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Spring Into Summer 2014

Marathon Dynamics E-Newsletter

Wicked Winter - Wonderful Spring!

Now, Let's Make Summer Sizzle...

 Paul Jamael Chicago 13

(above) Dominique Von Richter celebrates her Boston Debut (a strong 3:42!) 

By far the nastiest winter in over 30 years made for toughest and most challenging running season we can ever remember--especially for those of you valiantly trying to prepare for this spring's Boston Marathon.

Thank goodness most race days this spring turned out really well (with the possible exception of Boston, which was a little "too perfect", with unrelenting sun and temps that sneakily climbed throughout the early afternoon).

It's been terrific getting together with many of you at post season parties these past couple weeks during that brief respite of an off-season tween spring and summer, to share your many incredible stories and celebrate your fabulous accomplishments, and also to brainstorm on ideas to make the coming summer/fall training the best it can possibly be. Astoundingly, in spite of the fiercely objectionable training conditions this season, we're pretty sure this has been the highest yield of Personal Bests per capita we've ever guys ROCK!  CONGRATULATIONS!

Click here for a 'highlight reel" of some of the most impressive race results by Marathon Dynamics runners this past season.

For this edition, since technical training training info is so ubiquitiously plentiful online these days, rather than heap tons of that on you here, we wanted to provide more for your heart, mind and soul--more metaphysical than physical--in hopes of inspiring you to commitThis Just In to bigger goals than ever before next season.  That said, if you ARE looking for more practical, utility-based info, we've got a doozy of a piece on lower leg injury prevention, that is NOT to be missed.

In addition click here to visit our "This Just In" page for some of the best recent and not so recent ideas culled from the from the daily online barrage.

Hope you enjoy it.  If so, please consider joining or rejoining our team for this coming season!  It's just around the corner--new  Customized Running Plans and our GTA Training Groups start up the first week of June. Click here for details.

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

* Wed, May 28th @ 6:30pm - West Toronto (French School) HS track

* Thurs, May 29th @ 6am - Lawrence Park Coll track

* Thurs, May 29th @ 6:30pm - Oakville Trafalgar HS track

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

Goodlife MaraAlso: We'd like to announce the winner of our "Guess Your Time To Win" contest at the Goodlife Marathon & Half Marathon.  Out of the hundreds who entered, the lucky winner of a Customized Training Plan ($90 value) is none other than Chris Robinson, who came within 4.2 seconds of perfectly predicting his time (1:43:55.8) - well done!

And we'd be remiss not to shout out a hearty GOOD LUCK to all of you racing this weekend at the Buffalo Marathon, Toronto Womens Half Marathon, Ottawa Marathon & Half, and of course those racing the Cabot Trail Relay too.  Can't wait to hear how it all turns out crew!

The Power of Second Place

By Kevin Smith, Marathon Dynamics Running Coach

2nd place

“Second place sucks!”

“Second is just first loser!”

“Nobody remembers who came second”



If it’s you...YOU DO!

Or in my case, I DID!  Over the 30+ years of my checkered running career, I’ve had a few fast times (and a lot of slower ones) and enjoyed a few race wins (and a LOT more losses).   But you know what?  The experiences I remember best—and those that ultimately have had by far the most positive impact on my running—are the ones where I came second: those near misses when I was ever so close to victory, but felt the sting of defeat; when I almost ran the goal times I’d set for myself, but didn’t; or when I almost got through a training season or race without injury, but failed.

Running RivalsTo this day, I still feel my most epic race ever was as an 11th grade high-schooler, where I missed winning the OFSSA 3000m championship by just a second (there’s that word again).  Click here for a recap of that fateful race which as it turned out, was to be my last road or track race for over 4 years due to prolonged injury.

For a less stubborn soul—or perhaps a more intelligent one--that injury, or the many more that followed, would have been the end of competitive running...but not for me.  I’m certain that the feelings I felt during that race, and especially afterward—when I had running taken away from me for so long at such a young age, at such a pivotal time in my life—are the reason that I’m not only still running today, but still competing as keenly as ever as a masters (40+) runner, and fully intend to for many more decades. Watch your back, Ed Whitlock!

Over the past 25 years, I’ve encountered many of those runners who I competed with as a teenager and collegian, who “back in the day” won more races and ran faster times than I did.  In many cases, I’ve been astonished how quickly and/or how much many of them have “let themselves go”.  And I don’t mean just from competitive running, but from even basic health and fitness.  Some gained as much as 30-40 pounds! Worst of all, never mind competitive running, most weren’t even running at all anymore.

I struggled to understand how that could happen to these runners who were so incredibly talented, determined and dedicated.  But then I realized that perhaps it was their early success that was their undoing.  Those few short years of exceptionally demanding training and dizzying accomplishment—of ACHIEVING their goals (records, championships, race wins, Olympic teams, etc.) and/or of being able to train as hard as they possibly could, to see how good they could possibly be--had left them bereft of a burning desire not only to keep competing, but when that was gone, to even keep running at all.

If you’d asked me back then as a boy, if I’d rather have won those races, run those times, and made those teams, but in exchange not been able to race, or perhaps even run at all, for the rest of my adult life, I’m not sure what my answer would have been. 

But if you ask me now, having been given—or given myself—perpetual  second chances, and over the years, developed a powerful sense of purpose in the process of training, and an appreciation for the sheer joy of simply running, for what I hope and expect will be many more decades, my answer is most definitely: “No way!”

Myself, I’m much happier with the continual pursuit of that elusive first!

Second place can keep you hungry, wondering “what if”, and infuse your running with imagination, commitment, and purpose.

As we all become “less young” runners, remember to be thankful for those “Second Chances” that fate so vexingly bequeaths upon us. 

Those lost races, those missed time goals, those injuries, sicknesses or other misfortunes which ostensibly seem like failures, can be the very reasons we stay inspired and improving as runners for a long time to come!


- 2010 Ontario Masters 5K Champion

- 2011 Ontario Masters 10K Champion

- 2011 Ontario Masters Marathon Champion

- 2012 Canadian Masters Half Marathon Bronze Medalist

- 2013 Ontario Masters Half Marathon Champion

- 2014 Ontario Masters 15K 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

Be Careful What You Fish For...

By Kristin Dalzell, Marathon Dynamics Runner

Kristin D

The Running Repe-wha? If you've never read Coach Kev's article on "The Running Repechage" (click here for the original article), allow me to quote from the master:

At its French origin, repechage means “to fish up again”. If the fish aren’t biting, try different spots, different lures, different casting, and if you’re determined enough, sooner or later, you’ll catch the big one."

Re-reading this today, the words about "trying something different" struck me. Those are the exact words I added to my training plan order last year, under “other notes”. I wrote that I wanted to try something different with my training, not really understanding what I was looking for. As it turns out – the universe was listening.

Try something different, you say? Well sure. How about 8 weeks of crazy winter temperatures and every kind of precipitation possible? How about training on top of wedding planning, on top of work, on top of coaching, and social media maven-ing, on top of commuting, on top of selling your house!?

By mid-February, piling all of that on top of my endurance phase, a persistent soreness & tightness had developed in my right ankle, right over the bone. Eventually I reached the point where I couldn’t walk without limping. Having dealt with two other minor ‘niggles’ of the same sort in the past, I was initially relatively happy to take Kevin’s advice and let it rest for a few days. You mean I shouldn’t go out and do my long run in the minus 28C windchill this weekend? Well, darn :o)

The only problem was that this time, there was no improvement after a week of rest.  Uh oh.

Hey wait a second--why should you care? The only thing more boring than listening to someone describe their run is listening to someone describe their running injury.  Plus--you’re super fit, just ran the race of your life, and you feel amazing, right?  Maybe you ran a PB, or a long-awaited BQ! Well let me tell you:

"The surest way to be successful and keep improving as a distance runner over the long term is to EXPECT and PREPARE for setbacks—rather than hope they don’t happen, and languish in depression and inactivity when they do."

I'll be the first to admit that up until this season, I was firmly in the "hope it doesn't happen" camp when it came to injury.

And boy, did I hope. I hoped and hoped! I hoped, oh so fervently, that I would never be injured. Sure, I also invested time in "prehab" stretching & strengthening, and I was a champion of MDI’s "Running Health Insurance":  20 min easy jogging or 30 min fast walking almost every day.  I fancied myself immune to at least the 'serious' running injuries. I wasn't racing every workout, I was getting enough sleep, I was keeping my diet relatively clean.

I itemize these things because I’m sure that if you’re in the same shape I was: coming off the high of running a 3:08 PB in Boston, dreaming of my next fastest goal times—you probably wouldn't even deign to read the 'injury' article in the club newsletter. In fact that’s exactly where I came from! Avoiding reading articles like this was part of my strategy for avoiding injury!

Ah yes, the "ignorance is bliss" camp. Maybe if I never forget to add "knock on wood!" when I say out loud “I’ve never really been injured” ... Maybe if I never think too closely about the anatomy of the calf muscles or really learn how to pronounce fasciitis ... Maybe if I only skim the injury articles in the running magazines …. I truly believed that nothing but HOPE might carry me through on a charmed journey from PB to PB. Until it didn’t.

"The runner mistakenly figures that because the original path they'd envisioned to reach their goal is blocked, there's no other way to make it happen, and figuratively--if not literally--throws in the towel for weeks or even months more, often regressing to their pre-season fitness level (or worse!) in the process."

What!? Wait, WHAT!? Throwing in the towel was an option? (just kidding - I have to say that with all that goes on in life outside of running, it was impossible to lose perspective on the fact that I do this for FUN, because I enjoy it. So what if I’m not going to beat my Boston time from last year? So what?)

When my original path was blocked, my instinct was to find the next closest thing.  Luckily, I had:

 “a pre-established, well-honed system of running fitness-saving and motivation-stoking behaviours…”

Although I’d never thought about it this way before, I was lucky to have kept aerobic cross-training built in to my training plans. Once or twice a week I hit the gym to do something OTHER than run – whether it’s stairclimbing, spinning, biking, or elliptical. Pre-injury, it was mostly a way to break up the weekly routine, listen to a podcast or music while I get some mindless exercise.

But the bonus when an injury halts your ability to run is that you’ve got that routine in your back pocket – right alongside your gym membership card. You’ve also already got the heart rate monitor, the ipod full of podcasts, and the gym shower caddy. If you’ve ever debated whether a gym membership alongside your running habit is worth it.  This is one great point to add in the “pro” column.

All of that goes DOUBLE for pool running time – which I did not have worked out in advance, but managed to work through. Trust me that you will thank yourself if you find a way to add 20 minutes of pool running to your weekly schedule NOW, and then you will already have the pool running locations, schedules, and routines worked out when you really need them.

Flexibility, creativity and adaptability are your greatest assets in achieving your ultimate running goals.

So often we think of the best runners being those with fast feet, flawless self-discipline, or efficient form. But injury has a way of reminding you there is more to being a balanced, well-rounded runner.

In the end, I made it through my ‘repechage’ and to the finish line of my third Boston in 3:17, 9-10 slower than last year, when my season went “perfectly”.

Best of all, I recovered so well after Boston that I’m still planning to mount my other big goal for the season – running my first 50k in Calgary this June.Here’s to hoping the fish are biting there, too!

Kristin Dalzell

Kristin Dalzell is an exceptional example of how well the Marathon Dynamics philosophy of training and customized plan approach works.  She improved from a 1:50 half marathoner to a 3:08 Boston Marathoner in less than 3 years, and holds the record for most consistent closest to prediction race performances (incredibly, she's never more than seconds off!)

Lately she's also been pitching in as an MDI assistant coach), and via the internet, where she helps  Marathon Dynamics with our social media efforts (via Facebook and twitter).

Frustrated by Calf, Ankle &/or Foot Injuries?

Stop them in their tracks in six hundred easy steps!

By MDI Coach Kevin Smith

In my tCalves to Toeseens and twenties, iliotibial band injuries were my running nemeses.  I struggled valiantly to find a way around them, and after a fashion, did pretty well to do so.

But in my mid to late 30s, frustratingly and increasingly, injuries to the "ankle lever"--any component of the connected chain from the top of the calf muscle (Gastrocs) to the tip of the toes--had unquestionably become the bane of my running existence.  Sound familiar?  Chances are, yes it does!

Calf Pulls, Shin Splints, Stress Fractures, Achilles Tendonitis/osis, Metatarsal issues, and Plantar Fasciitus account for the majority of the injury issues seen by runners today.

As I neared 40, I began to question if I ever would solve the riddle, when I was struck by a simple but very powerful epiphany while idling my car in a long Tim Horton's line up near to my house. 

"Start WALKING" in addition to running - every day.  And so I did, and it did start to turn around my running fortunes markedly (for more on the rationale of that initiative, click here).  But it wasn't enough (a foot injury occurred).

So I added specific ankle lever strengthening exercises (straight leg single leg heel raises...LOTS of 'em) and that helped even more.  But it wasn't enough (another calf injury occurred).

So aover 3 years ago, I modified and augmented the ankle lever strenghening routine, adding more volume and two more distinct exercises which targeted muscle groups and movement patterns not previously addressed, and that made even MORE difference.

So much so, in fact, that I haven't had a single calf, achilles, ankle, or foot injury of any significance SINCE!

As a coach of between 150-200 runners every season, you can imagine how many times I've been asked to review the approach and specifically the exercises that helped me turn it all around.

Finally, all in one place, with video clips to help demonstrate, here it is (click on link for more info):

* Why Walk & Beyond

* Is 40 the new 50

* The 6 minute "Calf, Achilles & Foot Injuries Begone" CAFIB Routine:

1 - Straight Leg, Single Leg, Calf Raises

2 - Straight Leg, Single Leg, BENT Leg

3 - Single Leg Hops


1) For each of the 3 exercises above, work up to performing a total of 100 reps in total, per leg, per exercise (2 legs, 3 exercises, 100 reps per = 600 total reps).  Follow instructions that accompany each video.

2) Ideally, do this routine 3 time per week (alternating rest days in between), very consistently (and always do at least 2 sessions), on an ongoing (in season and off season) basis, for best effectiveness.

Simply put - if you incorporate both "Running Health Insurance" (either a 20 min Jiggity Jog or a 30 min Power Walk, 5-6 times per week), and the "CAF" Injuries Begone routine, into your training week consistently, injuries below the knee should drop drastically in the future--in frequency, duration and severity.

Good luck!

KevKevin 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!




The Mind Leads The Body...

Sometimes, Not Where You'd Think!

By Coach Jennifer Faraone

Like so many athletes, I’d recently fallen prey to an injury while also battling one of the worst colds and sinus infections ever.  I’ve definitely had my share of injuries and set-backs in the past, but this time it was different – in a very positive way.   Although my physical body was weak, I refused to let my spirit get weakened as well.   This is where the popular mantra  the mind leads the body” came in to play (which coincidentally is also the mantra for Marathon Dynamics where I coach an amazing group of runners).


Not surprisingly, we tend to think of this mantra predominantly in our workouts and races:

This is what you trained for - go get it!

Think strong, be strong, finish strong

The strong get stronger

But I’ve come to appreciate the importance of this mantra when forced to take a pause in training – in my case, 8 weeks, but who’s counting?  If given the opportunity, your mind will become your greatest ally during this time.  Consider for a moment the discussion that normally takes place in one’s head (mine included) when faced with a setback: 

I was just getting strong and now I have to put things on hold!

I’m going to lose so much of my speed and fitness!

Why me (again)?

This time, however, I tried a different approach.  At first, I thought that I could simply fool myself into thinking positive, especially since my goal race was just around the corner.  If you think positive, you will be positive, right?  But that only took me so far.  Then I noticed that my thinking and my attitude was actually genuine, and likely had something to do with my recent interactions with an intuitive energy healer who has helped me to look at life events in a much different manner (which by the way,  is an extremely fascinating and rewarding experience). 

The timing was also significant, as the injury came after winning the Chilly Half Marathon – rather than getting discouraged that my set back came right after coming off a high, I used this win to instill more confidence in my abilities.

So my thinking became more of the following:

Wow…I AM strong.

It is what it is.

This will only make me stronger, and train smarter

These are bumps, not mountains.

It does not remove the months and years of training that came before it.

The results?  I haven’t really been bothered by my disrupted training.  Just ask my husband – usually he has to listen to all my negativity and whining about not being able to train.  But not this time! I have stayed optimistic and happy and have been focusing on what I can do, rather than what I can’t do.  Furthermore, I actually feel more confident than I have in a while about my abilities.  Wow! 

Will I ITU World Du Champs be able to achieve the results I initially hoped for at the World’s Duathlong competition in just over a month?  Maybe not, but how will I ever really know?  Although I have limited control on the amount of training I can put in right now, I have full control on what I bring forw  ard on the day that it matters most.  And I promise to give it my best, whatever the best may be, on June 1st.

Letting my mind take the lead as I deal with my injuries and setbacks has been very gratifying in more ways than one.   And this, I believe, will enable my body to heal in a much better and lasting manner.

(Disclaimer:  I have been a proud coach with Marathon Dynamics for many years and owe the success of my early running days to them)

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

Congrats Jennifer on winning the 2014 Chilly Half Marathon this still got it girl!

Second Races...Second Places:

Triumph over adversity - squared!

By Taya Jones, Marathon Dynamics Runner

Taya J at Missy

My journey to the Mississauga Half Marathon

Last fall, after a decade of training but not racing due to the time needed to raise my three wonderful children, I decided it was time to take my running to a new level. Somehow I found my way to the start of the Scotiabank Half Marathon.

Truthfully, I'm not sure how I got there. In the three weeks leading up to the race my personal world took a turn: my daughter was admitted to hospital and I was hit by a car while riding my bike! My daughter said to me “Mumma, you need to run. Running is part of who you are." She was 8½ at the time and she knew exactly what I needed.

On that October Sunday, I arrived at the start line with no expectations; after all, I hadn't toed a start line in ten years. How fit was I? Did I remember how to run a race? I had no clue. The race started and I didn’t even remember to start my watch until the 1 km mark. I was on autopilot; I just wanted to run and that is what I did. I remember floating along and came up to the 1:30 pace bunny. Everyone was chatting and having a good time. I thought “this is too slow” and just kept on going.  I was shocked to see 1:27 when I crossed the finish line finish line. How did I do that? It was all a blur but I was thrilled.

After this race I began to train early in the mornings in my basement on my treadmill. Being a single mom left me no other choice, run on the treadmill or no running at all. My solo runs were keeping me fit but soon I wanted more. A little company might be nice at least once a week. At the beginning of December, I reached out to a friend who told me about a group of runners that met in High Park on Sunday mornings. I had never run with a group before as strange as that sounds. I felt confident enough with my running that I wasn’t going to be left behind but truthfully, I was nervous to run with a group. I don't know what I was worried about. The group immediately accepted me as we set off on our first run together. I was able to run with the lead group that day and soon found myself looking forward to each Sunday’s run. This is where I met Kevin Smith from Marathon Dynamics.

Kevin, being the outgoing and supportive guy that he is, reached out to me and offered me encouragement and guidance. He had more confidence in me then I had in myself. After discussing future race plans while on a Sunday run, he gave me a training plan to culminate in the Mississauga half-marathon. He wrote workouts that I thought “there is no way I am going to be able to do this” and low and behold I did them. I was surprising myself with my strength and speed. My determination and self-motivation were energized like never before. I had never been fitter.

After months of training there I was on another start line, feeling a bit nervous. This time I had expectations, pace times and a goal of 1:25:25. In the days leading up to the race, I found myself thinking “This is just too fast, I’m not sure I can do this” and those thoughts were running through my mind again while waiting to start. I secretly told myself that 1:26 would be amazing. The gun went off, and I ran. Soon, I noticed a cyclist was riding just ahead of me all the time! Why? Then I realized that I was one of the top 3 women. What? Wow!

I knew I had to stay on my pace because Kevin would be waiting for me at 10K, so I tried to ignore the fact that I was one of the lead women: too much pressure.  Later on, two of my running partners from the Sunday group met me along the route to run for a kilometer with me and cheer me on. Kevin kept encouraging me as we continued down the course. I was running as fast as I could and those last few kilometers were on pure willpower. I hurt! I just couldn't wait to cross that finish line knowing that my parents, my 3 children and my friends April and Melanie would be there. It was the race of a lifetime.

I will never forget how a team of people supported me, encouraged me and pushed me faster than I thought I could go. In the end, I ran my absolute hardest. The effort was there from the start. I still can’t believe I ran a 1:24:46 (3+ minutes faster than Waterfront!), and the 2nd overall place was just icing on the cake.

I couldn’t have achieved this goal without you Kevin - Thank you!

Marathon Dynamics News

Training Plans, Coaching, Group Runs & More

Summer/Fall Training Groups Start SOON!

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

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


     - Absolute Endurance (Mt. Pleas. Cem)...starts June 2nd


     - High Park (Grenadier)...starts June 4th


     - West TO HS track...starts June 4th


     - Lawrence Park Col. track...starts June 5th


     - Oakville Traf. HS track...starts June 5th


     - Absolute Endurance...starts June 5th 

Welcome Excel Running Series!

Black Toe Welcome to a brand new grassroots running series Toronto! Scenic park locations, quality organization, affordable entry fees, and great fun.  Ideal for those mid season build up races MDI considers essential to "eng game" race success!  Brought to you by one of Marathon Dynamics "founding fathers", Michael Brennan.  Let's support his new series--click series logo for more info, and sign up today!

 SpringFling_LogoVerticalLarge v.2June 15th! We decided to add another race in a fabulous parkland – the Spring Fling 10k & 5k in Sunnybrook Park/Wilket Creek Park in Toronto – where many kilometers of paths and greenery are there for your running pleasure. Click race logo for details.

  Downsview 5KSeptember 13th: We started off with the Downsview Half Marathon & 5k in Toronto and had two good years with that event.  Changes are coming to it this year, year three, so click race logo for details.

 10M&5K logo2 cityscapeSeptember 28th: The Canada Running Series let us take over the Toronto 10-Miler & 5k so now we’re excited to revive this race through the portlands of Toronto and into Tommy Thompson Park (the Spit). This is a great race to test yourself at if you’re doing the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon or Half. Click race logo for details.

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 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.

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

If you’d like to talk shop re: your goals and plans for next season, the best time to reach Coach Kev for a free consultation is between now and June 1st (10am-4pm)After that, we kick into gear and things get a little crazy, so call soon: 905 891-3197 or click here to email me.

Your Faithful Marathon Dynamics Coaches,

Kevin, Jackie, Jennifer, Kristin, Steve & Dera


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In This Issue  

Incredible Racing Dynamos! - Spring 2014 Recap

The Power of Second Place    - By Kevin Smith

Careful What You Fish For     - By Kristin Dalzell

Cut Injuries in Half!                   - By Kevin Smith

The Mind Leads The Body      - By Jennifer Faraone

2nd Races...2nd Places          - By Taya Jones 

Marathon Dynamics News

Thanks MDI Sponsors!
Absolute Endurance

Physical EdgeMizuno Logo

Black ToeExcel Running Series


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

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
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
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Marathon Dynamics Runner Harvey Foote 

MDI-er Susan Kallsen

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

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

MDI Runner 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!"


Getting Faster For Years!

(post Sporting Life 10K 2014)

"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!

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