Thursday, January 19, 2012


Training for the marathon has been difficult, lots of nights running in the cold, becoming really stiff and sore but knowing that I'm doing this for a great cause makes it worth it.
The hardest part of training right now is maintaining it, like any first timer in a new fitness program its easy to fall off the wagon (and outdoor temperatures in the -40's don't help). I went to visit my family for the Holidays and haven't been running outdoors since, but I've maintained my fitness level by doing weight training and cardio regimens indoors. Working-out indoors doesn't compare to the elements outside, its much easier for your body to handle, I've noticed a huge difference in areas such as breathing and muscle fatigue. My breathing is a lot more regulated indoors, without a ragged terrain, rough winds and cool temperatures running is really easy but I worry that it will affect my performance when it comes time to run the full marathon outside.
To keep myself used to the elements, I've been taking long brisk walks outdoors, its great cardio training and you can still practice your breathing and overall posture. My muscles aren't as stiff as they used to be after a run but they are still sore, most noticeably my calves. I wonder if this is because during my brisk walks I take short quick steps to avoid icy patches on the sidewalks in my neighborhood, to other walkers I'm sure it looks like I'm playing hopscotch. To relieve the strain I've been taking warm baths to relax the muscle and let it breathe as well as using BENGAY to speed up relief, I've also been wearing a shorter heel through the workday. I also find that frequent yoga and hot-yoga sessions relieve strain (and sometimes reveal strain in other areas).
I'm committed to this Marathon and I hope everyone who is reading this blog is interested in supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well. Please scroll to the big orange DONATE NOW to support this cause.

Thanks in advance!! : )

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Form and Technique

Every Tuesday my training group meets up at 7pm to practise. Tuesdays are a little tougher than Sundays since we focus more on power and speed. While running my coach Joanna broke down "how" I should be running, this is basically the positioning of your limbs as you run. From my head to my feet this is how my body is positioned for running:
  • Eyes: Keep your focus on the horizon line, this will give you a focus point and keep you from hunching over, conserving more energy throughout your run.
  • Shoulders: Keep your shoulders low and away from your ears (if you're training in the cold like me you may be doing this without even realising it), this keeps a lot of stress away from your neck and gives your shoulders more room to help propel you.
  • Arms: Keep your arms at a 90 degree angle close to your body. As your arms move back and forth, imagine a slicing motion along the side of your torso, you only want to slice from wrist to elbow. This will help you assume a good pace and get you through most of the marathon.
  • Hands: I used to keep my hands in tight fists and feel really exhausted after a run, I kept all the muscles in my forearms really tense for no reason, it wasn't helping my performance. Now I keep my hands straight with my fingers lined up (following the slicing motion of my arms). This really helps you relax and sprint towards the end.
  • Stomach: The stomach should be pulled in, not so tight that it hurts, but just enough so that your body sits in line frm hip to neck. I noticed that without holding in my stomach a little, it feels like your pulling dead weight in your lower half after 10k. Maintaining posture throughout is important.
  • Feet: Imagine your foot cut into thirds (Toes, Arch, Ankle). When you're running you want your foot to land in the upper middle third (between arch and toes). This will be more cushioning to your joints than the thud you would get from landing constantly on your ankle. This may sound weird but it will save your knees!!
Ever since I started concentrating on my form even while running, I don't even notice the distance go by. By keeping my mind focused on my position throughout I'm preoccupied more with running correctly. As a result, my endurance has improved by leaps and bounds. When you start becoming more aware of your technique you won't even realize that you're all of a sudden an hour into running.

As always if you would like to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada please click on the donate button below to go to my official Team in Training donations page:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Endurance Training

This December I have built up my endurance from 30 min to 45 min of running and I'm well on my way to marathon endurance of approx. 4 hours. I have kept up with my training schedule and really noticed the difference. I used to hate running and now that I've learned "how to run" I actually enjoy it.

I started my training in November after a good friend of mine told me about Team in Training. This organization raisies funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada and creates awareness and attracts fundraising for research by having Team in Training participate in marathons.

The Madrid Marathon is April 22, 2012 (which also happens to be my birthday), and currently at the top of my bucket list. My reasons for participating and fundraising for this cause are personal. My family has been plagued with cancer in various forms and we're very aware that leading a healthy lifestyle is not enough to keep yourself out of harms way. I have lost two grandparents and my grandmother was recently diagnosed after battling and winning against cancer twice before. However the biggest shock to me was when my own father was diagnosed; luckily it was caught early and they were able to perform surgery to remove the polyps that had developed on his stomach. He has been "in the clear" for a year now, but not everyone is so lucky.

I encourage anyone who is looking to help fight cancer to get involved in any way they can to promote research and development. One example of a cancer breakthrough is the drug Gleevec. This drug targets abnormal proteins which are essential to cancer development and is now used in the treatment of 10 forms of cancer and Time Magazine has hailed Gleevec as "The Magic Bullet".

To donate to my Madrid Marathon Journey please follow the link below; you will also be able to print out a tax receipt for donations over $25.

To donate to another member of Team in Training or to learn more about the program please click on the link: