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Getting 15k Race Ready: Training + Injury Prevention

Nike Women's 15k Training

My #OnTheRunTO squad has cruised through the second week of official training for the upcoming Nike Women’s 15 in June. Every Monday the team meets at the Nike Running Loft in Toronto and we are guided through a customized run route lead by our designated Nike Pacer Christina Tiffin. Over the course of the training period, there will be special moments for the team to better help them prepare for race day. In an effort to keep the ladies happy and healthy over the next several weeks, Nike Canada brought in Dr. Marc Bubbs; Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author and Sports Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball team. Topics of discussion…the difference between dynamic stretching (suggested for pre-run) and the right way to cool down and stretch post run. Most importantly, the proper way to use a foam roller. Foam rollers are the most popular mechanism for self myofacial release and can increase blood flow through the body, increase range of motion and decrease the chance of injury. I’ve chatted about this in a previous post which you can find here as it’s extremely important for muscle recovery. According to Dr. Bubbs, the first thing to do to start seeing results is to roll out your calves, quads and IT band.

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k Training

To address the calves, begin by placing one leg on the roller, then place the other leg on top of it. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll to the knee. If you find a tender spot, stop and hold.  After 20 seconds, continue to roll through the area four times. Then set the hips on the ground and rotate the leg four times side to side. Through our daily activity and running Doc informed us that the quadricep area can be shortened which can affect the hips and put stress on the lower back. To target this area, begin by lying down in a plank position and place the roller just above the kneecap. Slowly roll down (about an inch per second) towards the hip. Same applies for the tender spots here – stop and hold for 20 seconds, then resume rolling. After four rolls, I like to bend the knee while rolling another four times to get a bit deeper. To get the IT band, turn onto your side and with the roller above your knee and roll up and down along the outer thigh. The best tip though was utilizing a golf ball to get those stubborn and hard to stretch areas like underneath your feet. That little tip has been life changing for myself and the ladies.

NIKE 15K TRAINING

I’ve been getting a ton of questions regarding my team’s training program. We are following the program that was created by Coach Chris Bennett, Nike+ Running Global and Nike+ NYC Head Coach that includes progression, speed, tempo and long runs, 1 NTC workout and a recovery day each week. Here’s a glimpse of the week by week breakdown that can also be found within the full Nike 15k training plan PDF:

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k Training

This Monday’s team run was a short 5k route developed by our Pacer Christina that took us on a short jaunt not far from our Toronto run  headquarters.

Nike 15k Training

Nike Women 15k training

Nike Women 15k Training

There are always a few mainstay items that remain in my running/gym bag during run season and this was the perfect time to treat everyone to some of my fave things. Inside the team’s gift bags they received a 18″ Gaiam foam roller, Adams natural peanut butter mini packs, Blow & Go Smooth, OSIS+ Session Label Silk Shine Cream and OSIS+ Magic by Schwarzkopf OSIS+, fresh pressed kale juice by Cedar Juice, Degree dry spray antiperspirant, Vaseline Intensive Care Dry Skin Repair Lotion, Vitaminwater, Smartwater, Simple Skinm’s Cleansing Micellar Water & Cleansing Wipes, Dove Go Fresh Revitalize beauty bars, golf balls (to roll out the hard to reach areas) and of course spring’s hottest Epic Lux Printed running tights from Nike.

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k TrainingPhotography by Lesean Harris LeseanHarris.com (@leseanharris)

l to r: Elle Daftarian, Kimberly Lyn, Amy Patel, Michelle Bilodeau, Sasha Exeter, Dr, Marc Bubbs, Cheryl Kozorziz, Melissa Doldron, Jessica Sturrup, Anna Bediones, Shannae Ingleton-Smith, Alex Nikolajev, Kate Matkinson, Andrea Yu and Nathalia Allen

Thank you to all my brand partners for the support and product. Stay tuned for more of our #OnTheRunTO journey over the next eight weeks. Click here for more information on Dr. Marc Bubbs and be sure to get social and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

Nike Women’s Run Series Announces 15K in Toronto

Nike Toronto

Yesterday Nike released the information that every single female runner on the planet has been patiently waiting for…the 2015 Nike Women Run Series race dates and cities.  For several months there has been tons of speculation and rumours swirling around and now the cat is officially out of the bag – finally! I am so excited that my hometown of Toronto will be amongst one of the amazing city’s around the world hosting a race this year. Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner or just beginning your run journey, this is a race you will not want to miss out on. I had the privileged of running in the Nike Women San Francisco Half Marathon in 2014, you can check out my race report here, and it literally changed my life. It’s not a race, it’s an experience!

Nike Women 15K Toronto

What to expect: Race date is set for June 14, 2015 with registration opening on to the general public on March 9th, 2015. Nike likes to keep event deets under wraps for as long as possible as the brand loves the element of surprise and they love to blow participants away but what I can tell you is to expect a weekend full of celebrations tailored specifically for the beautiful city of Toronto.

Now that the official countdown is on to raceway, I wasted no time setting the groundwork for what I need to work on before the real hardcore training commences thanks to the Nike Canada team. Yesterday afternoon I got to chat with Sheila Reid, member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic team and learned that she will be the elite face of the race this summer. Her focus in competition is actually on shorter distances and specializes in 1,500 – 5,000 meter track races) and has never ran a road race before. Proof that each and every one of us will be putting ourselves to the test looking to either run farther or faster than we ever have before. I also got a chance to have a gait analysis done at the Nike Running Loft by Kristen Kuzemko, part of the Nike North American Pacer team. It was the first time I had one done.  Not only will t will help me remain injury free but it will also assist me in improving my technique, so I can conserve energy and cause less damage to my joints. I will be sharing a little more about the outcome of my run analysis in a future post. My results were all packaged up in this cool little video which you can view here.

Nike Toronto Queen West Run ClubPhotography by Nathalia Allen (Nike Canada)

I am eagerly waiting to begin formal training and I look forward to hopefully encourage you all to take part in what is the largest women’s run series in the world. Throughout the coming months I will continue to share information on how to train, tips on proper hydration, nutrition, injury prevention and more. In the meantime, do yourself a favour and get a complimentary gait analysis at the Nike Store at the Toronto Eaton Center in order to begin your training on the right foot, pun intended. Click here for more information on the International Nike Women’s Race Series and be sure to get social and follow Run Nike Women on Twitter and Facebook.

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