Posted in Energy Systems, running, training

Energy Systems

Ok so let’s talk energy systems.

Our body creates energy through converting what we eat into Adenosine Triphosphate – ATP. The break down is one molecule of Adenosine and three molecules of phosphate. When we use a molecule of phosphate ATP is converted to Adenosine Diphosphate – ADP which is Adenosine and two molecules of phosphate and this allows energy to be released.

 

We have 3 energy systems to help our bodies to function:

  • ATP- CP System – Anaerobic Alactic System
  • Anaerobic Glycolysis – Lactic System
  • Aerobic System

ATP-CP

  • This system does not use oxygen or produce lactic acid
  • This system is used for powerful movements and usually last 1-15 seconds
  • This system would be used when sprinting

Anaerobic Glycolysis

  • This system provides energy by breaking down glycogen which creates lactic acid and helps replenish ATP
  • This system does not use oxygen
  • This system is generally used for 15-90 seconds of activity

Aerobic System

  • This system uses oxygen which creates little or no lactic acid
  • This system is used for activities above 90 seconds
  • A distance runner would predominately use this system

Our energy systems align with what we eat. So eating the right foods leading up to a race, or event is extremely important to guarantee our best energy output. Our bodies use carbohydrates to create ATP, however we can only store limited amounts. If our bodies can get better  at using fats as fuels it will also help with our endurance, as we are able to store a lot more fats that glucose (carbs). This is why I strongly recommend Zone 2 training – for more information please refer to my Zone 2 guide 🙂

Posted in races, running

Edmonton 10K

Edmonton 10k took place on Sunday 22nd of July 2018. I was lucky enough to win my entry for this race and stay at a friends sisters house the night before so it was quite affordable for me to go 🙂 I had just recently purchased the Calgary Skyline hat and decided to pair it with my YYC Run tank to represent YYC Run Crew who I run with on Sundays!

race outfit

Package pickup took place at the Lululemon store in West Ed Mall. The following times were available for pick up. I found the package pick up times to be very accommodating. Especially for out of towners like myself  having the option to pick up your package before 8pm the night before the race. Our race package included a white Swiftly t shirt with the Edmonton 10k logo on the arm. It’s simple, but i think that’s what makes it so beautiful. In race tradition i am wearing it right now!!!

Tuesday July 17th – Thursday July 19th: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Friday July 20th: 9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Saturday July 21st: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The race started at 106th street between 96th avenue and 97th avenue. It was a semi out and back. There was a loop about half way through the course and then you returned back towards the start the same way you came.  We were lucky enough to cross the High level bridge. I was informed by one of the pacers that this is the first time the bridge has been closed to drivers. Unless you were with the yellow corral which had to move across so a police car and ambulance could get through.

EDMONTON-10K-Course-Map-768x551

There was a staggered start for the race and everyone was divided into corrals. I was in the Blue corral which was for estimated finish times of 58 minutes to 1 hour. Although I didn’t quite get my desired time today finishing at 1 hour 2 min and 39 seconds.

7:30 a.m. Red Corral  and Yellow Corral starts
7:34 a.m. Blue Corral starts
7:37 a.m. Green Corral and Purple Corral starts
7:42 a.m. Orange Corral starts (Walkers)

I do like the staggered start because with the larger races the 1st km is can be a slower start due to the weaving around people. However there were quite a few people in the Blue corral so I found it still to be a slower start.

The course was really enjoyable, and there were a lot of cheer stations! Lots of cute and encouraging signs, bubbles, balloons, music.  I recall there being 4 water stations if I remember correctly that offered Nuun and water.

Post race you received a medal, bag with food and drink a doughnut, $20 sage coupons, Nuun Samples and a Gerbras.

There was also post run entertainment including many back drops to take group photos, blow up animals spraying out water so you could cool down and yoga.

yoga

Overall I would have to say that Lululemon and Canada Running Series has put on a very successful event. I am hoping that they decide to run it again next year because I would really love to be apart of the experience

 

For more information please go to http://canadarunningseries.com/edmonton-10k/

Posted in races, running, Uncategorized

Stampede Road Race

This year was the 10th annual Stampede road race. This was my 3rd time running the race and this year my my 1st year as a  race ambassador.  The race had 3 events, the 5km, 10km and Half marathon distance. They even offer kids runs too 🙂 This event  supports Can Praxis -Equine Rehabilitation program for Veterans diagnosed to PTSD.

As an ambassador I was able to be more involved in helping out with the event. I have to say it is a very well organised event. I helped out with package pick up on the Friday evening and then hung out and helped out where I could on the Saturday. Every participate received a Mizuno shirt, race bib, Honey Stinger Waffle, Go Macro Bar, Stoked Oats and a few other things. They were great swag bags! As an ambassador I also received an orange shirt which I plan on wearing today! Post race tradition is to wear my race shirt proudly 🙂

swag

 

I ran the Half Marathon distance. Normally the route goes right around the Glenmore reservoir , however this year due to the construction that was not possible and it was an out and back. I do prefer the normal route, yes even with Weaselhead, but I am thankful we were still able to run the event with the construction. I just found the out and back to be a little more hilly opposed to going right around.  There were aid stations about every 3km and the volunteers were wonderful, they were very encouraging and well prepared with Ultima and Water.  I was running with my own electrolytes – Nuun Performance, but i did appreciate the water.

Map

I crossed the finish line in a time of 2.20 which is exactly where i wanted to be for my training. I was actually on track for a personal best until the last 6km where i started to struggle with the heat and hills and opted to add a little more walking into my run. Especially up some of those hills!

After the race I had the pleasure of handing out prizes to all the kids runs. Depending on their age would determine how far they ran. It was such a rewarding experience. Then jumped in the line for a traditional pancake breakfast.

Cobs supplied scones for us to enjoy and then we could get sausage and pancakes. Stoked Oats offered us a choice of 3 flavours or oats (I took chocolate) and a choice of juice. If your not a runner you just have to stop by for the breakfast alone, its delicious.

 

post-race-breakfast.jpg

I am thankful to be apart of Stampede Road Race and I look forward to running it again next year.

For more information go to http://www.stampederoadrace.ca I hope to see you next year 🙂

Posted in races, running

High River Half

High river Half takes place every year on July 1st – Canada Day. It’s Major fundraiser for the Foothills Advocacy In Motion Society:  www.faims.org that supports adults with developmental disabilities in High River, Okotoks and Strathmore.

This year there were 3 events, the half marathon, 10km and 5km event. I completed the half marathon event as part of a team with my friends, Jen, Kath, Katt and Jess.

21-K-capture.png

Package pickup was great because you had the option of picking up a few days leading up to the race or on race day. The t-shirts were stunning! They really represented High River with a picture of the Medicine Tree. You also received a buff, sunglasses and a pen. Quite great value. The medal was the same as last years, but you could tell the difference between them as they had the year on them.

 

Race Swag

 

This is the second time I have done this event. The course was different from last year. Although I much preferred last year’s course, I do have to say this years course was very organised. There were water stations approximately every two kilometers, along with porta potties at a lot of them.

This was not my best race as I was not feeling well, however despite that it was very enjoyable.  The views in high river are so beautiful and it is such a lovely area to run. All the volunteers were extremely friendly and supportive.

Post race we received the traditional pancake breakfast, Tim Horton’s coffee and timbits. A true representation of Canada!

 

If you are looking for something to do next year on Canada Day I would recommend that you check this race out. The 5km option is great for families to participate together. Post race there is always great entertainment to enjoy 🙂

For more information please check out http://www.highriverhalf.com/

 

Posted in races, running

Diva Half Marathon

The Diva Half Marathon and 5km ran for the first time in Calgary on the Sunday June 24th 2018.  I ran the Half Marathon Course which runs along the Bow River.

Calgary half marathon course

Package pick up was at the Westin downtown. However should you choose you could get a VIP packet pick up and pick up at the start of the race which costed an additional fee.

Each package includes your race bibs, participant shirts, tutus in a drawstring bag.  The diva half marathon and 5km supports Rethink Breast Cancer which is a young women’s breast cancer movement.

Every participate does receive a medal which includes a charm that is compatible with Pandora Bracelets.  All Divas receive a glamorous Boa and Tiara station right before the finish and a glass of Bubbly.

After yesterday’s run Jen and I decided we would not push today, we would take it nice and easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery in Calgary.  We had no expectations on time or speed. We decided to take photos along the course and just enjoy the stunning weather.

 

 

There were plenty of water stations and porta potties along the way. The water stations had water and electrolytes. The electrolytes seemed to be a little watered down but that suits me perfectly because sometimes i find them too sweet. I just found i needed to drink twice as much. Towards the end of the race the water stations were actually handing out icy poles which were really refreshing and enjoyable towards the end of the race 🙂 About 200 metres before the race finishes you are handed a pink feather boa and a tiara to wear to cross the finish line. You are then handed a glass of bubby, a choice between pink or white. Even though it was non alcoholic it was so yum!!!  You are then presented your medal in a little keep sake bag and given post race snacks and drinks.

post race selfie.jpg

 

After the run there was a lot of music, and opportunities to get a massage.  You could even get photos with firemen!!!

fireman.jpg

The only downfall with the entire event was the KM markers were quite off by about a km but that seemed to fix up right towards the end of the course.  With that being the only negative I would say this was a really successful event.

 

For more information please refer to: http://www.runlikeadiva.com/Events/Calgary.htm

 

*Edit* i have been informed due to the rain we had yesterday km markers moved and there was an announcement at the start of the race

 

 

Posted in heart rate, running, training

Zone 2 Training

I wanted to spend some time talking about Zone 2 training, recovery runs or easy runs. I feel zone 2 training is very important for any endurance athlete.

I have read many articles and most would recommend 60 to 70% of your training time be spent in Zone 2.

So what is zone 2? Depending on what heart rate method you follow could differ the results slightly. However just to simplify things I will use the standard method of: (220-age)×.60 to .70 For a 35 year old we would see the follow results. 220-35=185 185×.6=111 and 185×.7=129.5. That would put their heart rate between 111 and 129.5

Through my personal experience I have found it quite difficult to keep my heart rate in zone 2. However the more I work at it the easier it becomes. When I start to go into zone 3 I will drop into a walk to bring my heart rate down.

Zone 2 training training will generally recruit fat for it’s primary energy source. This makes it less reliant on Carbohydrates. We also use our slow twitch muscle fibers. Why is this important? Our slow twitch muscles are responsible for lactate clearance and transferring it to the mitochondria where it can be reused as energy.

Zone 2 training will also increase your aerobic endurance which I would think any runner would be glad to have.

With any type of training you need to find what works best for you. When I do a zone 2 session I like to take advantage of my slower pace to work on my running form and breathing I recently found this helpful when I ran a 10km race I got a personal best as I was able to control my heart rate better than I had in the past.

Today was only a short run but I wanted to show you my heart rate graph . As you can see below I did some into my zone 3 but every time I did I slowed down my pace and worked on my breathing. I should mention to that my pace is about 2min per km higher however the more I do this the more I improve.

Good luck everyone 😀 if you currently use this method of training or are going to try it is love to hear your feedback.

Posted in running, training

Running Terms

Quite often when I am talking about running and training I get asked what terms mean, so I thought I would cover off on some training terminology .

Fartlek: These runs are suppose to be informal and unplanned. The idea is to work on your speed work but have no real plan. When i am training farkleks I like to see a sign and push myself to get to that sign as quickly as possible and then drop back down into an easier run, then i will pick another landmark and push towards that. The great thing is because they are unplanned you can push as much as you can, but if you need to recover a bit longer that is ok too.

LSD: Long Slow Distance runs are generally a lot slower than your race pace. The idea of these runs is to build distance and should be comfortable and enjoyable. I find the best LSD runs are when your running with a friend and you both can chat and laugh the entire run. They should not be stressful, in fact you should just enjoy the company  and the beautiful scenery.

Strides: The idea behind strides is to work on form and technique. Your goal should be to increase your stride length and maintain a quick foot turnover.

 

Easy Run/Recovery Run/Zone 2 Training: An easy run would normally be 1 to  2 minutes slower than your race pace. When doing an easy run you should focus on your breathing and technique. An easy/recovery run would normally be 60-70% maximum heart rate or in Zone 2. At first if you are not use to training at these lower heart rates you will find it quite challenging, however as time goes on you find your body will start to improve on fat utilization and and also increase lactate clearance.  I would be recommending that endurance athletes include a lot more Easy runs in their training schedule.

Intervals: Intervals are a great way to increase your speed. When i am running intervals I will push for 1km and then go into a recovery run or walk for 1 to 2 minutes. However that being said you can split your intervals up anyway you like. If I am doing a run/walk i will often run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute, or even run for 4 minutes walk for 1 minute.

Threshold: Threshold running is running at a pace where lactate does not increase significantly in the blood during the run. These runs are a great way to gain aerobic fitness. A Threshold run should normally be slower than your 5 or 10km race pace, but harder than your normal easy run. If you are using a heart rate training program you would normally aim to be in Zone 4 for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. I will mix up my Threshold running and include some intervals of 6 to 10 minutes Threshold running followed by a few minutes of easy zone 2 or 3 running.

Tempo: When running a tempo run you are maintaining a comfortably hard or challenging pace. You should be able to hold these runs a lot longer that your Threshold Run. If you are heart rate training you are aiming run at a maximum of 80-85% HR

Steady Run: These runs are a great way to build aerobic  strength. They are basically steady state cardio and normally performed in Heart Rate Zone 3. Usually a steady state run for me would be maintaining a constant pace and heart rate for 40 minutes to an hour.