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Jen Cerullo

How to Fuel Your Training Runs

By | Eastside 10k, Edmonton 10k, General, Nutrition, Racing Strategy, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Uncategorised | No Comments

By Kim Doerkson

Regardless of whether you’re training for a road or a trail race, if you’re racing for over an hour, it is worth looking into how to fuel your training runs.  It may seem counterintuitive to eat during a run, especially if one of your goals is weight loss.  When the time spent running increases, it’s beneficial to have some kind of fuel to keep energy levels up.  Think of it like driving a car: if the tank is full, there’s no risk or fear of the vehicle breaking down; on the other hand, if the gas level gets low, it could damage the engine and leave you stranded on the side of the road.  The same is true for running.

So what is the best thing to eat during a run to avoid hitting the wall / bonking?  Like anything, it’s personal, but there these are a few go-to’s for runners:

  • Gels. These are widely available at any running or outdoor sports store and are the most common sources of fuel during races.  Essentially just little packets of sugary goo, gels are an easily digestible sugar source that can also include electrolytes and / or caffeine depending on the type.  There is a large selection of flavours, and they’re conveniently pocket-sized, making them the most runner-friendly.
  • Chews / Chomps: Exactly like they sound, chews are the runner’s version of gummy candy.  Much like gels, they are made with sugar and can have electrolytes and / or caffeine to help boost your energy levels during a run.  Unlike gels, chews require a bit more work: they needed to be chewed (hence the name), and more of them need to be consumed to match the caloric intake of a gel.  Typically 4 chews are equivalent to 1 gel; this is great if you prefer to eat throughout the run, and not just in bursts like you would with gels.  Just make sure to try a number of types are some get stuck in your teeth more than others!
  • Candy: Sugar-highs in children after eating sugar is the result runners are looking for; but maybe not to the extreme of the sugar-crash and crying after.  Most people have a favourite candy, so it’s a good start to fueling during the run.  Bringing wine gums, or any gummy candy keeps blood sugars up if they start to falter, and taste good at the same time.  Their only downfall is that they’re straight-up sugar.  Chews and gels will have a mix of electrolytes in them too which helps to keep electrolyte balance in check when sweating out salts on a run.
  • Dried fruit: Simple and natural. Taking a ziplock bag of dried dates, figs, raisins etc. is a great option while out for a long run.  Natural fruit sugars are readily accepted by most stomachs as an easily digestible fuel source.
  • Energy balls: These are most common during big train runs as there is more opportunity for slower paces while trekking up hill, and typically take longer than a road run due to technical terrain and elevation changes. Easy to make at home, energy balls consist of a mixture of dried fruit, nut butters, chocolate, coconut, and various seeds.  All natural ingredients with good fats, sugars, and a little protein goes a long way when out for a long time!

For all of these options, practice goes a long way.  Don’t show up to race day and decide to take a gel or eat during the race if you haven’t practiced in training.  It takes time to get your body used to fuelling while running, so include it into your training plan.  Also be sure to research what in-race fuel is available and if it’s not what you’re used to, make sure to pack what your need before getting onto the start line.

The Importance of Running Communities

By | Community Leaders, Eastside 10k, General, Newsletter, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips, Uncategorised | No Comments

By Kara Leinweber, Ultra Runner

We are road runners, trail runners, elite and amateur runners. Some of us are 5k runners and others are  100 mile finishers. Whether you run fast or slow or in-between, we are all runners; we all chase post run glow, runners high and celebrations with new friends at the finish line. We are part of incredible run communities and crave connection with like minded individuals.

I love crushing both road and trail miles and compete in several road and ultra trail events each season. I am also the Race Director for The Lewiston Ultra (; a new event to celebrate community, connection and adventure. I am wild about run community and want to create opportunity to connect to something bigger, experience the power of community, float on gorgeous trails and take in an incredible finish line celebration. When we allow ourselves to be supported and support others, we have incredibly clear moments to push further and reach a higher level of focus in run.

Training on road and trail can be daunting and the mental toughness, commitment and accountability can be isolating. While I do complete many training runs solo in the pain cave, many of my training miles will be shared with running partners and run clubs. This has given opportunities to connect with runners that share the same pace, training ideas, gather the latest & greatest on run gear and create forever friendships. When you’re spending hours on the road or trails with a run buddy, you’re bound to chat about anything and everything. When I race ultras and run alongside a new friend for hours, we start sharing things that I wouldn’t even share with my closest of friends. You fight through the challenges together and there is nothing sweeter than rising up to be part of each other’s race success. I swear it is better than therapy. For all these reasons, I included an option in The Lewiston Ultra for relay runners to complete as many legs as they fancy with their relay team or with a soloist. I want to encourage the incredible bonds that are formed over the miles.

Stop by your local run store to connect with local run clubs and find out about race events. I have joined more run clubs that I can count and most will post the distance, route and pace prior so you know what your running into.  There are several types of run clubs: recreational, trail, triathlon, marathon, ultra marathon, track, stroller, etc. Run clubs are welcoming, encouraging to new members and ready to share stories and the runventure journey. Get out there and find your run community.



Rob Watson’s Favourite Places To Run in Vancouver

By | General, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips | No Comments

There is no denying that Vancouver is a fantastic running city. I would actually argue that it is the best running city in the world. But I don’t have a lot of time to gush about how much I love running in this fine city, so let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about some of my favourite places to put in work.

People love lists, let’s do that. I present to you Rob’s 5 favourite running spots in Vancouver.

The Top 5

Jericho/Locarno/Spanish Banks

jericho beachOut and back from Jericho to Spanish Banks has been my go to 10km route for a few years now, I have literally put over 5000km on this route, and you know what? It never gets old. On the way out you get a breathtaking view of the coastal mountains, on the way back there is a nice view of our downtown and mighty Stanley park. As a bonus, there are often bald eagles flying around out at Spanish Banks. Bald eagles are majestic as hell.

The path is flat and the trail is soft gravel. You can also easily add on loops in Jericho park or head up the hill to UBC & Pacific spirit park to make for a longer run. This is a very solid place to run.

Point Grey High School Track

west point grey trackOne thing Vancouver lacks is decent tracks. I’m not sure what the deal is there. Maybe something to with the fact that the land needed for a track would be worth like $100 million. Anyways, if you are looking for a place to put in some speed work, this is the place to do it. The track is blue, which is cool, and it has a nice soft surface. It is well lit with flood lights, super convenient for working out in the evening. Just don’t go on a Tuesday night, Tuesdays are bonkers.


University of British Columbia (UBC)

When it is time to get some serious training done for road races, I head up to UBC. The roads up there are generally quieter than the city routes, and there are many different options to make different routes. There are many different Strava segments up there you can follow along. Also, bonus points for warm-ups and cool-downs in Pacific Spirit Park. When you want to roll, head up here.

Stanley Park Trails

People tend to lose their heads over the seawall that goes around Stanley Park. I get it, but the trails within the park is where the real magic is. There are dozens of kilometres of trails in there. You can roll tempos, interval work, hill sessions or just go for an easy stroll. Whatever you are doing in there, your legs will love the soft trails, and it is easy to just shut off your brain and run while you take in the beautiful forest full of ancient cedars and massive Douglas firs.

My favourite route is to enter the park at 2nd beach and to make my way up Bridle trail to Prospect Point. Stop briefly to take in the view of the north shore mountains and Lions Gate Bridge, before making your way down Rawlings back to where you started (That is also a great loop for Boston Marathon training).

Pacific Spirit Park

One of the first times I came to Vancouver, I was visiting the family of a girl I was dating. I managed to find my way up to Pacific Spirit Park on a long run. I have no idea what that girl is doing these days, but I will always be thankful to her for allowing me the opportunity to discover this park. Just go run up there. It is unbelievable.


The Runners-Up

I feel as though I should give a couple honorable mentions that didn’t quite make the list …I guess this is technically kinda like a top 7 list then?

The Seawall

stanley park seawall Is it blasphemous that I neglected to include our most famous, and well-used route in my top 5? It is flat, scenic and super convenient, there is no denying that this is a great place to run. I do run on it a fair bit, but man does it get busy! I get frustrated weaving in and out around people, therefore it does not make the top 5.

The Arbutus Corridor

This is a new option for runners/commuters in Vancouver. It is totally a game changer a very solid North/South connector, but I have not run on it enough for it to squeak into the top 5.


Finally, always keep your personal safety in mind when hitting the trails or roads. Run with appropriate safety gear for your route, and take the necessary precautions for the area of the city you’ll be running in.

The End.