Monday, January 21, 2013

Vancouver Sun Run 2013


The Vancouver Sun Run is now gearing up for their 2013 event!  Did you know the inaugural race was held a full 29 years ago.  According to former competitive runner Lynn Kanuka who competed in that very first race, the organizers had to use orange pylons to shout at everyone crowding the start line to step back. 

It has since grown into an amazing, inclusive event with start locations in various areas for walkers, recreational runners, competitive runners, wheelchair athletes and even a short family run. 48,904 people stepped out to participate in 2012.  Corporate teams formed groups to run or walk the event.  Mothers and fathers could be seen pushing kids in strollers.  Some joyful individuals even sported costumes! Over the years the Vancouver Sun Run has raised $1.86 million for designated charities.



I first noticed the Sun Run when my kids were in elementary school.  Neither my husband, I or our 2 oldest kids excel at running, but my youngest was always in constant motion.  Somehow we decided despite our shortcomings over to participate in the Mini Sun Run portion for families.  We could all manage to keep up with our youngest pint-sized runner - RIGHT?  Each child received a graphic t-shirt to colour with fabric crayons which we dutifully accomplished.  Race day came and we lined up towards the back of the crowd expecting a relaxed jog.  But at the starting gun our youngest took off and it was all we could do to keep him in sight.  That was our last year as we knew in another 12 months it would be hopeless for the rest of us to keep up.


Participants enjoying treats at the end of the race
In today's Sun you will find the first in a series of articles on how to train for the Sun Run as a walker, new runner or someone wanting to increase their times.  Each week will have a new schedule up that takes you safely through a proper training schedule and there will be many articles on subjects such as diet and injuries. No matter how slowly you go, it can happen.  There is also a download PDF if you want to print out a schedule to follow and links to various running clinics available. Below is a great quote by SportMed BC RunWalk Coach and Olympic medalist Lynn Kanuka.


                  "Do we need 50,000-plus people to go for a nice run or
                   walk? Oh my gosh, I'd be the first to say "no" and then 
                   in the same breath, I'd have to say 'yes.' All ages, shapes  
                   and sizes, it's the most empowering community
                   experience there is and worth setting a goal to 
                   complete in a way that's right for you."

It is amazing that this event draws so much community interest.  I love the fact it pulls people out of their homes to training clinics where they can get in shape with others at the same level.  Let's face it, having support is a big part of keeping fitness a regular part of your lifestyle. The people you meet at these clinics could become lifetime exercise partners.  I also love the fact it raises money for charity.  What I don't love is running.  I have tried several times and never once got that runners high.  It was very encouraging when one trainer interviewed in the Sun previously admitted the runner's high eluded him too.

Despite it all, there is still an incredible allure to be a part of this event at least one time in it's full 10K form.  Walk - run -walk - run.  Running still does not call me, but there is a stubborn side of me that feels the need to accomplish it as least once in my lifetime for the bragging rights. Then there is the practical side that says it would be safe and more achievable to just power walk it. Lastly is the 3rd side that questions whether I have the time to commit. The die is still not cast on this issue, but I need to make a decision soon as week one of training has arrived.

Want an idea of what you are facing to participate as a first time runner or walker?  I have put the first week's training schedule below for both.  More information on this event can be found on the website at www.vancouversun.com/2012sunrun/index.html.  As far as what I will eventually do - you'll have to check back to find out. :)

 Note - all images are from the Vancouver Sun or the Sun Run websites.

Week 1 Walking Schedule
WEEK 1  JAN 19 - 25
SESSION 1 44 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy for 10 min.
3 min. brisk walk - 2 min. recovery walk.
2 min. brisk walk - 2 min. recovery walk.
1 min. brisk walk - 2 min. recovery walk.
Do this combination 2 times.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy for 10 min.
SESSION 2 30 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy for 5 min.
Walk for 20 minutes.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy for 5 min.
SESSION 3 35 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy for 5 min.
Walk for 25 minutes.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy for 5 min.

Week 1 New Runner Schedule
WEEK 1  JAN 19 - 25
SESSION 1 34 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.
Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes.
Do this 8 times.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.
SESSION 2 28 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.
Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes.
Do this 6 times.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.
SESSION 3 31 MIN.
Warm-up: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.
Run 1 minute. Walk 2 minutes.
Do this 7 times.
Cool-down: Walk slow & easy 5 minutes.

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