Last year we brought you our top ten predictions for the running world of 2012, and we wanted to circle back and see how many of our predictions panned out. Let’s take a look.
1. Olympic Fever
What we predicted: Lots of excitement around the London Games.
What we saw: If you watched the Olympics last summer, you were not alone. More than 219.4 million people in the United States tuned in to the 2012 Games, making it the most popular televised event in US history.
2. Minimalism… with a Twist
What we predicted: Minimalist shoes will stick around, but we’ll see a popularity spike in ‘elemental’ shoes.
What we saw: We’ve seen – and really enjoyed running in – many elemental shoes from a variety of manufacturers. This slimmed-down, yet protective style of running footwear is a trend we hope to see carry into 2013.
3. Streamlined Trail Shoes
What we predicted: Stripped down, streamlined trail shoes that offer great traction with a faster design and good feel for the terrain.
What we saw: Trimmed-down trail shoes have been extremely popular among our staff and customers alike. A few of our favorites? The Asics Gel Fuji Racer and the New Balance MT/WT110.
4. Record Race Turnout
What we predicted: With running’s growth in popularity, 2012 will be a record year when it comes to race registration.
What we saw: More and more races are starting to use a lottery system for registration, like the ING New York City Marathon, because the number of interested entrants is so high. It looks like this trend will continue in the coming year, with the 2013 BMW Berlin Marathon selling out in a record-breaking 3.5 hours.
5. Bold Shoe and Apparel Colors
What we predicted: Bright, bold hues in running footwear and apparel.
What we saw: The 2012 run product color palette was anything but bland. Most colors you can imagine (and some you probably can’t) appeared in both footwear and apparel for 2012. This was a big win for runners looking to make bold statements with their run apparel.
6. Crazy Races
What we predicted: Out-there, zaney races for runners with a little sass.
What we saw: From races in which you get doused in color or tackle obstacles to races in costume or in your skivvies, we saw fun, bold races in 2012. We think next year we’ll have to have a ‘stache dash of our own!
7. Personal Coaching
What we predicted: More runners turning to a personal coach to enhance their training.
What we saw: We think that mobile device fitness apps may have filled the void of personal coaching. Many runners find the apps give them a convenient way to get feedback on their workouts any time, anywhere.
8. High-Tech Apparel
What we predicted: Light, high-quality fabrics and a focus on performance.
What we saw: A few manufacturers out there certainly wowed us with the products they produced, but we think there’s even more to come in 2013. Lightweight, highly breathable fabrics that feel silky soft against the skin are starting to emerge from a few brands, and we’re excited to see the trend catch on.
9. Fitness Apps
What we predicted: An explosion of fitness apps designed to combine a passion for running with a slight (or not-so-slight) tech addiction.
What we saw: A plethora of fitness apps, some of them wildly popular, ready to help runners track their progress and even compete against other athletes, virtually. The Nike+ community even got creative and many people planned running routes that would create words or pictures when they uploaded maps of their run to the Nike+ site.
10. Focus on Recovery
What we predicted: An effort by runners to incorporate therapeutic recovery practices, like the use of foam rollers, into training programs.
What we saw: We can’t speak for the entire running community, but it seems that all you Running Warehouse faithfuls focused on recovery this year. We saw a growth in demand for both recovery drinks and foam rollers.
Did you see the same results in your running life? What running trends do you predict for 2013?