Brainsport launches free virtual run clinic

With spring races and group runs cancelled it can be tough to stay motivated to keep running. That’s why Brainsport has launched its first virtual run clinic.

Mike McDonald

Anyone can sign up for free by joining the Brainsport Virtual Run Clinic Facebook group. Coach Mike McDonald will guide members through a 13-week half marathon clinic with the goal of having everyone run a half marathon distance on July 11. The July 11 run may be an individual time trial or — if COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted — may be a fun group event.

The clinic kicked off Monday (April 13), but runners are invited to join anytime.

McDonald spoke with the Brainsport blog and Brainsport Times about the clinic.

Brainsport Times: What is a virtual run clinic?

Mike McDonald: It’s going to be an online platform that’s going to train people up for a half marathon on the July 11 weekend. It’s going to provide a schedule and I’ll provide tips along the way. It’s a way for people to build a community with each other.

BT: Why is it important to be offering a clinic like this in the present circumstances?

MM: Even though this is a really difficult and trying time, we can still make positive memories and still have goals and still work to achieve those goals. And I think that by having a 13-week plan, you’re able to motivate yourself to keep going.

BT: What sorts of runners are you hoping will take part in the clinic?

MM: I think it’s going to be a pretty good mixture of people. We’ll have some who have never had the time before to train for a half marathon and some people who are feeling unmotivated because they were training for the Saskatchewan Marathon (that was supposed to take place May 31, but was cancelled). This will give them something to motivate them.

BT: What is the benefit of being part of this group instead of following an online training plan?

MM: People can, in some ways, be held accountable by the group because people will be sharing their victories and stories along the way and things that are motivating them. So by being part of that type of group, it just brings that camaraderie together. Having a group of like-minded people who are wanting to do a goal, you won’t want to get left behind so you’ll get off the couch and do the workouts.

BT: What else do you want people to know about the group?

MM: It’s all about pushing yourself. Don’t feel like this is something where people are going to be sharing times, that is going to have that competitive nature. We want people to be able to push themselves in ways that they may never have been able to do before.

Although this is a group and we are training for something, if you have to take a week off, you can always run a half marathon a week later. Look after your body, look after your mind and make sure that, although we are training together, if you do miss a couple days, it’s not the be all, end all.

We also want to make sure that people understand that even though this is a group online, that social distancing is very important, you want to make sure you keep two meters distance from others. But you can still do a lot of fun things even though that is in play. We want people to be able to create those positive memories, have fun and really reach that goal on July 11 feeling great.

For more about the clinic and to sign up, go online.

Though Brainsport’s storefront is closed, the store is still offering online, pickup and delivery services. Visit our e-commerce site or send us an email at or give us a call at 306-244-0955 to place an order for pickup or delivery.