- Gary Taylor
For Gary Taylor running is a passion, so much so he's run in a few marathons like those held in New York, Boston, Washington D.C. and his hometown of London—that's England, for all you Yanks. However, his love goes beyond running and extends to swimming and biking, and he's now sharing that enthusiasm with Little Rock athletes from his newly opened store appropriately named Go! Running at 1819 N. Grant St. in the Heights.
"I've been running since I was 14. ... It's a part of my life," says Taylor, now a lean and fit 47. In addition, his four employees are experienced runners too. Not only can they offer the best advice about shoes, clothing and accessories, but they understand the challenges of the sport whether training for a triathlon or just contemplating the possibilities.
"Before starting, set a goal," Taylor says. Whether you're planning to run a marathon or just wanting to get into better shape, a goal gives a runner a focus and a real reason to get up off the couch. However, he cautions, "Don't get too wrapped up in the goal." Instead, break the larger goal into smaller, more achievable steps. For instance, if the goal is to run a marathon, start out running a short distance, followed by a short walk and then repeat the process. It won't be long before you're running for a longer period of time, and the walks become shorter and shorter. In other words, "don't expect to be a runner the first day," he says.
Running is easy when a person is younger, but for an older runner, "It's important to understand the process" and start with good habits such as proper foot landing and cadence, while striving to achieve the right posture and alignment while leaning from the ankles.
The shoes are equally important. "First and foremost, a shoe must suit your foot," he says. A number of foot factors impact the type of shoe a person might select, including foot type, usage and feel.
Taylor can help with the first two by looking at a foot and determining whether it has a high arch, short toes and the shape of the Achilles heel and accordingly, the best shoe for use—but the feel is personal and must be determined by the wearer. It's important that a shoe feels good. A bad shoe can be an excuse not to run.
For experienced runners, Taylor suggests bringing in their old shoes when buying new ones; it can help an expert do a better job of matching the to the runner.
"You're never too old to start running ... you might find it becomes a real positive lifestyle change."