iRun.ca

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk , Vancouver, BC

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava , Calgary, AB

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel , Calgary, AB

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk , Calgary, AB

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw , New Westminister, BC

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris , Winnipeg, MB

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan , Brampton, ON

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua , Caledon, ON

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh , Nottingham, UK

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller , Laval, QC

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter , Clearwater , BC

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt , Halifax, NS

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie , St-Antoine, NB

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette , Carp, ON

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling , Ottawa , ON

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley , Stittsville, ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve , Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis , Ottawa,ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan , Brampton, ON

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker , Etobicoke, ON

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier , Gatineau, QC

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch , Ottawa, ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham , Avonmore, ON

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre , Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan , Ottawa, ON

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil , Lombardy, ON

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn’t Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it’s cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu , Ontario

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird , Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall , Alberta

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka , Alberta

iRun to my happy place and some days it’s very Doreen May , Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston , Alberta

iRun because I can’t dance Mario Javier , Ontario

iRun so I don’t say never ever again Linda Klaric , Manitoba

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur , Quebec

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde , Alberta

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard , Alberta

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy , Ontario

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur , British Columbia

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson , British Columbia

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop , Yukon

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter , Alberta

iRun because otherwise I’m grumpy Alexandre Charest , Quebec

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton , British Columbia

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang , Alberta

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey , New Brunswick

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx , Ontario

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis , Ontario

iRun because it’s like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson , Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan , Alberta

iRun because I’ve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly , Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour , Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick , New Brunswick

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie , Ontario

iRun because it’s a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney , British Columbia

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith , Manitoba

iRun because it’s fun when it’s done Sue Matte , Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer , Quebec

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas , New York

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua , Ontario

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston , Nunavut

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan , Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean , Ontario

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung , British Columbia

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell , Nova Scotia

iRun because it’s better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn’t Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey , Ontario

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo , Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou , British Columbia

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury , Newfoundland

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard , Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der , Saskatchewan

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew , Ontario

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter , Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie , Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman , Manitoba

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire , Nova Scotia

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell , Quebec

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe , British Columbia

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza , British Columbia

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen , Manitoba

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins , Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott , Québec

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby , Saskatchewan

iRun for me! Judi Wearing , Saskatchewan

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie , Yukon

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello , Ontario

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts , Ontario

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher , Alberta

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott , Ontario

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas , Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent , Québec

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams , Ontario

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville , Ontario

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail , Ontario

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar , Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle , New Brunswick

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra , Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor , Saskatchewan

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier , New Brunswick

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon , British Columbia

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase , Nova Scotia

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes , Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp , Ontario

Marathon Mom Relives Her Olympic Experience

August 30th, 2016

Arriving at the Olympic Village after our 10 hour flight, I quickly and easily settled into my normal pre-marathon routine of rest, sleep, easy running (with one workout at the track), and proper eating/hydration. I knew I would have plenty of time to take it all in – the Olympic experience and Rio vacationing – after my event. I wasn’t there just to compete – I wanted to have a great race. Fortunately, Natasha Wodak, my roommate who ran a blazing 31:53 to place 22nd in the 10,000 m had a similar agenda as she was competing only 2 days before me.

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Because the marathon start was over an hour drive from the village, Lanni Marchant and I stayed in a hotel with our support team the night before. Prior to leaving we met to discuss logistics and give Trent our bottles/gels, which would be handed to us during the race. To play it safe, I ate my last meal at the village before departing. I had one last tune-up treatment session with Ron at the hotel then settled in nicely for the night, setting out my gear and watching the Games on television. The bed was softer and bouncier than the firm village beds, which I loved and the air conditioner was a bit rattly but I slept well, like every other night in the village.

In the morning I ate my simple bread and jam pre-race meal and started sipping Eload then met Lanni for coffee downstairs around 5:30 am. We got into our race kits, packed up then drove with the crew to the race site. We rested our legs, made several washroom trips, jogged a short warm up, and made our way to the call room to check in, get our chip and new race bib for the front. It was busy and you could feel the nerves in the air. I was calm, feeling good and ready to go.  Heading out to the start line was a bit chaotic. It was loud and crowded and they were calling names of the top seeded athletes but few were responding. It was humid, as expected, and the bright sun was beating down. Eventually we made our way to the start and before we knew it, the gun went off. I had successfully spotted my family, high in the nosebleed section and gave them a wave, assuming they likely wouldn’t see it amongst the 157 women who started the race. And there I was, competing in the 2016 Olympic Marathon.

Given the warm conditions that I prepared for, and my level of fitness, I figured I shouldn’t go any faster than 3:35 min/km. The first few kilometres were around 3:30 so I slowed myself down to a more appropriate pace. This was going to be my race; I was going to run my pace, start conservatively, and only be concerned about bettering my placement. And that I did. I successfully got into a steady rhythm, sometimes running with a small group, while other times running alone or with only one or two other women. I consumed my Eload and 7 gels at the 8 stations, positioned every 5 km, and poured an entire bottle of water on my head at every opportunity to help keep as cool as possible. Wearing a visor was perfect for this. The route was flat and consisted of approximately 4 km to the 3 x 10 km loops followed by 8 km to the finish. The support along the route was energizing and encouraging.  At the half way point I decided I needed to push a bit more, eventually I made my way down to the 35th spot from 70th, I was ranked 50th and 133 finished the race.

Once I got to the Sambodromo it was all about celebrating my personal victory. I gave myself a little fist pump and the crowd went wild! So I embraced the moment and took it for all its worth. Waving my hands, raising my arms in the air and giving additional fist pumps created the loudest and most exciting roar, more thrilling than I ever could have imagined. I crossed the line with a huge smile on my face, thankful for my performance, then looked to the sea of red to my right. I couldn’t believe it. My family was right there, and I was able to run directly to them! Embracing with tears of joy and cheers of happiness, I lived my dream. On many occasions I’ve visualized running into the arms of my loved ones after a successful race. I was doing just that, and it was the Olympics! Later that day when we were at the Canada House, someone came over to me to show me the picture that was getting a fair amount of views. That is when I really got emotional. The tears started to flow as looked at that picture, knowing that not only did I experience a moment of a lifetime but someone captured it. In addition to my Christian faith, getting married, and giving birth, I realized this was a significant event that I would treasure immensely for the rest of my entire life.

After the race I spent the day with my family then returned to the village for a mandatory security meeting. I then met up with my family again. We really enjoyed our time together, having morning coffee on the veranda with mountains in view, and savouring meals together, some cooked in while others enjoyed out. The house was beautiful and spacious and a mere 5 minute walk from a playground, various shops, and the beautiful beach. The night before my family’s flight, we said our goodbyes and I took an uber back to the village. I did some easy running and swimming, relaxed by the pool with a book, enjoyed some sweets, cheered on our Canadian athletes in the race walk, marathon and at the track, enjoyed a dinner with Natasha and her parents at Copacabana, and celebrated at the Closing Ceremony. It was an incredible 15 days. I am so grateful that I had both a successful race and Olympic experience. It was everything I hoped for and imagined. The love and support I received before and after has been so heart-warming and I definitely felt the strength of peoples’ prayers for health and safety for myself and my family. Thank you to each and everyone of you, particularly my husband, Jonathan. My heart is full. It is well with my soul.

A Look Back On the Wild Bruce Chase

August 29th, 2016

In July, Natalie Wright joined seventeen other women and set out to run more than 800 kilometers of Ontario’s Bruce Trail. Here’s how a group of women, came together and not only conquered the trail, they set the Fastest Known Time for an all-female crew.

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iRun: What surprised you the most about your fellow runners?

Natalie Wright: I didn’t anticipate the camaraderie that would come from running with strangers. We kind of grew into knowing each other for 6 to 8 hours at a time. In the middle of the night stories would come out, life stories that you might not otherwise share but based on lack of sleep and the experience of eating and changing in a van you become fast friends.

iRun: Why do you think that such a close sense of friendship was struck?

Natalie Wright: Many of us came from very different ways of life, moms, single women, road runners or trail runners, some are fast and all of us are at varied stages of our running careers yet all 18 of us have this love of trail running. Finding a balance between competition and camaraderie, we had this mutual goal that connected us. There is a way that women can compete with each other but still be strategic, have goals and for us here the competition was external, and we all had the same goal in mind.

iRun: What was the best part of the whole experience?

Natalie Wright: Finishing together, 13 of the 18 were there and we rant hte final 7kms together and that was probably the best moment of it. That feeling of running in and hearing people cheer us on.

iRun: How did the group deal with challenges that couldn’t be plan for?

Natalie Wright: We had a rain delay and we were down about 1.5 to 2 hours on the first day. We were trying to make up the time on each leg so it was the race against the clock. And then the terrain was slippery and cold and treacherous.

iRun: How did the experience change you as a runner?

Natalie Wright: You never know what you can do until you try it. You have to believe in yourself and in each other. It was real easy at 3am to give up and there’s the energy and the camaraderie of others to get it done. There was something about the weekend, there wasn’t that question and we knew it was going to be tough, but you just do it, it’s a different perspective and an understanding of what you are able to do.

iRun: Why is night trail running so appealing?

Natalie Wright: I like it because you just focus on the trail and the stars are really beautiful. It’s almost easier because you are less distracted. And then seeing the sunrise was also spectacular. It had rained the night before, so the dew and grass in the meadow and the light as the sun rose was visually, was probably my all time favourite run.

 

The New Balance Stride I.D. Experience Lab at CF Sherway Gardens

August 25th, 2016

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BY: Karen Kwan

At the new Sport Chek flagship in CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto, they’ve launched the New Balance Stride I.D. Experience Lab where measuring your feet goes high tech. Forget the old Brannock Device. At Stride I.D., standing in socks, your foot is 3D-mapped using Volumental technology so that you get an accurate measurement including depth of your feet. Then, on a treadmill, your gait is recorded using an HD camera to check if you pronate, supinate or are neutral.

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Turns out one of my feet is about a quarter shoe-size bigger than the other, and I overpronate but just slightly. Based on these findings and what I currently run in and that I’m usually training for a marathon distance, New Balance recommended I try out the 1500. “It’s a lightweight stability shoe. It’s slanting towards a racing shoe but a lot of people like a light shoe for their daily shoe,” says Dave Korell, New Balance footwear product manager.The upper is a phantom fit, referring to its’ seamlessness (so no stitching that could cause friction). And it’s been tested with elite triathletes, including Ironman champions Sebastian Kienle and Mirinda Carfrae, so you’ll notice the little heel tab for an easy on/off feature.

To get your feet measured, just pop into Stride I.D. at Sport Chek the next time you’re at Sherway.

Karen Kwan is a regular iRun fashion and travel contributor, and you’ll find her running fashion posts every Friday on Instagram. She contributes to a number of publications and you can also follow her travel and running adventures at Health & Swellness.

Rachel Hannah Chasing Fast Finish at Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon

August 23rd, 2016

As Canadian record holder Lanni Marchant realized her dream of competing in the Rio Olympic marathon and 10,000m, a number of up and coming Canadian distance runners have drawn inspiration from her mighty achievements and are poised to step onto the world stage.

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BY: Paul Gains

Chief among them is 29 year old Pan Am Games bronze medalist Rachel Hannah who, it must be said, has hardly begun to tap her potential. So, when the resident of Guelph, Ontario lines up for the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon this coming October 16 big things can be expected. Hannah made a cautious marathon debut at the 2015 Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon where she turned heads with a 2:33:30 clocking, the fourth fastest time of the year by a Canadian.

It also allowed her the option of representing the country in either the World Championships or Pan Am Games. She chose Pan Ams so she could run in front of friends and family and, similarly, this is a motivating factor in racing Toronto Waterfront. It helped too that the event is also the 2016 Canadian Marathon Championship. “I know Toronto Waterfront is going to be custom setup for my needs,” she says of the IAAF Gold Label race. “(Race Director) Alan (Brookes) takes such good care of us. That was the main deciding factor.

“And just the strength of the hometown crowd. I was thinking about this when I experienced this during the Pan Am Games. It was incredible, it helps pull you along when it gets really tough and that was evident during the hills and the humidity. I am excited just to be back running Toronto in similar areas and hopeful the energy will pull me along and I will run a PB.”

In January she ran the Houston Marathon finishing in a new PB of 2:32:09 a time that puts her at the top of the Canadian rankings for 2016. At that race she had kept the Olympic qualifying standard (2:29:50) in the back of her mind and when, at the half way point, the pace was slipping, she compensated mentally by breaking the race up into components and not thinking negative thoughts. It is this mindset she hopes to bring to Toronto.

“I do think that because I am pretty new to (marathoning) – I have been doing it only a year and half now – I do think there is a lot in the tank,” Hannah declares. “I can go faster. I just have to be really consistent and keep a positive mindset. There so much to the marathon that is all in your head. You know your body can do it if you put in the training and have been consistent. I think sometimes the training is harder than doing it on the day.”

The qualifying period for the 2017 IAAF World Championships opened this past January and she clearly has ambitions to wear a Canadian singlet again on the world stage. “I’d love to do (the London World Championships),” she declares. “That’s definitely in the back of mind going into Toronto Waterfront, try to run a really quick time and be in the qualifying window. I’m not sure what the time standard will be but I hope I can get to run in London. That will be a fantastic experience to go and be able to compete.”

Hannah graduated from Georgia State University in 2009. It is there she studied nutrition. Up until December of last year she was working full time at MedCan as a dietician, but with the cooperation of her employer has now reduced the number of hours to roughly 16-20 per week, reflecting her growing athletics requirements.

Recently she moved in with her long-time boyfriend Dave Korell, who is also her coach, and so is splitting time between her mother’s place in the Flemingdon Park area of North Toronto, which is close to her work, and their home in Guelph. With more time available for training and recovery, she and Korell have been able to compose a program that incorporates some changes. Presently she trains with local runners Cameron Bush, Darren Lee, Eric Bang and Rejean Chiasson.

“We are looking at a twelve week buildup,” she explains. “I am going to do a longer tempo in my long runs. So far I have got up to 50 minutes at goal marathon pace during my long runs. This time around I am going to try and go for over an hour. That is one factor that will change. There will more long runs in general. My body is used to getting up to those distances. “I am going to practice more with (water) tables. Dave will probably set up tables with bottles so I can become more efficient grabbing bottles because I think I lose a few seconds here and there at each station. And, now that I am working part time I can sleep more so that’s another thing I am going to incorporate. It’s so important for recovery!”

Hannah continues to learn from each marathon and is not averse to taking advice from those with more experience. In Ottawa last year she sat down with 2016 Olympian, Krista DuChene, who is also a nutritionist, and asked her questions about fuelling and the marathon in general. “We were sitting down going over some tips the night before,” Hannah reveals. “I remember her telling me, and this really stuck with me, ‘make sure you are fuelling properly knowing that you are going to feel a little heavy going into it but you are going to be thankful when you get to 35k and have energy reserves.’” Earlier this summer Hannah won the Canadian 10,000m championship in Guelph, easily beating Canadian Olympian and national record holder, Natasha Wodak, in the process. Winning the Canadian marathon title in Toronto would be a great addition to her medal collection but one thing is even more important: a new personal best.

If the conditions are right she can be expected to tap that potential and follow the path blazed by Lanni Marchant, and toward London 2017.

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Vegetarian Tacos That Satisfy Meat Eaters

August 23rd, 2016

Beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils are packed with fibre, protein, nutrients, and flavour. Their nutritional intensity, inexpensive accessibility, and ease of cooking have made them indispensible staples to cooks all over the globe.

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Wherever we live we all do our best to make healthy choices at home but it’s a lot easier when those choices are delicious. These meatless tacos are stuffed with so much sunny southwestern flavour that no one will notice anything missing. What a great way for your family to join families around the world in a global celebration of flavour and nutrition!

By Chef Michael Smith

Makes 12 tacos, Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

For the pulse filling
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of canola oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaping tablespoon (18 mL) of chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of ground cumin
1 cup (250 mL) of green lentils
A 19-ounce (540 mL) can of your favourite beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cups (500 mL) of water
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of salt
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) of your favourite hot sauce

For the taco toppings
A head of Bibb or iceberg lettuce
12 hard taco shells
A few handfuls of grated cheddar or taco blend cheese Your favourite salsa
A large bunch of fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

DIRECTIONS

ONE: Make the lentil bean filling. Splash the canola oil into a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Sauté until the vegetables soften and the spice flavours brighten, 3 or 4 minutes.

TWO: Stir in the lentils, beans, water, and salt. Bring the works to a slow, steady simmer. Cover tightly and continue slowly cooking until the lentils are tender, 35 minutes or so. Stir in the hot sauce.

THREE: Assemble the tacos. Fit a full leaf of lettuce into a hard taco shell. This will hold the fillings in when the hard shell inevitably breaks. Fill each taco with a heaping spoonful of the lentil bean filling. Pack with cheese, salsa, and cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges and share.

As one of Canada’s best-known chefs, Michael Smith, is a passionate advocate for simple, healthy and sustainable home cooking. He’s the host of Chef Michael’s Kitchen, Chef at Home and Chef Abroad seen on Food Network Canada, Global and in more than 100 other countries. He’s a judge on Chopped Canada and traveled the world for his innovative web series Lentil Hunter.

Total Body Workout In One Move

August 23rd, 2016

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By Pamela Mazzuca Prebeg BSc. Kin

Let’s be honest, if you are training for a big race, whether it’s your first 10K or your 10th marathon, you don’t have a lot of free time to be hitting the gym. But you do recognize the importance of resistance training so how do you do it all? Two words -combination movements. Combination movements are multitasking exercises that basically combine two different exercises into one super move to maximize results by torching calories and building total body strength in half of the time.

 

If you only have time for one exercise, give the Squat, Curl and Press a try. This one exercise is a total body workout that really targets your legs, glutes, shoulders and arms. If you don’t have a set of dumbbells you can always try using soup cans or full 1L water bottles.

Squat, Curl and Press

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How to do it: Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hand by your sides. Squat down by bending your knees and pushing your bum back, as if you were going to sit down in a chair, until your thighs are parallel to the ground. If this causes any pain in your knees try squatting down only half way, always work within your pain free range of motion. Squeezing your glutes, stand back up while simultaneously curling the dumbbells up to your shoulders by bending your elbows and then, while keeping your abs tight, press the dumbbells up over your head. Hold for a second and then lower the dumbbells back to the start position by reversing the movement of your arms. Repeat.  Do 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps.

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7 Reasons to Add the Intertrust Cayman Island Marathon to Your Race List

August 12th, 2016

 

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By: Karen Kwan

If you’re looking for a destination race to close off your running calendar, the 2016 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon takes place Sunday, December 4, 2016. I had the opportunity to travel there last December to run the half-marathon and there’s loads of great reasons you should add this one to your goals.

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1.The cheer stations are amazingly enthusiastic. They have a competition for which station gets the most votes from runners, but I think these locals would just be smiling and loud with their cheering regardless. Most of the stations have a theme (check out this Star Wars one!) and there are several with great music playing. I found these lively, friendly cheer stations were my saviour during the brutally hot and humid race.

2. Choose between the full 42.2k or the half-marathon. For the full marathon you run the loop twice. While I’m personally not a fan of loops, I suppose on the second loop you know what to expect (and here you’ll get to encounter all of the crowd support twice — see point #1 above). I opted for run the half-marathon because I knew the heat would prohibit me from doing a strong marathon, and I’d had a busy race season and was just plain tired by the end of the year.

3. Stay hydrated at an incredible number of water stations. Water and Gatorade are provided at each mile, which was a huge welcome as the conditions were quite rough last year. As I wasn’t running for a PB, I stopped at each one for a welcome, much needed sip

4. Views of beautiful homes and the sea. While much of it is essentially the view of a country road (in that you’re surrounded on either side by trees and the sound of roosters), you do get to peek at some beautiful Caymanian homes (and dream of living there) and the sun rises during the race so there’s also the beauty of dawn breaking to enjoy, too.

5. Easy race kit pick-up at the Westin Grand Cayman. I was a guest at this hotel so it was simple to pop over to grab my kit in the fastest race kit pick up I’ve ever had (there’s no expo, and it’s a small race so it’s a stress-free affair). The Westin also opens up their cafe early on race morning so you can fuel up beforehand.

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6. A great post-race food buffet. Loads of fresh fruit, peanuts, cookies, plaintain chips and beer. I think this is the best refuel I’ve had at a race — the fresh fruit was delightfully refreshing in particular. Besides the actual food at the race finish, there’s a fantastic camaraderie and mood at the finish area so it’s got a party atmosphere.I guess that’s the Cayman Kind way.

7. It’s Grand Cayman. I’ve been lucky enough to travel many places, and the Cayman Islands boasts some of the bluest, clearest water I’ve ever swam in. Race complete, once back on Seven Mile Beach, I ran straight into the ocean in my race gear to cool off. And what better reward than some R&R here after your race; you can swim with stingrays, visit the low-key island of Little Cayman and take in gorgeous vistas by visiting Cayman Brac.

Karen Kwan is a regular iRun fashion and travel contributor, and you’ll find her running fashion posts every Friday on Instagram. She contributes to a number of publications and you can also follow her travel and running adventures at Health & Swellness.

Live from Rio with Lanni Marchant’s Mom

August 11th, 2016

On the eve of her daughter’s Olympic debut, Mary Lou Howieson shares a behind-the-scenes look at her Olympic experience in Rio. As Lanni’s biggest cheerleaders, Mary Lou is
Thursday, August 11

9:00am: Shannon , Mackenzie and mamma went for a run along the beach. It’s busy with lots of tourists,  locals, athletes, Rio volunteer , busses, and shuttles for the athletes.
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It feels safe. We ran 10k out and back to our hotel. At least every 400 meters , there are 6 to 8 Brazillian military. “Big men with very big guns”, lots of “policia”, and plenty of security personal. There are many helicopters, planes, and drones in the sky.

In the afternoon, we are off to Canada House for the first time! 

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This is a fabulous venue, with many different rooms , big screen televisions everywhere, not to mention all the events! Food, beverages, swimming pools, and so many happy families, athletes and incredible volunteers!

Back home tonight, must rest up for Lanni’s race tomorrow morning!

Words of Wisdom from Canada’s Fastest Women’s Marathoner

August 11th, 2016

Lanni Marchant is quickly becoming one of the most decorated Canadian runners – and with good reason! Known for her impressive and wide athletic skillset, Lanni is taking the running scene by storm and uniting Canadian’s supporters behind her. Lanni’s running resume is impressive to say the least, notably, setting the Canadian women’s marathon record at the Scotiabank Toronto Marathon in 2013. Currently in Rio, Brazil competing in the 2016 Olympics, she will be competing in both the 10,000 meters and marathon. Everyone at the iRun community wishes Lanni the best of luck proudly representing Canada at the Olympics. Be sure to head over to Lanni’s social media platforms and send her warm wishes!

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To celebrate Lanni’s success, accomplishments and certain future victories, we’re counting down the top ten Lanni Marchant quotes! In no particular order:

“As long as I keep doing what I’m doing and keep making progress, then success will come. The trick is to not get too excited, too soon. I want to have a long career.” – Lanni

On representing Canada at the Olympics in 2016 and beyond

“Being a runner, professional or recreational, means that you’re part of a community that that stretches across the globe”

On Athletics Canada’s decision to allow her to run both the 10,000 meters and marathon in the 2016 Rio Olympics

“If I am physically capable of standing and running – and running well – why not let me do it. I think it’s important for women and young girls in sport to see! My goal used to be to make it to the Olympics and then I turned around for my goal to compete in two events. I think it’s important for them to see that. That you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself and you don’t have to be limited by other people’s expectations and limitations they put on you.”

“I still kind of get chills when people mention it or something is posted online. It’s really quite an honour to be in the history books for Canadian women’s running.”

On setting the record in Toronto, pocketing $28,000

“I feel like when I’m not being an attorney and not training, I’m not a very intense person but obviously I have that side to me. That time in between, I’m pretty laid back. I don’t take myself seriously, as an attorney or as a runner. I need to keep both things, because I need that outlet. I think I’d stir the pot and cause trouble, otherwise.”

On dual career as both a professional runner and an attorney

“Whether its Kenyans, Ethiopians, Chinese, Japanese or Americans, I want to be competitive with the best. I want to be able to line up at any given race and know that I will be competitive.”

On her being a newfound celebrity

“It’s a little bit surreal, but I enjoy it and I’m happy to be out there to help garner attention for our sport.”

On body image and refusing to be retouched for a magazine cover

“I don’t look like your typical marathoner and I’m happy about that. The average woman who is going to buy that magazine is a weekend warrior or an age group runner or women that are just getting into running. I don’t want them to think they have to look a certain way based on the fastest Canadian female marathon runner that’s on the cover right now.”

On her annual routine of going to Kenya for six weeks of training

“I don’t feel world classed at all as I go about my daily business the same as always. I’m Canada’s fastest female right now. I was good in college, but not great. My running didn’t bloom until after I got out of college. I can’t afford to get complacent with my running because if I ever get content with what I’m doing, I won’t keep getting better.”

On running next to fellow Canadian Krista Duchene Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2013

“It’s ideal — someone right beside you pushing you. It's phenomenal for women in this sport. I have no regrets, I left everything out there.”

Marathon Mom Krista DuChene is Ready for Rio

August 9th, 2016

Well, this is it.  The last time I wrote a post, I had 6 weeks to go. Now, I have one. One week until I race in the Women’s Marathon at the Rio Olympic Games at 9:30 am (8:30 EST on CBC) on August 14, 2016.

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In mid-July I was gearing up to train for three of my highest mileage weeks ever while taking full advantage of the hot and humid Ontario summer we were experiencing. It was at this time that this whole Olympic thing started to feel real. This was it. I filled and consumed countless bottles of Eload, was in my pyjamas before most people would even start dinner, agonized in the sauna, and doubled up on my treatments to ensure I was doing everything possible to be at my best.

Coach Rick and I were hoping I could mimic my training from 2013 when I had my best year. And I think we were fairly successful in doing that. I may not quite be as fast as we focused more on acclimating for the heat and humidity while appropriately adjusting paces. My tempos are key fitness indicators and even though they have been slightly slower, the overall pace for the entire run has been faster. More of them were outside within a 25-35 km run than inside on the treadmill within 25-30 km. My average weekly mileage for my three peak weeks was 172 km compared to 165 km, and most of my runs occurred between 10:30am-12:30pm, which allowed me to start with more humidity and end with more heat. I feel like I am stronger and more equipped to handle a race in tough conditions, which is more about placement than time. My weight is 118 lb and RHR at 36, which also gives me confidence that I am ready.

On Monday, August 8 I fly with several athletes from Athletics Canada since August 9 is the first day we can enter the athletes’ village. August 12 is the first day of competition. I am really looking forward to having the race of my life, and taking in the entire Olympic experience. Wow, what a journey! Again, I thank each and everyone of you for everything you have done to make this possible. Let’s do this!

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Next issue: August 2016
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