Over the weekend of 21-22 January, The National Running Show will be hosting an amazing line up of speakers at the NEC, Birmingham. Whether you’re a road, track, ultra or trail runner, the show has something to offer everyone, from experienced racer to those looking to get into running.
Across our three stages – the Inspiration Stage, Skills Stage and Ultra Stage – show hosts Iwan Thomas, Susie Chan, Anna Harding and Bad Boy Running will welcome loads of big names from the world of running, offering inspiration and insights into their careers and lives, as well as educational sessions to help upskill your technique and experience.
Here’s a few of our session highlights to help you plan your visit.
Best for autograph hunters!
The National Running Show always attracts some big name runners and this year is no exception!
Track stars Dina Asher Smith (the fastest British woman on record!), and Colin Jackson will join us on the Inspiration Stage on Saturday morning, with Kriss Akabusi appearing on the same stage later that afternoon. On Sunday, Eilish McColgan will talk first on the Inspiration stage, about the her amazing achievements over the last year.
Visitors seeking ‘ultra inspiration’ will want to hear from American running greats Gary Robbins, Sally McRae and Dean Karnazes, all masters in their own disciplines and distances above 26.2 miles. All three visitors from across the pond will be doing a session per day (one on the Inspiration stage and one on the Ultra stage) so no-one needs to miss out!
Best for technique and complementary activities
It’s often surprising how much you can improve your running by getting in tune with your body. Whether it’s by focussing on your technique or by adding activities into your routine that stretch or build the relevant muscles, these sessions on the Skills stage will show you how to make changes that make the difference.
Runners are often guilty of not listening to their bodies. Who better than Eilish McColgan to give you success tips on running to heart rate, and using your watch to monitor? She’ll be telling you how she does it at 12.15pm on Sunday.
At 11.30am on Sunday, former professional athlete, Becky Lyne will explain the key guiding principles that form the GRACE-full method – five principles that encapsulate the art of running. In combination, these transformational elements will create a greater awareness of how your body is designed to move.
And, if you do get injured (or are already) strength and conditioning coaches, Emma Kirk-Odunubi and Clare Rafferty will be giving a session at 9.45am on Saturday explaining how to use strength training and running form to help you return from injury.
But, it’s important to do strength training right! At 2.45pm on Sunday, Pilates expert Liz Patient will talk you though five common mistakes and how Pilates can help.
Best for nutrition knowledge
Whatever distance you run, it’s important to fuel yourself properly (and make it taste great!) and we have loads of nutritional advice to allow you to focus on your run.
On Saturday at 2.45pm, National Running Show regular, Anita Bean, will be speaking about all things nutrition on the Skills stage. And on Sunday at 2.15pm, Kate Percy of GoBites fame will tell you “How to fuel your active lifestyle with everyday food” – great for runners, but also active kids/families in general.
If you know you’re going to tackle distances longer than 26.2, don’t miss leading sports nutritionist and ultramarathon runner, Renee McGregor explaining why ultra nutrition is not the same as marathon nutrition and how to nail it at 10.40 on the Ultra Stage on Saturday.
Best for hitting the trails
Trail runners of all abilities will obviously want to listen to the American ultra trail contingent! an opportunity each day of the show (Saturday 4.15pm on the Inspiration Stage & Sunday 10am on the Ultra Stage) to hear Berkley Marathon legend Gary Robbinstell his tale ofsuccess amidst defeat as well as other highlights of his life and running career. Sally McRae is also visiting from across the pond to share her amazing career, and her moving and inspirational life story, with our visitors (Saturday 1.30pm on the Ultra Stage & Sunday 3.30pm on the Inspiration stage).
Those looking for practical trail advice won’t want to miss The Running Channel discuss all things trail at Sunday at 1.15pm on the Skills Stage in their session ‘Everything you wanted to know about trail running but were afraid to ask’.
Best female-focused talks
There’s some pretty inspirational women at the show across the weekend, speaking individually and on panels.
Dina-Asher Smith and Eilish McColgan kick off the Inspiration Stage on Saturday and Sunday mornings, respectively, and American Ultra running legend Sally McRae will talk about different aspects of her career and life, on the Ultra stage on Saturday and on the Inspiration stage on Sunday.
Join Esther Newman from Women’s Running on Saturday at 11.30am on the Inspiration Stage to hear 3 different perspectives on how women can keep running, despite the physiological and psychological changes the menopause can bring. Susie Chan will share her personal experience, Renee McGregor will share her nutritional knowledge and Dr Juliet McGratton will impart medical advice to keep you ‘running through the menopause’.
On Saturday at 1.15pm on the Skills Stage, Sophie Power SheRaces founder, will speak about the changes that have been (and still need to be made) in racing to make it more accessible and equal for women, from pregnancy deferral to cut-off times, and what you can do to help.
Women know the importance of getting the right bra for running, but sometimes it’s hard to know what that actually means for you. Let the running underwear experts, Runderwear,talk you through the facts in ‘Boob health while running’ at 10.15am on Saturday on the Skills Stage.
Three not-to-be-missed sessions for marathoners – of all abilities
If you’re thinking about running London in 2023, or any other marathon, we’ve got you covered!
- Marathon training plans 101 – Whatever your experience level, you’re going to need a training plan! Training app pros, Runna, have designed their ‘Marathon training plans 101’ on Saturday at 2.15pm to address the needs of anyone about to do a 26.2. For those visitors who have a London Marathon place, there’s also a focussed session on Sunday at 11.15am.
- Saturday at 3.30pm – Join The Long Run in this massive Q&A session where no marathon-based question is too silly! From tackling a marathon training plan to what to wear, the panel will make sure you leave knowing how to survive (and enjoy!) a marathon!
- The journey to becoming a Six Star Finisher: Saturday at 1.30pm – If you’re a seasoned marathoner, ticking off the biggies in the UK and beyond, you may have your eyes on the 6 World Marathon Majors. And if so, you’ll want to hear from the people in the know, like Sports Tours International. Their ambassadors will talk you through what it’s like to run London, Boston, Chicago, Paris, Tokyo and Berlin.
See the full agenda for the weekend here: https://nationalrunningshow.com/agenda