Feature Friday – Vancouver Food Bank

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An Important Member of the Food Bank Family

It’s 5:30 a.m. Every Tuesday morning, Kat Perrara hops out of bed eager to see her friends at the Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s Southside Depot.

Kat makes the long commute from Surrey to Burnaby.

It’s 7:30 a.m. when she reaches her destination which is already buzzing as the Food Bank truck works with volunteers to unload food from the main warehouse.

As Kat walks into Southside Community Church, she is greeted with a hot cup of coffee and a sandwich. Chatter fills the room as volunteers catch up on what has happened in since they saw each other last.

The volunteers work together to unload the truck and set up their stations.

When 9:30 flashes, Kat is waiting at the greeting table where she welcomes and scans in Food Bank members.

It was only four years ago that Kat stood on the other side of the greeting table — as a member of the Food Bank.

She would stay for hours talking and laughing with the other volunteers and even helping out where she could. They told Kat she should become a volunteer, and without hesitation she did. In return, she gained another family.

“We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together. We get together when someone in the group has lost someone, and we collect donations amongst the volunteers if someone is going through a rough time,” Kat says. “We really take care of each other.”

The clock strikes 11, and the last of the members come in. The volunteers at Southside begin to clean up and prepare lunch. As the doors finally close, and clean-up is finished, the volunteers gather for a quick bite before they head out.

Kat is one of hundreds of volunteers who have found a family through her volunteering experience with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. To find out more about volunteering opportunities with us, please visit:


Running cool in hot weather

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When summer hits, it’s important to take the heat into consideration when you’re planning your weekly runs/workouts.  Fortunately the days are long so there are lots of options for putting the work in without suffering from the summer sun.  Here are a few things to consider before heading out for your run:

Be timely:

The coolest temperatures are in the morning and evening when the sun isn’t high in the sky.  The UV ray intensity is lower, and if you go in the morning there’s usually less people to dodge and it’ll boost your energy for the day!  Depending on whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, find a time that works best for you.

Keep hydrated:

No matter what time of day you run at, be sure to hydrate before, during and after your run.  Warmer temperatures require you to up your overall fluid intakes to keep your perspiration systems and temperature regulation in top form.  Depending on your individual sweat rate, and how salty your sweat is will change what your replenishing needs are.  Water may not be enough, so consider a sports drink or electrolyte supplement too.  If you’re heading out for a long run, plan your route so there are water fountains or convenience stores where you quench your thirst throughout the run.

Protect your skin:

Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin damage, and can potentially lead to skin cancer especially in prolonged sun exposure.  Slather on the sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher with both UVA and UBV protection to prevent sun burns, protect your skin, and keep your skin/body temperature lower.  Your skin will thank you now and in the future!

Run cool:

Everyone has a go-to running route depending on their preference of terrain and scenery.  If possible, when the weather heats up choose a loop that either runs past water, or through the forest.  Bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and oceans tend to have breezier conditions that provide a slightly cooler environment.  Sticking to the trails will not only provide extra shade from the tree cover, but the softer surface won’t retain or radiate heat as much as asphalt does.

Dress appropriately:

Running is a perfect time to break out the bright and light colours that most people’s everyday neutral wardrobes don’t have.  Wearing dark colours or cottons is a sure-fire way to put yourself at risk of overheating; the dark colour absorb/attract the heat and cotton doesn’t have the best breathability.  Instead, opt for light-coloured and loose fitting attire that reflects the sun’s rays away and allows the breeze to get through.  Most athletic wear is now made of moisture-wicking synthetic fabric which helps to cool the body down, rather than the original cotton-tees that soak moisture up instead of wicking it away.

Always accessorize:

When fighting the heat don’t forget the value of a hat and sunglasses.  Choose a hat with breathable mesh so that the heat loss from your head isn’t trapped in the cap, and protects your scalp from the sun’s rays.  When grabbing sunglasses, don’t choose a trendy pair that don’t have proper UV protection.  Make sure that the lens have both UVA and UVB protection to shield your eyes from harmful light.

Adjust expectations:

Before you acclimatize to the heat, adjust your training and paces to accommodate for the increased energy expenditure that running in the heat brings.  It takes time to adjust to hot weather, so give yourself a couple of weeks to let you body adapt to the heat, especially if it hasn’t been given the gradual seasonal progression.  Begin by doing easy runs a few times a week, then slowly build in workouts and remember to slow the pace down and run by feel.  If you’re consistently running a minute slower per mile than normal but the effort is still there, understand that as long as the effort is there, the results will come!

England’s Top Marathoners to Challenge Canadians at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By: Paul Gains

Using the 2017 London Marathon as its selection event, England Athletics has chosen six athletes to represent the country at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, October 22nd.

The special relationship between the sports’ governing body and this IAAF Gold Label race has existed for more than a decade.

“It is very important to us,” says Charlotte Fisher, Road Racing Coordinator for the national federation. “We are trying to provide a proper international quality opportunity for our elite road runners and we are trying to link to our own England national championship so there is an incentive there for athletes who perform well at our national championships.

“It is an important stepping stone for our elite athletes of the future. For somebody like Anna Boniface or Tish Jones, it provides them an experience of competing abroad and all that goes with that, the travel, and preparing yourself for a proper championships with a view to hopefully seeing them on England and GB international teams in major championships in the future.”

The fact that Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront is an IAAF Gold Label race is heavily promoted amongst English international athletes. The team are treated as elite athletes and as such are entitled to their own specific fuel positions on the elite tables during the race. They also eat their meals with the large contingent of international stars at the race hotel.

“Some of the athletes that go hone that experience of being on the elite start line, dealing with water stations and the fact that it has that status definitely is a factor,” Fisher continues. “I think just that whole thing with dealing with traveling to the other side of the world and with a view of preparing people for future championships is important.”

Anna Boniface. Photo credit: Marathon Foto.

Named to the team bound for Toronto are Anna Boniface, Tish Jones, Jonathan Poole, Lee Grantham, Ben Johnson and Keith Gerrard. The latter, who represented the Isle of Man at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, is one to keep an eye on. He hasn’t really begun to explore his marathon potential having run the half marathon in 63:39. At present he is preparing for Toronto from his training base in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Tracy Barlow is an example of how the relationship with Toronto has benefited English athletes. Two years ago she ran 2:38:49 in Toronto as part of the England team, a 13-minute personal best. Earlier this year she was picked to represent Great Britain at the 2017 World Championships after improving to 2:30:42 at London Marathon in April.

Boniface, who is fairly new to the marathon, knocked almost nine minutes off her personal best at London with a time of 2:37:07. The Reading Athletics Club athlete has the benefit of being able to ‘gather intelligence’ from her personal coach Rob McKim who was England team coach last year in Toronto.

“I am still quite young for a marathoner. I am 26 I have only done two marathons,” she admits.  “The big things I am still learning are the feeding strategy, and also the pacing strategy. I went into London with more of a kind of a racing target and thinking about my splits. I was just there to race it. It was more of a risky strategy.

“So, for Toronto, I might have to think differently about how I target it. Because I am in the elite field – one of the first times I have done that – I will be thinking about drink stations rather than having to load myself down carrying the gels and things. You actually get to have designated athlete drink stations to work off, so I am going to be looking at changes in my training.”

Tish Jones. Photo credit: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images.

Possibly the most anticipated performance is expected to come from Tish Jones who ran 2:36:13 in her debut to win the Cape Town Marathon last September. Then, in her second marathon this Spring, she ran 2:33:56 in London. A member of Belgrave Harriers she has traveled the African continent in recent years before settling in South Africa.

“It was a delight to be selected to represent England at such an established event,” she said recently. “My goal would be to run under 2:35 if I am in good form. The experience of participating means a huge deal to me. I love to travel and I love to run. To visit this part of Canada and to race will be an amazing achievement for me.”

Jones will be easily identified: she bears a tattoo down her right forearm with the words ‘to travel around the world’ written in the language of all the countries she has visited.

Although there will be the usual contingent of East African stars lining up in Toronto the England team will more likely be competitive with the next generation of Canadian marathoners during the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront marathon.

At this point Canadian women will include the previously announced 2016 Canadian Olympian Krista DuChene, debutant Lyndsey Tessier, who recently won the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon, Melanie Myrand and Arianne Raby. The latter ran 1:15:56 to place third at the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal this year.

Leading Canadian men include Speed River Track Club’s upcoming duo Rob Winslow (2:19:00 at the 2015 Rotterdam Marathon) and John Mason whose personal best is ‘only’ 2:22:35 but who recently ran an encouraging personal best of 67:41 at the Banque Scotia 21k de Montreal.  Fellow Speed River athlete Trevor Hofbauer has a personal best of 64:30 for the half marathon and will make his much awaited 42km debut after representing Canada in the IAAF World Cross-Country in Kampala, Uganda in March.

While the battle for prize money will invariably be sorted between the East African stars at the front, this England – Canada confrontation represents a splendid sub plot.

For more information & entry to this year’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half & 5K www.STWM.ca



The do’s and don’ts of training while injured

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Runner’s are notorious for training through injury.  No matter how much this may be revered, doing this can do more damage than good.  The “no pain, no gain” mentality is a mindset many athlete’s have, but is a detrimental one.  There are times that training through discomfort is okay, like dealing with delayed onset muscle soreness from a previous workout. However, when the discomfort is actually painful, it’s worth second guessing your decision to train.  Many injuries start with a little niggle that gets pushed aside and trained through.  By not giving it a chance to heal, that niggle can escalate into pain, and then into a full-blown injury.

This is where listening to your body, and seeking professional helps comes in.  Getting injured doesn’t mean you’re sidelined from everything as there are many other cross-training activities that can help to maintain fitness.  Learning to train around an injury will not only help you to recover faster, it’ll keep your mind at ease.

See a doctor or sport-related practitioner to diagnose the problem, and use your own common sense and grit to keep training sensibly.  These are some of the most common mistakes of training with an injury, and how to avoid it from happening to you:

MISTAKE: “No pain, no gain.”
FIX: Listen to your body.

Our bodies are incredibly resilient and are able to downplay a lot of things.  We have nerve endings in our body that sense pain called nociceptors.  Depending on the area of the body that’s affected, pain that may feel intense in one area, may feel minimal somewhere else.  However, when any kind of pain is felt, it usually hurts for a reason and is a good indication that something is wrong.  The “no pain, no gain” mentality is a recipe for disaster.  When people push through these signals and continue doing the activity that causes pain, it’s not surprising that damage occurs.
So instead of trying to act like a hero, take time off from the painful activity.  This will allow any damage to remain minimal and heal more efficiently.  If the pain is significant or doesn’t improve after a few days of rest, consult a doctor or physiotherapist to assess the injury and determine the root cause.

MISTAKE: Consulting Dr. Google.
FIX: Consult a human professional.

Having the world’s knowledge at our fingertips can be a dangerous resource when trying to diagnose an injury.  What may be the signs and symptoms of a minor muscle strain, could look like the tell-tale signs of some rare incurable disease.  Unless you personally have a background in human anatomy and sports injuries, it’s best to leave the diagnosing up to the professionals.

Seek out a doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, or RMT who has experience with athletes and will understand your desire to get back to training as soon as possible.  Not only will they help to identify the problem, they’ll give a reasonable timeline, and be more understanding in their return to health plan.  Incorporating cross-training alternatives and maintenance exercises to prevent the injury from happening again, sport-specific practitioners will have you back in the game in a timely fashion.

MISTAKE: Thinking absolute rest is the answer.
FIX: Cross-train.

It’s normal to think that resting an injury is going to help it heal faster.  The issue is when people rest completely, and cease any and all activity.  Unless you’ve been told by a practitioner to do nothing, there will be other activities that won’t cause any pain or do further damage. Exercise, in any shape or form, helps your body recover.  People’s cardiovascular health, metabolism and immune system are all influenced by exercise in a positive way.
So instead of becoming a couch potato when you’re injured, try different cross-training activities and use your extra time to do tedious physio exercises that will stave off any other injuries.  Modify workouts but adjusting the intensity, only working non-injured muscles, and avoid anything that causes pain.  You’ll be able to maintain fitness, gain overall strength, and keep sane during a time where you’re unable to run.

MISTAKE: Starting where you left off.
FIX: Ease back into it.

Being injured is bad enough, but it’s even harder when you’re allowed to run again but have restrictions on what you can do.  Trying to jump right back into training at the level you were at pre-injury, can set you back again.  While that fitness level might be the most fresh in your mind, it doesn’t mean your body is ready to do it.  Start back slowly and conservatively.  Avoid speedwork and hills for the first stage of recovery; don’t run on back-to-back days until you can run and have no pain before, during, or after; and increase your mileage by 10% per week.  Keeping these guidelines in mind will lessen the chance of reinjury.

Don’t give up! An injury is annoying and frustrating to deal with, but it doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to run again.  Seek out help, be patient, and rekindle your love for other activities; it’ll make the recovery time go by much faster!

Krista DuChene

One Last Push: Krista DuChene

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By: Paul Gains

Athletes aren’t always the best judge of when it’s time to retire but 2016 Canadian Olympian Krista DuChene has no false illusions.
Seven months past her 40th birthday the second fastest female Canadian marathoner of all time acknowledges she is ‘plateauing’ and with that in mind is pouring all her efforts into one last sublime performance at the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. The race, set for October 22nd, has once again earned an IAAF Gold Label.

“This is probably my last attempt at a PB (personal best),” DuChene declares. “I feel like this is where I am giving 100% one last time. And, I am not saying I am retiring or giving up on a chance to make a world championship team, but this is where I am going to give everything to run as fast as I can and then just take it from there.”

Four years ago she recorded her personal best time of 2:28:32 in Toronto, four seconds faster than Sylvia Ruegger’s Canadian Record but was beaten to the line by Lanni Marchant (2:28:00). Given her declared intent to chase her personal best the Canadian record would be a suitable target, one would think. DuChene, articulate as ever, declines the bait.

“When I am asked that it comes down to ‘do you want to beat Lanni?’ And no I don’t want to just go out there and beat Lanni,” DuChene clarifies. “She’s a phenomenal runner and well deserving of that record. I want to run as fast as Krista DuChene can run.”

Following the Rio Olympics, where she finished 35th in 2:35:29, DuChene turned to Dave Scott-Thomas for coaching after a long and successful relationship with Rick Mannen. Though she is clearly grateful for Mannen’s commitment she says she felt she needed to grow and try a new approach. Scott-Thomas had seven athletes on the 2016 Olympic team including marathoners Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet.

Over the winter DuChene traveled to Kenya for her first ever experience with high altitude training, running as much as 190 kilometres a week. She expected that the tremendous work would bear fruit at the London Marathon in April. But, for the first time in her career, she fell victim to gastrointestinal problems during the race and faded to 2:43:31.

“Reid (Coolsaet) said it’s almost like I have taken two steps forward and one back,” DuChene recounts. “The one step back was my performance in London. I think that is true. I believe I have grown so much even as an experienced marathoner at the age of 40 I can apply that again and there are still benefits I can gain from that experience.”

One thing she learned is how much she enjoys running in Toronto which is only an hour’s drive from her Brantford, Ontario home.

“I must say I am excited to run Toronto because, when I was in London, even though it’s such a prestigious race with such an amazing elite field, I was lacking that healthy pressure I get in Toronto,” she explains.

“When I was there I was no one. It’s not that I needed to be going to the race expo and being busy with all that stuff, but it was so relaxed. It was too relaxed. There was no element of accountability with the home town crowd or knowing that I would have family at the finish line that I could hug when I finished, or, seeing people along the route cheering for me and just giving me that extra push.

“You don’t get that anywhere in the world other than in Toronto for me. That’s why I am returning to do this race again. I could pick any race in the world to do and this is the one I choose.”

Under her new program DuChene is covering more mileage than ever. On her summer schedule she rises at 5am so she can run and then be ready to spend the day with her three children who are on summer break. Afternoons may be spent at her sister-in-law’s pool down the road. Occasionally she drives to Guelph for key workouts with Scott-Thomas.

As her children grow up she realizes she has been sacrificing home life to get the most out of her running career. Now as they are 11, 9 and 6 years of age she embraces the change to come.

“One thing that makes me feel this is my last attempt at running my fastest I want to save some energy. I want to be able to ski with my kids and not worry about injury,” she reveals. “I want to be able to go for ice cream when they are going for ice cream, Those are some of the things I don’t want to look back on and say ‘I wish I had spent more time with my kids.’

“When I went to Kenya, Johnathan took the kids out to Calgary to ski.  And there was this little video clip of the kids coming down. It was the sweetest thing. One of my kids said ‘it would be so much fun if mum was here.’ It didn’t upset me; it kind of resonated with me. I don’t want to look back and wish I had taken a bit more of physical risk with my kids. That is something I have definitely had to sacrifice. I want to have more energy to give them.”

DuChene will make those sacrifices one last time and hope that her health and the racing conditions in Toronto are optimal so she can run faster than ever. It’s her fifteenth marathon in fifteen years. It could be a one heck of a climax to an Olympian career.

To join Krista on the start line, or get more information on Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon see STWM.ca


About Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 7-race Canada Running Series. In 2016 it attracted 26,000 participants from 70 countries, raised $3.24 million for 182 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast was watched by more than 72,000 viewers from 129 countries. STWM.ca

#UAeastside10k Training Program

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With the Under Armour Eastside 10k fast approaching, our friends at MapMyRun have put together a well-structured training plan to set you up for success. There are four parts to the program: Strength; Movement and Mobility; Running and Endurance; and Recovery. Here’s how it works:

The Strength program is designed to meet the demands of a runner looking for a more competitive edge. It isn’t designed to build muscle, but rather enhance your stability and mobility to runstronger.

Movement & Mobility
This routine will prepare your body for running by increasing mobility at the ankles, hips and T-spine. It will also activate your body for the twice weekly Strength sessions.

The Running & Endurance program is built for beginner- and intermediate-level runners. You will be introduced to tempo running, fast hill repeats and long slow runs, and you’ll develop the discipline for recovery runs.

This routine is based on Under Armour’s belief that today’s recovery is tomorrow’s training. It is essential to attempt to restore movement quality after a run and the program is designed to hit the areas of the body that need the most attention.

All you need is eight weeks, a foam roller, and a firm commitment to get fast, strong and ready for race day. Are you ready? Read on for more details and download the official Under Armour 10k training plan here!

Get fast, strong and ready to toe the line come Race Day!

Whether you’re running your first 10K or your 100th, having a well-structured prepared training plan is your best bet to set you up for a successful race day. From mobility and endurance to strength and recovery, this plan provides everything you need to have your best race yet—and maybe even snag yourself a PR along the way.

Are you ready?




Recovery Routine

Recovery Grid

Exercises to Improve Hip Stability in Runners

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The Centre for Sport and Recreation Medicine has been a proud medical sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon for 15 years. We’ve had the privilege of helping many runners make it to the start line and watch thousands of runners cross the finish line every year. New this year, we’re partnering with Canada Running Series to provide a monthly blog to support runners preparing for the race. Whether this is your first 5K or your 50th marathon, we wish you well in reaching your goal!

By: Darryl Reid, MScPT 

What this Physiotherapist learned about hip strength from looking at his own race photos. 

After finishing a sprint triathlon 5 years ago, I was surprised by what I saw in a race photo taken of me during the final kilometre of the run.  In the photo, you could see I was weight bearing on my right leg during the mid-stance of my stride.  My left hip was dropped compared to my right, and my knee looked like it was caving in towards the mid-line of my body.

Not only did this explain why I was having some hip pain after the event, it also demonstrated to me that the endurance of my lateral hip stabilizers was not up to par.

As running is really just alternate single leg stance, it is very important for runners to have good strength and great endurance of the lateral muscles that stabilize the hip.

A lot of runners that I see feel that they don’t need to perform any lower body strengthening exercises because “I run, my legs are strong.”  This is typically true; runners usually have excellent strength in the muscles groups that help propel them in a forward direction while running.  But what we as Physiotherapists commonly see is a relative weakness in the lateral stabilizers of the hip musculature of runners, especially those rehabbing from an injury.

When I speak about the lateral or outside muscles of the hip, what I’m referring to is the hip abductors, more specifically the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.  These muscles help to stabilize the lower limb while standing on one leg and prevent the large bone of your leg, the femur, from rotating inwards which can cause a poor force on the knee.

The following is a progression of exercises to target the hip abductors.  The first exercise in this serious was presented in our last blog by my colleague Alison Pinto.

As always, the following exercises are not for everyone, if you experience pain with any of these do not perform them.  If new to exercise please consult a healthcare provider for proper guidance.

Clamshell: Keep your back still, you should feel the muscles in the back of the hip working as bring the top knee away from the bottom 3 sets of 10 reps on left and right 3 times a week.

Bridge with alternate leg extension: Lift your tailbone off the ground to the bridge position.  Do not extend through the lower back as you bridge.  Once in the bridge position, extend the right leg, make sure to keep your pelvis level (as if you are balancing a tray on your belt line) as the leg is extended.  Bring the right leg down and perform the same extension with the left side.  That is one rep.  Lower back down to the start position with the back flat on the ground 3 sets of 8 reps 3 times a week.

Side stepping with resistance band: Place a resistance band around your legs just above your knees. Slightly bend your hips and knees into an athletic ready posture.  Slowly and with control step out with one leg to the side.  Bring the opposite leg in the same direction to get back into the athletic posture.  You should feel the muscles working in the outside of your hip.  Take 5 steps to the left and 5 to the right, that is one set.  Perform 4 sets.

Single leg ¼ squat on chair:  Start with one leg forward in a lunge position and the opposite rested on a chair.  The front knee should be in line with the mid aspect of the same foot.  Keep tall through you spine and try to keep your pelvis level. Perform a ¼ squat on the leg that is forward.  Try to keep you knee in line with your hip as well.   The knee should not travel over the toes.   You should feel the muscles in the outside part of the hip on the leg that is forward.   Perform 3 sets of 6 reps on each leg.

Signs you’re ready to move up to the marathon distance

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Moving up in race distance can be daunting.  Everything is new: distance, fueling, recovery and many other aspects of preparation.  Moving up to the marathon distance is no exception.  It’s the “big kahuna” of the road racing world, and has a prestige that other distances lack.  This is not to disregard the effort of racing anything from a 5k to a half-marathon.  The marathon distance is the one held in the highest regard, primarily due to the amount of training and commitment required to accomplish such a feat.  So, what do you have to consider before moving up to the marathon?

Consistency is key

Before jumping into a build, consistent training is important to avoid injury and build slowly.  If you’re running three times per week, it’s easier to add mileage to those runs, or add an additional day or two of running per week.  By training 3-4 times a week and building up your weekly distance gradually, your success rate will be much greater than if you were to attempt a couple of crazy long runs.  Aim for a 10% increase in weekly mileage to avoid getting injured or burnt out. A marathon build is as much mental as it is physical.

Solid base of fitness

Not only is consistency key in a marathon build, it’s much easier to train for a marathon if you have a base of fitness to start with.  Before deciding to run a marathon, it’s a good idea to either run a half marathon, or have a base of running a few times a week for a couple months already.  This is to ensure that your body is able to withstand the training, and be ready to take on the marathon.

Have a plan

Training for a marathon requires planning and a strategic training schedule.  If your friends or training partners have run a marathon before, they will be great sources of knowledge, but their training may not work well for you.  Know your strengths and weaknesses, and look into getting a coach or a training plan to guide you on your marathon journey.  A schedule will reduce the chances of training too hard and will ensure that you are recovering between sessions.  Remember, you are training smarter, not harder.

The timing is right

Unlike the shorter distances, the training required for a marathon takes up a lot of time.  Plan for this when choosing what time of year you want to tackle the distance.  If you know that work is really busy, or your kids have lots of activities in the spring, opt for a fall marathon.  Understand the time commitment, the potential social life sacrifices, and the costs of higher registration fees and grocery bills!  More importantly, have an idea about how you will schedule in extra recovery time, any maintenance appointments with physio or massage, and maintain a work/life/family balance.

Strive for a new challenge

If you have raced shorter distances and accomplished your goals, it may be time to set your sights on new heights.  If training for anything from a 5k to a half-marathon feels like it’s becoming stale, or repetitive, challenge yourself to take a leap of faith towards the marathon.  Running anywhere from three to six hours requires a lot from your body. It’s a physical challenge, as well as a test of mental toughness.

Training for a marathon can seem daunting initially, but keep in mind that any new distance will feel like a big challenge at the start.  It’s an incredibly satisfying process to see just how far you can push your body and have it respond positively by getting stronger and fitter.  The marathon is a personal journey so enjoy the challenge that it brings.

Trio of Guinness World Records Title Seekers to Run Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

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By Paul Gains

In addition to the formidable cache of elite runners from around the world, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, each year, attracts thousands running for charities and many more simply committed to the challenge of completing the distance faster than ever.

Then there are those hearty souls seeking a Guinness World Records title.

Michal Kapral set a world ‘joggling’ – juggling balls while running – marathon record ten years ago in Toronto when he completed the distance in 2 hours 50 minutes and 12 seconds. That was with three balls.

Owner of three Guinness World Records currently, Fastest 10km joggling with three objects (male) 36:27, Fastest half marathon joggling with three objects (male) 1:20:40, and Fastest marathon joggling with three objects (male) 2:50:12, on October 22nd, 2017 he will attempt to set the record for Fastest marathon joggling with five objects (male).

“I have upped the ante big time with this attempt to do five ball,” Kapral says laughing. “There is no current Guinness World Records title.

“As far as I know there is only one other person who has done a marathon while joggling five. That was back in 1993 a guy named Billy Dillon who was a kind of a five ball juggling pioneer He ran the New York Marathon in 7 hours 7 minutes. And he was a very fast runner. So you can see just how much harder it is to joggle with five.”

It has taken Kapral, who points to a personal best marathon of 2:30:40, almost six months to learn the pattern of juggling with five balls. He practices each lunch hour at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium, much to the amusement of the university football team, which also trains around that time. Learning how far ahead he must toss each ball to catch and transfer between hands has proven much more challenging.

“With the five balls I have discovered there is no such thing as an easy pace,” he explains. “Immediately my heart rate shoots up. It is really, really tiring. It is also addictive. It’s super fun when you have three balls in the air. It is a ton of fun but definitely this is going to be by far the hardest record I have tried.”

Kapral will be accompanied by his joggling rival Zach Warren during the Toronto race who will act as spotter so that he doesn’t interfere with other runners. As a precaution Kapral usually runs on the opposite side of the road to others. He has chosen to fundraise for Sick Kids Foundation, an official charity of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

A year ago Daniel Janetos ran Toronto wearing a chef’s costume the entire distance. He recorded a time of 3:56:21 to earn the Guinness World Records title of Fastest marathon dressed as a chef. This year Janetos, who owns the annual Mac and Cheese Festival at Ontario Place, intends to chase the record for the Fastest half marathon achieved in a chef’s costume.

“It’s a little bit goofy, I get it,” he declares. “Really the number one thing is to raise money for charity. It’s the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Foundation.

“These guys have been a grassroots agency for 25 years and with my help were able to formalize into a foundation. We were able to get some funding for them. My running helps them to take care of animals.”

Janetos is aiming to run 1 hour 45 minutes for the 21km race to claim the record title. That’s a tall order when his personal best for the distance is roughly that. Add such ingredients as a 9 pound pot and chef’s clothes and it’s certainly not as easy as someone might think. He trains as part of a group called Food Runners which aims to improve the health and fitness levels of people in the food industry.

“I try to make sure I am out at least three hours a week in the early stages. Then I follow a more rigorous program that our coach puts together for us,” he explains.

“I do train with my girlfriend Kate Boyle, She usually stops running with me when I put on my chef uniform. She is a little more low key. As soon as I put the chef’s hat on she is out.”

Running in a chef’s uniform is mind boggling. How about running 42.2km wearing a lumberjack costume complete with heavy boots? That’s what Dan Grant will attempt to do. The Torontonian has applied to attempt the Guinness World Records title of Fastest marathon dressed as a lumberjack (male) and has agreed to the costume they have assigned: a plaid/flannel short sleeved shirt, suspenders, denim pants, a stocking cap or beanie, lace up outdoor boots and an inflatable axe.

“I’ve run three marathons in the past couple years,” Grant reveals, “as well as a 60k run to Hamilton last month, so the distance doesn’t scare me. I am little worried about how much it’s going to slow and weigh me down if it rains during the STWM.”

At the Toronto Waterfront 10k on June 17th Grant finished in 44:53, claiming to be below his best. He had run another 10k race thirty six hours before.

Another concern for Grant is that he is a vegan and wants to find non leather boots in which to run.

Grant is growing a beard to further ‘grow into the part.’ He reports that Great Lakes Brewery has agreed to supply his post training fueling with a generous supply of Canuck Pale Ale. A year ago the owner of the brewery shaved Grant’s head in a fundraising event for Sick Kids Foundation. He will run Toronto Waterfront Marathon to raise funds for Good Foot Delivery one of the official charities of the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

City marathons embrace runners of all descriptions and Toronto is no different. The inclusion of this trio of record seekers certainly enhances the enjoyment of this annual IAAF Gold Label event.

Interested in attempting a Guinness World Record at this year’s race? Please contact Jenna Pettinato, Canada Running Series’ Manager of Communications at jenna@canadarunningseries.com or visit our website: http://www.torontowaterfrontmarathon.com/guinness-world-records/




Kangogo & Tessier take tactical wins at 2017 Scotia Half

By | Elite Athletes, Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

VANCOUVER, BC. June 25th. Lethbridge’s Kip Kangogo (65:35) and Toronto’s Lyndsay Tessier (77:00) raced to emphatic victories in the 19th edition of the Scotiabank Vancouver Half marathon, presented by Asics, ahead of 4,229 participants this morning. Another 2,506 took part in the accompanying 5K. The total, sold-out crowd of 6,735 were drawn to the magnificent scenery of the Pacific Northwest and the finish in world-famous Stanley Park, from 9 Canadian provinces, 26 American states and 27 countries around the world. Combined, the runners also raised and impressive $970,000 for 76 mostly-local charities in the Scotiabank Charity Challenge.

SVHM 17The summerlike conditions showed one of the world’s most-scenic half marathons at its best, but led to tactical races up front. It was 19c for the 7:30am start of the “Scotia Half” start at the University of British Columbia at 7:30am. A group of 4 immediately broke away from the field, led by Canada’s 2012 Olympic marathoner Dylan Wykes, with Kangogo, Lakefield, Ontario’s Thomas Toth and Tristan Woodfine from Guelph’s Speed River TFC tucked in behind. Two initial three-minute kilometres got rid of Woodfine who drifted back on tired legs, and the pace slowed to consistent 3:10s as Wykes kept things moving along. Toth, who had already put in over 200 kilometres this week as he prepares to represent Canada in the IAAF World Championships marathon in London in August, was gone by 8k (24:51).  It then turned into a thoroughly absorbing cat and mouse contest between two wily veterans. Kangogo had already won the event an impressive 5 times, Wykes once in 2014 (with Kangogo 2nd). The pair continued down through Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, Point Grey and into Kitsilano with Wykes doing all the leading, and Kangogo in his footsteps behind. 10k was passed in 30:47 and 15k in 46:33 before Kangogo moved out to test Wykes’ race fitness around Kits Point at 17k. At 18k, going onto the challenging uphill over Burrard Bridge, the Albertan made his signature, decisive move that has given him so many victories on the course and it was over quickly. “My training has been coming along really nicely,” Kangogo said. “I was happy with my preparation and I planned to make my move at 18k on the bridge. I had won the Canadian Half marathon Championships 3 weeks ago in Calgary and I was ready. I love this race and am glad to come back anytime.” Despite dropping off to finish 18 seconds back (65:53) Wykes was also pleased with his performance. After battling injuries for 4 years and starting a family, he ran a steady, controlled effort. “It’s great to be back racing,” he said. “Right now I’ve still only got one gear, but watch out for me in the Fall!” Toth crossed the line a distant third in 68:02, with Woodfine another minute back (69:03).

SVHM 17 TessierThe women’s race produced a surprise winner in Lyndsay Tessier from Toronto’s Black Lungs club, ahead of strong pre-race favourite Dayna Pidhoresky (78:10) of Vancouver. Pidhoresky was coming off a breakthrough performance at the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon just 4 weeks ago – a PB of 2:36:08 that also earned her a place on the Canadian team to the World Championships. “It was tough out there,” she said. “It was hot. The plan was to do a tempo workout and I thought that might be good enough to win today, but it wasn’t. Lyndsay really deserved to win. I’ve only had a couple of workouts since Ottawa, and I was worried if I pushed too hard it might set me back, and I’d miss some important training for London.” Pidhoresky got off to her typical quick start and was well clear at 3k which she passed in 10:02. But Tessier remained steady, gradually hauling her in. Tessier caught up around 8k, and the pair battled back and forth until 13k when Tessier made the move, to eventually win by over a minute. “Early on I just tried to keep the green shorts in sight,” said Tessier. “I’m not good on downhills, and Dayna got away from me on the downhill from 8k to 9k, but I caught up to her again by 10k. I do much better on the uphills and I moved away on the rise from Jericho at 13k. Burrard Street bridge was really a throat punch at the end but once I got over it I just held on.” Washington State’s Courtney Olsen was 3rd in 80:47.

Following the race, Race Director Clif Cunningham presented Kangogo with 6 rings to represent his 6 victories on the course, after several years of the former college All-American repeatedly joking about “where’s my rings?!” A live band, a teeming “Charity Village” and all around good vibes with snow-capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, rounded out a spectacular Vancouver running experience.

After a summer hiatus the Canada Running Series resumes in Vancouver, with the Under Armour Eastside 10k on September 16th. http://canadarunningseries.com/vancouver-eastside-10k/

Full results from today at http://canadarunningseries.com/scotiabank-vancouver-half-marathon/the-weekend/#results-and-photos