How to deal with hitting the wall

By | Racing Strategy | No Comments

Hitting the wall is one of the worst feelings to have in the middle of a goal race.  It can happen during training as well if you haven’t fueled or hydrated properly, but it’s easier to cope with a botched training day than a ruined race day.  The “wall” is the point of sudden fatigue in any endurance event that can be brought on by either poor pacing, poor fueling, or poor preparation.  The result is what feels like a death march for the remainder of the race, and is something that every racer tries to avoid.  While nutrition is very individual, there are other ways to train your body to be able to avoid and cope with hitting the wall.

Before the race:

  1. Stimulate race fatigue.
    Running on back to back days helps to train your muscles to work when they’re already tired.  Incorporating long runs that have some intensity worked into them helps stimulate the fatigue that creeps in on race day.  If you have a long run scheduled, try throwing in some surges, tempo efforts, or change of pace to get more bang for your buck.
  2. Dial-in your nutrition.
    Throughout training, especially on long runs, try to practice the fueling strategy you want to use on race day.  Typically, taking it a gel every 45-60mins is the standard, but people can handle more or less than that depending on what their stomachs can handle.  Practice different fuelling methods throughout your training cycle and learn what your body responds to the best.  An important thing to note is that fuel should be ingested before you feel like you need it.  There is delayed absorption of fuel in the gut so if you only fuel when you’re starting to feel like you’re going to “bonk”, it’s too late.  The goal of mid-race fuelling is to stop your body from going into a large deficit and hitting the wall.  Don’t forget about your everyday nutrition too.  Eating a slightly higher amount of carbs the week leading up to the race will help your body store extra glycogen for your muscles to tap into when they need it most.

If you’re in a position where you’ve hit the wall, here are a few tips on how to cope during the race:

  1. Acknowledge, but don’t succumb to the wall.
    When you start to feel like you’re losing steam and the wall is drawing near, understand that this is normal.  It’s not going to be a great feeling but you’re not alone.  The wall forces us to lose hope, shutdown, and want to quit.  When realizing the wall is looming ahead, focus on a repetition that distracts you and have faith in your mental strength.  Find a focal point: whether it’s a mantra, a face, your own breathing, or a memory that keeps you moving forward, use it to your advantage.  By switching your focus to a more positive experience, it’ll help the body cope with the pain and fatigue that “hitting the wall” brings.
  2. Create mini-goals.
    Depending on where the wall hits you, getting to the finish line may become too daunting to think about. Instead, create mini-goals to help you reach the end.  When you’re feeling mentally and physically beat, even the smallest successes can help propel you towards your goal.  Aim for the next lamppost or water station, celebrate when you reach it, and then create another stepping stone.  Celebrating little victories can help your moral and boost your drive enough to cross the finish line.
  3. Get tough.
    Sometimes even all the tricks in the book might not be enough to distract you from bonking, but that’s when you have to hunker down and give it everything you’ve got.  Trust in your training and remember how many times you’ve toughed it out in workouts, in terrible weather, or on days you didn’t want to run.  All of these situations exude mental toughness that you’ve been building throughout training just as much as your physical fitness.  Utilize that strength.

While these tips aren’t a flawless way to beat the wall, it’ll put you in a far better position to conquer it!

New Balance Becomes Official Sponsor of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

By | Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | No Comments

TORONTO June 5, 2017 – Global athletic leader New Balance will become the official Athletic sponsor of the IAAF Gold Label Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, in a new multi-year agreement announced today. In addition to financial support, New Balance will greatly enhance the complete runner experience from the moment training programs begin at Running Room stores the week of June 19th. Complementing the official training programs will be community events featuring athlete appearances and the chance to test-drive New Balance shoes and gear, all the way up to race day on October 22nd. New Balance will bring exciting activation to the Race Weekend Expo, including their innovative high-performance apparel that will feature in the event’s Official Merchandise Program. New Balance will also bring a range of activation to the race day experience including support for the Pacer Program in both the marathon and half marathon.

“This is a perfect partnership between two, globally recognized, premier running brands,” said Canada Running Series president, Alan Brookes. “Our values are so strongly aligned, with a passion for both sport and community – and a proven commitment to Canadian road running at all levels. New Balance has always been a strong supporter of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, at the Expo, and through the participation of their top Team NB sponsored athletes like Olympians Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet, Rachel Hannah and Dayna Pidhoresky. We’re excited to take this natural partnership to the next level and bring further benefits to all our participants.”

Eric Gillis echoes these sentiments: “I’m very excited with the news that New Balance, my favourite athletic brand, is partnering with Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, which I’ve raced five times and where I’ve qualified for two Olympics. These two running obsessed brands will no doubt work magic together and take the STWM experience to another level. I proudly call this race my hometown marathon, and today, I’m feeling an even stronger connection to this wonderful event!”

“New Balance Canada is excited to partner with an iconic event like the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and connect with thousands of runners from all over the globe.  Our brand is synonymous with the sport and this partnership is a great step in helping us achieve our goal of being the World’s Best Running brand.  We look forward to working closely with the organizers and the Running Room to elevate the consumer experience and engage at all levels with athletes,” Jon Purdy, Sr. Marketing Manager, New Balance Canada.

New Balance is also the official shoe and apparel sponsor of New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon, and the NN Marathon Rotterdam, as they continue to add strategic sponsorships in support of major marathons in leading cities worldwide.

Runners of all levels are encouraged to join in a very special Canadian running experience by registering for the 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K at 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

About New Balance

New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the USA, which represents a limited portion of our US sales.  Where the domestic value is at least 70%, we label our shoes Made in the USA. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 5,000 associates around the globe, and in 2015 reported worldwide sales of $3.72 billion. To learn more about New Balance, please visit http://www.newbalance.com and for the latest press information please visit http://newbalance.newsmarket.com

Media Contacts

Alan Brookes, Race Director, Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
alan@canadarunningseries.com, 416-464-7437

Victoria Siemon, Marketing Associate – Running, New Balance
victoria.siemon@newbalance.com, 289-290-6063

 

Course Tips from the Front

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Some of the top athletes share their insider info on the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon course.

Catherine Watkins:

Scotia Half is a fun scenic net downhill run but don’t let that deceive you into thinking it’s an easy course. You can definitely have a fast time on the course but it is important that you remain patient for the first 15k and don’t get carried away. The long downhill from UBC can take it’s toll on your legs if you go out too fast and that can make the final climb up Burrard Bridge a long slog if your legs aren’t feeling good. This is a course where you want to be able to pick things up after the Burrard climb and feel strong on the downhill towards the finish.

Melanie Kassel:

I always warn first timers not to get sucked into hammering down that lovely hill early on in the race in order to bank a few seconds – whatever time gains are made at that point are invariably lost (plus some!) when your quads go on strike in the latter stages of the race. Enjoy a nice downhill coast but don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

Katherine Moore:

I have run a negative split on this course and my PB. With the downhills in the first half, on this course it is easy to get caught up with running too fast in the beginning. If you hold back a bit in the beginning you hopefully feel good at 10k to feel strong for the second half which has some uphill, the Burrard Bridge, and at this time of year it can start getting hot.

Dayna Pidhoresky:

So this will be my first time running Scotia Half, hence, I am looking forward to reading the tips of others!  In the past I know it has been quite hot so I think taking full advantage of the water stations from the get-go would be advantageous in the latter stages of the race.

Rika/Tatsuya Hatachi:

I try to break down 21.097km to several ‘sections’.  When I actually run the race, I try to clear them one by one, so that I won’t feel the entire course is too long.

  • From start until the ‘turnaround’ on Marine Drive (approx. 3km point): nice & easy on slight and almost unnoticeable downhill.  You can grab your good rhythm here, but do not overrate your easy feeling at this point.  Do not rocket-start or speed up. Keep the pace steady and save your energy as much as possible.
  • After ‘turnaround’ ~before long downhill to Jericho: You may start feeling ‘tired’ suddenly and already! But it’s natural to feel heavy after the slight downhill  and it’s a little bit going up.  If you are challenging and aiming for PB, expect that you may feel heavy on your legs here but you will recover later for sure. So don’t worry.
  • Downhill to Jericho: One of the feature points of this course.  Some runners like trying to keep your pace ‘down’ on downhill to reduce the impact, while other runners like ‘running like flying down’ the hill.  Believe it depends on how you’ve been training on downhill.  If you are not well-trained/prepared for this downhill, you may end up paying back later on if you go aggressive on the downhill (even for ½ marathon distance), so be careful. But if you are confident in training downhill, this is where you can save some time here for PB, so go for it!
  • After the downhill ~ Burrard Bridge: ‘Flat’ road after the downhill will definitely feel like ‘uphill’.  Small updowns and turning lots of corners just before Burrard Bridge may drag you down, but, try to think that it is ‘natural’ to feel ‘heavy’ or ‘slow’ right after the long downhill, and the half-point has passed .  Anticipate, be prepared and plan for the fatigue you will get in the second half of any race.  Re-fuel yourself constantly to maintain steady performance.
    Try to recover and get your body used to the running on ‘flat’ road.
  • Burrard Bridge: Much harder and longer than crossing it by driving, of course.
    However, be positive by thinking that the mild downhill is waiting for you toward the end of the bridge, plus, it would only be about 2km left after crossing this bridge.
    Prepare for the ‘last spurt’ after reaching the top of this bridge.
  • Pacific Blvd to the Stanley Park Finish line:  Nice and slight downhill where you can go for the last spurt! Lots of cheering crowd on both sides of Pacific Blvd will help you all the way to the Finish Line! Enjoy your moment!
Kip Kangogo:

The best course with wonderful volunteers and great cheering crowds and don’t underestimate Burrard Bridge as things can get interesting there.

Dylan Wykes:

10-15k is the toughest part of this course in my mind.  Everyone expects to come off the big hill from UBC to Spanish banks and just be able to keep rolling.  It hasn’t worked that way for me.  Expect to need a kilometre to get your groove again after the downhill.  Don’t underestimate the hill around Jericho Park.  It stings big time.  If you can stay mentally strong through this part of the course, you’ll set yourself up for a good last 6k.

Chris Mulverhill:

If you have time, I recommend running or walking parts of the course that you aren’t familiar with or that you are curious about. It’s better to know how steep a hill is or how far it seems between points before you’re many kilometers deep on the pain train.

Whether it’s your first half or your 50th, have fun. There are very few opportunities where you get to take to the streets of a beautiful part of a beautiful city with thousands of people without being considered a riot. Make the most of it.

Craig McMillan:

I have run this quite a few times before. My main point about this course would be that most people forget how much uphill / rollers there are. 3-7km are all slightly uphill and the rolling terrain after Spanish banks to Burrard Bridge can take it out of you if you went too hard in the first half. Overall, a fast and great race.

A full course description can be found here or check out the course preview video. See you on June 25 at #ScotiaHalf!

Running in the Heat

Tips For Running In The Heat

By | Toronto Waterfront 10K, Training Tips | No Comments

The weather is the most unpredictable part of race day.  You have no control over the conditions, and they can change overnight depending on what Mother Nature wants to throw at us.  Not only does the weather on race day matter, but the weather in which you’ve done your training will determine how much you’re affected by race day conditions.  If it’s been a cold winter and spring, and your target race ends up being in hot conditions, the body is in for a shock!  Here are a few things that you can do to help make your race day as ideal as possible:

Layer up
As acclimation doesn’t happen instantly when the temperature warms up, you can use your final weeks before the race for mock heat training.  This doesn’t mean trying to wrestle a treadmill into a sauna and running for hours. Full acclimatization takes about 10-14 days so an easy way to get ready for the heat is to wear an extra layer on your runs. You can wear tights over shorts and a long sleeve over a singlet to get your body slightly more adapted to hotter conditions.  Don’t forget to increase your fluid intake before/during/after to ensure you don’t risk dehydration from higher sweat loss rates.

Arrive early
If your target race is out of town, try to arrive to the destination a few days in advance.  Just one or two days of acclimation can make a big difference come race day.  Doing a shakeout run and being in the heat for a few days will not only give you an idea of what to expect on race day, it’ll help prepare your body to better withstand the heat.

Focus on hydration/nutrition
Running in the heat increases your sweat production in order to dissipate heat and regulate your core temperature. When your sweat rate increases, it decreases your blood volume. This is due to a reduction in the body’s total fluid volume if you’re not adequately replenishing.  Maintaining a normal blood volume is essential as your muscles need blood flow and oxygen delivery in order to work effectively.  However, try not to just drink water.  Consume electrolytes and carbohydrates to help to keep your internal electrolyte balance stable.  Use the classic pee test to monitor your hydration.  Aim for a light yellow urine colour which indicates you’re hydrated but not diluted.

In terms of nutrition, the fuels you ingested in cooler climates may not sit as well in your gut when the weather heats up. Practice taking in fluid and fuel as much as you can in hotter conditions to know exactly what you’ll be able to take in on race day.  On the big day, equip yourself with the fuel you need, and be sure to drink early and often while on course.

Protect your body
Apply sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on any visible skin, including scalp, ears, and back of the neck, to protect it from the sun’s harmful UV rays.  But don’t just rely on sunscreen to protect you.  Wear a hat or visor, sunglasses, light-coloured and loose-fitting clothing.  The light colour will reflect the heat, and a loose fit will help to let the air circulate and cool your body down.

Start cool
If there’s a chance that you’re able to reduce your core temperature before the race starts, do it. Whether it’s consuming icy drinks, placing an ice bandana around the back of your neck, or wearing a fancy ice vest, use a method that’s accessible to you.  Being comfortably cool at the start of the race means you’ll take longer to get up to a level of overheating.  Ice on the back of the neck is a great option because when the ice melts, the cool water will trickle down your back and continue to keep you cool.

Set appropriate expectations
When coming into a hot race, understand that the temperature is going to affect the pace you’re able to hold for the duration of the race.  If you were shooting for a PB, think about setting that goal to the side if race day is going to be a scorcher.  Don’t underestimate the power of perceived exertion. Listen to your body over the splits that are displayed on your watch.

If your body is rebelling against the heat, reset and focus on the race as an experience and enjoy it.  If a personal best, or your A-goal isn’t attainable, weigh the pros/cons of finishing the race or deferring the effort to a subsequent race.  If stepping off the course is going to reduce your risk of injury and allow you to try again at a different race, it could be worth it.  Here is a chart that’s worth noting when trying to decide what to do:

DEW POINT (°F) RUNNER’S PERCEPTION HOW TO HANDLE
50–54 Very comfortable PR conditions
55–59 Comfortable Hard efforts likely not affected
60–64 Uncomfortable for some people Expect race times to be slower than in optimal conditions
65–69 Uncomfortable for most people Easy training runs might feel OK but difficult to race well or do hard efforts
70–74 Very humid and uncomfortable Expect pace to suffer greatly
75 or greater Extremely oppressive Skip it or dramatically alter goal

 

Common Race Mistakes (plus how to avoid them)

By | Racing Strategy | No Comments

When race day arrives, runners seem to forget everything they’ve done in training. Nerves interfere with their normal thought processes and causes people to overthink and doubt their abilities. Understanding that if you trained smartly and effectively, there is no reason to freak out on race day; it’s the fun part! However, race day mistakes are so common that recognizing the issue and dealing with it before it sabotages the race entirely is key. Here are some common problems and how to prevent them:

  1. Forgetting something essential.
    It’s really important to lay out all of the essential items you’ll need on race day the night before. Make sure your outfit is washed, dry and ready to go; your race bib is secured with safety pins onto your top; and you’ve set an extra alarm to ensure you wake up in time. Plan a few different outfits in case of changing weather. Prepare any other pre-race necessity, as it’s calming to have everything sorted out the day before. This will help your race morning go smoothly and you’ll arrive to the startline on time.
  2. Arriving late.
    This can be related to problem #1. Scrambling on race day and not being organized the night before can lead to a delayed departure. If you wake up late, can’t find a sock, or any other minor disaster occurs, it can make you late for the race start. While most races have a small window from when the gun fires for the race start until they close off the start line, many other components of the race are time-sensitive. Bag checks, port-a-potty lineups, traffic, and the hustle and bustle of a race can all take time. Be sure to get up with plenty of time to get to the race start efficiently.
  3. Not having a race day plan.
    Having a plan for race day is important for a successful race, but it also needs to be flexible. Many runners will line up at the start knowing the exact kilometre splits they want to hit, but may not account for terrain, weather, or race day mishaps. Have a pre-race plan: know how you’re getting to the race, what time you need to leave, the race day schedule, and your racing details. Always account for issues such as traffic, line ups, and unexpected weather changes. For the race, have an understanding of the race course to help set realistic time goals, and inform you about where to ease off/pick up the pace. Adjusting your goals based on the conditions of race day and the course will leave you satisfied at the end of the race, instead of being disappointed.
  4. Not warming up.
    It may seem counter-intuitive to run before a race even starts, but it’s a good idea. The shorter the race distance, the more important a warm-up becomes. Anything from 5-10 mins before a marathon, to 2-3 km before a 5 km is enough to lubricate the joints and loosen your muscles. It allows the body to warm-up, move efficiently and reduce the risk of injury, especially on cold weather mornings.
  5. Starting the race too fast.
    At every race there will be a runner than will sprint off the start line like a bat out of hell at a pace they can’t maintain. This not an effective way to race. Tapering before a race leaves your legs recovered making it easy to feel good right from the get-go so race pace may feel easy at the onset. As the race progresses, especially if you’ve run the first few km at a ridiculous pace, that speedy start can come back to bite you in the butt later on. Adrenaline will carry you through the first section of the race, but make sure to reign yourself in so you can finish the race strong and not hit the wall halfway through.
  6. Abandoning race nutrition plans
    Any training runs that were compromised due to taking in the wrong type or flavour of fuel and caused you to hit every bathroom for the rest of the run is the reason why we practice. These mishaps are what you want to avoid on race day. Knowing what flavour/brand of fuel works best, whether you should drink water or a sports drink, and the timing of your intake is key to a great race. If it’s left up to fate, your GI system isn’t very forgiving. Don’t abandon your practiced energy intake plan and solely rely on on-course fuel as it may not be available when you need it, or be the flavour/brand you’re used to. Implement the regime you practiced throughout training for fueling success; no one wants to race with GI issues or bonk and hit the wall.
  7. Putting too much faith in the pace bunny
    Pacers are great tools for staying on pace, but they aren’t robots. Utilize the pace bunnies to keep you on track, but don’t forget to have faith in your own abilities. Keep an eye on your watch just in case, and be willing to let go of the group if you feel you need to change your pace.

It also helps to go over the event details before showing up on Race Day. Know where package pickup is, how to get to the start line, how gear check works – simple stuff, but important to have all that info. Race Weekend details for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k are here so make sure you read them before the big day in June!

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at 3DRun Analysis

By | Training Tips | No Comments

The Fortius Lab, located within Fortius Sport & Health in Burnaby, is a state-of-the-art human performance lab that is accessible to all levels of athletes. In collaboration with their integrated team of sport medicine and science practitioners, the focus of the lab is to provide a series of tests and analyses that support in injury management, injury prevention, and optimize performance for athletes and active individuals.

Earlier this month, we were given the opportunity to offer two free Fortius Lab analyses to a participant of our races. Preston, a runner of only three years, undertook the challenge of going through the tests so he could share his experience with our readers. First up was a 3DRun Analysis.

WHAT IS A 3DRUN ANALYSIS?

The 3DRun Analysis looks at a runner’s form in three different planes: the sagittal plane (side view); frontal plane (front and back); and the transverse plane (birds eye view). Having three perspectives on the movement of the body while running allows the practitioner to see the forces produced when the foot hits the ground, and any restricted or excessive movement that may lead to injury over time.

All of these angles are filmed with state-of-the-art 3D video technology during a one-hour session on a force treadmill. The data collected is analyzed by a biomechanist and a report is shared during a follow-up appointment where the practitioner shows the runner the pros and cons of their running form. A practical review is provided with suggestions to determine if their movement patterns may be associated with a past or current injury, could be altered to prevent future injury, or could lead to greater efficiency in movement and overall improved performance.

Now, we’ll turn it over to Preston to hear his experience firsthand.

PRESTON’S STORY

Over the past 3 years my fitness goals have shifted dramatically. My journey started about 3 years ago with a desire to lose weight and improve my health after a break-up. As I began to see results I started getting curious about my potential. After losing approximately 98 lbs and vastly improving my cardio I met an experienced runner who invited me on my first 10K run and I was hooked.

My first goal was to complete a 10K in under an hour which I did (barely) in the spring of 2015. I ran my first half-marathon 2 months later with a goal time of 2 hours and missed it by a few minutes, but I knew I enjoyed the training and I was able to break the 2-hour mark at another race later in 2015. By the end of 2015 my times plateaued without the experience or knowledge of how to train for speed. I knew I enjoyed hitting the pavement and I ran frequently throughout the week but most of my half marathon times over the next 8 months were consistent at around 2 hours.

I met my coach from Mile2Marathon in the summer of 2016 and while I didn’t know what I was in for at first (or how much more there was to training than just running consistently through the week) the changes to my workout routine began to pay dividends quickly. Over the last year I’ve knocked approximately 20 minutes off of my half-marathon time and reduced my recovery period after long runs significantly.

PRESTON’S 3DRUN ANALYSIS

As someone who’s never seen himself run before this experience, I didn’t know what to expect. Seeing so many cameras pointing at the treadmill when I arrived was a bit intimidating at first, however the staff were amazing at putting me at ease and explaining what they were looking for each step of the way.

I’ve always liked data and was interested in the science behind the testing so I appreciated the time they took explaining the different measurements and tests that were being performed. Once the treadmill started it was easy to forget about the cameras and sensors and just run (which was one of my favourite parts of the test). I had just finished my second marathon 9 days before the testing and this was my first hard workout since the race so it felt great to get my legs going at half-marathon rather than marathon pace. After a warm-up, we accelerated to my half-marathon pace and before I knew it the treadmill was slowing down and we had the data that we needed.

The experience reminded me of animation work that friends have done using similar motion capture technology but I never considered myself a serious enough runner to explore it on my own; I always thought this level of testing was reserved for elite athletes but it was surprisingly accessible.

MY RESULTS

I was impressed by the number of practical recommendations that came up when we reviewed my results a few days after testing, but most importantly I was glad that no critical issues were identified that could lead to injury. I’ve been fortunate through my first 2 years as a runner to have avoided major injuries so my main goal coming out of this testing was to identify areas to focus on for injury prevention.

Runners I talk to always focus on their shoes and while they are an important part of your running gear it was exciting that the recommendations coming from the testing were not footwear focused. From specific muscle groups I could target, to cues and drills that I could try to improve my form, the tangible takeaways that were identified were impressive. I’m excited to see the impact they have as I implement them into my workout this summer as I train for my next half-marathon.

ENTER NOW TO WIN A FREE 3DRUN ANALYSIS

What know learn how to improve your form? Like, comment, or share our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram posts on 3DRun Analysis for a chance to win a free 3DRun Analysis!

To learn more about the Fortius Lab and 3DRun and Walk Analyses, visit their website and follow them @FortiusCentre

 

 

chafing

Chafing Prevention for Runners

By | Training Tips | No Comments

At some point in every runner’s life, they’ll be struck with the incredibly uncomfortable feeling of chafing. Add in the agony of stepping into the shower after a run, and having the hot water hit the chafed area on your skin – there’s a reason why we’ve chosen to create a list of preventative measures. Chafing occurs on the skin when there’s excessive friction in that area, and any part of the body is fair game.

Factors such as high temperatures, sensitive skin, poor clothing choices, body composition, and skin irritation from skin-on-skin contact/moisture/clothing etc. can make an athlete susceptible to chafing. The salt that is pushed out of our body by sweat can dry, crystalize, and stays on one’s skin leaving the sharp grains of salt to act like sand paper and cause chafing as the race wears on.

Here’s are some tips to prevent chafing from happening to you:

  • Know your “hot spots”
    Chafing tends to occur in the same areas any time it happens. In the summer, new spots can be affected but as training continues, you’ll have an idea of where to focus your preventative measures. Keep a note of any areas that are problematic throughout training, and if there are certain outfits that reduce the chafing. Then on race day, you’ll know exactly where to apply anti-friction lubricant.
  • Experiment with solutions
    Just like any other component of training, practice is key. Try out different outfits and anti-chafing remedies. Common preventions include Band-Aids, lubricants like Vaseline and body glide, or even powders can help reduce the risks of chafing. Moisture wicking fabrics tend to reduce friction better than cotton. Opting for a t-shirt over a singlet, or tights instead of shorts can also help as it reduces skin-on-skin friction.
  • Wear properly fitting clothing
    For women, having a properly fitted sports bra can make a huge difference. Any movement our skin has will be accentuated by poorly fitting attire. The combination of skin movement, and fabric friction can result in chafing. Compression apparel such as socks, tights, or shorts can limit the amount of leg-to-leg friction. Understand that tight clothing can rub against the skin, so apply anti-chafing lubricants in susceptible areas just in case.
  • Take action
    If you feel like any chafing is occurring mid-race, the aid stations may not have Body Glide on hand, but ask a medical attendant for Vaseline or other protective supplies. When running past water stations, think about taking an extra cup of water to wash away any aggravating salt crystals that can bite into your skin.
  • Have a recovery plan
    Chafing is incredibly painful, and is usually discovered as soon as you step into a hot shower. To reduce that pain, check problem spots before hopping into the shower, and use a wash cloth soaked in cold water to gently rinse the affected areas. The cold water seems to be less painful than hot water, and once the area has been rinsed, a hot water shower isn’t as unpleasant. Clean the area with soap and water to remove any dirt or debris, pat the area dry, and let the chafed area air out. This will help heal the top layer of skin so it’s not sensitive to the touch, or susceptible to infection. Opt for looser fitting clothing until the area heals.

Course Preview – Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon 2017

By | Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Our friend and Asics athlete Justin Kent did a quick preview run of the 2017 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon course a few weeks back. Check out some videos of the preview run along with photos from last year’s race!

You can find more course info on the Half-Marathon as well as the 5k here. Looking forward to having you join us this June!

 

Canadian Olympians Lanni Marchant and Reid Coolsaet reveal 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon finisher medals

By | Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon | No Comments

The 2017 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K finisher medals were unveiled last Thursday night as more than 120 local runners led by the RunTOBeer crew and Canadian Olympians Reid Coolsaet and Lanni Marchant covered a mystery “reveal run” from Rorschach Brewery to the Leuty Lifeguard Station.

Built in 1920, the lifeguard station is an icon in The Beach neighbourhood and for Toronto’s waterfront. The medals – gold for the marathon; silver for the half; bronze for the 5K – were designed by Canada Running Series’ Inge Johnson. The design was based on a photograph by Beach artist and runner, Erwin Buck, taken one sunrise last September. “We’re thrilled to feature the Leuty Lifeguard Station on this year’s medal, and with the way the design has worked out,” said Race Director Alan Brookes. “Just like The Beach neighbourhood, its residents and businesses, the ‘Leuty’ is very special to us.”

Toronto is globally acclaimed as a waterfront city, a “city of neighbourhoods”, and The Beach is one of its finest. The Beach also comes at a critical point in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, between 30k and 35k, when runners can hit that legendary “wall”, only to have the great crowds in neighbourhood lift them and carry them to the finish.

This year’s medals are the 10th anniversary of the “Landmark Collectors’ Series”, all designed by Johnson, that has featured other famed Toronto icons such as Honest Ed’s, The Princes’ Gates at the Canadian Exhibition, and the Gooderham Flatiron Building.

The unveiling was done by Marchant and Coolsaet, who have been important parts of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon event. In 2013, Lanni ran 2:28:00 at the IAAF Gold Label race, to take out a 28-year old Women’s National Marathon Record. In 2011, Reid almost re-wrote Jerome Drayton’s 1975 Men’s Record, as he surged to take on the East Africans in The Beach section, before fading a little in the last 5k to come home 3rd (2:10:55) in a world-class field and book his ticket to the London Olympics.

The Olympians were joined in the ceremony by the artists/designer; Dr. Johanna Carlo and Jessica Wright, Director of the Beach Village Business Improvement Association and Paula Murphy of Pegasus, the neighbourhood charity for the race, who invited the world to run The Beach on October 22nd. On that day, some 26,000 runners of all abilities, from 70 countries are expected to earn one of these fabulous souvenir medals of the city and its marathon, and take them home around the globe.

For more information and entry: STWM.ca

Olympians Gillis and DuChene To Defend Toronto Waterfront 10K Titles

By | Elite Athletes, Toronto Waterfront 10K | No Comments

By Paul Gains

“I remember not knowing where the finish was,” says three-time Canadian Olympian Eric Gillis, laughing as he recalls his victory at the 2016 Toronto Waterfront 10K race.

“Any race I run it’s the kilometre markers I look at more than anything. I think I relied on that just a little too much last year. I knew where the start was, though!”

Gillis won the race in 29:23 and then spent time meeting and greeting fellow runners. The race provided both him and women’s winner Krista DuChene (33:50) with an opportunity to break up their Rio Olympic marathon training and be given a proper send off from the running community.

The pair return to the June 17 race, along with a brand new title sponsor lululemon, with the intention of defending their hard-won titles.

The 36-year-old Gillis, of course, finished an incredible 10th in the Rio Olympic Marathon, the best performance by a Canadian since Jerome Drayton’s 6th place in the 1976 Montreal Games. DuChene, meanwhile, was 35th in the women’s race in Rio. Knowing the Waterfront course a little more intimately this time should be an asset when they line up on University Avenue for the start.

Gillis says he enjoyed last years’ experience on the waterfront.

“I enjoyed the course,” Gillis continues. “It’s a little bit downhill at the start; the waterfront and the finish is great. It has a nice big open feel to it before and after the finish. I stuck around and shook a lot of hands. That was special, last year. A good vibe afterwards and having the kind of Rio sendoff for Reid (Coolsaet), Krista and I, was cool.”

Until a swelling of his achilles tendon interfered with his preparation, Gillis had intended to run the Boston Marathon last month but instead decided to give it a proper rest. Now his attention has turned to the IAAF World Championships in London in August, giving the Toronto Waterfront 10K much more importance as a proper fitness test.

“There is nothing like getting out there on a closed race course and getting in a race. Last year worked well and I believe it will this year,” Gillis adds. “Once I have begun a buildup for the marathon they are all pretty similar in terms of the commitment and the interest and the work that I put in for each marathon. So the Toronto Waterfront 10K will be pretty similar to last year in the way I approach it.”

Following the Olympic Games, Krista DuChene made some significant changes. First there was an amicable parting with long time coach, Rick Mannen, and her subsequent move to Speed River Track and Field Club, where she joins Gillis and six other Canadian Olympians under the guidance of Dave Scott-Thomas. Then, as a 40th birthday present, she spent a month training at a high-altitude camp in Kenya, something she has never done previously.

“I just felt that I needed the next level, kind of the next step. I didn’t want any regrets looking back on my career and I didn’t want to say ‘why didn’t I step out of my comfort zone?’” DuChene says of the changes. “I didn’t want to settle at a level because I was used to it. Knowing I probably have a couple of years of good marathoning left before I plateau, it was definitely the right time to do it.

“I think it’s safe to say my birthday gift was the trip to Kenya. I am thankful that my husband basically gave me his blessing to leave for a month – leaving him at home with the kids. It was a big commitment for him in order to support me, in order for me to be gone for a month. They gave me some earrings and I had some chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Pretty good for a 40th birthday present, if you ask me.”

The altitude training went well and she was in good shape to race at the London Marathon in April. But for the first time in her career, the Brantford, Ont. native experienced gastrointestinal issues while racing. A fall marathon is in the plans now. Nevertheless, she looks forward to racing the Toronto Waterfront 10K.

“I just love running races with the Canada Running Series,” she admits. “Toronto is close to home. I am somewhat familiar with the course and it will be good for me to do a race at a shorter distance off of three marathons since August.

“There are so many reasons I love CRS and choosing those events, so it just made sense to do that one. The timing was also appropriate. It will be almost two months since I ran in London.”

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For more information and to join Olympians Eric Gillis and Krista DuChene at the Toronto Waterfront 10K, with title sponsor lululemon, go to toronto10k.com