I have been in the running industry for almost 20 years now and it has changed beyond all recognition in that time. In the late ’90s, running was the bastion of bearded elitists all looking for Personal Bests (PBs) and speed sessions. It was also mainly a male pastime.
Moving onto present times, and the beards are thankfully back in vogue but out of the recession has emerged a new and re-imaged idea of what it is to be ‘A Runner’. There has been an emergence of a new and fun breed of runner that ranges from 16-60, is 50% female (#ThisGirlCan – and should), and is focused on something quite exciting – the experience of running.
Nowadays running serves a multitude of purposes but fundamentally it is no longer about PBs and Fartleks (speed sessions). It is about being a better version of you and running has become a way to achieve those personal bests that are not time based or competitive. Runners now seem to be focusing a lot of attention on the experience of running and as a result the by-product of achieving health and well-being. The market, both retailer and supplier, has had to therefore change its focus in order to keep pace with the change in tempo of ‘today’s’ runner.
Up & Running and its Social Run Group (SRG) have also had to adapt so that they can keep connected to those that fuel both U&R and SRG; namely, the runner. In order to do this, we as a team have to keep in contact with the ever changing market place, running trends and supplier strategies. One of these fonts of knowledge is Sports Insight, a sports industry (trade) magazine that keeps an ear to the ground and one eye to the horizon. We have partnered with them in order to share our insight into the UK running market and in turn tap into their vast knowledge base to get the best info to help us adapt our style of retail so that the UK runner gets the best advice, product and support that they need to keep them on their feet. To start this partnership off we have penned a number of articles that broadly relate to the running market and the running industry, but we have done this from the ‘heart’ of the business. Running isn’t about shoes, clothing and accessories, neither is it about companies and retailers. It is about YOU, the runner. Therefore we want you to be part of the conversation in order for us to serve you better. We thought you may be interested in what we are doing and how we aim to facilitate a space where we can all #RunTogether.
Details of the pieces can be found at: http://www.sports-insight.co.uk/news