How Important is Sleep for Runners?

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Sleep is probably the most under appreciated tool in a runner’s toolbox as it helps to prevent injury and rebuild muscle.  But in a world where working into the wee hours of the night is considered a badge of honour, it could be negatively impacting your training.  Lack of sleep can affect us in many different ways and these are some of the most crucial effects to be aware of:

  • Brain function: anyone who hasn’t had enough sleep and has to go to work/school can attest to what a struggle it is to be productive.  The foggy-brained feeling can lead to a decrease in creativity, and increases the chance of giving up on a complex problem.
    Not only that, emotions and anxiety run high when we’re sleep deprived.  A lot of problem solving, decisions, and judgements are made while we sleep; if we don’t allow the natural processing of information, it can cause increased stress and lower cognitive functioning.
  • Tired eyes.  Nodding off during a boring lecture, meeting or while working on an assignment is a big indicator that you haven’t had enough sleep.  Having 6 hours or less of sleep triples your risk of being in a motor vehicle accident.
    When we nod off, it’s because we are actually having a “microsleep” where we actually fall asleep for a few seconds at a time.  This occurs especially during monotonous tasks like driving and can be incredibly dangerous.  Not only that, our hand-eye coordination is impaired, which is why a lot of note taking looks rather messy when you’re tired!
  • Altered diets.  When we lack sleep, our body tends to crave food as a of boosting our energy levels.  These cravings are usually for high-carb, calorically dense foods such as dessert, chips, pasta and bread.
    There are two important hormones that are released throughout the day that signal hunger and satiation: leptin signals to our body that we’re full; whereas ghrelin sends signals out that we’re hungry.  Leptin levels increase as the day progresses, and peak at nighttime.

    If you’re staying awake late at night, there is an increased ghrelin release to convince the body that it’s hungry, even when it doesn’t need more food.  This malfunctioning hormone signals put people at risk for weight gain if they’re continually sleep deprived.

  • Heart risks.  Chronic sleep deprivation can put increased stress on your heart and put you at risk of developing hypertension and increased blood pressure.  Sleep is when the most cell regeneration occurs, and as your blood vessels constantly regenerate, they are highly sensitive to any changes in that process.
    If the blood vessels aren’t properly repaired while resting, it can lead to stiffness in the arteries, and reduce your healing efficiency.  Neither of which are good things when you’re placing demands on your heart and vessels during hard interval sessions!
  • Impaired immune system.  Lack of sleep can boost the inflammation in your body.  Not only does that affect your chances of gaining weight, developing diabetes and increased heart risks, it can make you more vulnerable to getting sick.  Getting at least 7 hours of sleep can help ward off the seasonal cold.

Join Canada Running Series at the 2017 Ragnar Relay!

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

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

Reebok Ragnar Niagara

May 19 – 20, 2017

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

Click here for details.


Ragnar Trail Cottage Country – ON

September 8 – 9, 2017

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

Click here for details.


Ragnar Trail Mont-Tremblant – QC

September 15 – 16, 2017

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

Click here for details.

The Benefits of “Pre-Hab”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three Tips for Overcoming Adversity

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TORONTO September 26th, 2016 – By Kate Van Buskirk

It’s a hard reality to face, but setbacks are inherent in every runner’s athletic career.  Injury, illness, burnout, and life frustrations that get between our soles and the pavement—we all experience these at one point or another. Of course, we take precautions to limit their likelihood: we follow a sound training plan, fuel our bodies well, stretch and recover, and carefully carve out time for runs in otherwise busy days. And yet, despite our best efforts to prevent them, obstacles inevitably find their way into our training and race prep. Sometimes these are short-lived and have little impact on our chances for success. A missed workout here or there likely won’t do much to get in the way of your race day goals. Shin splints that develop into a stress fracture, on the other hand, can set you out for weeks.

Like every runner, I have had my share of setbacks. Last fall, less than a year out from this summer’s Olympic Games, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that causes major inflammation in my joints and leads to severe, chronic pain. In spite of great preparation and planning going into this year, the 2016 season was a patchwork of inconsistent training, symptom management, and ultimately, disappointment.  I had to not only try to understand this diagnosis and find a way to reduce my pain and discomfort, but also slowly accept the reality that I wasn’t going to make the Olympic team. It was devastating, and made me question my future and identity as a runner.

We can all relate to this in some way: regardless of the particular set of circumstances, we all feel heavy hearted when our training and preparation get interrupted and we have to reassess or redefine our goals. Whether you’re trying to complete your first 5km, qualify for Boston, or represent your country at the Olympics, you’ve made a commitment to an endeavour that can bring tremendous pride and satisfaction, but also deep frustration when things don’t go as planned.

So how do we manage these various challenges and optimize our chances for success? In my experience as an athlete and coach, I have learned that controlling the controllables, seeking out good resources, and finding opportunity in adversity are great places to start!

Control the controllables:

In any situation, there are factors that are within our control, and those that are not. Investing our time and energy in doing all the little things right to prevent and manage adversity is the best way to set ourselves up for success. Conversely, worrying about things that are beyond our control will only augment frustrations and cause stress and anxiety that could actually compound the problem.  Find a sound training program, set clear but flexible goals, eat well, sleep and recover as much as possible, replace your shoes regularly, listen to your body when it tells you that you’re pushing too hard, practice positive visualization, and put a good race day plan in place.  Take charge of the things that you know you need to do for yourself and regardless of the outcome, take pride in knowing that you set yourself up with the best chances for success and satisfaction.

Equip yourself with good resources:

Part of controlling the controllables involves arming yourself with good information and resources, as preventative measures and when adversity strikes. Learn as much as you can about the hurdle you’re facing, how it happened, and how you can reduce the negative implications.  Seek out knowledgeable, experienced professionals who can advise you well and empower you to get and stay healthy, strong, and race-ready.

View setbacks as opportunity: 

There’s a wonderful quote by Canadian Olympic rower Silken Laumann written on the wall of the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence in Victoria that reads:

“There are gifts in adversity. Behind every challenge there is remarkable opportunity.”

I read this quote every time I was at the Institute. At first I considered it cheesy and overly optimistic: how could I possibly see “remarkable opportunity” in my situation when all I was feeling was frustrated, disappointed and in pain? Over the last year, however, I’ve learned that injury is not only inevitable, but it also forces you to learn an incredible amount about your body and mind, their deficiencies and strengths, and how to work on both.  I missed out on the Olympics this year, and that was so tough. But I am completely confident that I will go into training for the 2020 Games stronger, wiser, and with greater chances for success thanks to the adversity I faced and the wealth of information I’ve gained as a result.

As we venture into the fall racing season, I encourage you to keep these things in mind, and as always, RUN HAPPY!

About Kate Van Buskirk:  Kate is a professional track and road runner representing Brooks Canada, who specializes in the 1500m. She is a 2-time National Champion, an 8-time National Team member, and a Commonwealth Games bronze medalist. She is a Duke University alumnus where she studied cultural anthropology. She currently lives and trains in Toronto where she works as a coach with Pace and Mind and Myodetox Performance. Connect with Kate on Twitter and Instagram

Don’t miss out on the #Eastside10k Crew Challenge

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VANCOUVER – August 29, 2016

Crews and clubs are coming together to support our local Eastside 10k charities and run. Here are the clubs that have signed up so far, along with the charities they are supporting.

If you are a member of any of the crews, when you are registering choose join a group or team, instead of individual registration and choose your respective club. Then complete the registration form, contact your crew leaders as each has a discount code that you can use to register.

Follow the Crews!

The best place to find the clubs is through their social profiles.

west-08-30-16-updateYou may not be the fastest person in your club, but there are many ways that you can support club to become the Eastside 10k Crew Champions. Help you team by fundraising for the charity they are supporting. Just by running you help, the total number of runners for each crew counts towards the total points. Run in a costume, the best costumes will be recognized for each crew! If you can’t run, again your fundraising would count to the total, but you can also show your spirit at one of the crew cheer stations on the course. The cheer station with the most spirit out there, not only helps encourage the runners but will be recognized as well.

Some of the special initiatives that we’ve heard of so far:

EVRC will be hosting a 6 hour endurance challenge, to see how many miles they can run on a treadmill, against themselves and other crews. It will take place on September 14th, with location still TBD. EVRC is also hosting a pizza run on Sept 12, with proceeds going towards the Breakfast Clubs of Canada. And once again have their special “Horns out” EVRC growlers on sale to support their charity.

Fraser Street will be promoting their silent auction for a number of great prizes, donated by their club members and supporters. Watch their Facebook and Instagram for details.

For more details on the challenge and how your crew/club can join, visit our past blog post.

CRS West Three-peat Medals

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Runners Who Are Eligible for Three-peat Medal

These runners have completed both the 2016 Modo Spring Run-Off 8k, the 2016 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon or 5k, and are registered for the Vancouver Eastside 10k – making them eligible for the CRS West Three-peat Medal. To receive the medal, these runners must also complete the Vancouver Eastside 10k on September 17. Runners who have registered for the Eastside 10k (as of September 12) are indicated below.

After completing the Eastside 10k, eligible runners can claim their Three-peat medal at the Awards Tent on Race Day.

If your name does not appear on the list below and you have completed both the other 2016 events, please email and include your name, email addresses (if multiple addresses were used for the race registrations), and finisher times in both races.

First Name Last Name Eligible
Elviie Abdulmennanova Yes
Erica Acton Yes
Jonathan Aiello Yes
Pamela Andee Yes
Miranda Andrews Yes
Melissa Appleton Yes
Fabiola Arevalo Yes
Julia Armstrong Yes
Matthew Banman Yes
James Barnett Yes
Jeanette Bartle Yes
Francesca Beckhelling Yes
Nathan Beckhelling Yes
Jennifer Beh Yes
Brian Benson Yes
Amber Bhangoo Yes
Elizabeth Boghean Yes
Johanna Bonilla Yes
Richard Boulton Yes
Jennifer Bowing Yes
Mark Boyter Yes
Colin Brander Yes
Linda Brandt Yes
Michael Breeze Yes
Claire-Louise Brown Yes
Josh Brown Yes
Stephen Brown Yes
Gordon Bruce Yes
Shirley Bruce Yes
Leslie Bryan Yes
Tifannie Camangeg Yes
Greg Canning Yes
Vic Capiral Yes
Ryan Cawsey Yes
Eric Cessford Yes
Ian Chagunda Yes
Kelvin Chao Yes
Martine Charbonneau Yes
Alexa Charles Yes
Francis Chee Yes
Jackie Chen Yes
Benny Cheng Yes
Joey Cheng Yes
Pat Cheung Yes
Bo Chew Yes
Ryan Chilibeck Yes
Kimbel Cho Yes
Gary Chong Yes
Kai Chong Yes
Esther Conibear Yes
Sean Conry Yes
Jarrod Cowan Yes
Hector Curiel Yes
Victoria Currie Yes
Bradley Cuzen Yes
Indira Dabney Yes
Scott Daley Yes
Kat Davidson Yes
Vivian Davidson Yes
Bruce Day Yes
Carrie-Ann Debruyn Yes
April Der Yes
Binder Dhaliwal Yes
Catalina Dimitropoulos Yes
Panagiotis Dimitropoulos Yes
Alicia Dorsch Yes
Ana – Maria Dunbar Yes
Michael Dunbar Yes
Jodi Eckland Yes
Michelle Edwards Yes
Kyle Empringham Yes
Naomi Enns Yes
Jim Esplen Yes
Greg Faber Yes
Leanne Fawcett Yes
Corby Ferrier Yes
Philip Finlayson Yes
Evelyn Forrest Yes
Sheila Gatcho Yes
Andrea Gates Yes
Holly Geddert Yes
Colin Gilliam Yes
Jacquie Grant Yes
Giuliana Graves Yes
Sydney Guloien-Olmsted Yes
Vitaly Gulyaev Yes
Charlotte Gyoba Yes
Jovan Hamovic Yes
Jennifer Harfield Yes
Stephen Havas Yes
Nikki Hayley-Hughes Yes
Norman Heu Yes
John Heuft Yes
Justin Ho Yes
Sid Holland Yes
Jeannine Holwill Yes
Rick Horita Yes
Joanne Howitz Yes
Mike Hsiao Yes
Rita Hui Yes
Angela Huxham Yes
Basil Huxham Yes
Fiona Ives Yes
June James Yes
Surinder Janda Yes
Ken Jang Yes
Gitte Jensen Yes
Angela Jobbagy Yes
Edmund Jor Yes
MacKenzie Judd Yes
John Star Kalten Yes
Yoonseok Kang Yes
Melanie Kassel Yes
Debra Kato Yes
Samantha Kennedy Yes
Kathleen Klause Yes
Frances Knowles Yes
Mallory Kuling Yes
Darrell Lahey Yes
Allan Lai Yes
Philip Lai Yes
Elizabeth Lam Yes
Doreen Lang Yes
Anna Laporta Yes
Patrick Lau Yes
Andrew Lawson Yes
Michele Lee Yes
Richard Lee Yes
Megan Lengle Yes
Therese Lessard Yes
John Leung Yes
Keith Kwokkei Leung Yes
Marie Lewis Yes
Vincent Li Yes
Guan Lim Yes
Jacob Loewen Yes
Tracey Loewen Yes
Tiffany Luna Yes
Danielle Macdonald Yes
Rebecca MacDonald Yes
Benitta MacLachlan Yes
Steaphan Macleod Yes
Rodney Mah Yes
Henry Main Yes
Derek Man Yes
Sarah Mara Yes
Haydn Masuda Yes
Yvegeny Mayang Yes
Tanya McCarthy Yes
Michael McCormick Yes
Natalie McCrae Yes
Suzanne McCray Yes
Jim McLean Yes
Trevor McLelland Yes
Amanda McPhillips Yes
Gregg Medwid Yes
Stefani Mello Yes
Jaylene Mennen Yes
Stephanie Mercier Yes
Glenna Mitchell Yes
Jen Moroz Yes
Lisa Morrow Yes
Erin Mullen Yes
Travis Mullen Yes
Dimitrios Mylonas Yes
James Newby Yes
Karen Ng Yes
Lisa Ng Yes
Ryan Ng Yes
Nichoson Nguyen Yes
Graham Nicholls Yes
Drew Nicholson Yes
Tomoko Nishimatsu Yes
Shaun Noorzay Yes
Greg Norris Yes
Cathy Nurmi Yes
Rachel Olfert Yes
Laura Olson Yes
Moses Ortiz Yes
Kevin Park Yes
Katie Parker Yes
Andrew Parton Yes
Kiera Parton Yes
Suzanne Parton Yes
Antonio Paulino Yes
Julia Payson Yes
Amanda Pehlivanian Yes
Sean Peicheff Yes
Maria Perez Yes
Nancy Perl Yes
Alison Petrie Yes
Dionne Phillips Yes
Kathy Potter Yes
Simrin Purhar Yes
Ying Qiu Yes
Daisy Rajaratnam Yes
Carlos Rendon Yes
Simon Richards Yes
David Robins Yes
Sarah Robins Yes
Kelly Robinson Yes
Jordan Ross Yes
Louise Rouse Yes
Blair Russell Yes
Kens Ryu Yes
Sharon Sandhu Yes
Jacqueline Saunders Yes
Robyn Scalise Yes
Stefanie Schaumann Yes
Mark Schellenberg Yes
Dan Schmidt Yes
Marco Sdao Yes
Dayna Seaward Yes
Amy Shen Yes
Yoichi Shimizu Yes
John Singh Yes
Sharon Sjerven Yes
Pamela Skinner Yes
Andrew Slack Yes
Gary Sollis Yes
Anthony Soo Yes
Trevor Stride Yes
Malcolm Suarez Yes
Snoopy Sum Yes
Ryan Sweeney Yes
Daniel Szeto Yes
Louise Tagulao Yes
Gary Takeda Yes
Suk Yin Monica Tam Yes
Michael Tammen Yes
Marg Tang Yes
Sarah Tang Yes
Lanny Taschuk Yes
Gabriella Toffoletto Yes
Parm Toor Yes
Ellen Turone Yes
Adrienne Uy Yes
Brittany Vickers Yes
Michele Villeneuve Yes
Delia Visscher Yes
Anni Von Der Linde Yes
Tilman Von Der Linde Yes
Cecilia Vulama Yes
Gregg Walters Yes
James Wang Yes
Judy Westacott Yes
Linda Whitelaw Yes
Kerry Wilkinson Yes
Louise Wilkinson Yes
Nicholas Williams Yes
Brenda Wong Yes
Immanuel Wong Yes
Melinda Wong Yes
Kaity Woodman Yes
Dale Yee Yes
Faye Yee Yes
Sidon Yeung Yes
Jennifer York Yes
Sandy Young Yes

Canada Running Series and BMW Canada Partner to Combine Their Commitment to Excellence

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TORONTO July 28, 2016 

Canada Running Series is delighted to announce a partnership with BMW Canada, making the German manufacturer the Official Vehicle of the 27th edition of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half-Marathon & 5k.

“Our partnership with the Canada Running Series is part of a global movement towards running that will provide BMW with a unique opportunity for new customers to experience our BMW i electric vehicles,” said Marianne MacNeil, manager, event marketing for BMW Canada. “To further support our investment in the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, we are hosting a series of training events at BMW i Retailers in the Greater Toronto Area through August and September, followed by a test drive experience at the Running, Health and Fitness Expo during race weekend in October.”

The training event dates are outlined below, with route details to be posted to in the coming weeks. All events are scheduled to begin at 6:30pm.
August 11th – Policaro BMW
August 25th – BMW Toronto
September 1st – Town & Country BMW
September 15th – Budds’ BMW Oakville

BMW is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, and has a long history of supporting global endurance sporting events including the BMW Berlin Marathon and Tokyo Marathon – both World Marathon Majors – along with the Frankfurt, Munich, Vancouver and BMW Dallas Marathons.


Marianne MacNeil, Manager, event marketing for BMW Canada and Alan Brookes, Canada Running Series Race Director

“We are thrilled to have such an outstanding global brand as BMW as a partner for Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon,” said Alan Brookes, Race Director and President of Canada Running Series. “We share a passionate commitment to excellence, community and sustainability, and we look forward to sharing the road to success with the entire team at BMW Canada.”

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (STWM) is Canada’s premier, big-city running event and the Grand Finale of the eight-race Canada Running Series. More than 26,000 runners from over 60 countries will participate in the 27th edition of the event on October 16th, which also serves as the Athletics Canada National Marathon Championship.


Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

An IAAF Gold Label race, the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon is Canada’s premier, big-city running event, the National Marathon Championships, and the Grand Finale of the 8-race Canada Running Series. In 2015 it attracted more than 26,000 participants from 63 countries, raised $3.5 million for 173 charities through the Scotiabank Charity Challenge, and contributed an estimated $35 million to the local economy. The livestream broadcast regularly attracts viewers from over 100 countries, and in 2015 the event also hosted the international Bridge The Gap movement of running crews.

BMW Group in Canada

BMW Group Canada, based in Richmond Hill, Ontario, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BMW AG and is responsible for the distribution of BMW luxury performance automobiles, Sports Activity Vehicles, Motorcycles, and MINI. BMW Group Financial Services Canada is a division of BMW Group Canada and offers retail financing and leasing programs and protection products on new and pre-owned BMW and MINI automobiles, as well as retail financing for new and pre-owned BMW Motorcycles. A total network of 47 BMW automobile retail centres, 20 BMW motorcycle retailers, and 30 MINI retailers represents the BMW Group across the country.
For more information, contact:

Ian Cater
Marketing Coordinator
Canada Running Series
(416) 944-2765 ext. 512

6 Tips to Keep You Out of Trouble on Race Day

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March 14, 2016 – by Chris Winter (@cwinter3)

Has it happened to you? You’ve put in all the work – weeks of uninterrupted training; the long runs, the speed sessions, and those hard workouts in the pouring rain – all to have it unravel at the last minute due to injury or a cramp mid race. Unfortunately, this can be an all too common scenario afflicting even the most experienced runners.

Running can be a fickle thing at times, but it doesn’t always have to be left to a game of chance. Here are six tips to help keep you out of trouble on race day:

  1. Tapering for Optimal Race Performances
    Tapering is a challenging thing to really nail. The amount to taper is unique to each runner and is very dependent on three key things:

    • Race importance – First thing you need to decide is if you really need to taper for your upcoming race. Some races you may have been training months for, while others are just glorified training runs. For the important races you’ll want to taper more seriously for, while for the less serious races you can train through them, keeping your mileage steady.
    • How much training you’ve done – If you are coming off a long hard block of training leading up to your goal race for the season it’s wise to taper a little more to ensure you are well rested and ready to roll. If your training has been a bit spotty you can keep your training volume a bit higher and do a shorter taper just the few days before the race.
    • The length of race – Tapering for a marathon is much different than a 5km. A good rule of thumb is, the longer the race, the longer the taper. While a marathon taper typically lasts for 2-3 weeks, the taper for a 5km may just be 7-10 days. The key is to progressively reduce your volume and intensity (i.e. 80% of your normal training three weeks prior to the race, 70% two weeks prior and just 60% the week of the marathon).

    The key to any good taper is to stay activated. While you might be running less volume, keep the number of weekly sessions the same. This will keep your body activated, making you feel less lethargic and “heavy” come race day.

  2. Eat To Win
    Race week (and especially race day) is no time to try something new. Stick to your normal routine, eating foods you’ve consumed before previous races or hard workouts.The image of a group of runners propped up over heaping bowls of pasta the night before the race “carbo-loading” is a bit of a myth. Unless you are running a marathon, your carbohydrate stores are not in jeopardy. Eat a normal portion pre-race meal and when in doubt keep it simple; avoiding anything rich, heavy or spicy.
  3. Sleep Is Your #1 Recovery Tool
    Even if you typically operate in a sleep deprived state, it is important to catch up on your sleep the week of the race. It takes a few repetitive nights of good sleep to recover your energy stores so aim for 8-9 hours a night for the week prior to your race.It might be difficult for you to get enough sleep the night before the race, especially if it starts early or you’re feeling a bit anxious. If this happens, stay relaxed and just focus on getting the best sleep you can given the circumstances – remember that the night before the race isn’t as critical, and that lots of elite athletes have had their best races after a single night of poor sleep, provided they were well rested the week going in.
  4. Hydration – Consistency is Key
    Temperature, humidity, length of race, and your personal sweat rate are all important factors when it comes to optimal hydration. In warmer temperatures, or for longer races, it is more important that you are well hydrated but, be careful not to overdo it! A good rule of thumb is to ensure your pee is light in color but not completely clear – think lemonade.Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day, that way you will have a good idea how much you’ve consumed and that you are consistently hydrated. Also, by adding electrolytes to your water you can ensure that you are maintaining important electrolytes.
  5. The Right Shoe
    Having the right shoes on race day takes a bit of planning on your part. While you may want to wear the same pair of runners you’ve done all your training in, be sure that there’s still some life in the shoes before race day. Trying to make a pair of shoes stretch an extra week could be an unnecessary risk that leaves you on the sidelines with a last minute injury. On the flip side, don’t break out a new pair of shoes on race morning. Be sure to do at least a couple of training runs with your new pair to ensure they are properly worn in.
  6. Pace Yourself
    Race morning is an exciting time. All the people, music, competition, and a little extra dose of caffeine can get really get the adrenaline pumping. This extra boost can be the “X-factor” that propels you to a personal best but, it can also be your downfall, causing you to start the race at a pace that you might not be able to maintain. Pacing is key. Come up with a game plan and try your best to stick to it. Elite runners aim to get through 2/3 of the race feeling “in control” and then begin to push it a bit harder, with the goal of trying to finish the race strong.

Final Thoughts

From the exterior running is an extremely simple sport. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other right? Experience will tell you that running your best is much more complicated than that. It takes a lot of little things coming together on a particular day for it to end up in a positive result. Control the controllable and you’ll find yourself having more good days than bad – and enjoying the racing experience a lot more.

Happy Running!

Are you preparing for the Modo 8k? If so, make sure you check out our Race Weekend FAQs to make sure you have all the latest details! Not registered yet? We have a few spots remaining if you sign up today!

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Earns IAAF Gold Label, by Paul Gains

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TORONTO February 1st 2016. Earning an IAAF Gold Label from the International Association of Athletics Federations represents the epitome of road race management and for the second consecutive year the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has been awarded this distinction.

Meeting the very strictest criteria, not once but twice, puts the race in the elite category of city marathons around the world, a fact not lost on Race Director Alan Brookes.

“We’re thrilled to receive the Gold Label for the second year in a row,” Brookes declared after receiving the news from the IAAF head office in Monaco. “It’s the Michelin 3-stars of running.

“To be placed in the same category as Boston, Chicago, London, Tokyo and the great city marathons of the world is an enormous honour. It really testifies to the prestige of the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and our commitment to being a leader in road running in Canada.”

For IAAF Competitions Director, Paul Hardy, the awarding of the Gold Label was especially pleasing. He hails from nearby London, Ontario.

“The IAAF Label programme recognizes the best road races in the world,” he declares.  “To achieve Gold Label status takes hard work, commitment and a passion to want to be the best.  I congratulate the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on receiving the IAAF Gold Label.  Having grown up just down the highway from Toronto, I know what a great city it is and what a great place it is to run.  Keep running Toronto.”

Blog 02-01-2016 Eric Gillis

Eric Gillis, STWM 2015

The news was also greeted warmly by two of the Waterfront Marathon’s greatest athletic personalities, Eric Gillis, whose five fastest marathon times have come at various editions of the race, and Lanni Marchant, who famously broke a 28 year old Canadian women’s record in 2013 with 2:28:00.

“I thought Alan was a gold label race director since the first year I ran STWM back in 2010,” Gillis says. “He has just been phenomenal for Canadian athletes. He is passionate about every athlete he has running in Toronto. This (Gold Label Award) is just a really nice thing to have happen. I am very happy for Alan and his crew at the Canada Running Series.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to race a competitive international race just over an  hour’s drive from where I train and live. It has meant a lot to me over the years. It is special.”

Gillis ran 2:11:31 in Toronto last October to beat the 2016 Olympic qualifying standard. If he is named to the Canadian team it would be his third Olympic games. Marchant also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard with 2:28:09 in Toronto on the same day.

Blog 02-01-2016 Lanni Marchant

Lanni Marchant, STWM 2015

“I just think it speaks volumes for Canadian running in general,” says Marchant who is presently in the midst of high altitude training in Kenya.  “You used to have to go elsewhere to get Gold Label events and to get the best competition, and having it in our backyard now kind of shows where we are as a country in athletics.

“It shows the kind of events that Alan Brookes has been putting on. It just makes it exciting as a Canadian runner that I can line up in my home country and have one of the best fields to line up against.”

Over the years the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon has attracted some of the world’s greatest marathoners.

Ethiopia’s Derissa Chimsa set a course record of 2:07:05 in 2013.  Sharon Cherop of Kenya set a course record of 2:22:42 in 2010 then went on to earn a bronze medal at the 2011 IAAF World Championships and a victory in the 2012 Boston Marathon. In 2011 Mare Dibaba finished 2nd in Toronto behind her Ethiopian compatriot, Koren Jal. Last August, Dibaba was crowned World Marathon Champion with an impressive victory in Beijing.

But along with the many elite athletes who compete for hundreds of thousands of dollars in prize money are thousands of runners racing on an accurately measured, well managed course to challenge themselves or to raise money for local charities. Last year another $3.5 million was raised by Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon runners for 173 charities.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon which is set for Sunday October 16th.

“It puts Toronto on the world stage,” Alan Brookes says summing up the value of the Gold Label, “and it is recognition for our amazing Canada Running Series organizing crew, the thousands of volunteers, charities, City of Toronto staff, runners and spectators alike, who have built something very special for the sport and the city we love.”


To register:


From East Van With Love.

By | Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Uncategorised | No Comments

VANCOUVER August 27th 2015. Digital Champion Ryan Chilibeck started running a few years back to shed some weight and quickly got hooked on living a better and balanced life. His greatest running accomplishment to date has been founding the East Vancouver Run Crew! In just over a year he’s seen new friendships made, many beers drank, and hundreds of kilometres run with his crew. When he’s not running, you’ll find Ryan hanging out with his wife and daughter or working at his pizzeria in East Vancouver.  Connect with Ryan on Twitter and Instagram!

From East Van With Love. By Ryan Chilibeck 

Some of you are probably wondering just who I Ryan Chilibeck Blog 1am? I have yet to show up for any of the STWM training runs and am perpetually absent from starting corrals of Canada Running Series events in Eastern Canada. I am heavily removed from the Toronto running scene yet here I am, an absolute nobody with an overly enthusiastic audience. Perfect! Being the only Westerner on the STWM Digital Champions team, I’ve been given the opportunity to travel to the “Centre of the Universe” for the big foot race and BTGYYZ, a bigger summit of Run Crews from around the world. As I’ll be out there to represent the growing running scene on the west coast and the East Van Run Crew (see photo at left), I felt it was only fitting to offer a little glimpse of my path to the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Let’s talk about my home, East Vancouver.

Like most people who are too distracted (aka lazy) to do strengthening exercises at home, my training starts and ends at my front door. When most people think of Vancouver, their minds immediately wander to those glorious sunrise runs around Stanley Park, watching all the beautiful people doing the False Creek shuffle or (for the adventurous folk) visions of a technical trail outing in North Vancouver while catching jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean along the way. Well, scrap those thoughts. I am here to give you a street-level, urban runner’s view of hitting the uneven pavement and neglected alleyways in my area of town.

Having moved from downtown a couple of years ago, it took me a while to carve out my appetite for exercising on the East Side of Main Street. I hated running so much when we first moved; it was hilly, grungy, hard to get around without hitting stoplights, it smelled like oil tankers/chemical fires/chicken processing plants, I was randomly harassed by weirdos on a run-to-run basis, it’s inescapably hot in the summer, it rains a little harder in the winter…oh, and the alley cats are scary and have really sharp claws. It was the complete opposite of stepping out onto the seawall from our downtown condo: the scenery was amazing, people were friendly, and like-minded individuals exchanged perfect smiles as their Boston Terriers sniffed each other’s butts. It was flat. It was clean. It was basically a runner’s dreamland. Despite its apparent perfection, one thing always rubbed me the wrong way…there was no grit, no emotion, no distress. Nowadays, I’ve learned to embrace my surroundings (except the cats) and can’t seem to stop finding new gems every time I head out for a cruise. Here are some things you can expect the next time you’re on the West Coast and want to join me and the East Vancouver Run Crew on a run:

The Hills

Don’t be fooled by all this “sea level” banter. Once you cross Main Street, expect to feel a little leg burn. No matter which street you turn down, it seems like you are greeted by yet another gentle climb. It’s not quite North Shore hilly but they are big enough to be annoying and small enough to still make it fun. At the end of the day I take comfort that when the “big one” hits, we should be some of the safest people in all of the (lower main)land.

The Art

Ryan Chilibeck Blog 2I wouldn’t necessarily categorize the witty graffiti, half finished murals and countless lion statues as “fine art”, but after a while you start to see the beauty in the persistence. Aside from the iconic East Van Cross, I don’t recommend that you look at each piece of art individually; instead, view East Vancouver as a priceless collection of work that spans generations, tastes, religious beliefs, political alliances, good taste, poor humour and everything in between. Keep your camera handy.

The Scenery

The beautiful ocean and mountain views aside, where else can you sprint through water parks, by amusement parks, along urban railways, down littered alleyways and around oddly shaped tracks? After a long run, do yourself a favour and find a perch to watch the sun set behind the downtown skyline. It’s pretty cool to witness the City of Glass light up, glow and then go right back to sleep.

The Breweries

At last count, there are 14 craft breweries (and growing) on our side of town. So many beer, so little time! If you pop in to see what’s on tap, look closely and you’ll probably see someone from EVRC with a flight of beer in front of them. When you come to town, do yourself a favour and plan out a little walking tour of the area to visit the many tasting rooms. If you want to step it up a notch, get some friends together and map out a fun run from brewery to brewery. It’ a good way to kill an afternoon and a bunch of brain cells all in one hazy, beer-fueled fell swoop.

The Community

Take a stroll down Commercial Drive and tell me you aren’t a little confused, enticed and maybe a little scared. The street oozes energy from the Skytrain to Sex Shops. As you walk along, you’ll see young families, old school Italians, artists, buskers, bakers, protesters, bike polo’ers, espresso drinkers, patio dwellers and everything in-between, all living, conversing and breathing energy into this rare Vancouver neighbourhood. I really love living, working and raising my child in this community… just don’t leave anything valuable in your car.

Much like the characters of East Vancouver pump the veins of Commercial Drive, the runners that make up East Vancouver Run Crew do the same. You would think that going for runs would be the cornerstone of our crew…well, it’s not. Our growing family gathers one or more times a week to engage in a little physical activity but then we sit down to a family dinner of barley pops, cheese sticks and story time. We live by one simple rule that helps to maintain a high energy, equal and fun environment for anyone that shows up: No Jerks Allowed.Ryan Chilibeck Blog 3

So that’s it…an insider’s view of East Vancouver. No matter where you live, just remember to get out and explore every inch around you. My guess is there are some pretty confusing, enticing and scary things in your area of the world. Go find them! That said, if you ever find yourself on the left coast and itching for a run, look me up and come out with us at the East Van Run Crew. We like new people BUT the first round is on you!