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”

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”