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!

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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.

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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”

Ready to Race

by John Stanton

If you’re intimidated by the idea of entering a race, don’t be. Race weekends are designed to offer something for everyone: runners and walkers, young and old, beginner and experienced, elite and back-of-the-pack.

Registering for a race will boost your motivation and provide you with a tangible, time-sensitive goal. Your training runs will have a renewed sense of purpose. Racing improves your form and helps you learn to run more efficiently in an uncomfortable zone. Think of it as speed work in disguise! Continue reading “Ready to Race”

Running Bloopers

by Kristi York

Finish-line moments are highly memorable, no question. You’ll always remember how you felt as you achieved a personal best time or conquered a new distance. But you likely also have other moments etched in your mind: the mistakes, the mix-ups, the times things didn’t go as planned. Once on a run in my neighbourhood, I slipped on a patch of black ice, resulting in a spectacular wipe-out where I landed squarely on my (to use a technical term) left heinie. Every time I run past that corner, I cringe inwardly. If you’re a runner, you’ve likely experienced a running blunder of some kind. Here are three of my greatest goof-ups:

Locked Out
I headed out for a mid-day run with my house key stashed safely in my zippered pocket. It was a chilly fall day and as I rounded the corner for home, I eagerly imagined having a hot shower and putting on some cozy, comfortable clothes. The only problem was, the garment I was already wearing wasn’t going to cooperate. The zipper of the pocket containing my key was completely, utterly stuck in the closed position. I pulled and tugged, but the thing wouldn’t budge. I was not carrying a phone and we do not have a hidden outdoor key. Plus, it was a weekday, so all the neighbours were at work.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Running…But Were Afraid to Ask

In running, there are plenty of unexpected little things that can pop up on a training run or in a race. If you’re wondering about something, ask—no matter how silly or embarrassing it may seem. I enjoy meeting runners at race expos and answering quirky running questions, such as:

How do I get rid of a side stitch?
Typically, the dreaded side cramp or “stitch” is an indicator that you’re running too fast or too far for your current level of fitness, causing your diaphragm to work too hard. To alleviate some of the discomfort, ease up on your pace, stay relaxed, and concentrate on pursing your lips and exhaling fully with each breath. Continue reading “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Running…But Were Afraid to Ask”

Are processed meat-alternatives good replacements for those looking to limit or avoid animal protein?

by Tara Postnikoff

There are many meat-alternative products on the market today, with brand names like Beyond Meat, Tofurky and Boca Burger. For people looking to remove animal products from their current diet, these types of products are offered as a substitute for burgers, ground meats, deli meats and other traditional meat products.

As with conventional packaged meats, many meat-alternative products are heavily processed. Unfortunately, pre-packaged products tend to be high in sodium, preservatives and artificial flavours and thus should be eaten sparingly. For a balanced diet, choose foods that are as minimally processed as possible. Continue reading “Are processed meat-alternatives good replacements for those looking to limit or avoid animal protein?”

Stephen Price’s List of Favorite Places to Run Abroad: part 3 of 5

During my travels I’ve met many people from all walks of life. And, regardless of where I am when running, or when speaking with people abroad or back in Canada, one inevitable question always comes up: Where is my favorite place to run?

It’s an incredibly hard question to answer, yet it always makes me smile as I’m instantly transported back to all of the amazing places I’ve run. And though my answer is almost always changing, here is the third installment of my current Five Favorite Places to Run Abroad list. (Links to parts one and two). Continue reading “Stephen Price’s List of Favorite Places to Run Abroad: part 3 of 5”

The Science of Injury Invariability

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

In my last article, I described how rotating multiple shoes and engaging in cross-training activities are both strategies that reduce your risk of injury, based on increasing the variability in the loads being applied to your body. Here, we’ll continue this discussion and give you some strategies to help reduce your injury risk based on biomechanical research.

My research group first introduced the concept of stride-to-stride variability as an indicator of a running injury nearly 10 years ago. We showed that when a runner has reduced gluteus medius muscle strength (the muscles on the side of your hip), your knee is not properly controlled when you run. Subsequently, the weakness leads to increased variability and an unpredictable running pattern. For example, the knee might slightly collapse outwards during one footfall and inwards for the next. However, once those muscles get stronger, a more predictable pattern and reduction in stride-to-stride variability occurs, so your body knows what to expect during the next footfall. Continue reading “The Science of Injury Invariability”

Four Ways to Boost Your Family’s Activity Level

by Don Zabloski

When it comes to being active as a family, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. Every family is unique and will make active choices that work for them. Some families may thrive on friendly competition, while others prefer not to keep score. One family may choose to devote themselves to a beloved sport, while another finds that they thrive in a variety of activities. Here are some active suggestions to try on for size with your team.

1. Tackle a new challenge
Trying something completely new can be energizing. It could be learning to cross-country ski on a nature trail or working up the courage to jump off the diving board at the community pool. Brainstorm activities you’ve never tried but always wanted to—how about bowling, archery, mini-golf or trampolining? Spend a weekend afternoon at the local recreation centre as a family, experiencing all that it has to offer for adults and kids alike. Or, head outside to the local park for a walk, run, hike or scavenger hunt. Continue reading “Four Ways to Boost Your Family’s Activity Level”