Sustainability in running: translating intentions into actions

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In its simplest form, it is hard to picture a more sustainable pastime than running. Carried by legs and lungs, and fuelled only by food, gels, and drinks, running is a truly doorstep sport. However, the topic of sustainability is nonetheless crucial. In the quest for new experiences, personal bests and marginal gains, many runners understandably travel to and from events at home and abroad, frequently buy new, not necessarily sustainable products, and dispose of those products in ways that could be more sustainable.

This report, produced by Sporting Insights in partnership with The Running Channel is designed to shed light on how sustainable runners are in their everyday lives and in their running lives. In doing so, it establishes a gap between the decisions runners would like to make or would be willing to make and what is currently feasible and sensible, taking into account available information and the current cost and performance of sustainable products.

Including detailed analysis of runners’ sustainability-led actions, buying habits, and disposal decisions, complete with segmentation profiling, this report will be a valuable companion to you as you help make it easier for different groups of runners to take more sustainable decisions. With a potential vacuum for a brand or brands to take real leadership in this space and buyers willing to compromise on certain key elements, focusing on sustainability is, this report concludes, a lucrative opportunity.

This report was released in December 2023, based on September 2023 fieldwork with 1,570 runners from around the world. (74% from UK & I).

The report is free to download.