Races

How to fit strength training into your marathon training plan

Celebrating our fastest half marathon times!

As runners, we all know we should be doing it. It should be as much a part of our training as speed drills and the long, slow run.

No, I’m not talking about stretching (even though we should do that, too).

I’m talking about strength training.

A few weeks ago, Lululemon reposted this article on their blog from Jason Fitzgerald, a running coach at StrengthRunning.com, which promotes the benefits of strength training for runners. While Fitzgerald does a pretty good job of explaining why runners should incorporate strength training into their training plans and what they should be doing, he doesn’t really explain how.
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Race Review: Gunner Shaw XC 10k Classic

Dirty trail shoes, which were a lot muddier before running through the lake at the end of the race.

Dirty trail shoes, which were a lot muddier before running through the lake at the end of the race.

If you’ve ever wanted to slog your way through a mud pit, splash through a smelly swamp and bound through an ice cold lake during a race–and also NOT get electrocuted/bruised shins/etc. in the process (a la Tough Mudder)–then Gunner Shaw is the race for you. Not only is it affordable with a $25 registration fee if you sign up early, Gunner Shaw is also a fun, friendly, no-frills local race that’s a blast for newbie and experienced trail runners alike. (more…)

Race Review: Hatley Castle 8K

hatleycastleI know I said that Mount Stewart would be the next featured trail run, and I did actually run there on Friday (…well, sort of), but I also did a race this weekend so I thought I’d post about that this week instead!

The Hatley Castle 8 K is the fourth race in the Frontrunners Island Race Series, and one of my favourites as it’s partially on the trails of Royal Roads University. I used to run in and around this area when I lived out in Langford, so I know the area and the route quite well.

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How do you train for a 50k trail race?

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

Me and Kai on the Timberline Trail

I’d like to know, because I signed up for one taking place in Squamish on August 10!

I’ve been getting out at least once a week lately for a long trail run, usually running for about an hour to an hour and a half on a few hilly trails. On Friday, my friend Debbie and I ended up running for about two hours on the trails without any water or nutrition; we weren’t planning to go that far, but really wanted to see what Joycelin Hill was like in Gowlland Tod Park. It didn’t look like it was that much farther from Squally Reach, which is where we usually run to when we go there. We ended up running about 12 kms, and were both pretty bagged at the end. I just went downhill from then on, thinking I was getting sick (still having tummy troubles… not sure if I’m fighting the flu bug that’s been going around or if was the haggis I tried on the weekend), so I opted not to go for our planned Coast Trail run on Sunday. (more…)

My 2013 non-New Year’s resolution post!

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Winter run at Gowlland Todd

Well… I didn’t really meet the 2012 goals I set out in last year’s non-New Year’s resolution post, partly due to work/life factors, and partly because I didn’t follow my own advice of setting small, weekly goals for yourself as you work towards your larger goals.

I didn’t end up competing in any triathlons in 2012 because I was crazy busy organizing the majority of the triathlons I probably would have participated in. I did get back in the pool for a little bit, but was sick of everything triathlon by the end of summer and lost my passion for it slightly. I didn’t do a marathon in 2012 so I didn’t get my sub 4-hour PB, but I did manage a super fast half marathon time, beating my previous best by five minutes. With all things considered, I still had a great 2012 fitness-wise. And I know 2013 is going to be even better. (more…)

Super awesome exciting announcement!

Me finishing the Sooke Tri last year!

So I have a super awesome exciting announcement to share with all of you!

I was recently given the opportunity to combine everything I’m passionate about — writing, media relations, social media, triathlons and endurance sport events —  into a career!

As of Monday, I will be joining LifeSport Coaching as the Communications Coordinator for the Subaru Western Triathlon Series!

I’m super excited to finally be on the ‘other’ side of an endurance sport event and am looking forward to helping make this Tri Series the best yet. (more…)

Twitter, runners and cancer research

Miss May in the Van Island Runners for Cancer calendar. Photo credit: Will Winter Photography

I have to say I’ve met some super awesome runners and fellow endurance sport enthusiasts through social media.

This group of Victoria-area and social media-savvy runners of all ages, levels and abilities came together under the #yyjrun hashtag on Twitter a few years ago. We get psyched for races together, cheer each other on and support each others’ goals, offer tips and training advice, run together, suffer through injuries, training road-blocks and taper madness together, race together, and have coffee and dinner together. And most recently, we’ve come together to raise funds for a cause close to all of us. (more…)

No more half marathons…for at LEAST a month

 

Me running the Oak Bay Half

Running the Oak Bay Half, trying to keep up with Mere (to the left). Photo credit Yan Lyesin

As I shuffle around in pain in my condo today, I will think about the do’s and don’ts of running half marathons.  The first being, don’t run races two weeks apart until you become a running machine; you will hit the wall a lot sooner than you expect.  The second is, you know not to start out too fast, so don’t do it.  I could blame that on the fact I saw a friend at about kilometre three and I wanted to run with her, so I kept up with her pace of about 5:05 for 13kms.  We ended up running to the halfway point at about 54 minutes, four minutes faster than my last race in Vancouver.  I told her I was going to hit the wall, probably to excuse myself if she left me in the dust, which was another mistake.  By running too fast and getting myself in that mindset, I got a cramp, my legs got heavy, and I watched her fade into the distance.  The rest of the race after that was a slog; I got cramp after cramp, and my legs didn’t want to move.  It was interesting reading Tori’s post about her Oak Bay Half experience, because I read a similar article in iRun magazine about your brain telling your body to quit before it’s ready as a mechanism of preservation.  I kept trying to tell myself my legs are fine, but the nasty hills in the last few kilometres told me otherwise.

I actually ran a decent time of 1:56:18, which I would have been elated about two weeks ago.  But when you run a faster time two weeks prior, running a slower time is disappointing, but at least it made me learn a lesson: listen to the  advice from training programs and running magazines, it really DOES help.

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