A few weeks ago Runners World UK posted a behind the scenes look of the April cover shoot on their instagram feed (click to see larger image).

Image‘Now do your best fake running impression’

I have never been able to get my head around why these magazines insist on having a photo of someone fake running on the front cover. It genuinely doesn’t make any sense. They don’t even look slightly real, for example take this lady on the front of women’s running I spotted last year. 


They are everywhere.

Inside these magazines there might be stories of inspiring real runners but on the outside there is more often than not an air brushed image of a model jogging on the spot against a super imposed background.

You’re not really running outside are you…


Look at all the equipment that photographer has up top. Would it be so difficult to get down to a race and take a picture of a proper runner, actually running?

I spent the morning with Simon Lamb on Sunday cheering for friends at the Hampton Court Half Marathon and look at the photos he managed to take. 




Would you look at that… two super inspiring real runners (Laura F of Lazy Girl Running, and Laura S of Life Laura London), actually running.

I dont mind who it is. An elite athlete, a seasoned ultra runner, cross country, track, trail, old, young, experienced, beginner. I’d be happy to see any runner on your front cover as long as they are real.


13 thoughts on “REAL

  1. The fake running pictures look so stupid though and really unappealing. See Athletics Weekly for awesome real life pictures of runners (and field eventers) in action!

  2. It’d be a nice change of pace, wouldn’t it, to have real photos of runners and not something glammed up? But I suppose they’re probably always hoping to attract new readers and they figure that they can get a more attractive looking photo to a passerby of the magazine rack by using the studio tricks they have available.

    1. Definitely, it has to be for some reason? It seems pretty counter intuitive now though as they sell most of their magazines on subscription (haven’t seen one in a shop near me for an age!) and everyone I’ve spoken to is not a fan. Very weird.

  3. Great post! It always seems to be pictures of women as well. If they’re going to have air brushed beauties fake running (frunning?!) could we at least have some male eye candy as well?

  4. I completely agree, I really struggle with running magazines in general. There’s always something that pisses me off. Either a weight loss schedule, or low fat meal plan or unrealistic images like this, we should start our own magazine.

  5. Coming from the magazine world, they have to put images on the cover that sell, and sadly figures show that ‘real’ women don’t sell as well as models or celebs. Much as I disagree with it. People want to read the magazine to look like the person on the cover, find out their secrets etc but know that ultimately it’s unattainable. Putting ‘real’ people on the cover makes it seem like they are failing at being as slim, put together, glam etc as the person on the front. That’s what it’s like where I am anyway, not sure that it should be that way for RW!

  6. Try this first edition underground, niche, whatever you wanna call it mag about running.
    Real runners, interesting art work by artists who seem to be runners, photographs of real runners taken by runners. Articles about stuff other than Hokas, Poles, bags and possible routes… I love it and no i have nothing to do with the not for profit types that produce it

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