How to Fuel Your Training Runs

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

By Kim Doerkson

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Running Communities

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

By Kara Leinweber, Ultra Runner

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

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

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

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



Rob Watson’s Favourite Places To Run in Vancouver

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

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

The Top 5

Jericho/Locarno/Spanish Banks

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

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

Point Grey High School Track

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


University of British Columbia (UBC)

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

Stanley Park Trails

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

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

Pacific Spirit Park

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


The Runners-Up

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

The Seawall

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

The Arbutus Corridor

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


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

The End.

The importance of sleep

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Article by Kim Doerksen

In today’s society the value of sleep is often discounted.  Saying such as: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”; or “sleep is for the weak”, results in a negative connotation towards sleeping.  Athletes of any caliber can benefit from the simplicity of a good night’s sleep.  Between 7 to 9 hours is seen as the optimal duration to allow for psychological, physiological and physical recovery benefits.

Psychological Benefits

  • Reaction times: in running this may not seem relevant, but there are many situations where if one is in a sleep-deprived state, the consequence could be a risk of injury. For example: jumping out of the way of a distracted driver or cyclist; navigating one’s footing in the trails; or dodging out the way of other pedestrians.
  • Focus: trying to navigate your way through a workout, especially complex ones, can be difficult while in a fog.  Attention and focus on the task at hand can fly out the window if one is too tired.
  • Motivation: runners are usually self-motivated individuals, so if cumulative fatigue creeps into one’s routine, the temptation of staying in bed or doing a less strenuous task will become too much to overcome, that it will result in decreased motivation and ultimately a break in routine.


  • The human body is an incredibly intelligent being. Many of the fundamental functions our body has in order to keep us alive, occur on a sub-conscious level.  The fine-tuned processes, like hormonal release, keep us in a balanced state and help in our sleep cycles.  Without too much detail, the body has various stages of sleep, and the hormonal release that occurs during each stage helps in one’s every day functioning.  Ignoring natural signals and forcing ourselves to stay up late; or having too much artificial light (from lamps, TV, cell phones etc.) all effect the natural release of these hormones and therefore disrupts our circadian rhythms.


  • Injury risk: many studies have shown the difference in injury risk in athletes who experience sleep-deprivation, and those who have a good sleeping routine.  Well rested?  Less injuries.  Simple as that.
  • Illness frequency: sleep allows the body to rest and rebuild after a day of training, working, and living life.  If those precious hours of rest are cut short, the body’s ability to maintain its health becomes an increasing difficult task, and can make one susceptible to getting sick.

Want a more in-depth look at the importance of sleep?  Check out this article from the National Strength & Conditioning Association.


Sexton and Woodfine Claim Canada Running Series Titles in banner year

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By Paul Gains.

A twisted ankle meant a late start to the racing season but after claiming the 2017 Canada Running Series overall title, Leslie Sexton isn’t complaining.

The 30-year old from London, Ontario finished with 164 points, earned from her two second place finishes in the Toronto Waterfront 10k and Under Armour Eastside 10k (Vancouver) and then her command performance at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon where she was first Canadian and fifth place overall in this IAAF Gold Label race.

On top of the individual race prize money, she collects $3000 for the overall title and was somewhat surprised with how things turned out.

“I sometimes forget about it as you are always focused on one race or what is coming up next,” she reveals. “But it is something my coach and I try to target at the start of the season.

“We try to pick three races in the Canada Running Series and then do the (necessary) one out of province, the Vancouver Eastside 10k. So it was always something we planned to do. It’s kind of in the back of your mind when you are performing at a single event.”

Winning the Athletics Canada Marathon Championship in a time of 2:35:47 was a fine end to the season but has her thinking ahead, while paying off debts accrued while pursuing her running career.

“It’s the first year in a couple of years that I haven’t got ‘Quest for Gold’ funding, the Ontario provisional funding,” she explains. “So I had to make the dollars stretch further and watch the expenses. I tried not to travel too much for competition and really just focused on stuff where I was staying in province, for the most part.

“So hopefully that will bring up some other opportunities – having a bit more money for that. I am probably looking at the Houston Half Marathon next. I am not sure what I will get from the race because I am going in there kind of late. But if I have to put some of my own money into that, it makes it an easier decision now.”

Runner-up this year was Olympian Natasha Wodak of Vancouver, who earns $1,500 from her 149 points. Master’s competitor Lioudmila Kortchaguina of Thornhill, Ontario was an impressive third with 108 points. That rewards her with a bonus $1,000.

The men’s overall title went to Tristan Woodfine from Speed River Track Club in Guelph who won the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8k in Toronto in April, then finished 4th in both the Toronto Waterfront 10k and the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon on back-to-back weekends in June. That earned him 116 points, twelve more than Toronto’s Sami Jibril who actually beat him at the Waterfront 10k.

Baghdad Rachem of Montreal finished 3rd with 70 points overall, and also won the Masters’ division with 120 points by virtue of being first Canadian Master at both the Toronto Waterfront 10k and the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

Woodfine was complimentary when speaking of his experience at the various Canada Running Series races.

“I wasn’t really planning on winning the overall title,” Woodfine says. “All (Race Director) Alan Brookes’ races are very well organized. and they provide a lot of support to the Canadian elite road runners. So doing his races is sort of a natural thing. That is why I ended up doing so many. It’s great to win the overall Series.”

With his focus, these days, on paramedic studies at the Ontario College of Health and Technology in Hamilton, the money will come in handy for tuition. He plans to return to the Ottawa Valley once he has graduated.

The Masters’ Women’s title was a tight contest between Vancouver’s Catherine Watkins and Lioudmila Kortchaguina, with Watkins triumphing in a battle of two outstanding 46-year-olds. The member of the BC Endurance Project finished with 150 points, just eight points more than her Ontario rival. Watkins’ performance at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 22nd proved the difference. She collected a perfect 60 points by winning the Canadian Masters’ marathon title there. “I am extremely happy to have been healthy and strong this year and to have been able to compete in, and win the masters competition in the Series,” said Watkins. “The Masters running scene is extremely strong now in Canada and it is fantastic that the CRS continues to support those of us who continue to compete as we get older.”

While Canada’s Olympians and top distance runners lit up the front end of CRS 2017, the Series enjoyed a banner year throughout. Every one of the seven races sold out, with overall participation up 10% to 57,170. New sponsors like lululemon, Under Armour and New Balance brought great activation and fresh excitement to the existing blue-chip partners, and total fundraising grew by 11% to a remarkable $5,963,944 – that’s an average of over $100 raised by our charity runners for every Series participant!

Online registration at the lowest, ‘Early Bird’ pricing is already open for the 2018 Banque Scotia 21k, 10k et 5k de Montreal, plus both 2018 Vancouver events: the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon & 5k, and the Under Armour Eastside 10k. Most other events will open on Tuesday, November 21st, all at You’re invited!


fortius vo2max testing

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at VO2max Testing

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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.  They offer support in injury management, injury prevention, and optimize performance for athletes and active individuals.


A VO2max test is a more scientific look at an athlete’s physical capacity for cardiovascular fitness.  It’s a rigorous incremental exercise test performed cycling or running that informs the athlete about the maximum amount of oxygen the body can consume to produce energy. This is directly related to performance. The faster oxygen can be delivered to your muscles, the faster you will be able to run at a much less given effort.  Lots of data is found in the VO2max testing, including various heart rates and speed/power levels.  These can be used to set appropriate training zones that can be applied to everyday training.  From the zones, the athlete will be able to train at heart rate specific intensities and paces, giving them more bang for their buck in each session.

At the end of the testing, the practitioner explains their findings and how the athlete can utilize this data for even more effective training. The test provides valuable information about one’s current aerobic fitness. This can used as a baseline for your training and allow you to set new goals. When returning for a re-test, you can then see how effective your training plan was.

Preston, a runner of only three years, undertook the challenge of going through two of the tests that Fortius offers: a 3D gait analysis and VO2max test.  He then shared his experience with our readers.


prestonOver the past 3 years my fitness goals have shifted dramatically. My journey started 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 cardiovascular fitness, 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.  I did it (barely) in the spring of 2015. I ran my first half-marathon 2 months later.  With a goal time of 2 hours, I missed it by a few minutes. I had enjoyed the training and knew was able to break the 2-hour mark at another race later in 2015. By the end of 2015 my times plateaued due to inexperience or knowledge of how to train for speed. I knew I enjoyed hitting the pavement and I ran frequently throughout the week. However, most of my half marathon times over the next 8 months remained consistently around 2 hours.

I met my coach from Mile2Marathon in the summer of 2016. At first, I didn’t know what I was in for. Who knew 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. Additionally, I’ve reduced my recovery period after long runs significantly.


vo2max testing prestonI’ve seen VO2max testing done before in movies and on TV so I had a good idea of what I was in for before arriving. But, it’s different watching something versus doing it yourself. My experience scuba diving was definitely helpful as the mouth piece used in the VO2max felt very similar to the regulator I use when I scuba dive. Being comfortable with the mouth piece attached and your nose plugged can take some time. The staff were great about ensuring a comfortable fit and I found it easy to adjust to after a few minutes.

As the treadmill speed and incline increased minute by minute I found myself pushing. I was curious to know what the last 3 years of work have done to my body. I wish that I had done one of these tests before I started getting fit so I would be able to more accurately measure my progress. Each stage felt harder and I dug deeper until I eventually reached my limit. The treadmill began to slow to a stop leaving me gasping for air.  As the mouthpiece was removed and we waited for my results.

A bump in the road

Since I work in IT, I took being told that my results had not been recorded by the computer as a funny IT joke at first. I am very familiar with technical issues and while it wasn’t a joke, manual records had been kept of my heart rate information when the computer’s VO2 data wasn’t recorded. Thankfully there was a verification phase that I could do to recreate and verify the results from the first test. I took a few minutes to catch my breath, my spit valve was emptied from the mouthpiece and I was hooked back up to the machine for round 2. The second time around the VO2max was definitely harder than the first but I was warmed up and had a better idea of what I should expect which helped me hit the exact same speed, incline and max heart rate as my first run. It was an incredible feeling and validates that I really did find my personal max during this test.

Knowing that 3 years ago I struggled to complete the grouse grind in 2.5 hours and was winded walking up a single flight of stairs it was a really proud moment seeing my results. Seeing the tangible impact of hundreds of hours on the elliptical and treadmill, countless runs through Vancouver in the cold, wind and rain and the time spent doing hill repeats in New Westminster were all worth it. Now I have a number that I could put next to all of that effort, at least until I go back and do even better.

Learn about Preston’s 3D Gait Analysis experience.


Do you want the opportunity to test your exercise physiology like Preston?

Like, comment, or share for a chance to win a free VO2MAX Analysis!

To learn more about the Fortius Lab and VO2max Analyses, visit their website at @FortiusCentre


recovery properly after a race

How to recover properly after a race

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As soon as you step over the finish line, it’s important to think about recovering properly after a race.  It’s usually overlooked, but is a crucial component of one’s training program.  Accomplishing any race distance is certainly something that should be celebrated with post-race festivities, and a little rest and relaxation.  But what happens after that?  It’s easy to get through the pre-race taper, hit the ground running on race day, and bask in your success. But what’s the best way to get back into running?  How long does recovery take?  What’s the best way to recover?

Immediately after:

As soon as you cross the finish line don’t stop moving.  Keep walking towards your medal, post-race food, and to see any friends and family that have come to support you.  Working hard during a race causes your heart to pump blood and oxygen rapidly through your body, and will continue to do so even after you cross the line.  By walking around for a good 15-20 minutes afterwards will help to avoid any blood from pooling in your extremities if you were to stop abruptly.  Moving will help to flush out the metabolic waste that’s accumulated in your muscles from the race, and will aid in active recovery.  Continue to move for the rets of the day too – nothing crazy, but after you’ve had a nap opt to go for a short walk in the evening to keep your muscles from tightening up.

Within one to two hours

Get some fluids and food in you as soon as you can.  Burning through your energy stores, and sweating throughout a race can leave you depleted.  Races will have some post-race food that will be great to bridge the gap between the end of the race and your next meal.  Try to get a good amount of carbohydrates and protein to feed your exhausted muscles.  It’s important to rehydrate with 16-20 oz of water for every pound of body weight you’ve lost during the race.  Add in electrolytes, or grab a sports drink to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.  The amount you have to drink to rehydrate will depend on your sweat rate, the heat/humidity of the day, and how much you hydrated throughout the race.  Keeping an eye on the colour of your urine is a good indicator: light yellow/lemonade is the colour to strive for.  Try to avoid alcohol immediately after the race, or at least until you’ve had some water/electrolytes.  Having depleted your body’s stores, the effects of the alcohol are much greater post-race and can impede your recovery.

24 hours after:

Getting a good night’s sleep after a big race is key.  It can be difficult falling asleep after big efforts due to achy and restless legs.  Avoid taking anti-inflammatories – your body elicits an inflammatory response as part of it’s healing process.  The sore muscles may suck initially, but it’s all part of the process.  If you’re having a tough time sleeping, look into taking melatonin. It is a natural substance created in our pineal gland that helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

The day after a race, if your muscles are still sore and achy, take an ice bath.  This will help speed up the recovery process by assisting the body in reducing the inflammation in the tissues.  Use the day after a race to debrief about the race, go for a walk, and just relax.  The down time after a race is just as important as the hard work before a race.

The week after the race:

Going back into training doesn’t need to be done right away.  A lot of people will take a few days off, and go for walks/light cross training to keep their body moving and loose.  The rule of thumb is in the first couple weeks after a race, follow the structure of the taper week, but in reverse.  It’s a great guideline for easing back into intensity without overdoing it.  Avoid too much intensity until about 10-14 days after the race to allow your muscles to fully recover before getting back into the swing of things.  Also, don’t forget the importance of rolling and stretching.  Many runners will book a massage or physio appointment for the week after a race to help flush their legs out.  Both these options help your recovery by increasing blood flow to your recovering muscles.

Keep in mind that these guidelines are just suggestions.  Everyone takes different times to heal and recover.  Listen to your body to figure out the best approach for your return to training.

benefits of track work

The benefits of hitting the track

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The benefits of track work when training for anything longer than 5k aren’t often discussed during a race build. Track workouts have their time and place for any race distance.  While crucial for typical track events of 5000m and under, they also provide many benefits for any distance up to the marathon.  Even ultra marathoners do track workouts sometimes!  It can feel intimidating heading to the perfectly marked 400m oval. The fear of the workout’s intensity, not knowing how to pace, or pressure to perform an a perfectly flat and manicured surface can steer runners away.  Try to ignore those barriers and remember the benefits a track workout will provide.

Learn to pace

On the track, the terrain is consistent and is perfectly flat.  These characteristics help runners learn how to properly pace themselves and understand what difference paces feel like. When running on the track, you must mentally push yourself to keep on pace. This helps build mental strength as well as physical strength, which is the opposite of treadmill running that forcefully keeps you moving at the same speed.  Understand that not every interval needs to be an all-out effort.  Being able to keep tabs on the pace by checking splits every half-lap (200m) or full lap (400m), will provide timely feedback so you know how and when to adjust your pace.

Improved running economy/efficiency

Running easy is exactly what it sounds like: easy.  It builds a tolerance to pavement pounding and slowly creates an aerobic base, but it also only teaches how to run at a leisurely pace.  Track workouts encourage a faster turnover. Therefore, it teaches your body how to run fast by adapting neuromuscular, musculoskeletal, and respiratory systems.  Faster turnover helps recruit and stimulate fast-twitch muscle fibers.  The amount in which it helps to make you run faster is very individual, but it will certainly help you from getting slower!  By building an aerobic foundation, it enhances the amount of oxygen that is consumed at a given pace. Meaning you’re able to hold a higher intensity for an extended duration before running out of steam.

Mental toughness

The thought of running around in 400m ovals isn’t exactly appealing. The monotony of the unchanging terrain and elevation can make it hard to remain motivated throughout a workout.  However, that’s exactly what makes the track great.  It requires mental toughness to remain on task throughout the workout especially with the workout’s heightened intensity. Seemingly unnecessary to do 400m repeats when training for a half or full marathon, it’s actually incredibly helpful.  When busting out shorter and faster intervals, it forces your legs to get out of an easy run shuffle and into a more powerful stride. By pushing a pace that can only be held for a short period of time, it makes the speed of threshold/tempo runs feel much more manageable.

So when training for your next goal race, be sure to include some speedy track sessions into your build.  Ideally grab a group of friends to accompany you and push the pace.  Do a full warmup to fully prepare your muscles for the intensity of the workout and don’t forget to have fun!

Dressing for the heat

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In the middle of summer, the heat has set in and most runner’s have become slightly more acclimatized to the weather.  However, if you typically run in the early morning/evenings when the temperature is lower, and you’re faced with an afternoon run, it can still be a shock to the system.  Much like winter running, what you wear can help you survive the run no matter what the conditions are.  Keeping sun safety, hydration, and thermoregulation in mind, these are some of the best ways to beat the heat.

Wear technical fabrics
We’ve all heard that cotton is the enemy, and it certainly is when it comes to running in the heat.  Unlike moisture-wicking technical fabrics, cotton absorbs sweat which weighs the clothing down and puts you at risk of chafing.  Technical fabrics are breathable and pull moisture away from the body to keep you cool through evaporation of sweat.

Keep it loose and light
Looser fitting shirts help to keep you cool by offering more ventilation as the air can move through the clothing unlike tighter fitting clothing which can retain body heat.  Choose light colours as they reflect the sunlight, whereas black/dark colour absorb the sun’s heat.  This will put you at risk of overheating.

Protect your head
Your body releases a lot of it’s heat through your head, so it’s important to wear a technical fabric hat or visor.  The benefit of a cap is that it protects your scalp from getting burnt, and can be stuffed with ice or soaked with cold water to cool you down even further.  Visors help shield your face and eyes from harmful UV rays, but do leave your head exposed to the sun.

Keep your eyes relaxed
It’s easy to forget how much energy squinting takes out of you while on the run.  It causes unnecessary  energy expenditure and can cause headaches or migraines.  Grab a pair of UVA & UVB protected sunglasses to keep your eyes relaxed and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

Slather on the sunscreen
Skin is the body’s largest organ, so it’s important to protect it.  Make sure to apply sunscreen wherever there may be skin exposure; if you plan on delayering throughout the run, don’t forget those areas too!  Opt for at least SPF 30 and waterproof so that it stays on as you sweat on the run.

Accessorize with hydration
Running in the heat causes your body to sweat more and lose water and electrolytes at an alarming rate.  If not replaced in a timely manner, it puts you at heat of dehydration and susceptible to heat-related illnesses.  Use either a hand-held bottle, a fuel belt, or a hydration pack for easy access to fluids.  If you aren’t a fan of carrying something while you run, plan a route that passes by water fountains or convenience stores where you can pop in to grab a sports drink if necessary.

Run Barbados Marathon Weekend 2017

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 Come for the run, stay for the fun! 

Join Lanni Marchant and Natasha Wodak on our Canada Running Series road trip to Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, December 1st – 3rd 2017. Join “Betty and Veronica” in the 10K, on the beach, for a few easy runs, and out on the town! It’s the ultimate CRS year-end reward!

We strongly recommend calling today as space is limited and will sell out at the group hotel.

Trip includes:

  • Round trip airfare from Toronto or Montreal via Air Canada.
  • 7 nights (November 30th – December 7th) at the fabulous 4-star Bougainvillea Beach Resort on Maxwell Coast Road.
  • Studio Room CAD$1418.00* per person based on double occupancy.
  • Junior Suite CAD$1568.00* per person based on double occupancy.
  • Transfers between airport-hotel in Barbados.
  • Prices quoted as of July 20th, may be subject to change. Space limited. Book early!

There’s a race for everyone: 1 Mile, 5K, 10K, Half-marathon, and Marathon, spread through Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Race details:

Then it’s time for the beach! Don’t miss our photo gallery from last year’s tour!


To inquire about bookings, call Marge Folkes at Marville Travel 905-891-0111 or email

For inquiries regarding the races email with “Run Barbados” as the subject.

Race details: