Stressed Out

with Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC


Two words that can really stress out a runner: stress fracture. A stress fracture is a small crack in a bone brought on by repetitive loading and strain, resulting in pain and tenderness at the injury site. Stress fractures occur most frequently in the foot (metatarsals), the shin (tibia) and the hip (femur or pelvis). The condition can be accelerated by inadequate muscular support; therefore, maintaining balanced muscle and bone strength is the best way to avoid a stress fracture. Bones are the skeletal structures that provide attachment points for muscles, ligaments and tendons, which exert force in order to generate movement. The bones also receive their strength from the proper use of the adjacent muscles, so any situation where there is muscle weakness or misalignment can lead to the weakening of the bones, which may, in turn, lead to fractures. Continue reading “Stressed Out”

Relieve Stress with a Run

Tranquilizers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications account for 25% of all prescriptions written. But, as the
t-shirt wisely says: running is cheaper than therapy!

For those who currently run or vigorously walk for exercise, you know the stress release that is generated from a brisk walk or run. The euphoric feeling experienced while exercising is usually attributed to endorphins, which mask pain and produce a feeling of well-being. Researchers believe that running or briskly walking may increase the secretion of chemicals like dopamine, serotonin and noradrenalin—neurotransmitters that control our emotions and mood. Continue reading “Relieve Stress with a Run”

On Runs Toward a More Sustainable Future

On was born in the Swiss Alps. Surrounded by glaciers, sustainability has been front of mind since the high-performance running brand’s beginning.
You don’t have to compromise performance for sustainability; that’s a core belief at On. As a brand dedicated to minimizing its negative impacts, On’s sustainability priorities include:
  • Incorporating Preferred Materials
  • Reducing Corporate CO2 Footprint
  • Developing Circular Products

Continue reading “On Runs Toward a More Sustainable Future”

Fartlek: It’s More Than a T-shirt

John Stanton Training Tips

We have all seen the t-shirt and chuckled. Fartlek training means getting tired without feeling tired. The runs are intense but different, allowing for variations of speed in an unstructured but demanding run.

Fartlek runs introduce rhythm and power to your training runs and is a great substitute for runners who want to avoid the track. Fartlek runs are stressful and intense, as they combine speed and hills into one workout. As an athlete, you really must focus on controlling the difficulty of the workout to avoid injury. Be sure to include adequate rest between each speed play surge. Continue reading “Fartlek: It’s More Than a T-shirt”

Do my genetics influence the way I should eat as a runner?

with Tara Postnikoff

You may have noticed that sometimes there are conflicting results in scientific studies related to the foods we should or should not eat. One day you read that caffeine is good for you but the next day, it’s not. Sometimes carbs are the answer to weight loss, while other days it’s protein. The answer, in part, is because of our genetics. A newer field of study, called nutrigenomics, looks at how individual genetic variations affect a person’s response to nutrients and impacts the risk of nutrition-related chronic diseases. This can help runners take their nutrition to the next level and personalize their diets for optimal health and performance. In other words, while everyone can benefit from a healthy and balanced diet of nutrient-dense vegetables and minimally processed foods, your genetics can help identify specific nutrition recommendations to optimize health, body composition and reduce your risk of certain diseases. Examples of genetic variability include whether or not an athlete will respond to a given dietary intervention such as a moderate to high protein diet, or ability to metabolize starch well. These are key markers for runners to know whether they should be eating a high protein diet, or restricting carbohydrate intake. Another interesting gene is one that has implications for energy balance. Continue reading “Do my genetics influence the way I should eat as a runner?”

Soft Tissue Causes of Back pain- Muscle, Fascia

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

Soft tissue injuries are the most frequent causes of back pain. Many muscle units extending from the pelvis all the way up to the neck support the spine. These are the spinae erectae and the quadratus lumborum muscles. Injuries to these muscles can lead to dysfunction and the development of back pain. Injuries are most frequently a result of weak pelvic and abdominal muscles superimposed on a poor running technique. Initial treatment for a runner with a recent injury means resting the back for about a week to let the soft tissues heal (NO RUNNING). Application of ice is a good anti-inflammatory agent without the side effects of oral medication. Ice should be applied with a towel covering for 20 minutes three times a day. Pain that lasts more than two to three weeks could also be treated with oral anti-inflammatories. During all of these treatments, maintaining an activity level is important (active rest). Cycling, walking and general muscle strengthening exercises are to be encouraged. Continue reading “Soft Tissue Causes of Back pain- Muscle, Fascia”

Running in the Sun

by Kim Giesbrecht

My love of running began when I was a child.  I loved running races with my friends at school.  When I was in grade 7, our gym teacher started a 50 Mile Club, where we were given a certain number of weeks to run 50 miles in order to earn a badge.  I had never run a few miles at a time, as I enjoyed sprinting, but I decided to sign up.  I was soon running 3 miles a day and loving it.  I earned the badge and was hooked on running.

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Confessions of a wannabe runner

by Ladanna James

I wouldn’t call myself a good runner — despite my efforts for more than 10 years. I don’t even like calling myself a runner; I describe myself as a wannabe. I envy the real runners. The ones with good form, speed, fluidity and consistency. When I attempt to run, it’s, well, far from graceful. I’m plodding, fairly uncoordinated — overly sweaty.

Twice last summer, my then 15-year-old daughter ran with me. She says I don’t run; I shuffle. About the only thing I have in common with real runners is my consistency.  Despite the lack of grace, I never give up. I keep shuffling. Why? My accomplishments fuel me. I feel powerful, post-run. Well, maybe not immediately post-run. At the end of every run, I wonder why I keep punishing my body. But once I’ve recovered, I begin to feel strong, like I have all I need inside me to overcome the obstacles life keeps dropping in my path.

Continue reading “Confessions of a wannabe runner”

A Nostalgic Celebration of In-Person Races

by Katelyn Palmer

With the one-year anniversary of “cancellations” approaching, I’m increasingly nostalgic for those far-too early in the morning race day wake-up alarms. The giddiness and anticipation that months of training may (or may not) result in personal bests (PB) or stretch goal accomplishments. The near universal experience of pricking a finger while trying to safely pin a bib to our chosen shirts. Those moments on the course when you realize the only barrier between the here and now and crossing that finish line is in fact you. Heck, I even miss complaining about the anatomical advantage of cis-gendered male racers who can avoid the unending queues to the porta potties. So, this is a celebration of our deeply beloved but not forgotten in-person races.

Continue reading “A Nostalgic Celebration of In-Person Races”