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Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

Dayna Pidhoresky Leads Impressive Field for Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k

By | Elite Athletes, General, Scotiabank Vancouver Half | No Comments

Photo credit: Inge Johnson/Canada Running Series

by Paul Gains

Injury free for nearly two years now, Dayna Pidhoresky has been enjoying an unprecedented block of consistent training and is raring to go at the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k on June 24th, a Canada Running Series event.

“I want to win for sure,” the 31 year-old Vancouver resident says of her goals. “Time-wise it depends on the day. If I am feeling good then maybe I can really push it a little bit more. I think the main thing is to get some Canada Running Series (CRS) points and try to win.

“Last year I ran really slow there because I was in my marathon recovery phase, so I am in need of a little bit of redemption. I am familiar with the course now and I know the second half can be harder coming off a pretty long downhill section. I think Natasha (Wodak) is doing it so it will be good if she ends up racing –  I am ready to put up a fight.”

She laughs at her last comment knowing that Wodak registered a fine 5th place finish at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and remains the Canadian 10,000m record holder at 31:41.59. 

At the same time Pidhoresky has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2018 season. In March she won the Around The Bay 30k Road Race in Hamilton, scored a personal best 10k when she finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run and then claimed the silver medal at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Toronto’s Sasha Gollish was the victor that day.

“So far I have been very consistent,” Pidhoresky declares. “I haven’t had that special race that I have been wanting where everything kind of shines, but I have put in a lot of solid races. The main thing is I have been healthy – no injuries at all for going on two years.”

During the 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon she suffered a painful sacral fracture that crushed her physically and emotionally. Yet she battled back seven months later to run a personal best marathon of 2:36:08 in Ottawa. That performance has led to selection for the Canadian team at the 2017 World Championships marathon in London, and suggestions that she is destined to follow Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene into the ranks of top international class marathoning.

The men’s field features Lethbridge’s Kip Kangogo who last year won this race for the sixth time, and former Canadian international Rob Watson, of Vancouver. To view the complete elite field for the 2018 Scotiabank Half Marathon & 5k, please click here.

Kangogo was 4th in the half marathon at the Vancouver Marathon festival in early May, then three weeks later, finished 2nd at the Canadian Half Marathon Championships in Calgary. Despite his advanced years – he will be 39 next month – the Kenyan born Canadian citizen never fails to turn up ready to do battle, and perhaps feels he owns this race.

Watson ran 2:13:29 at the 2013 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and once claimed to have retired. Yet his ‘fun running’ has left him in fairly good condition. Despite extensive coaching duties with the Mile2Marathon group, he has returned to serious training to win the Vancouver Marathon last month. He also finished 5th in the Vancouver Sun Run in a very good 30:01. On such evidence this certainly promises to be a competitive race.

The picturesque course starts on the grounds of the University of British Columbia and traces the Pacific Ocean shoreline through Point Grey and Kitsilano to Stanley Park. With turns, some hills and the challenging climb over Burrard Bridge at 18km the event records are quite extraordinary. Lioudmila Kortchaguina set the women’s record of 70:50 in 2003 while Kenya’s Patrick Nthwia ran 63:10 in 2007 to establish the men’s standard.

The top Canadian man and woman will each receive $1,500 as well as 45 CRS points which count toward the overall title and the accompanying $3,000 awarded to title winners.

For further information and last-minute entries, see www.scotiahalf.ca.

 

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Hydrating for Success with Nuun

By | General, Nutrition | No Comments

As an athlete, you understand the importance of staying hydrated, especially during high intensity training periods. But did you know that HOW you hydrate matters? At different levels of stress and effort your muscles require different levels of oxygen and fuel, which proper hydration can provide.

To begin, below are some general best practice guidelines for optimizing your hydration plan during training:

  • Workouts under 90 minutes require hydration replenishment with electrolyte-rich fluids.
  • Workouts over 90 minutes, carbohydrates play a key role in your hydration for optimal fluid transfer.
  • During your workout, aim to consume 16-24 oz. of electrolyte-rich fluid per hour.

It is so important to provide your body with an optimal blend of electrolytes and carbohydrates in order to stay energized and strong when you’re putting it under extended stress. There are a number of variables that contribute to your individual hydration needs as an athlete (weight, gender, etc.) Find below a guide for how to plan your hydration and nutrition before you head out for your next long workout:

Visit nuunlife.com to stock up on your favorite flavors of Nuun Electrolytes and Nuun Performance!

KIND® becomes newest sponsor of Canada Running Series

By | General | No Comments

KIND® Snacks is the newest series sponsor of Canada Running Series for 2018, supporting all 8 CRS events across Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal, including the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, Half Marathon & 5k.

Runners can expect to sample plenty of KIND snack bars in their race kits, at training runs and on race day through exciting on-site activations.

“KIND® Snacks is thrilled to be the official healthy snack bar of Canada Running Series for the 2018 season,” says Stacey Bowman, Director of Marketing, Canada.  “We are excited to provide all runners with delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack options, from race expo all the way through to the finish line. In addition, KIND will be surprising and supporting runners throughout the season with pop-up snack sampling, cheering stations and yoga cool downs.  This is the perfect partnership for KIND, a brand that is committed to challenging consumers to do the kind thing for their body, their taste buds and their world. KIND is looking forward to an exciting 2018 race season and hopes that each runner takes the time to do something kind for someone in their community.”

“We’re delighted with our new partnership with KIND® bars”, says Canada Running Series Race Director Alan Brookes. “They align perfectly with our Canada Running Series mission to build healthy, sustainable communities through running, and following a healthy lifestyle. We love their commitment to only using ‘nutritionally-dense ingredients like whole nuts, fruits and whole grains – no secret ingredients and no artificial flavors, preservatives or sweeteners.’ It’s a shared message: ‘do the kind thing for your body, your taste buds & your worldTM’”

To learn more about kind, visit https://www.kindsnacks.ca/ 

Run Barbados Marathon Weekend 2018

By | General | No Comments

Come for the run, stay for the fun!

Join Natasha Wodak, Sasha Gollish and our Canada Running Series community at Run Barbados Marathon Weekend, December 7th – 9th 2018. We’ll be at the races, on the beach, for a few easy runs, and out on the town! It’s the ultimate CRS year-end reward!

Congratulations to this year’s contest winner, LISA EDWARDS!

You’re invited to join Lisa and our Canada Running Series community in Barbados this year – just follow these 3 Easy Steps:

1. Go to runbarbados.org to register for you event(s).

2. Book your stay at one of the Official Hotels offering great rates.

3. Contact Marge at Marville Travel to get the best deals on airfare.

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

Race details: www.runbarbados.org

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.

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.

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.