Real Running
for Real People
in the Real World

The Dynamo Fall 2009

Marathon Dynamics News

  • Congrats to all MDI Runners on a great 2009 running year! 

    As we eagerly await the "big day"of a few remaining MDI Runners at the Philly Marathon, we want to get on with congratulating everyone else on a season very well run, and now, all done!

  • Quick "Baker's Dozen" (interim...pending Philly results) MDI RUNNERS OF THE YEAR - 2009: From among the hundreds of runners we worked, ran and played with this year, amidst a sea of excellent performances, great times, excellent placings, personal bests and Boston qualifiers, the Marathon Dynamics coaches had some tough calls to make to pare down this list to the top 12 or 13 runners.  But alas, we did.
  • Please note: these are not necessarily the fastest runners, or even those that placed the highest in race age-categories.  They are chosen based upon how well they trained, and on how much they improved and rose to the occasion on race day, relative to their season-starting ability, and in light of their race day conditions and/or circumstances (listed alphabetically):
    • Hassan Afshar - 3:20 Chicago Marathon...a 26 min PB (and 1st Boston Q too!)
    • Fred Bianchi - 3:16 Hamilton Marathon...a 13 min PB (and 1st Boston Q too!)
    • Bill Borzi - 2:54 Hamilton Marathon (3 weeks after 2:57 Chicago)...a 7 min PB this season
    • Harvey Foote - 3:19 Ottawa Marathon...a 38 min PB (and 1st Boston Q) & 1:28 PB @ Niagara Half
    • Deborah Collier - 4:07 Toronto Marathon...a 50 min PB! (& 1:55 PB @ Mississauga Half too)
    • Benoit Keppenne - 1:27 Hamilton Half (including mid-race passing train stoppage!)...a 10 min improvement this season
    • Nancy Lennon - 3:38 Mississauga Marathon...a 40+min PB (and 1st Boston Q too!)
    • Erik Loponen - 3:02 Hamilton Marathon...a 7 min PB
    • Jose Medellin - 3:21 Waterfront Marathon...8+ min PB
    • Josie Mori-Stoodley - 3:13 Boston Marathon (9th place in category!)
    • Judy Snider - 43 min Angus Glen 10K (1st in age category, 4th overall)
    • Katie Thomas - 4:03 Mississauga Marathon...1 15+ min PB (and 1st Boston Q)
    • Brett Warren -2:58 Chicago Marathon...a 10 min PB & 1:22 Hamilton Half (5 min PB)
    • Glen Way - 3:08 Hamilton Marathon...11 min improvement since last year, 1st Boston Q
    • Hon. Mention - Michelle Clark...37 min 10K, 1:25 Half, but fall season riddled with injury...showed amazing tenacity to stick with it though!


THE RUNNING MOM - It's not just what you do DURING your pregnancy that counts!

By MDI Coach Jennifer Faraone (and Carol Ann Weiss)

 

JenniferWhen a woman thinks think about running and pregnancy, she will often focus her attention on whether or not she should continue to run, and how much she will need to modify her training regimen.  It is easy to get the latest guidelines on exercising during pregnancy as they are more readily available. However, in many cases, little consideration is given to what she can do before her pregnancy, or how she should approach a return to her training program after pregnancy. 

In fact, many people, including athletes, coaches, and health care providers may not realize that what one does prior to their pregnancy can potentially increase their overall pregnancy experience and their ability to continue running comfortably during this time.  In addition, the way in which one should be approaching their training postpartum is likely more complex than many realize, and there is very little guidance to help them determine the “when” and the “how’s” of starting to run again. 

Your Pre-Conception Priorities


Many women may not give much thought ahead of time as to how they can better prepare their body for the physical demands of pregnancy and labour.  But if your plan is to continue running once you are pregnant, you might want to think about giving consideration to the following:  pelvic stability, core strength, and flexibility.     Together, these three factors may not only contribute to more enjoyable running during your pregnancy, but they may also increase your overall comfort level and could even have a positive effect on your labour.  In the meantime, they may just end up making you a stronger runner!
  
1)    Pelvic Stability - Pelvic stability refers to the ability of the trunk and hip/pelvic muscles to keep the spine and pelvis in optimal alignment during activity.  It is not uncommon for runners to have some degree of pelvic instability, due in part to the repetitive and weight-bearing properties of the sport, as well as any muscle imbalance in areas such as in the core, hip, thigh or leg.  When left untreated, pain and/or injuries will often prevail.  During pregnancy, the risk pelvic instability increases even more, as a result of the numerous physical and hormonal changes that the body is experiencing.  This may then lead to additional pain and discomfort and might also limit your ability to continue running during your pregnancy.   Correcting any instability prior to getting pregnant can help to minimize further instability and can contribute to a more enjoyable pregnancy experience.

 

2)  Core Strength -  When they hear the term "core strength", most people tend to think of only their abs, but it involves much more than that. In fact core strength training aims to target all the muscles groups that stabilize the spine and pelvis including all of the abdominal, lower back, hip, buttocks, and pelvic floor muscles.   Many people are fooled by the appearance of defined external muscles, such as a six-pack or a nicely toned stomach; but a nicely shaped abdomen does not guarantee functional core strength, which becomes increasingly important for runners.  A runner with inadequate core strength can experience a range of conditions including pelvic instability, improper running gait, incontinence, low back pain, etc... During pregnancy, achieving or maintain adequate core strength can become even more of a challenge, once again due to all of the changes going on in the body.  Starting off your pregnancy with a solid functional core strength will put you on step ahead and will help to avoid or minimize any of the conditions mentioned above.

3)  Flexibility  - Flexibility or the lack thereof is also an important consideration prior to getting pregnant as it is not uncommon for runners to have tight muscles, especially in the hip, buttock and hamstring areas. Tight muscles can then lead to soreness and/or can limit the ease in which the body moves.  Although pregnancy itself does not lead to diminished flexibility (in fact, one should be careful not to overstretch due to the presence of the hormone relaxin, which increases joint laxity), the presence of any existing tightness at the time of pregnancy can be problematic.  As many of these tight muscles attach themselves to the pelvis area, any tightness can result in limited movement of the surrounding joints and eventually pelvis instability.  Knowing how hard it can be to start a new routine, you will be doing yourself a favour by getting yourself into the habit of stretching on a regular basis, especially in the hip and pelvis area, before getting pregnant! 

Getting Your Groove Back After Baby

“When can I start to run again?”  And “When can I start to train harder?”
These are two questions often asked by female runners after giving birth.  Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer, as everyone is different.  Furthermore, it is not simply a matter of putting on your running shoes and heading out the door. 

First of all, a gradual approach to regaining one’s fitness is needed in order to reduce the risk of doing too much too soon and minimize the chance of set-backs and injuries.  Too often, women simply jump back into their old routines as soon as they think that they are ready, or may unintentionally place pressure upon themselves to resume exercising as soon as possible.  Before they know it, they end up injured, exhausted, and/or extremely frustrated.  A multiphase approach, with distinct priorities for each phase, as outlined below, is recommended.

 

3 Phases


Second, making the commitment to start a more structure training program should be made in consideration of various physical, emotional, and situational factors, as described below.

1.    Your body’s ability to withstand the impacts of running on a regular basis.  At a basic level, this involves listening carefully to what your body is telling you both during and after a run.  In addition, a more thorough approach is to receive a thorough head-to-toe assessment by a qualified sports therapist to identify and correct any muscle weakness, joint instability, or poor alignment, which can occur during pregnancy.  Left untreated, these issues will likely result in some form of injury as you start to increase your mileage and intensity. 
 
2.    Your reasons for wanting to run again (or not!).  Are you feeling pressured to start running again? Do you feel as though you should be running?  Are you wanting to run simply as a way to have some alone time, or are you ready to start regaining your pre-pregnancy fitness?  If you give yourself a chance to reflect, you may realize that your motivation has shifted or that you may be training for the wrong reasons. 

3.    Your individual circumstances.  Is it feasible to join up again with a running group, or will you need to train on your own when you have childcare?  Will you need to purchase a treadmill in order to do your workouts while your child is sleeping? Advance planning (and creativity and flexibility!) is often required to overcome many of the logistical challenges and to ensure that you have adequate supports in place to facilitate your commitment to running consistently again.

The Big Picture

Running is for many a long-time commitment and “thinking about the bigger picture” is usually needed in order to stay healthy and continue running injury-free.  Such an approach is especially needed when it comes to pregnancy.  It is not just about making decision regarding how long, how far and how fast one can run during their pregnancy; but it is also about what one can do ahead of time to minimize any problems or discomforts that could arise during or after their pregnancy, and to maximize their potential for a healthy comeback!


Jenn & CA Jennifer Faraone is a coach with Marathon Dynamics and is currently working on a book titled “The Running Mom”.  She recently gave birth to her second child, and is already back running, happily practicing what she preaches!

Carol Ann Weis is a Chiropractor and personal trainer who specializes in exercise in pregnancy and low back pain during pregnancy. She is currently performing research on low back pain during pregnancy at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.

 

LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH!  The Ultimate Strong Runner's 20(+)min Workout  

By MDI Coach Jackie Dupuis

JackieYou know that strength training is good for you, right?  Especially all that core stabilization and closed chain exercise you’ve been reading about in the running mags.  And sure, some of you lucky and driven souls actually have the time, motivation and money to pursue a structured complete strength training routine (maybe even under the watchful eye of a personal trainer?) to the ultimate ends of better total body fitness, lower injury risk and optimal running performance.

However, the reality, especially these days, is that a great many of us don’t have either the time (on top of work, family, and running itself), the resources (i.e. home gym equipment or fitness club membership), or the motivation to pursue it.


As such, we’ve put together a “cheat sheet” of the 15-20 most effective strength exercises you can do to preserve and improve  your running health and performance, that DON’T require a huge amount of time (20-30min, tops), and/or expensive gym memberships (can be done at home in your living room) or equipment purchases (perhaps a yoga mat, Bosu ball, hand weights?), or even a endorphin-buzzed personal trainer barking at you, to get them done.  That said, it is always better, especially when learning these exercises, to begin under the guidance and supervision of a trained and qualified strength or conditioning coach

Pre-season and/or early season is the BEST time to establish your strength training routine, so if you haven’t started yet…get going!  What are you waiting for…Christmas?  Once the running season picks up in earnest in the new year, if you don't have your routine down pat and some time whittled out of the hectic sked to do it, it's probably not going to happen.

Click here for the downloadable PDF (we’re currently working on a pics/video visual primer of these exercises to post on our website, ETA early 2010.) If you are looking for a qualified "endurance specialized" strength and conditioning coach in the Toronto area, Jackie is a phenomenal choice! She is a multiple Ironman Triathlon finisher, and multiple Boston Marathoner as well.  Please contact her at jackie.dupuis@rogers.com.



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.



PATHS LESS TRAVELLED - Trail Running Rediscovered

By MDI Coach Kevin Smith

KevinOne of my favourite things in life is to go on “walkabouts” (cribbing from Mick Dundee here) with my young son Sebastian (now 9 years old!).  For years, when we find ourselves with a couple of spare hours, we have this routine where we get in the car and drive somewhere, anywhere—usually just minutes from home—with at best a vague idea of where we’re going, and what we’re hoping to find. We’re just out for adventure--and the most amazing thing to me, is that almost every time--we find it!

Often we’ll end up in large parks, following riverbanks, traipsing through ravines, finding new and unfamiliar territory to explore.  And with Sebastian’s imagination (and his dad’s isn’t that bad either), we just entertain ourselves with the challenge of the moment and the process of discovery—both real and imagined. We’ve come face to face with fully grown deer, discovered marvelous cultural icons & huge fossils, scaled dangerous rock faces, and evaded (imaginary) packs of hungry coyotes.  We’ve deemed ourselves astute archeologists, keen CSI investigators, daring alpine climbers, and hearty woodsmen on our adventures, and always come home with a great story to tell mom.

So late this past summer I found myself amidst yet another running comeback after yet another huge injury break (4.5 months off running--grrr…don’t ask!) and as part of a brand new philosophy on running health and injury avoidance (which you’ll undoubtedly hear more about NEXT e-newsletter, once I have more experience to judge it by) I was attempting to add 2 or 3 very short, very easy jogs on my “non-running” days, to “shore up” the strength of my bones, ligaments, and tendons to protect them against the demands of harder “real” running training.  Since this was going to be a pretty regular thing, and because these runs were so short (2.5 to 3 miles, tops), and since I wanted as soft a surface as possible, I immediately thought of using a forested park VERY nearby our house (access to it is probably no more than 200 metres from our front door), that Sebastian and I had done a number of walkabouts in.

Even after living here for 8 years, I had never once seriously considered running in this somewhat tiny parkland (a little more than 1 mile around the perimeter), deeming it “too small” and the terrain too ragged and unpredictable to “really” run in.   Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong!  The surface was soft and springy, the terrain varied and challenging (jumping over small bogs, hurdling fallen trees, quickly changing directions and speeds), and the peaceful solitude of the forest walls was beautiful. Since I had no idea of how far or fast I was running, it really and truly meant I could relax and flow with the rhythm and feel of the run.

Funnily enough, on one particular forest romp, which just so happen to be 3 days before my 40th birthday, I remember distinctly remarking (almost out loud!), “I feel like a kid!”

Within a few short weeks, I found myself looking forward to those little forest runs more than my “main/real” training runs (always done on road, or paved park path, or track, or “major” park trails like High Park). I delighted in the freedom and unpredictability each run brought—splashing through rainy ponds and muddy bogs, crashing through spider webs, startling forest creatures, and alarming high-schoolers shrouded in the leafy greenery between classes, stealing a forbidden kiss, or sneaking a forbidden smoke.

As winter approaches, I’ll soon be forced to reluctantly abandon my woodsy running refuge, at least for a few months.  But no matter what my running future holds in years to come, I can tell you that it will, without a doubt, contain a whole lot more trail running than it would have before my “runabout” exploring this summer.

In part, I have my son Sebastian to thank for this discovery that my own inner child will benefit from immensely
(to say nothing of my future running!) 

So if trails aren't a staple of your running diet yet, here’s what I would suggest you do before the snow and ice of winter render “runabout-ing” a fruitless and potentially dangerous exercise till next spring:

1.    Since you may well not realize what potential gems of trail opportunity lie nearby to your house (I sure didn’t!), go to the Mapmyrun website and locate your address in the regular “street map” view.
2.    Look around your neighborhood in about a 2km radius (4km circumference) for the largest chunk of “green” park land area.  Then click on “satellite” or “hybrid” view and zoom in on it to see if it’s wooded or bare parkland (either can work, but forested land would generally be preferable).  Note: if you can’t find anything appropriate within 2km, extend the search radius to 4 or 5km and consider a short drive as a reasonable price to pay.
3.    Go and check it out “in person” ASAP.  It took me 3 or 4 trial runs (with lots of dead ends) to find various paths that I could link together to create a looping type course.
4.    Start using your newfound, close-to-home woodland treasure route as much as you like—either on easy recovery run days, or perhaps for fartlek runs, or even to spice up shorter OMP runs once in awhile…you’ll be glad you did!

* Note: as with any running in secluded areas, take proper precautions for your safety, including running with others, not wearing/using MP3 players/Ipods, and carrying a personal alarm and/or appropriate item for personal defense.


Kevin Smith is a coach with Marathon Dynamics and an accidental archeologist, part-time crime scene investigator, nature enthusiast, happy wanderer, and sometimes runner.

TREADING LIGHTLY - Running Funnies to put some bounce in your step!



HORSEPLAY SUSPECTED: Shocking and unfortunate news re: Meb Keflezighi, the underdog victor of this year’s New York City Marathon.  Tsk, tsk…first Ben Johnson, then Marion Jones…now this.  Click here for more.


THEM’S THE BREAKS: And you thought you had a rough go of it this season! Marathon Dynamics runner Stefan Steen checked in recently with a story of such woeful misfortune that at some point, despite feeling tremendous sympathy for poor Stefan…I had to laugh—because it was just too painful to handle otherwise!  This is for all of you/us who suffered through running injuries this season, and even had to sit out our big goal race.  Just remember, it could always be worse!  Don’t think so?  Read this excerpt from Stefan’s post season report”:


After missing my Boston time at Mississauga by 15 seconds (as I'm sure you remember!) I decided to go for it again at Scotia Bank.  Using your wonderful program I managed a really great Midsummer's Night 30k PB and was VERY confident of running a sub 3:15.  3 weeks before the race I was alone at Birchmount track doing 400 meter repeats as per your plan.  On lap number two I managed to trip on an improperly tied shoelace with an over-sized bow.  I hit the track at a rapid pace with outstretched arms at just the right angle and with just the right amount of force to break BOTH of my arms at the elbow.  This required surgery 2 weeks later on both sides (6 screws in total).  My very pregnant wife whom I was supposed to be taking care of became my full time nurse.  Two months later I still can't lift anything over 6-10 pounds and my flexion and extension is rather limited, especially on the left side.  As you can imagine it's been a bit of a nightmare... but it's not permanent or terminal so I've maintained a positive attitude and am already dreaming of Boston in 2011.  I'm thinking that I’ll rejoin the group next spring and take another swing at it next fall.  I'll pay special attention to my shoe-lace tying next time around.  I'll bet you've never heard of a running injury quite like this before, eh?

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME MARGARET!  It’s every runner’s worst nightmare—that dream where its race day and everything’s going wrong and no matter what you do you just can’t get to the start line?  Admit it…you’ve had it, haven’t you?  Well, new Marathon Dynamics runner Margaret Stuart had it before the recent Hamilton Marathon—only she didn’t wake up suddenly, relieved to find out it was just a dream.  It was race day, and the nightmare was REAL!

Needless to say, Margaret`s race did not go nearly as well as hoped or planned…but how could it not, after all that, eh? At least she’s holding the trump card at the next “you wouldn’t believe what happened to me at my race” runner chat, eh? Lol!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Margaret that your next race day is, well…BORING! (At least till the gun goes off, that is!)


Preamble – Margaret was training for the Toronto Marathon, but after a reasonable build up, midway through her taper, she got very sick, and ultimately had to forego the race.  She stayed sick for another 2 weeks after, and only during the week prior to the Hamilton Marathon, did she recover enough to even consider trying to do Hamilton as a make-up marathon.  She shouldn’t have even attempted it, of course, but she did.  You’d think after all she went through before the race, the gods would be smiling on her and at least give her some good luck to send her on her way, yes?  Well…you’d be wrong!

 

Here is an excerpt from her post race report that I thought you all would get a kick out of (if you`re at least as much sadist as you are maschocist, that is!).

 

First problem:  Saturday morning, after my measly 20 minute run, I felt quite fatigued, and wondered if I should go through with the race – later in the day, the thought that I should stop being such a wimp and go for it overtook what may very well have been common sense knocking at my door.

Second problem:  on the way to the race site this morning, around Oakville, we had a flat tire.  Enough to send a heart rate racing, just sitting in the car watching the time tick away, and determine if now we were going to make it safely and on time.  To make matters worse, Ian (my husband) had brought "the girls" (our 2 Doberman "daughters), so there we were, the complete family trapped in a malfunctioning vehicle, both Dobermans now restless that the car had stopped, but they weren't being allowed out.  The car has "run flats", but that doesn't mean you can throw caution to the wind, and just keep going as if nothing is wrong, although the thought was tempting.  We limped into the Saltfleet high school a bit later than was comfortable, hoping I could still pick up my race kit.

Third problem:   In trying to find out where to pick up my race kit at the school, a horrible realization came to us.  The race kit pick up was at Confederation park, and the time to drive (or limp with a flat tire) down there, pick up my kit, assuming that they would still let me, as the time was really late now, and get back up to the start line would be a feat to challenge the laws of Physics.  Ian was up for it, so while I sat in the passenger seat trying not to have a meltdown, and thinking of every excuse to throw at them as to why they should reopen the kit pick up for me to get my bib and chip, we discovered that to get into Confederation park, Ian would have to drive around the long way - luckily, we found a pedestrian gate, as we were driving and he let me out.

Fourth problem:  Once Ian let me out of the car, I had to sprint, and I mean sprint about 500 m to get to the tent to get my race bib and kit.  Luckily, they had not finished packing up, saw the horror and panic in my face, and decided to give me my race bib.  I could hear their thoughts: "this one looks like she might go postal on us, better give her what she needs".  With race bib in hand, and the last shuttle bus already long gone, I realized that I had better pee, or things could get a lot worse before they got better.  Luckily, since no one was around, the portapotties were all vacant, lined up like silent sentinels to my predicament.  The race volunteer who gave me my bib, yelled after me, "Do you have a ride up to the start?" - She knew I was completely toast if the answer had been "no".  However, by this time, Ian had found his way along the "long way" to get into Confederation Park, and was waiting for me.  Too bad the moment couldn't have been appreciated:  here were about 20 portapotties, all completely empty - It was a vision I had never experienced before.

Fifth problem:  Ian drove as fast as cautiously possible still with the flat tire to get me to the start line - with any luck at all, I just might make it.  Unfortunately, since the gun was about to go off, Ian couldn't get the car anywhere near the school, and the start line - closed and manned by about 4 police officers.  The light was red, so it appeared that another sprint was the only thing between getting to the start on time, and going "the long way around" to the back end of the school.  Opting for the sprint, the hopping out of the car part was a little more of an exercise than originally planned.  In my haste to pin my bib on as Ian drove back to the start, I had fastened the seatbelt around my race belt, so in front of a now annoyed (or amused) police officer trying to direct traffic away from the closed intersection, was this weird woman, the look of panic still on her face, who was now firmly attached to the seatbelt, as she struggled to exit the car.  Ok, unpin the bib, and retract the seatbelt, then hop oMargaret in Hamiltonut.  Nervous, shaky fingers eventually got it right.  Another 500 m sprint – and the start line - MADE IT, just in time to take a deep breath, and realize that after all of this, there was still the matter of 42 km to run!


Needless to say
, Margaret`s race did not go nearly as well as hoped or planned…but how could it not, after all that, eh? At least she’s holding the trump card at the next “you wouldn’t believe what happened to me at my race” runner chat, eh? Lol!

Our thoughts and prayers are with you Margaret that your next race day is, well…BORING! (At least till the gun goes off, that is!)



MARATHON DYNAMICS NEWZ: 2010 - A Race Odyssey!


 As yMJ at finishou decide on your running goals for 2009, we hope you’ll consider what we have to offer. If you’re new to Marathon Dynamics running services, 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 our 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.

New Coach Approach – As a STANDARD part of our Bronze, Silver and Gold levels of Personal Coaching, Marathon Dynamics will now be offering weekly coach-supported group OMP (steady state, threshold), LSD &/or Racepace opportunities in the GTA.


We recently did a post season assessment of “how we’re doing”, and realized that:
a) we do a great job on the training plan design side, and on the coaching/support of our runners' intensity workouts

b) there are many runners who, without the knowledge, motivation or previous experience with MDI to correctly execute their OTHER key run workout types (OMP, LSD, RPR), ar NOT getting them done…either correctly (distance, pace, character), consistently, or in some cases, not at all!

It all came down to a refocus on the MDI philosophy of running—captured by our credo, the acronym “I. B.E.L.I.E.V.E” (click here for a refresher on what each element is). We realized that on the ENJOYMENT and ETHUSIASM elements we could, and should, be doing a better job of supporting our runners, and fostering opportunities for those two elements to flourish. 
Furthermore, the continued and mounting success of the “training group” concept at the elite level of our sport, is convincing us that at ANY level of runner ability, the power of the group can provide that little extra “magic” that turns a good running season into a GREAT running season.

That's been the impetus for our addition of these coach-supported run workout opportunities (strategically scheduled away from the group intensity workout days).


We expect these groups will take some time to take root, and don't want these to be huge, clinic-style hoards, spilling and milling out onto the streets.  Ideally these will be smaller, well-organized, tight-knit groups (our target would be 20-25 runners at any/each of them), whose runners are focused on the workouts at hand, but also keen to share in each other's running lives, both giving and receiving the undeniable motivational boost that comes from running with runners of similar ability, goals and vision.

We will provide:


1)    Great spots to meet/congregate (w/washrooms, water, refreshment and sometimes clothes changing availability)
2)    Coach Support at/before every run (during 10 minutes before we leave), to provide context for today’s run—type of course (hilly or flat), pace adjustment info (re: conditions) and answer any last minute questions (re: gear, route, training, etc.)
3)    Route Maps (accurately measured courses, mile/km markers, etc.) available to all group members on www.mapmyrun.com
4)    Online Discussion Groups on our website for all group members communicate and share ideas on
5)    A relaxed, low-key environment that welcomes new runners, and motivates each group member to terrific weekly training runs to enhance their enjoyment of training, and improve their running ability and potential results even more!

All this, for an increase of only $3 per week (on Bronze, Silver or Gold level coaching),

We’re currently finalizing details with our coaching staff, but plan to have weekday OMP & weekend LSD/RPR run groups set up in Richmond Hill, Midtown Toronto (Leaside area), West Toronto (High Park area), and Oakville (downtown).  Please check our website under Coaching Services for specific details on start up dates and locations.  We’re targeting January 4th 2010 to have these groups “formally” up and running, but are hoping to get some “informal” momentum started before the holidays.

Also, without further ado, here are the Winter/Spring 2010 Marathon Dynamics' Coaching Groups for weekly intensity workouts (our Coaching Services info is now also updated on our website too).  All sessions are @ 6:30-8pm (unless otherwise noted), December through May:


1) TUESDAY — York University:  Indoor Track - starts Dec. 1st  (Max 40 runners)
2) WEDNESDAY — High Park: Grenadier Restaurant - starts Dec. 2nd (Max 40 runners)
3) THURSDAY — Midtown Toronto: Sunnybrook Park - starts Dec 3rd (Max 40 runners)
4) THURSDAY — Oakville: Physical Edge Physio. (Trafalgar/Argus)
- starts Dec 10th (Max 40 runners)
5) *Proposed - MONDAY (9:30AM–NEW!) — Oakville: Second Cup (Lakeshore/Navy) - starts Jan 3rd (Max 15 runners)


Please note: for any “early birds” ready to get started ASAP (esp. those who’s fall season finished early…i.e. Waterfront, PEC, Chicago, etc. or whose spring goal event comes up fast…ie. Around The Bay, Boston), we will be hosting a FREE “Meet, Greet and Move Those Feet” 1 Mile trial session up at York University’s indoor track (Metro Toronto T&F centre) on Tuesday, November 24th from 6:30 to 8:00.  Please contact us (phone or email) to let us know if you’d like to join us (note: $5 entry fee to use facility, and parking can be $7 too…grrrr!)

Note: maximum group size caps will be enforced—due to coach availability, and to preserve low runner to coach ratios.   To ensure you claim a spot, please register EARLY!

If you aren’t yet sure about your 2010 running goals, and would like to “tawk shawp”, the best time to reach Coach Kev for a free consultation is between Nov. 10-30 (10am-4pm).  After that, things get a little “time pressured”…so call sooner than later!



That's more than enough running e-news crammed into one newsletter wouldn’t you say!  We hope you found some useful info in there to make your running better, stronger, and most important, more enjoyable in 2010!

In case we don’t see you until the New Year, have a super and stress-free (yeah right!) holiday season with your friends, your family, and of course...your running shoes!


Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jennifer, Jackie, Bennett, Robin, Todd, Steve, Ryan & Cara!



In This Issue - Fall 2009  

MDI TRAINING TIPS:

The Running Mom - By Coach Jennifer Faraone

Lord Give Me Strength - By Coach Jackie Dupuis

Paths Less Travelled - By Coach Kevin Smith

ONE RUNNER'S STORY - Erica Dion "Why I Run!"

IN THE RUNNING NEWS...

TREADING LIGHTLY: Running Funnies

HELPFUL REMINDERS: 'Tween Seasons Review & Winter Running Primer

MARATHON DYNAMICS NEWS: 2010 A Race Odyssey!


Marathon Dynamics Runners Rave in 2009  

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


and rave some more!  
“Thanks to Kevin Smith and the Marathon Dynamics approach to training, I was able to fulfill a personal dream - to qualify for the 2010 Boston Marathon.  By joining the Marathon Dynamics team in 2008 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 

and even more!  

"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


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"


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 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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