Why You Should Visit Your Local Running Store
From the outside, your local running store might look like a place to buy fancy Nike outfits and shiny shoes. But if you were to step inside, you would find that it is actually a black hole into the running universe.
Even if you don’t need new running gear, there are still plenty of reasons for you to pop into your local running store. These days everyone gets their running gear online anyways. But what separates an online store from your local running store is the people. The people that work at running stores are basically running encyclopedias. They can be an amazing resource for anything running related and perhaps more. Most importantly, they are passionate about running. They want to share their passion and their knowledge to help you. That’s something you won’t find at online stores. (Don’t forget that if you do like your local running store, they need customers like you to stay open! Shop local when you can!)
If you’ve never been fit for running shoes, that is the number one reason why you should visit your local running store. A proper fitting pair of running shoes is invaluable to every runner. Everybody has different needs, gait, foot shape, etc. that need to be examined by someone that knows a little more about running shoes than you. Otherwise, you might choose the shoe with the prettiest colors. You’d feel happy looking at them, but never want to put them on because they cause so much pain. Getting fitted will prevent you from getting an unnecessary injury.
Walking into a big box sports store can be overwhelming with products ranging from fishing to pool toys. The good thing about running stores is that it filters everything out except for running. All the products in the store are related to running in some way. Being focused on one thing allows them to keep up with all the latest products. If you saw something online or in a magazine that you are curious about, go into your local running store to check it out. They are more than likely to have it in inventory and the employees probably have insider information!
Unfortunately, a huge part of running is injury. Whether you are just beginning or are a veteran, you know what it means to have a running injury. Running stores know this too, that is why they carry a good amount of injury prevention products like rollers, stretch bands, compression socks, etc. Most stores will show you how to use them and let you try them out so you can figure out which “torture device” will work the best for you. Sometimes talking to an experienced runner about running injuries can be more helpful than seeing a doctor because they’ve been through it and have different resources to help you. Your running store might even have connections to sports doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, and masseuses. It’s worth asking!
View your local running store as the hub for your running community. They usually host races, events, group runs, etc. Some stores have a calendar you can peek at to see what’s happening. A lot of the events are free, are educational, and a good way to network in your local running community! Most running stores also have running groups and/or training programs. If you’re looking for motivation to run, or training for a specific race distance, checking out what your local running store has going on is a great first step.
You don’t even need a real reason to go into your local running store. Usually the people that work there are warm and friendly and care most about sharing their love of running with you. So if you happen to be going for a run and pass by your local running store, take a minute to pop in and say hello. Unlike regular people, they probably won’t mind if you’re sweaty.
Just in case you needed on’t forget that if you do like going to your local running store, they need customers like you to stay open! Choose to shop local when you can. The particular running store I used to work at emphasized the community aspect of running over selling shoes and as a result changed the lives of many people. I knew customers that said walking into the store literally changed their life.
So whether you need to pick up a few energy gels for your race this weekend, or you are ready to change your life, your local running store is waiting for you…