Run With or Without Music?

To Run With or Without Music, That Is the Question

Running is music, if you’re patient enough to hear it.
Ask Miles, Runner’s World, Jan. 2013

That quote is one of the best I’ve ever heard and perfectly sums up my thoughts on music and running. To run with or without music is constantly debated and there doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. You’re either for it or against it. Some races now even try to ban headphones on the race course citing safety reasons. I used to run with music, but now I don’t at all. Why the change of heart? Let me tell you. Continue reading

Eat Real Food on the Run

Eat real food on the run. Dried figs are a great alternative to power gels.

It seems that people these days (especially athletes) are more concerned about what they’re putting into their bodies. People are choosing to eat real food again and avoid things that are overly processed or genetically modified – even if it’s more expensive. When I was training for my first half marathon, other runners in my training group were taking these GU gels on the long run. They didn’t look very good, but they all said it gave them a much needed energy boost. I always wore a fuel belt full of Gatorade so I thought that was enough. Continue reading

Winter Running Shoes – A Barefoot Runner’s Dilemma

Winter Running with the Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove

Now that we’re a few weeks into December, I’m really starting to notice the cold during my runs. Thermal layers, gloves, and a hat are all standard attire for winter running in Canada, but what do other barefoot runners do? This is my first winter running after transitioning to barefoot, and my feet are really starting to get cold slogging through icy slush and huge puddles in my Vibram FiveFingers. I really needed to find some solid winter running shoes. Continue reading

Barefoot Running Transition – My 1 Year Anniversary

My 1 Year Barefoot Running Anniversary

One year ago I injured myself doing a tempo run in minimalist shoes. My calf muscle went and I was forced to walk 3km home in agonizing pain. On that long walk home I started thinking that something had to change. Does it really need to be like this? Why do runners just accept that being injured is par for the course? I took a week off of running, iced my aching calf and did a little research. I got myself a copy of Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and it really inspired me to get back to running. What intrigued me was that it seemed to echo my sentiment that you can run pain-free – if you’re willing to be patient and put in a little work. You can’t just ditch the shoes and expect to be able to run 10 miles barefoot. Elite marathoners from countries like Kenya and Ethipoia have been running barefoot all their lives, so they already have really strong feet. Mid-pack runners like myself have been wearing shoes all their lives and have underdeveloped foot muscles. I really needed to strengthen my feet if I was going to successfully transition out of my neutral-cushioned shoes and into barefoot running. Continue reading

Balsamic Glazed Salmon Recipe – Pre-race Meal

Balsamic Glazed Salmon - Pre-race Meal

This morning in Toronto, thousands of people are lining up in the rain to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Even though I’m not running it this year, I thought I’d share what I usually eat for dinner the night before a race (or Sunday’s long slow distance run.) Your biggest pre-race meal should be lunch the day before and dinner should be fairly light, which is why I always tend to go with salmon. This balsamic glazed salmon recipe is quick, super easy to make and very tasty! When I first started making this recipe I used frozen fillets. Once i tried it using fresh salmon, I never bought frozen again. It makes a huge difference! Continue reading

Running to Work – Living the Dream

The Joy of Running to Work - My Gear

About five months ago, my family and I moved from the suburbs back to the city. One of the deciding factors was that the move would make home very close to work (about 3.6km to be exact), and the thought of running to the office instead of driving on the highway got me very excited. My old commute was on average about 30min with moderate traffic. I knew I wouldn’t be running to the office every day, but I’d be able to run my new commute in about 10min less than it used to take me to drive. Running to work… how awesome is that! Continue reading

Transition to Barefoot Running – My Journey

My Transition to Barefoot Running

For years I’ve been doing all of my running in neutral-cushioned shoes, and for most of that time I’ve had some form of injury. Shin splints, runners knee, plantar fasciitis, you name it, I had it. I just assumed it was something I had to live with. That it was just part of the deal if I wanted to be a runner. After about 2 years of serious running, I decided that I was tired of being in pain after my runs and I was going to give minimalist shoes a try. Continue reading