As we’ve grown from a tiny site about ultrarunning to a health and fitness resource serving millions of readers a month, we decided it was time to reflect on why Marathon Handbook exists and what we believe in.
Marathon Handbook’s Mission
We believe that life is better – for all of us – when we’re more active.
So, our mission is to help others learn how to live more active and healthier lives.
Whether that’s guiding a runner through their first half marathon, demonstrating how to do a specific lift in the gym, or scrutinizing that latest diet trend – we feel this is where we can lend regular people a hand.
Although it’s easy for us to say we want to help, how can you be sure we’re doing a good job?
That’s why we’ve created our Core Values, which are the pillars that inform everything we do.
The 6 Marathon Handbook Core Values
1. Our Work Is Our Responsibility (And Our Impact On The World)
The right health and fitness advice can have a huge impact on a person’s life, so our role as a publisher and producer of advice is one we take very seriously.
Everything we do as an organization is influenced by this responsibility.
The impact we can have on improving our reader’s lives is the greatest change we can make to the world, so we do it right – or not at all.
If we’re not convinced that a piece of work serves our audience,
we don’t do it.
2. Be A Source Of Truth: Verify Everything
As the internet becomes an ever-more murky world of sketchy content and misinformation, we recognize that our most important asset is our reputation – and that our readers deserve a place where they know they can find the truth.
It’s our job to find the real experts (not the internet gurus) and the well-vetted research to reference in our guides, and to use credentialed subject matter experts to create those guides for our reader.
Our reputation is our greatest asset.
3. Hold Ourselves Accountable
As we’ve grown so much in the past few years, we’ve set new standards for ourselves and for the information we produce.
These standards are ever-improving, but sometimes we come across older content that isn’t up to our current standards; or we need to realign our writers to have a consistent tone of voice.
When we find something we’re not 100% proud of, we have an internal flagging system to place it under review by our team of experts.
4. Serve The Reader’s Goals Of Self Improvement (Do No Harm)
We want our work to improve reader’s lives, that’s why we get up in the morning.
We never want our content to be the reason anyone feels negatively about themselves, nor be discouraged from their choices in food and activity.
We also never want to be promoting lifestyles or diets that we feel can have a negative impact on a reader’s physical or mental wellbeing.
When we cover certain diets, we do so through an investigative, impartial lens – scrutinizing the claims and highlighting any risks our certified editors may identify.
We’re also not afraid to simply call out something we think is bogus or potentially damaging – at the same time we are conscious not to give these items too much focus or attention.
It’s a balancing act we continuously want to get better at.
We should only ever have a positive impact on our readers.
5. Continuous Improvement and Marginal Gains
As a team of sports science nuts, we’re hooked by the concept of marginal gains – that making small improvements across all areas of what you do can lean to significantly better outcomes.
With that in mind, we have a continuous improvement mindset. All of our guides – as well as our internal guidelines and checklists – are live documents, meaning that we never consider a guide to be ‘finished’ and hope that if you check back on a specific article in 12 months, it should be updated and better than how it was 12 months ago.
If we don’t constantly try and get better, we’ll get complacent and atrophy.
6. Maintain Editorial Independence
We are proud to call ourselves an independent publisher, and work hard to maintain what we consider to be our fiduciary responsibility to our readers to always act in their best interests.
This extends from the advice we put in a workout guide to the product recommendations we put in our gear guides.
Our Statement of Independence maps out our stance on brand partnerships, and where we draw a line in this regard.