Top 3 Summer Workouts – MISFITSTUDIO

PAM_0398I had the pleasure of finally discovering MISFITSTUDIO after having heard great things about this place for the past couple of years. Located on West Queen West, this beautiful space divided into two different studios, is definitely unique to the city. The stained glass windows and antique details in the studio creates a very special and charming atmosphere.

PAM_0426They offer a mix of pilates, yoga and movement classes. Their MISFITMETHOD is “a mindfully created experience where strength and grace support each other, where you are guided to allow the body to flow and the mind to quiet. A wild physical journey full of connection, challenge and technique each class will leave you with a touch of magic.”

PAM_0405-2I had the chance to take one of their Reformer Pilates class with the lovely Michelle Jobin. This supermom teaches Wednesday mornings from 7-8 am in their cozy Pilates room. The studio offers a great variety of classes that are sure to get you moving and make you leave feeling inspired.

A lot of great things are coming the way of MISFITSTUDIO, so make sure you follow them online here to stay tuned.

PAM_0534PAM_0526Notes from the hairstylist:

Perfect Pilates Fishtail
“A french braid is so easy to do, and it’s a go to for all of my indoor workouts, but why not switch it up with a fishtail french braid. Would you believe it’s done with just two strands?”

Photos: Pam Lau
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardin

What I’m wearing: Nike Zoned Sculpt Women’s Training Tights (get them here), Nike Zoned Sculpt Strappy Women’s Training Bralette (get it here).

Top 3 Summer Workouts – SPOKEHAÜS

PAM_0693Opened just a few months ago, Spokehaüs has without a doubt become one of my favorite places to sweat in the city. Located on Dan Leckie Way, this modern and cool cycle studio has built a great community of spin enthusiats in just a few months.

PAM_0666The classes and instructors always offer fresh and cool new playlists to ride along to. Not one class is the same but no matter what class you take, you always end up sweating your butt off. It’s probably one of the only places in the city that will get me up on a Saturday or Sunday morning just because of how great I feel once I leave the studio.

PAM_0682In addition to regular classes, the studio is doing more and more events. They had their first ever HIGHRIDE a few weeks ago, a special riding event with glow sticks, candy and serious beats. They’ll be doing these kinds of events once a month, so stay tuned for future HIGHRIDES!

The 45 minutes of riding will go by in a flash and will have you feeling great all day!

PAM_0597Great gear and a proper riding hairstyle are two musts for me when I ride. The last thing I want is hair in my face when I’m sweating profusely.

PAM_0608Notes from the hairstylist:

A Spinning Topknot
“Take your topknot to a new level. I added two dutch braids, tied Mel’s hair into a high ponytail and instead of leaving it loose, I put it into a topknot so that it wouldn’t be in her way while she’s giving it her all in class. Putting all of your hair up helps with not having so many knots, tangle, and keeps the frizz down too 😉 I also just wrapped the ends of her dutch braids around the topknot to make it look pretty. Why not have pretty hair while you workout?!”

Photos: Pam Lau
Hair: Cabello by Carolina
Makeup: Michelle Gardin

What I’m wearing: Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Capris (get them here), Nike Pro Hypercool Frequency Women’s Training Tank Top (get it here), Garneau Women’s Multi Air Flex Cycling Shoes (get them here).

New Year, New Goals

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2015 was a stellar year for me on the health and fitness front. I ran my first ever races, I trained harder than ever and became the healthiest I’ve ever been.

Whether it snowed, rain, it was super hot or freezing cold, I didn’t let the elements interfere with my training program. I also used all of my travels as extra motivation to get out there and explore new cities and new sights along the way.

Not only did I achieve my goal to run my first ever race, I also ran a 15k race and a handful more during the year. I accomplished things I honestly never thought possible.

I plan on making 2016 an even more kick-ass year health and fitness-wise. My main goal is to not only stay active and healthy but also run my first half-marathon! To accomplish that, I will need to take my training up a notch.

I’m excited to be kick off the year and be a part of Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt that start on January 4th. Head over to Nike.com to take a personal quiz and see what fitness program is best for you. The program will be specifically designed for your personal lifestyle and fitness level. I honestly couldn’t think of a more motivating way to start off this new year and to move towards my new goal, knowing we can do it all together just makes it even better! Stoked to be a part of such an amazing community of women all around the world. For more info, go here.

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Calgary

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Lot’s of love for Calgary on the blog today. Calgary is a super fun city to travel to for so many reasons. The city has got so much to offer as far as culture, food and wellness is concerned.

Contrary to people’s assumptions or what I’ve heard about Calgary in the past, it’s a super active city. People are outdoors, more and more people are riding bikes downtown and there definitely seems to be a big fitness culture.

As a runner, Calgary was delightful. It’s big blue sky made it the perfect conditions for a run around the city. Did you know that there are approximately 580 kms of pathways around the Calgary region? The city also has 220 kms of pathways in the proximity to downtown.

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There are several bridges crossing over Bow River to and from the downtown core. The pathways follow the river along both sides, my favorite path being on the northern side as you get a super beautiful view of downtown Calgary. I also enjoyed running towards Elbow River, through Fort Calgary and crossing over the Inglewood Bridge. The trails were great because they weren’t overcrowded and also in really good condition.

I hope that on my next trip to the city, I’ll get even more time to explore all the running trails they have to offer!

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To find out more about Calgary’s running trails, go here.

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).

Get Out Here

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We all need a little motivation to stay active when winter rolls around. My motivation for the past two years: friends. There’s no better motivator than a buddy to get you out the door when it’s cold.

Thanks to Nike’s winter series and all the amazing friends I’ve made by attending the Nike Run Club and their NTC classes, I can now keep on top of my fitness even during winter.

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Photo credit: Nathalia Allen

Last year, Nike organized a bunch of outdoor events leading up to the beginning of winter and this year, they’ve upped the ante with the launch of the Nike.com‘s online shop in Canada. Not only do they now ship to Canada but you can even design your very own custom pair of NikeiD shoes right here in Toronto. Furthermore, they also provide 1 on 1 coaching with some of Toronto’s best running and fitness trainers.

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Photo credit: Nathalia Allen & Tyler Hayward

Their new #GETOUTHERE events have been the perfect mix of running and high energy training.

That said, when I can’t train as a group, I’ve been getting back into the N+TC app, who’s workouts are constantly evolving. I love that I have so many different styles of workouts, workout lengths, etc. to choose from. Right now, I’m really digging Betina Gozo’s Fresh Hit 14min workout on the app. The drop squat and lateral jumps are some of the moves that she’ll make you do.

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Angelica Bengtsson’s Abs and Arms Workout is also one of my current favorites. I like that I can use a park bench as a prop for some dips!

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If you would like to obtain more info or would like to sign up for some of the classes offered by Nike, go here.

Photos by: @Offner unless otherwise indicated.

What I’m wearing: Nike Therma-Sphere Max Women’s Training Jacket (get it here), Nike Pro Hyperwarm Limitless Tights (get them here), Nike Pro Hyperwarm Limitless Hoodie (get it here), Nike Air Zoom Fit Agility 2 (get them 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 – 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)

13 Cities, 13 Runs – Ottawa

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Ottawa and I go way back. Growing up just outside of Montreal, I made countless trips to Ottawa over the years with the family. Whether it’d be for a weekend at the museum, a cross-country ski trip, to see family friends or to skate on the Rideau Canal, we often made the 2hr trek to the capital.

Ottawa can get very very cold in the winter so I’m glad I’m doing this running tour during the fall. The weekend I was in Ottawa was chilly but super sunny. I took full advantage of that and went on an exploratory run around the Rideau Canal.

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There are more than 170 kms of recreational pathways in the Ottawa and Gatineau region. Though I only ran on a fraction of these trails in the downtown core, they stretch way past what I had initially expected.

 

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A great place to start your run is around the NAC, the National Arts Centre, which is located just a few blocks from the parliament. The trail is paved and you’ll get wonderful views of the different neighborhoods along the way. They call that portion of the trail the Rideau Canal Eastern Pathway. The trail consists in mostly flat terrain with some small inclines. Along the way you’ll pass Hog’s Back Locks, Dows Lake, Rideau Canal Promenade as well as Carleton University. The Rideau River and Rideau Canal Loop itself is 22 kms long.

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I’m happy to report that it was my fastest run to date on my journey thus far!

For more information about Ottawa running trails, go here.

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Air Zoom Elite 8 (get them here)

Nike Pro Engineered Giraffe Women’s Training Tights (get them here)

Nike Dri-FIT Knit Long-Sleeve Women’s Running Shirt (get it here)

Urbanears Kransen Headphones Mint (similar ones here)

Traveler by TOMS Dalston Matte Grey (get them here)