Train for the Vancouver Sun Run – you can do it!

How about preparing for the Vancouver Sun Run 10K 2013?

 Yep it’s me – The consummate RunWalk Coach – and I’m BACK once again this year in my role as SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach with Sun Run InTraining.  18 years since the Sun Run InTraining clinics were born and I still find myself completely jazzed about people getting off that couch to prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run!  Flashback to the inaugural Sun Run some 29 years ago when I stood on the Front Line as a high performance runner:  Dr. Doug Clement and Dr. Jack Taunton were my mentors (both world renowned Sport Medicine physicians and original creators of this amazing event).  I remember they had to use orange traffic pylons as megaphones, shouting at everyone to step back from crowding the start!  Who knew that our usual Sunday run around Stanley Park would become the phenomenon it is today?

Do we need 50,000+ 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 absolutely the most empowering community experience there is and worth setting a goal to complete it in a way that’s right for you.   Just imagine that there are literally thousands of people around BC mobilized in this pursuit of health and wellness exactly as you are at this time every year. What may have begun with a New Year’s Resolution to get off the couch will culminate at the Sun Run Finish Line 13 weeks from now – it’s fantastic! 

I’m also that gal who stood on an Olympic podium after a crazy race in the 1984 LA Olympic Games when the American favourite collided with a wee South African barefoot runner… Now flash forward to last year’s Sun Run wearing my SportMedBC coaching hat as I stood on what felt like a “podium” up high on the Cambie St. bridge, waving and cheering as thousands of people went streaming by to the finish at BC Place Stadium.  It was amazing. I saw so many Sun Run InTraining participants and felt very proud of everyone I saw.  I stood there for 4.5 hours and couldn’t leave til the last person ran by and gave me that High Five on the way.

I challenge you to think about embarking on this Sun Run InTraining journey – you can do it and it’s worth every step.  Stick to the program, SportMedBC programs created by my own Coach Doug Clement and now evolved with yours truly as your RunWalk Coach, and guaranteed you’ll find a newfound fitness from the inside-out with rewards along the way you can’t imagine right now.  Oh – you’ll find muscles you forgot about too, but they’ll eventually adjust to the training – just be patient. 

As I sip my coffee this morning with my trusty 4-legged companion at my feet, waiting for his morning shuffle, I’m reminded that as you get fitter and stronger through the program, you are going to discover the truth about walking and running:  that in fact “there is no finish line”. 

So how about deciding right now to prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run 2013?  There are a number of ways you can do that:  Visit to find a Sun Run InTraining clinic near you.  You’ll have the benefit of leaders I have trained to help guide you through the program.  Or you can sign up for the Online InTraining option, in which you’ll have me as your virtual coach.  Or you can engage me on a personal level to provide personal programming depending on what your goals might be.  I can help you with a plan to get up and off the couch, or  help you prepare for any running, walking, cycling or triathlon event you may have in mind. 

Meantime, here are a few guidelines for you with respect to the Sun Run InTraining programs:

1.  Be honest about your current fitness level.  Choose the right program for yourself. 

 Walk10K                                                                                                                               Whether you are just starting out or already an avid walker, the Walk10K program will include a comfortable progression of distances and change-of-pace sessions to gradually progress from 45 minutes of walking to completing a 10K.


Perhaps you’d like to learn to run, but either haven’t had success in the past, or just aren’t sure how to begin.  If you haven’t been running for 3 months or longer, this is the program to start with.  Using a combination of walking and running, we will slowly and comfortably progress to being able to safely WalkRun a 10K.


Perhaps you’d like to either try to run faster for yourself or even just feel more comfortable when you run.  Your pace is personal, and this program will introduce change-of-pace running with progressions in distance and intensity to help you complete your 10K more comfortably than you ever have before.  For this program you should already be running easily 3 times per week for 30 minutes at a time. If that’s not you, then choose the LearnToRun10K Program.

2.  Be patient. Most people tend to do too much too fast too soon –Remember you should always finish feeling like you could have done more.

3.  Stick to the schedule.  No more and no less.  It is a successful program.

4.  Make sure you have good supportive shoes when you start the program.  It will help your success and prevent injury.

5.  Stay at a nice easy talking pace most of the time.  If you are unable to string a few sentences together in conversation, then you are going too fast for yourself.  Slow down!

6.  It’s your arm action that sets the pace and maintains your rhythm.  Pump those arms and the legs will follow.

7.  Keep a logbook and record your successes.  It will keep you motivated.

8.  Do a dynamic warm-up to get the circulation going.

9.  Do a stretch afterwards in your cool-down.  It will help prevent injury.

10.  Invite a friend or canine creature to follow the program with you.   It will be fun to share in the experience. (plus misery loves company if that’s how you’re inclined!)

Bon Chance and contact me if you’re looking for a Personal Coach – I’d love to help you!

Lynn Kanuka

SportMedBC’s Resident Olympian and RunWalk Coach



You can find me anytime at 


About Lynn Kanuka

Olympian, Coach, StreetStrider, Corporate Challenge Coach, Event Organizer, Deep Water Runner, Motivational Speaker, Nordic Walking Coach.... My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I'll always be a runner. I love its simplicity. I'd love to help you discover how easy running can be: Walk — Jog — Run or Stride. I know you can do it.
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