All Posts By

Canada Running Series

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

Pre-Run Breakfast Ideas

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

Quick and Energizing Pre-run Breakfasts

Not everyone is a morning person, let alone a morning runner.  Our body is creaking from a night’s rest and some can find it difficult to get out the door, whether it’s for an easy run or a workout.  For those that are morning larks, there’s always the question of what to eat.  Too much and it’ll bounce around in one’s gut; too little and the lightheadedness from low blood sugar post-sleep fasting sets in.

So what are the best morning pre-run snacks?  It really depends on how much time there is between eating and running, but here are some foolproof staples:

30 mins or less before running

Something light and easily digestible is key, such as:

–       a piece of fruit (banana; orange; handful of grapes etc.)

–       trail mix (sugars from dried fruit, and healthy fats from nuts are a simple fix)

–       rice cake with nut butter and honey (or jam)

–       homemade energy balls

1 hour before running

With a little extra time to digest, it’s good to get a little more in your body before a workout.  Here are some easily digestible but sustainable choices:

–       wholegrain toast with a boiled egg

–       oatmeal with nut butter and fresh fruit

–       homemade muffins (Shalane Flanagan’s Superhero Muffins are a staple)

–       cereal and milk

2 hours before running

This is a sweet spot before most long runs and big workouts.  Most people can have a solid breakfast that won’t cause any GI distress during longer runs or workouts.  Just be sure to portion control and don’t get too over-zealous!  There will be time to indulge in a bigger serving size post-run.

–       teff flour or chickpea pancakes (these flours give a little extra protein that goes a long way!); top with maple syrup or fresh fruit and jam

–       burrito (keep it small!).  Using smaller wraps like corn tortillas or small flour tortillas are great. Fill with eggs, rice, beans, or even nut butter, fresh fruit and yogurt.  Mix it up depending on what sits well in your stomach.

–       Breakfast hash: simple ingredients like baby potatoes, a boiled egg, and some greens make for a filling pre-run meal.

How to Fuel Your Training Runs

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

By Kim Doerkson

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

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

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

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

The Importance of Running Communities

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

By Kara Leinweber, Ultra Runner

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

I love crushing both road and trail miles and compete in several road and ultra trail events each season. I am also the Race Director for The Lewiston Ultra (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.

 

 

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.