After months of training, countless miles, blisters and early wakeup calls, runners at the start of a marathon are excited, nervous, and anxious to get to the finish line. As a current marathon runner, I understand quite well that the finish line of the big day, as well as the many miles pounded beforehand, can lead to soreness, aches and pains, and stress. The science behind athletics has advanced considerably since runners finished half marathons in full cotton outfits with simple low top sneakers. Amateur athletes like myself can gain access to the same tools and technology as the pros. This innovation has led to methods in recovering faster after workouts and CBD brands are ready to target runners, whether pros or amateurs.
How are CBD brands marketing to runners?
Brands are advertising in running magazines, partnering with social media influencers in the running category, sponsoring running events, manning booths at expos, and showing up on the shelves of local running stores.
I attended the Chicago Marathon Expo before the race and saw 3 different CBD branded booths: Floyd’s of Leadville, Nature’s Gems, and Prosafe. Each of these brands has endorsements/testimonials from professional athletes. Floyd’s of Leadville was actually founded by Floyd Landis, a former professional cyclist, and includes several renown ultra-marathoners among their spokespeople.
Each of these booths had testers of their respective topicals and a lot of information on the benefits of CBD for marathon runners.
I subscribe to Women’s Running and Runner’s World magazines and have seen brands like cbdMD take out ads targeting runners and Apothecanna featured in articles about recovery.
For runners specifically, tinctures and topicals are the product types they are most likely to use, and brands have anticipated this. Search for “CBD and runners” on Google and you’ll find pages and pages of recommendations for oils and creams. These products will have to compete with the well-established pain-relieving creams like TigerBalm, Bengay, and Biofreeze. Biofreeze was one of the biggest sponsors of the Chicago Marathon, and perhaps in the future we will see a major CBD brand sponsor a World Major marathon.
It will be interesting to see how and when CBD is incorporated into other products that long-distance runners use often, such as electrolyte powders and tablets, gels and gummies, and sports drinks. Floyd’s of Leadville is already doing this with their new hydration fuel and recovery protein powders and expect more brands to follow suit in the near term.