Running has long been a popular form of exercise, but the sport has picked up a huge following in the past few years. I’ve been running off and on for about three years now, and I’ve lamented the fact that Jackson didn’t have a running store. There is a big box store with a limited selection of good running shoes, but that just didn’t do it for me. I have always driven to Memphis or Nashville for specialty stores, but as of this summer, I can do my shopping right here in Jackson! Performance Running has filled a huge need in our running community.
Performance Running, or “PR,” is a specialty running store, and they carry pretty much anything you can think of related to running. They have a great selection of shoes, attire, watches, and other accessories. They also carry the popular Oofus brand of sandals, which have been flying off the shelves. Their most popular items so far have been the selection of Hoka One One running shoes. I actually bought my first pair when I went in to check out the store. I also purchased a compression sleeve for my foot to help with plantar fasciitis. They had several injury management items to choose from, which was great to see. I was also pleased with the excellent service that I received! Beth Wilson, who helped me out and is a friend of mine, pointed out that you will always receive “service with a smile” at Performance Running.
Danny Crossett, who started running ten years ago after years of cycling, saw the need in Jackson for a specialty running store and has been throwing the idea around for a while. He approached Fleet Feet about opening a store in Jackson, but they turned him down stating that the market was too small. Danny didn’t let that stop him! He eventually found an investor who was running two stores in Tupelo and New Albany to work with. This relationship gave him exactly the opportunity he needed, and he set to work on opening PR. Having a connection with the stores in Mississippi gives him an “in” with the shoe manufacturers that he wouldn’t be able to work with otherwise. Danny is very involved in both the running and cycling communities in Jackson, especially with the Jackson Roadrunners group. His hope is that the store can become an anchor for all the runners in Jackson. Running may seem like a solo sport, but it’s not. I could write an entire book about how runners make up the best possible community. Just do a group run once, and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Running just brings out the best in people!
I asked Danny what he would say to new runners who don’t know where to start, and his first piece of advice was to get good shoes. Not all runners need the same shoe, so getting your stride analyzed and getting a custom fit is essential. What works for me won’t necessarily work for you. Performance Running will take a video of you running on the treadmill in the store and analyze how your foot rolls when you push off. That largely determines what type of shoe you need. His other piece of advice is to have patience. Most of the time you need to start with a base of walking, then start adding short intervals of running as you build up your endurance and strength. Speaking of strength, building up your hips and glutes (booty muscles) will help you be a better runner!
Now that you’ve had your crash course in running, get over to Performance Running and get a new pair of shoes to get you started! Then come join me on Monday nights for Couch to 5K, or if you’re already a seasoned runner, join the group run from the store on Thursday nights. Check out their website and Facebook page to stay updated on what they have going on. Hope to see you running around Jackson!
Performance Running of West Tennessee is located at 398 Oil Well Road. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10am - 6pm. Monday nights - Couch to 5K, 6pm; Thursday nights - group run (any pace, any distance), 6pm.
Kristi Woody is a photographer and storyteller for our Hello Jackson features about locally owned retail stores and restaurants. She also works as the university photographer for Union University and owns her own wedding photography business, Woody & Pearl Photography. In her free time, Kristi enjoys spending time with her husband and rambunctious beagle, Rhett and Chipper respectively. If you can't find Kristi in Jackson, you'll find her in her second favorite place: Disney World!