Runner’s World Challenge Product Review

(Disclaimer: I am not getting paid to write this, BTW…kinda wish I was).

Initial Impression 

The Runner’s World Challenge offers:

  • 18 half and full marathon training plans to choose from
  • Four months to freely access the Runner’s World Personal Trainer interactive training log
  • Personal coaching from experts in the fields of nutrition, injury-prevention and training
  • Motivational e-mails from Bart Yasso, the Chief Running Officer
  • A technical t-shirt
  • A book of your choice
  • Access to the Challenge community, an online village where you can connect to other people “taking the Challenge”

This link gives a visual for the offers:

http://www.runnersworld.com/runners-world-challenge/challenge-start-kit#book

It was a very loud, effective advertisement. I picked a half marathon plan and ordered it. I figured I needed help, since the last time I signed up for a half marathon I didn’t train at all (and I mean, AT ALL). I ended up getting a time of 2:50, which wasn’t bad since I was expecting it to take me 7 hours. Still, I figured I needed to extra help to stay consistent and committed to training.

I picked the half marathon challenge, which is 29.00 with free shipping. The marathon version is 49.00. From what I’ve seen, I don’t really know the difference in the services, unless they won’t let you access the marathon training plans. You have to email them for the plan you want.

Nit Picky Details 

When you actually place the order the offer seems to change. You don’t get to pick a book, your only option is a copy of “Runner’s World Complete Book of Running”. You get a free sports watch. There is nowhere to pick your t-shirt size, so I have no idea if I’m actually getting one.

To start receiving emails from Bart Yasso you need to register for the online interactive training log, i.e. the Personal Trainer log, not the normal one.

It would be cool if you could pick a training plan and the plan shows up on your online training log calendar. I feel like that would help you visualize an overview of your plan, and then record the results of each workout.

You have to email them for a training plan, they won’t let you see it online.

Their plans apparently include instructions for “daily workouts–plus our best tips on nutrition, gear, training, and injury-prevention.” I recently received my plan, which looks simple and effective. But I haven’t really seen where the daily instructions come into play. Unless they’re talking about my access to the website’s contents.

The PT log has a tab to keep track of the mileage of your shoes. That’s pretty cool.  It also has a mapmyrun.com type feature where you can use drag your mouse through a map on the computer showing where you ran and it will show you how many miles the route was. There’s no calorie look up for your food, but you can look it up yourself and store that knowledge to reuse in future posts (if you eat the same foods over and over).

I like the fitness calculators on the website. Besides BMI, for instance, you can calculate how much water you need.

You receive the tips from the experts through questions asked in forums and I think on their blog.

I think once you’re signed in the site the Runner’s World Challenge advertisement should leave the homepage. That just irks me. If this site is supposed to be so personal, why can’t a motivational runner picture replace the ad?

Conclusion

I may be happier once I get my free book and t-shirt and get over the unfamiliarity of it all, but for right now I wish I could have just printed out a plan from Hal Higon and use a good old notebook and pencil to log. It would have been easier, cost me less than 5 dollars, and would be just as effective. However, since I did pay 29.00 I feel like I have to make the most of it. After my half marathon, I will post another product review and see if I change my mind over time.

runners world challenge edited

I blurred out the plan since I don’t think Runner’s World would appreciate me distributing plans they ask people to pay for. But, this is what it looks like. Hal Higdon gives you a page of tips to go along with your running plan, while the Running World Challenge plan gives you like three sentences.

Here is a link to Hal Higdon’s website:

http://www.halhigdon.com/

I hope this review was helpful!

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