In my last post “Join a Running Group” I briefly mentioned checking out your local running store to find group runs in your area. Many local running store will host group runs, and if they don’t they will be able to give you information on groups in available in your area. Many runners will look for great deals at your giant chain athletic stores or shop online. You may think you are saving money or getting a great deal, but you are actually missing out. Shopping at your local running store, there is the usual benefit of shopping local, and supporting your local economy. Your running stores, however, bring so much more. The local running stores are a wonderful asset to your running community. Here are just a few reasons.
- Do more than sell shoes. When you go to your local running store, they do so much more than sell you shoes. They going to fit you in the right shoe, which will help you avoid injury. They do this by watching and often recording you while you run. They look at the video and give you a basic gait and foot analysis. They will ask you questions about your running history. They want to put you in a shoe that matches your running habits and biomechanics. Most running stores also allow you to test to the shoes out along sidewalks or on a treadmill.
- Excellent advice and recommendation on all things running related. Most local running stores are owned and hire people who are a part of the local running community. They look for those who bring knowledge about the sport to their store. The can give you great advice on products. Beyond products they have a wealth of knowledge on resources available to your local running community. They can recommend names for physical therapist, coaches, massage therapist and possibly even doctors and chiropractors who work with runners. I know, in our running community, we have many doctors who are runners who support local. We have chiropractors and physical therapist that have come to the local running store and offered free informative workshops. Local running coach have also worked with runners at our store.
- They support the running community. Running stores will often host group runs, and events that bring our running community together. These events include informative clinics, local experts, and new product lines to test. I love being able to test run shoes when product reps come to our local store. Our local stores have brought in almost every kind of product rep, which allows the runners to try, taste, test and decide on which products they like and want to spend their money on.
- Greater variety of running specific products. It’s all they do, and they do it well. Your running store is going to carry a larger variety and more running specific product line. When I wanted a running belt, I was already at the mall and thought I would just check out our large athletic store. They had two choices, and I did not like either of them. I was able to find a much larger variety of styles and sizes carried by my local running store. If they didn’t have my size, they are always more than happy to order what I need. They will also carry the fun, runner specific accessories, like headbands and bumper car stickers. It’s the middle of winter, be sure to check out the lights and reflective gear section!
It’s an awesome, symbiotic relationship between the running community and the local running stores. Your local running community is stronger because of your local running store. I know our stores go above and beyond what I have mentioned above. They are so amazing in giving back to the running community, offering a variety of charity support that they never advertise about. They just do it, because they are truly owned and operated under the idea of making our running community better. You are not just a sale, when you walk in. You are a part of a community that they care about, and that relationship is important.
I run with KC Running Company a lot. They go above and beyond to support runners. They are always coming up with running adventures for us too. They host silly runs where runners are lit up like Christmas trees and dressed in costumes, we have friendly competitions where we can’t wear our watch and try to guestimate our finishing times of our usual route (that’s really hard to do!) they have hosted unofficial eggnog miles and had a cold cooler of beer and popsicles after a 100 degree runs. A friendly conversation at the Pizza Shop or Mexican Restaurant next door is almost a guarantee. You couldn’t find a more welcoming and supportive group of people. Tell me about your local running store. Do they offer clinic or group runs? Have you participated in any fun themed or hosted group runs?
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