The Big Business Question: fitness trends

Interview with Verity Ansell

Operation Manager and Head Coach for The Running School
Central London

“Forefoot running has been a huge factor in the running industry recently, with the development of minimalist shoes and unfortunately we’re seeing quite a lot of athletes that are injured at the moment from that transition poorly. 

So, they’ve either rushed into it or they haven’t done the strength and conditioning to make this transition, so it’s quite interesting to see how people have started off with quite thick trainers with a lot of cushioning, and now we’re moving towards the minimalist size in footware and trainers. 

I think it’s ‘watch this space, really, for running technique and how that’s going to effect how people run now.”

Why is this an issue?

The issue Verity describes here is a great example of how changing trends can effect a business. The Running School’s business model is based on coaching a client to improve their running technique: it is, in essence, an education franchise.  A s a teacher, you need to be able to answer any questions from your students accurately and with authority.

‘Forefoot running’ refers to  a technique used by runners to move  the stride's point of impact  from the heel of the foot to the ball  and toes. Research suggests that t his  decreases the stress the body is put under when running, therefore lessening the liklihood of  injury .

Fitness and wellness sector is particular susceptible to fads; new diets and training regimes appear and disappear at a rapid rate (it’s higly likely that everyone reading this has an 8 Minute Abs VHS or a ThighMaster gathering dust somewhere), and part of your role as a successful business owner in the fitness sector is to be on top of these trends, understanding each, and advising your clients on the best course of action.  

Of course, it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve when you’re dealing with the day-to-day demands of running your own business, which is why owning a franchise in this sector is particularly attractive. The support network to which you gain access when purchasing a franchise often supplies industry experts to take a great deal of this burden away from you, as well as a brand name that should give you a reputation as an industry leader, allowing you to concentrate on what you do best.   


About The Author

Matt Skinner Writer
Matt Skinner writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.