7 reasons why you should visit The National Running Show

NEC Birmingham

No matter how far or how fast you go it’s a must for all runners says Rachael Woolston

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Planning to start running this or passionate about Parkrun? Whatever your running experience, get some inspiration at The National Running Show this January.

You can learn tips to make you faster

Did you know that running slower can make you faster? Discover insider training tips from top running experts at the Running Skills Theatre.  

If you’re just starting out, learn how to build distance without getting injured. Or if you’re a thrill seeker, hear about the fast-growing sport of skyrunning, which involves scrambling, climbing and running along the tops of mountains.  

Check out the schedule in advance and arrive at your chosen talk five minutes early to grab a seat.  

Get up close and personal with your running heroes  

Whether you are inspired by elite athletes, or everyday runners who have become social media influencers you’ll meet them at the show.  

This year, you will get the chance to hang out with Mo Farah and learn about the training and mindset tips that helped him to become a multiple Olympic, World and European Champion athlete. Or check in with Anna Harding, the improbable runners’ champion who has charted her journey from beginner to ultra-runner for The Running Channel.  Running idols for all.  

Test running shoes

Want to try out go-faster carbon running shoes? Or trail shoes worn by some of the top runners of big brand mountain ultras like the UTMB Chamonix Mont Blanc? This year, the show has an indoor running track so that you can try on shoes and run. No more buying shoes that don’t fit or feel horrible. Choose the right pair for you, your feet and your event.  

Expect to discover all the usual big-name brands alongside running shoes from small scale UK and European shoe brands who you don’t often find on the high street.

Discover why everyone is ultra-running

Discover why so many people are stepping up to ultra running at The Ultra Stage. Hosted by the popular Bad Boys Running podcast presenters, you can learn how to smash your first ultra by walking, along with how much food you can actually scoff as an ultra runner. This and more from the likes of BBC radio presenter, Vassos Alexander, ultra running champion, Robbie Britton and more.

If past shows are anything to go by, this stage is often where the most fun is to be had!  

It’s not just about running

Pit yourself against the Travelator before trying out an ice bath with the first Smart Ice Bath Co, controlled to 2 degrees Celsius. There are also strength workouts, foam rolling and Pilates to try in the Strength & Wellness Zone and Pilates areas.  

Running bargains

Shh! You won’t see this advertised but there are huge bargains to be had on some stands where last season’s running tops, leggings, shorts and socks are on sale. And if you can hang out until Sunday afternoon when the show is almost over, you could nab yourself an even bigger bargain.

Discover tasty running snacks

From energy boosting running snacks to muscle recovery morsels, you can eat your way around the many stalls showcasing their products. For something more substantial, head to the show’s Run Cafe. A word of warning, the cafe gets busy so avoid the lunchtime rush or try the cafes outside the show halls or book ahead somewhere in the NEC grounds.  

Insider tips on making the most of the show  

  • Check the schedule in advance and make a note of who you want to see and what you want to try.  
  • When you arrive, do a quick sweep of the halls to orient yourself.
  • Go shopping when there is a popular person speaking so that the stalls are quieter.
  • Check out the competitions on the stalls – you could win a trip!
  • Listen to someone speak about something you’ve never thought about doing – you just might be inspired.  
  • Chill out somewhere every 90 minutes – or you’ll be worn out!

How to get there


Take a train from major city stations to Birmingham International.

Where to eat


Head for a curry at Mughli Charcoal Pit



Birmingham NEC aims to be accessible to all. For more details click here.

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