Run Faster Fun Friends


Fall Into Winter 2016-17

Marathon Dynamics E-Newsletter

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

* Click on pics for hi res

Wear Purple

Team Dynamo ROCKED This Season...

From Start, Through Middle, To End!


   ER Big Group

             New Logo

ER Big Group 2ER Trio

From the TO Ekiden Relay we did in June (above), on through the long hot summer of training, and on into fall racing season (below), the Dynamo crew put forth amazing efforts and displayed tremendous camaraderie. What a dream it is for us coaches to work with runners like you.  We couldn't be more proud of you or inspired by you!

Hamilton Trio

 Oakville Gang

(above left) Anu Bentley, Mark Clingen and Jacquie Jacobs all with podium finishes at the Hamilton 10K)

(above right) Some of the Oakville/Mississauga crew mug for a pic while celebrating Coach Kev's birthday.  Definitely the Spirit Award winners of 2016 goes to this bunch.  You've set the bar high for the Toronto groups next year ;o)

(below left) Dynamo teammates Andy Sykes and Val McLeod celebrate their 12th and10th place Age Cat finishes at the muggy Waterfront Half.

(below right)  Dynamo rookie Hayley Chiaramonte beaming with pride after her marathon debut in Hamilton this fall, in a Boston Q time of 3:36 no less!

  Hayley CAndy and Val

Many thanks and big hugs and high fives to ALL of you this past season.  Despite some less than ideal race day weather at many of the big fall running events, we still had over 100 incredible race results achieved by our intrepid MDI Team Dynamo. WOW!

(most of which, if you hadn't already done so, you can review on our MDI FB Group Page in the Albums section and/or recent posts, along with dozens of great race photos, so peruse away! Click Here)

It was also FABULOUS to bring together almost 120 of you over a week ago at the big "Dinner With Krista Duchene" Tween Seasons bash!  Such a wonderful way to spend an evening looking back on last season, ahead to next season, and on reconnecting with running friends, and meeting new ones.
Krista D   Granite Brewery
4 at KD night
Midtown gals

4 at KD night

There were 4 lucky award winners that night as well (and by lucky I mean super hard working bad a$$es!)

 Tiffany S Soroush H

 (above left) Tiffany Simms, along with Coach Kev, Marathon Mom Krista Duchene and Coach Roz Morton, wins the "Diamond In the Rough" Award (aka "Most Improved") for her incredible season where she PB'ed by almost 30 min in the marathon, as well as at EVERY other race distance from 5K up!

(above right) Soroush Hatami wins the "Rookie of the Year" Award for his smashing 3:05 all time PB at the hot and humid Waterfront Marathon

(below left) Andy Sykes picks up this year's Nutcracker Award (aka "Hardest Working") for his dedication to training which resulted in PB's at both the marathon (3:32) and Half (1:37) 

(below right) Fulvia Manarin takes home the coveted "Closest To Perfection" award for her all time 3:25 marathon PB at Chicago, which earned her a top 10 placing in her Age Cat in a World Marathon Major!

Andy S

Fulvia M

For more of the great pics from that evening...

click here


And thanks to all who brought used running shoes for the CESC to support Kenyan orphan education.  Quite a payload, for such a worthy cause!

 Kenyan shoes

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!


Knowledge * Skills * Support * Service * Spirit

 1) Super Tuesday Seminars are BACK!

DynaMondaysBuilding on the success of the previous "Dyna-Mo-nday" and "Super Tuesday" series last year, we're working with our sports/med & strength/conditioning sponsor experts to provide these invaluable presentations.

4 in Toronto (2 at Runner's Academy and 2 at Totum Performance) and 2 Oakville

These are FREE to all current MDI runners, though you must sign up beforeheand to reserve your spot.

 Marathon Dynamics has teamed up with returning sponsors Totum Life Sciences, Running Academy and Physical Ege Physio (Oakv) to offer a series of 6 FREE presentations, emphasizing practical running knowledge and skills for Marathon Dynamics runners. Experts from the staff of Totum, Runner's Academy, Physical Edge & Marathon Dynamics will lead active, jam-packed seminars on everything you’ll need to elevate your running game!

The agenda and topics are still being finalized (watch for details coming soon), but here are the tentative dates, times and places. Check your skeds & BOOK now! 

#1 - Tuesday, June 27, 6:30pm @ Totum Performance

#2 - Tuesday, July 4, 7pm @ Physical Edge

#3 - Tuesday, July 25, 7pm @ Runner's Academy

#4 - Tuesday, Aug 15, 6:30pm @ Totum Performance

#5 - Tuesday, Sept 26, 7pm @ Physical Edge

#6 - Tuesday, Oct. 24, 7pm @ Runner's Academy

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.

  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 & 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, warm up, 8am sharp start!):

#1 - Sunday, July 9 @ High Park

#2 - Sunday, Aug 20 @ Edwards Gardens

#3 - Sunday, Sept 17 @ High Park

#4 - Sunday, Oct 8 @ 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

SL 10K

Based on successful team gatherings at the Sporting Life 10K, the Ekiden Relays, Waterfront weekend etc., we'd love to see even more free spirited fun at THIS season's Dynamo Spirit Calendar 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?

Show your Purple Pride...Feel Your Purple Power!

Toronto Ekiden Relay – Thursday, June 15th

     * We need runners for 3 teams (of 6 each) - mens, womens, mixed.  Interested? 

Toronto Waterfront 10K – Sunday, June 17th

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

Hillacious Journey Dynamo Run – Sunday, July 30th (High Park)

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

Midsummer Pub Night Week (Toronto & Oakville)

Week of August 14-18 (Specs TBA)

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

Oakville Half Marathon – Sunday, Sept 24th

     * 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. 17th

     * Still confirming our Special Guest (tough act to follow Sasha Gollish and Krista Duchene the last couple years!)..tons of fun, excitement, prizes and surprises to come.  DON'T MISS IT!

2 weeks before each of these particular events, we’ll send out an email to current Dynamos asking if you’d like to be on the “Team Roster” for that event.  Reply to that email and you’ll be kept in the loop right up to and after the race on all the dirty deets (and clean ones too!)

Marta M Ekiden Women

  3 MuskateersTO 10 Miler

  * Free High Park Sunday Runs @ Grenadier

High Park Dynamo 8am common start time (7:55 arrival), at Grenadier Restaurant, High Park.

June - October, 2017.

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


In Defence Of The Marathon
Why 42.2K is still the king of all distances

By MDI Coach Dan Way

42.2Recently, the latest edition of the New York City Marathon saw a record 51,388 unofficial finishers, making it the largest event in history. This is in line with related statistics that show a record 550,000 individuals completed a marathon in the year 2014. The popularity of the distance seems secure. Or does it?

Despite what seems record number of finishers and sold-out events across the globe, there is a small but growing movement that speaks out against running the marathon. Deeming the legendary race as excessive, over-hyped and potentially even dangerous, some argue that running a marathon is no longer worthy of the praise and admiration it once was.

And perhaps they have a point!

The past decade has seen an unprecedented increase both in terms of the number of events offered— now numbering in the thousands—as well as the number of finishers—more than half a million each year—leading some to question whether simply completing a marathon is any longer an accomplishment worth bragging about. Indeed, it now seems that almost every runner you meet these days has no doubt dabbled in the marathon, with varying degrees of success.

PheidippidesThe running of the marathon is said to have begun following the Legend of Pheidippides which arose from the Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. More recently, it has been a regular part of the modern Olympics dating back to 1896 and since 1921 has adopted the standard distance of 42.195K (26 miles 385 yards).

As such it stands as a concrete and unchanging constant—a benchmark—by which to compare ourselves with all others, regardless of when or where we ran.

Given its immense popularity, it's long since been established that completing a marathon can be done by almost anyone, anywhere, at any time. But what many fail to understand and accept, is that running a marathon well—to the very best of one's ability—is the true test of the distance and what really makes it great.

Running and training for the marathon takes a tremendous amount of time and energy. It means running most days of the week—sometimes more than once—including long runs, hard workouts as well as countless easy runs to log essential time on our feet. It also requires significant sacrifice. Time that could be spent together with family and friends is now spent on the roads, tracks and trails, often in isolation but always with a specific purpose. Needless to say, training for a marathon is not something to be taken casually.

There are no doubt people who sign up for a marathon with little idea as to what they're getting themselves into. Others are unable or unwilling to put in the time and energy needed to adequately prepare, which may lead to injury, frustration and a negative running experience. Many do just enough to do it once and never again. Some do them so often they lose track of how many they've run or the time it took to do so. Others move on to other distances, which may attract fewer competitors or require less time and energy.

People choose to run the marathon for many reasons. Whether for personal health and fitness, for charity and community or simply to say you did it, the act of participating and completing the distance is valuable in and of itself.

However, deciding to run the marathon and aiming to do it well—the best you possibly can— is truly the best reason and greatest motivation to run. To do it better than you have before and to push—and potentially exceed—your physical and mental limits. To strive to improve and be better than you were. To take on a task that is incredibly challenging and which requires great competence and skill. To risk almost certain failure and disappointment. To hope and dream to what may be.

Mile MarkersThe human body was not made to race 42.2K. Thirty maybe, even 35, but not 42.2. This is where many approach the dreaded wall, where the wheels fall off and seconds can begin to feel like an eternity. The last 10K is what really makes the marathon. Anything can happen in the final few kilometres. No one knows what is coming.

It's not about how you start the race. It's all about how you finish. And while finishing may be good enough for some, it is those who choose to push and test the limits of themselves over 42.2K—to enter the unknown and face the fear of failure—that truly know what makes the marathon the ultimate distance to race.

Dan W

Dan Way 

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.


By Coach Kevin Smith

Roller CoasterMight as well accept it – if you want to stay in the running game for a long time, it’s going to be a roller coaster, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!

After being on the running scene for 35 years, I’ve had some big ups and downs, but arguably 2016 was my most tortuous ride of thrills, chills and spills yet.

Here’s a quick recap:

Up Arrow

 My training log tells me that Jan-Feb '16 was the highest average training volume of MY ENTIRE LIFE (close to 80km per week). So I started into March feeling fit, fast and ready for a great spring season ahead. 

Down ArrowThe day before the Chilly Half marathon, out on my morning walk to/from Tim Hortons, I managed an aerially spectacular slip on an unseen patch of ice, and unwisely chose to break my fall with my face.  Ended up in EMERG diagnosed with a concussion.  No race the next day, no physical activity for over a week.

Up Arrow Regrouped my training in time to get fit enough to race well in April (2nd Master at Spring Run Off 8K, 1st Master at Scotiabank Montreal Half, 1st Master at Sporting Life 10K).  Feeling great, and looking forward to my best season in 20 years. 

Down Arrow Nagging soreness post-season in my lower right outside shin blossoms into full blown Posterior Fibular Tendinosis. Despite my best efforts to fix it, it persists for 4 full months, completely shutting down running training all summer (though after the first 5-6 weeks, I’m able to return to low volume, moderate running).  This proved to be my longest injury break in almost 10 years.

Up ArrowInjury improves enough by early September that I feel I can put in a couple of solid training weeks, just in time to race the Zoo Run 10K.  Even though I am far from “race fit”, I scramble home for 3rd Master, which turns out (I find out over a month later, after the Waterfront Marathon), to be JUST good enough for me to win the Canada Running Series Masters 2016 Championship – a series I’ve been trying (till now, unsuccessfully) to win for the past 7 years, ever since I turned 40!

CRS Series

Ironic that perhaps my biggest running accomplishment of the past 20 years should happen during my worst injury in the past 10 years.  I attribute the win to what I chose to do DURING my injury hiatus over the summer, as that was what allowed me to come back in September and run a respectable 10K effort which earned me just enough points to fend off the challengers (and a bit of luck didn’t hurt either J)

By religiously employing our Marathon Dynamics “Running Repechage”, I was able to stay fit enough to race again this fall—solidly, if not spectacularly, and put myself in a position to be genuinely at or near the top of my game once again within a few short months from now (body willing).

Since it had been so long since I’d had a prolonged break from run training, this summer served up a host of other lessons and/or reminders to me, other than “Running Repechage Really Works!”

The Top 5 Upsides of Downtime

1 - (Re)discover or (re)invest in OTHER Sports/Activities

DowntimeBecause my running had been going so well since the summer of 2015, I was running more frequently than ever before (as often as 5-6 runs/week), and as an unintended consequence, my aerobic cross-training ebbed to a 25+yr low.

With daily Running Health Insurance, and 5-6 times per week strength training sessions, and now running almost every day, on top of my crazy life as a running coach, husband, father, etc., it’s become harder and harder to find the time or motivation to do what had previously been a staple of my physical life.

This injury changed all that.  I knew by early June that I was probably going to be on the running shelf for at least a few weeks, possibly a couple months (I didn’t know it would be close to 4 months at the time), so I had to stoke the aerobic x-training fires back up.

For the first time in years, I’d let my pool running frequency falter quite a bit this year (my rule had always been to keep it up at least once per week, even when healthy, so that it’s there for you when you’re not healthy), so I knew that would be back on the menu.  And indeed it has been, 1-2 times per week, every week since mid- summer till now.  So I’m back on track with pool running heading into the winter months.

But I knew I’d need other options (variety is the key to optimal “running replacement”), and though I was proficient and familiar enough with stationary bikes, and the ubiquitous mainstay at every gym—elliptical machines—it was summer time, so those options weren’t the most attractive.

Many of you may not know that my 2nd favourite sport/exercise activity of all time (or at least the last 20 years) has been inline speedskating (no, not exactly “Rollerblading”…think ice speedskating, but on wheels, at distances from 500m up to a full marathon and beyond).  Since I was a hockey player for ten years before turning to running, and skating was my biggest strength, this super-fast, dynamic, exciting sport intrigued me from the moment I discovered it in the mid 90’s.

Kev InlineIn the early-mid 2000s in fact, I became rather good at it, and once placed 2nd at the Canadian Inline Marathon championships, a single stride away from winning.  After suffering a big race crash in 2006, I decided to stop inline racing (coincidentally my distance running was re-emerging from a long and frustrating spell of injury and setbacks), but continued to do a long hard skate every week ever since (May - September, weather permitting) as aerobic x-training base.

That all stopped last summer (2015), when I cracked a frame (which holds the wheels to the boot) in early July.  My running was going very well, so with just three months of skate weather left, I didn’t bother to go through the hassle of replacing it, (inline equipment is very specialized and hard to find. My boots were custom made in Australia). 

So that meant that by June of this past summer, it had been almost a full year since I last skated, and I was on the cusp of deciding to let it go entirely.  But when I realized I needed another hardcore aerobic x-training option, it didn’t take me long to decide to get back on the skates.

Luckily found a new frame, treated myself to some new wheels, and I was back in action, twice a week through July and August, just like old times.

I’m SO happy I did.  Once I got my skating form and “groove” back (didn’t take all that long), I poured everything I had into some of those steady tempo skates and extra-long weekend skates, and am convinced that’s what held my running fitness intact till I could resume training this fall.

The extra special bonus of my rapprochement with inline this summer, was a chance to go for a great big long (50km+) skate with the two Canadian skaters who I consider my mentors in the sport. They happen to be the first two inline speedskaters I ever met, and have been great ambassadors for inline skating ever since.  Though I’d skated with each of them individually during my inline years, I’d never once gone for a training skate with BOTH of them together. So on a whim, I called them up and 2 days later, on a sunny late summer Saturday morning, we majestically toured Mississauga and Oakville together, in perfect peloton formation (leaving a few cycling groups in our wake even).

I foolishly thought that though I hadn’t been back to skating all that long, my giant reserve of running fitness would mean I was at least as fit and strong as these two aging warhorses (Herb Gayle, who is WELL over 50 years old, and Peter Doucet, younger than me, but who had just had a major bike accident a few months ago, and was a first time father of a 2 month old).  At various points late in our reunion skate, they BOTH put me to shame, leaving me gasping for breath, and hanging on for dear life.  Damn you, Training Law of Specificity!

 I’ll always treasure the memory of that skate with those two icons of Canadian Inline skating, and very likely, because of my “skate-sperience” this summer, will be back out there next year as well.

Herb G Inline Peter D

 Above Top - Herb Gayle races for the line in a US race

Above Bottom - Peter Doucet, leads a 2014 Pan Am race in Mexico

2 – “Injur-noculation” of THAT Problem

SyringeMany of you have heard me mutter “I’ve had just about every running injury out there”, and until this summer, that was true.  But here was one (Posterior Fibular Tendinosis) that I’d NEVER had before.

In assessing what was wrong and why it happened with my physio (in this case, Dr. Kris Sheppard of Runner’s Academy), we feel we learned why it might have happened. I had created a relative strength imbalance in my shin/calf muscular skeletal system, by over-emphasizing longitudinal (front to back) strength training, and under-emphasizing lateral (side to side) strength training.  I’ve since adjusted my supplementary strength work routine to correct for that, and things are feeling much better.

So one silver lining of going through any NEW injury, is that you get an education in that particular problem.  You learn the signs and symptoms, you discover (usually with/through your sports medicine expert) the reasons WHY it happened, and you figure out what to do to make sure it goes away (rehab) and never comes back again (prehab).  

So though there are many other potential injury potholes partially hidden down the yellow-brick road of your running future, if you’re responsive and disciplined, THAT injury shouldn’t be one of them.  Now you’re armed with a “distant-early-warning” system against it happening again, and you have a “get-better-quick” plan to employ if it ever does.

3 - More a Human Being, Less a Human Doing

Human DoingRunners tend to be a pretty Type-A, task and action oriented bunch; always trying (and usually succeeding) at cramming more activity than seems humanly possible into our already jam-packed lives.

When our prime physical directive and truest corporeal passion is suddenly taken away, we can be more than a bit rudderless, and sink into a funk of desultory despair, even outright depression.

So once we go through that very natural and understandable emotional down spike of the injury hitting home, we should focus more time and attention on the REST of our lives, and on what ELSE makes us who we are.  It can be a time of great contemplation, introspection and fulfillment, which allows us to enrich ourselves through other experiences, and allows us to reflect on what running really means to us, and that it is just part of our life, not the whole of it (nor a hole IN it, either ;o).

This summer, while I ran less, I read more (and not just running material…whoa!  John Irving, Donna Tart, Margaret Atwood and more).  Though I trained less, I was thrilled at the opportunity to introduce my 15 year old son Sebastian to “the gym”, as he, who had not shown much interest in sport and/or physical exercise and activity in his young life thus far, FINALLY wanted to start working out, so I tried to help over many weeks of shared workouts. I’m proud to say that 5 months later, he’s still at it 3-5 times per week, building strength, confidence, discipline and maturity with every trip!

Absence“Absence makes the heart grow…stronger” – A prolonged injury gives us permission to truly MISS running, to yearn for the simple joy and majesty of moving our bodies through space, and crave that luxurious post-run afterglow.

Running is an opportunity, not a responsibility.  When you’ve been running consistently for a long time, there is the tendency to start to view running as a responsibility, rather than an opportunity.  Injury reminds us all too poignantly that running is a privilege, not a right, and of how grateful we should be when our bodies bless us with the ability to do so.

"Running is my meditation, mind flush, cosmic telephone, mood elevator and spiritual communion."  Lorraine Moller

4 - Get Off The Grid: Logless in "The 6"

The other remarkable consequence of my summer running hiatus was that for the first time in well over 10 years, for a period of 3 full months, I went LOGLESS (gasp!).  That’s right, I did NOT record my workouts (runs, aerobic x-training, or lack thereof) from mid-June to mid-September in my training log.  I simply stopped. 

Through many other previous shorter injury spells, I had always kept diligent records of what I WAS doing when not running, or even during particularly bad stretches, where I was so injured or sick that I did NOTHING, I would still, self-punishingly record “goose eggs” (i.e. zeros) through each day missed.  But for some reason, not this time.

No Script

Though it was unsettling at first, I must say that it quickly became quite liberating, as I would only look 1-2 days ahead at planning workouts, and often just decide at the last minute to change things and do what felt right in the moment.

I’m not suggesting that this the better way to go when training well and working toward a goal event, or even through shorter injury breaks—where it can be motivating to “stay on track” with alternative training, and informative to record what you do and how it feels when you are working through a running injury.

But when the break is going to be (or turns out to be) a biggy (say over 1 month of no running), it can be quite refreshing and freeing to go “logless”, until the prospect of a successful return to running is afoot.  If you’re ever unlucky enough to get the opportunity – try it!

5 – Shake It Up!

Shake It UpOne final lesson this big injury experience has reminded me of, is to SHAKE THINGS UP once in a while!

The more consistent our training is, and the more successful our results, the less inclined we are to mess with success.  So as we start new seasons on the heels of old, we’re more likely to just tweak and fiddle with minor elements of our training plan, than to start wrenching and yanking it apart and building it anew.

Not so when the rug of your entire season is pulled out from under you!  I’ve had plenty of time now to ponder what I’d like to try differently in 2017, and if all goes well, my weekly training log (I’m back into logging my training, btw) will look MUCH different than it would have if I hadn’t experienced the big injury break).

I won’t bore you all with the details (at least not in this article!), but rest assured, aside from the aforementioned changes in my strength training routine, there’s going to be a LOT higher run frequency (mainly “jiggity jogs” a la “Running Health Insurance”), higher weekly mileage, lots more striders per week, and more hill running to boot.  And as for racing, on top of road races (the good running lord willing), there’s going to be some short track races (1500m!), and even a little x-country “harrier-ing” to round out the 2017 campaign as well.

"Hey Winter - Let's DO THIS!"

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 Scotia Montreal Half Marathon - 1st Master

- 2016 Sporting Life 10K - 1st Master

- 2016 Canada Running Series Masters Champion

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

Marathon Dynamics News

Training Plans, Coaching, Group Runs & More

Coached Intensity Training Groups Start...NOW!

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

 “Meet, Greet & Move Those Feet” early bird kick off is Thursday, Dec. 1st at Monarch Park Indoor Track (yes, tomorrow!), and "formal" training groups start next week (Dec. 5th onward).

The "MG&MTF" sessions are free (plus cost of Monarch Park track access) for 1 mile trials, informal intensity workouts, or just a social run, and “live” coaching consults too.

For Thursday, Dec 1st, 6am & 6:30pm – Central Toronto (Monarch Park Indoor Track).  Note: $10 user fee applies, unless planning to be part of either of our Monarch Park Training Groups.  If so, please arrange your facility user pass (either 10 pack(s) for $81, or 5 month pass for $150) upon 1st arrival at front desk.

Arrive early and/or complete your admin/forms beforehand if at all possible! 

Click here for more info and the printable track pass application.

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

* Brand New - Tuesday Mid-Morning (9:30am) High Park Group.  Interested?  Click here to let us know!

got your back Monarch Park Indoor

 Ekiden Relay 16

Thanks Sponsors!

Much thanks for the continued support of our returning sponsors: Physical Edge Physio, Totum Life Science, Runner's Academy, Toronto True Running, and Recharge With Milk (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.

After a successful seven year run, our partnership with Mizuno has come to an end.  No hard feelings whatsoever, as we (especially me) loved their stuff, and their people were always great to work with.  Over the past year or two, the Mizuno brand (both product and staff) have changed, and with those changes we seem to be going in different directions, so we felt it was best to part ways amicably.

All the best to Mizuno in the future!

Coincidentally I'm VERY excited to announce our new partnership with Skechers Performance running shoes and apparel!



This is a company I've been following with great interest ever since American star runner Meb Keflezighi won the Boston Marathon in 2014 wearing Skechers shoes.  This was just a few months after Nike had not renewed his contract (presumably figuring that, already over 35 years old, his best running days were behind him.  Boy was Nike wrong on that!).

Meb Go

Skechers has continued to impress me with who they choose to represent their company, beyond Meb: people like Kara Goucher in the US, and here in Canada, Lionel Sanders, who just set a an Ironman World Record time a couple of weeks ago, and Sasha Gollish (our guest speaker at last year's year end party!) who in the past month ran a 1:11 half marathon and then won the Canadian Cross Country Championships last weekend!

I've gotten to know a number of other young, promising, hard working, engaging and personable elite runners in southern Ontario who are sponsored Skecher ambassadors as well, so it just seemed like a great fit.

I myself am very much looking forward to using Skechers product, and representing the Skechers team to the best of my ability in 2017.  We are working with Skechers now on ways to give our Marathon Dynamics runners opportunities to try out their shoes in the coming season, so watch for that!

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 Friday, Dec. 16th (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.                                       


Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jason, Lawrence, Dan, Sarah & Roz


    Click here to join us on Facebook


   TwitterClick here to follow us on Twitter

In This Issue  

Thanks MDI Sponsors!
Totum Lifescience

Physical EdgeSkechers LogoTRUE Running

Recharge Milk

Runners Academy

Shop Skechers!


Coming TO The 6!

Want to Try & Buy Now?

1) Running Free - Ajax

2) Order Online at Running Factory

Coming Early in 2017...

3) Direct Online Order in Canada

4) Try & Buy Sessions with MDI

Tiffany Simms  

I use to run as a kid in school and loved it so much but when I developed asthma my mother made me stop. After graduating university, I started running again to clear my mind and feel like a kid again - it was and is my favourite thing to do so I kept going.

I ran my very first race (Sporting Life 10K) in 2013 and as soon as I crossed the finish line I was hooked! I ran a half marathon two weeks later (like any sane person would) and developed my first stress fracture. I continued to run in pain, and use the winter months to partially recover, then start back up in the spring. I would cover roughly 70K/week, but wondered why I wasn't getting any faster. Iwould complain to my husband who then asked around and discovered that the number one recommended running coach in Toronto was a fine gentleman by the name of Kevin Smith.

I met Kevin on one of the coldest days in 2016 and completed a mile trial with him. He was very informative and patient with me because my ultimate dream was to qualify for the Boston Marathon and at that time I was nowhere near the shape I needed to be in with two stress fractures. As a runner, every time I was pounding that pavement I would fantasize about running in the Boston Marathon. It would bring tears to my eyes each time I thought about it because it was my ultimate goal. I wanted my BQ more than anything and I knew how hard it was to achieve and felt at many times it was close to impossible.

Kevin put a training plan together for me and I was determined to nail each and every workout, since I knew that if I really wanted to achieve my running goal I would need to put my dream ahead of everything else and focus on it. My family and friends were very supportive although they thought and still think I am crazy but I was ok with that.

With Kevin’s help, guidance and support, I was able to achieve a PB in every race distance this season and after two marathons I finally have my Boston Qualifier! I simply cannot express in words how truly grateful I am to Kevin and his coaching team for all the valuable advice and support that was given to me. This life achievement has taught me that if I work hard enough and never give up anything is possible. It really is.

THANK YOU KEVIN from the bottom of my heart.  

 Tiffany S

Tiffany ran Personal Best (by 27min!) of 3:30 flat @ Toronto Waterfront Marathon to qualify for Boston

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

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


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'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"

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Links

All Content © 2007-2018 Marathon Dynamics Inc. All rights reserved.
Website Design and Development © 2007-2018 All rights reserved.