Our Research

National Running Tracker

In May 2016, we launched a piece of large scale research called the National Running Tracker to allow us to better understand the trends in the running market and build a bank of knowledge to share with the sector on a regular basis. We now have a sample of over 35,000 people (13,500 per year) which provides a significant amount of data to analyse and generate useful insights.

The Methodology

The tracker consists of a 15 minute online survey delivered to a nationally representative sample of 1,100 people over the age of 11 in England each month. The survey contains core and modular questions about the following:

  • Participation levels in sport and physical activity
  • Participation levels in running and athletics
  • Propensity to start running and athletics
  • Motivations, barriers and attitudes towards running and athletics
  • How people run, where people run and why
  • Runner types (6 market segments)
  • Influencing factors e.g. friends, events, media
  • Events trends
  • Brand awareness and favourability
  • Technology trends
  • Running retail buying behaviour
  • Benefits of running

Other Research

In addition to the tracker we regularly commission other bespoke pieces of research to provide more in depth insight into a certain topic. This may be a certain demographic, specific section of the sport or an issue facing the sport, identified through the tracker, that needs more in depth analysis. This is often gained through qualitative methodologies.

Click here for more information on our research into retaining and increasing Track and Field participation

Sharing information and collaboration

We are investing in research to help inform the sector and will make all findings freely available to everyone. Other ways in which we plan to effectively share information:

  • Modular questions that can be changed each quarter within the tracker based on need
  • Access to market segmentation golden questions to better understand your audience
  • Workshops (5 per year)
  • Reports
  • 1:1 support projects (3-4 per year)


If you are interested in finding out more about our research and sharing information please contact Dan Isherwood, Head of Insight and Performance Management at England Athletics at disherwood@englandathletics.org