Friday, January 29, 2010

What do YOU want from your local running store?

I believe a local running store should be there for their runners in any way possible because, hey!, the runners are the reason they're in business. By this I mean anything and everything from providing water and gatorade outside the store (for runners and dogs too!), to stocking some of the most up-to-date equipment, shoes, and apparel out there. I don't believe running stores should charge $100-$250 dollars for a training program (half a year by the way) and should, rather, be a place for runners to meet and run together for free and with the help of the store.

I have a few other ideas, but I wanted to hear from you guys!! You're running every day and some of you have awesome local running stores. They host events and have recognition days...

What can your local running store do for you???
~ Provide seats to stop at during a hot day with cold water and maybe gatorade (if they're in a heavy foot-traffic area)
~ Provide low cost (or no) cost running groups
~ ??? What are your ideas???


  1. Agree with your points!

    My local store has free organized group runs from all levels from LTR (learn to run) to Marathon, every Wednesday & Sunday. They provide water and hot chocolate in the winter. They advertise a washroom availabel for runners at all times. Pretty awesome!

    One thing I would like is more flexibility with returning shoes... they will return within 30 days if they are not worn outside, but I really need to wear them outside before making a decision...

  2. Lower cost clinics for sure. Unfortunately, most stores charge an arm and a leg for just providing a social environment for runners for an activity that is 100% free to begin with.

    I think if clinics are going to charge that much at least include 2-3 races at either free entry or very heavily discounted rates.

  3. Those are all great ideas! The running store here is intense because their is one guy that owns all the running stores in the metro area. He can charge whatever he wants!

    Our running group is connected to the store, but their is a separate coach that you pay. My favorite running group that isn't connected to the store is Sports bras to Sports Bars where we meet at a bar run then have drinks afterwards!

  4. I love my local running store, obviously since I am always talking about them but I have honestly never utilized their training programs. I have such a crazy schedule with working two jobs that I just train on my own. I know they offer them though and from what I hear, have a great support network.

    They host the best races around and the staff is amazing. I honestly don't think I can think of a single thing my running store doesn't provide for me. <3

  5. Sounds like everyone has some pretty good running stores in their area. The one in mine has pretty much fizzled b/c of the costs associated with the clinics and the lack of incentives that go along with them. So everyone is pretty much on their own. We have a small group that meets every Saturday (not organized) whomever shows shows.. so we have one store that pretty much has the monopoly.

    I have been lucky to run with a number of groups in my travels and have seen some really good ones with huge support networks and great set ups for runners.

    running room in London Ontario gets props for having a great set up for their runners (washrooms/water stops/coaches/)

    Fleet Feet cincy and Bob Ronkers cincy both are great groups. I think stores should be more like them. A bit pricey but definitely great to see such a large group of people all training together...

  6. omg i totally agree! running shouldnt just be for the richies! the only way i can pay for it is i got running group money for my bday!

    water and gatorade "samples" outside is a good idea.

    the running spot has free pub crawl runs a few times a year and i think a group meets every thurs to run together for 8 or so miles. dont quote me tho. :)

  7. We don't have a local running store. :-(

    We do have an REI location. They do somethings but a lot of what they do is child focused.

    I think, locally the fitness type stores could improve their business by offering services at low costs or free clinics to help runners/bikers and the like to better perpare themselves for their sports. But I guess I'll have to wait until their marketing departments ask my opinion. (which I would gladly give...I already spoke to REI but they have yet to do anything for the running community...i.e, sponsor a race, start a running group...)

  8. All awesome points! Funny on the cost of clinics - I never thought to make a clinic free (or at least throw in a race reg with those wacky high fees). Most of ours are not located near popular running routes but an online map of porta potties and where to get water would be nice.

  9. I understand local running store are often a small business operation and therfore they can't foot the whole bill for setting up running groups and support stations. I think a fee to cover their cots is reasonable, but it shouldn't be a money making operation.

  10. great blog! good luck with your goal :)
    I'll be running my first marathon in February and I'm very excited!