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The Dynamo - Fall 2007


Marathon Dynamics Inc - Customized Training Plans, Personal Coaching & Corporate Running

In this issue: (note: all articles are between 1-3 pages, so please browse items before printing)

  1. CONGRATS 'N STATS — Top Ten 2007 MDI Highlights
  2. OFF SEASON REFRESHER: Next Season Planner
  3. Like Son, Like Father...Like Family (by Coach Kevin)
  4. THE GOLD WAR: The Next Great Running Superpower Is?
  5. A RUNNING JOKE: Manzier Anyone, Manzier?
  6. MARATHON DYNAMICS NEWZ — New Season Start Up, New Sponsors, New Training Logs...

Top Ten 2007 MDI Highlights

You know that "totally spent yet totally psyched" feeling you get as you stagger around in the finish corral after running a truly great race? Well, that's how we at Marathon Dynamics are feeling here after an exhausting but exhilarating summer and fall of coaching our runners.

What a ride it's been! And though we're more than happy to take a couple weeks break to catch our breath, we're also finding we're chomping at the bit to get started working toward our and your goals for 2008...after all, it is an Olympic year, right? (ha, ha!)

Those of you who regularly receive our end of season/year newsletters know that this is the time that we usually issue our list of "Top 100 Performances", after tirelessly researching and reviewing every race run by every runner we helped train and coach in the past season and/or year. Though we always receive lots of positive feedback from those on the list (and about them from others not on it), and despite our very best efforts to make it as complete and carefully-considered a list as possible, we invariably end up leaving some deserving candidates off the list.

So this season, we're going to do something different. Even though we helped our runners harvest another bumper crop of impressive times, awesome new PBs (personal bests) and debut performances at race distances ranging from 5K up to Marathon (and beyond!), we thought rather than another itemized listing of 100 of them, we would select from among our experiences with the 250 or so runners we were lucky enough to work/run with this past year, just the "Top 10 Marathon Dynamics Highlights" of 2007. These aren't necessarily the fastest performances, nor even the "best" age category ones, but simply those that left highly emotional footprints. This way, rather than just seeing a name, race and finishing time, we hope you'll get a sense of the "stories behind the numbers" and appreciate just a few of the very special experiences we've shared with runners this year. In no particular order (other than alphabetical) they are... (click here to continue)


For at least 90% of you reading this e-newsletter it is (or sure should be!) your "off season" right now. If you ran an early race (i.e. Waterfront or sooner?), or your season was "abbreviated" due to sickness, injury or circumstance, then you're probably just about done with that phase and are chomping at the bit to get going for next season/year. If you ran a late race (Niagara, Washington, NYC, Philadelphia, Angus Glen), then you're somewhere in the middle to early stages of off-season, with at least a week or two, and at most a month or more to go, before "formally" starting up.

Off Season Checklist

We espouse a "to do" list of tasks for the off-season runner, categorized as per our motto "to inspire people to bring out the best in themselves, in body, mind and spirit". Make sure you've done at least a bit of every one of these before you commit yourself to another long season of training ahead (click here).

For the body:

  1. Rest — no running for at least a little while…(1-2 weeks min, 3-4 weeks max, unless injured)
  2. Pamper — massage, long baths, nap, indulge! (i.e. "horizontal pilates" w/partner...nudge, nudge!)
  3. Stretch — gentle & time for it, since muscles aren't taught/tired from hard running
  4. Aerobic Cross-Training — weight loss/fitness maintenance, variety
  5. Strength Training — now's the time, either for total body fitness and/or for running-specific strength

For the mind:

  1. Reflect — consider, analysis recent past training and racing, plan for the future
  2. Write — recount your race story, your feelings and thoughts about it
  3. Read — books, magazines, websites, blogs, etc...soak up running info on topics that interest you

For the spirit:

  1. Reconnect w/Family & Friends — you probably neglected them during the height of your training (go on, admit it), so now show them how much you miss & appreciate them
  2. Celebrate — get together to share your experiences with other runners (and empathetic non-runners who'll listen to you!) and emotionally invest in appreciating those of other runners
  3. Dream — perhaps as early as 1 week after your big race, perhaps as long as 1-2 months after, you are ready to deliberate seriously upon what your next goal should be

Timing Your Next Season Perfectly...When To Start Training "For Real"

A great analogy here is the ball toss of the tennis serve. You can have all the power of Pete Sampras, the flexibility of Andy Roddick, and the balance of Roger Federer, but if you screw up the ball toss to initiate your serve (too high, too low, too far forward, too far back), you’re simply not going to win that point!

Similarly, in running, no matter how fast, strong or enduring a runner you are (click here to continue)

Like Son, Like Father...Like Family (by Coach Kevin)

As a youngster, I always saw my father as someone who was (i.e. used to be) a great athlete. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like by the time I was 5, 10 or even 15, it was time to put him out to pasture… far from it. Even through my adolescence, as my father’s lifestyle grew more sedentary (he is an artist by trade ...insert shameless plug here—visit to see his work) I was always amazed at the "latent" physical strength and power he seemed to possess, but which was less and less evinced in any athletically demonstrative manner, as time marched on.

My sport consciousness was developed and nurtured through his past athletic exploits and prowess—he was a high school basketball player and sprinter, a near-scratch golfer, an all-star wrestler, a university football player, an avid skier, and a hockey player good enough to be invited to join the Voyageurs, the Montreal Canadiens farm team.

As I grew up, one of my most deep-seated motivations was to emulate my father's athleticism, and to make him proud of me in doing so (click here to continue)

North America - The Next Great Running Super Power?

By now we've all heard about how, economically at least, China will be the leading global "superpower" nation of the next era, supplanting the decades-long reign of the United States. But not nearly as many have heard, nor may even be convinced once hearing — especially with China's imminent hosting the Olympics — that North America (specifically the US), may well dominate the front ranks of long distance running for at least the next decade.

Don't get me wrong...the traditional "supreme beings" of the last 20+ years, from African powerhouses such as Kenya, Ethiopia and a handful of other north African nations, are not simply going to fade into anonymity. But, it's quite clear that the US, a dominant force in distance running through the 70s and early 80s, but dormant on the world stage since back, and ready to kick some ass-phalt!

Americans have always been kings of the "short stuff"...100-400m, and that isn't likely to change soon either, given the stable of proven powerhouse talent they have amassed heading into next year's Olympics. But what's most exciting, for us distance-heads at least, is the emergence of an bountiful crop of young, exciting, talented and charismatic American runners, who, if recent events are any reliable harbinger, can race with anyone in the world... (click here to continue)

Manzier Anyone? Manzier? High Embarrassment in High Park

Late this summer, on one of the many swelteringly hot, smog-draped days we endured in training this past season, I was in High Park, having just finished a hard 10 miler through the trails, when I had an older, frumpy woman stop dead in her tracks while walking along when she saw me panting and stretching under a tree, and ask me, point blank: "are your breasts drooping?" (click here to continue)

Marathon Dynamics News!

There are a ton of exciting developments "afoot" here at Marathon Dynamics for 2008, all of which will be up on our website by December 1st, so check in early next month for the details. For now, here's a "sneak peek" rapid-fire list of what's happening.

New Season Coaching Group Start-Ups (weeknights, 6:30-8pm unless otherwise indicated):

  1. York University: Tuesdays — Dec 4th
  2. High Park: Wednesdays - Dec 5th
  3. Sunnybrook/Leaside: Thursdays - Dec 13th
  4. Oakville: Thursdays - Dec 6th
  5. Downtown: Mondays - Jan 7th
  6. New Beaches Morning Group (6AM!): Wednesdays — Jan 10th
  7. New Mississauga Morning Group (6AM): Thursdays — Jan 11th (proposed)

(click here to continue)

On behalf of myself and my fellow Marathon Dynamics coaches, all the best to you and yours over the holidays,

Sincerely, Coach Kev

PS - Anyone who's ever run a marathon (or a half on comparatively low training volume), will really get a kick out of this YouTube video — enjoy!

Kevin Smith
Marathon Dynamics
(905) 891-3197 ph
(905) 271-7311 fax