fitness · running · training

Why a Running Clinic May Be a Good Way to Start the New Year

Head shot of two smiling women (Julie left and Tracy right). Julie has long light hair and is wearing glasses. Tracy is wearing a multi-coloured headband and a neon pink running jacket. I resurrected this post from 2014–started but not finished. Today seems like a good time to finish it as many of us think about what we want to do activity-wise for 2018.

In our resolutions post I said I basically want to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s working for me and I’m feeling great — definitely in the best shape of my life, with the healthiest attitude about food and weight that I’ve ever had and a workout routine where I look forward to my workouts most days.

Over the years I’ve had excellent experiences with running clinics. I find them especially helpful to get me through the winter. When it’s cold and icy, it’s easy to hibernate. If you’re like me and can’t handle treadmill running for more than about 30 minutes at a stretch, then hibernating through the winter is not an option.

Enter the running clinic. My first winter running clinic was a 10K group that started in November and continued through to the spring. Having scheduled runs with a group helped me get out the door at least three times a week, whatever the weather. The camaraderie of slogging it out in a snow storm or a cold windy night makes all the difference. I have found that every group has its commiserators and its encouragers. Both offer needed support.

The year after the 10K clinic I signed up for the Around the Bay 30K training clinic. It followed marathon training more or less. That was the year of the polar vortex and I’m telling you, it was a tough commitment some days. But that clinic cemented my friendship with Julie, whom I’d originally met at the 10K clinic the year before. We have now been running friends for years and have done many an event together (including Around the Bay, both in the 30K and as a 2-person relay team.

Clinics are good for the info you get as well. Every group will have one night a week where a speaker comes to talk about shoes or nutrition or clothing and gear or injuries (prevention and treatment) and any number of other helpful topics.

Another great thing about them is that they cater to all levels. No matter what your pace, there are almost always others who run at that pace. Of course if you’re new to running you won’t start with a half marathon group. You’ll start with a learn to run group and build speed and distance from there.

Most local running shops have training clubs and clinics starting up over the next week or two. If you’re looking for a good way to get through the winter as an outdoor runner, check out the schedule and sign up.

If you’ve had a good experience with running clinics let us know. Enjoy!