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Olympic legacy? It’s a sprint, not a marathon

Confession: I haven’t used my gym membership since I tried to clean my Nike Free Run 3.0s in the washer-dryer and absolutely wrecked them – the only thing the sole and insole are now ergonomically designed to cushion is a Pringle.

Since that fateful day, more weeks ago than I care to remember, without the proper equipment my inclination to engage in any kind of physical exertion has been stopped in its tracks, something that has come into sharp focus now we’re post-Olympics.

The motto of London 2012 is ‘inspire a generation’ and it is working – generally I am rather slothful but I have been genuinely motivated by all the running, jumping and throwing, as have countless others, I am sure. We are all likely to invest in some new exercise kit to go out into the big, wide world and get in shape in and this is excellent news for those operating in the sportswear and sports/fashion markets. I’m sure they’re already seeing the benefits of the warm, golden glow Team GB has cast over the British Isles and this is set to continue.

But I just don’t see this being a lasting legacy for retailers and brands – in relative terms the spike in sales is more likely to last as long as one of Usain Bolt’s sprints than a Mo Farah 10k. Sportswear is far less seasonal, so the turnover of customers refreshing their kit is less frequent than with wider fashion trends. The sloth in all of us will creep back slowly, eating away at any good work done, turning us from budding Bradleys and Jessicas into dreaded ‘all the gear, no idea’ owners of dust-collecting sporting paraphernalia. Make hay while the gold medals shine as this mood won’t last forever. Whether it’s Lycra bodysuits, aerodynamic swimming costumes, tennis shorts or even just a T-shirt with an ‘homage’ to the famous multicoloured rings, it is time to get the stock shifted. Or maybe I’m just lazy.

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