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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

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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

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iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin , Manitoba

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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

Obsessive Runner - Andrew Chak

Why We Need to Stop Running and Start Training

BLOG-HEADERS-ANDREW-CHAK

It was a 32 km long run with a bad finish. My left calf was knotted up and I was noticeably limping. With only a few weeks towards my goal race, I was in a precarious balance between recovering my muscle while fighting to keep my conditioning up – that’s when the running had to stop and the training had to start.

I replaced my next long run with a couple of first-time spinning class sessions. I was excited at the novelty of trying something new and my calf fully endorsed the workout.

I felt great.

I also felt relieved at discovering the wisdom that so many had shared with me beforehand: that as runners, we cannot just run – we also need to train.

As my calf began to recover, the crew at Nike Toronto invited me out to learn how elite track and field athletes train to up their game. The timing was perfect so I leapt right in eager to learn more about becoming a better running athlete.

Whole body running

Run. Burpee. Repeat.

Run. Burpee. Repeat. Photo credits: @DonCharleone / @DuePinlac

The workout was broken down into two halfs: a running workout and a training workout.

The running regimen was lead by Nike+ Run Club – Toronto Head Coach, Rejean Chiasson but the run wasn’t just a run. We did abdominal Vs and then we ran. We did push ups and then we ran. We did burpees and then we ran. And when we ran, we did intervals. And more intervals. And more intervals.

What was great about this workout, however, was that it worked our whole body and not just our legs. My tepid upper body (try not to laugh) was engaged and I could feel more balance in my running as my well-hidden core was working.

Training to break plateaus

Our fabulous coaches for the day: Rejean Chiasson, Jeff Huntoon, and Eva Redpath.

Our fabulous coaches for the day: Rejean Chiasson, Jeff Huntoon, and Eva Redpath. Photo credits: @DonCharleone / @DuePinlac

We then switched to our training workout where we received some great insight from Canada Athletics Head Coach, Jeff Huntoon. We learned that in order to become a better runner, we needed to “train the overall athlete.” From his experience with elite and Olympic athletes, Jeff reinforced that having “diversity in workouts is a good way to get athletes through plateaus.”

Hold on there.

So if a runner (a.k.a. “me”) is having difficulty in cracking his or her next Personal Best, then training is a way to get to that next level. So training isn’t just a good option for working around injuries, it’s a necessary add-on to enhance running performance – time for me to do some training then.

The feel good burn of diversity

Our training ground

Our training ground. Photo credits: @DonCharleone / @DuePinlac

The second half of our workout was lead by Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath and she pushed us through multiple workout circuits to eek out all of our hidden muscles (well, mine anyway). We crossed over mini hurdles, did TRX atomic push-ups, and snapped our hips as we threw medicine balls. Having a master trainer helped to keep us motivated, made sure that we (i.e. me) didn’t get stuck in the equipment, while correcting our form in order to get the maximum benefits from the exercises.

Proof of an upper body workout.

Proof of an upper body workout. Photo credits: @DonCharleone / @DuePinlac

With running, I can just keep going and not have to think twice about what I’m doing. With training, my whole mind and body was engaged as I thought about proper form and how many reps I was doing. I really enjoyed diversifying my workout and the new burn that came out of it.

From runners to trainers

One of the other neat elements of the workout was that Nike allowed us to trial a different pair of shoes for the running portion versus the training portion.

Nike Free RN Flyknits in the front, Nike Free Train Force Flyknits in the back.

Nike Free RN Flyknits in the front, Nike Free Train Force Flyknits in the back. Photo credits: @DonCharleone / @DuePinlac

The running workout featured the Nike Free RN Flyknit that incorporates an outsole pattern that expands and contracts in two directions to mimic the way our feet would splay and contract through a running stride. The grooves of the shoe act as a piston while varying densities of foam provide more of that natural feel that the Frees are known for.

One of my key learnings from this session was that you can make a training shoe into a running shoe but you cannot make a running shoe into a training shoe. Running shoes are designed with an emphasis on forward motion. Training shoes, however, provide you with greater support and stability for all the directions you need to move for a workout.

As I slipped on the Nike Free Train Force Flyknit, I could feel its locked down fit right away. The Flyknit upper extended up to my ankle for greater security while the flat midsole provided multi-directional agility. Greater foam cushioning provided a secure base for standing-still exercises where we had to life. These shoes certainly helped me to feel much more confident in executing these new training exercises.

Changing it up for the better

My foray into training has been both a positive and a sore one. Training has helped this runner to work around injury but it has also coaxed out underlying muscles that will make me a better runner. If you’re in the Toronto area, I’d encourage you to sign up with Nike Toronto to join both their running and training events (and to try on the right pair of shoes while you’re at it).

Training to break the next plateau,

Andrew

Browse all articles from Obsessive Runner

Follow Andrew on Twitter: @andrewchak on Instagram: @andrewchak

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April 10th, 2016

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