Phidippides becomes Fleet Feet Sports and offers new exercise program

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Those who have made and already abandoned New Year’s fitness resolutions will find the No Boundaries run/walk program may be the least painful way to get and stay on course. Beginning February 1, with an information session on January 25, Trey Barnes, owner of Fleet Feet Sports Encino, will coach a group of beginners through a steady and structured 10-week training program that culminates in their walking or running their first 5K.

New owner,Trey Barnes and his team (with much of the same Phidippides staff, in fact) are carrying on the Hoovers’ tradition of providing products and information in a personal, approachable manner. Photos: Nancy Wong Bryan

In November, Fleet Feet Sports acquired Phidippides Encino, a Valley institution that had supplied running shoes and gear to Southern California residents for over 30 years. Owned by Charlie and Ava Hoover, Phidippides catered to runners’ specialized needs and had developed a very loyal following over the years.

Now, from the store’s location on Ventura between Hayvenhurst and Rubio, Barnes and his team (with much of the same Phidippides staff, in fact) are carrying on the Hoovers’ tradition of providing products and information in a personal, approachable manner. “When people think about the store I want them to think about community and solutions, not just shoes,” says Barnes. In addition to the No Boundaries program, the store also hosts other events, from a weekly casual morning walk around town to the monthly “Moose Run,” a 17-mile odyssey that begins at the store and ends at Venice Beach.

The No Boundaries training program, developed by New Balance and the Fleet Feet Sports home office in North Carolina, is appropriate for people of all fitness levels, meeting twice weekly for workouts and informational clinics on injury prevention, nutrition and more. Three different plans ensure that each participant starts at his or her own comfortable pace and can progressively increase workout times and distances to meet the goal in 10 weeks.

“The No Boundaries program started a couple years ago with few stores participating,” Barnes says. “Last year, between all the No Boundaries groups offered among the [Fleet Feet] franchises across the country, we introduced 20,000 new people to running and walking.” Barnes himself has coached No Boundaries at three other stores “and had an awesome time with every program,” he says.

The New Boundaries program members will work up to running a 5K — no experience necessary.

One of the benefits of completing the program (in addition to receiving a New Balance technical jacket) is getting fit with the guidance of a coach and the support of others who have similar goals. “If you’re on the fence about signing up, just watch the No Boundaries video on the website,” Barnes urges. “It’s very inspiring and shows you how anyone — no matter where you’re starting from — can live a fit and active lifestyle. This program is one of my favorite parts of owning the store.”

The No Boundaries 10-week beginners’ 5K run/walk training program is $85 (does not include race registration) and meets at Fleet Feet Sports Encino, 16545 Ventura Blvd., Encino, CA 91436. For more information, contact Trey Barnes at 818.956.8686 or email

Nancy Wong Bryan is a writer and editor who resides in Sherman Oaks with her husband and two very feisty preschoolers.

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About Karen Young

Karen Young is the founder of My Daily Find.

  • Cheryl

    I just noticed a week or so ago that Phidippides was gone – it was always my ‘go to’ place for walking shoes that would be properly fitted by knowledgable salespeople. Glad to read most of the staff is still working under the new Fleet Feet ownership. The walk/run training program sounds great – worth checking out.

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