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Training Tips

How to Up your Running Game in 2018!

By | Race Roster Spring Run-Off, Training Tips | No Comments

By Heather Gardner, founder of Tribe Fitness.

The start of a new year is a great time to set goals and try something new. So whether you are starting to run for fun, or are fired up as a goal crusher. Here are 5 tips to help you up your running game in 2018!

5 Tips to Run for Fun!

1. Track progress. Whether it’s on your favourite app (there are so many out there) or on an old fashioned calendar on your fridge, tracking your workouts, recording how you feel, or even checking something off your monthly workout plan will give you that extra feeling of progress and accomplishment.

2. Create the perfect playlist or find the perfect podcast. Music or podcasts can be a great motivator to help you get to into the running mood! Make a new playlist filled with high-tempo tracks or save a new podcast for each workout to inspire you to keep moving while on route.

3. Sign up for a race/fun run. Committing to an event gives you a good reason to create a training plan and stick to it. Start planning ahead now, the Race Roster Spring Run Off is just around the corner.

4. Fuel up. Running on an empty stomach can keep you from having the right amount of energy, but eating too much can lead to cramping. Look for a small snack containing carbs and protein for sustained energy.

5. Join a run Tribe. Whether it’s a friend or family member, community run crew, or virtual group of online friends, having people with a similar interest to connect with and learn from will help keep you accountable and having fun.

5 Tips for the Goal Crushers!

1. Get into proper form. It may seem like the simplest way to work out, but running does take knowledge and skill to make sure you don’t end up on the injured list. Get reading, listening, or meeting with professionals in your community to make sure you’re running to the best of your ability.

2. Get out of town! Taking your runs to new roads is a great way to combine travel and your favourite sport. Destination races within Canada or abroad will leave you with a new sense of adventure and motivation to move.

3. Cross train. Don’t limit yourself to improving your pace only out on the road. There are many things you can do when you aren’t running that can help: Take a yoga class to improve your flexibility; strength train regularly to build speed and prevent injuries; meditate to find focus and calm those pre-race jitters.

4. Roll out. Massage your muscles with a roller to increase flexibility and range of movement in the knees while breaking down scar tissue and adhesions.

5. Give back. Whether you volunteer to help a new group of runners get their start, support your local school’s track and friend day, or give your time stuffing kits at a race expo, giving your time back to the sport you love will leave you filled with gratitude and pride for your local run community.

healthy winter

Healthy options for winter

By | Nutrition, Training Tips | No Comments

When the weather gets colder, meals typically get warmer. People go into hibernation mode in the winter, and crave heartier meals.  Suddenly creamy soups, pastas, and stews become far more appetizing than they did in the summer. Unfortunately, some of these meals may make your pants fit a little tighter if you opt for a decadent dish at every chance you get. However, there are so many ways to make healthy and delicious meals that are just as satisfying as their heftier counterparts.

Eat seasonal produce

The summer has fresh berries and summer vegetables, whereas the winter is laden with winter squash, apples, pears, cauliflower, potatoes, and other root vegetables that are staples for any winter meal.  Plus, they taste exponentially better than they did in the summer as they’re actually in season. They don’t cost a fortune as they’re in abundance, so you can eat well without putting a dent in your wallet.

Bulk up your salads

Salads seem to be deemed a summer meal, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Top off your usual greens with roasted potatoes or yams, toasted nuts, crispy chickpeas, or grilled meat/tofu to enhance the meal. Even adding grains like quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice or barley will up the ante and ensure you’re incorporating healthy whole grains. Finish it off with fresh fruit, or crumbly cheese and you’ll be rethinking your views on winter salads.

Fill up on soup, stew, and chilli

Restaurant versions of these options can be loaded with cream, butter, and other delicious, but no-so-healthy ingredients. However, if made at home they can be a healthy and time-saving option for dinner.  They usually make lots of leftovers that are fantastic for lunch at work. It’s easy to throw in a lot of vegetables into these meals to not only bulk up the dish, but to increase the nutritional value too.

Be creative with healthy alternatives

Some of the classic comfort meals like mac & cheese, fettuccine alfredo, or creamy soups are loaded with heavy cream and butter. There are lots of ways to make healthy versions of these meals with seasonal ingredients that won’t break the bank.  Whip up cauli-fredo sauce, instead of the classic alfredo. Or use pureed squash and chicken stock instead of cream in your mac & cheese sauce. There are many ways to create nutritious options. Unsure of how to substitute? Just ask Google and a multitude of options will appear.

Don’t skip dessert

When produce is fresh, it’s sweet enough to make dessert without requiring large amounts of sugar. Simple options like baked apple crumble, or sweet potato brownies, are healthier options that incorporate the natural sweetness from fruits and vegetables while adding a nutritious punch.

race ends

What to do when the race ends

By | Training Tips | No Comments

When training for an “A” race, it’s easy to get used to the hustle and bustle of a structured workout routine. For some, their social life may take a hit when training is at it’s highest. For others there may be some sacrifices in their diet. Whatever the lifestyle changes are, they become a choice, not a sacrifice after a while.

Post-marathon (or any other distance), the post-race blues are not an imaginary thing. It happens to many runners, and may feel like a strange emotion to have after a big accomplishment. Having a good cry, or thorough debriefing time after a race, is healthy. It allows you to feel all of the emotions that come with achieving a goal that may not have surfaced on the day.

Big races and goals require incredible focus and dedication.  That’s what makes the culmination of efforts so sweet on race day, or so bitter if it goes sideways.  Whatever the result is, accomplishing a big goal can leave people feeling a little lost once it’s all said and done. So what do you do once the race ends? If you’re feeling a little lost, keep these things in mind to help you get back on track.

Bask in the rest

Your body needs a rest after a big effort not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too.  It’s incredibly draining to work so hard for so long, so let all of your systems recover. Physically you might feel good to get back on the training horse after a few days, but your body will need at least week or two to fully recover.

Mentally, you need a break from structured training as it took a lot of mental focus to make it through an entire training block.  Emotionally, you’ve challenged yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone. By either trying a new distance, or aiming to set a new personal best, you became vulnerable in doing so and letting those who are nearest and dearest to you what you wanted to do.  All those things take energy, and combined can be exhausting.  After the race, let all of those elements recover and rebuild for the next thing.

Enjoy the break in routine

Regimented training is great, and allows for consistency. It’s not until the end of a build, when the race is done, that you realize just how much time all that training took. While recovering and determining what your next challenge will be, enjoy the time away from structure. If you would rather nap instead of running, you can do so without guilt.  If you want to hike with friends, or go skiing, or just try something new, now’s the time! Go out, have fun, and spend quality time with the people who supported you on your journey.

Start to plan

After a certain amount of time, most runners become antsy. It’s at that time that you start to scheme and plan the next race for the race calendar. When the fire has ignited again to start back into training, you’ll know it’s the right time.  It’s worth taking a few days to ease back into things, and not go too crazy right off the bat. Use the previous race’s experience to devise a plan that will put you in an even better position for the next build. Think about adding in other workouts, or cross-training, or strength/core work.  All these elements will add diversity to a program and keep things feeling fresh.

Ease into it

After a few weeks off after a race season, it’s important to remember you won’t be starting off exactly where you left off. Some fitness will be lost, and your strength may have decreased. With that in mind, ease back into training with a few shorter runs to start, then add in some strides after runs, then get into workouts. There’s no sense in hammering out a workout on the first day back as it could result in injury, or in muscle soreness that requires a few days off to alleviate it. Take your time getting back into a routine, add in some cross-training to avoid intense DOMS, and remember to have fun.

Like anything, there are ebbs and flows with training cycles. While it may feel hard to take a break after a great race, it’s necessary.  Your body will thank you for the time off, and will be ready to take on whatever is thrown at it next.  So, enjoy the down time and you’ll be ready to rock for any subsequent races!

cold weather essentials

Cold weather essentials

By | Training Tips | No Comments

As the days get colder, the need for proper winter attire becomes more essential.  On the west coast we’re fortunate to have fairly mild winters compared to the typically snow-ridden eastern compatriots. However, if this year’s winter is anything like last year, we’ll all be pulling out our Yak Traks and coziest winter apparel as some point this season.

Our bodies generally require a longer warmup for workouts when running in colder temperatures. However, they also cool down exponentially faster after workouts. Take this into consideration when dressing for the elements.  Starting a run off looking like the Michelin Man may initially feel like a good idea, but when you start to overheat and have to lug all of your kit for your run, it’s not ideal. On the other hand, if you wear too little, you may warm up eventually but you’ll be freezing as soon as you stop moving. So here are some things to keep in mind:

Dress in layers.

Ideally have a thin, moisture wicking shirt against your skin. Top that with a light-weight jacket or vest depending on the temperatures. Keeping your core warm is crucial, so when it’s really cold out, opting for a vest and jacket isn’t a bad option.

Opt for tights.

Whether they’re half tights, or full tights, wearing an extra layer on your legs will help keep the muscles warm while they work. Cold muscles put you at risk of injury as they won’t be able to warmup enough to feel fluid in their movements.  Wearing a pair of tights, or looser fitting pants for more bashful folks, will keep your body heat from escaping too fast and will consequently keep your legs warmer.

Don’t forget your head.

Most of our body heat is lost through our heads. Some people find hats too warm even on the coldest of days, so will opt for headbands/ear warmers instead. Both options will keep your ears, and head warm.

Maintain your dexterity.

Even in above freezing temperatures, it’s wise to wear a thin pair of gloves.  Depending on the weather, thin, wind-resistant gloves are great in above freezing temperatures, whereas heavier water-proof mitts are ideal for below freezing chills. Frozen hands are incredibly uncomfortable, and make it difficult to do anything after your run.  Have a pair of gloves on hand to avoid battling with your keys to turn on your car, or fighting to change into warm clothes.

Dry feet are happy feet.

The duration of your run will help determine the need for waterproof shoes. If you plan on being out for a long run, it might be worth wearing waterproof shoes that will delay any discomfort that occurs from cold and wet feet. If you’re out for a short run, wet feet won’t matter as much if you’re heading straight home. Just make sure to stuff your shoes with newspaper, and place them by a heater in order to dry faster.

Protect your eyes and skin.

If snow has fallen, and it’s still bright out, protect your skin and eyes.  The sun’s harmful UV rays can still pass through clouds. In addition to hitting your skin, the reflection from snow can make the intensity that much stronger. Use sunscreen on bright days, and use sunglasses to protect your eyes.

It’ll take a few runs to figure out how hot you run, or how cold you stay while outside training. Just remember that as long as the footing is okay, and you’ve dressed properly, any weather is runnable!

Proper sports bra fitting

By | Training Tips | No Comments

Running can be unreasonably uncomfortable without proper sports bra fitting. Without the proper support, sensitive breast tissue can tear and cause irreversible damage. The materials in a sports bra will wear out with use, just like with a pair of shoes. When your bra celebrates a birthday, it might be time to retire it to low impact activities.

Good breast health requires proper support for your unique size and shape. What works for Mary in a size 34B will surely be a disaster for Ellie who wears a 40DD. Here are some quick tips and considerations for your next sports bra!

  • First off, don’t be shy to ask a sales associate for help. They will be more familiar with the products and make your fitting process more efficient.
  • Having a clear idea of what you are looking for in a bra and what type of physical activity it will be used for is critical.
  • When shopping, make sure you give yourself enough time. Rushing through a bra fit will leave you frustrated and walking away with the wrong fit!
  • When trying on bras, don’t be afraid to try different cup sizes. Most brands fit differently depending on their style and your individual body type.
  • If the bra chafes, allows excessive movement, rides up, or gapes under the arm, keep trying!
  • A proper fitting sports bra should fit more snug than a regular lingerie bra.
  • Breasts should be contained completely within the bra cups, with no overflow.
  • Underwire bras should sit next to the rib cage, directly below the breast tissue.
  • Wider straps provide comfort by distributing weight more evenly, thus helping to prevent back or shoulder discomfort.
  • With a properly fitted sports bra, you should be able to slip two fingers snugly between the band and the skin, as well as under the strap at the top of the shoulders.
Bra Tops and Shelf Bras

Both bra tops and shelf bras are designed for low impact activity. A bra top is a basic shelf bra that is sewn into a tank. Although sizing varies from extra small to extra-large, they will not provide maximum support for a cup size larger than B.

Support & Shape Bras

Support and shape bras are designed for medium to high impact. A wide range of supportive features includes; thicker straps, underwire, adjustable clasps, and racer back design. These types of bras range from A to DD, and sometimes E.

Compression and Full Motion Control Bras

Compression Bras are designed to firmly hold the breasts against the body and are ideal for high impact activities.

Some bras with full encapsulation and compression have underwire and are higher cut in the neckline to provide maximum support. These types of bras are best suited for women with cup sizes larger than a B.

Thanks to Rackets & Runners for this valuable information. Be sure to visit them if you have any questions or need help with proper fitting.

ideal workout

When’s your ideal workout time?

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It’s hard to say when the ideal workout time is.  It’s a personal preference, but any option has it’s advantages. Some people can’t fathom rolling out of bed, into their running shoes and heading out the door before they’re truly awake. Others can’t imagine running in the heat of the afternoon, or in the darkness of night.  What works for one person, doesn’t always work for someone else. It comes down to running when it works best for you, your schedule, and your mind. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each time of day:

Morning runner:

Getting out of bed and going out for a run straight away is great for several reasons.  If you have a high-stress job that doesn’t have a clock-out time, running first thing in the morning will help you avoid missing workouts after work.  It can help boost your focus for the day, and kick-start your metabolism. Furthermore, it can lead to making healthier decisions throughout the day as you’ll have started your day on a high note. In terms of the run itself, there are usually less people out and about early in the day, so you won’t have to battle crowds on popular running routes in your city.

The downsides to running in the morning are due to our body’s physical state.  Body temperatures when you wake up are lower than later in the day. As a result our muscles, tendons and ligaments are colder and need some extra time to warm up.  If an adequate warmup isn’t done, it increases the risk of injury. Additionally, lung function is poor due to the lungs being more constricted and inefficient bringing oxygen in after a night’s sleep your. The inefficient oxygen intake makes hard efforts can seem more difficult early in the morning.

Afternoon/evening runner:

Working out later in the day allows the body to get moving and have the blood flowing through your muscles, ligaments and tendons. The body is a fine-tuned machine, that varies the amount of circulating hormones depending on the time of day.  In the afternoon/evening, testosterone levels are higher.  Thus, the afternoon is a great time for any strength or power workouts. In addition, cortisol (a stress hormone which aids in the storage of fat and reduction in muscle tissue) levels decrease throughout the day. Lower cortisol levels help to gain muscle mass.  Post-work times are typically safer to be out in too.  More people are doing post-work errands, or their own workouts, so areas are more populated and safer to run through.

Despite all the great things the afternoon has to offer, there are downfalls.  Leaving workouts to later in the day are seen to be easier to miss.  After a long day of work, when energy is low, it’s easy to lose motivation and opt out of a workout.  Especially in jobs that don’t have a set end time.  If you get caught up in a project, work later, and end up fuelling improperly, it’s not surprising if a workout gets missed.  There are no real physical downfalls, only psychological.  So if your will power is high and you prefer the evening routine, you’re good to go!

Whatever time you decide on, it’ll be the best time for you and your schedule.  There are pros and cons to any situation, just do whatever gets you into your shoes and outside!

Race day etiquette & pacer information

By | Eastside 10k, Training Tips | No Comments

Race day is the most exciting part of any training build.  After months of workouts, long runs, and mentally preparing for a race all seems worth it when you finally get to pin your race bib on, and accomplish your goal.  To make a race the best experience possible, there are some race etiquette tips to keep in mind for the big day.

Before the race:

  • Read the website, entry form or other race information before contacting the race directly. All of the race details you need to know are probably there.
  • Respect entry restrictions. Check if the race permits wheelchairs or baby joggers, imposes a minimum age, or has time restrictions.
  • Pay attention to packet pickup hours. Do not show up at other times and expect to receive your race packet/number.
  • Carefully check your information at packet pickup. The time to correct any errors such as age, gender, or misspelling of your name is BEFORE the race.

Race day:

  • Keep your race bib visible. Pin your number on the FRONT of your shirt or outermost clothing. Announcers, photographers, timers and medics use it to help identify you.
  • Start in the correct corral. There is a reason why races ask for your predicted finishing time.  Slower runners and walkers should move into to the later corrals as their race bib indicates to avoid any congestion for faster runners trying to pass by. Arriving early doesn’t mean you can start at the front of the race. If you want to switch corrals, there are usually spots at package pickup to request that change.
  • Don’t make a fence.  It is incredibly frustrating to try and pass a large group of slower individuals who take up the entire width of the street during a race.  If you’re in a large group, respect other races, and stay two abreast.  If you’re walking, please remain behind the runners to avoid obstruction.
  • Pass on the left, stay to the right. If you’re speeding along, pass runners on their left. If you need to slow down, move to the right to allow others to easily pass. The first mile or so of a race can be crowded and sometimes you need to weave to pass people.  Just be aware of those around you.
  • Don’t stop dead in your tracks. If you need to stop for any reason move to the side.  Whether it’s an untied shoelace, your walk/run program, or an urgent phone call, don’t stop dead in your tracks. Look around, move to the side and slide back into the race when you’re ready.
  • Be mindful before taking mid-race photos. Many runners love documenting their journey, especially since selfies have become all the rage.  These are great mementos, but please step to the side when taking them. The last thing you want is another runner plowing through you and your phone shattering on the ground.
  • Don’t tune out. Portable headphone devices for iPods, MP3 players, phones etc are discouraged for your safety and the safety of others.  Blasting music in your ears can block out any verbal warnings/directions or sounds of vehicles/participants along the course. Be aware of your surroundings for your own safety, as well as for respecting others.
  • Be aware of other runners at water stops. If you’re skipping the water, run straight through the station and don’t crowd where the water is located.  If you need to wet your whistle, minimize congestion by grabbing quickly and move to the side once you’ve passed the water station volunteers before slowing down.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re not having a great day and decide to drop out, tell someone.  Sometimes race day doesn’t go as planned.  If you need to drop-out, be sure to tell a race volunteer so no one is looking for you afterwards.
  • Run through the finish line. Hundreds of runners are coming through behind you, so move towards the medals and snacks to avoid congestion in the finishing chute.
  • Share the post-race goodies.  After a race, the first thing runners see are the food tents.  While you’ve just burned a lot of calories during the race, remember that everyone else in the race has too.  Take one of each thing to allow every runner to replenish their energy once they cross the finish line.

Pacers

Many races have a group of volunteers that run the race to help others reach their goals.  These pacers, sometimes known as pace bunnies, are a valuable tool for staying on target for your goal.  When following a pacer, always keep an eye on your own time as well, just in case.  At the Under Armour Eastside 10k, there are 15 pacers for a number of race times.  The pacers will have matching pacer kits on, and will hold a sign with their designated pace time on it.  Hop in to whatever group matches your personal goal and let the camaraderie of others help pull you along!  The pacers will be as follows:

  • 45:00 = Lucas & Tibor
  • 50:00 = Alan & Fergus
  • 55:00 = Kenny & Shannon
  • 60:00 = Karl, Mark & Andy
  • 65:00 = Kelsey & Olivia
  • 70:00 = Erika & Evgeny
  • 75:00 = Fiona & Maryam

 

10 tips for 10k

10 tips for 10k

By | Eastside 10k, Training Tips | No Comments

Dylan Wykes & Rob Watson, two of the coaches at Mile2Marathon, gave us 10 tips for this year’s Under Armour Eastside 10km and how to prepare for the event. Check them out!

1. Be prepared for race morning:

Leave nothing to chance. Know what you are going to eat, know how you are going to get to the race, and know where you are going to stash your gear. Arrive early, as there’s no need for added stress on race day; you are there to compete and perform. Unnecessary stress will affect your performance. Oh, and bring lots of dry clothes!

2. Warm-up:

For some this is a 20 minute run and active strides. For others this is a 5 minute walk and some
stretches. Either way, get those muscles loose and ready to go, it’ll help avoid injury and have you
primed to go when the gun sounds.

3. Find your place:

Get on the start line and line up with people at the same level, or pace as you. A
45:00 10km is a great accomplishment, but you probably shouldn’t be lining up at the very front- you will get pulled out too hard and will impede faster runners. On the other hand, if you want to run 35:00 get yourself to the front, otherwise you are going to spend too much energy passing people and trampling over slower runners.

4. Get off the line:

The first km of a race is always fast. You will feel fresh and frisky. If you are several seconds faster than your goal pace do not worry, get the fist km in and then settle into your race.

5. Settle and flow:

From 2-6km you should relax and find your flow. If you are pushing too hard at 3km you are going to have a bad time- both literally and figuratively. Have your goal pace in mind and focus on maintaining that effort and rhythm. Being 5 seconds too slow is fine as you can make up time with a strong last 2km, but being 5 seconds too fast can be disastrous as when you blow up you’ll be giving time back in chunks.

6. Enjoy the scenery:

The Under Armour Eastside 10km course takes you on a tour through some of Vancouver’s most beautiful and culturally rich neighbourhoods. Appreciate the city and take it in. We live in a really special place.

7. Find a group:

There is power in numbers when it comes to racing. Working as group can help a lot. A group can pull you along, and you can lock in and roll. Find a friend and roll together… until 9km, then all bets are off!

8. Focus:

This is racing, it is supposed to hurt! Your legs will burn, you’ll fight for breath and you’ll want
to stop. You trained for this. Focus on your goals and stay positive. The pain of racing is brief, and that post run beer/brunch tastes so much better knowing you earned it.

9. Bite your tongue and go:

When you get to 9km it is time to get going! This is where you put your head down and give it hell. Dig deep and push, and when you are 400m out it is time to empty the tank. Give it everything you have until you cross the finish line.

10. Reap the spoils:

Congratulations on finishing the Under Armour Eastside 10km! Now enjoy yourself a bit- go get brunch, drink a beer or just do something to spoil yourself. You have earned it!

More info on the Under Armour Eastside 10k can be found here.

fortius vo2max testing

A Behind-The-Scenes Look at VO2max Testing

By | General, Training Tips | No Comments

HOW A VO2MAX ANALYSIS CAN HELP RUNNERS OPTIMIZE THEIR TRAINING

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.

WHAT IS A VO2MAX ANALYSIS?

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.

PRESTON’S STORY

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.

PRESTON’S VO2MAX EXPERIENCE

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.

ENTER NOW TO WIN A FREE VO2MAX ANALYSIS

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

http://www.fortiussport.com/Lab @FortiusCentre

 

lanni goal setting UA

Setting goals like an Olympian: Lanni Marchant

By | Eastside 10k, Elite Athletes, Training Tips | No Comments

Setting Goals like an Olympian: Lanni Marchant

under armour lanni

Whether it’s your first race or your 100th, you always need to set a goal.

Best Health web editor Lisa Hannam had the chance to interview Canadian Olympian and Under Armour athlete Lanni Marchant about realistic goal setting and the runner’s greatest accomplishments.

In the interview, Lanni explains her strategy for goal setting, in which she utilizes a work-backwards approach and vocally shares her goals with others.

“In 2012, I wanted to go to the Rio Olympics, so [my coach and I] worked backwards, in terms of how to qualify. But we also had goals for each season leading up to my qualifiers, [like the] Canadian records, Championship races, and medal contention etc.

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“For life goals, I’ll always keep that target in mind but I know that there might be some different paths and bends in the road to get there.

“Regardless of the goal, I have learned that I have to be vocal and share my goals with those around me. Keeping it a secret means I am carrying the risk of failure solely on my shoulders. When I share my goals with my family, close friends and coach, it means they are there to help me when I hit a bump or come to a crossroad and need help.”

To read the complete interview click here.

With less than two months until the Under Armour Eastside 10k, it’s time to set your goals!