Run Faster Fun Friends


Fall Into Winter 2014

Marathon Dynamics E-Newsletter

Luvin' Summer - Made Us So Fa-ast...

Now It's Winter...Let's Make it Last!

 Hamilton gang

(above) Major congrats to these Purple Power road warriors at the chilly, blustery Hamilton Marathon and Half (L to R): Janet Manley ran a strong 3:34 mara despite a short season build up and some late race hitches, Karen Soos set an all time marathon PB of 3:33, and coach Jennifer Faraone was top master and 4th overall in the Half Marathon (1:23) despite some rough going late in the race!

A real "runner summer" it was!   Cooler than usual average temps, and a marked drop in any real heatwave activity wreaked havoc with the summer BBQ crowd, but played right into us runner's hands (er...feet?), didn't it?  And as far as the Marathon Dynamics crew goes at least--IT SHOWS!

We just finished updating the MDI "News" on our homepage, and it's pretty remarkable: over the past 5-6 months, there are literally HUNDREDS of all time PBs, big race top placings, incredible age-graded performances and thrilling debuts.

Click here for the 'highlight reel" of some of the most impressive race results by our runners this past season to see if you made the list, and to marvel at the accomplishments of your teammates.

SO PROUD of your amazing efforts Team Dynamo!

Speaking of which - guess what MDI's #1 goal is for 2015?

To be the BEST running team in Toronto.

Through communication and community, our newly-established "Knights of the Run Table" team of in-house specialists are pitching in to help Coach Kev fashion the most enthusiastic, exciting, energetic, enjoyable & downright excellent running team in TO.  You IN?  Come on!

We've been working feverishly behind the scenes these last few weeks to pull it all together, and are super-excited about the way things are developing.

Details will be out shortly to all who register for the coming season (or emails us to express interest), but here are some highlights of the new and improved Team Dynamo: 

  1. New Duds - brand new singlets, T-shirts, Jackets/Pullovers (maybe even, arm-warmers?)
  2. New Logo - took WAY too long to get it done, but we're just about ready to show it off!
  3. Multiple Weekly Group Run locales/timeslots around GTA (OMPs, LSDs, Racepaces)
  4. Team Registration at Local T.O. running events
  5. Semi-Organized Road Trips to nearby out of town races (Chilly, ATB, 5 Peaks, etc.)
  6. Team Socials at "Biggy" Destination Races (ie. Boston, Chicago, NYC, etc.)
  7. 3 "Think 'n Drink" Pub Nights/season w/expert guest speaker presentation
  8. Revamped and revitalized social media presence (Facebook, Twitter, Blog, email, etc.) to reach you the way you want, and enable you to reach EACHOTHER!
  9. 4-Day Training Camp in 2015 (tenative Mt. Tremblant)
  10. Special Dynamo-Only Trail Running & Water Running Clinics
  11. Big Summer BBQ and Gala End-of-year Banquet Bash to celebrate right proper!
  12. Sponsor Gifts, Perks, & Discounts 
  13. Savings for Team Dynamo Members (if register by Dec 15th!):
  • New runners (free singlets) & Returnees (Free Month of Coaching & Singlet)     
  • and introducing the new "Alumni Package" - Run with Team Dynamo in the future, after years of running with us in the past, for just $99 per season (including team singlet!). By application only, contact us if interested.

It's been terrific getting together with many of you at post season parties this past week (and two more coming up next week too) during that seemingly brief respite of an off-season 'tween fall and winter, to share your many incredible stories, celebrate your fabulous feats, and hear your ideas on how we can make the coming season the best EVER!

Hope you enjoy this newsletter: as usual, we've poured our heart, mind and soul into it!

Please join or rejoining our team for this coming's just around the corner - new Customized Running Plans and our GTA Training Groups start up the first week of December onward. Click here for details.

For those of you chomping at the bit, we've got early-bird "Meet, Greet & Move Those Feet" (1 Mile trial) sessions scheduled for next week:

* Wed, Nov. 26th @ 6:30pm - High Park (Grenadier Restaurant) 

* Thurs, Nov. 27th @ 6:30pm - Physical Edge Physio (by Oakv. GO)

RSVP ASAP!  Click here if you'd like to join us, for your chance to get a quick start to next season (and get your training plans turned around FAST!)

Please note: registration in any of our Weekly Intensity groups will be strictly capped at 33 runners max,  so register sooner than later!

From Hurt, For Health, To Happiness

Whatever your reason to run - do so in HARMONY!

By Kevin Smith, Marathon Dynamics Running Coach

This isn’t so much an article of instruction or information—as many of our ‘tween season e-newsletter items are. This is more about asking questions, and finding answers; beseeching, rather than teaching; broaching, not coaching.

OnBroken Hearte day this past summer, a long-time MDI runner said to me: “My theory is that every serious runner started running, and/or is still running, to remedy some deep, dark, painful hurt”, as he referenced a Runner’s World article written awhile back about Frank Shorter (the American Gold Medal winning marathoner from 1972) which chronicled the physical, mental and emotional abuse he experienced as a child, at the hands of his father.  This runner said the story affected him deeply, since he started to run long ago to cope with great personal strife and struggle (though he didn’t mention specifically what this was).  

 The idea resonated strongly with me, since the roots of my own running grew from tragedy and tribulation at a young age.  For those that aren’t already privy to my past (apologies to those who are for bringing it up, but I think it’s been at least a few years since I last mentioned it), click here for a refresher.

On the drive home that evening, I started to think of many more runners I knew whose personal background was characterized by personal trial and tribulation, and quickly realized that this idea had some serious legs.  Having been a runner for over 30 years, and a coach for over 20, you can bet I’ve heard a lot of reasons why people start running.struggle and strife

Death of loved ones, grave health scares, relationship demise, professional turmoil, eating disorders, abuse and depression, are just a few of the circumstances to have galvanized many a running career.

 One trend that continues to surprise me (though less and less as time goes by), is the SIGNIFICANT number of runners who start running to combat serious behavioral and substance addictions (alcohol, drugs, smoking, sex, gambling, etc.).   On one particular long run a few years ago, one of our coaches recalled all 7-8 runners in the pack she was running with, revealing their own struggles with alcohol and drug addiction, and how they found running helped them through it.  It was a veritable roving confessional convoy that day!

JP Bedard, a Toronto area school teacher, is a shining example of how someone who suffered through childhood sexual abuse, has used running to control, combat, and cope with myriad destructive feelings borne of his extraordinarily horrible ordeal.  The insightful, impactful and eloquent blog entries he writes have been oft-published in the Huffington post and many other major publications.  Click here for more on how he’s used running and writing to channel his own early life personal pain into a way of helping so many others who have had similar experiences, and of helping the rest of us to better understand the issue.

cheaper than therapy More broadly, running (and/or other forms of exercise to varying extents) has long been recognized as a method of combatting depression and anxiety.

A recent Runner’s World article by Canadian award-winning exercise science journalist (and former physicist and national-class runner) Alex Hutchinson, highlights the link between our minds, moods, and bodies – click here.

Alec Braithwaite, a Brantford runner, recently chronicled his own experiences with running and depression in an article in the Brant News – click here.

Why is this?  Why or how does running appear to have such a healing affect? Perhaps it has something to do with replacing pain one cannot control with “pain” one can control, and in doing so, achieving inner peace through the act itself.  Or even more simply, replacing a predominantly negative addiction with a predominantly positive one.   Perhaps it’s as basic as our body’s physiological and neurological responses to running—production of endorphins and adrenalin—replacing bad feeling with good brain chemicals.

Whatever the reasons, running’s power to help us help ourselves is clear, powerful and irrefutable!


Now, I’m not suggesting that EVERYONE begins running for and from these reasons.

Running’s nascence is not always rooted in personal salvation, redemption or recovery, and over time the reasons we run often change, to be sure.  Many runners take up the two-footed charge for much less deep, dark and dire reasons: to lose weight, relieve stress, achieve accomplishment, compete, or socialize.

Heck, one woman I coached years ago, confided that one powerfully motivating reason she ran was that sometimes (often even, if she was lucky) after VERY hard interval running, she physically—I mean, actually… sexually—climaxed!  Talk about the “Better Than Sex” running club, eh?

I would like you leave you with this: whatever your reason for running—hurt, healing, health, or happiness--pursue and embrace the activity itself with one more “H”: HARMONY.

Happiness It is possible through the act of running to achieve peace, unity, amity and a state of FLOW.  There is a natural beauty to behold when you relax, and allow yourself to practice “mindfulness” on the move—a keen awareness of one’s body, mind and soul while engaged in a pursuit or activity.

In doing so, your running experience will become meditative and majestic, and you’ll achieve a mastery of the act of running – all without looking at your Garmin or Heart Rate Monitor even once!

I lied – one MORE “H” to this story – Homework!

homework Is your own story one of redemption through running, salvation through sweat, or healing through hammering?  

Would you care to share it with others?  Either anonymously or not?  We would LOVE to hear it if you would be willing to share.  If you’d like to do so anonymously, please write/type it and mail it to myself:  Kevin Smith, 1207 Upper Village Dr., Mississauga, Ont. L5E 3J6.  If you’d be OK with sharing your story personally, please email me directly.

We’d very much like to hear from you!


- 2010 Ontario Masters 5K Champion

- 2011 Ontario Masters 10K Champion

- 2011 Ontario Masters Marathon Champion

- 2012 Canadian Masters 1/2 Marathon Bronze

- 2013 Ontario Masters 1/2 Mara Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 15K Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 1500m Champion

- 2014 Canadian Masters 40-44 5K Bronze

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

Run Like a Slack-Jawed Yokel!"

By Jackie Dupuis, Marathon Dynamics Coach


As you look at the diagram above, think about the Incredible Hulk who is always angry, to give this article some perspective.

It’s a pictorial representation of part of the brain that deals with movement and senses. This picture is called a Homunculus, and it labels the motor cortex and somatosensory cortex.  Both are important parts of our noggins, as they take in information from the senses and reply with movement.  We have a Canadian scientist Dr. Wilder Penfield and his colleagues at McGill University to thank for this representation and early research.

In the picture both the motor and somatosensory cortex side show a huge hand and a huge face.  This is due to the larger amounts of nerve density for these body parts in this area of the brain.  As a result, we have fine motor skills and senses that are highly perceptive in the face and hands. We use our hands and face to feel most things (sipping coffee, typing, driving etc.).  The sensory nerves in your hand say “Is this hot? “ relay it up to the brain to say to the motor nerves “Yes, move your hand”. 

What does this have to do with running?  If the input from the sensory nerves in the hand and face indicate constant contraction because your fists and jaw are clenched then your brain will recruit more motor nerves and more muscle fibres will contract creating more tension. More muscle fibres contract and more energy is needed to fuel the contraction.

This additional energy needed to keep your hands and face tense leaves the legs and torso with less feedback (Come on legs run faster!) and bit less energy stores to fuel them because your hands and face are hogging your precious and dwindling reserves. The last race I spectated, I saw no one running on his or her hands.  I am pretty sure it is our legs and torso doing most of the work.

So when running remember to keep your shoulders and elbows away from your ears, to relax the jaw and hands.  Run like a slack-jawed yokel and channel your inner Hulk for another time.

Harry Homonculus

Harry the Homunculus is relaxed!  

Jackie D

Jackie Dupuis is a coach with Marathon Dynamics and has been known to commit endurance crimes. (Of which coach Kevin can attest). These crimes are balanced with fine wine, travel and reading books.

- 13 yrs running, 12 marathons (5 Bostons), 5 Ironman Triathlons and many trail & mountain bike races
- Recent graduate of York University Kinesiology.
- NCCP certified coach in Triathlon & Mountain biking
- Certified Personal Trainer with Can-Fit Pro

Beat Those Sugar Cravings...

Once and For All!

By Lucia Mahoney - Certified Holistic Nutritionist

You run cosugaruntless miles, you hit the gym regularly, heck in a good week you might even get to a yoga class. But for some reason those few extra pounds, especially the ones right around your midsection, do not seem to want to go away.

Does this sound familiar? Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but just because you are a marathoner does not mean you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

Sorry to say it but it has to b
e said. And at the very heart of this sad truth is the all too common sugar addiction. In any way, shape or form sugar is not your friend. Athletes sometimes try to convince themselves that they’ve earned the right to indulge. All things in moderation, right?  But it can be a very slippery slope if we convince ourselves that a daily sugar hit is “moderate”.

Yogurt labelThe sugar you see and taste in those jellybeans, cookies and milk chocolate may be only the tip of the iceberg. It’s the sugar that sneaks up on you that you really have to beware of: that carton of orange juice, the gingerbread lattes, the so-called fibre and protein bars, the white bagels and pasta, the vanilla yogurt (go on, check the label) and yes, even that glass (or two) of wine.  

So what is the big deal, why is sugar so bad for you? 

•   It feeds the “bad bacteria” in your intestinal tract which can lead to digestive disturbances such as bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea. Ever hear of runner’s trots? Probably not due to the fibre that most people are not eating anyways.

•   It stimulates fat storage. Increased blood sugar releases insulin which prompts your body to get that sugar out of your bloodstream fast, and into your fat stores. Fat does NOT make you fat, refined carbs an
d elevated insulin levels make you fat.

•   It suppresses your immune system (70% of which is in your gut). Do you often come down with infections, colds or flus?

•   It feeds inflammation, a biochemical cascade that in the long term can be linked to obesity, heart disease, cancer, thyroid imbalances, eczema, arthritis, dementia, inflammatory bowel disorders and more.

•   It triggers hormonal imbalances which can result in sleep disruptions, mood conditions (including depression and anxiety), PMS, fatigue and weight gain.

•   It interferes with the absorption of Calcium and Magnesium which we know we need for bone health and optimal muscle contraction and relaxation.

The good news is that you can beat sugar cravings. You may experience some nasty withdrawal symptoms at first (headaches, lethargy) but these will pass in a couple of days. In fact, the worse you feel the more dependent you probably are.

4 Tips to Beat Sugar Cravings

1.  Stop Counting Calories - Low fat foods tend to be high in sugars and leave you hungry an hour later. The quality of what you eat is far more important than the caloric value. Watch out for packaged, processed nutritionally empty pseudo-foods. Shop in the perimeter of your grocery store and eat real food.

2.  No Skipping Meals - Whether you’re too busy to eat or you think you need to “detox” this can backfire. Starving yourself tends to lead to out of control hunger that results in poor food choices. Take the time to organize yourself and pack up a healthy lunch or snacks to take with you to work - fresh fruit, homemade trail mix (raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits), hard boiled eggs, veggies and hummus. Believe me, if you’re nibbling on these throughout the day you won’t have any time for cravings.

3.  Boost Your Protein Intake - People who tend to have cravings also tend not to eat enough protein earlier in the day. Skip the cereal/bagel/toast for breakfast and enjoy a couple of eggs scrambled with spinach and mushrooms; or greek yogurt with berries, slivered almonds and chia seeds; or a protein smoothie. Protein keeps you full, keeps blood sugar balanced and gives you lasting energy.

4.  More Healthy Fats - Just as protein fills you up, so do healthy fats. Worth repeating: fats do NOT make you fat, elevated blood sugar and its inflammatory cascade make you fat. So spread a thick layer of almond butter on that apple, add flax or coconut oil to your smoothie, drizzle lots of olive oil on your salad, and snack on avocados, nuts and seeds. All of these fats will not only help keep you full, they also provide powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.

We all make excuses for things we don’t really want to do but we will find a way if something is important. The balance shifts with awareness and determination. As runners, we know you are committed and focused. Once you decide to alter your thought patterns about the foods you eat you absolutely can kick the sugar habit and kiss those last few extra pounds goodbye.

Lucia MLucia Mahoney is a registered & certified Holistic Nutritionist
- owner of FitBody Nutrition
- Avid & competitive runner for 15 years, incl. 8 marathons (3 Boston)
- PB's of 3:12 (marathon), 1:28 (half marathon), 39:04 (10K), 19:12 (5K)
- Frequent speaker and instructor at running clinics
- Proud mama of 3 boys who in her free time enjoys yoga & cooking (just not at the same time!)

- Check her website at or contact


Memorable Moments:

Look Back Before You Leap Forward!

By Coach Jennifer Faraone

Jenn F Hamilton Half Ok, so maybe the year is not over yet – but with the cold weather upon us and the completion of key races for many runners, now seems like an appropriate time for a little reflection. I’m not talking about the deep, soul-searching kind – but rather a cheerful “quick ‘n dirty” list.

Whereas it’s a normal tendency to think about lessons learned or areas to improve upon (or what we did NOT accomplish), it’s so much more fun and rewarding to think about the training/racing highlights of the year. I guarantee that if you try it, this exercise will leave you feeling satisfied and motivated to head out the door when it is dark, cold and wet!

Jennifer’s Memorable Moments (no order of importance)

·         Hosting my first ever Trail Running Camp. And what a success it was, especially in the company of 6 MDI runners (Alisa, Karen, Fulvia, Carol, Natasha and Marie Pierre). Mark your calendars for October 16-18 2015 for the next camp!

·         Getting other runners hooked on pool running! Ok, maybe hooked is too strong of a word, but I do believe that I helped a small portion of the running community to see the value of pool running. Maybe one day I will start a groupie of pool runners? Start a race series? Ok, might be getting ahead of myself.

·         Running the Chilly Half Marathon. Winning was a bonus, but the best part for me was my time – just over 1h:20 –almost the exact same time for when I ran the ran about 7 years ago. Yup, this chick still has it at 40 years old!

·         Participating in a greater number of races without the intention of racing. From my humbling experience of the Squamish 23k trail race where I got passed A LOT on the tricky descents, to completing my first half Ironman, I enjoyed being a participant and experiencing the sheer bliss of a race but without the pre-race jitters or stress.

·         Winning Bronze (age category) at the World Duathlon in Spain. And overcoming my fear at the last minute of riding in aero position for most of the crazy 10K hill descent. Just goes to show that you are never sure of your abilities until you are in the moment.  

·         Hearing my husband and 8-year-old daughter say that I made them proud by not quitting the Hamilton Half Marathon when things got tough. I’m glad that I was able to show my daughter that sometimes a race can be really tough and that it’s important to just keep going. According to my husband, this impressed him more than when I win a race (hmm..maybe I’m just not winning the right races!)

·         The countless number of times that I catch myself thinking “I love this” as I’m coaching others. Whether it’s while I’m wearing a headlamp in the pitch darkness in the early morning hours, in the cemetery holding a dog leash while recording run times, or simply talking with other runners, my true passion lies with helping others to be active and to reach their goals.

Thank YOU for MLTBenabling me to follow my passion this year!


Jenn & KidsJennifer Faraone has succeeded as a top-ranked distance runner (personal bests of 35min for 10K, and 1:18 for the Half marathon), and enjoys cycling and trail running, and has even represented Canada at the World Mountain Running Championships.  When not running, she's ultra-busy with parenting her two young children, baking and discovering new red wines.

Off Season Often Predicts ON Season

Address Injuries Before They Start!

By Lindsay Scott, MScPT, Totum Lifescience

Cardio JunkieI am a cardio junkie. I will gladly run for hours at a time, and I truly believe that there is no better way to start a day than a sunrise run along my favourite path.  I also have a tendency to avoid strength training at all costs. 

I am also a physiotherapist who is passionate about helping runners get back to crushing their running goals, being stronger than ever and staying injury free.

Unfortunately, I am well aware of the fact that those two identities are somewhat ironic.

For a long time, I was delighting in tracking my ever increasing mileage each week, ignoring the advice that I gave to clients on a daily basis about the importance of strength training, and signing up for every race that I could manage to squeeze into my schedule.

Injured RunnerSo began my seamless transition into injury.  

As a physio, I knew that I was on the fast track to disaster, yet I felt invincible. Perhaps it’s more a question of being lazy. Either way, I was not impressed, as it became increasingly apparent that my bad habits were catching up to me.

Hobbling into the offseason with aches and pains, I vowed to finally address the underlying factors that had been contributing to the injuries that I was fighting through.

Focusing on strength and mobility throughout the quieter months meant that I could attack the following season healthier, faster, stronger and more in love with running than ever before.

Whether your goal is to get through next season without injury, to finally snag that PB or to up your game with some longer distance races, planning your offseason appropriately is an essential first step in setting yourself up for success.

Here are a few pointers that I frequently share with my clients (and even adhere to myself!):

1) Give yourself some time off

  • Sleep in on the weekend, grab a beer with friends, dust off your cross country skis, and enjoy the entire stack of pancakes with extra maple syrup.
  • Don’t worry about running for a while, but when you do lace up, wave to every single runner who you pass along the way and leave that Garmin at home. After a season of following training plans, it’s liberating to run at whatever pace suits you that day and for whatever distance seems right just because you feel like it.
  • Try something new that forces you to move in different ways. Most runners move in the same plane of motion over and over again. Humans are built to move in multiple directions, and when we don’t, the result is often injury.

     2) "Prehab” to avoid rehab by strengthening

While there are numerous muscles that play a role in maintaining great running form the most common culprits that we see are: 

  • The core. Think of the glutes, lower back muscles and deep abdominals as the foundation for all movement. As you run, energy travels through your body as a result of the impact of your foot on the ground and your muscles contracting to propel you forward. Your core acts as a hub for transferring that energy. If a runner’s core is weak, that energy transfer becomes less efficient.
In addition to slowing you down, inefficient motion can cause another body part to receive more than its share of energy, or load. This can lead to injury as those tissues are not designed to withstand that excess demand. Injuries can also develop when a runner’s movement patterns change as a result of asymmetrical transfer of energy. With a strong core, we are able to transfer energy efficiently, ultimately creating a faster, more powerful gait pattern that is less injury prone. 
  • The hips. The main stabilizer of your leg when standing on one leg is the gluteus medius. When you run, you’re essentially landing and balancing on one leg thousands of times in a row. If this hip stabilizing muscle is not strong enough, there is often a huge amount of stress on your knee, ankle and foot, ultimately leading to injury.
In 2007, Dr. Reed Ferber of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary completed a study of 284 runners complaining of a wide variety of knee, ankle and foot injuries.  He found that 93% of participants had weak hip muscles. Impressively, 90% of those runners were pain free following a six week targeted strength program. Strength training works!

Try to incorporate strength training 2x/week, focusing on multi-joint, body weight exercises such as lunges, squats, and planks. Build gradually, and remember that simplicity is often the best policy!

3) Check your gait

  • Get an analysis early in your training. Unless you understand your movement patterns, it is impossible to properly address any limitations to your strength, mobility, flexibility, and ultimately, your performance
  • Don’t forget how valuable running drills can be in cuing a proper gait pattern. Even the best runners in the world do drills on a daily basis in order to remind themselves not to reach too far in their stride, teach their bodies to land below their center of mass and keep their cadence up. Some good examples include: strides, high knees, skipping, side shuffling, and butt kicks. 

4) Focus on and plan for just 1-2 goals for next season

  • Meb Keflezighi won the Boston marathon last spring. The guy runs for a living and has a whole team of coaches, medical professionals and sponsors behind him. How many marathons did he run last season? Two!
  • This is a good reminder that our bodies need time to recover. If a pro runner has only one ‘A’ race to focus on at a time, how can those of us who are not training as a full time gig expect to be racing hard all season while still avoiding injury and exhaustion?
  • Pick a goal or two that you’re really excited about, and base your season, including your offseason, on whatever you need to do to help you to achieve that goal.

Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott is a physiotherapist at Totum Lifescience. She is currently training in Advanced Orthopedic Manual Therapy through the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. 

A passionate runner and triathlete herself, Lindsay has a particular interest in working with athletes of all levels to identify and address underlying factors contributing to injury. She can be reached at

Marathon Dynamics News

Training Plans, Coaching, Group Runs & More

Winter/Spring Training Groups Start SOON!

5 great groups, including 3 evening and 2 morning options, at locations from east Toronto to Oakville.

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


     - Physical Edge Physio...starts Dec 2nd


     - High Park (Grenadier Rstrnt)...starts Dec 3rd


     - Monarch Park INDOOR Track...starts Dec 4th


     - Totum Life Science...starts Jan 8th


     - Monarch Park INDOOR Track...starts Dec 4th 

Thanks Existing Sponsors...Welcome to our Newest!

Much thanks for the continued support of our returning sponsors: Mizuno, Barefooters, Excel Running Series, and Physical Edge Physio (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.

Totum LSMarathon Dynamics is happy to announce a new partnership with Totum Life Science, to continue to provide exceptional support to our runners for injury diagnosis, treatment and prevention, including our very popular "First Injury Free" offer (initial assessment & treatment) to all current running clients. 

Additionally Totum's expert staff of personal trainers are ready to assist you with runner-specific strength training and aerobic cross-training as well, so between the two of us (MDI and Totum), we've got you covered this winter!

Totum is a well respected Fitness and Sports Medicine group that has operated within Toronto since 1998. Totum's focus is to provide integrated fitness and health experiences that help their clients lead better lives through a combination of improved performance, pain reduction and life style enhancement. They have a variety of Trainers, Physiotherapists and Chiropractors who are experienced with endurance athletes and work together to help them succeed.

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 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 Dec. 1st (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 me.


Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jackie, Jennifer, Kristin & Driss


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In This Issue  

Incredible Racing Dynamos! - Fall 2014 Recap

Hurt, Health or Happiness      - By Kevin Smith

Like a Slack-Jawed Yokel       - By Jackie Dupuis

Beat Those Sugar Cravings!   - By Lucia Mahoney

Memorable Moments              - By Jennifer Faraone

Off Season To ON Season      - By Lindsay Scott 

Marathon Dynamics News

Thanks MDI Sponsors!
Totum Lifescience

Physical EdgeMizuno Logo

Black ToeExcel Running Series


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 

New 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.


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

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

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

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
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

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
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

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!

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 

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!"

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!

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
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've never let me down!

MDI Runners Rule!
"I just wanted to say THANKS!  Without you, your help and support, my PB result at the Ottawa marathon (3:26) would not have been possible.  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!"

New Marathon Dynamics Runner David Gauthier, who improved his marathon PB by 23 minutes

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
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)
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"

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!"


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