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”

Summer Play

Family members of all ages thrive on unstructured “playtime.” This is especially true for Canadian families, as longer days bring extended outdoor play hours. Here are some ideas to help your family get moving and play together this summer:

Active Training. If you missed out on a community run/walk or charity event in the spring, consider signing up for one. Take the family to a free all-ages event like the Running Room 20 Minute Challenge— it might be the springboard for a more active summer ahead. Continue reading “Summer Play”

The Woman and the Bay

by Christopher Redford

Hamilton’s Around the Bay Road Race, established in 1894, is the oldest road race in North America, three years older than the Boston Marathon. The race remained closed to women for 85 years, until Tersilla Komac came along. Born in Castelfranco Veneto, north of Venice, Tersilla had no time for running in Italy. She was too busy working on the farm. Coming to Canada in 1954 at the age of 22, she married Emil Komac and set about raising three children in Burlington.  Continue reading “The Woman and the Bay”

Summer Running FAQ

by John Stanton

It’s summertime, and the living is easy—but a casual approach isn’t wise when it comes to exercising in hot weather conditions. To help you stay safe in the heat, here are my responses to common questions about summer running.

How much water do I need to drink?
As summer temperatures soar, proper hydration becomes a top priority. You need to drink frequently before, during and after exercise. Plan to drink at least two cups (500 mL) of water in the hour prior to your run. During your workout, sip (don’t gulp) water every 15 to 20 minutes, and be sure to re-hydrate once your run has concluded. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty, because at that point you may already be dehydrated. For normal fitness activities, plain water is your most effective drink. For workouts or races over three hours, a sports drink can help replace lost electrolytes. Continue reading “Summer Running FAQ”

My Natural Medication

by Marjan Ashrafi

My depression and anxiety started back in 2004, when I lost my only sibling. My young and beautiful sister died in an accident. After her death, I began to notice myself worrying and overthinking everything. Crying became a daily part of living. I didn’t have any 
motivation for anything. I felt my medication wasn’t helping enough. I hated myself and my life.

Continue reading “My Natural Medication”

A Change for the Better

by Shane Dixon

If anyone tells you that running will change your life, you should listen, because it’s true. I’m living proof.

Throughout most of my life, the bulk of my time was spent going to the gym, lifting weights, and, like most younger men, trying to become bigger and more muscular. I often neglected the importance of cardio activities, and instead focused mostly on weight training. During this period of my life, I also enjoyed Toronto’s night life, and spent many nights going out to bars and binge-drinking with friends. Partying served as the perfect outlet for me as I was unhappy with parts of my life, miserable with my sales job, and chose to drown my sorrows with alcohol. Continue reading “A Change for the Better”

Arthritis and Running

We’ve invited readers to send in topic suggestions for this column, and we received this question from David: “Is it possible to run or jog when one has a chronic and painful condition of the knee, like arthritis?”

To begin, there are many causes for “arthritis.” I’m using quotation marks since the patient has to be satisfied that the diagnosis of arthritis is correct in the first place. Arthritis of the knee should definitely be confirmed before any alterations of activity or lifestyle are made. Continue reading “Arthritis and Running”

Eating Well as a Vegetarian Athlete

by Lisa Podlecki

Athletes may choose to eat vegetarian or vegan for a variety of reasons, such as environmental considerations, animal welfare, personal preference, and/or religion. While eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet can have a number of positive health outcomes—including lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension—athletes may also believe that becoming vegetarian may be a way to lose weight, improve their performance and help with recovery. As with any diet, cutting out a particular food group can result in insufficient calorie and nutrient intake, which may lead to potential nutritional deficiencies and decreased performance. With the proper guidance, however, vegetarian athletes can be just as strong and healthy!

Continue reading “Eating Well as a Vegetarian Athlete”

I Did It!

by Alice Bohlen

I never really considered myself a runner or someone who has the “running bug.” But, all of that changed when I volunteered at the legendary Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend in 2015. The people were cheering, upbeat music was playing and there was a lot of diversity in the crowd. It was the hidden community of running that I always seemed to be drawn to. So, two years later, on the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary, I completed a 10K race with my cousin. In this first run, the thing that made the biggest difference for me was the atmosphere. It certainly was the best source of adrenaline that I could have.

Continue reading “I Did It!”

Lake Maggiore Marathon

by Karen Warrendorf and Steve Mattina

A playground for the rich and famous, Lake Maggiore in northern Italy is a truly stunning place to visit. On the south side of the snow-capped Alps, Lake Maggiore (meaning “major” or “large”) is the second largest lake in Italy. Since the climate is mild year-round, the area is filled with Mediterranean vegetation and provides ideal conditions for running. In November 2018, we had the good fortune to travel to Lake Maggiore for the Sportway Lake Maggiore Marathon. We flew to Milan Malpensa Airport and with an easy drive of less than an hour, we arrived in Stresa. Continue reading “Lake Maggiore Marathon”