Getting Tight for Running

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A few weeks ago, I got to meet Keighty Gallagher, the founder of Tight Club in Vancouver for a special 1-on-1 workout at the track in Hastings Park. Track runs being in her blood, she was the perfect person to give me tips on how to improve my running skills. Here is the workout she took me through in order to get tight for running:

The cool thing about working out outside and depending on where you go, is that you can work with a lot of the elements.

WARMUP

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Dynamic warmup – classic track warm up where you warm up your hip flexors and your entire body.

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A skips – a march with a little skip, to get that full range of motion in your hips. Knees are up high, the feet are flexed, your arms are in the same position you would have them as if you were running.

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Lateral movements are super important because as a runner you need to keep balance in your hips. Making sure to add lateral movements whether it’s carioca or sideways skips is really important.

DRILLS

Utilizing hills is also really important such as stairs. When you’re training to become a faster runner and training for better mechanics, using stair runs and doing stair sprinting can really help you to drive forward and getting that incline lean. Driving the knees up and using your glutes to push you forward. Box jumps are also another drill you can do.

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With bungee running, that was another thing we focused on. It’s not only hard for the person running, because you’re working on that forward drive, speed and power but it’s also hard for the person holding the rope because it takes a lot of core strength to anchor.

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To know more about Keighty Gallagher and Tight Club in Vancouver, go here.

Photos by @Offner

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Edmonton

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One of the greatest surprises for me on this running journey has been Edmonton. I didn’t have high hopes about the city and where I would be running when I first rolled into town but boy was I taken aback but the amount of amazing running trails in and around town.

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I learned while I was in Edmonton that in 2001, the city hosted the World Track and Field Championships and World Triathlon Championships. Running is a big deal in the city. There are more kilometers of forest-in-the-city running trails here than in any other urban area in the world.  Who knew? This is why my running journey across the country has been such a great learning experience. I always learn something new about each city I travel to.

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Like a handful of other cities, a lot of their running trails are located on the waterfront. Edmonton is beautifully located on a bluff situated on the North Saskatchewan River Valley.

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There are trails located on both side of the river and there are more than 25-miles of trails that connect two dozen parks. It’s the perfect mix of waterfront trails, park trails, neighborhood trails and deep-woods trails. Most of the trails I ran on were paved but they also have some trails that are dirt and packed gravel.

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The proximity to downtown is a major plus, it’s super easy to get in and out of the trails and go back to wherever you’re staying or living in the city. Once again, the river makes it easy to reorient yourself along the way so that if you decide to cut the run short or make it longer, you won’t get lost.

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I started my run at Dawson Park via the parking lot and went all the way to Capital City Recreation Park for a good 10 km run. Got to see some beautiful views of the river, downtown and also beautiful homes along the way. One of my favorite runs on this tour!

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For more info on Edmonton’s trails, go here.

Photos by: @Offner

What I’m wearingNike Air Zoom Elite 8 (get them here), Nike Printed Engineered Women’s (similar one’s here), Nike Dri-FIT Wool Running Hoodie (similar one here).

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Saskatoon

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It was my first time visiting Saskatoon last month. Though I had been to Regina a couple of times, my travels had yet to take me to “The City of Bridges” as some people call it.

The first thing I noticed about the city was that their food scene was on point! For a small city of 250 000 people, they have many amazing restaurants, cafés, juice bars, etc. I’ll be talking about these in a future travel post. That said, eating well made it even more motivating for me to explore their local running trails.

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I loved running on some of the different bridges that cross the South Saskatchewan River. There are lots of great trails that follow the waterfront in Saskatoon. The Meewasin Trail is by far the most popular in the area. It’s a paved and dirt trail that spans more than 40 kms in length across the city.

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The trail is easily accessible and there are several parking lots around the waterfront such as the one located at 33 St E. and Spadina Crescent E., right beside the train bridge.

I started my run by crossing the train bridge and then by running along the waterfront on the University of Saskatchewan campus. I went further north to then take the Circle Drive bridge back to the other side. What’s great about this trail is that you can easily access downtown and also customize your routes according to how you’re feeling without really getting lost. It’s easy to use the river as your guide while running.

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It was a quiet and relaxing run. Though many people use the trail, the advantage of being in a small city is that it isn’t overcrowded. You’re also really close to nature, which makes for a very scenic run.

To get a full map of the Meewasin Trail, click here.

What I’m wearing: Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 (get them here), Nike Legendary Engineered Waterfall Women’s Training Tights (get them here)

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Winnipeg

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Running through Winnipeg last month gave me a whole new perspective on the city. I would be lying if I said that Winnipeg is one of my favorite cities in Canada. That said, running is a great way to discover new things about a city and my run in Winnipeg allowed me to do just that.

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While I was in town, I ran through The Forks. I started at the Manitoba Legislative Building and ran on the trail along the Assiniboine River, crossed the market and went all the way downtown. Since I was looking for a longer run, I also made my way back and kept going east from the trail through the Wolseley and Minto neighborhoods. I don’t usually like to run on sidewalks but these streets were calm, the row of houses were stunning and the trees looked magnificent with their multicoloured foliage.

Having only really visited the downtown core, this run enabled me to get familiarized with some really cute areas in the city. It made me realize that there is a lot more to Winnipeg than what meets the eye. If you look around and search outside of the downtown core, there is lot’s to discover.

My run in Winnipeg was a memorable one because I really felt alive and motivated while running. Some runs, I find myself lacking energy or dreading getting up to the 10k mark, but with the beautiful surroundings and the sun shining, it couldn’t have been a better experience.

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To find out more about the Winnipeg running trails, go here.

Photos by @Offner

What I’m wearing: Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 (get them hereNike Therma Sphere Women’s training Vest (get it hereNike Legendary Engineered Waterfall Women’s Training Tights (get them hereTraveler by TOMS Dalston Matte Grey (get them here)

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Thunder Bay

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Thunder Bay, has an important relationship with running. In 1980, Canadian athlete and humanitarian, Terry Fox embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. After running for 143 days and 5,373 kilometres, he was forced to abandon his run just outside of Thunder Bay when cancer spread to his lungs. Over the years, Terry Fox’s accomplishments and bravery have turned him into a Canadian hero.

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I had the chance to visit his monument while I was in Thunder Bay and was really moved by his story again. Growing up in Canada, you always hear of Terry Fox but researching and finding out more about his story on this trip, inspired me even more to keep running.

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Prior to this trip, I had only been to Thunder Bay once in my life and didn’t know too much about the city. Not only is Thunder Bay extremely beautiful, the people in the city are also very active.

There are a lot of places to run in and around Thunder Bay, so I chose to run around Boulevard Lake. It’s a paved trail around Boulevard Lake that goes in and out of the woods. The trail will take you to the lake lookout as well as the dam, giving you a beautiful view of the city and the waterfront. There is available parking at Algoma St and Lyon Blvd. It’s a popular spot for people to also walk their dogs, play tennis and disc golf.

The Boulevard Lake trail is only a 5k loop, so I decided to run it more than once. If you’re looking for a longer trail, I recommend checking out the trails that go from the corner of John Street to Junot Avenue to the corner of Arthur Street and Riverview Drive. That run will be around 10k.

To see a map of all Thunder Bay recreational trails, go here.

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 (get them here)

Nike Hypercool Limitless Women’s Shirt (get it here)

Nike Therma Sphere Women’s training Vest (get it here)

Nike Printed Engineered Women’s (similar one’s here)