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THE DYNAMO

Spring Into Summer 2016

Marathon Dynamics E-Newsletter

* Best Viewed on Tablet, Laptop or Desktop ;o)

* Click on pics for hi rez

PURPLE POWER, PRIDE & PASSION!


  SL10K Dynamo WS

Many of the two dozen Team Dynamo runners who volunteered at the 4K waterstation of the Sporting Life 10K earlier this month snuggle for a "Runfie".  You guys did an amazing job that morning - Thank you ;o)


Truly Awesome Season Ends...& Another Begins!

Jan-May/16 - A giant too-hard hug of thanks and congratulations to YOU, the inspiring (and perspiring!) crew of runners that we coaches are lucky enough to work and run with.

In short, your efforts this past winter and spring were formidable! In just the last 11 weeks or so, you've racked up over 140 incredible race results, and that's NOT even including another couple dozen tallies from this past weekend of dangerously overheated race day conditions at a slew of races, including: Ottawa Marathon, Cabot Trail Relay, Bayshore Marathon, Buffalo Marathon, & the Toronto Womens Half Mara (which they shortened to a 12K) & 5K.

Top 100Click here to visit our website to check in on the amazing performances from the winter/spring '16 campaign by Team Dynamo: fast times, HUGE PBs, impressive age cat placings, Boston Q's and many more great tales of trial, tribulation and triumph.

GO GO DYNAMO!

It was also great to get together with many of you this past week to celebrate the season as well.  An intimate pub night in Oakville and a larger, more raucous gathering in the 6ix, for our Toronto-area crew.

At the Toronto party, 3 lucky runners (remember, luck is just hard work in disguise!), picked up awards:  Kelly Zyblock won for "Diamond in the Rough" (aka most improved), Sherlita DiBratto won for "Nutcracker" (aka hardest working), and Anu Bentley won the coveted "Closest To Perfection" prize for her fairy tale season.

Kelly ZSherlitaAnu B

(above) 3 Toronto Dynamo Award winners Kelly, Sherlita & Anu (L - R) flanked by proud coaches Jenn and Kev.


From my perspective though, you know what the best moment of the season was?  It wasn't my own somewhat suprising race results (1st master at Sporting Life 10K in 33min, 1st master at Scotia Montreal Half mara in 1:14), or even the aforementioned 150 or so tremendous accomplishments by the runners we coach (though that was pretty damn awesome!). 
 
Instead, it was trucking down Yonge St. mid-race during the Sporting Life 10K, and coming upon that Purple Wave of energy and support at the 4K waterstation, where our crew was volunteering. The hair on the back of my sweaty neck pricked up, and then my arms raised over my head to acknowledge the support of our crew for the running community and the great cause of Camp Ooch. The sense of affiliation and camaraderie I felt was really profound.  

With Marathon Dynamics being made up of a number of other smaller groups around the GTA, it has been more difficult to forge strong teamwork bonds across and between the smaller groups rather than simply within them. So it made my already fast-beating heart thump a little louder and prouder to run by our crew doin' their thang there that morning!
 
SL10K Water SL10K Water 2
 
Thanks again to those of you who we've been blessed to work, run and play with this past season (and perhaps many seasons past), and a shout out to those of you who would like to give Marathon Dynamics a try THIS coming season.  What are you waiting for?  We start....NOW!

Tiffany S Brian C
 3 Amigos
 (top) Dynamo rookies push for the finish line: Tiffany Simms powers to a 3:57 marathon debut at Goodlife, while Brian Cupit hangs on for a 1:16 performance at the Mississauga Half, good enough for top master and 5th overall...at 50+yrs old no less!  (bottom) Dynamo veterans celebrate despite the tough conditions at the Mississauga (Alison Stevenson qualified for Boston with a 4:05, Yasu Kajiwara won his age category in 3:22, and Lisa DeMarco returned to form in the half with a 1:57 comeback race.
 
Just a few of the many great Dynamo runner pics from this season to be found on our FB group page.
 

Facecook click here to see dozens more!




4 WAYS DYNAMO IS EVEN BETTER!

Knowledge * Skills * Services * Spirit


 1) Dyna-Mo-ndays become Super Tuesdays!

Super TuesdaysBuiding on the success of the Dyna-Mo-nday monthly free (to MDI runners) seminar series we introduced this past season, we're upping the ante (5 dates, instead of 4), and the flexibility (2 locations, 1 central /uptown Toronto, 1 West Toronto) of those sessions.

Instead of the first Monday of every month, we've moved the series to the last Tuesday of every month, so that the presentations won't conflict with any of our regularly scheduled weekly workout nights, so everyone who wants to attend should be able to make it!

Marathon Dynamics is teaming up with returning sponsor Totum Life Sciences, and new sponsor The Runner's Academy to offer a series of 5 FREE presentations, emphasizing practical running knowledge and skills for Marathon Dynamics runners.  Experts from the staff of Totum, Runner's Academy and Marathon Dynamics will lead active, jam-packed seminars on everything you’ll need to elevate your running game!

The topics of the final four talks are still being finalized (watch for details coming soon), but the dates, times and places are all set, so check your skeds & BOOK now! 


#1 - Tuesday, June 28th, 6:30pm @ Totum

Totum - "The Runner's Upper Body - Posture, Breathing & Performance"

MDI - "7 Habits of Highly Effective Dynamos"   

#2 - Tuesday, July 26th, 7pm @ Runner's Academy

#3 - Tuesday, Aug 30th, 6:30pm @ Totum

#4 - Tuesday, Sept 27th, 7pm @ Runner's Academy

#5 - Tuesday, Oct 25th, 6:30pm @ Totum


Please join us!  Click here to claim a spot at any of the above sessions (topics to be announced shortly). Due to the physical nature of these interactive presentations, space is limited to first 25 RSVPs for each.


 2) Dynamo Water Running

Every 3-Water Run4 weeks this season, in both Midtown Toronto (Tues evenings) & Mississauga (Sat  afternoons), Coaches Kevin Smith and Jennifer Faraone (between us well over 600hrs of water running experience), will co-ordinate FREE 1hr informal water running instructional sessions (+ cost of pool access).  

New to water running? Come give it a try and get some super pointers on how to do it well.  Already do it?  Join us to refine your approach, and/or just do a super social aerobic x-train session with other Dynamos! 

Here's the schedule (subject to changes announced later in June for aquatic centre summer scheduling):

#1 - Saturday, June 18, 3-4pm (Kev S/Cawthra Park)

#2 - Tuesday, July 12, 7-8pm (Jenn F/North York?)

#3 - Saturday, July 23, 3-4pm (Kev S/Cawthra Park)

#4 - Tuesday, Aug 23, 7-8pm (Jenn F/North York?)

#5 - Saturday, Sept 10, 3-4pm (Kev S/Cawthra Park)

Please join us!  Click here to claim a spot at any of the above sessions. Note, since we are not renting pool time, we are limiting the number of participants to a max of 6 at each, so don't miss out!

* Note: you MUST be able to swim competently (for survival, not for performance.  Lord knows I'm not much of a swimmer ;o)  


  3) Racepace Run Series is SET!

TheRacepacese indispensible mid-season checkpoint and rehearsal workouts are CRITICAL to your race day success at season's end, so make sure you attend as many as possible (and/or substitute mid-season races for any you miss!).

Once a month, in both uptown/east Toronto (new!) & downtown/west Toronto locations...they're on!

These are FREE for any/all Marathon Dynamics runners (past and present), and attendance is considered somewhere between strongly encouraged and mandatory ;o)

Here's the schedule (7:30-7:40 arrival, check in, warm up, 8am sharp start!):

 #1 - Sunday, July 10 @ High Park

#2 - Sunday, Aug 7th @ Edwards Gardens

#3 - Sunday, Sept 11 @ High Park

#4 - Sunday, Oct 2nd @ Edwards Gardens


4) “Get Out of Injury Free” Pass!

Get Out HurtIf you’re registering with Marathon Dynamics this season, you get a “Get Out of Injury Free” Pass to use with either Totum Life Science (exclusive in Toronto) or Physical Edge (exclusive in Oakville) at FIRST sign of an injury problem throughout the entire season.  Use it – Run Happy!

Please contact Coach Kev - click here - to requisition yours if/when you need it! 

* Please note: especially for you West TO, Etobicoke and Mississauga, you can visit ANY one of the 4 Totum locations in the GTA, including the King/Spadina one, for your "Get Out of Injury Free" treatment/assessment.


 5) Team Dynamo Spirit Calendar

Chilly Half

Based on the success we had with team gatherings at the Chilly Half, Around the Bay, Sporting Life 10K, and others this season, we’d like to build on that with longer term planning to bring more of you together at a few select events. 

It’s all about getting there (road-trippin’), warming up, racing with and cheering each other on—and most importantly, gathering post-race for celebration, good cheer and race stories!  If you weren’t already planning on doing at least a few of the events below, please consider joining us.  If you already had a couple on your list…why not add a couple more?  


Spring Fling 15K/10K/5K - Sunday, June 12th

     * aka "get out of mile trial free" for Dynamo runners ;)

Toronto Ekiden Relay – Thursday, June 16th

     * We need runners for 3 more teams - mens, womens, mixed.  Interested? 

Toronto Waterfront 10K – Sunday, June 25th

     * Let's make an impact at this one gang - Purple Power!

Hillacious Journey Dynamo Run – Sunday, July 17th (High Park)

     * Once a season you should ask yourself "how many hills can I climb today?" 

Midtown TO Dynamo Pub Night – Monday, July 18th (Red Lantern Pub)

Downtown/West TO Dynamo Pub Night – Wednesday, Aug. 17th (Pauper's Pub)

     * Please, PLEASE come to at least one of these mid-summer team socials!

1812 Challenge (29k) Road Trip – Sunday, Sept 4th, Watertown, NY

     * No Midsummer Night 30K?  Well...there's THIS! What a blast - Let's do it!

Toronto 10 Miler & 1/2 Marathon – Sat., Sept 17th

     * Want to race it? Awesome! But we also need volunteers (it's our focus V-event!)

Waterfront Marathon – Sunday, October 16th

     * The "big deal" race of TO, sure...but we also need help at our brand new Dynamo Expo Booth!

Hamilton Marathon - Sunday, November 6th 

     * The final local, big race of the season - and we'd love some help at the Dyamo Expo Booth

Post Season Runner Party of the Year – Friday, Nov. 18th

     * Soon-to-Be Rio Olympian Canadian marathon champ Krista Duchene is confirmed as guest speaker ALREADY...tons more fun, excitement, prizes and surprises to come.  DON'T MISS IT!


 6) New Team Gear Order Deadline - June 16th!

Kev and Paul 3 Muskateers

 TO 10 Miler

Thanks to everyone who has supported us by wearing Purple Power gear this season. We've gotten VERY positive feedback on our new logo design, and the look, fit and performance of our new singlets, running T's, jackets, and arm warmers.  It's been very cool to see you guys "Purple & Proud" at the races. 

We love your Dynamo team spirit!

We have limited sttock available in some sizes of the above items (click here to see the product), but already have an arm-long reorder list started.

If you wDynamo Gearould like to order anything for yourself or others, or perhaps add on/re-order to what you already have, please click here to let us know what you're looking for, or go ahead and purchase your items online at our registration page (login first, click on "Registration & Payment" and scroll down to bottom) before June 16, 2016

That is the date we'll place the reorder.  That will be the last opportunity to order until spring of 2017, so don't miss out! Please allow 6 weeks for production/shipping (1st week of August, well before fall racing season arrives)

Gotta look sharp, gang...afterall, it's an Olympic year!


  7) Free High Park Sunday Runs @ Grenadier

High Park DynamoSummer Hours in Effect - 8am common start time (7:55 arrival) through June, July and August!

Click here if you’d like to join if you haven’t been out yet.

1 GREAT TRAIL RUN TIP...+ 5 MORE!

By MDI Coach Lawrence Warriner


Trail running is about consistency of pace and the runner’s ability to successfully handle the hills. There are really two types of hills. The long killer hills which take a chunk out of your legs and the short ones which shouldn’t.
 
Lawrence WOften the shorter hills are of what I call the “Rollercoaster” variety. That means the hill will have a short downhill and then an equal uphill. These hills are usually about 15 – 35 metres in length. How you run the shorter hills and use your momentum will be a big factor in your success as a trail runner. Here is my reciepe for success on these types of hills. As you enter the downhill you reduce effort and let your momentum carry you through the downhill portion. Then as you enter the trough you accelerate with a short burst, lasting about 50% of the uphill and then finally easing back as you coast to the crest of the uphill.
 
There is one trail section we use that has about 5 or 6 of these in a row which give you a good sense of this kind of pacing. This method will keep you strong and saving your strength for those killer uphills which do take a bite. In the next post I will get into the best way to survive those monsters.

Here is a recap of the five previously posted trail running tips:

1. I said footwork was the most important part of trail running and it is. The trails in the Don valley can be severely sloped across your line. Meaning your footfall is often not flat but angled. On severe slopes, turn your foot slightly uphill and use a bit of body rotation as well.

2. On shorter hills that you enter from a flat grade, try a bit of a burst at the start of the incline. Use that acceleration to conquer the majority of the hill. One great gauge of fitness on trails is how you handle the short hills. If they are taking too much out of you then you still are building a trail base.

3. It is all about the feet – trail running is all about your footwork. There is the obvious caution about watching out for roots, rocks, branches, chipmunks, etc but aside from that there is the proper footwork to maximize your efficiency on the trails. Quick and focused feet are key for the beginning trail runner. Don’t over stride and be ready to change your rhythm to avoid the above obstacles. Click here for more help.

4. Hills are your friend – Trail running means that you are almost always ascending or descending. The hills you encounter on the trails are unlike the moderately sloped paved trails you might find in parks or on the streets. Your will need to shorten your stride further for the ups and downs. Quick arms that don’t cross the body as much will help you up that hill and wider arms will keep your balance going down.

5. Don’t be discouraged by how hard this may seem. Once a week a friend would meet up with me for a Sunday run on the trails. After a somewhat long run, perhaps 12 km, he asked “How much do you think this run is worth on the roads?”. I said a fair bit more. We were training for the New York Marathon at the time. When I run on the trails I know I am getting a better workout than on the roads.

To me, anyways, the trails don’t seem hard anymore, and now the pavement seems easy! That is the value and worth of trail running.

Hope these help ;o)



Lawrence W

Lawrence Warriner 

- owner/head coach at Toronto T.R.U.E. Running - Trail Running Urban Experience

- 2014 winner of the Brooklyn marathon
- Twice master champion - Waterfront half
- Twice master champion - Goodlife half
- Overall Winner - Ontario 5 Peaks Running Series
- 12 Boston marathons (incl. a 2:42:12, 6th in age cat)
- 1:13:19 half mara, unofficial all-time Can. 50+ record
- 1:46:12 at the Around the Bay 30K
- Other interests include: race directing, pool running, cycling & family time



BE FIRST YOUR OWN HERO

You Never Know Who You'll Inspire!

By Coach  Kevin Smith


This is a reprint of an article written in 2003, when I first reconnected with now MDI Coach Jason Bunston. Since Jason and I got our wires crossed here too late to untangle them re: his article contribution to this e-newsletter edition, I thought this might be a great substitution ;)

heroAwhile back--in the neighborhood of 2 years or so--long time devotees of our seasonal running e-newsletters may remember an article penned by Marathon Dynamic's president Kevin Smith, on the passing away of his running hero--a man named Mike Meredith--to whom he attributes most of his own original involvement in the sport of distance running.  Ultimately, the story was about the astounding significance a single runner can have on others...without their even knowing it (click here to read that story).

Well, in a way, this is the sequel to that story. We are oft reminded by the gurus and luminaries of running, such as George Sheehan and Katherine Switzer, to "be our own heroes" in our experience as distance runners, as we can provide our own best motivation, find the most personal significance in our pursuit, and are our own best competition (and usually our biggest cheerleader!) amidst our daily striding and striving. 

Examples of runners "being their own heroes" abound, both near (here at home) and afar (around the world), to be sure, but I had an experience at last year's PowerBar 5K Run (of the Canada Running Series) that showed me just how remarkable the effect of one runner on another can be.

The annual midsummer 5K down at "The Docks" had just ended, and hundreds of exhausted, sweaty--but for the most part jubilant--runners were streaming into the Post Race Pavilion of the lakefront patio at the popular Toronto nightspot.  I was "boofing it" that night (runner expo lingo for "working at a booth") to promote our business as a sponsor of the event, and was comfortably ensconced inside our snazzy purple MDI tent, enjoying the cool evening air, the conversation and race reports of many runners, when out of the encroaching darkness, a slight, sinewy, blond young man strode up to our table.  I recognized him instantly, though I hadn't seen, spoken or even heard from/about him in at least 3-4 years. 

Jason BIt was Jason Bunston, a truly fabulous Canadian runner who, "in his day" (mid to late 90's), was just about unbeatable over distances from 1500m up to 10,000m: personal bests of 13:22 in the 5000m (Canadian Record) and 7:45 in the indoor 3000m (also a Canadian Record), 2 time Canadian Cross Country champion, and numerous World Junior, World Cross-Country and Commonweath Games appearances for Canada... in short, a lifetime running resume nothing short of spectacular.

I wasn't even sure if he remembered or recognized me as he smiled and said hello, since we never really knew each other and my own running accomplishments pale by comparison, and though there was a short time as young "up and comer" runners that there could be said to have been an "impending rivalry" between us as competitors, all that was usurped by a 4.5 year injury layoff I experienced in my mid/late teen years that certainly crimped my competitive running potential.

After a short exchange of running pleasantries and such, at a pause in the conversation, Jason pulled out his wallet and reached inside it.  "I've got something I want to show you" he said. Curious, I looked down to see what he was holding in his hand, and was amazed, shocked and stunned...all at once.  It was a small, tattered and tarnished picture, unmistakably of the "photo finish" of the OFSAA (Ontario Fed. of Sec. Schools Athletic Assoc.) Junior Boys 3000m final, where the reigning national junior champion of distance running, Brendan Mathias, is eking out a narrow 1 second victory over a younger, relatively unknown upstart (me!) who came "that close" to upstaging the heavy favourite in one of the biggest high school track meets in North America.

Jason B Now"That was an incredible race" he said.  At the time of the photo, he was competing in the next age division down, awaiting the start of his race final (which he won).  "I've held on to that picture ever since (in his wallet, no less!), I'm not even sure why...it just fires me up" Jason reflected as he carefully tucked the pic back away.

The most amazing part for me was that this photo captured what has always been since the day it happened, my most memorable and significant running moment.  It's one I have replayed hundreds, if not thousands of times in my mind: it's my "go to" when I need a running motivation boost or confidence builder.  To find out that for perhaps many years, it was doing the same thing for one of the best distance runners this country has ever produced, left me with a warm, fuzzy feeling for the rest of the night, and even over the next few days.  Click here to read my personal account of that singularly amazing race.

"Be first your own hero"...you never know what impact you're having on those around you! 


Coach Kev

- 2011 Ontario Masters Marathon Champion

- 2012 Canadian Masters 1/2 Mara Bronze

- 2013 Ontario Masters 1/2 Mara Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 15K Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 1500m Champion

- 2015 Ontario Masters 1/2 Mara Champion

- 2015 Ontario Masters 30K Champion

- 2015 Canada Running Series - 2nd Overall Master

- 2016 Scotiabank Montreal Half Marathon - 1st Master

- 2016 Sporting Life 10K - 1st Master

Kevin Smith is a full-time coach with Marathon Dynamics and a sometime elite masters distance runner, water running enthusiast, (hyper) active elliptical trainer-er, life cycle-ist, inline speedskater, hockey player, power walker, hiker, reluctant rock-climber, and skinny gym-monkey when not enjoying family time with his wife Sherri and son Sebastian


FINDING MY WAY IN GOING LONG

By Coach Jennifer Faraone


So when are you going to run a marathon?

Jenn F TrailsAlthough one of the most commonly asked questions, its words have haunted me!  For years, I’ve been asked over and over again when I was going to run a marathon. And time and time again, I would explain that I simply wasn’t interested in running the distance. 

Physically, I found it hard on my injury-prone body. I actually tried training for a marathon 3 times—but each time I would get injured (disclaimer: looking back, I’m sure that I could have done things differently to avoid injury). Emotionally, I wasn’t very motivated and I worried that I would get bored on the long runs. I liked capping my long runs at 1h30min! Still, it felt like there was this looming unspoken expectation that I should be running longer. 

But then at the end of 2014 I had a medical episode that forced me to back-off completely from training. As I started to heal, I found that I could tolerate longer workouts so long as I kept the intensity easy. So I started training longer. And longer.

Before I knew it, I was running for 2h+ most weeks. My long run capped at 3h:45min. I ran a 37K trail race in the French Alpes (which took 5h30min due to the CRAZY elevation) followed by a 50K trail race in NY State (which had me running for just over 5H, due to the crazy but oh-so-fun hills).  And I absolutely LOVED IT ALL!!

 So what caused this sudden transformation?  First of all, I discovered that my body could handle a larger training volume - distance and intensity, by incorporating trail running.

The softer terrain, in comparison to the road or pavement, as well as the ever-changing direction and elevation of the trails, bode well for my body. Second, the time-off forced me to change my training habits and my expectations. Unlike when I was training for my first marathon, where I was gunning for a fast time, my goal this time was to simply finish the race.  Plus, I had no choice but to keep the intensity easy, otherwise my symptoms would flare up. Combined, this removed any pressure and made my training much more relaxed, enjoyable and less stressful.  I didn’t worry about nailing a certain pace for a particular run; my main consideration was to gradually build the amount of time on my feet regardless of the distance covered (disclaimer: training approach for ultra trail race is slightly different than training for road race).

I never monitored my pace, distance or heart rate—in this sense, I was totally carefree! I simply went back to the basics of listening to what my body was telling me and adjusting my run accordingly. Finally, there is the element of timing – I believe that I simply wasn’t ready to run longer prior to now. My mind knew that, and my body was trying to tell me that as well. Trying to force something that you are simply not ready for only ends in disappointment.  

To my surprise, I wasn’t bored with the solitude of the long run efforts. I rediscovered a new love and passion for running by embracing the slower pace and longer distance. My weekly long runs became therapeutic and meditative for me. And the two ultra races I did were the perfect distance – I never reached that dark lonely place where I would ask myself “why am I doing this”? Instead, I embraced every KM of the race with a smile on my face. 

 Its now been a few months since I’ve run beyond 1h30min, and I’m definitely feeling the itch to go longer again.  And I’m starting to plan for my next 50K races.  Will I ever run a marathon on the road?  At this point, my best guess is “not likely”—except perhaps when I run an Ironman! But who knows, perhaps next year I will be motivated to train again for shorter distances.  But at the end of the day, the distance covered is not what’s distinguishes me as a runner. There is NO underlying and unspoken expectation that running longer is better. 

What makes me a runner, just like all of the athletes we coach at Marathon Dynamics, is the dedication and commitment that we put into it, and the joy that we derive from it!  So whether you are training for a 5K, 10K, 21.1K or marathon this season, remember to let your passion, and not your expectations, fuel your runs!



Jenn F

Jennifer Faraone is passionate about others being active and achieving their athletic goals, whether that be road races, trail events , duathlons, triathlons or anything else that makes them sweat!  In addition to coaching she also leads a series of trail runnjng clinics and retreats (click here).
 
She has recently published her first book The Athletic Mom-to-Be: Training your way into pregnancy and motherhood (www.athleticmom2b.com).
 
She also enjoys racing while having a smile on her face and happens to win a few races here and there (she's much to modest to mention her PBs of 35min for 10K, and 1:18 for Half marathon).


10 SIMPLE RUNNING TRUTHS

...And 1 Not So Simple One!

By MDI Coach Dan way


 I've been running, training and racing for several years now and during that time have achieved a relative degree of success. 

I'm not a pro, nowhere near elite and very rarely win races, but having become a student of the sport and learned a great deal from others, I possess a specific set of skills, knowledge and experience on what it takes to run, train and race well and on how to improve. And because I often see and hear others giving, receiving and acting out bad advice and information, I'd like to share and impart with you what I feel it takes to be and become a better* runner (i.e. running faster, farther and enjoying the process in a healthy and sustainable way).
 
 
Simple Truths
 
Here then are a few (perhaps debatable) running, training and racing tips that I ascribe to and which I believe to be true:

1. Run more. Mileage matters most of all and less is rarely more. Rest and recovery are of course important but if, when and what you can, adding more mileage to your weekly, monthly and annual training will go the furthest in helping you to improve.

2. Consistency is king. Success in running is about the accumulation of training over weeks, months and even years. Becoming better takes time and small incremental improvements should be the ultimate goal. Staying healthy and injury-free is then of utmost importance and all actions should consider this outcome.

3. Speed is essential, but also overrated. I am not a fast runner. I suck at speed training. I do it of course and so should you, but running faster in practice does not necessary translate into automatic improvement. Running too fast on easy days is the number one thing that can hold you back from realizing your true potential. Specific runs, namely workouts and long runs, do require speed training in some form. Long intervals, hills, pick-ups/fartleks and track repeats all have their place in a successful training program. Know why, when and how to use them.

4. Know how you recover. Some believe that (passive) rest is best, but I am all about active recovery. After a 20+ mile run on Sunday, I get up on Monday morning and run 10 miles. I don't like taking days off and only do so when absolutely required (for injury or tapering). There are more ways to recover than running less and running more may in fact be the most effective.

5. Races are for racing. When I sign up for a race, I race it! I aim to give it my all and see where I'm at regardless of whether I like the outcome or not. Bad races do and will happen: they need too. But I don't make excuses for a poor performance or a bad race. Excuses don't serve anyone and are all too convenient to depend upon.

6. Mental training and the right attitude are key. Not only do I strive for consistency with training, I also actively train to be more mentally tough. I know where I'm at and train at my current ability (not the one I want to be)! I visualize success, reflect on past training, set ambitious but reasonable goals and can adapt and endure when things don't go to plan. Learn how to persevere and have perspective on yourself as a runner.

7. Don't be obsessive (about the little things). I am/can be neurotic about some aspects of training (you have to be), but generally I do not preoccupy myself with minor details. What I eat, when, how much sleep I get, what gear I use? Those are mostly insignificant to success. Know your body and do the things that work for you as often as you can.

8. Stuff is stuff and it doesn't make a (big) difference. As anyone does, I definitely have my favourites, but I also have no allegiance to any particular brand or product. There's no such things as a superior shoe, shirt or energy chew. Again, find what works for you.

9. You can't do it alone. Training with a group, a club, a team or even a training partner will provide accountability, support, and a shared experience. We often overvalue ourselves and our abilities, but running and training with others will put things in perspective and provide the much needed motivation and desire to endure, compete and improve.

10. You're only as good as your numbers. It's very easy to state grand goals, attempt tough workouts and retrospectively come up with excuses for why you failed, but if being a better runner is your ultimate aim, you have to do the work and perform when it counts. You are only as good as your last race and will only be remembered for your fastest one.

*An assumption/bias I always have is that being a better runner means running faster, farther and enjoying the process in a healthy and sustainable way.

 #11 - The Golden Rule of Running - Stay healthy!
 
Golden Rule

 
You can't run, train or race if you're injured. And you really shouldn't run or race if you're in considerable pain and discomfort. Minor aches and pains are all part of the process but major injuries, chronic pain and and ongoing issues will ultimately derail your training and all but inhibit your ability to improve.

Staying healthy sounds simple but it's actually anything but. It takes a great deal of consideration for everything from what, when and how much you eat, to how well and often you sleep, to what you do every minute and every hour that you're not running and training. 

Staying healthy means stretching, massaging, rolling and icing before and after each run. 

It means staying well hydrated and eating the right foods at the right time in order to fuel and recover from your training. 

It means seeing specialists (physios, chiros, sports docs, etc.) when you don't know what's wrong or need additional help getting back on track.

It means being educated and informed on the basic and not-so-basic aspects of running and training. 

It means supplementing your running with cross-training, strengthening or no training at all. 

It means developing a support team and learning from the experience of others.

It means taking time to rest and recover and realizing when you're pushing too hard. 

It means recognizing and accepting your own individual strengths, weaknesses and limits and not letting your goals, ego or determination get the best of you. 

Ultimately, staying healthy takes considerable time and energy, commitment and effort. And that's also why we often ignore it and take it for granted. Yet when we lose it, when it declines, or when we can't run or train as much as we want to, it immediately becomes our greatest and primary concern. It should always be our primary concern.

There is no simple way to stay healthy. There is no one thing we can do. I can't tell you how to stay healthy, but I insist you do everything possible to do it. It will be worth it.


Dan W

Dan Way is an experienced long distance runner, running coach and writer for Canadian Running magazine.

* 8 marathons to his credit (2:34 Personal Best), 6 Around The Bay 30Ks (1:45 PB), and more than a dozen half marathons (PB 1:12)

* Like many people, Dan started running to lose take greater control of his body, his health and his overall well-being. Now, Dan runs primarily for self-improvement, competition, and camaraderie.

* Editor for Canadian Race Guide of Canadian Running magazine

* When he's not running, training or racing, Dan can be found playing in the park with his four-legged friend Charlie; trading sheep for brick in a game of 'Catan' or drinking his favourite Ontario craft beers.

MY FIRST BOSTON EXPERIENCE

BY ROZ MORTON - STALWART DYNAMO RUNNER


 Boston Finish

 Alternate titles for this short story could be How to End up in the Medics Tent, or How to Freak Your Family Out. 

 I have wanted to run the Boston Marathon for many years now.  It’s a runner’s Graceland, right?  Finally, being healthy and fit enough to qualify last spring was thrilling.  My family was so excited for me that they ALL wanted to come watch. Being on a budget, I immediately booked flights and hotel rooms for my parents, brother, husband, and kids, many months before the race.

My marathon training was going very well until February when I started to suffer from mysterious foot pain.  I missed workouts and had to take painkillers before every run!  Later diagnosis confirmed that I have a cyst, a neuroma, and a troubling bunion.  Not good news, or anything that can be fixed quickly.  I opted for a temporary fix of cortisone injections, and got a prescription for an amazing topical pain reliever. The left foot sensory deprivation was successful. And so the training continued.

The days leading up to the race were very exciting.  What to pack? What would the weather be like?  And then I was offered a job interview for a long desired teaching position. The problem was it was scheduled for a couple days after the marathon, which meant that I would have to study for the required French proficiency test, and prepare for the interview questions instead of enjoying the full Boston experience.   So I began to feel very anxious in general, and decided to pick up an old prescription for an anti-anxiety medication called Ativan (aka “mama’s maxi relaxi pills”) that I had left over from my crazy post-partum days.  I thought that having a couple of these pills handy just in case I couldn’t sleep was a smart idea. I was wrong.

Our flight was scheduled to leave on Saturday morning - thankfully my husband insisted we arrive early, because the moment we made it to the airport, my mom called asking “where are you, you’re being paged to check in?!”  The flight had been changed to depart 45 minutes earlier!  We sprinted through the airport while I hustled my kids along in a yelling voice, and made it with minutes to spare…basically an embarrassing family airport scene in front of many local Toronto running friends and acquaintances boarding the same plane.

Once we arrived in Boston, the plan was for my Mom and I to head to the Runners Expo to get my bib and shop, while the rest of the family toured Boston. It took us quite a while to get across town from our hotel and navigate through the crowds to the Expo.  We got to the front of our line only to find out that I did not bring the proper ID to get my bib.  They weren’t going to give it to me!!! Near tears, we had to line up yet again, and speak with a race organizer, who finally took pity on me and let me get my bib with my Ontario health card.  So far the day was not too relaxing, but I was excited to be there regardless.

Upon checking into our rooms, I was reminded that I really did book on a budget!  We had a king size bed for my husband and I, with cots for the kids. This actually left very little floor space for luggage.

That first night we went out for dinner to a Thai restaurant where I hated my meal, and my over-tired daughter acted horribly.  We were so exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel that it didn’t even matter that our little one refused to sleep on her cot, and slept instead pressed against me in our bed.

On Sunday, I did a nice little shake-out run around beautiful Boston admiring the classically beautiful architecture.  The family headed out to a baseball game at Fenway Park, while I stayed back in the room and prepared for my upcoming job interview. 

Our pre-race dinner reservations were at popular Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, they kept bumping our time later.  Which made me feel like having a big beer to relax, so I did.  When we got to the restaurant, they still weren’t ready for us.  In anticipation of my kids acting up, I ordered another pint of beer.  Keep in mind that I had been dry for a month until this point! Good carbo loading right? Back at the hotel room I decided that I should definitely take both anti-anxiety pills right away, and lie still in my cramped bed and chill.

I had a deep, dreamless sleep and awoke on Marathon Monday psyched to race but strangely groggy.  I guess mixing the beers and Ativan (which you’re technically not supposed to do) was stronger and longer lasting than I thought…yikes!  I got dressed, took my extra strength Tylenol and applied topical pain reliever to my foot. I ate my usual oatmeal with a coffee and got on the bus.  I completely passed out on the bus ride to Hopkinton, and awoke feeling somewhat better. I took a caffeinated gel that I was saving for the race to wake up a little more and then an Advil just in case something else went wrong.  I bumped into some friends in Hopkinton before the race.  They were able to confirm what I was beginning to suspect…that I was actually pretty stoned only an hour before the race!

I decided that the best course of action would be to take more caffeinated gels along the course to counter my mistake.  I knew that there were three stations along the route where I could grab them.  Having a plan was a relief, and then I wisely applied 30SPF to my skin that hadn’t seen daylight since last October.  It was a hot, sunny, cloudless day….basically, like nothing I had trained in.

Roz M at BostonThe race began well but was blurry for me.  It was super fun to run with such a large group of like-minded people and listen to the groups of screaming spectators all along the way.  I was very touched by how the people of Boston love their marathon runners.  The route was scenic and pretty, but had no real shade.  I made sure to sip water all the way, and I did take three caffeinated gels.  It seemed like all was well again until the hills.  I remember asking a runner beside me if we were on the infamous “heartbreak” hill yet.  She said “no” which was devastating.   My legs were very heavy.  People all around me started walking at this point in the race.  The hills and heat dehydration seemed to be seizing up people’s legs….but not mine surprisingly.  I even saw my family and high fived my kids at mile 24! I knew I had slowed down considerably and was not going to run my best time, but when I crossed the finish line I was super proud and happy regardless….and then things got sloppy.

With my first large gulp of fluids, I puked. Then extreme dizziness kicked in.  Medics quickly wheeled me with my shiny cape and medal to the first aid tent, where I began shaking.  I remember the doctors taking my core body temperature and saying it was only 94 degrees.  Then I was escorted to the porta potties for what I will call “gastro issues”.  I remember doctors trying to take my blood for whatever reason, and trying to get an IV in to rehydrate me, but they were unable to find a vein.  I was also given some kind of salty soup to sip from a straw.  Sticky suction things were put on my body (I can’t remember why, and this detail only came back to me later when I found one of then stuck to my race bra). I was asked what I consumed recently aside from water and oatmeal  (ummm…2 pints of beer, 2 Ativan pills, a coffee, 1 extra strength Tylenol, an Advil, and 4 caffeinated gels). Then was asked if this was my first marathon (umm no….but fair question considering). Finally I asked a nice Doctor to call my family on her cell to tell them that I was okay.  I rested and left feeling better. I got my bag, grabbed a taxi, and headed back to my hotel to meet my family as planned.  I was shocked to find out that it was almost 4pm when I got in the cab…my race finished at 1pm!!  Talk about dazed and confused!?!  

When I got to the hotel, my worried parents made me promise I wouldn’t run another marathon.  I spent the rest of the day exhausted and weak, but tried to act normal and peppy around my kids.  It honestly took me a couple of days to completely lose the sick feeling!

Roz MSo the lessons I have learned from this ridiculous (and dangerous) incident are don’t consume too much dehydrating caffeine, and don’t take drugs (at least not too many all at once while running a marathon in the sun ha!). 

I also remembered that alcohol clouds your judgement and that running marathons is unpredictable and really hard. But totally worth it.



NEW ROUTINES:

IN RUNNING & IN LIFE!

By MDI Coach Seanna Robinson


[Reprinted from Seanna's Running Well blog earlier this season]

Over the holidays I’ve strayed far from my usual routine. More social outings have meant more late nights. Kids are out of school so my days have few kid-free windows. Work continues; constantly for my husband and where I can fit it in.

I do love the holidays for the extra time that I get to spend with people I want to see (yes – including my monsters!) but being outside of a dependable routine has made running and working out more of a challenge.

routineThe shakeup has got me thinking about the role that routine plays in running – and in life. The word “routine” can easily be associated with “boring,” “rut,” and “stagnation.” But I am a lover of routine. I rely on my routine to move forward and do difficult things without much thought or effort.

It takes time to tinker in order to find a routine that fits my life and workout needs, and every now and then something changes. I find consistency in the form of a good routine can help move me along.

I can’t stay in the same routine for too long. If I want to grow, change and adapt I have to shake things up. One thing I’ve learned about routines is that when I start a new one, it’s always tough. But I know that I’ll adapt. I just have to force it at first and have faith that things will get easier as time passes.

SeannaRgang

Recently, I added a weekly tempo run to my workout routine (with this gang above). I find tempos one of the most challenging workouts so I normally avoid them. The first few were very hard. But five weeks in I can get them done without too much mental effort. I’ve adapted as they’ve become a known quantity. The same thing happened when I started running at 5 a.m. I’ve learned that it’s not something I can do every day but I’ve found a comfortable number that works.

That’s how I think of my “routine” in other areas of life as well. My family and I are facing some changes in 2016. Nothing ground-shaking, but enough to slightly push us out of our usual comfort zones. It won’t be easy at first but like the added tempos and 5 a.m. runs, we will adapt.

What at first seems too difficult will become natural as we make changes and push ourselves in different directions. Our newly-created routines will take us there, one foot in front of the other.


Seanna R

 - competitive runner for 24 years in track, cross-country and road racing and triathlon.

- completed nine marathons

- owns and operates Running Well, a corporate health and wellness company

- personal bests include: Marathon (2:51), Half Marathon (1:21) and 10K (36:40)

- Phys. Ed degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Queen’s University

- has coached at many levels, from beginners, to marathoners, to competitive track runners.

STRETCHING...THE TRUTH

For Runners, That Is!

By MDI Coach Sarah Black


 An Introduction to Stretching for Runners

StretchingOne of the key things you have to do to avoid injury as you run, jog, or any type of exercise is to stretch.  Light stretching will loosen your muscles and help you cool down. Stretching after you run or jog will help remove the lactate from your muscles. This happens during your run whether it is fifteen minutes or over an hour of running. Stretching can help strengthen your muscles, keep you flexible and help you avoid injury.

There are 3 common types of stretching: static, dynamic and PNF. Static stretching is done after your workout. Each stretch is held for 10-30 seconds. Dynamic stretching is done after your warm up, before your run workout. These are sports specific movements. PNF is done after your work out. This is done with a partner and is most beneficial when your muscles are very tight.

Types of Stretching

Static Stretching is very slow and constant stretching. This type of stretch has a straight forward start and ending position. This position is normally held for 10-30 seconds without movement. 

Dynamic Stretching is stretching carried out with 10 or more repetitions of the same movement. This helps increase your range of motion while exercising. These stretches are very specific to the work out. It is important to emphasize the key action at hand. For example: When doing “Running A’s” your focus should be on your knee moving to 90 degrees and your opposite arm following.  In this particular article, we won’t focus or elaborate on Dynamic Stretching, but instead leave that for another article.

PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) was originally developed for rehabilitation. It has since expanded to the athletic world. PNF is considered an optimal stretching method to increase range of motion. PNF stretching involves a shortening of the opposing muscle to place the target muscle in the stretch. During PNF stretching there are 3 specific phases of contraction that are used: hold-relax, contract-relax, and hold-relax with antagonist (main muscle) contraction.

Hold—Relax: this is a technique used to relax the muscle to gain range of motion. This is done by taking the limb/body part you want to stretch and moving it in a pain free range so there is a contraction sustained.

Contract—Relax: this begins the same way as Hold-Relax but this time there is a mild discomfort for 10 seconds then your partner stops and holds for 30 seconds.

Hold—Relax with antagonist contraction (opposite muscle): This begins the same way as Contract – Relax but there is a 3rd phase. In the 3rd phase, your partner provides muscular resistance to the desired “release” direction of the stretch, stopping or holding the muscle in tension for 10 seconds, before releasing and relaxing it. With this technique, your final stretch should be greater than your first stretch.

For an example of PNF, click here


Muscles Of The Body

Muscles

For the balance of this article, including further explanation and demonstration of stretches and tools for stretching, please click here.


 SarahSarah Black Black 

- Certified Can-Fit-Pro, Valid CPR and First Aid

- Running Room Clinic Instructor, Sales & Customer Service Representative

- Graduate of Humber College Health & Fitness Promotion

- Personal Trainer

- Frequent, accomplished Southern Ontario road runner



Marathon Dynamics News

Training Plans, Coaching, Group Runs & More


Coached Intensity Training Groups Start...NOW!

6 great groups, including 3 morning and 3 evening options, at locations from east Toronto to Oakville. 

Register by June 15th to secure your spot!

Click here for complete info. All sessions are 6:30-8pm, unless as noted)


got your back Monarch Park Indoor

 TO 10 Miler pic


Thanks Sponsors!

Much thanks for the continued support of our returning sponsors: Mizuno, Excel Running Series, Toronto TRUE Running, Recharge With Milk, Physical Edge Physio and Totum Life Science (click here, then click on sponsor logo for further info for further info). 

Your generosity has enabled us to be better coaches, and to provide much added value to our runners' lives.

 And a big shout out of thanks and WELCOME to 2 new sponsors - The Runner's Academy & Gym Class/Yoga Beauties!


Runners Academy

Our philosophy: Learn. Move. Run.

The Runner’s Academy is a Toronto-based clinic offering health and fitness services to beginner, competitive and elite level runners.  Come in for your assessment and will teach you how to move better and run faster! Click here for website.

The Runner's Academy will offer Marathon Dynamics runners a  30% discount on the use of the Alter-g anti gravity treadmill and 10% discount on personal training.  Just email Coach Kev if you're interested, and we'll set you up!



Beauties
We all know how important yoga and strength training are for running success and injury prevention, right? 
 
MDI Dynamo standout runner Annabelle DeGouveia hosts both these programs from her studio in the Lawrence and Yonge area.  If you want a passionate, qualified and "runner-centric" expert to explore and enhance your running strength and flexibility, then this is IT!  More info to come shortly on the summer/fall programs.  They fill up fast though, so contact Annabelle fast!


New to Marathon Dynamics?

We feel that on every front—from our staff, to our systems, to our services—we can provide the best training plans & personal running coaching, and deliver the best results, for the best price.  To find out more about how our Customized Training Plans work, please click here, and if you’d like more information on our Personal Coaching Services, please click here, and to find out more about who our coaches themselves are, please click here.

* Initial Testing for new Customized Training Plans is available at all sites thru the months of December and January, but please call/email to notify us of your attendance at least 24hrs in advance (alternatively, self-testing is an option...click here for further instructions).

Want to talk shop re: your goals and plans for next season?  Best time to reach Coach Kev for a free consultation is before June 17th (10am-4pm).  After that, we kick into gear and things get a little crazy, so call soon: 905 891-3197 or click here to email.                                       

MLTB


Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jason, Lawrence, Jennifer, Dan, Sarah & Roz


 Trail Run

Contact Jennifer Faraone &/or Lawrence Warriner for more info!


 Spring Fling

June 12, 8am, Sunnybrook Park, Toronto

Finish your spring with a race through parkland that will make you forget you’re in the city!  Get your mojo back.  Get primed for fall training. Also 1k & 300m run for young ones and fantastic shirt & deer medal. SpringFlingToronto.com

Want to run for free?  Help an amazing kids’ charity – Holland Bloorview - and they’ll pay or refund up to $50 of your entry fee!

Masters - The 15k is the OMA 15k championship race this year 


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In This Issue  

Awesomeness Recap!      - Spring 2016 Review

4 Ways We're Better 4U   - By Kevin Smith

1 Great Trail Run Tip +5     - By Lawrence Warriner

Be First Your Own Hero     - By Kevin Smith

Finding My (Long) Way     - By Jennifer Faraone

1011 Simple Running Truths - By Dan Way

My 1st Boston Experience - By Roz Morton

New Routines: Running & Life - By Seanna Robinson

Stretching - The Truth       - By Sarah Black 

Marathon Dynamics News


Previous Issues:

Fall 2015

Fall 2014

Summer 2014

Fall 2013

Summer 2013

Fall 2012

Summer 2012

Fall 2011

Summer 2011

Fall 2010

Summer 2010


Thanks MDI Sponsors!
Totum Lifescience

Physical EdgeMizuno LogoTRUE Running

Recharge MilkExcel Running Series

Runners AcademyGym Yoga Beauties

Shop Mizuno!

 Wave Rider 19

 3 Great Shops in the GTA!

East - Energia Athletics, 164 Danforth Av

Central - The Runners Shop180 Bloor St W, Toronto

West - Black Toe Running, 95 Bathurst Street,Toronto


Dynamo Newbie Rocks It!

Marathon Dynamics, and Coach Kevin, took me beyond my extensive reading and personal attempts to apply what I've read and enabled me to achieve a personal best time (1h24min) in the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon) I wouldn't have believed possible--8 MINUTES!

They did this through creating a customized plan and then monitoring and adjusting it and encouraging me every step of the way.  MDI coaches without overcoaching, and provides a great social environment enabling the runner to achieve their goals!

Mark Clingen

 Mark C

Roya Ali-Khanbegi  

I started running 3 yrs ago & 2 yrs ago joined MDI. I’ve had my ups & downs, and when i wanted to stop because of a disappinting race result, Coach Kev encouraged me to stay focused and adjusted not only my training plan but also my goal. In addition, I have an amazing Thursday morning group who I look forward to train with, and has kept me motivated… 3 yrs ago I ran Scotia half in 2:22:02 and today I ran 1:55! Whoot Whoot!

Roya AK


Top Master Brian Cupit
Thanks Coach Kev!
 
Brian C Missy Half

For the better part of 20 years, I had all but given up on competitive running.  Each time I tried to get back into race shape, an injury would pop up and end my comeback.  But for the past few years, Kevin quietly made suggestions and hinted that perhaps it would be possible for me to run without constant injury if I just trained the right way. I had my doubts, but I started doing Kevin's "Running Health Insurance" exercises  and found myself in January running more than I had in many years, so I started an MDI training plan for a spring half-marathon.

The training plan was challenging, but I found myself getting gradually faster. I got huge motivation and energy each week training with a group of dedicated and enthusiastic runners.  It is amazing how much of that rubs off!  I really doubt that I would have been able to put in the effort I did, or improve as much as I did if I was by myself.  After a few weeks of listening to race stories and race plans of the group members, I became excited by the prospect of actually entering a race.

In early May, I found myself finishing the Mississauga Half in a time that I did not believe possible just a few months earlier.  More importantly, I am back to really enjoying running again.  There is no question that I would not have made it to the start line had it not been for Kevin's coaching, and for me, getting to the start line is what it is all about."
 
Brian Cupit - 1:16 Mississauga Half 2016, 1st Master (at 50+), and 5th overall!

Janice Morris - True Dynamo

Through Marathon Dynamic's program, I've come back from pregnancy as a stronger and faster runner. I've gone from bed rest to personal best, qualified and ran my first Boston Marathon 6 months after giving birth to my third child and just recently ran a half marathon PB (1:39 2015 Waterfront Half)

 Janice M

New MDI Runner Andrew Auerbach  

"I have a hectic schedule and couldn't commit to fixed group runs. Kevin created a customized training plan for me and was always available for e-coaching. Marathon Dynamics prepared me to qualify for Boston with a PB of 3:11. Even better I beat my marathon time last October by 22 minutes! I'm looking forward to working with Marathon Dynamics for Boston. I know the group work would have been ideal but Marathon Dynamics was able to tailor a program around my needs."

Andrew Auerbach


Dynamo Runners RULE!
"I just wanted to say THANKS!  Without you, your help and support, I never would have improved this much.  You went the extra mile with me (pun intended!), by giving up a lot of your time to teach and coach me through each and every concern I had (which I know were many!).  You believed in me that I could accomplish my goal…and made it really easy - all I had to do was to follow your program.

I am truly grateful and you have made me a better runner!"

Dynamo runner David Gauthier, who has improved his marathon by almost 45 min since joining Marathon Dynamics, recently running a 3:05 this fall to qualify for Boston!

Dave Gauthier

First Time's a Charm  

What an amazing weekend and race in New York City! I finished in 4:37, and can't imagine another race topping this one! I could not have progressed this far without your help. I kept with the program and it really paid off.

Thank you again for all your help in preparation for this all season long!

Marathon debutant Cathy Annetta

Cathy A 


Dynamo Vet Paul Jamael
Paul JPaul has been running with Marathon Dynamics since 2004 and continues to rely on the wisdom and experience of MDI’s Coach Kevin to continually improve.  This year in Boston, he finished 29th in his age category under challenging conditions with an impressive 2:59!

While Paul is one of the top +50 master’s runners in Ontario, he is still motivated by the satisfaction that comes from a hard workout and training with his Marathon Dynamics teammates!  We are looking forward to seeing what he does next!  Run Paul Run!
And Rave Some More!

"Marathon Dynamics coaches offer a positive focused atmosphere for people at a variety of skill levels, which is something I very much appreciate. Their friendly encouragement has worked like a tonic to inspire me to push through my own obstacles and reach my traing goals. This is one of the most intense activities I’ve been involved with; I get to with feel the burn and the joy...marvellous!"
 
Jacquie Jacobs - qualified for Boston at her debut marathon in her 1st season with MDI

Jacquie J

Another Success Story  

I'd achieved some success making my own training plans, but I felt I could improve and didn't know how. With the experience, knowledge, and technical expertise of Marathon Dynamics, I've been able to bring my half marathon PB from 1:48 to 1:34!

I also ran my first marathon, and I'm heading to Boston next April.  If you have the drive and determination, MDI can take care of the planning that ultimately produces your dream results. You'll marvel at coach Kevin's ability to assess your fitness and predict your race day results. You'll arrive at the starting line feeling super confident and ultra-prepared.

Kristin Dalzell after her 1st year with MDI

Kristin D


Marathon Dynamics Runners Rave  

MDI Rocks! Why? The Personalized Training Plan and the Weekly Group Coaching. I did both. The result? 18 weeks later I qualified for Boston! The Plan was personalized for me, advocated cross training combined with a sensible number of non running days and was easy to follow. So I was realistically able to manage life outside running. And bonus...when I needed my Plan to be tweaked (due to really rough winter weather) it was easily done.

The Weekly Group Coaching got me ‘out there’ with other runners (of all abilities) and my professional MDI Coach. The coaches are runners too and were adept at keeping me on track (literally!) with my Plan by providing encouragement, advice (by email, phone or in person at the weekly workouts) and good jokes! Boston here I come!

MDI Runner Katie Thomas improved her marathon PB by over 15 min and qualified for Boston

Katie T


Kristen Donovan  

Kristen D  If you're looking for a dedicated and truly caring coach that goes beyond expectations, Coach Kevin and Marathon Dynamics is it! I improved my 30k race time by 40 minutes in my first season. I have even come within 3 seconds of our goal for a half marathon.

My Oakville MD group is like family. There is no judgement and only encouragement, no matter how your workout goes. I leave every meet feeling confident. I am hooked and can't wait to get my second season started!

Dynamo Newbie Kristen Donovan set (big) Personal Bests at every race distance with us, from 10K to marathon!


Anastasia Konovalenko

AnastasiaLast year, MDI helped me to get through really tough season by figuring out what was causing the drop in my running performance, complete my first full marathon and leave me wanting more:)  There were moments last year where I didn't even think I could ever run fast(er) again...but you guys gave me reassurance, patience and strength to get through all that.

This year, however I can't even begin...Every single race I ran, regardless of weather conditions was a PB by 10 + mins! You definitely brought me to a whole different running level and I know that training with MDI will help me qualify for Boston. And thank you for always being there, to answer any questions that I had and tons of emails that I sent, all the support from you and the rest of the staff--I would not be here without you.

Dynamo Sherlita DiBratto  

SherlitaAs always, Marathon Dynamics provided me with an excellent coaching, by precisely assessing where I was at as a runner, created a training plan and gave me the advice, encouragement and motivation to achieve my targets. Specifically this season, MDI instilled in me a racing and a pacing strategy which helped me realize a new personal best in the Half Marathon. Thank you, MDI!

Sherlita DiBratto, set personal bests at both the 15K distance and the Half Marathon, improving her best time by over 5 minutes, to run 2hrs flat!


This just in...

Don Campbell

I would like to thank Marathon Dynamics for designing a customized training plan. Coach Kev provided me with e-coaching which made my dream of qualifying for Boston a reality. I am so proud of my accomplishment and know I could not have done it without MDI. Thank you very much!!  Don Campbell
Dynamo Derek Gracias

Thanks to the structure, coaching and environment the MDI team offered, I was able to complete my first marathon in 3:18 in October 2014.

The initial benchmarking and comprehensive training plan allowed me to measure my progress and kept me focused on my goal.  The support and encouragement from Kevin and the team of MDI coaches was instrumental in improving my technique, speed and most importantly, mental sanity as I approached race day.

I would recommend Marathon Dynamics to rookie and experienced runners alike looking for a great environment and great results.

 

MDI-er Fulvia Manarin

Thanks for all your encouragement! Every season the training plan you create challenges me ever so slightly that I don’t realize it. I love running with my BFF’s and being a part of an even bigger great running group: Team Dynamo!

Since I joined MDI, I've improved my Personal Bests every season. Kevin has been instrumental in offering advice; not just about the running, but about all factors involved in successful marathon training, such as nutrition, good sleeping habits, appropriate dressing, and injury prevention. 

Long time Team Dynamo runner Fulvia Manarin, who just ran her all time PB of 3:28 at the 2014 NYC Marathon

Midtown Dynamo Tara O

I have to say joining Marathon Dynamics has been a great decision for me. I was initially intimidated by all the great runners in your crew but I wanted to get better so decided to go for it. I have had a great time and feel like I've improved over the last few months. Everyone has been so supportive and you have been an amazing coach.

Tara O'Hagan - ran 3:55 PB at Marine Corps Marathon

Tara OHagan

New Dynamo Giselle Disimone  

Because of Marathon Dynamics, this has been the best running season on record. I have been running for many years, but never with a specific goal or training plan. This year I decided to set my sights on an 1:45 ½ marathon, never having run faster than 1:51.  With the encouragement, support and superb, easy to follow training plan I received, I was able to achieve my goal. Running the half in 1:45 was fantastic. Now onto 1:40 or less!

Thank you Kevin (and Kristin) for a fantastic season. I truly appreciated all your encouragement and support.


Immense Improvement!

I SMASHED my PB by over 14 minutes it in 2hrs9min!

Truly, truly unbelievable. I had to dig SO hard...I really don't know where it came from. So emotional and so exhausted!

Thank you SO much for all you've done for me over the last few months, I honestly couldn't have got to where I am now without your guidance and support. It had been amazing and you've helped me find a strength - both physical and emotional - that I didn't know I had.

MDI Newbie Michelle Cleave

and even more!  
“Thanks to Kevin Smith and the Marathon Dynamics approach to training, I was able to fulfill a personal dream - to qualify for the Boston Marathon.  By joining the Marathon Dynamics team and following their program, I was able to improve my marathon PB from 3:57 to 3:19 in just one year!” 

“Even more important to me is that Kevin works really hard to foster a friendly and supportive team environment throughout training and coaching sessions... As a result, I have been able to establish incredible new friendships with some great people that share my passion for running.” 

New Marathon Dynamics Runner Harvey Foote

Harvey F 


Getting Faster For Years!

"I was so thrilled that you were thrilled. I could feel your genuine excitement. And you validated my sub-45. These are true traits of a high quality, caring, and remarkable coach: my preparation, my performance, and the personal attention that you give each and every one of your clients"

Long Time Dynamo Jackie Gallant, after improving her 10K PB by a full 3 minutes, running 44:39!

Audrey Danaher  

Signing up with Marathon Dynamics was a great decision for me. It helped prepare me mentally and physically for running the NYC Marathon, and provided the opportunity to meet some extraordinary runners, especially on track day, dark and early.  The whole experience of the training was great and gave me the confidence to do NY.

I could not have done this marathon without it. What worked especially well for me in particular were the bits of advice you gave on track day (eg sleeping) and through your web site.  Most important though was the encouragement for us to do our best and a belief we could achieve our goals. 
 
You taught us that the race is something to enjoy, and that I did.  Many thanks!

 Audrey D


MDI-er Susan Kallsen

"if you follow the program you WILL get results. By following my Marathon Dynamics program faithfully I went from a 4:15 marathon to a 3:52 marathon and on to qualify for Boston. I then successfully used that program for a number of repeat performances (so it wasn’t just a “fluke”). The results are in the program – you do the time, you will see the results. And remember, if they say jump, you say how high!"

MDI Runner Benoit Keppenne  

"8 months ago I was immobilized on an hospital bed with severe injuries suffered in a horrible motorcycle accident. I just ran my half marathon in 1:29--an 8 min PB!

This would not have happened without MDI's help. The personal plans are very effective at keeping you focussed & the camaraderie of the group running sessions and coaches push you to the limit without you even noticing it!"

Benoit K

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A Happy MDI Runner

You really have brought me to a place I never thought I would see. I never imagined I’d be able to deliver the race result that I did this past year. I’m still in disbelief of the time in fact!  I've vastly improved through your coaching.  You took me from a 4:02 marathon where I thought I left everything I had on the course down to a 3:19 in 3 years – with a Boston Q to show for it as a bonus!"

Ken Moscoe

Ken M

Long-time MDI runner Susan McCallum  

You are a genius! Your plans are magic. Do the work, run the race and get the time you worked for! So happy. 49:03 is an "age equivalent" PB for me!

Thanks MDI...you've never let me down!


Jumpin on the praise train

"MDI does a fantastic job of tailoring your training to you. The plans are very detailed, the support is fantastic, and the results speak for themselves. Kevin really knows his stuff and his approach is both resolute and flexible at the same time. I look forward to working with them again to take the next step in my running.

MDI runner Glen Way improved his marathon PB by over 10 min in his first year with MDI (3:08 for a Boston Qualifier)

Glen W

Bev Whelan - 3:07 debut!  

"Marathon Dynamics’ training program showed me that if I run the race the right way, I can break 3 hours.

My first marathon was painful, but the training for it was a lot of fun, and I would definitely recommend Marathon Dynamics to anyone. Whether you’re aiming for a particular time, or your goal is just to finish, the coaches will design a program that will help you safely and enjoyably reach your goal"


Better Than Ever!
A big THANK YOU to you and the crew for your invaluable coaching in this training cycle.
 
At the NYC Marathon (2014), in crazy windy conditions on a tough course, I ran a Boston Qualifier (3:20)!
After years of declining results, am in better shape now than I was 5 years ago.
 
This is all thanks to your plan and group workouts, and the mantra of NEGATIVE SPLITS and STRONG FINISH in long/race pace runs. You sure know what you are doing!
 
- MDI Dynamo Rookie Peter Malakhov
MDI Runner Stephan Steen  
"I had run 10 marathons and really needed something extra to boost my performance level if I was ever going to qualify for Boston.  With the help of MDI I managed to shave over 13 minutes off my PB at the Mississauga Marathon!  Without the MDI program and their support I could never have done so well"

MDI Rookie Trevor Brown

"Your insight, training and expertise these past 20 weeks have been very valuable and have helped to make this accomplishment possible. 

I really enjoyed the team workouts and learned quite a bit about the running process that I was otherwise ignorant to, and am certain it will help to continue the improvements in my personal running as look forward to more challenges. Thanks again Kev for your insight and support"



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