Feature Friday – Sports Practitioners

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We’ll be talking with various local Sports Practitioners over the next few weeks for our #FeatureFridays. This week, we’re talking to Chris Napier at Restore Physiotherapy – check it out!


Physiotherapists are highly qualified health professionals whose main goal is to help people get better and stay well. Using advanced techniques and evidence-based care, physiotherapists assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide range of health conditions and movement disorders. Physiotherapy helps repair damage, reduce stiffness and pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life. Physiotherapy extends from health promotion to injury prevention, acute care to rehabilitation. Physiotherapists, put simply, are the experts when it comes to assessing and teaching movement.

At Restore Physiotherapy, we believe in one-on-one treatment time with plenty of time dedicated to assessing the injury to get to the root cause. This is followed by a comprehensive treatment program utilizing exercise, manual therapy, and movement re-education to improve symptoms and prevent re-injury. As a running specialist, I take a detailed history of the problem as the runner presents it (location/type of pain, duration, aggravating factors, etc.) paying careful attention to details about changes in training, footwear, surface, and other variables. Since most (or arguably all) running injuries are a case of “too much, too soon” any sudden change in one of these variables can present an opportunity for injury to develop.

A gait analysis on a treadmill is also an important part of the assessment of the runner to determine if biomechanical factors are involved in the manifestation of the injury. These risk factors may not be evident on a simple physical examination so a gait analysis is not to be left out. Running injuries often develop when tissues break down due to poor form or maladaptation to the stresses placed on them. While careful progression of training volume and intensity can prevent most injuries from occurring, runners are known to push themselves and train through early signs of injury. Poor biomechanics exacerbated by a state of fatigue can result in typical overuse injuries such as Achilles tendinopathy, patellofemoral pain syndrome, iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, and medial tibial stress syndrome (“shin splints”).

When assessing a runner on the treadmill, I look for biomechanical risk factors ranging from a slow cadence and increased vertical impact force to poor geometry in the lower extremities at foot strike. Treatment may consist of correcting faulty mechanics (only if they are determined to be involved in the injury), changing stride characteristics like cadence or stride length, and strengthening the appropriate tissues to withstand the repeated forces of running. Throughout the treatment process, the gradual overload principle must be followed, being sure to increase overall workload by approximately 10% per week. Too much and the runner may break down; too little and the body will fail to adapt to greater loads.

Here are some tips on how to prevent the most common running injuries:

  • Identify any recent changes in your training (volume, intensity, surface, footwear, etc.) as most injuries are a result of “too much, too soon”
  • In the initial stages of injury, stop running if the pain changes your running gait or increases as you run. If you are able to run with mild pain, and without changes to your mechanics, it may be ok to continue running through the injury—consult your physiotherapist
  • Running is a one-legged sport: focus on exercises that improve eccentric control of the body over the stance limb (single leg, weight-bearing, dynamic, plyometric)
  • Have a gait analysis performed and correct any significant gait abnormalities with gait retraining if considered to be clinically relevant
  • If you’re starting to feel burned out—mentally or physically—take a week or two of easy running before a forced break due to injury occurs

Chris Napier
Sport Physiotherapist, Restore Physiotherapy
PhD Candidate (Biomechanics), University of British Columbia
Athletics Canada Physiotherapist

My decision to accept the opportunity to serve as the Director of Chiropractic Services in early 2013 for Fortius Sport & Health was an easy one.  Working as part of a team in a state of the art facility, where collaboration, integration, and innovation are the fundamental pillars is any sports practitioners dream.

As chiropractors, we not only evaluate and treat sites of injury but look at the individual as a whole.  We observe overall posture and alignment, as well as the quality of movement through sports specific actions to identify areas of dysfunction and get athletes back into the activity they love.


All sports expose participants to repetitive stresses due to the repetition of similar movement patterns over and over.  Running is certainly no exception.  Every step, depending on how fast one is moving, will impart forces of 2 to 5 times body weight into your structure.

Every runner will attest to the common aches and pains or injuries such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, hamstring strains, or the ever present tight glutes. Helping you manage the forces associated with running is where chiropractic comes in.

Using manual therapy, we provide detailed treatment to involve myofascial soft tissue structures and joints in combination with traditional chiropractic manipulation, when necessary, to improve mobility and musculoskeletal function. In this manner we not only assist in resolving current injury but also look to improve performance and reduce future injury occurrence.


When we work to optimize posture, ensure muscle tone is well maintained, and joints are moving well, the body can more efficiently manage the repeated stresses associated with running.  Adding daily self-care (which includes strengthening and mobilization of the major muscle groups and joints) to your chiropractic care will help to keep you injury free and enjoying your runs.

There are a number of areas to address in our daily routines, and below are a couple of my favourite stretches (downloadable PDFs).


Fortius SportFortius Sport & Health is an integrated athlete development centre strengthened through philanthropy and focused on optimizing athlete performance for life. Situated just outside of Vancouver, British Columbia, it is home to a state-of-the-art training facility as well an integrated team of sport medicine and science practitioners.

At Fortius, chiropractors work with sport medicine physicians, physiatrists, physiotherapists, kinesiologists (hydrotherapy), massage therapists, optometrists, biomechanists, physiologists, strength and conditioning coaches and dietitians to deliver precise, customized treatment and training plans for athletes of all ages and abilities.

Our chiropractors collectively have provided performance and injury care across multiple sports, including NCAA Swimming, Olympic/World Championship level Track and Field, CFL and NFL Football, Ironman Triathlon and International level soccer.

Whether you’re a professional training toward a World Championship, your first 10km, or simply wanting to walk for health, we would be honoured by the opportunity to be part of your care team, assisting you in accomplishing your athletic goals.

Visit www.fortiussport.com to learn more or to book an appointment today.

Feature Friday – March 3, 2017

Although Massage Therapy is a well embraced form of rehabilitation, its progression over the years from spa and relaxation work, to specialized therapies such as pre-natal or athletics, to being included in preventative medicine such as injury prevention, is an important awareness to have.

Many seek out an RMT when a problem arises, and of course, this is an appropriate time to get soft tissue work. Massage Therapy, however, can be used as a means to help prepare an athlete for competition, as a tool to enhance athletic performance, as a treatment approach to help the athlete recover after exercise or competition, and as a manual intervention for sport related musculoskeletal injuries (such as promoting tissue and system health before breakdown begins).

Getting injured is every active persons worst nightmare – it impairs performance, delays training and conditioning schedules during recovery, and they also hurt!. Many injuries, however, can be prevented altogether with the right rehabilitative care (in combination with a proper training program, nutrition and water intake, sleep, and equipment) and Massage Therapy can play an invaluable role! Soft tissue work such as Massage monitors muscle tone, helps to eliminate scar tissue, increases mobility, increases range of motion, reduces muscle hypertonicity, and promotes relaxation (that one is cliché but surprisingly valuable!). RMTs involved with athletics are also often competent with sport related taping, or have specialties such as Graston Technique or ART, which have traditionally been done by Physiotherapy or Chiropractic.

If you use your body on any kind of regular basis for sport, Massage and soft tissue work should be an integral part of your life, whether it be to take care of the big and small issues that get in the way of efficient and pain free movement, or to help you prevent those issues from happening in the first place.

Impulse Sport Therapeutics is a multi-disciplinary clinic with locations in West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Port Moody.

The 5 Worst Habits of Runners

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Runners are guilty for developing poor habits that they believe will enhance their training, but can actually negatively affect training and increase their risk of injury.  Here are some of the ones we see most often, and what you can do to prevent them:

  • Running too much.  More isn’t always better.  Runners make the mistake of ramping up their mileage too quickly before they allow their bodies to adapt to the training.  Overuse injuries are caused primarily from running more than the body can withstand.  Abiding by the “10% Rule” is the safest way to increase mileage; if you’re running 30km per week and want to do more, do 33km the following week and so on.
  • Hip/core work isn’t a part of the training program.  Another way of preventing injury is by incorporating a simple core and hip strengthening routine.  When injuries occur it’s typically from muscle weaknesses and imbalances that cause runners to compensate.  By adding hip and core exercises into your weekly routine, it helps to stabilize the leg with every stride, and helps to maintain good posture while running.
  • Running on the same route/surfaces.  Changing the variability of your running routes and surfaces can help to keep injuries at bay.  If you always run the same flat course on the road, it might be time to hit the trails.  Mixing up the surface you run on can help to strengthen stabilizer muscles in your legs and feet, and avoid overloading any other muscles.  Using softer surfaces like trails and rubberized tracks will reduce the impact on running on your body which is best when you’re tired, or needing a recovery day.
  • Skipping rest days.  Overtraining can lead to a multitude of problems from injury, increased risk of sickness, and loss of motivation.  Rest days are a crucial part of any training program as it allows the body to absorb all the work it’s done throughout the week.  If that day is skipped your body doesn’t have the time to rest and will continually breakdown until the point of injury.  Listening to your body is key to realize.  If it’s feeling unusually fatigued or if there’s any nagging pain, it’s probably time to take a day off.
  • Not wearing the best shoes for your feet.  Shoes are the most important tool any runner has.  If they are worn out, or have an improper fit, that can increase the risk of injury.  Shoes are typically good for about 300-500 miles, but after that the cushioning and stability starts to wear out.  If you’re unsure of what shoes are the best for you, head to the nearest run specialty store and have the experts help you figure out what you should be wearing.  They’ll provide a wealth of knowledge.

Under Armour joins as new title sponsor of the Eastside 10k

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Canada Running Series announces Under Armour as the new title sponsor of the Eastside 10k race, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 16th this year.

In addition to the title sponsorship, Under Armour is the exclusive athletic footwear, apparel and Connected Fitness sponsor. All participants will receive Under Armour technical running shirts and race organizers will receive technical apparel and footwear. This collaborative partnership will also bring cutting-edge innovation to the Canadian road running scene with activations across Under Armour’s digital training platforms, MapMyRun® and UA Record™. These platforms will include official training programs for runners of all abilities. There will also be an ambassador program and community outreach for run crews and clubs.

“This is a strategic partnership between two premier high performance brands,” says Canada Running Series president, Alan Brookes. “This partnership with Under Armour, the global leader in innovation performance product, is about bringing the latest and greatest to the Canadian road running scene. Together we will be able to grow the Under Armour Eastside 10k into an even bigger and better international running event, and something that is in, for and with Vancouver’s Eastside.”

“Under Armour is passionate about making all runners better and we are thrilled to partner with Canada Running Series to elevate the awareness of the Eastside 10K race,” says Shana Ferguson, Director of Marketing, Under Armour Canada. “This is one of the highlights of the Vancouver fall racing calendar, as the race winds through some of the most historic and vibrant areas of the city, and we are looking forward to outfitting runners in our innovative gear.”

Under Armour’s partnership with the Eastside 10k is the company’s first title sponsorship of a Canada Running Series race. In the U.S., Under Armour has enriched the running experience at signature events, including San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers 12K, and Washington, D.C.’s Cherry Blossom 10-miler & 5k. As in San Francisco and Washington D.C., Under Armour will enhance the experience in Vancouver in all phases of the run.


Registration for the Under Armour Eastside 10k is now open at eastside10k.ca. Registration is limited and we encourage runners in Vancouver and across Canada to register today!

Making it to the Start Line Injury Free

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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: Alison Pinto, PT, FCAMPT, CAT(C)

As a Physiotherapist/Athletic Therapist, I often meet people only after they have sustained an injury and are looking for a solution to get back to their sport as soon as possible and advice on how to prevent the injury from recurring. By this point, a lot of them are frustrated because running was their form of exercise, a source for stress relief, and a method of accomplishing a new goal and now they can’t do it. So how do you save yourself from this frustration and avoid becoming sidelined by an injury? Here are some tips to help you make it to the start line of your race.

  1. Training

When choosing a training program, consider your current level of physical activity and running history. Training programs that have consistently high weekly mileage and high intensity runs (i.e. tempo runs, hill repeats, race pace runs) are best suited for people who have some prior running experience. Training programs that start with shorter distance and gradually increase to longer distances as well as start with steady runs and build to higher intensity runs are best suited for novice runners or those embarking on a new distance (such as 10 km to half-marathon or half-marathon to marathon).

In general, weekly mileage should increase by no more than 10% per week. This is due to the fact that muscles, tendons and ligaments take time to adapt to the forces placed on them when running and a larger increase in weekly mileage will often result in musculoskeletal injuries.  Another thing to consider is how far, how frequently, and how fast you are running. It’s best to change only one component at a time and to have a solid cardiovascular and muscle strength base before adding speed.

  1. Warm Up and Cool Down

The purpose of the warm up is to prepare your muscles, heart and lungs for more intense activity. Therefore, the warm up should mimic the movements you will be doing during the workout, but at a lower intensity. The warm up should be dynamic in order to gradually increase heart rate, breathing rate, and blood flow to muscles. For runners, this can include hip swings, high knees, butt kicks, heel raises, and light jogging. The cool down is mean to relax the body after intense activity.

Consider doing a light jog or short walk before completely stopping your workout in order to gradually reduce your heart rate and prevent blood from pooling in your legs (which may make you feel light headed or faint). Static stretches, held for 30 to 60 seconds, are best performed post-workout to restore muscles to their resting length.

  1. Cross Training

Cross training is considered to be any activity that is different from your primary sport. Whether it be cycling, swimming, weight training, or yoga, cross training is beneficial because it allows you to use different muscles or use your muscles in different ways so as to prevent repetitive and overuse injuries. Cycling and swimming are great low impact cardio workouts while weight training and yoga help build muscle strength, endurance and flexibility. Cross training can even be used as your recovery after a hard running workout to reduce muscle soreness.

  1. Dealing with Aches and Pains

When starting any new activity or increasing the intensity of an exercise, some soreness is to be expected. How do you know what is normal pain and what is a potentially an injury? “Normal” pain, also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) occurs in the muscles that were worked due to micro-tears and inflammation. DOMS usually lasts 2-3 days and gradually reduces over time. Ice or light activity can be used to reduce DOMS. The good news is that the next time you workout at the same intensity, DOMS won’t be as bad since your body has adapted and become stronger.

“Bad” pain can occur in muscles too, but more commonly occurs in tendons and joints. There may be inflammation (swelling, heat, redness) around the area and the pain often lasts longer than 2-3 days. If the pain is lasting more than 5-7 days, is worsening, or is causing you to compensate in some way (i.e. limping while walking or running), it is best to seek help from a medical professional. Pushing through pain often leads to delayed healing as well as secondary aches and pains in areas that are compensating for the primary injury.

The Centre for Sport and Recreation Medicine has two locations in Toronto and a variety of health professionals to assist you in getting healthier, stronger and faster. Visit our website at www.torontosportsmedicine.ca for more information or to book an appointment with our staff.



Training Partners

The Benefits of Training Partners

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Running, long distance running in particular, is the epitome of individual pursuit.  It provides a mental break from the hustle and bustle of the work day, a chance to tune in to what’s going on with one’s body, and has the flexibility of being done whenever one decides to lace up and go.  However, on the days where it’s hard to get out of bed, or find the motivation to workout, a training partner or group may be exactly what you need!

Running partners/groups help create a tight-knit community in a very individual sport. While it may not be possible to train with others all the time, when the opportunity presents itself to meet up with others to run, take it!  There are so many benefits to running with others:

  1. Accountability: It can be hard to find the self-discipline get out of bed for a 6am run, especially on cold, dark mornings.  The temptation of hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep in the lovely warmth of a blanket cocoon can be too enticing. Setting plans to meet a running buddy or group will ensure you get out of bed in time.  The accountability will reduce the chances of skipping a run, slacking during a workout, or cutting the run short.
  2. Diversion: When you’re running with a friend, it allows for mindless conversation.  The act of running side by side without the intimidation of eye contact, creates an environment where it’s easier to talk freely and openly.  Some of our closest friendships arise from spending hours pounding the pavement alongside, talking about our life concerns, daily happenings and experiences.  Not only do these conversations clear our minds of clutter, they also help the miles fly by.
  3. Variation: Running with a buddy can provide a wealth of knowledge.  Everyone has their favourite running routes and more often than not, they’ll be different than yours.  Not only can you learn new running routes, but they may have different variations of workouts that could enhance your training.  Providing insight to new recovery modalities, articles, recipes, problem solving techniques, support in personal anecdotes, and cool upcoming events are a few of the benefits of a training partner.
  4. Performance: When running alongside someone, it’s an instant motivator.  Training with someone who is slightly faster pushes you to work harder to keep up, which can improve your performance.  Be careful to choose a comrade who isn’t too much faster so you aren’t pushing too hard and putting yourself at risk of injury.  An even-paced partner is ideal as it’s easier to work off of each other.  Not every day is going to be a good day for both of you, so on the days you’re feeling sluggish, they’ll be there to help pull you through and vice versa.  Plus, they won’t let you slack during a workout when they know you should be there stride for stride.  Everyone loves a wingman.
  5. Safety:  Like the old saying goes, there’s safety in numbers.  This is especially true for runners.  On dark morning and evening runs, it’s always better to have someone with you.  There are too many times where runners go out by themselves with their headphones in and are completely oblivious to those around them, and the potential safety risks.  Stick to familiar routes during the times where there aren’t many people around and plan to run with someone. Also, if you fall or get injured, someone will be there to help you get back home safely.

Looking for groups to run with? Check out of Q & A sessions with of some of the Vancouver Run Crews for an idea of which group might be a good fit. RunGuides.com also has a great list.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Earns Third Consecutive IAAF Gold Label

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By: Paul Gains

For the third consecutive year, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been awarded an IAAF Gold Label, an accolade which solidifies its inclusion amongst the world’s most prestigious city marathons.

The news comes as no surprise to Eric Gillis. The three time Canadian Olympian, who finished 10th in the Rio Olympic marathon, has watched the event grow into a world class race from his position at the head of the field.

“If there are only five Gold Label marathons in North America and three of them are World Marathon Majors (Boston, Chicago and New York), known around the world, then Toronto is in pretty elite company,” Gillis declares. “I guess it shows how much work it takes to become a Gold Label.”

Gillis’ five fastest times have come in the Toronto Waterfront race – his personal best of 2:11:24 was recorded in 2014 –  and he treasures many personal memorable moments. One in particular stands out.

“Certainly qualifying for (the 2012 London Olympics) by one second in 2011,” he recalls. “Kevin Mackinnon was calling the race at the finish line that day and he got the crowd into it cheering and doing the countdown to my Olympic standard. That wouldn’t have happened in any other country.

“The IAAF Gold Label is good for Toronto, good for marathoning in Canada, good for elite marathoners. It is a fabulous option in the fall. The Gold Label is exciting and well deserved for (Race Director) Alan Brookes and his group.”

The 2017 edition is scheduled for Sunday October 22nd. With the IAAF Gold Label comes a level of respect amongst the world’s elite marathoners. Ethiopia’s Shure Demise chose Toronto on the recommendations of her countrymen and won the 2015 race nine months after setting an unofficial world ‘under 20’ best time in Dubai. Last year she returned to Toronto and successfully defended her title.

Demise, now an experienced 21 year old, notes that “in both years I have faced challenging weather and I had faced a difficulty of improving the (course record) time although the course is good and there were also good competitors.

“I should simply say ‘Wow.’ The organizers treated me in a very good way. All the people who were involved in the race they all were amazing and, if I get the chance, I would like to thank all the people who were at the Toronto Marathon. I have a plan to go Toronto (again) if things would be right for me and, of course, I want to be a three times winner.”

Stringent criteria must be met for a race organization to earn an IAAF Gold Label. For instance, the race must have a minimum of five men and five women from five different nations. They must have reached Gold Label standards of 2:10 and 2:28 respectively in the preceding 36 months or finished in the top 25 at the Olympics or World Championships marathons.

The certified course must be entirely closed to vehicular traffic and water and sponge stations set up, as per IAAF regulations, with electronic timing for all participants. A giant screen at the finish area for spectators and media to watch the race is another mandatory requirement.

After the race is over, a minimum of twelve anti-doping tests must be carried out (six men, six women) and media must have access to the leading athletes. One other major criterion is that the entire race must be available to a domestic and to an international audience of at least five countries, either through television or live streaming. Last year’s Toronto Waterfront Marathon was live streamed to 129 countries.

Internationally, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has a stellar reputation. Here at home it is the flagship event in the seven race Canada Running Series and, for the third year running, it will double as the Canadian Marathon Championship. Athletics Canada’s CEO, Rob Guy, praises the event and has confidence in the organisation.

“The Gold Label means that it’s a great event,” he says. “And, for that reason we are proud to associate with the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. It is great that they are the host of our championships and the athletes have great competition and the opportunity to make some money.

“Our national championships are important to us and trying to our best to get our best athletes there is important. Moving forward, performances at national championships are going to weigh into selection for our teams.”

Race Director, Alan Brookes, speaks of the label as the ultimate reward for a great Canada Running Series team effort.

“It’s an enormous honour, enormous prestige to be recognized on the highest international stage. It puts our race, our city and our country in the ‘premier league’,” he declares. “When we started organizing road races in the mid 1980’s people used to tell me, “Alan, if you want a decent race you’ve got to go to The States. It used to drive me nuts.”

“That’s changed, and the Gold Label is recognition by the global governing body of our sport, that Toronto has a world-class marathon.”

Brookes is quick to acknowledge the involvement of title sponsor, Scotiabank, whose longevity sponsoring elite marathons is surpassed only by John Hancock in Boston.

“This will be the twenty-first year with Scotiabank,” says Brookes. “Their unwavering partnership has given us the support and stability to focus on building and growing the event.

“With their support we have been able to bring innovations to Canadian road running like the Scotiabank Charity Challenge and Scotiabank Neighbourhood Challenge, leading-edge race-organization technology as well as an international-class field.”

Brookes emphasizes that a Gold Label means it’s an outstanding marathon experience for runners of all abilities. For more information and entry see STWM.ca


Join Canada Running Series at the 2017 Ragnar Relay!

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Canada Running Series has partnered with the three Canadian stops of the 2017 Ragnar Relay! Use your Canada Running Series discount code when registering and look out for the CRS booth in the Ragnar Village!

Enter code CANCRS17 to save $100 on your team entry. Please note that the discount must be applied at time of registration and cannot be applied retroactively or used with any other promotion.

Reebok Ragnar Niagara

May 19 – 20, 2017

Reebok Ragnar Relay Niagara is a 300-ish kilometer running relay race through the most breathtaking parts of Ontario, happening on May 19-20th! Your team of 12 members (or ultra team of 6 members) will run relay-style starting on Friday, run through the night, and finish on Saturday. This running adventure kicks off in the quaint town of Cobourg. From there your team will conquer kilometers of rolling hills as you pass farmlands, beautiful vineyards and views of Lake Ontario from the Waterfront Trail. As night falls, electrified views of Toronto, stars, and runners with headlamps light up the night. Reebok Ragnar Niagara finishes at the majestic Niagara Falls where you and your team can admire the view and marvel in your grand accomplishment.

Click here for details.


Ragnar Trail Cottage Country – ON

September 8 – 9, 2017

Ragnar Trail Cottage Country-ON presented by Salomon is a brand new trail running adventure coming to Ontario on Sept. 8-9, 2017. Only 90 minutes from Toronto, right outside of Orillia lies an adventure seeker’s paradise known as Hardwood Ski and Bike. Your team of 8 members (or 4 ultra members) will conquer a set of three trails, or “loops”, that start and stop at Ragnar Village. Teams start on Friday morning, run through the night with headlamps, and finish on Saturday. When you’re not running, you’ll enjoy camping with friends, bonfires, s’mores and party vibe that is unique to Ragnar.

Click here for details.


Ragnar Trail Mont-Tremblant – QC

September 15 – 16, 2017

Ragnar Trail Mont-Tremblant presented by Salomon is a one-of-a-kind overnight trail running relay, coming to the Laurentian Mountains on Domaine Saint-Bernard preserve. Teams of 8 runners (or ultra-teams of 4 runners) will run relay-style from Friday, through the night, and into Saturday on three different trails. The green, yellow and red trails are different, challenging and fun, just like the runners who conquer them. When you’re not soaking up the beauty that Mother Nature has to offer, you’ll be camping at Ragnar Village where you can expect s’mores, bonfires, entertainment and a party-like atmosphere.

Click here for details.

The Benefits of “Pre-Hab”

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Physiotherapists, massage therapists, and chiropractors are often associated with injury and rehabilitation. However they also have an important role in prehabilitation: the process of enhancing the functional capacity of the individual to enable him or her to withstand the stresses of training and reducing the chance of injury.

Prehabilitation or “pre-hab” can be many different things. Preventative physio, massage or chiropractic treatments; strength training; cross training; and stretching all fall under the umbrella of pre-hab.

Physiotherapists can provide a screening of the body in order to see how it’s functioning. Assessing an individual’s flexibility, mobility, core strength, running mechanics, shoe wear and posture can give light into where potential injuries may occur, and why certain injuries have manifested in the past. After determining where any instabilities and weaknesses are located, the physio can offer suggestions on how to improve these areas and what exercises would be beneficial to implement into one’s training regime.

Massage therapists are often an integral part of the team behind many high level athletes and as such should be incorporated into any runner’s maintenance regime. While personal therapy like foam rolling is great for keeping injuries at bay, the expertise and knowledge of a registered massage therapist (RMT) is better for treating nagging niggles. While sport focused massage may not be as relaxing as a massage at the spa, it’s far more beneficial. RMTs work with a variety of techniques to reduce scar tissue, muscle knots/adhesions, and increase muscle function. They are an excellent way to ensure your muscles and tendons are working as efficiently as possible, as well as a multitude of other benefits.

Chiropractors offer a manual approach to conditions relating to the neurological, muscular, and skeletal systems of the body. Through different treatment modalities and spinal manipulations, chiros can help alleviate pain, muscle imbalance, or joint restriction. By aligning the spine and releasing any restrictions in the joints or muscles, it decreases the likelihood of developing compensation patterns or muscle imbalances.

Utilizing these resources, especially if you have extended medical coverage, is totally worth doing. Not only will it help to reduce your risk of injury, it will provide a better understanding for the way your body moves and functions.

Stay tuned over the coming weeks as we add advice from local practitioners to help you develop your pre-hab plans!

Avoiding the post-race blues

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Post-race blues are commonly experienced after any big goal has been accomplished.  From running your first 5k, to obtaining the elusive Boston Qualifying time, there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into the buildup for a race.  The same questions bounce around in everyone’s head: “What now?”; “What’s next?”; and “Do I want to do this again?”.  Similar thoughts and feelings are experienced when a race is unexpectedly cancelled.  All the hard work and effort that was focused on this one event can feel as if it was all for naught.  So when a race doesn’t go according to plan due to poor pacing, subpar weather conditions, or injury, it leaves people disgruntled, especially when it’s something out of their control.  If this is something that sounds familiar, here are a few ways of getting over the post-race blues:

  1. Debrief.  After any race, it’s always a good idea to go over the pros and cons from the race.  Start by listing off the good things that happened as it’s instinctive to leap onto what went wrong.  When analyzing the problem areas, you’ll learn about what did work, how to rectify any problem areas, and what you can do to improve next time around. Write down these notes, and visualize how to make the next training cycle better, faster, and more fun for smoother sailing into the next event.
  2. Set a new goal. Once a race is said and done, it can be hard to find the motivation to run again. Having just put your body through months of training, your body requires ample recovery time post-race and this is the ideal time to set a new goal.  There are so many great races throughout the year that signing up for a race in a different distance, city, or sport is an easy way to keep the training momentum going.
  3. Mix it up. After debriefing, the dos and don’ts that were experienced can spark some training changes when building to the next race.  Incorporate different training regimes like spin classes, strength sessions, and swimming, or find a group to train with that may provide new ideas for different running routes and workouts.  By keeping training fun and exciting it helps to keep the motivation up, and the blues at bay.
  4. Keep things in perspective.  Things typically happen for a reason. The reason may be unclear initially, but when you look back down the road there are things that point out why something did or didn’t work out as you had planned.  It’s important to remember that although sacrifices are made to execute a training cycle properly, there is a lot more to life than that one race.  This isn’t meant to downplay any goal that’s been achieved, big or small, it’s just a way to keep it in perspective.  At the end of the day, friends and family will be cheering and supporting you no matter the outcome; there will always be another race to sign up for, and you’ll have learned something about yourself that you didn’t know before the journey began.

Post-race blues are likely, but not inevitable.  Keep moving forward, sign up for your next event, and keep that training routine rolling!

Looking for your next event? Find the next Canada Running Series event near you!

Council for Responsible Sport – Inspire Certification

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Canada Running Series has a longstanding commitment to producing sustainable events in our community and is excited for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k‘s invitation into the Council for Responsible Sport‘s Inspire program! The new Inspire program recognizes the sustained commitment of events that have been certified multiple times and challenges them to mentor industry peers and share their stories. The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k is the fourth event to earn Inspire status and the first to do so in Canada. It is the second event to earn Inspire status at the Gold level.

“The Inspire program grants events and organizers with proven records of hosting certified responsible events a position of exemplary leadership within the community of organizers positively influencing the sports events industry,” said the Council’s managing director Shelley Villalobos.

“We are pleased to welcome the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k to the Inspire program this year. We hope to elevate the level of attention to the exemplary work organizers have been doing for several years now with regards to zero waste, procurement, access, and community legacy at the event.”

Highlights of achievements in the past include:

  •  98% Waste Diversion Rate for our Expo, Start Area, Finish Area, and course with Green Chair Recycling
  • All discarded clothing from Start Area collected and donated to shelter programs
  • Majority of food purchased is locally and/or organically produced, with surplus food being donated to local food banks
  • Striving for Carbon-Neutral – all event operations and 50% of local participant travel was offset with carbon credits in 2015
  • Free post-event shuttles and bike valet reduce two-way trips and car drops
  • Marketing materials are printed using biodegradable inks on FSC certified paper

In 2017, the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k will expand upon these achievements by replacing all generators at the start/finish venues with pollution-free power stations and solar panels. Recycling and waste reduction initiatives will continue to be fine-tuned and the event will expand upon the bike valet program in Stanley Park.

Events may opt into the Inspire program on an invitation only basis after earning two consecutive certifications from the Council (certification is good for two years). The Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k earned an invitation in 2017 after first becoming certified in 2013 at the Silver level, and earning a recertification at the Gold level in 2015. Program participation entails three core requirements including annual reporting on key performance indicators, mentorship of another event or organization on a specific aspect of their responsible sport programming and sharing the event’s responsible sport story publicly.