Ask any regular member of a local health club and he or she will tell you that it's been a little crowded the past week.
The New Year's resolution fitness scene is in full swing in Charleston, and, if the calendar is any indication, will continue to be for the rest of the month.
Besides some fitness club's luring new members with free trials, by waiving initiation fees and offering extra months, the number of single day and multiweek training clinics has expanded in recent years.
Wilson Coaching's Lauren Wilson, a USA Track & Field-certified coach and winner of last year's TryCharleston Half ironman-distance triathlon and the Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon, will conduct a free running clinic at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hampton Park.
Wilson, the daughter of former hockey player and USA Olympic coach Ron Wilson, will outline the concept of "neuromuscular-based regeneration running," which is basically about developing efficiency and aerobic power through drills and intervals.
"Activities will include drills to develop better running mechanics, sample warm-up and cool-down drills, a 30-minute Interval run to improve VO2 Max ... as well as an intense PlyoSet!"
Wilson plans to have her father give a talk on athletic motivation on Feb. 1. The location will be determined soon.
Free outdoor workouts
Another free event at Hampton Park on Saturday is a weekly trainer-led group fitness program provided by Louie's Kids, a locally based nonprofit that works to fight childhood obesity.
The "Free Family Workouts" are primarily geared for children and their families in the program, but the public is welcome to join in the fun.
The workouts are led by a rotation of trainers with expertise in everything from CrossFit to boxing.
The workouts are 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays at McMahon Playground in Hampton Park, 9-10:30 a.m. Saturdays next to the pond in Hampton Park, and 9-10:30 a.m. Saturdays at The Cathedral of Praise in North Charleston.
The Summerville Family YMCA will hold a "Fun, Fitness and Free!" event on Saturday at its facilities in downtown Summerville and The Ponds subdivision. The Y will waive "joining fees" for new members, representing a savings of $40-$85.
Also, for those who missed the kickoff of the 10-week "Y in Training" this week. It's not too late. The training program is designed to prepare locals to run or walk the Y's Shamrock Shuffle, formerly known as the Flowertown Festival Run. The 10K and 5K will be March 15.
The cost is $65 for Y members and $90 for nonmembers.
Bridge run clinics
The "official" Cooper River Bridge Run Training Clinics start next week and go for 12 weeks. The Bridge Run will be April 5.
One clinic coached by long-time runner and coach Howie Schomer will be at 6 p.m. Tuesdays at the Medical University of South Carolina Wellness Center. The other will be coached by personal trainer Katie Blaylock at 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Mount Pleasant Municipal Complex track.
The cost is $75.
Fleet Feet Mount Pleasant will hold clinics to prepare people to run or walk the Bridge Run.
On Jan. 28, the 10-week Bridge Run clinic will start. It meets at 6 p.m. Tuesdays and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays. The clinic is designed for those who are tackling the distance for the first time as well as those looking to improve their time. Cost is $60.
On Jan. 29, Fleet Feet starts its Walk FIT Bridge Run program. It is also a 10-week program that meets at the store at 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. Wednesdays and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays. Cost is $60.
Further on the horizon, Fleet Feet will kick off a half-marathon training group beginning Feb. 4 and another session of No Boundaries, which prepares basically sedentary people to run or walk a 5K, starting March 5.
Run/Walk to a 10K
Another alternative is the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission's eight-week "Run/Walk Your Way to a 10K" starts Jan. 27.
Two different clinics will be held. One will be conducted by Tyler Cross, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Mondays and Wednesdays at James Island County Park. The other will be run by Larsyn Runion, 5:45-6:45 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at Palmetto Islands County Park.
Cost is $60 for county residents and $75 for non-residents.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.