Running is my work out of choice for a few reasons. Number one: the best place to run is outside. Number two: you can change the route, pace, distance, and difficulty daily. Number three: it can be done alone or with a friend. Number four: results can be clearly measured. In Vancouver, there is no shortage of scenic routes and beautiful days to lace up your runners and work up a sweat in the great outdoors. And in Kits, a community of spoiled runners resides – with the seawall in our backyard, we’ve got the best track there is.
I started running half marathons a couple summers ago, and am currently training for the third annual Sea Wheeze half marathon taking place on August 23. Having only ever trained for half marathons by generating a homemade timetable of elusive goals and fitting spontaneous runs in around my random work schedule, I thought that this time around I might join a club to enforce some routine upon my training. I did some research on running clinics in the neighbourhood in an effort to find the best fit for me. Here’s what I learned.
4 Great Running Clubs in Kitsilano
Located on 4th and Collingwood since 1986, Forerunners offers a variety of running clinics throughout the year. There are lots of different pace groups, including a walk/run group, in addition to the half marathon and marathon training. The half marathon clinic consists of 4-6 groups divided according to fitness levels. The 12-week half marathon training program costs $50, and Fall training clinics will begin on July 12. Forerunners’ founder is accomplished marathoner Peter Butler, and so you can rely on professional, supportive, helpful advice from a fellow runner.
Forerunners, 3502 West 4th Ave., 604-732-4535, www.forerunners.ca
Less about strict race time goals and more about the social aspect of running, LadySport is targeted at the recreational athlete and the beginner runner. Lots of encouragement to stay active and a welcoming and motivating atmosphere make this the perfect running club for anybody who needs that little extra push to get out there. They host three running clinics annually, beginning in January, May, and September, with training groups for a 10k and a half marathon. Clinics aren’t necessarily focused on a race though, the emphasis is on participation and building an active lifestyle.
LadySport, 3545 West 4th Ave., 604-733-1173, www.ladysport.ca
3. Running Room
Boasting a large selection of the best running shoes and gear out there, the Running Room also offers a variety of clinics for runners of all levels and abilities. Founded in 1984 in Edmonton and now with over 100 locations around the country, the Running Room has a reputation for great service and a commitment to community involvement. All employees are runners themselves who will run alongside you in the clinics. There are many programs to choose from – everything from Learn to Run to the Triathalon – and you can expect to learn all about nutrition, goal setting, finding the perfect shoes, running in different weather, injury prevention, and more. This is the place to be if you are making a real commitment to your running.
Running Room, 2112 West 4th Ave., 604-225-0222, www.runningroom.com
4. The Right Shoe
Running clubs at The Right Shoe are committed to providing individual attention to every runner while encouraging a sense of community between everybody. They offer three different clinics: Run/Learn to Run, 10k Run Club, and the Half/Full Marathon Club. Prices for all clubs are very reasonable, and they offer the option to drop in for a small fee. The run leader, Lara Penno, has over 20 years experience as a trainer, and will be sure to provide you with all the technical information, personalized advice, and tips and tricks you need to reach your running goals.
The Right Shoe, 1601 West 4th Ave., 604-737-6014, www.therightshoe.ca
What’s your running club? Help out by sharing below.
Last modified: June 8, 2014