Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

The Role Of The Running Store In Keeping Runners Running

In most running communities the hub of the running community is the specialty running shop. The running shop often serves far beyond the most basic purpose of selling shoes and gear. Many stores have roles as race directors, coaches, educational sources and a referral source to the medical community. Many times runners come through the door when it is already too late, when they are injured. At that point the runner is looking for help and is not buying shoes, entering races or signing up for training groups.

 Most store owners just think injuries are part of the game and the runner will return. I challenge these owners to provide solutions and help their customers not get injured in the first place. How amazing would it be if a shop could offer a program where a runner could go through a functional movement screen, be video taped running and offered corrective exercises which would provide the first step toward healthier running. With movement information in hand the store could then fit the runner in a pair of shoes.

 There are three basic categories of shoes: motion control, stability and cushioned. None of these are going to make a stiff ankle more mobile or a sloppy knee stable. A good fit can certainly help a runner but it is not going to improve a runners basic movement patterns. Improved movement patterns are the real solution to not getting injured and that is the job of the strength and conditioning coaches and physical therapy communities.

 As a running store professional you might be thinking but we invite a running coach or form specialist to speak at a clinic to address injury. While this is a good step it is not the be all and end all. A system of teaching form or coaching running misses an entire step. As movement specialists we consider does the runner have the movement capabilities to do what the system demands? It’s simple but powerful and that is why at Pike Athletics we could care less about if a runner chooses Pose, Chi, barefoot or any other method.

 We are strength coaches with 30+ years of combined running experience and are a friend to running shops. We can see things from the perspective of the runner, running coach, strength coach and salesperson because we have experienced all of these roles. I feel for you, I first hand know what it is like to fit a high school runner for 45 min then have them walk out the door to buy the shoes online. I don’t care to revisit those days. If we want to moonlight and coach a few runners here and there including charity groups that raise money for cancer, know we just want to have our fun and a part of us misses the world of collegiate cross country/track and field coaching.

 Allan and I have created Pike Athletics and chosen the path we are on because a huge gap exists in preventing injuries in the running community. As experts allow us the honor of doing what we are trained to do, keep runners running. We will leave the shoe fitting and sales to the expert, the running shop.






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