is good. So good for runners.
  14. OmYoga – another magazine about yoga but clearly more serious as it encourages you to start chanting by simply saying the title. Clever.
  15. Healthy Magazine – the sister publication to Unhealthy Magazine which features “How to make your own kebab” and “5k to couch in three weeks”. Obvs features physical activity. Like running.
  16. National Geographic – the magazine for wealthy Westerners to see how the rest of this poverty-stricken world lives. But in nice arty photos that remove all the grime. Some running. Mainly from elephants or other dangerous wildlife.
  17. Decanter Magazine – the magazine for wine enthusiasts and training manual for Marathon du Medoc.
  18. Wallpaper – self-indulgent bollocks for people who are better than the rest of us. Zero running, but plenty to run from. Recommended.
  19. Empire magazine – film industry schlock fest that can’t believe it’s still in existence. Basically, a bunch of paid-for features so this puppet of mainstream Hollywood can stay in print. (We’re not paid for, they argue. Five stars for Pearl Harbor, we reply). Some running.
  20. Good Housekeeping – everyone knows the importance of cake for ultrarunners. And Good Housekeeping has the BEST recipes for the classic Victoria Sponge. Yes.
  21. The Field – a magazine all about field sports during the days of Empire. Some running, but fascinating anyway. Who reads this?
  22. Take A Break – one of Britain’s best selling magazines distracts you from Brexit by telling epic tales of love rats and “you’re not my son”-related shenans. No running as such, but a lot these people should be running from.
  23. Whisky – a magazine about whisky. Which some runners drink.
  24. Cosmopolitan – a magazine for women which exploits every insecurity while dressing their content up as empower (“You are perfect: 10 ways you never need to change for anyone” next to “Slim yourself stupid on this 14 day fat blast diet”) Plus sex talk. Some running mentioned.
  25. Hello! – like its Spanish counterpart Hola! basically another way to see what the royals are up to without reading The Daily Express. No running.
  26. OK! – cheapo knock-off version of Hello! with no royals that basically takes has nice photos of Peter Andre or Shane Ritchie.
  27. Vegan Food – some really good ultrarunners are vegan. This is the kind of food they eat. All in magazine format.
  28. Gin magazine – all about the juniper-based tipple. Not just Mother’s Ruin but also the ruin of many a runner. Both before, during and after a run.
  29. National Trust magazine – not technically a running magazine but I bet you’ve run through some NT properties at some point (remember to close the gates, people…) Also the UK’s most popular magazine.
  30. Women’s Own – who’s getting divorced this week? Need to know? This is your mag. No running but plenty of scandal.
  31. Great British Food magazine – covering the best of home-grown British cuisine in this Brexit era, including recipes for chicken tikka masala, black bean burritos, Pad Thai and avocado maki
  32. Red – technically a lifestyle magazine and not the magazine of choice for communists or for friction-related running injuries. Very little running.
  33. Psychologies – not a magazine that dives deep into psychology research and practice, more a load of spirituality, pseudo-science balls. Minimal running (not minimalist, tho)
  34. How It Works – about how stuff works. Like tables. And cars. And legs. Some running.
  35. Vogue – iconic magazine inspired by the Madonna’s song “La Isla Bonita”. No running, but lots of skinny people who look like runners.
  36. Cake Masters – did we mention the importance of cake to ultrarunning aid stations. Same applies again.
  37. Gardener’s World – not technically a running magazine but has stuff about gardens and people like to run outside so practically a guide to running outside. No? Ok.
  38. Vanity Fair – the magazine of choice for toffs and class-conscious. You really should be caught running in your jodphurs or smoking jacket so best read up on what Sir Templeton Deffaffington-Smythe thinks about all this nonsense or whatever. Magazine only available to demographic groups ABC1. Actually, no running
  39. The Lady – publication of choice for the more discerning lady. Used to be thought of as a magazine for more mature individuals, has been dramatically updated in recent years to cover the flower arrangements and cake offerings at the 1951 Festival of Britain. No running but a lovely feature on “disruptive” floral arrangements.
  40. Time magazine – runners are always trying to beat the clock so it makes perfect sense to include Time magazine which is nothing to do with actual time but hey we’re scraping the barrel now. (now? More like after the first 10…)

Yes, that’s it. That’s all 40. There are no other magazines for runners worth reading.

You can go home now. Bye.

(Seriously, who reads magazines these days?)

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10 places to visit instead of doing a city marathon

Runners in a city marathon

Running a marathon can be a good excuse to visit somewhere new. Many city marathons are run in and around dramatic and historic cityscapes, but what if there was a way to enjoy your experience of the city without ruining it by running. Well, dear reader, read on to find the best places to visit instead of doing a city marathon…

1. Paris

To be fair, the route does pass near several of the city’s great landmarks. However, why not skip the boring runny bit and go and stand in a queue to see a crap painting of a lady smiling? Or perhaps stand in a different queue to go up a big pile of scaffolding? Or maybe try their latest attraction: the open air cathedral?

2. London

The marathon route goes past two, maybe three real landmarks – missing out some of the best that the city has to offer. Honestly, you’ll barely see a waxwork on the marathon course, but there’s a whole museum dedicated to them with a lovely queue on one of the city’s most overlooked dual carriageways.

3. Boston

Obviously, the marathon here has a considerable history, but if you’ve failed to qualify, or just don’t give a shit about running, why not get your history rocks off with a visit to the Plimoth Plantation living history museum. Here you can listen as hordes of schoolchildren are told about the life of the early settlers and how they got to be such good friends with the locals. If you really feel the need to get some miles under your belt, then Boston’s Freedom Trail could be just what you’re after. At 2.5 miles long it may seem a bit intimidating, but if you’re concerned then guided tours are available.

4. Auckland

If you’re bothering to travel halfway around the world to get here, why would you bother wasting 2 – 8 hours running when there’s so much more to see? Why not visit the fish market, or the Big Wheel (which is a lot more exciting than it sounds, honest)

5. Berlin

People come here to run their fast marathons because it’s flat and Germanly efficient, but if you’ve ambled flat out for 26.2 miles to get there, you’re hardly likely to give the 18th-century neoclassical monument you finish at the attention it deserves. Instead, go marvel at its twelve doric columns with a Weißbier in hand and soak in the history.

6. Honolulu

Did you know there was a marathon here? I didn’t. But who cares – you’re in Hawaii. Fuck the marathon, put on a grass skirt and go surfing or something.

7. Amsterdam

Another flat, dull plod around a European capital. Unless you’re smacked off your face on mushrooms you could be frankly anywhere. Even Rotterdam. Take the day off, and go see some paintings, or a windmill, or spark a financial crash by buying tulips.

8. New York

The city that never sleeps has heaps to do that doesn’t involve running. Frankly if you can’t think of anything better to do here then I despair for you. Have you heard of Times Square? Central Park? The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Ventilator Building on Battery Place?

9. Athens

Frankly if you’re going to run a marathon in Greece and not do the 150 miles from Athens to Sparta then you’re already taking the piss. Why bother? Go see the Parthenon, or the Temple of Poseidon, then drink a bottle of ouzo and listen to Melvyn Bragg explain about Pheidippides and the Persians.

10. Tokyo

It’s only 12 years old, so no-one’s really heard of it. Don’t bother – the Japanese have a really efficient public transport system so you don’t need to run between landmarks to visit them all. Grab yourself some sushi, watch some sumo wrestling and then go find a temple to zen yourself up. Oh, and if you see my woman, let her know she’s so good to me.

11. Special Mention: Edinburgh

Your time is better spent literally anywhere, so long as you’re actually in Edinburgh.

Author Bio: Richard ‘Spike’ Neal

I’m The Real Allie Bailey™ and I occasionally run, normally when it’s getting near to closing time. Since starting to listen to the BBR podcast I’ve managed to run slower than ever before, and have met a selection of the weirdest (and most wonderful) people on the planet. I treat running as a team sport, largely so I have someone else to blame, and thoroughly recommend rehydration using apple-based beverages. 

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10 amazing marathons that aren’t actually marathons

Keen to run a marathon but don’t want to run 26.2 miles? We’ve compiled a list of the best marathons that aren’t actually marathons.

If you’re thinking of running a marathon, a good start is to actually choose a race that is a marathon and not a race that isn’t a marathon. Unfortunately, Runner’s World doesn’t seem to understand the definition of “a marathon” and seem to think they can include any race at any distance and call it a marathon (seriously? Man vs Horse?)

We thought we’d go one better and make a whole list of non-marathons.

Quite incredibly, this makes this feature more accurate than theirs. Here’s a list of 10 marathons that aren’t actually marathons.

1. Asics Greater Manchester Marathon

You’d be forgiven thinking Greater Manchester Marathon was a marathon by its name. Well, it is… unless you ran it in 2013, 2014 or 2015 when it wasn’t. For three years, the “marathon” was 380 metres short resulting in the retrospective invalidation of the times of 24,000 runners. Without any recourse. Nice.

2. Marathon des Sables

Everyone knows the City Boy Fun Run isn’t actually a marathon distance. It’s a little bit longer than that. So it’s not a marathon. Also, no-one knows how to pronounce it properly (even the organisers). The official organisers suggested 2011 was the hardest, sandiest year.

3. Marathon bars

In scenes reminiscent of Brexit, one of the most damaging and long-lasting attacks on decency occurred in 1990 when Mars Corporation decided to change the name of the beloved nutty chocolate bar from Marathon to Snickers. Scenes were such across Britain’s confectionery stores that the government had to put on specialist helplines to deal with the fallout of this heinous change – not experienced in Britain for another decade when Unilever decided to change Jif to Cif. Monsters.

Decline and fall of Western Civilisation in snack bar terms

4. Marathon, Greece

The very place in Greece that gave its name to the aforementioned race. Not an actual marathon.

History tells us Pheidippides preferred a “half” Spayne Visor

5. The Barkley Marathons

Not so much a marathon as a series of consecutive races of indiscriminate distance. Certain to be longer than a marathon. Uncertain as to whether you’ll a) know where you’re going b) know why you’re doing this c) know how to get back to the start. Recommended (watching on Netflix).

6. A Netflix marathon

A modern phenomenon, so-called when an individual or group of individuals watch a series of programmes or movies on the US streaming service Netflix. The consecutive viewing experience is what gives it the name “marathon”. Also, NOT a marathon. (Not to be confused with Netflix and Chill… although often combined).

7. The battle of Marathon

Not so much a race as a battle to stay alive, the battle of Marathon saw Greek forces pitted against an invading Persian army in 490BC. The Greeks won. Also, NOT a marathon.

Actual photo from the battle

8. Mid Sussex Marathon

Following in the footsteps of events that use the word “marathon” but aren’t, the Mid Sussex Marathon is not one but THREE races. Held across the May Bank Holiday weekend, when you run the Mid Sussex Marathon you run a 10 mile race on the Saturday, a 10 miler on the Sunday and a 10k on the Bank Holiday Monday (adding up to a marathon distance). Each race takes place in a different town in Mid Sussex allowing you to see the delights of Haywards Heath, East Grinstead and Burgess Hill. In one of those towns, running is the preferred and safest method of ambulation. Nice concept. Also, NOT a marathon.

Actual footage of last year’s winner

9. Marathon Man

Starring Dustin Hoffman and Sir Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man is a 1970s Nazi-chasing, suspense thriller from the story by William Goldman. There’s a great torture scene in it that will leave you never wanting to see a dentist again. There’s a bit of running involved. Also, NOT a marathon.

Always check that your dentist isn’t a Nazi – advice for life

10. Brighton Half Marathon

Ok, so it’s got the word “marathon” in the name but it’s obviously NOT a marathon. However, Brighton Half is special in that it’s not a half marathon either. For some years, at least. Unlike the Manchester Marathon disaster, Brighton Half actually measured the course TOO LONG in 2012. And just like Manchester Marathon, measured the course TOO SHORT for three years in a row. One time is a mistake, two times is just careless… four is, well…


The organisers have also experienced other failures, including being unable to arrange a piss-up in a brewery, getting laid in a brothel or, indeed, finding their backside with both hands.

So, all in all, NOT a half marathon. Or a marathon.