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THE MARATHON DYNAMICS DYNAMO

Spring to Summer 2011 E-Newsletter

What a Season! Will be tough to top--but let's try!

With races in Ottawa & Toronto, AND the ever-popular Marathon Dynamics end-of-season bash this past weekend (we sold out Safari's restaurant in midtown Toronto--again--what a blast!) the spring running season comes to a triumphant close.  In short, it's been an UNBELIEVABLY great experience. Never before have we had such a high "Personal Best Per Capita" rating in all our years of coaching distance runners, dating back into the 1990's when we began doing so.

A huge congratulatory backslap to all 150+ runners we were blessed to work, run and play with these past few months (and a fist bump or two for us coaches for the role we played in helping you along the way!)

Click here to see the incredible feats (feets?) of speed and perseverance by the best of our MDI runners this season. 

* Special congratulations to our Toronto Training Groups Award Winners. Amidst fierce competition, here they are:


1) ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - best performance in 1st season with MDI:

 - JACQUIE JACOBS - 4:06 debut Mississauga marathon, 3rd in her age cat, and a Boston Q to boot!

2) DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH - greatest improvement in 2 or more seasons with MDI:

- STEPHEN MICK - 3:09 a Mississauga marathon was a 20min PB, and earned him a Boston Q too!

3) NUTCRACKER - hardest working runner over whole season:

- JOSI MORI-STOODLEY - 3:08 PB AT Boston...6th in her age category!

4) CLOSEST TO PERFECTION - best combination of talent, training exellence, Race day execution & guts

- MICHELLE CLARKE - 1:22 PB at Mississauga Half, and 2nd OVERALL!  Also 1st overall at Chilly Half, and 2nd overall at Toronto Women's Half...wow!


Click here for the award party pics of our deserving winners...

Kev Missy Half 2011

Redemption at last!

After a few rough seasons, coach Kev finally nails one, hammering to the finish of the Mississauga Half in 1:14, his best half marathon in almost 12 years--whoo hoo!  Good enough for 4th overall, top master, and top Mississaugan--and apparently the fastest Ontario Masters Half Marathon time run so far this year (according to www.roadraceresults.com rankings)

Speaking of Mississauga Marathon...

The winner of our "Guess Your Time To Win" Race Expo contest for this year is:

Barb Kishimoto - who emailed us before the race to request a 1:50 Slight Negative Split Pace Band, and then went out on race day and nailed down a 1:50:01.5 (just 1.5 seconds off!). Wow...great race!

Barb wins a complete Marathon Dynamics Customized Training Plan, including initial testing, plan development and update and support materials (retail value $80).



ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM ACUTE GARMINITIS? 

The Dangers of Running Techno-Slavery

By MDI Coach Kevin Smith

 

garminOver the past 8 years or so, the advent of the GPS running watch and it's technological breathren has ushered the running world into a vastly-elevated state of precision in training measurement and feedback.

 

As any runner who has worked and run with Marathon Dynamics for even a single season will readily attest, we're definitely in favour of being specific and objective in planning, recording and analyzing training data.

 

Garmins (and the like) have enabled runners to establish and monitor their running distance, speed and intensity with increasing accuracy, and thus are rightly heralded as a breakthrough in training technology. So what's not to love?

 

Well, it may surprise many of you to learn that we MDI running coaches watched at first with interest, then with concern, then with outright alarm, the effects that this technology began to have on the running community we work so closely with.  With that, we present to you our...

 

"Top 5 Pitfalls of Garmin Use and Abuse by Runners"

 

Garmins don't:

 

1) Account for "conditions effect" - running against strong winds (and/or rain) can AND SHOULD slow you down by as much as 15-20 sec/km (gusts even more) and speed you up by 10-15 sec/km when pushing you from behind.  Running in very snow-covered or icy conditions can AND SHOULD slow you down by as much as 30-40 sec/km.  Running in very hot and/or humid conditions can AND SHOULD slow you down by as much as 30-40 sec/km.

 

So when these conditions are in play, and your pace slows (or less commonly, quickens) accordingly, if you stubbornly override these effects in an attempt to stick with your target average pace, so relentlessly and "accurately" relayed to you by your GPS, you will greatly undermine the purpose of your workout--generally running much to hard (or occasionally, too easy) and thus sabotaging the workout's intended training effect.   If this happens repeatedly over time, before you know it, you'll be courting sickness, slump or injury.

 

2) Account for grade effect (i.e. uphills, downhills) - as with weather conditions, inclines of almost any significance can AND SHOULD have an effect on your running speed.  On steep (6% grade or greater) and/or prolonged (100m or more) uphills, you should ideally slow by 30-40 sec/km, and on corresponding downhills, should speed up by 20-30 seconds/km--all while maintaining the SAME intensity or effort level that you otherwise would have on flat ground.

Obstenate refusal (the "Garmin Says" phenomenon) to allow for these adjustments will engender the same negative consequences mentioned in pt 1.

3) Account for "internal factors" - as good as Garmins are at monitoring what's going on OUTSIDE your body, they are oblivious to what's happening INSIDE.  When you are sick, underslept, under-fueled, under-hydrated, under-recovered, or  overstressed, the pace you SHOULD run at for a particular quality of workout is often very different from what your training plan might indicate.  When you don't have the constant and immediate feedback of a Garmin guilting you into pressing to keep up with a particular pace, you are more inclined to adjust your speed naturally to account for those factors in the moment, then reflect upon that difference post-workout in analyzing your performance.  But with the Garmin's ever-present and immediate feedback during the workout, runners are more susceptible to forcing the pace and over-stressing negatively about the speed they're running while mid-run.

 

4) Improve our "sense and feel" of running.  There's probably no way for me to say this without sounding like a "grumpy ol man" grumbling about the new-fangled whatzawhozits ruining the way things were (and we liked it!), so I'll just come out and say it:  "we ran for hundreds of years withou so much as even a stopwatch, and then for decades more with nothing more than that, and developed what has always been (and in our opinion, should still be!) the first and foremost speedmeter--our own well-honed, and constantly fine-tuned internal sense of pace vs effort.


The more we foist the responsibility for gauging and establishing pace onto GPS devices, the more we buffer ourselves from critical but subtle physiological, mental and emotionaly changes in perceived effort that are our primary guide to finding a state of flow while running.

 

5) Encourage us to focus on everythng ELSE running is about other than supposedly correct pace, distance, and sometimes intensity.  We're already well along this path with the ubiquitous technological distractions now part of most runners every day experience: Ipods and MP3 players for music, HR Monitors, cell phones to chat and/or use website-synched apps to "motivate and inform" en route, banks of treadmills parked in front of phalanxes of televisions, etc.  Layered overtop of this cacophonous sensory din, the Garmin is just one more techno-tool to encourage us to process the objective, rather than feel the subjective.

Personally, I've never run with ANY form of electronic device other than a heart rate monitor (which, btw, I have never used to adjust my pace during a workout--I simply collect HR data for post-workout analysis in order to assess perceived effort against actual max and average HR data), and never feel bored out there, as there are so many levels and layers to explore both internally and "ready made" external natural distraction going on as I run along should I ever want or need it...and that's even before I start chatting with my running buddies!


Are we saying that the $400 you shelled out for that spiffy top-of-the-line latest Garmin is a waste of money, or that anyone wearing a Garmin to train with is just courting training disaster?  NO...Not at all!

Garmins, especially the latest iterations over the past 2-3 years (which have solved some of the earlier signal inaccuracies and interruptions) are tremendous tools to:

- help beginner/new/novice runners learn basic pacing skills when they lack the experience to gauge it themselves.

- help experienced runners attempting to execute very finely tuned workouts under ideal conditions/terrain.

 

Beyond those situations, for the rest of us, so long as we always:

 

- FIRST, filter Garmin feedback through a sieve of common sense to consider the factors we`ve highlighted here, and

- SECOND, listen intently to our bodies while running, and

- THIRD, avoid obsessing over Garmin readings (checking multiple times per km!)

then the Garmin can be one of our best running buddies. We recommend alternating each training run type (one week with Garmin, next week without) to balance your approach, and stave off the perfectionist tendancies constant Garmin use engenders.

Just don't count on catching Coach Kev with one strapped to his wrist any time soon...lol!


Kevin SmKevin @ Missy Expoith is a full-time coach with Marathon Dynamics and between bouts of technophobia, is a sometime elite masters distance runner, water running enthusiast, (hyper) active elliptical trainer-er, life cycle-ist, inline speedskater, power walker, hiker, and skinny gym-monkey!






CUT THE STATIC--MAKE YOUR WARM UP DYNAMIC!

By Dr. Kris Sheppard of Absolute Endurance

 

walking lungeThe days of sitting and doing long stretches before activity are dead.  We now know that the typical type of static stretching involving long holds can actually impair performance and may result in injury.  Like many trends in health care and fitness we have now done a 180. Fortunately now, the new advice is based on dozens of research publications examining the effect of different types of stretching on athletic performance and injury.

 

Research has shown that long stretches will inhibit the muscle from activating.  Think of the muscles like elastic bands, if you stretch them for a long time they lose their ability to recoil.  It is thought that a similar process happens when you stretch a muscle.

 

However, the reason for this is neurological not mechanical--meaning that you are not actually physically stretching the muscle and disrupting it’s ability to recoil like the elastic band, but you do trick the brain & nervous system into getting the muscle to relax by decreasing nerve output to muscle.  For athletic performance this is the opposite of what you want.  You want the muscle primed and ready to contract and relax quickly, not lengthened or relaxed.

 

So how do you prime the muscle and joints for performance?  Think dynamic vs. static. A dynamic warm-up is a series of controlled movements in different planes.  You want to move the joints involved in activity in every motion possible.

 

For runners, my dynamic warm-up goes as follows:  Walking lunge, leg swings forward/backward and side to side, hip circles, split jacks or jumping jacks, lateral lunge or lateral band walk, cat-camel and scorpion.  For those who feel that it takes them a long time during a run to ‘feel good’ you will definitely benefit from spending 10 minutes before each workout to go through these series of movements.

 

Check out our website www.absoluteendurance.com for more resources on a dynamic warm-up.



Dr. Kris Sheppard

DC, BSc, CSCS, Chiropractor & Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

THE SECRET TO RUNNING YOUR BEST RACE?

2 Wrongs Don't Make a Right...But 9-10 oughta do it!

By MDI Coach Kevin Smith

dohPast Imperfect - 25 years ago, as an aspiring 16 year-old middle distance runner, I learned a very valuable lesson at the OFSAA track & field championships: "great races do not always result from great preparation".  Despite horrible pre-race circumstances and mindset, I went on to have what was probably the best race of my entire life--before or since that day!

Click here for a recap of that experience I wrote many years later.

Somewhere along the way since then, I forgot that lesson.  This past season, I relearned it.

In preparing to race the Mississauga Half marathon a couple weeks ago, I ended up doing a lot of things wrong--some intentionally, most not.  In a marvelous turn of counter-intuitive serendipity, these missteps appear to have helped me to run my best half marathon in 12 years.

In laundry list format, here are some of the most commonly-espoused "Race Prep" gems of sage wisdom, that I summarily turned on their ear this season.  I present these "confessions" in an effort to show that sometimes the most imperfect preparation can STILL result in a near perfect race.



In Training:

1 - Consistent training with progressively higher volume over 4+ month period

Or not - In my case, though the season started well enough (30+ miles per week on average), by the 2nd or 3rd week of January a series of niggling injuries began to complicate and curtail my training, such that by the time race day arrived, I'd only averaged 20-25 miles/week over the preceding two months

2 - Avoid injury - introduce true speedwork only after many weeks of tempo running and hill training intensity workouts 

Or not - Buoyed by the confidence of my strong start to the season, and giddy with the excitement of running with some very quick new training partners, I was anxious to see "what I had under the hood" speedwise, as I was toying with the notion of competing at indoor "masters" (40+) track over much shorter distances (1500m/1 mile) this year.  Well, all it took was two thirds of my first planned speedwork session to leave me with a gimpy hamstring that dogged me all season.  On top of that, I heaped calf muscle and hip flexor flare ups, and an inline speedskate crash that bruised ribs and strained chest muscles less than a month before the race

3 - Run 1-2 mid-season races to guage fitness, build confidence and practice your race day routine.

Or not - Oh I tried a couple races, but they definitely did NOT build confidence or allow me to guage fitness, and proved to be awful dress rehearsals for "the big one" at the end of the season.   Both races involved horrible weather conditions where I struggled with pre-existing injuries and in both cases was left hobbling well before the finish line!



Race Weekend:

4 - Stay off your feet as much as possible

Or not - due to our ambitious plan to provide pacebands to any/all runners at the Mississauga Marathon, I stood on the concrete floor of the race expo for 10 hrs/day for 2 days straight pre race, and tired myself out with booth tear down, pack up and unload the night before

5 - Get a good night's sleep at least 1 of the 2 nights pre-race

Or not - with the expo dominating most of the last two days, I sandwiched last minute coaching and a lot of backlogged family responsibilities into the last two evenings/nights, meaning I only got 5-6 hours sleep per night

6 - Don't experiment with new foods the day/night before the race

Or not - of all nights to run out of "regular" pasta, there we were at home on Saturday night, fresh out, with only my wife's gluten-free corn pasta on hand.  Too late to go shopping, might as well give it a shot. Gulp!



Race Day:

7 - Prepare your race bag the night before, with all your pre/during/post race gear packed and/or laid out, so nothing goes missing or unpacked at the last minute.

Or not - I was so bagged following the crazy expo weekend, that after reading my son to sleep on Saturday, I sloughed off the job of race bag prep till the morning, figuring that I'd have lots of time to futz about after breakfast.  Big mistake!

8 - Get up at least 2 hrs before race time, so you have time to hydrate well and top up your glycogen stores (muscle energy) with a light breakfast, without risking gastric distress

Or not - I took extra care in setting my alarm clock on race eve: knowing how tired I was, I would definitely need a kick start at 5:15 am. The next morning I awoke--NOT to the sound of my alarm clock--not good.  How could I possibly wake up BEFORE my alarm in the state I was in? I look over at the clock—dreading what I would see.  Sure enough--6:51am…the race starts in 39 minutes!  Turns out my wife had accidentally unplugged the power bar when she came to bed, realized it and very carefully reset my alarm—unfortunately, on her alarm clock the AM/PM indicators are opposite from mine…so I think you can piece together what happened.

9 - Arrive at the race at least 45min-1hr early to allow time for traffic, find parking, calmly execute your pre-race warm up routine, and focus on the coming challenge

Or not - After the shocking wake-up realization, the next 34 minutes were a blur: with my wife tearfully apologizing for ruining my race, and me as collectedly as a could assuring her that I would be alright, and could still make it, I cycloned out of bed, struggled into my race gear, grabbed my bib number, timing chip, watch and handy dandy pace band, swigged 1 cup of Gatorade and a couple more sips of water (no food, and no more fluid after that, for fear of stomach cramps) and off I went.  I raced up to near the start, ditched my car in an office parking lot, and jogged over to the start line to try and warm up, arriving 4-5 min till start time.

10 - Don't experiment with new shoes on race day

Or not - this was a total last minute, intuition-based call (amidst the panic-striken exodus at the front door).  I'd received a pair of Mizuno shoes just 3-4 weeks before the race, and though I'd only had 3-4 chances to run in them, the longest of which was about 7 miles, I so much enjoyed the feel and performance of the shoes, that even knowing the downside risks of trying an unproven shoe, I had an inkling that they might just do the job, and went for it!



The Race: after all I'd been through in the 48hr lead up to the start, running the race itself really didn't seem all that daunting! As I greeted many running friends and sidled into the crowd before the gun went off, a strange state of relaxation and levity came over me—I realized I didn’t have the RESPONSIBILITY to run a fast race and achieve a great time—instead I had been granted, against all odds, an OPPORTUNITY to show my stuff, embrace the race experience, and see what the day brings.  So off I went, with a curious bounce in my step, a bemused expression on my face, and a giddy excitement in my heart.

As the race developed, I realized that not only was I on pace, but that I was feeling more relaxed and in flow than I can ever remember feeling in a race (at least since that fateful race 25 years prior). Since this was my “hometown” race, every few minutes there was a familiar runner friend along the course shouting personal encouragement, and I was feeling so good/strong, I could actually acknowledge it and shout or fist pump my appreciation.  As the finish line approached, I drew closer and closer to the runner ahead of me, and I remember thinking “this is my backyard buddy (I run on that route from home all the time), I’m not losing a battle on my home turf!”, and kicked hard with 300 metres to go, catching and passing him to cross the line for 4th place, 1st master (40+), and top "homeboy" (Mississaugan) in the race, in a time of 1:14:51.  Even more amazing to me, is that according to roadraceresults.com rankings, that’s currently the fastest master half marathon run in Ontario so far this year.  I will not soon forget the joy (I love it!), relief (I did it!), vindication (I beat it!) and affirmation (it's worth it!) I experienced in the moments after that race.

 


The Postscript: Now, we certainly aren't offering this account up as a how to guide to great racing, nor to gloss over the fact that as much as luck was ultimately on my side on race weekend, I did a LOT of things RIGHT for it all to come together as it did.  I trained very hard, I backed off JUST in time before injuries nixed the season, I cross-trained determinedly around/between niggles, I relied on my training partners' expert opinions and advice (begrudgingly!), I adjusted my race day goals and expectations, I ran a very smartly-paced race, and I competed very fiercely with myself and others on the day.   

 

 The moral of this story?

Perhaps “perfection is over-rated” or maybe “within chaos, lurks opportunity!”



Kevin SmKevin @ Missy Expoith is a full time coach with Marathon Dynamics and a sometime near-elite level runner, as well as a (hyper) active water runner, elliptical trainer, life cyclist, inline speedskater, power walker, skinny gym monkey, and full-time athletic supporter!

 

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT SHOES:

A Revolutionary Idea...17 years in the making!

By MDI Coach Kevin Smith

 Old running shoesBack in the mid 1980's, as my own nascent runnng career began, I witnessed the explosion of the "science of running footwear", and was enthralled by the prospect of matching particular shoe models to the very individual feet of runners themselves.  Then, in the early 90s, as I forged on through university, I was exposed to the world of computers, specifically spreadsheeting and the power of relational databases.

As I moved on down the conveyor belt of real life and entered the workforce (as it so happens, a management position with a small but ferociously growing running retail specialty chain you may have heard of, now numbering well over 100 stores across North America...hmmm? lol!)  an idea struck me:  "what if there was a way to use the power of computers to help create the match  between runner and footwear, by devising a program that factored in the myriad characteristics and criteria necessary for that perfect match to occur?"

Before long, I'd conceived an elaborate schematic for a database program which essentially created a detailed profile for any runner, which captured all relevant shoe selection critera, and then compared that to a matrix of constantly updated running shoe profiles of every available shoe (available through that retailer) to determine the top 3 running shoe choices for any runner.  It also performed a host of other "retail based functions" to strengthen the relationshiop between running customer and the retailer over time.

I was so excited about my new "Fit Factory" idea, that when I trotted it out before the president of said running retailer, I expected him to be bowled over, uncontrollably salivating at the prospect of what this would do for his burgeoning retail empire.  Well, though he was certainly intrigued, his reaction was far from "rapture" and he promised to give the idea more consideration once other key initiatives were addressed (corporate doublespeak for "not right now", the equivalent to every parent's "we'll see" answer to any child's question they don't immediately want to say no to...lol!).

Alas, the craziness of the running shoe retail business swallowed my up for the next couple years, and then I was immersed in the creation of a new enterprise which came to be known as Marathon Dynamics, so the fabulous "Fit Factory" idea I had remained shelved and then largely forgotten about ever since.

So nothingMizuno Wave could have surprised me more, when during a recent discussion on the hot topic of the "barefoot running revolution" (click here for our view if interested) with Arnold Tse, the head of Ontario Sales & Marketing for Mizuno Running Shoes, he directed me to an application on the Mizuno website called "Precision Fit" to help me select a couple of shoes to use/try.  Now it was my turn to be bowled over--by the UNCANNY similarity between the website based application Mizuno has created and my original concept idea from long ago (and the real world version they employ at the retail/customer level is even MORE similar!).  I even dug up an old copy of my Fit Factory file just to confirm the eery resemblance between the two.

Since my design had never actually come to fruition, I was eager to try the Mizuno version to see how it worked.  After just 10 minutes on the site...presto!  I had completed my Precision Fit profile and had my shoe recommends.  Just a few days later I was running around in a brand new pair of Wave Elixirs and lovin' em.

More than any other shoe I've run in over the past 10+ years, they seem to encourage my feet/gait to do what we've been recommending runners try for over a year now--to run AS IF barefoot.   My stride shortens up a bit, my cadence picks up, I'm landing further forward on my midfoot, with my plant foot more "under" my body at impact, with a little more hip, knee, and ankle flexion for cushioning, and an altogether lighter feel.  The shoes felt so good and performed so well on the 3-4 runs I had the chance to try them before the Mississauga Half, that even with their lower profile and more "minimalist feel" (and never having run further than 7 miles in them at one go!), I decided to try them at the race.  I was NOT disappointed, to say the least! If you would like to try the Precision Fit process yourself, please click here.  It's very cool!

mizuno logoMizuno shoes are offered at Running Specialty stores such as: Running Room, Running Free, Du Tri and Run (Mississauga), Foot Tools (Burlington), Energia Athletics (East Toronto).  Independent running stores will normally special order models not in stock.



Marathon Dynamics

Customized Training Plans & Coaching

SUMMER/FALL 2011

 If you’re nJacquie J Missy Maraew 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 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.


For those of you who’ve worked, run and played with Marathon Dynamics before, please note that as a standard benefit of any/all our levels of Personal Running Coaching, Marathon Dynamics now offers weekly coach-supported group OMP (steady state), LSD &/or Racepace opportunities around the GTA. Click here for more specific info on these coach-supported run groups.

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

If you’d like to “tawk shawp” about your fall 2011 running goals, the best time to reach Coach Kev for a free consultation is between May 31 to June 10 (10am-4pm).  After that, things get a little “time pressured”…so call sooner than later!

Alas, without further ado, here is the Summmer/Fall 2011 Marathon Dynamics Group Intensity Workouts line-up (and/or click here to check updated website info).  All sessions are @ 6:30-8pm (unless otherwise noted), June thru October:


  1. MONDAYS - CENTRAL TORONTO: Absolute Endurance...starts June 6th
  2. TUESDAYS - ETOBICOKE: Etobicoke Centennial Stadium...starts June 7th
  3. TUESDAYS (6AM!) - WEST TORONTO: West Toronto Collegiate...starts June 7th
  4. WEDNESDAYS - DOWNTOWN TORONTO: Central Tech HS...starts June 8th
  5. THURSDAYS (6AM!) - MIDTOWN TORONTO: Lawrence Park Coll...starts June 9th
  6. THURSDAYS - OAKVILLE: Oakville Trafalgar HS...starts June 9th

THANK YOU MARATHON DYNAMICS SPONSORS!

We are so grateful for the unflagging and ongoing support of Marathon Dynamics’ primary “Runner Health & Wellness” sponsors:  Absolute Endurance (Toronto) and Physical Edge (Oakville and Mississauga).  This past season, our runners and coaches have benefitted greatly from your healing powers, your “supporting cast" athletic know-how, and your ever-positive, can-do attitude.  THANK YOU!

 Absolute  Endurance Physcial Edge

 

 

 Also a big thanks to WINsurance Sport Travel Protection.  This is SUCH a phenomenal product: travel insurance totally tailored to runners doing destination races—complete with injury, sickness and circumstance protection on race entry fees, hotel and flight booking, etc.  How awesome is that?

WINsurance

Planning a race outside Canada in the next year or two?  What if:


•    You get sick or injured before your big destination race?
•    You or your family and friends are unable to travel?
•    You change your mind and no longer want to participate in the race?


Make sure you’re covered. Visit www.winsurance.ca to purchase WINsurance Sport Travel Protection. Protection for runners designed by runners. After all, it’s not just a race… its life!


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 this coming season.

Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jackie, Brant, Michelle, Steve, Dera, John & Eric

In This Issue  

MDI Runners Rock! - Our Season in Review

Do You Have Acute Garminitis? - By Coach Kevin Smith

Dynamic Warm Ups - By Dr. Kris Sheppard

To Run Your Best Race ...Perfection's Overrated! - By Coach Kevin Smith

Choose Perfect Shoes - By Coach Kevin Smith

Marathon Dynamics News - Summer Season Starts Now! 


2010 MDI Runners Rule!
"I just wanted to say THANKS!  Without you, your help and support, my PB result at the 2010 Ottawa marathon (3:26) would not have been possible.  You went the extra mile with me (pun intended!), by giving up a lot of your time to teach and coach me through each and every concern I had (which I know were many!).  You believed in me that I could accomplish my goal…and made it really easy - all I had to do was to follow your program.

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

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

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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