Sole Sisters Victoria Walk/Run Program Information


Mena WesthaverWelcome to Sole Sisters! You are about to embark on a journey that will take you further in your level of physical fitness, push your mental strength, and enlighten your emotional well-being. It’s all about YOU…and we look forward to cheering you on!

Relax, breathe, enjoy! 

The Program:

This program has evolved over the years with hundreds of women living the benefits of Sole Sisters. The program has many options, in fact, it has as many options as there are participants. You will see in your NEW 2017 Sole Sisters handbook many program options in ink, however, please know that adaptations will be made to increase your personal challenge or accommodate your pace if and when needed.

If at any time you are questioning if you ‘CAN’ do it, talk to a leader, talk to me, and remind yourself that there is no perfect formula to get you through the 5k, 10k, or half marathon distance. This clinic and its structure will help you complete these treks in whichever manner you have chosen keeping your safety and health first in mind. For some of you it may be walking faster than last time, some may be hoping to walk and run portions of the distance, and others may plan to run the distance with no stops along the way aiming for a personal best! Commitment, dedication, and proper care while training SMART will help YOU achieve YOUR goal! The first goal at Sole Sisters is getting each of us to the start line…after that, we always have an awesome time!



Sole Sisters Victoria Walk, Run, or Walk/Run Clinics!

NoteWant to give Sole Sisters a “try”? Please do – your first visit is always free…drop-ins are a great alternative after that if you are unable to commit to all sessions. $10/drop-in. $5 of your drop-in fee goes to support our Cub of the Clinic… a child in our community fighting a life threatening disease.  Come and enjoy the Sole Sisters inspiration…better yet, you will be part of it!


Sole Sisters 2013 Group

Sole Sister Group

What groups will be offered?

There will be as many groups as we need for the participants. The group definitions listed below are only to be used as a guide and a starting point for you. They will each naturally subdivide again and again to accommodate the many different levels that will shine through each of us.

Guidelines for the training groups:

Walkers: This group will range from first time walkers to those interested in power walking with the goal of finishing a specific distance in a faster time than the last!

Within this group we will have:

  • First Time Walkers – those that are walking for training purposes for the first time
  • Power Walkers 2 – those individuals that have walked a specific distance before and are looking at learning how to increase their pace through safe and effective power walking. This group will be designed for the more experienced walker and ‘walked’ at a faster pace.
  • Power Walkers 3 – dependant on participants, we will add groups as needed.

Pole Walkers:

The growing group of Nordic Pole walkers love the total body workout, the ease on knees, feet and hips, plus the camaraderie of walking in Quad Teams (4 pole walkers).  This year there will be Beginners, led by Master Nordic Instructor and SS leader Linda Schaumleffel, Low & Slow led by SS Leader Val, and Fast & Far led by SS Leaders Ruth and others. All groups will be building their fitness to the 10km level; some stretching to the 1/2 marathon level. Pole Walking takes a couple of sessions to learn the skill. Try NPW to see if you like it; poles supplied for first 2 lessons.  If you like pole walking purchase your own poles from SS NPW leaders for $91.


Pole Walking is a very exciting and growing timed category in the TC 10 km especially with the Quad teams included. Pole Walking is accepted in most events in BC and USA except for Royal Victoria Marathon in October. The Second Annual Fall Nordic Classic will be held on Nov 6.


NewbiesThis group will be designed for those individuals that have never run before and are looking to try out running!  We will use a method of introducing run portions combined with walk portions… over time your run portion will increase as the walk increments decrease ending the clinic with a program that has you running/walking in a 10min/1min combination to complete 10 kilometers!  Within the Newbie group we begin by dividing into two sub groups:


  • Newbie Newbies  is a group designed for individual that are new to any type of physical activity.
  • The First Timers are for individuals that are currently participating in some other type of cardio activity; for example you may cycle, play tennis, or skate.  You presently do something active on a regular basis…however you have never run before.

Rebounders  for those of you that have ‘been there done it’…and YES, you want to do it again! This group is designed for those of you who have run in the past from time to time. You do not feel like you need to start from the beginning but would prefer to begin with a run/walk combination option. Your run portions will be longer than the ‘Newbie’ group and eventually you will be straight running your entire distance. A “rebounder” is presently active in some type of cardio activity on a regular basis…however you have never run before.

Frontrunners  – this group is for those of you who have ‘been doing it, never stopped doing it, and want to do it better’. This group is designed for the runner who has been running consistently right up until this clinic start date and can run comfortably for 30-40 minutes without stopping. It doesn’t matter at what speed… it’s at YOUR comfort level. This group will work on strategies to increase overall speed, strength, and endurance with the end result of increasing your pace while running the distance.

Lastly, but never to be forgotten… the ‘DETERMINATOR‘!  Introducing the group that no one can stop! This group is determinded to ‘get across the line’ even if it means on one foot… crawling… they will never give up. Yes, ALL the groups are determined however, this group is designed to provide an option when you may be feeling challenged beyond your ‘wants’. This group is the perfect choice if you are recovering from an illness, an injury, or just wanting a change. It will always provide a challenge and the motivation to keep you going! There may be unwritten rules and formulas followed in this group, but believe me they are working! Typically this group is introduced in week 4-5… or as soon as needed!

2013 Sole Sister Leaders

Sole Sister Leaders

Guidelines for Training for the Half Marathon Distance:


  • Experienced Power Walkers progress to the half marathon distance of training once they are fully comfortable walking the 10k distance at their goal pace and time.
  • Multiple walk groups for this training distance will be included. Pace groups… you will find a great “pace” for you to fit into.


There are many “groups” of runners that will train towards the half marathon distance that fall in the category of “runners.”

  • 5′ 1′ (walk/run) – strong and steady – but YES you love this combination and want to stay hereJ.
  • 9′ 2′ (run/walk) aiming to progress to a 10’ 1’ finished result.  
  • Straight Running – focusing on speed work, drills and always thrills!

Please note:  the half marathon training program combines challenges not only in distance but in training methods.

Common questions asked about the ‘groups’:

  1. Can I switch from group to group or am I stuck in my group once I pick?  You can switch groups whenever you need to!  Please know the options are there as your body may need them.  You may be dealing with a sickness, an injury, or you may be feeling super energetic and wanting a greater push.  You are the best judge of your ability and will be encouraged to participate in the group that is best for you!  The leaders will motivate you, encourage you and help you every step of the way.
  1. I feel like I can’t keep up… should I quit?  NO… there is an option for you!  Remember the Determinators!  Read above…
  1. I am a walker?  Is that okay if I just want to walk?  Yes, absolutely!  Please note that the walking groups described above are for people that want to be ‘athletic walkers’!  YES walking is a sport, it is athletic and it is a wonderful way to be physically active! 
  1. How often do I have to do this?  You will participate every Tuesday in the group setting.  In addition to this workout you will be given 2 homework sessions to do… and yes we encourage and help to organize other ‘sister’ sessions!  It is always more fun to recreate with a friend.  For best results you will want to do these workouts in between days of rest or cross training.  For example:  Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday for our clinic is a great schedule to follow.
  1. How can I get some Sole Sister Swag to wear?  Check on line at and purchase online or visit the Sole Sisters Swag store at the clinic. 

The Weekly Class:

Each Tuesday we will come together to take some time out for ourselves.  We will begin with a breathing exercise, go over any necessary information that needs to be covered, participate in an educational component, participate in an interactive and safe warm-up, walk or run in your group of choice and end with a proper cool down and stretch.  We will also have many guest speakers that will be coming to visit our group and share their experiences, knowledge and expertise in their area of health and wellness.

Program Dates, Times & Details for Sole Sisters 2017 Winter Clinic:

All program details are above. Please note we purposely will train you to be ready for popular community events however, there is NO obligation to participate in these events and event registration is done separately. The Tuesday night clinic meets at St. Joseph’s School Gym located at 757 West Burnside Road at the corner of Burnside Road West and McKenzie Avenue and the Thursday morning clinic meets on the same grounds but in the St. Joseph Church Hall; please enter through the lower back door. Parking is free, however car pooling is greatly encouraged as space is limited! Parking is also permitted in the Spectrum School parking lot during evening sessions except on dates noted (I will tell you when those are as dates come near). You can park anywhere in the front or back parking lot at the St. Joseph’s gym. Enter the building from the front of the gymnasium – you will see the ‘sister’ signs that line the walkway.

Esquimalt 5k:

This event is held every March moving through the streets of Esquimalt. Sole Sisters makes up 1/3 of the participants…yes, here a sister, there a sister, everywhere a sister sister! A fun small town feel event where you will feel surrounded by support and even be escorted through your last 300 meters by a Sister!

What is the TC 10kEvent?

Update: Once again Sole Sisters was the largest group in the TC 10K for 2015 and 2016.

Sole Sisters 2014

TC 10K 2014

The TC 10K event is one of the largest 10k road race events in Canada.  This year it will be celebrating its 26th year of existence on Sunday, April 30th… an event that brings over 15,000 people to their feet to complete the 10k distance.  Wheelchair athletes, walkers and runners of all shapes and sizes, both professional athletes and recreational participants sweat through the excitement of the crowd, the entertainment along the way and experience the thrill of crossing the finish line.

What is the Victoria Goddess Event? Event

This awesome celebration of women in fitness has been rated in the top 10 Canadian Themed Running Events. It’s scenic routes provide a 5k, 10k, and half marathon option to participate in. Shine your inner goddess amongst hundreds of Sole Sisters that proudly participate to promote women’s wellness. Go to to register and ensure you join the Sole Sisters Victoria team! YES, we have proudly been their largest participating team every year!

Royal Victoria Marathon:



A weekend celebration of walking and running. Events include and 8k, 1/2 marathon, and full marathon. Yes, again – our team is there and present with the largest team membership!

If and when you do register for any local event… PLEASE register into the SOLE SISTERS VICTORIA Team group… Of course your ‘sister’ and even your ‘brother’ can register also… we are an inclusive group! Please note to register BEFORE the team cut off deadline otherwise you will miss being on the team… all details can be found on the specific event website.


Since 2008 over 2000 women have participated
in Sole Sisters Victoria program offerings!






Please ensure that you have read, completed and signed the PAR-Q Form (the physical activity readiness questionnaire). This form is a great way for you to ensure your body is ready to begin this exercise program and must be completed every year when participating with Sole Sisters. It is to protect your overall state of health and well being and I encourage you to read through the questions carefully now and follow up with your doctor if you have any concerns prior to the clinic start date. If you have a medical condition which requires clearance from a doctor before beginning an exercise program, please bring notification from your doctor to me before the clinic begins as you will need this to participate. All medical information will be kept confidential. If you have any medical conditions that I (or the leaders) should be aware of please bring it to my attention before the clinic start date. We want to be able to help you if necessary. Please feel comfortable to call me any time. Health and safety concerns are at the top of the list for our clinic. Thank you in advance.

Please ensure you have completed your registration form in full and return it to me with payment prior to the clinic start date.

Lastly, please don’t forget to indicate your shirt size of preference! I want everyone to feel great in their new shirt!
On the first day of class don’t leave without your ‘NEW’ Sole Sisters Handbook to be used as your personal diary of your ‘Sole Sisters’ experience. This handbook will also have the complete Sole Sisters programs within the pages. PLEASE do not read ahead into future weeks as it can really appear to be scary! Your body will adapt as we move into the program and YES you will be ready once you get there

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. Yes, our first 6 weeks will be in the dark…’ light yourself up’ so you will be seen while out on the sidewalks. We sell HEADLAMPS at the clinic. Do I need shoes? Where should you go? A proper pair of running shoes or walking shoes is imperative to a successful, safe and comfortable program. If you aren’t sure if your shoes are appropriate, go visit Rob & his team at Frontrunners and tell them you are a ‘Sole Sister’ with Mena and you will receive 10% off any shoe or clothing regular priced item. OR even better – email Rob at to book your personal shoe fitting experience! Frontrunners is now located in 3 locations in the Greater Victoria area! They are proudly sponsoring our women’s walk/run clinic!

Do I need to start working out before the clinic?

If you have not been active for some time, it is not necessary that you set out to try to run 10k before the clinic! ‘Cramming’ does not work and typically ends in injury. However, if you have been completely inactive for quite some time, this is a great time to begin going for light walks, sneak in some stretches everyday, and book a check up with your medical professional. If you have any medical concerns (such as chest pain, dizziness, respiratory concerns) please consult your family physician prior to starting the program.

Mini Soles:
Note: Only available during the Winter/Spring Clinic:

This is a service we proudly offered in the past, however, our numbers have been low in the past. If this is a service you would require to be able to participate in the clinic, please email Mena at


Thank you ~ we will take care of you from there!

Sole Sisters Hats, Vests & more!!!

Sole Sisters Hats, socks & more!!!

Drop by our store at the clinic or buy online!

Thank you for choosing to participate in this clinic.  I am here to help you as much as I can.  My goal in this clinic is to see everyone reach their personal maximum potential and cross the finish line of the distance they are training for!   I look forward to seeing you at the finish line!

Enjoy the experience of this powerful group of women… Congratulations!

Promoting fitness and fun for everyone…from “Sole to Soul”!

Mena WesthaverMena

 Mena Westhaver


with Mena Westhaver, BSc.,

Professional Skating Instructor, Skate Canada, NCCP II

Trainer of Trainers, BCRPA Fitness Level IV
‘Striding’ for Excellence since 1987

cell: 250-415-5983


FrontrunnersSupported proudly by Rob Reid  at the downtown Victoria FRONTRUNNERS location & Nick Walker at the Westshore FRONTRUNNERS location.
1400 Vancouver Street, 250-382-8181
755 Goldstream Avenue, 250-391-7373
3659 Shelbourne St Victoria, BC V8P 4H1 T 250.384.4786