Modo Spring Run-Off 8k

Canada Running Series kicks off in style: Trevor Hofbauer and Rachel Cliff win Modo Spring Run-Off 8K.

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VANCOUVER. March 20th, 2016. Trevor Hofbauer and Rachel Cliff recorded convincing victories ahead of more than 1,100 runners at Sunday’s Modo Spring Run-Off 8K in Stanley Park. Particiapants were drawn from 5 provinces and six countries. The event was “Opening Day” for Canada Running Series 2016, the country’s #1 running circuit. It was also an important fundraiser for the Music Heals Foundation.

Vancouver-based Rob Watson came in second place with a time of 24:10. Rob used the run as a hard training day en route to next weekend’s IAAF Half Marathon Championships at Cardiff University in Wales and then on to the London Marathon in April, where he needs to post a “do or die” time better than 2:12:50 in order to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Marathon. Vancouver’s Kevin Friesen was third with a time of 24:28
Trevor“It was a fun day out there,” said Hofbauer, “The competition was really strong and the weather held up great. Three of us stuck together for most of the race until the 7K mark where I got away from the group. I was able to hold them off for the final 1K”

RachelOn the women’s side, Rachel Cliff led from Start to Finish to notch a decisive victory. She continued her strong Spring form; coming off a personal best and Course Record time at the St. Patrick’s Day 5K last weekend (16:05), she broke the tape today in 26:47. Dayna Pidhoresky, also from Vancouver, came in second place at 28:00 and Neasa Coll finished third with a time of 29:44. Rachel was able to take over the lead in the BC Super Series by winning the 5th event on the calendar. Rob Watson consolidated his lead in the Series with his second place finish.

“I felt really strong today and wanted to be smooth,” said Cliff,”I kept pace with a group of the guys and then 3 of us took off around the 3K mark. I split up and held on for the win during the last 1K.”

Participants today ran in support of Music Heals, who raise awareness for Music Therapy programs across Canada. More than $4,200 was raised for the Charity.
JapaneseMemorial“We were thrilled with the turnout today and the quality of the competition,” said Canada Running Series President Alan Brookes, “What a way to launch into Spring. We want to thank everyone for making this event such a success. We are very proud to be able to open Canada’s running series in the world’s most beautiful park. Special thanks to the City of Vancouver and Parks Board for allowing us to race here”.

Canada Running Series now moves to Toronto for the sister event, the Race Roster Spring Run Off 8K in High Park on April 9th. It will return to Vancouver on June 26 for Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon & 5K.

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Male:
1. Trevor Hafbauer 23:48
2. Rob Watson 24:10
3. Kevin Friesen 24:28

Modo Spring Run Off 8K Female:
1. Rachel Cliff 26:47
2. Dayna Pidhoresky 28:00
3. Neasa Coll 29:44

Complete results can be found at

Welcome to Canada Running Series 2016!

By | Alan's Journal, Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments

IMG_3045VANCOUVER March 17th 2016. Welcome to Canada Running Series 2016! Yaaaay! Opening Day is finally here with the MODO Spring Run Off 8K this weekend, and it’s GREAT to be back in Vancouver! Springtime. Stanley Park. Blossoms, daffodils and green grass everywhere. I just love our two Spring Run Off 8ks in Stanley Park and in High Park, Toronto, April 9th. And before the month of April is done we move onto Parc Jean Drapeau to enjoy some beautiful, traffic-free Montreal public space. See our full race calendar here.

For me, these CRS park races just seem to get road running in Canada off on the right foot. Racing through some of our country’s best parks as they awaken into bloom just gets the blood pumping. For me, they’re an important social thing, a chance to re-connect with so many friends I’ve mostly kept in touch with over those dark, cold, winter months on social media. Now it’s time to live IRL, not just on the ‘Gram! There’ll be another 60,000 of you running with us in 2016; plus maybe 150,000 family and friends out cheering you on; and another 5,000+ volunteers making it happen with our 15-member, full-time, professional CRS crew. It’s #goodvibesonly . There’s also the fundraising component, as many of you play a key role in raising $6 million a year at the CRS events, for some 330 local charities.

And then there’s the racing bit! Even if it’s primarily a social, healthy lifestyle or charity thing, for many of us it’s still a racing thing! How fast can you run an 8K? Can you improve on last year’s time, or beat your bestie, your crew-mate, workmate or partner? This year will bring an extra excitement as an Olympic year, with many of our CRS stars aiming for Rio, another Canadian National Team, or top rankings in our Series.

Sunday’s MODO Spring Run Off 8K maybe our smallest Series race, but it will have it all, as a quality running experience! Great shirts and finishers’ medals. An accurately-measured, as well as a stunningly attractive course around the world-famous Stanley Park Seawall, a great cause to race for in Music Heals, and the buzzzzzz of competition! The event also doubles as Race #4 in the inaugural BC Super Series.

041_IJ_SVHM11_0832Up front in the Men’s race, we’re excited to see Rob Watson, our CRS “free spirit”! It’s part of his fight to get a place on the bus to Brazil. For that he needs to run a marathon before the end of May in 2:12:50 or faster. His 63:58 half in Houston in January indicates he’s right on track. Sunday’s Modo 8k will be a “blow-out” race for Rob before he gets on the plane for Cardiff, Wales, and the IAAF Half-marathon World Championships next weekend (follow me to Cardiff for coverage). In the UK, he’ll proudly rep the Maple Leaf and take on some super-fast dudes like Mo Farah! Then it’s the London Marathon on April 24th. “It’s London or bust pretty much,” the 32-year-old Watson told us recently. “It’s my last chance to make the Olympics.” 2:12:50. Tick, tick, tick. London calling. And did you know Rob is a fan of the early ‘90s skate punk scene? Maybe some Chuck Ragan, Hothouse Music, Bad Religion or Propagandhi tunes will inspire him?

Just to keep things interesting, Calgary’s Trevor Hofbauer will try to get in among the BC boys on Sunday, to keep Rob, Kevin Friesen, Theo Hunt and Nick Hastie honest. Trevor did just that last September when he raced to a 2nd place finish in the Eastside 10k (30:25). Most recently, he’s just back from the World’s Best 10K in Puerto Rico where he ran 30:20, and teamed up with 2015 CRS Women’s Champion and Rio-bound Lanni Marchant to win the NACAC team competition for Canada, and take home the USD$20,000 first prize.

Wondering if the old guys still have the magic? It’ll be worth getting out of bed on Sunday just to see the epic duel between Vancouver’s super-Master, “Super-K” Kevin O’Connor and the pride of the Victoria veterans, 2015 Canadian National Masters cross-country champion, Craig Odermatt.

The Women’s race on Sunday promises a tasty head-to-head RachelCliffduel between Rachel Cliff and Dayna Pidhoresky. They were 2nd and 3rd at last year’s Modo, behind Lanni, with Rachel just 18 seconds ahead of Dayna as they crossed the Finish line at the Pavilion. Rachel is in great form, with a Course Record performance at last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K [16:05]. Dayna’s training has been going very well, but it’s not translated to the races so far in 2016. January saw her DNF at 25k into the Houston Marathon after passing halfway inside the time needed for the Canadian women’s Rio standard of 2:29:50. Then on February 5th she started equally well at a hot and humid Rock ‘n Roll New Orleans Half, passing 10k in 35:17, before fading to finish in 1:18:41. Will it be third time lucky for Dayna this Sunday? We’re also thrilled to see she’ll be going for the “SRO-Double”, also racing the Race Roster Toronto Spring Run Off 8k on April 9th. Read more about that on our blog! 

Is anyone else doing the double? I’ll be doing the “Race Director Double”. In fact, I’ve been RD of the Toronto SRO since 1986 when O’Connor and Odermatt were still in short pants!!!

So I hope you’ll join us on Sunday in Stanley Park . We still have some 50 to 100 bibs left up for grabs. Come out and “just give it hell!” as Rob Watson advises!  If you’re looking for some more detailed advice, look no further than Chris Winter’s “6 Tips To Keep You Out Of Trouble On Race Day.

And if you’re not up for running, then you must come out and cheer, have a beer with us after the race, relax and enjoy the post-race concert with Dominique Fricot and REGAL! 

CRS 2016 is here, there’s LOTS to celebrate, and it’s just the start of an epic year. Good luck to all. ENJOY your running and racing.

For info on last-minute registration and packet pick up see:

For a complete Start List of invited athletes see:

Rob Watson on “The Blowout Race”

By | Digital Champions, Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments
March 16, 2016 – Vancouver

Everyone participates in events their own reasons, and sometimes those reasons different depending upon what you want to get out of each event. Rob Watson (@robbiedxc) is off to the World Half Marathon Championships next week, but is also racing the Modo 8k this weekend. Why race 8k when you’re running a World Championship event the following weekend? Let’s let Rob explain:

I spend a lot of time running, and when I am not running I spend a lot of time thinking about running. Over the years I have developed some theories on this sport. Most are weird and don’t make sense, but every so often I think that I may be on to something. I have this theory about the power of the “Blowout Race” and why they are both awesome and necessary. So if you will, please lend me a few minutes to let me try to explain this to you. Ladies, Gents and everyone else. From the deepest corners of a runners mind. I present to you – The Blowout Race.

The Canada Running Series Modo 8k is just days away. I’m excited to get out there and give it a go in one of the better races that this city has to offer. The course is nice, the competition is solid and the vibe is always awesome. I wish I could say that I am coming in peaked, rested and ready to roll, but that is not the case. That is ok though, it’s all part of the master plan.
You see, not every race has to be a PB, you don’t have to have the blades sharpened and be rearing to go every time you toe the line. Sometimes you can run a race for reasons other than your time or place. I am running Modo as a “blowout race” before I head over to Cardiff Wales for the World Half Marathon Championships on March 26th.

What is a blowout race? Simply put it is a race where you swallow your pride, throw caution to the wind and just give it hell. The goal is to make yourself hurt and ride the redline for as long as possible.

Why am I doing this? Well I have to admit, this idea comes through personal experience of trial and error. There is no science to support my reasoning, just years on the roads and a whole lot of races in the legs. The basic idea is to teach the body to get used to that racing burn and manage pain.

Here is my theory. You can work away as hard as you want in practice, but no matter how hard you push, you can never truly run yourself ragged (at least I have trouble reaching that point). But in races, something clicks and I find that I can push myself just that much more. It is that feeling of absolute fatigue that I am aiming for come Sunday.

Again, Why? Well this is the part that I have a hard time explaining. I find that my body reacts well to that all out effort. When you force yourself to just dig that much deeper and grind that much harder something clicks. The body wakes up and kinda says “ok, so I guess I should get used to this” and then your suffer management score bumps up a notch or two- because when it comes right down to it, racing is all about managing discomfort and dealing with fatigue.

I find that after a race in which I blow it out I get a nice bump in my fitness and my training improves. Things that were challenging a week or so earlier are just that much easier. You may say “yeah, well obviously, that’s just how training works.” To that I say shut it, it’s more than that.

I put my blowout race theory to practice earlier this year when I ran the Pioneer 8km one week before the Houston Half Marathon- it worked like a charm. I went into that 8km with a plan to simply go for it. I felt great through 5km then spent 3km hurting pretty good. It was miserable-I was tired, achy and simply spent at the finish. Mission accomplished. The next week in Houston my body was ready for the race pain and I came through 8km faster than the weekend before and feeling just fine.

Anyways, so the Modo 8km is going to be my blowout race before the World Half Champs. I am going to get out there and just give it hell. Like I said before. the course is great, the competition is solid and vibes will be solid.

I reckon you should try the blowout sometime. It may sound unreasonable, but I promise that it is a real thing!

See ya Sunday!


Whether you’re looking for a blowout race before another big Spring event, running your first 8k, or just running for an excuse to have some beers at the post-race concert – we look forward to seeing you at this weekend’s Modo 8k. If you forgot to sign up, we added a few extra spots so grab one while you still can!

2016 Modo 8k – Race Weekend FAQ

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We’re busy getting ready to kick off the 2016 Canada Running Series and the big day is almost here! Below are some quick tips on what you need to know this week to have your best run at the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k:

Package Pickup Details

  • Dates: Saturday, March 19 – 10am to 4pm – Running Room – 679 Denman St
    or Sunday, March 20 – 8:30am to 9:45am – Stanley Park Pavilion.
  • We strongly recommend picking up on Saturday to give yourself more time and cut down on that race-day stress. Shirt sizes are also distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.
  • You must bring a copy of your registration confirmation OR a piece of photo ID
    More details here.
  • You can check your bib number or resend your confirmation email here.

srov-parkingmap-lgGetting to the Start Line

  • Location: Stanley Park Pavilion – 610 Pipeline Road, Stanley Park
  • Transit: the start line is right next to the Stanley Park Bus Loop, serviced regularly by the #19 bus, and is the best way to get to the event.
  • Biking: BEST will be offering a free bicycle valet service on site.
  • Parking: if you choose to drive, we recommend carpooling due to limited parking in the area. The Rose Garden Lot off Pipeline Road is the best place to park. The parking metres in the Park are also incredibly slow, but you can use the PayByPhone app with lot code 3696 (covers all lots in the Park) to skip the line. Note that parking is $6/day.
  • Modo: the first 10 Modo vehicles to arrive will receive FREE VIP parking in the Miniature Railway Lot. Not a Modo member yet? Then your race entry includes a $50 driving credit with Modo! Sign up here with the code MODO8K2016 to redeem the credit, then arrive in style driving one of Modo’s 450+ vehicles!
  • Translink Trip Planner | Parking Map | More Details

Gear Check – $2 Donation to Music Heals Charitable Foundation

  • Gear Check will be open from 8:30am until 12pm – just look for the big white tent.
  • A donation of $2 to Music Heals is required, so bring some change.

Start Corrals

  • To reduce congestion on course, all runners are asked to start in their appropriate Start Corral (RED sub 40m / YELLOW 40m to 47m / BLUE 47m to 55m / GREEN 55m +)
  • Your bib number will indicate the starting corral you have been assigned (based on your predicted finish time), so just line up behind the corresponding flag in the Start Chute.
  • Corrals are self-seeding – if you feel that you need to change your corral, don’t worry, just line up closer to the start line.

srov-routemap-lgOn Course

  • Two water stations are located on course – one just after the 4km mark and just before 7km. Both will have water and Gatorade available.
  • A roving medical team will be out on course, so look for them or let one of our volunteers know if you need assistance. There will also be medical tents at the start/finish line and the 4km water station.
  • There will be washrooms at the start/finish, plus public washrooms are available at Second Beach (6km) and Lumberman’s Arch (1km).
  • Each kilometre will be marked along the course. Remember that your last kilometre, from Devonian Park to the Finish Line, has some uphill sections, so save some energy for the final sprint to the finish!
  • Remember that NO baby joggers, strollers, or pets are permitted in the event.


  • Come celebrate in Stanley Park Pavilion!
  • Enjoy the Modo Post-Race Concert with Dominique Fricot and bring some money for a post-race beer or meal at the Stanley Park Pavilion (restaurant opening at 10:30am).
  • Water, snacks, Gatorade, Liberte Yogurt, and PowerBars will be available in the Finish Chute.
  • After you receive your medal, make sure to get your photo taken!

west-02-24-15-volHelp us Run Green!

Modo Spring Run-Off 8k continues to be one of Vancouver’s most sustainable events and follows guidelines provided by the Council for Responsible Sport. You can help us by:

  • Only take what you need — a lot of uneaten food is thrown away at events.
  • This applies to the water stations too — only take a cup if you need a drink.
  • Bring a reusable water bottle – we’ll have refill stations on course!
  • Recycle, recycle, recycle! Clearly labelled recycling stations will be located on the route and in the finish area. They will be supervised by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers. Take all your waste and recycling to these stations — don’t litter on the course!
  • Don’t forget to recycle all items that you take home from the event. All materials are compostable or recyclable! If you’re unsure simply ask our volunteers before you leave!
  • Bring your small hard-to-recycle items from home for recycling on Race Day. Green Chair are offering all runners and spectators free recycling for batteries, cell phones, small electronics, lightbulbs, and old running shoes.

Feel free to read our Race Etiquette Details as well. See you on Race Day!

Rob Watson Tuning Up For Modo Spring Run Off 8k by Paul Gains

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TORONTO. March 10th 2016. Rob Watson has always been known as a free spirit, someone who accepts whatever results he achieves on the roads and on the track.

Mostly those results have been impressive.

Twice he has represented Canada at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships running the 3,000m steeplechase at the 2009 Berlin championships and the marathon in Moscow in 2013. A year ago he was crowned Canadian Marathon Champion.

ROB BLOG 2Now he is counting on achieving the Olympic qualifying standard at the Virgin London Marathon.  At the age of 32 he knows his time amongst the upper echelon is limited.

“It’s my last chance to qualify for the Olympics,” he admits. “I haven’t really planned my running career past London. If I do well in London and, I am fortunate enough to qualify for the Olympics then, obviously, I will aim towards that. I don’t know where I will go with it. It’s London or bust pretty much.

“The London marathon is April 24 and that is what all the training is aiming toward. That will be my last shot at getting an Olympic qualifier so we are putting all our eggs in one basket.”

Together with his coach/brother Pete Watson he has mapped out his path to the Olympics which includes the Modo Spring Run Off 8k on Sunday March 20th. Training is, by his own admission, proceeding as he had hoped.

“It’s going quite well, quite well,” he reveals. “I am pretty fit. I qualified for the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Wales (March 26th) so all systems are go. The Modo 8k is kind of like a ‘blow out the carbon’ race. I like to always get a shorter faster one in before the actual (championship) race.”

Watson grew up in London, Ontario then attended Colorado State University on an athletics scholarship.  For several years he trained with the Speed River Track Club in Guelph, Ontario before selling many of his belongings and moving out west to Vancouver. He is currently living in the Kitsilano Beach area with his girlfriend, Genevieve.

“I am right down in West Kits near Jericho Beach,” he explains. “It’s about a half kilometre run to Jericho Beach. When they hold the Canadian Cross Country Championships here, it’s at Jericho Beach.

“It’s a great location. Dylan Wykes lives about two hundred metres away, Luc Bruchet is around the corner. Chris Winter is right up the street. There is a good group of us runners down here in this neighbourhood.”

Watson was pleased to learn that Music Heals is the featured charity in this year’s Modo 8k, being a huge music lover himself. In fact, the Executive Director, Chris Brandt, will be among those who toe the starting line but with slightly different expectations. Brandt says he is delighted the charity will again benefit from the association with Canada Running Series.

“Most of the music charities in Canada focus on music education,” he declares. “We are one of only two that I know of that focus exclusively on music therapy.

MUSIC HEALS“Music Heals raises money and awareness for music therapy in Canada.  We are based in Vancouver and we fund programs across the country that provide music therapy for everything from kids to palliative, seniors, autism, dementia, burn units, AIDS and HIV, bereavement rehabilitation and a whole bunch more.”

On March 5th seventy two bars across the country participated in a fundraiser whereby they donated $1 from each cover charge collected to Music Heals. Brandt points out that, in its three year existence, the charity has signed cheques in support of various music therapy programs to the tune of $500,000.

Watson himself attends as many concerts as he can fit in. A big fan of musicians like Chuck Ragan, Hothouse Music, Bad Religion and the Canadian band Propagandhi he is also one of the few elite runners who actually listens to music on some of his training runs.

“Sometimes, when I am going for an easy run I will tell my girlfriend ‘I am going to listen to music for a while’ then strap that on and go for a jog down the beach,” Watson reveals.

“Generally when I train it’s faster, louder stuff. I am a huge fan of the early 90’s skate punk scene. Loud and fast when I am training. When I am home it’s a little more low key. Anything with a guitar, you can’t go wrong.”

Genevieve doesn’t necessarily share his music tastes.

“I took her to one of the Progagandhi shows,” he says with a laugh. “She didn’t know what was going on. There is a good mosh pit and people kind of dance around and go a little crazy. I try to behave now that I am a little bit older. I don’t want to get injured. I try to behave; sometimes it doesn’t work.”

Watson expects the Modo 8k field will be a strong one and he will have a fight for the victory even if he hasn’t studied the competition.

“I know that (Trevor) Hofbauer is coming so I think he will be one of the stronger runners,” he says. “I don’t know who else is coming.

“It’s a good race. If it’s a nice day I would like to get out there and run under 24 (minutes) for sure. ‘23 mid’ would be a nice. I am just going to go out there and blow the doors off and run as hard as I can.”

The field got a lot stronger with the addition of 2012 Canadian Olympian Dylan Wykes who confirmed his entry late Wednesday. He has been battling some injuries lately. Canadian international Terrence Attema is also confirmed.  Meanwhile, Dayna Pidhoresky, the 2011 overall Canada Running Series champion, leads the women’s field.


For More information and to register:



Taking Care of the Details: Tips from the Elites

By | Digital Champions, General, Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments
March 2, 2016 – by Chris Winter (@cwinter3) & Rachel Cliff (@Dangerous_Cliff)

Do you find yourself squeezing in workouts around the rest of your life – before work, during lunch breaks, and in the evening? While your workouts are important, it is also critical to take your recovery seriously: the small details of what you do when you’re not running have a bigger impact on your training quality than you might think.

The physical adaptions made to your training occur during rest and recovery, not during the training itself. If you continually neglect the recovery aspect of training you run the risk of burning out, getting sick or injured, and having poor workouts.

It can be tough to justify making time for recovery but, remember that if you’re able to stay away from the physio or avoid getting the flu, focusing on small details may actually save you time. Despite your busy schedule there are still a few ways you can sneak recovery into your day:

  1. Sleep – We’ve all heard that most of us don’t get enough sleep. Research suggests that you should be aiming for 7-9 hours at least each night. While this is true, it may not be possible for everyone; so it is important to make the hours you do get count. Here are a few helpful tips:
    • Establish a pre-bedtime routine. Do some foam rolling (more on this later), brush your teeth, crawl into bed, and read a book. Establishing a routine will help quiet your mind and prep you for a better night’s sleep. If possible, try and stick to a consistent wake-up and bedtime every day of the week.
    • Reduce screen time. Studies have shown that the light from your devices (phones and tablets) can greatly affect the quality of your sleep. It is recommended that you put your phone or tablet away at least an hour before bed.
    • Create a quiet and comfortable sleep environment. A quiet, cool, dark, and comfortable environment is crucial for the best possible sleep. Although this can be difficult to accomplish, especially when traveling, everything that can be controlled should be. Make sure the room is dark with a comfortable temperature (around 18 degrees C is optimal). It’s better to have the room slightly cooler than normal with enough bed covers to stay warm. Unwanted noise can be masked with a fan or ear plugs.
    • Avoid caffeine in the late afternoon and evening. This should go without saying, but caffeine is present in more than just coffee or tea. It’s also found in chocolate and ice cream which may keep you buzzing longer than expected.
  2. Nutrition – Most of us understand that nutrition is a critical aspect of training; in fact, we find it interesting that our diet is one of the first things people ask about when they find out that we are an elite runners! Nutrition can be a complicated topic and there always seems to be a new secret superfood or diet that promises to make you run faster for longer. One week a blog might be touting the benefits of a low carb diet, and then the next it’s telling you how teff flour is the secret behind the east African distance running success. We’re constantly bombarded with this as well, but, no matter what we’ve read, the following mindset always seems to hold true:
    • Eat a Variety of Foods. You generally can’t go wrong if you’re eating a little bit of everything (barring no food allergies!). Remember that different fruits and vegetables will contain their own profile of nutrients so be sure to mix things up; the general expression is “eat a rainbow every day”. Just because kale is a highly nutritious green leafy vegetable doesn’t mean you need to eat it with every meal! This would get pretty boring and if you eat the same item repetitively, you have less opportunity to consume other healthy fruits and vegies. The same goes for protein sources: if you had red meat last night, try eating fish or vegetarian chili tonight!
      Consuming a mixture of foods means you’ll benefit from getting a variety of nutrients and can stay two steps ahead of the curve: you can smile smugly when a new blog talks about beets being a super food, and you’ve been incorporating them in your diet for years. Similarly, there’s no need to panic if an article finding high levels of arsenic in brown rice comes out – unless maybe you’ve been having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the past year – if you’ve been consuming a wide variety of grains there is likely no cause for concern!
    • Remember, food is fuel. If you’re training hard, your nutrient demands are high and food is what powers you through your runs. First and foremost, each meal should include a mixture of meat (or a protein substitute), dairy, carbs, and fruit and veggies. Similarly, if you’re craving a snack use it as an opportunity to get some nutrients and protein in: hummus, crackers, and veggies are a great afternoon snack!
    • Everything in moderation. We strongly believe that there is no need to eliminate anything from your diet; runners can get into serious trouble if they try too hard to restrict “unhealthy” foods. We were both raised in households where we were always allowed cookies, but only if we had a piece of fruit first! Feel free to indulge if you’re craving cake, cookies or even beer and French fries, just do so in moderation and be sure that these “empty calories” don’t replace healthy foods.
  3. Self-Care – Don’t have time or money to spend visiting a massage therapist and physio each week? We’ll let you in on a secret… You don’t need to. While there are times it is necessary to seek out professional help, sometimes prevention is the best medicine and there’s a lot you can achieve at home to stop injuries from occurring all together.03-02-16-recovery
    If you can only buy two items our top tools of choice are a lacrosse ball and a good foam roller. The foam roller’s great for large muscle groups like the back, hamstrings, quads, calves and hip flexors. When rolling these areas out we start with the back and then move down from there, spending a minute or so on one area. For problem areas (like the glutes or a trigger spot on your back) the lacrosse ball is usually just the right size and firmness.
    Set aside some time a few nights a week (like while watching TV) to work on your problem areas and you’ll find you are waking up in the morning a lot less achy. Keeping this type of therapy as part of your regular routine will decrease your rate of injury and allow you to bounce back faster and stronger for your next workout.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid Of Rest – This can’t be stressed enough. Many runners like to take the approach of “more is better”, but this isn’t always the case. Sure there are times during a tough training block where it’s okay to be carrying a certain level of fatigue, but if you find yourself so tired that your quality sessions are being seriously hampered its time for an easy or rest day. Sometimes less is more! Our training moto is to make the hard days hard, and keep the easy days easy, which ensures we are ready to go on out quality workout days.

Final Thoughts

Nothing above should come as a surprise. Unfortunately, there are no silver bullets when it comes to running and training; it’s all about small incremental improvements that, when cumulatively added up, can make a big difference in your performance.

Happy Running!

Remember that registration closes on March 14th for the Modo Spring Run-Off 8k – don’t miss out!

Modo 8km Course Preview (through photos)

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With this week’s beautiful weather, we decided it was time to capture some photos of the #‎Modo8k‬ course to give you a little preview of what to expect on Race Day, along with some history of the monuments in the area.

Want to join us on March 20th? Prices increase on Monday night, so sign up today!

Thanks to Rob Shaer for these awesome images!

Full course details and map can be found here.

How to Take Your Training to the Next Level

By | Community Leaders, Digital Champions, Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments

March is around the corner and race reason is officially upon us! We spoke with one of Canada’s top middle-distance runners, our friend Rachel Cliff (shown above at last year’s Modo 8k) and she’s given us some great advice on how to take your training to the next level!

February 22, 2016 – by Rachel Cliff (@dangerous_cliff)

Is the Modo 8km on your radar? If not, it should be! This year the run is held on March 20th and its route takes you along the stunning Stanley Park Seawall. With the days getting longer (and hopefully sunnier and warmer), what better way to kick off the beginning of Spring than with a great road race!?

With just a month to go, the next few weeks are very important. Even a good hard 3-week block of training (which still leaves time to recover before the Modo 8km) can have a huge impact on race day and the fitness gained can carry through to your other races later this Spring and Summer.

The mental approach taken to training can be as important as the work itself; here are 5 tips to help you maximize your training over the next month:

  1. Set Goals
    These two types of goals are equally important:

    • Outcome goals (i.e. complete a certain distance or run a particular time) – these should be established at the beginning of a training block.
    • Process goals (i.e. a number of minutes to run each week) which break the outcome goal into “bite sized pieces”- these can be re-evaluated on a weekly basis.

    Most of us are good at setting outcome goals, but as a runner you should create both. Without process goals you’ll never know whether you are on target to meet your final outcome goals. Design an appropriate training plan yourself or with a coach, write your goals down and glance over them often.

  2. Establish a Schedule
    At the beginning of each week outline your training and schedule time for it the same way you would for anything else. Scheduling is critical, especially at this time of year when motivation can be low and the Spring racing season may still seem far away.Schedule your runs at times that will least likely conflict with other commitments. Doing so means you’ll be less likely to cut your training short or miss a session altogether. Once your training session is scheduled, be committed and just accept whatever weather occurs at the time.
  3. Run With Purpose
    Before heading out have a quick pep-talk with yourself about what you want to accomplish on that run. This can be something very small like focusing on relaxing your shoulders, running a particular pace, or simply just having fun. Having purpose and focus will allow you to get the most out of each training run.
  4. Remember, Everything Is Important But Nothing Is
    Sometimes things don’t go as planned; you may roll an ankle, feel a new pain come up, or terrible wind may prevent you from hitting your goal pace. When adverse events happen, think big picture and long term. If something is hurting, get in to see a physio quickly and don’t be afraid to be pro-active with cross-training (I.e. elliptical, stationary bike, swimming) for a session– there’s no point getting seriously injured over one run. Similarly, don’t stress if you can’t hit your goal workout times, especially if the weather isn’t playing nice or you’ve had a tough day at work. The most important thing about training is to be consistent.
  5. Keep It Fun
    Enjoy your training and, if needed, mix things up to stay motivated: try a new running route or run with a friend. Some Spring days can be beautiful, but many of your runs may still be before sunrise or after sunset and in the pouring rain. Remember that no matter what the conditions, focus on the positives and be thankful that you’re outside exercising and breathing in clean Vancouver air.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we’ll continue to bring you training tips from some of Vancouver’s top runners! Remember that the final price increase for the #Modo8k is March 1st, so sign up soon to save!

Happy, Healthy, Hips

By | Community Leaders, Digital Champions, Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments
by Katherine Moore (@RunningIntoYoga)

You know you need to stretch, you think about it, you may even talk about doing it, however you never get around to it. I hear so many times “I am too stiff to do yoga”. It is like saying “I am too dirty to take a shower.”

Runners tend to have tight muscles due to the repeated action from running. Your hips can especially get tight over time. Whether you are a beginner or competitive runner you can benefit from a simple yoga practice. Yoga poses increase flexibility and also improves strength, stability and balance in the body.

All you need for a simple yoga practice is 10-20 minutes, your breath and an open mind. While doing the postures make sure you are aware of your body and breath. You want to focus on the breath keep it steady, smooth and slow this will help relax your nervous system and mind. To keep your joints and muscles safe you will be expanding and opening one area of the body while keeping muscle energy in another area.

Here are a few yoga poses you can do anytime to keep your hips happy, and healthy:

02-10-16-hips-anjaneyasanaLow Lunge – Anjaneyasana

Step right foot forward, stack the front knee over the front ankle; bring the left knee softly to the floor. Push the right foot into the floor and pull it towards the body, back knee pulls in energetically. This will help to lift the hips up and back. Keep your lower abdomen in and spine long. Shoulders stay on the back. You can stay on fingertips or lower down to hands or forearms. Keep the jaw and facial muscles relaxed. Breathe into your hips.

02-10-16-hips-lungeStaying in the lunge, walk your right hand off to the side, fingers face out. Move your hips forward and down, then reach back bending your back knee and see if you can hold your right foot in your left hand. You are off your back knee and more on the top of the right thigh. Spread the back toes and pull your heel in as you push it away. Shoulders stay on your back, abdomen toned. Keep both sides of the throat even and lean your head back. Breathe deeply.

Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

02-10-16-hips-pigeonPlace your right wider than your right hip. Your left leg extends behind your left hip. Pull your legs towards each other and square your hips. Keep your abdomen toned and lengthen your spine. Keep your right toes spreading and your right inner ankle lifted. Breathe deeply.

Tree Pose – Vrksasana

02-10-16-hips-treeStanding on your left leg place your right foot on your inner left shin or thigh, above or below the knee. Push them together and lift up out of your waist and lengthen your spine. Keep your shoulders on your back and lift your chest. Breathe deeply.

Reclining Bound Angle – Supta Baddha Konasana

02-10-16-hips-suptaLie on your back and bring the soles of your feet together. Allow your knees to relax to the side and down. Relax the whole body into the floor. Close your eyes and breathe deeply.

Corpse Pose – Savasana

02-10-16-hips-corpseMake sure to lay in this posture at least for a few minutes to allow the body to absorb all the benefits. Relax, close your eyes and breathe deeply. This will rejuvinate your body, mind, and spirit.

Calmness comes with Quiet – B.K.S Iyengar

Check out some of Katherine’s other articles on how to incorporate yoga into your training schedule, then join us at the #Modo8k on March 20!

Meditation in Motion

By | Modo Spring Run-Off 8k | No Comments
by Katherine Moore (@RunningIntoYoga)

Local elite runner Katherine Moore has been using yoga to compliment her running for years. After studying meditation in South India recently, she thought about how similar running and mediation are, and has some great advice on how to incorporate some meditation into your training.


 I have always thought that running and meditation are similar in many ways. While out on a run I am focusing on my breath, body and surroundings. Even when it is a struggle to get out for a run I can concentrate on staying relaxed while I push through barriers. Once I have finished a run, I realize that I have been concentrating on my breath and body, and that creates such an amazing feeling of being alive. Maybe you have experienced that.

I have just returned from South India where I studied yoga and meditation at an Ashram. I had done some meditation before but nothing like my experience in India. For a month I meditated every morning for one hour and now understand the similarities.

02-01-16-meditationIn the first week I struggled to sit, my body was sore and uncomfortable. My mind would wander in every direction. I did not look forward to the morning meditation and chanting at all. By the second week it was getting easier to slow down the thoughts, let go and relax in the present moment with my breath. The third week I could sit still for one hour without adjusting and I felt very relaxed. There were still days in the third week that were challenging; the struggle was there but if I relaxed and focused on my body, breath and my surroundings, everything was at ease.

The mind is like a muscle, you have to train it to relax the same way you train your body for running. An intention I used was of Gratitude, Compassion, and Love, which can be transferred into running as well.

If you want to start a meditation practice, start simple the same way you would start to train for an 8k or marathon. Create a quiet space with no distractions. You want to sit on pillows or a bolster high enough so your knees are relaxed below the pelvis, keeping a tall spine. Start with 5-15 minutes in the morning when you wake or evening before you sleep. You can set a timer so you are not opening your eyes and getting distracted. Sit with eyes closed and focus on the breath and body staying relaxed and at ease. You can increase the meditation time after a few weeks. It is important to stay with something that is attainable so you can stay consistent. Be gentle and compassionate with yourself and observe when you miss a day or a week. It is just like run training; there are injuries and hiccups along the way. That’s ok, you can always come back. Breathe, and let go. Create Gratitude, Compassion and Love.

Check out some of Katherine’s other articles on how to incorporate yoga into your training schedule, then join us at the #Modo8k on March 20!