What Nutritional Choices Should Runners Make to Help Them “Stay Regular?”

by Tara Postnikoff

Consuming dietary fibre will help runners have regular daily bowel movements. Fibre can help normalize bowel movements and provides the bulk to keep them well-formed (not too loose and not too hard).

What foods contain fibre?
Fibre is a component of carbohydrates that provides little caloric value or energy as it passes through the digestive tract without being absorbed. It is commonly found in the skins of fruits and vegetables and the outer coat of grains, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds. One of the main benefits of fibre is promoting a healthy colon and good intestinal function. Fibre also helps with the elimination of waste products from the body and promotes a healthy gut biome by giving the “good” gut bacteria something to feed on. Continue reading “What Nutritional Choices Should Runners Make to Help Them “Stay Regular?””

There Are No Red Lights in Marathons

by Kalia Douglas-Micallef

“But I’m tired,” I moaned and huffed as my mother and I arrived at a crosswalk with the red hand flashing.

“There are no red lights in marathons,” my mother would say.

“Keep jogging on the spot!”

My mother, Gabriella, transformed her life through running. At times, it seemed that running was the new love of her life in place of me, her daughter. I would wait in the early mornings for what seemed like forever for my mom to come back from her long runs. I would be the last one to be picked up at birthday parties due to her running.

She travelled far and wide, just for running. Continue reading “There Are No Red Lights in Marathons”

Say Hello to the Run-elles

by Darcia Kmet

In May 1999, eight women set foot—or rather, running shoe—into the Bank Street Running Room in Ottawa, for the first day of the 10-week 10K training program. The goal? To run and complete the Rattle Me Bones race. Each of the women had an individual reason for joining this clinic: lose weight, run faster, set a personal best time, meet new people, and so on.

The clinic leaders welcomed runners, both new and veteran, and outlined how the evening and next 10 weeks would unfold. Every week, participants would be greeted by then-store manager Phil Marsh as they arrived. Runners gathered around clothing racks, perused the latest styles and eventually huddled with those of equal running pace while they waited in anticipation for the session to start. The weekly routine entailed a guest speaker and a breakdown of the evening’s workout—followed by packs of runners taking over the Rideau Canal path for their scheduled group run. Continue reading “Say Hello to the Run-elles”

Muscle Strains

The body has hundreds of muscles of  various types—slow twitch, fast twitch, skeletal, smooth and cardiac, to name a few. Muscles provide their power by contracting and relaxing, thereby generating a force that causes movement. Running muscles require a strong anchor (where one end of the muscle attaches to a bone or ligament) and the other end of the muscle connects to the flexible part of the limb. When that muscle contracts or shortens, movement of the joint is produced.

The science behind this muscle contraction and relaxation is very complex. It involves proteins called actin and myosin, along with various other elements including calcium, potassium, sodium and water. This is why it is so important to supply the fuel (water, electrolytes, etc.) for the muscles to work while you are training. Continue reading “Muscle Strains”

Nutrition Tips For Destination Races

by Lisa Podlecki

Racing in a different city or town can be exciting—however, changes to your food choices or eating schedule can lead to stomach issues and under-fuelling. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can optimize your fueling strategy and be prepared to perform your best on race day.

Before You Go
During the week leading up to your departure, do some advance research. If travelling on a plane, check if food and drink will be allowed onboard. Re-read the details of your accommodations to confirm if breakfast is included. If yes, see when it is served and if this aligns with your pre-race schedule. Find out what kinds of items will be provided, particularly if you have allergies or specific dietary needs. Do an online search to locate the nearest restaurants and grocery stores. Continue reading “Nutrition Tips For Destination Races”

GTA Women Runs Oakville Half Marathon Blindfolded

My name is Stephanie Thompson and I run to raise awareness for mental health.

My friend Sam Chefero and I are from Aurora, ON. Together we recently conquered the Oakville Half Marathon with an added challenge: I was running blindfolded tethered to my running guide, Sam. I was running in the complete dark for the entire 21K race. For me, this blindfolded experience symbolized what it can feel like struggling with mental health; alone, consumed by your thoughts and surrounded by darkness. Continue reading “GTA Women Runs Oakville Half Marathon Blindfolded”

Learning From Lucas

Humility is hard to find. When you encounter someone who has it, it is like a breath of fresh air. Lucas McAneney is such a person. I met Lucas a few years ago, as a customer of the Running Room store he managed. We chatted and compared notes about races we had in common. Imagine my surprise when I later found out that this friendly store manager was actually an elite runner who has won the Mississauga Marathon, won the Oakville Half Marathon, won the Ottawa Marathon, placed fourth at the Buffalo Marathon, competed in the Pan Am Games, and many other elite running credentials. Continue reading “Learning From Lucas”

The Science of Stride Rate

Recently, there has been a recent surge in research, magazine articles, and blogs about stride rate. Let’s take a look at the science behind this commonly misunderstood biomechanical factor.

How fast you run is a function of two factors: (1) the length of your stride and (2) the frequency at which you take those strides—known as your stride rate. To run faster, either factor has to increase. For the past 30 years, the magic number of 180 steps (beats) per minute (bpm) has been discussed as the goal. This arbitrary target number has been seen as a method to increase running economy and potentially reduce joint loading during running. Continue reading “The Science of Stride Rate”