My Virtual Servus Edmonton Marathon Story

By Gary Poignant

As I took the final step into the driveway in front of our Sherwood Park home, the Ride GPS app map on my iPhone7 hit the 26.2-mile mark. My long, quiet walk was over, and I had accomplished my goal.
After almost five years of excuses, I finally completed another marathon.
And unlike the‏ first 30, this ‘virtual’ marathon was different in every way.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, everyone entering the 2021 Servus Edmonton Marathon was required to complete the distance between August 15 and 31 and enter their time online.


There was no marathon route to follow, no aid stations and no cheering crowd.
But I was not deterred, thanks to a remarkable octogenarian whose inspiring comments provided the only motivation I needed.
I met Fort Saskatchewan’s Roger MacMillan in 2019 while writing a story for a seniors’ publication as he prepared to enter his 112th marathon in Edmonton.
I made an off-hand comment during the interview that I used to run marathons but had stopped due to damaged, arthritic knees.

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Goal Setting

The new year, with all its new beginnings, is the perfect time to set a running or fitness goal. Set an ultimate goal as well as several smaller goals to get you there. Your ultimate goal might be to run a particular race, but before that, you must first train consistently. It can help to set some smaller, shorter-distance races as targets to test yourself along the way. Seasoned runners will tell you that the true reward comes from the training, not the race itself.

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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”

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”

The Science of Running and Immunity

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all of us in many different and impactful ways.  We are now living in an unknown world where the idea of contracting the Covid virus is omnipresent and we are all thinking about how we can best protect ourselves and how we can deal with added stress.  One way that many runners manage their stress levels is by, well, running.  So in this article I thought I would talk about how running affects your immune system and how recent research can guide your workouts.

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The Science of Running Sub-Groups

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

One the biggest advancements in running injury research has been how to determine a “sub-group,” which is best defined as “a special group that is included within a more general group.” In this case, the general group consists of all recreational runners. For several years, our research has focused on ways to scientifically determine different sub-groups to inform injury prevention and treatment.

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Feeling Stressed? Running and Walking Can Help

by John Stanton

If you currently run or walk for exercise, you are familiar with the stress release it can generate. The euphoric feeling experienced while exercising is usually attributed to endorphins, which mask pain and produce an overall feeling of well-being. Scientists believe that running or brisk walking can increase the secretion of neurotransmitters that control our emotions and mood, including dopamine, serotonin and noradrenaline.

Continue reading “Feeling Stressed? Running and Walking Can Help”