Running tip: always listen to smart people

smart peopleThe 10K Training Clinic I’m leading at The Running Room is coming to a close. Somehow, we’re already 8 weeks into a 10 week program and I’ve learned a lot from this experience.

I’ve learned that I still hate getting up for an 8:30 a.m. run on Sunday mornings. Especially in the summer. I’ve learned to care less about speed and time. I’ve learned about true dedication from a few very inspirational group members, and finally, I’ve learned a lot from running experts.

One of the reasons to join a clinic with The Running Room is that we coordinate an expert guest speaker to talk to the group once a week about various topics related to the running. Sure, you can run with any number of Toronto running clubs for free, but the small fee you pay when you register for a training clinic with The Running Room helps pay for added perks like training advice from super smart people.

For the past four weeks, here’s what we’ve been learning.

Hill Training

Albert Dell’Apa from Raging Bull Road Runners came to talk to our group the night before we started hill training. Hills are hard. Typically, I avoid them and I know a lot of runners in my group did too. Albert did a great job explaining why hill training is good, and the proper way to run a hill. Hills build strength and endurance, and frankly, they help you become a better runner. Albert taught us that the key to running a hill is to run by effort, not pace. This simply means that when you approach a hill, you should tackle it with a pace you know you can maintain throughout. If you want to know more about Raging Bull Road Runners, you can follow them on Twitter @RagingBullRunners, or on their Facebook page.

Nutrition for Runners

We also heard from Kyle Byron of Kyle Byron Nutrition. I loved Kyle’s talk. He was funny, honest and personable and gave us straight talk about fuelling properly as a runner. He talked about the importance of hydration and protein and what to do if you slip up. He also advocated treating yourself with food that may be considered less than optimal in a regular diet. Craving a donut? Have it after a run, he said. This is the kind of advice I can really get behind! He also talked about the importance of drinking water when you wake up. You wake up dehydrated so starting your day with a glass of water is key to getting your metabolism started.

Injury Prevention & Massage for Runners

Melissa Doldrun from Rebalance Sports Medicine joined us to talk about injury prevention. One of the key things she discussed was regular stretching and warm-ups and she did lots of helpful demonstrations. She also talked about the benefits of massage for runners – both self massage through things like foam rollers, and professional massages from an RMT like her. You may recall that I was a frequent guest at Rebalance in the fall and winter after my IT Band injury so I’m a huge fan of the clinic. They totally understand runners, so if you’re looking to heal something, or just work out some tension from a long run, Rebalance is the place to go.

Heart rate Training

Finally, we heard from Krysten Siba Bishop from Polar Canada about the benefits of heartrate training. While it’s not a perfect science, your heart can be a powerful training tool. It can tell you when you’re pushing too hard, or not hard enough and can really help you optimize your training. Krysten herself has a fascinating story. She was diagnosed with rare heart arrhythmia and was fitted for her first pacemaker when she was just 17 years old. She uses Polar watches to monitor her heart while running. To read more about Krysten’s story, check out her blog here.

We have one more talk on race day preparation and then that’s it. The team is prepared to tackle their first 10K race. Good luck to everyone running The Run for Huntington Disease on June 22! I’ll be cheering for you.

1 Comment

  1. Martha B June 12, 2014 / 10:42 am

    When are you guys going to take your program on the road? I desperately could use a clinic like this in BFE Pennsylvania. Though all the goodies you share are great, I want to do it in person!

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