Local Fleet Feet Sports Opens Registration for Training
By Colette Linton
SARATOGA SPRINGS— For some people who never thought they could run before or needed an extra push to get out the have found that facing the challenge with a team and skilled coaching staff, they can go much further than they had ever thought they could.
Six years after the Fleet Feet Sports Store of Albany, and at their Malta location as of November, started its “No Boundaries” walk/run 5K training program, dozens have crossed the finish line of their first event, and more to come.
Nancy Radigan was among that first group to do so. She and her husband, Kevin Radigan, have been with the program since its inception. Nancy was a swimmer in high school and college but didn’t think about getting into running until having watched her husband and son complete races together.
“I was just like ‘wow’ that’s so cool, and I wanted to do it, but I needed a lot of help,” Nancy said.
She admits it wasn’t easy to cover the distance at each practice, but the motivation and encouragement from the coaches and the running group, which is both diverse in age and running experience – if not complete beginners, kept her moving toward her goal and eventually finishing races with her husband and son.
“For me, even though I've run these six years, it's still very hard for me,” she said. “It truly makes a difference, them (coaches and fellow runners) being there. The motivation and the encouragement is just… I cannot say enough.”
“It brings tears to my eyes to look at people we've seen,” she added. “They've (Fleet Feet) had people who have not run a step and for them to finish a 5K,” she shakes her head recalling the experience that she said was inspiring. “And it doesn't matter what group they're in: at the race, everybody is at the finish line cheering.”
No Boundaries is now one of four programs - Walk Fit, No Boundaries, No Boundaries II, Faster Farther 5K (3.1 miles)/10K (6.2 miles)/15K (9.3 miles) and Half (13 miles) & Full Marathon (26.2 miles), in which training lasts 10-12 weeks ahead of area races.
Lessons that focus on the basics of posture, reach, cadence, breathing and team support, Fleet Feet Sports Owner Charlie Woodruff said that during the first year of the No Boundaries program, 23 of 37 completed the program. However, since 2009, the number of individuals who start and finish the programs has been over 90 percent, exclusive of injuries.
“People come back, time after time after time,” Woodruff said. “People pick up a program, they ramp up a program, and they do more than they ever dreamed they would be doing.”
Woodruff said that when he had opened the stores in the area, one thing that he didn't anticipate, which has now become enormous, is the culture of the community that is created in the running programs.
“I routinely hear at our wrap up meetings: ‘I went to a meeting, and I didn't know anybody. I went to a couple of workouts, and these people became my running buddies and now they're my friends.’ So the community part of this is unbelievable,” he said.
Individuals submit a medical waiver in order to participate in any of Fleet Feet Sport’s tiered programs for walkers, beginning runners, intermediate and advanced runners and a 12-week program cost $125, which includes educational clinics, training plan, entry fee into the designated goal race and continued education.
For dates and times of information sessions prior to registration about training options, can contact Fleet Feet Adirondack at 518-400-1213.