Get Inspired For Global Running Day With Fleet Feet

Celebrating Global Running Day with our friends at Fleet Feet is a testament to our shared commitment to fostering a vibrant and inclusive running community where every person can embrace their happy pace. This special day also highlights the joy, health benefits, and camaraderie that running brings. Similarly, it unites runners of all levels, ages, and backgrounds just like Fleet Feet and Girls on the Run! Together, we are championing healthier, more active communities that celebrate that spirit of movement all year long. 

Learn more about Global Running Day and all that Fleet Feet does to support our mission in this Q&A blog with Joey Pointer, CEO of Fleet Feet and Girls on the Run International board member, and Kate Schwartz, brand marketing editor of Fleet Feet.  

Happy reading and running, GOTR family! 

Joey Pointer, CEO of Fleet Feet and Girls on the Run International board member celebrating the joy of running with his wife, Ivy (who is also a GOTR coach!) and their three children. 

We know at Fleet Feet, ‘Running Changes Everything!’ How does running benefit people’s lives? 

Joey: Research shows that running has a positive effect on physical and mental health, and we see this every day. Running helps us keep our minds and bodies healthy, strong, and capable. It provides an outlet to manage stress, and it can provide a sense of community. 

At Fleet Feet, we host training programs, fun runs, and events across the country where people can build real, meaningful social connections. Studies show that running with friends can make you feel happier in a number of ways. That’s because when you spend time running with other people, you have a shared sense of purpose, motivation, and connection. It also presents a unique opportunity to get to know another person without distraction. There are no screens involved; you can simply move together and get to know one another as you move toward a common goal.

What is ‘Do The Run Thing?’ How is it inspiring running in the next generation? 

Joey: Do The Run Thing is Fleet Feet’s charitable arm, which is focused on creating and sustaining healthy running communities. We focus on youth-based initiatives, under-served communities, community partners that align with our mission, and public works projects that improve access to safe places to run. One of our partners, of course, is Girls on the Run!  

We also support other initiatives that help kids get the shoes they need to run and play comfortably. We hope that with the right footwear and programming, young people can find a lot of fun, empowerment and camaraderie in running. 

What are some fun ways people can enjoy running together as a community? 

Joey: We love group runs at Fleet Feet! Global Running Day is on June 5 this year, and it’s our favorite day of the year to celebrate running together. Our stores across the country host a 5K race or fun run called The Big Run to celebrate all the things that make running so much fun. Check our page to find The Big Run near you.  

Every other day of the year, we recommend joining a training group, a group fun run, or just meeting up with a friend to get moving. It’s a perfect meetup. It’s good for you, and it makes exercising much more fun. If running feels too hard or too intimidating, get together for a walk. Walking has many of the same benefits as running, and you don’t get as sweaty!

What tip would you offer to someone looking to start running? 

Kate: Be sure to invest in a quality pair of shoes that fits you just right. We believe that running changes everything, and that starts with the right pair of shoes. Comfortable shoes can mean the difference between starting a lasting running habit and never running again. 

At Fleet Feet, the outfitting process is fun, and you can learn a lot about your feet. With our 3D fit id® foot scanning technology, our outfitters can see exactly how your feet are shaped and recommend the right shoes for you.  

If you’re ready to start running, be sure to start with small steps and then gradually challenge yourself more as you go. Walk before you run, then move onto walk/run intervals, and progress from there.  

Keep in mind there’s no ‘best’ way to run; do it in the way that makes you feel good. You don’t have to cover a certain distance or run at a certain pace to be a runner. You can run by yourself or with other people. Running solo can provide valuable alone time to reflect and recharge while running with others is an efficient combination of exercise and social time.  

If you want to increase your distance or run faster, I highly recommend joining a training group or running with friends. It’s fun and motivating to run with others, and a coach and training buddies will help you improve faster than you would alone. 

In your #ReasonsWeRun contest, you are encouraging people to submit their running story. What’s your favorite running story and why is sharing running stories important?

Joey: We received so many impactful stories, it’s hard to pick one. Our customers have shared that running helped them to overcome addiction, handle devastating grief, raise money for sick kids who need expensive treatments, and help them find friends when they moved to a new city. We saw the words, ‘running saved my life’ several times.  

The stories are so different, but they all have common threads. No matter what life throws at you, running provides a healthy outlet to process difficult feelings, and new goals to work toward.  

When you train for a running goal, you challenge yourself to accomplish something you may not have previously thought possible. Accomplishing that goal empowers you and shows that you can get stronger with hard work and dedication.  

Running can also build communities. When you run regularly with other people, you have a place where you belong, where you can feel good about yourself, and that’s something that everyone needs.  

Sharing running stories is important because it helps people reflect on their experiences and connect to each other. While we’re all on different journeys in life, we have more in common than we may think.

Are you interested in giving back while incorporating running into your life as a GOTR coach? Click here! Does your girl have an interest in an after-school program that embraces the joy of movement, builds confidence, and teaches life skills? Click here!