May 29, 2020
You went out for another run this morning. It’s habitual, religious almost. Running is more than exercise to you. You often crave it (though sometimes you curse it). It can be difficult to explain to a non-runner how you feel—watching the sun peak over the horizon, listening to your steady breath or footfalls, inhaling the clean air just outside the city, along the beach, or in the mountains. How can you explain it? You love the competition, though you aren’t pursuing an elite position. Competing with just yourself is often enough for you. It’s addictive. When you travel to a new place, you excitably look up running routes and then take off eagerly looking to see what’s around the next city block corner or bend in the path. Yes, you run, but you’re also a runner.
If that sounds something like you, then you are the group that Matt Taylor was looking to serve. The running community is expansive and accepting, but we all go out running for different reasons. For those that breathe running, and use it as a tool to become better, then Tracksmith might be the brand you’ve been looking for. Matt is the CEO and co-founder of Tracksmith—the “Champion for the running class.” Their website says this running class is “the non-professional yet competitive runners dedicated to the pursuit of personal excellence.”
Matt got his start running at Yale and has since been around some of the greatest runners and brands in history. When working as the head of marketing at Puma, he met and worked with Usain Bolt, the fastest man ever. He told us his story of his work leading up to starting Tracksmith, how his parents had an influence on his entrepreneurial spirit, Tracksmith history, and where Tracksmith is headed now. Listen along as you hit the track, treadmill, or trail today.
When looking for the market gaps that Tracksmith would eventually fill, Matt mentions two things. “The landscape was very bright and neon,” says Matt. He mentions that if you took a look at the clothes in your closet, the ones you wore every day, they differed drastically from what you had in running options. Stylistically, they wanted to create something more understated, it “wasn’t about standing out,” he says.
Next was the message they wanted to send. “The industry went to the end of the spectrum” says Matt. Many brands were either targeting those who were beginning runners, or those that were looking to qualify for the Olympics. Tracksmith wanted to feel like a home to those that weren’t beginners or Olympians, but still had a desire to compete and improve.
Lastly, Tracksmith wanted to cut out the middleman so they could save money to use the best materials available. They discovered that there were some really great fabrics and textiles out there, but big brands were unwilling to use them because of the high cost. Tracksmith works with North American, European, and Asian companies to source their materials, making the best of the best.
Initially Tracksmith seemed to only be a brand for the really fast; they even had a top that they only sold to Boston qualifiers. But today, they are much more about the mentality of the runner. “We aren’t for everyone, and we’re okay with that,” says Matt, “We are for anyone that is committed to running and wants to get better.” To date, they are working on additional sizes for all their gear as well, making sure that they are open to anyone who defines themselves as a runner.
At their Flagstaff retail store, Tracksmith has an entire floor dedicated to the committed runner. There you can watch races on their big screen TV, throw your work clothes in a locker before going for a run, grab a coffee post Saturday morning run, make an appointment with a specialist, or grab a few foam rollers to work on those muscles. They are committed to the committed runner.
If you find yourself in Boston, check out the Tracksmith store, they are sure to welcome you in. Here at Running for Real, we know that we are more than just runners, but that part of our DNA won’t drift away. We are runners, and we are enough.
Tracksmith is a Boston based running clothing company that truly cares about the quality and care of their running clothes. Running can be a demanding lifestyle for our clothes, they definitely go through the wear and tear to where we may be purchasing new clothes constantly. Tracksmith designers truly work with the finest materials and think of you as a runner in mind with spots for your keys, phone, and fuel.
You can get 15% off your first purchase, click here and enter code TINA.
Hey friends, I know it has been a tough year, so much we can not control so much going on and we can't see the end in sight. If you are someone who is needing a guide into the job world, if you have a fear of losing your job, lost your job, or don't know where to start in finding a job, I have created a job guide for runners. Giving away a lot of advice, 20 pages worth, along with a bonus episode on the podcast which you can listen to here. I also have incredible advice for small businesses, if you want to check those guides out click below.
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Thank you to Matt, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.