In 2019 the second edition of the National Running Show promised to be bigger and better than 2018. It delivered. I loved this concept last year, and you can have a recap HERE. This year there was 50% more space, more brands, more speakers, more people, it was everything I loved about the National Running Show last year and more.
The concept of the National Running Show is simple. It’s a big expo, like what you would get at the start of an event, but without an event. The difference is that you dont have to worry about the race, instead there is an opportunity to relax, listen to speakers, catch up with other runners, and check out the stands. I would always say dont over do it at the expo before a race, so this means you can really enjoy the show. There are many that will miss not having a run after the expo, and I agree I always like the run. But if people were racing they probably wouldn’t spend as much time at the show, and this is a great season starter.
In 2018 it felt like it could do with being bigger. It felt busy all the time, and crowded. 50% more really does make a difference, and it gave the opportunity to have bigger features. There were lounges dotted around with areas like the Running Channel. The Skills Theatre was a great new addition sponsored by Intersport, with a second stage (which I will come to later), and a small race track… that’s right, a track. This gave an opportunity to try on some new trainers and have a little run to see how they feel. I thought this was a pretty cool idea.
I tried on a pair of Altra trainers and had a little race with Phil on the race track
There were some areas to get some treatments too. As I knew I would be busy both days I had a quick appointment with the guys at Sport Injury Fix before the show opened. They gave me some good practical advice for preventative exercises to help me with my lower back. We all get aches and pains right, mine are in my back, and I’ve now got a few exercises I’m going to try to do to strengthen key stabilising muscles.
I was impressed to see a stand where you could get gait analysis and try out treadmills. I went to see the guys at Nobel Pro, although I didn’t need to try it out as I have one at home. My boy had a quick go, and now I have to make sure I keep him out of my cabin.
More space, more people. From word of mouth last year this event has grown. Personally I don’t really go to the Show for the products, I go to so many events I see these brands all the time. I also don’t really go for the talks, I catch a bit of them, but I dont find that I have time. I go there because of the people. This show is at the beginning of the season, so many dont have events, and so have time for the Show. There are too many people to mention, but the running community were out in force. I saw so many people that I know from #ukrunchat #runmummyrun; Twitter; Instagram; Facebook. And what’s great is I also got to meet new people along the way. This really is a great social meet up, and lovely to see everyone.
I also met up with this fella. Paul is one of the most sarcastic guys I know but a great laugh. Always great to catch up with him, I think.
Thank you everyone. If we had more time I would love to spend time talking to you all. If I dont see you at an event over 2019, I will see you at the show in 2020.
One of the big differences this year was the number of brands. Last year was good, but for those that wanted to get their new season kit, it was a bit limited. Take trainers as an example. Last year we had Saucony, there were no other competitors. This year they were joined by Asics, New Balance, On, Altra, Hoka. The same was true for all elements. Of course there will always be that brand or product that wasn’t there. I can think of a handful I would have liked to have seen but didn’t. But this is the second year, and there has already been a massive difference to 2018. There was something for everyone and I’m sure there will be even more in 2020.
My first stop at the National Running Show was to see Run Mummy Run. I love this community, but the decision was made by my wife who wanted a new hoody, and these tees for the kids. I was in the opening picture, and the first I found them my kids already had these tops on and my wife was already paying. If you haven’t already you can check their site out HERE.
As we passed Firefitness I picked up a couple of tops, and they gave my kids a cap. As you can tell they were impressed with their new headwear.
Whilst I was talking on the Sunday, my family made their way to the VIP tent. There were some pulse rollers there and I’m pleased to see they were out to good use.
As I passed Aussie Grit I saw a familiar face, and had to grab a quick selfie with Mark Webber.
There were lots of the same speakers as last year, with some fantastic special guests. Jo pavey; Roger Black; Iwan Thomas; Nell McAndrew all joined Paula Radcliffe over the weekend. Susie Chan and Ben Smith chaired the main stage and joined many other inspirational speakers. Meanwhile the Skills Theatre was full of practical advice.
Getting Your Pace Right
A highlight for me was talking about getting your pace right. If you missed my talk you can look at my blog HERE and feel free to message me if you have any questions.
I actually forgot I was taking part in Meet the Experts. I was preparing for the Sunday talk, and on Saturday I noticed my face on this sign, and realised I was doing a 2 hour session of 121 talks. This was so much fun, but I could definitely have done with more time. Thank you for everyone who came to talk to me, and sorry for those who did not get the chance, it was just so busy.
Listed and ready for my talk. I knew I was following Paula Radcliffe, and was on the smaller stage. So I was worried about having an empty audience. I was so pleased to see so many people sat there to listen to me.
I wanted to make the talk interactive, so I gave a 20 minute presentation about the importance of getting your pace right. And why I believed Pacers are helpful, and what you can expect when running with a pacer.
I then had a good 10 minutes to answer questions, and I’m pleased that they were the normal questions I get every race. I never get bored of answering them, and if I can help one person each time, then I will keep on answering. If you have any questions about pacing yourself, or about pacing on race day, then please just get in touch.
I think the show was fantastic. I didnt pick up a lot of stuff, but really happy with my new sunglasses from naked runner. I’ve also had my eye on the Runr tee for a while, so pleased to have picked one up at the show. I didnt see everything I wanted and I didnt see many speakers, but I had a fantastic time talking to so many likeminded people. It is this social aspect that makes the show for me and I cant wait until next year. I cant believe Dean Karnazes will be there. A big inspiration of mine, and someone that I interviewed a couple of years ago. Check it out HERE.