20 Minute Challenge

by Trish Slipp

On July 10th, runners and walkers across Canada and the United States helped celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Running Room with the 20 Minute Challenge. This event dates back to 2004, when John Stanton invited everyone to mark the company’s 20th anniversary by visiting a Running Room location and getting active for just 20 minutes.

John says that when he created the Running Room, his vision was that “no one would ever have to run alone.” His vision has definitely become a reality, as 245 participants joined John and his family at Edmonton’s 109 Street location, and over 11,000 runners and walkers participated across Canada and the United States. All participants received a free cap and for this special anniversary, dressed up in their best 80s gear to pay tribute to 1984, the inaugural year of the Running Room. Continue reading “20 Minute Challenge”

Out of the Ordinary

by Melissa Ellis

I ran until I found a balloon.

It was floating by and the string dangled lazily across the sky. I thought it might get tangled on the trees close to the road, but it floated just above the tree line and skimmed across them to continue on its way. I smiled and turned around.

This will be my year, I thought. For one year, my runs would be marked by the finding of the ordinary and the special of the things I saw on my run. Continue reading “Out of the Ordinary”

Your Race Day Questions–Answered

by John Stanton

At race expos, I frequently field questions from first-time marathoners and half marathoners. I look forward to these interactions and I’m always happy to provide answers and encouragement. Prior to a race, it is completely normal to feel a combination of excitement and nervousness. Asking questions is a great way to ease any concerns and get helpful tips from experienced racers. Here’s my best advice for your next race.

Continue reading “Your Race Day Questions–Answered”

Visualization

by John Stanton

As you prepare for a marathon, it can be helpful to imagine the experience in advance. Read on for a sample play-by-play of a marathon race.

After months of self-discipline and hard training, it is the morning of the marathon. You are rested and well hydrated. At the start line, some runners are silent and pensive while others are laughing and joking. There is a mixture of nervous adrenaline and anticipation all around you.

The horn sounds and you are off. At first, it is more of a shuffle than a run as laughter and noise fill the air. You hear a mixture of race chatter, both from the runners and the people lining the course at the start. Continue reading “Visualization”

Instructor Profile/Ian Hunter–Slater Street, Ottawa, ON

by Justin Wall

As the Slater Street Running Room’s incumbent Ottawa Marathon training program co-instructor, Ian consistently displays the qualities we all look for in a mentor. His years of running experience—many of which were spent right here in our store—make him an invaluable wealth of information for even the most seasoned athletes. With his kind heart and genuine compassion for others, our Run Clubbers see him as a mentor, even when he’s not formally coaching. Continue reading “Instructor Profile/Ian Hunter–Slater Street, Ottawa, ON”

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”