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Training Tips

Meet Your #scotiahalf Pacers!

By | Community Leaders, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips, Uncategorised | No Comments

Trying to get under the two-hour mark? Looking for a running buddy to keep you motivated through your race? Pacers are a great resource for runners to help maintain pace, keep you motivated, and maybe push you towards that elusive new PB!

We had an incredibly strong group of applications for our pacer positions this year, and we’re very excited to announce your 2018 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon Pacers!

 

Pace Time: 2hr 30min

Name: Susan

A little about Susan:

“I started running with my first Learn-to-Run clinic in July 2012, and did my first half marathon in November 2013. Since then I’ve done 10 half marathons.  I have attempted to do the Scotia Half a few times, but scheduling and injury derailed my plans. ”

“I paced my first half marathon last year and had a fantastic time, so I decided to do it again this year; and when Canada Running Series asked for pacing volunteers, I jumped at the chance.  I am looking forward to bringing other racers across the finish line!”

 

Pace Time: 2hr 30min

Name: Amanda

A little about Amanda:

“My name is Amanda and I was born and raised in Vancouver, BC. My passion for running started in high school and I’ve completed several races ranging from 10k to full marathons mainly in BC, but also in the US and Ireland. I’m excited to serve as a pacer for the 2018 Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon because I can’t wait to help you crush your goals! Whether your goal is to just finish the race or get a new personal best, I’ll be there with you every step of the way!”

 

Pace Time: 2hr 15min

Name: Meaghan

A little about Meaghan:

Meaghan started running in 2013 when her brother bet her on who could out run who at a 10K race (this is now an annual tradition!). Since then, Meaghan has run countless 10KM events, 11 half marathons and is currently training for her first full marathon. She is very excited to pace the 2:15 Scotiabank Half Marathon group and to help fellow runners crush their goals. When not out running with her husband James and their chocolate labrador Gus, you can find Meaghan at the local coffee shops or craft breweries.

 

Pace Time: 2hr 15min

Name: Rose

A little about Rose:

“Hi there! My name is Rose and I am super excited to be a pacer for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon! I code most of my day away, so running is a welcome break for my brain and body. The Scotiabank Vancouver half marathon was my first half marathon and why I am so happy to be a pacer this year. Pacers have pushed me to PBs and finishes that I doubt I could have reached alone. I am very excited to help others reach their personal running goals.”

 

Pace Time: 2hr

Name: Paul

A little about Paul:

My name is Paul and I’m super excited to be the 2:00:00 pacer for the SVHM. I love setting HAGs (i.e. harry audacious goals) and working relentlessly to achieve them. In 2018, I’ll run the Boston, Berlin, and Chicago marathons. By achieving my HAGs, I aim to both role model and inspire my kids and others to set lofty goals and achieve them. As a SVHM pacer, I will encourage others by running alongside them and motivating them to achieve their own HAGs on what is one of the most stunningly beautiful courses.

 

Pace Time: 2hr

Name: Jaylene

A little about Jaylene:

“In the last five years I have developed a love and appreciation  for running and created a lifestyle around it. With the help of mentors in the Running community that have challenged me and with my sense of determination I have completed my goal in running the Boston Marathon in 2017. ”

“Giving back to the running community has always been important to me. Helping fellow runners push themselves to meet new goals gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride as I give back to the community. ”

 

Pace Time: 1hr 45min

Name: Philip

A little about Philip:

“Hello!  I am Phil Finlayson and I have the privilege of pacing the 1:45 group at the 2018 Scotiabank Half Marathon.  This will be my fifth time running in this event.  My favourite distances are 10K and Half Marathon, though I will have just finished my 3rdMarathon before we meet at the start line.  You can find me sharing my love of running with the North Burnaby Runners, Phoenix Running Club, Sun Run Clinics and sometimes even with crews west of Boundary Rd.”

 

Pace Time: 1hr 45min

Name: Dan

A little about Dan:

Originally from the UK, Dan ran his first 10k in London back in 2001. He didn’t get back into it until 2013 when he joined a local run group (at Rackets & Runners) to improve his distance and find a supportive run community. You can find Dan at road races of many distances; he’s lost count of how many, but the half is still his favourite. He’s also competed in 12 triathlons of all distances except the full Ironman; that’s his main focus for this year, as he’ll be competing at Ironman Canada in July. He’s looking forward to working to help others meet their goals at this year’s race!

10k to Half-Marathon Training Plan

By | General, Racing Strategy, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips | No Comments

10k to Half-Marathon — “Sun Run to Scotia Half” Training Program

Just finished the Sun Run? Well that means you should be able to run a Half-Marathon! Follow along with this simple nine week program to get you ready for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon in June. No more excuses — get out the door and get ready to run! Register for the run today!

 

WEEK MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
Apr 23–29 Rest 4km Cross-train 4km Rest Cross-train 7km
Apr 30–May 6 Rest 5km Cross-train 4km Rest Cross-train 10km
May 7–13 Rest 6km Cross-train 5km w/ hills Rest Cross-train 12km
May 14–20 Rest 6km Cross-train 6km Rest Cross-train 14km
May 21–27 Rest 7km Cross-train 6km w/ hills Rest Cross-train 16km
May 28–June 3 Rest 8km Cross-train 7km Rest Cross-train 18km
June 4–10 Rest 8km Cross-train 7km w/ hills Rest Cross-train 20km
June 11–17 Rest 8km Cross-train 7km w/ hills Rest Cross-train 12km
June 18–24 Rest 5km Rest 4km Rest Rest 21.1km — Event Day

Cross-train with swimming, hiking, cycling, yoga, or strength training. Make sure not to over do it on these days as they are part of your recovery process. When adding in hills, try to incorporate a few steady climbs into your route, anywhere from 200m to 500m long.

How Does Running Lift You Up?

By | Eastside 10k, Edmonton 10k, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips | No Comments

Running lifts people up in many different ways and we want to know how it lifts you up. Here at Canada Running Series, running helps lift us up in so many ways, including knowing the impact we – as a running community – can have on cities we race in. In September, thousands of runners will join the Under Armour Eastside 10K to run in, for, and with the Eastside. We are lifted up by knowing  we’ve been able to support an area of Vancouver that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In addition to bringing the Eastside community together, we have been able to raise $17,000 to support three fantastic charities: Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Greater Vancouver Foodbank and PHS Community Services Society.

The title partner for the Eastside 10K, Under Armour, has recently launched UA HOVR, the brand’s latest innovation in footwear cushioning technology.  Dave Dombrow, Under Armour’s Chief Design Officer says that when designing UA HOVR, the company set out to create the perfect combination of cushioning plus responsiveness and energy return – to essentially lift you up.  The new cushioning system was created to provide not only a cushioned ride but also energy return. “The development of UA HOVR was inspired by the insight that every step a runner takes has the impact of 2-4x their body weight, holding them down,” said Dombrow.   If you’re in the market for a new pair of running shoes this spring, UA HOVR  may be something you want to try.

 

Registration is now open for the Under Armour Eastside 10K. Sign up now#UAEastside10K

 

Running Shoes vs. Training Shoes: Are They The Same?

By | Racing Strategy, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips, Uncategorised | No Comments

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RUNNING AND TRAINING SHOES?

Running and training shoes may look similar, but the key differences are in sole flexibility and heel drop.

  • Running shoes are built for heel-to-toe movement and the higher heel drop in running shoes comes from added support and cushioning. Take these shoes on tracks and runs.
  • Training shoes are for multi-directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The sole of a training shoe is flatter, making it more flexible to allow a wide range of movement. Take these shoes to the gym.

WHAT ARE RUNNING SHOES BEST FOR?

This one is more obvious – running shoes are for running. But how do running shoes help with running? Running shoes protect your feet when pounding the pavement over and over again. Where a training shoe helps with side-to-side movement, running shoes help with forward movement. Running shoes also provide more cushioning and support, which often translates into a higher heel drop. This makes for more comfort during long distance runs when you need lots of shock absorption.

WHAT ARE TRAINING SHOES?

Training shoes support a range of movement, including: cutting, stopping, breaking, jumping, and changing direction quickly.

This makes a training shoe versatile and good for many different types of workouts. You can think of training shoes as your all-in-one gym shoe.

You can usually tell a shoe is a training shoe by how much flatter the shoe is. The technical term here is the “heel drop,” which refers to the distance from the heel height to the toe height.

WHAT ARE TRAINING SHOES GOOD FOR:

  • High-intensity gym classes and outdoor boot camps – cushioning for high-impact and run training
  • Weight lifting – heel support so you can go lower into squats and then stand up
  • Strength training – a training-specific last makes for extra space in the forefoot
  • Agility training – grooves and outsole patterns for traction during plyometric and multi-directional movement

You can even do short distances on a treadmill. Anything longer than a 5K is usually better with running shoes for shock absorption.

HOW SHOULD TRAINING SHOES FIT?

Training shoes have a comfortable upper and flexible midsole for multi-directional movement. A lower heel drop puts you closer to the ground to push off and pivot. Training shoes are lightweight for easy and efficient movement.

RISKS OF USING THE WRONG SHOES FOR YOUR WORKOUT

Wearing the wrong shoes may lead to problems such as:

  • Discomfort
  • Lowered performance
  • Injuries

DISCOMFORT

The wrong type of shoes can cause discomfort in many different ways. You may experience blisters, aches and pains, or soreness. It may be the reason your shoe doesn’t feel quite right. The best shoes don’t get in your way at all – letting you do your workout without hardly noticing them.

LOWERED PERFORMANCE

Wearing the wrong type of shoe can keep you from performing your best. When you’re putting in the hard work to get better, the last thing you need is your shoe to be holding you back. Running shoes during plyometrics can keep you from pivoting quickly. You won’t have the grip, traction, and flexibility of the sole a training shoe provides. Without running shoe cushioning and support, it may be harder to up mileage or get faster.

INJURIES

Running and training shoes provide specific types of support to prevent injury. Here are some of the ways a mismatch of shoe to workout may increase your chances of injury:

  • Running shoes for lateral movement: higher heel drops make for a higher chance of ankle sprains during lateral movement
  • Running shoes for plyometric workouts: the extra cushioning and support from running shoes can keep you from landing properly and can increase your chances of a knee or ankle injury
  • Running in training shoes: without the cushioning and support of running shoes, you can increase your chances of getting plantar fasciitis
  • Not enough running support: stress fractures can occur from running without proper support, which can happen when using minimalist shoes lacking cushioning to absorb shock
  • The wrong type of running shoes: tendonitis can happen when you aren’t wearing the running shoe for your pronation type – whether it’s an overpronator needing a more structured shoe or a neutral runner wearing a shoe with too much arch support
  • Lifting weights in cushioned shoes – it’s best to do lifting in shoes with little cushioning

Don’t forget shoe size. Too small of shoes can cause your toenails to turn black from bruising and fall off. You should be sizing up at least a half size to account for the natural movement and swelling of your feet during workouts. You may also need to find the right shoe width for your comfort.

If you’re still unsure about what shoe is best for you, find an ASICS retail store for expert guidance or your local specialty sports store.

 

This blog was originally written for ASICS, and can be found HERE

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 (www.thelewistonultra.com); 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.

 

 

What can proper coaching do for you?

By | Eastside 10k, Edmonton 10k, Scotiabank Charity Challenge, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips | No Comments

In a world where everything is available right at your fingertips, it seems normal to consult the internet for a training plan to prepare for an upcoming race.  However, these programs are cookie cutter methods based on norms that don’t take into consideration the uniqueness of the individuals that use them.  So what does proper coaching offer that a run-of-the-mill program doesn’t?

“With proper coaching, an athlete just might discover the best version of themselves, or they might start to let go of all those heavy expectations that they carry around. And through this process they will learn more about themselves. Proper coaching allows an athlete to make clear choices and carve out a path to where they want to go. Proper coaching builds the bridge between who the athlete is today, and who they will be. Proper coaching filters and flows into every area of an athlete’s life so that all of the practicing, resting, recovering, training, racing, and dreaming is purposeful. With proper coaching, we grow and get better.” – Kate Gustafson, Mile2Marathon Coaching.

Not only do coaches provide one-on-one coaching, they usually form a group of athletes that can train together.  This not only ensures that the athletes are provided guidance, but they’re also supplied with a team that gives a team-like dynamic in a very solo sport.  This community supports, pushes, and enhances those who are involved.

The words of Coach Kate from Mile2Marathon in Vancouver eloquently explains the benefit of having a coach that can guide an athlete on their running journey.  Having someone understand the ebbs and flows of the athlete’s life, commitments, vices, and dreams is crucial.  Accountability to a coach, to one’s own goals, and to the betterment of one’s skills, is something that a generalized program from the internet won’t offer.  A coach can help make the solitude of training become a camaraderie, through the rapport a coach-athlete relationship cultivates.

Rob Watson’s Favourite Places To Run in Vancouver

By | General, Scotiabank Vancouver Half, Training Tips | No Comments

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

By | General, Training Tips | No Comments

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.

Physiological

  • 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.

Physical

  • 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.

 

resolutions

The Art of New Years Resolutions

By | Training Tips | No Comments

New Years Day is when many people are nursing their hangovers by sitting down with a pen and paper to jot down their New Years resolutions.  However, no matter how good one’s intentions are, the enthusiasm for a resolution deteriorates by about February.  Unfortunate as this is, it could just be a matter of poor resolution planning.  While the goals may vary between individuals, here are some tips for making and keeping your 2018 resolutions.

Make the one goal specific

Focus on one main goal.  While there may be other goals that contribute to the success of the main goal, choose one thing that you really want to achieve.  Then make it specific.  Having a generic goal like “I’m going to get faster” is great, but leaves out a lot of details.  How much faster?  Over what distance?  By when?  Have a goal that is SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Share your goals

It’s a scary thing to tell someone about your goals, but it’s also a beneficial thing to do.  Having your family, partner, or close friends know about your goal will help you be successful in achieving it.  It also keeps you accountable.  If someone else has similar goals, or is looking for a helping hand, working together will increase the likelihood of being successful.

Be patient

A lot of New Year resolutions are goals that encompass lifestyle changes.  These require habits to change, and take more effort and time than people realize.  Measure your success but don’t be discouraged if you don’t see any results in the first few weeks.  Goals revolving around weight-loss, eating habits, or fitness can take over six weeks to see results.  If it’s a goal of doing all the dishes before bed every night, then hopefully the results are immediate!  Be patient, and understand that long-lasting changes take time.

Make time

There is no way to create more time in a day, but adjusting schedules and becoming better at time management will free up more time.  Make your goals a priority, and schedule them into your calendar like you would for any other important appointment.  Thirty minutes everyday can be enough to do a quick run, do some core work, prep a meal, or clean up.  Spending a little bit of time on a goal everyday is better than an “all-or-nothing” approach.

Anticipate slip-ups

Nobody is perfect.  Understand that it’s likely that a slip-up will happen, and your goals could get off track.  However, instead of losing hope and giving up, acknowledge the mistake and create a plan that will decrease the chances of it happening again.

Plan rewards

Rewards don’t have to be big, but they can be enough to keep up your motivation levels.  Treat yourself to a new pair of technical socks if you hit a benchmark training time; or go grab a latte instead of a black coffee if you’ve hit that month’s weight goal.  A reward doesn’t have to be every week, but if that’s the frequency that they need to occur to keep you on track, then do what’s best for you!

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.