Covid 19 – Stay Active

Helloooo there… I’ve been away and it’s time to be BACK… Amidst these extenuating circumstances it has perhaps never been more important than to stay strong and committed to your personal health… There are soooooo many people out walking and running right now and that’s GREAT:)

  • We KNOW exercise will boost your immune system.
  • We KNOW your cardiovascular, respiratory and muscular systems will continue to be stronger and more efficient so that your overall health and fitness will be at its best.
  • We KNOW “exercise is medicine”, and movement will absolutely make you feel better.
  • YOU know this too.

My heart goes out to all of you as we do our best to stay positive while this world-wide covid-craziness continues… and I will continue to support you with WalkRun programs and my video tips and coaching advice as always.  I know that if we can focus on all that we CAN do rather than what we can’t… that somehow life will be better.

What can you do?  Resolve to stay motivated and be committed to your health!

  • Remind yourself how good you feel when you are active and how better able you are to handle the details of your day when you do.
  • Stay safe by keeping your distance as recommended by our World Health Organizations.  STAY HOME.. and do only what is essential.
  • Most people do too much too fast too soon when they decide to run:

Sign up for WalkRun101: Take your first step with a tried-and-true WalkRun experience: Start on workout day by getting yourself dressed for exercise and heading out the door.  Begin your warm-up walk, and the rest of the workout will follow.

I’m confident you can do it!  And I’m running and walking every step of the way as your virtual coach… knowing you’ll be stronger and fitter and happier doing it!

Smiles are contagious:)

Coach Lynn

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Time to get off the couch and RunWalk!

2018 Vancouver Sun Run InTrainingWeek 1
Training Tips with Olympic Medalist RunWalk Coach Lynn Kanuka

“It all starts with a voice inside…”

I have no idea some 40 years ago what possessed me to head out for a run along Wascana Parkway in Minus 30 degrees in Regina, Saskatchewan.  It was 1.5 miles to the university and back from my home. You can bet nobody looked at me that day all bundled up in the cold and thought “that girl will race around the world representing our country, and stand on an Olympic podium!”  My intention back then was simple: I remember wanting to do something active for myself that was totally my own, and it’s that same personal feeling that still gets me out the door for a run or walk nearly every day. I understand what it means to make a start.  To struggle a little bit.  To find a way to fit a workout in amidst our busy lives. My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I’ve never enjoyed my running more because I know that it makes me feel motivated, vibrant, and helps me keep the demands of the day in stride. It’s become my passion to help others find the motivation to get off that couch and move because it simply Feels Good. Barring unforeseen circumstances most everyone can walk or run, as long as you don’t do too much too fast too soon.  It’s the impact that gets you every time if you don’t have a proper program with some guidance and support.

You’ve already made the biggest decision by deciding to join your clinic and make a start. I’ll have the privilege of guiding you as your virtual coach with tips and stories every week, and your clinic leaders will ensure you have the best possible support along the way. After 23 years of SportMed Sun Run InTraining, and literally thousands of success stories, I know you can do it!  Vancouver Sun Run 2018 here we come!

WATCH Week 1 Video Tip HERE

READ Detailed Coaching Advice HERE.

*IF joining a clinic doesn’t work for you, and you’d like to do your OWN RUNWALK ON YOUR OWN TIME then join me directly here – you’re first 2 weeks are FREE to make a start:

It’s Week Number One either way, and here we go with a few simple tips to get you started:

  1. Encourage a friend to join the InTraining Program with you! Take this journey towards better health & fitness TOGETHER! Don’t forget that for every friend/family member you refer to the program, you can enter to each win a pair of Vancouver Canucks tickets! More info HERE
  2. Make sure you have a proper pair of shoes that will support your bio-mechanics and foot type. Visit one of the SunRun Stores for expert advice: Peninsula Runners, Racquets and Runners, The Right Shoe, or Fit First Footwear.
  3. Be honest about your fitness and choose the program that’s right for you! Ask your Clinic Coordinator and/or your leaders if you have any questions.
  4. Decide when you will schedule your 3, one-hour training sessions per week –  and give them the same priority you would any other important meeting you might have in your calendar!
  5. Keep to a nice easy talking pace. Don’t be tempted to do too much, too soon – as this may lead to injury and burn-out.

Walk/NordicWalk10K: Whether you are a beginner or already an avid walker, this program will provide you with a comfortable progression of distances and change-of-pace intervals to ensure you progress at your own level.

LearnToRun10K: If you have never run before, or have not done any running for more than three months – this is the program for you! You will notice the gradual progression in which the walking time decreases and the running time increases, so that by the end of 13 weeks you will be ready to RunWalk the Vancouver Sun Run 10K with magical “10-and-ones”!  10 minutes of running alternated with 1 minute of walking.

New! RunWalk10K: This is an intermediate progression for those who are not yet avid runners but are a little beyond learning to run. If you’ve completed the LearnToRun program and are ready to incorporate more running but still enjoy the walk recoveries, then this is the right choice for you.

Run10KStronger: If you are comfortable running on your own, 2-3 times per week for at least 30 minutes, then you are ready for this program. The introduction of brisk running intervals will help you run more efficiently and help you to progress and run faster, depending on your own personal goals.

Smiles and good luck with Week 1!
Coach Lynn Kanuka
SportMed’s Olympic Medalist and RunWalk Coach

4 Nutrition Habits of Successful Runners

Looking to become a better runner this year?  Whether it is your first time running or you’re trying to beat last year’s personal best, follow these 4 nutrition habits that will set you up for success this running season.
1. CARBS ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS…and protein too!
Don’t expect to run faster if you’re skipping on carbohydrate rich foods, in fact you’ll be doing just the opposite not to mention increasing your chances of getting injured. Complex carbohydrates like whole grain bread/ cereal, pasta, starchy vegetables and fruits are excellent choices that will keep you fueled.
Although carbohydrates are important in keeping you energized, protein is just as important in controlling your appetite. Aim to have at least one carbohydrate and one protein rich food at each meal. For example, this can be an oatmeal bowl topped with fruits and nuts for breakfast, grilled chicken or tofu wrapped in whole grain tortilla for lunch, and a meat roast with roasted sweet potatoes and your favorite veggies for dinner. Still hungry? You can always add yogurt/ cheese or fruit to your meal to feel more satisfied.
Preparing your lunch box to work? Pack extra snacks to keep you satisfied between meals. Even if you are leaving the house for a couple of hours to run errands, have an emergency snack on you just in case hunger kicks in. Running burns quite some energy so it is normal to feel hungry every 2-3 hours. Best way to keep energized in between meals and avoid arriving famished at dinner time is packing snacks to go. Easy energy-dense portable snacks can be nut bars, trail mix or a homemade muffin/ fruit bread.
If you want to save yourself from getting hangry and finishing a box of cookies by yourself, start running to the kitchen immediately after each training to grab a recovery snack or meal. Exercise causes some muscle tear and damage but also makes your muscles receptive to nutrients like carbs and protein within 2h of working out. This means, if you eat within 2h, you will have a more speedy recovery allowing for faster muscle repair. Chicken or egg sandwich, granola and yogurt bowl or peanut butter and banana toast are all excellent carb and protein recovery foods.
If you don’t have much appetite after a hard workout or a run, you will still need to get some energy in. Liquids like chocolate milk or a homemade smoothie are easier to digest and are a great carb-protein combination for refueling.
It’s 5 AM, the third time you hit the snooze button and you are already wishing you didn’t stay up last night watching your favorite show. You still manage to drag yourself out of bed and finish your run with a mediocre time. It is no surprise that when you’re tired, running feels like a chore. Over time, poor sleep can weaken your immune system, decrease your performance and affect your post-run recovery. This means, you’ll increase your chances of catching a cold or getting injured and you’ll soon be running to the doctor.
In today’s 24/7 world, it can be challenging to get a good night’s sleep, be social, work hard and stick to a strict training schedule. The good news is, if you don’t get a restful night sleep, taking naps during the day is beneficial in keeping your overall sleep quality. You can also try to plan your training week ahead of time. For example, plan your short runs on your busiest week days and keep the long runs for less hectic days or the weekend. If Thursdaynights are your social nights out, then plan a rest day on Friday.

Melissa Kazan MSc, RD
Registered Dietitian & Sport Nutritionist
Fortius Sport & Health

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Tips for Walk-Run Program Success

Coach Lynn’s Basic Tips for Success with your Walk-Run Program:

Be honest about your current fitness level. Choose the right program for yourself.

Be patient. Most people tend to do too much too fast too soon –Remember you should always finish feeling like you could have done more.

Source a coach or tried-and-true program and stick to it. No more and no less. You’ll feel good right away but it takes consistency and weeks/months before you’ll truly experience your gains in fitness.

Make sure you have good supportive shoes that are specific for your own gait, foot structure and appropriate for your program. It will help your success and prevent injury.

You need to commit to at least 3 days per week for your body to adapt to impact and for you to experience improvements in your walk-run fitness.

Stay at a nice easy talking pace for all easy runs and recoveries between intervals. If you are unable to string a few sentences together in conversation, then you are going too fast for yourself. Slow down!

Always have a recovery day after a harder effort day. Intervals, steadies and long runs are “harder” days.

It’s your arm action that sets the pace and maintains your rhythm. Pump those arms and the legs will follow.

Most runners over stride. Focus instead on establishing a comfortable quick turnover. The relative speed will come when you are able to maintain that quick turnover with an increased stride length when you are fitter and stronger from interval training.

Keep a logbook and record your successes. It will keep you motivated.

Do a dynamic warm-up before your workout to get the circulation going.

Do some static stretches afterwards in your cool-down. It will help prevent injury.

Do consider adding some basic core exercises to help maintain proper body posture and improved running technique: planks, wall sits, body bridge for your glute strength, basic sit-ups and push-ups. It only takes a few minutes.

If you are an avid runner, do those strength endurance exercises – ABC’s, in warm-up and afterwards for strength. They will improve your technique and strength. Contact me if you don’t know what these are!

Invite a friend to train with you or find a group. Even a canine creature if you are a beginner. It will be fun to share in the experience and help keep you motivated.

Consistency is key – nothing fancy.

Take a break from the impact with cross training if your body is not adjusting to the training and you have a discomfort that is not subsiding. See a doctor or physio if you are unsure of what you are experiencing.

Remind yourself why you Walk or Run:

It is fun and enjoyable.
It is excellent for heart health.
It builds healthy bones.
It improves mood and reduces stress.
It increases flexibility and strength.
It is an effective way to control weight.
It is a good form of transportation.
It is good for the environment.
You can do it anywhere anytime.
All you need is a tried-and-true training program, good coaching advice and proper shoes.

Lynn Kanuka
Olympian and Coach
You can find me anytime at

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Put that fork down and Get Moving!

It’s early morning. I’ve had my cuppa java. I head out for a run: The perfect start to what I know will be a great day. My days as a serious athlete are long past, but I’ll always be a runner. I love its simplicity: All you need is a pair of shoes and you can do it anywhere, anytime. It makes me feel motivated, vibrant, and helps me keep the demands of the day in stride. If you are even “thinking” about how to lose weight and take steps toward better health, it would be my privilege to guide you as your virtual coach.                                                                                                                                   It’s really not complicated. Reduce your portion sizes and get moving! After over 20 years of helping people off couches and literally thousands of success stories, I know you can do it!
Just this morning I bumped into a gal I know because we sometimes walk our dogs together. She asked me if I thought she could learn to run at her age. Of course I smiled and told her exactly what I’d be telling you if you decided you’d like to make a start on a Walk, Run or Tri-Fitness program:  I can’t wait for you to enjoy a journey like no other and here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1. Choose an event you’d like to prepare for.
2. Be honest about your current fitness level and choose a progressive program that’s right for you.
3. Make sure you have a proper pair of shoes.
4. Begin with a nice easy talking pace no matter the discipline.
Here’s to good health in 2016!                                                                         Coach Lynn
Olympic Medalist Coach

Posted in 10K, 3000m, 5k, Athletics, back to basics, Better Nutrition, Bronze LA 84, change, clinics, Coaching, Cross Training, Deep Water Running, Every WOMAN, Exercise, Focus, fun fitness, General, Get Moving, goal, goal setting, group training, Half Marathon, health, Hints, kanuka, LA 84, Lynn Kanuka, Lynn Kanuka Williams, Lynn Williams, Marathon, Motivation, Nordic Walking, Olympic Tri, Olympics, online training, programs, progressive, progressive programs, racing tips, Road running, Running, Running Injuries, running technique, runwalk, Sessions, Speed Swimming, Spin Classes, sport, Sprint Tri, StreetStrider, Stress, Stress Reduction, Technique, Track, training, Triathlon, Walking, Walking technique, walkrun, wellness, williams, workout

Change is possible-with SportMed RunWalk programs

SportMedBC’s Sun Run InTraining Program is 21 years old this year… and I’m proud to say I’ve been involved since the beginning.  It’s no surprise my own Olympic Coach and pioneer in the world of Sport Medicine –  Dr. Doug Clement –  was the visionary. Coach Doug created the first SportMedBC progressive RunWalk programs to help people off couches and actually develop a healthier lifestyle as they prepared for the largest  10K footrace in Canada: The Vancouver Sun Run.  I was a performance athlete on that inaugural starting line of the Sun Run 30+ years ago, became one of the first Clinic Coordinator Coaches for those first Sun Run InTraining Clinics, and now am proud to say I’ve been SportMed’s resident Olympic Medalist and RunWalk Coach for the last 10 years. I would challenge you to find a program anywhere on the planet that mobilizes this many people at the same time in the pursuit of health and wellness.  There are now 50+ clinics around the Lower Mainland where participants are supported by some 600 trained leaders, there are online training options, a book series, and an Aboriginal RunWalk Program extension I’m super proud of.  Literally thousands of people follow these evolving programs every year.  There are countless incredible stories of success in participants and the differences that this program has made in their lives.   One such story is featured in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper today – a longtime supporter of the Sun Run and InTraining Program:  A diligant committed participant and longtime leader who experienced amazing change in his own life – someone I’ve come to know as a friend – Read about Barrie’s inspiring story here:

Smiles, Coach Lynn

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Too Many Happy Hours-Time to Get Active!

OK – Summer was great wasn’t it? But I’m not likin’ my “vino pouch”…

Yep – I love my chips ‘n libations too and those Happy Hour calories were evident when I put my jeans on for the first time the other day… they felt too tight for my liking.  I’m not going out to buy a new pair either! Now that the kids are back in school it’s time to incorporate some personal fitness into my own already-busy fall routine.  I had the opportunity to talk to the importance of being active and making healthy life choices to a YPO chapter in Little Rock Arkansas last week and I found MYSELF inspired!   We completed a mini-triathlon together, as well as talked about Team Building by preparing for a local 5K event, and I found myself deciding I too need to pencil my workouts in my day planner the same way I do other important commitments.  It doesn’t take much… I know I feel great with a 30 minute walk with the dog every day, but even better if I include 4 days of what I would consider a 45 minute workout:  1 swim, 1 cycle or spin class, and 2 runs – one shorter and one longer, one of which will include a few intervals to get my heart rate up.

Keep it simple and progress slowly. Everyone has their time of day that works best; I know for me if I don’t get up early enough to have my quiet cuppa java and head out the door before the day begins that it just won’t get done.   So get on board along with me!  As we get older, our metabolism naturally slows while our muscles and bones seriously atrophy if we don’t use ‘em.  We put on weight, we feel sluggish, and it gets harder to get back to the fitness level you once were in if you let too much time go by.  Make the commitment to yourself to grab hold of your health – Reduce those unhealthy refreshments and portion sizes and Get Active – I’d be glad to help you anytime with coaching or motivation to make a start.

Smiles – You can do it!  Coach Lynn

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Tackle those Hills in your Neighbourhood!

“Hills are speedwork in disguise.”
– Frank Shorter, Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist 1972

If you are one to avoid hills, now is the time to decide to tackle them!   Hills are excellent for strength, fitness, improved efficiency and injury prevention, and you’ll experience a huge sense of accomplishment every time you get to the top.

My own first set of hills was as a Senior in High School, running up and down a snow-covered garbage dump in Regina. (Seriously) No technique at that time – just gutting it out up-and-down. There was some kind of voice inside me that knew running hills would be a good way to become fitter.  A couple years later I remember  in Saskatoon on the U of Sask. track team tackling repeats of what became known as “The Iron A” under one of the bridges along the river.  (Yep you can figure out what “A” stood for!) These days I have my performance athletes doing Ravine Hills in White Rock every other week all year long.

So name your neighbourhood hill and get tough!

  • Lean slightly into the hill while hinging at the waist.
  • Keep the abs and back strong – shoulders away from ears.
  • Focus only on the few feet in front of you.
  • Shorten your stride – Most people over stride on hills.
  • Land on the balls of your feet and lift your knees as quickly as possible.
  • Keep those arms pumping with a short quick swing.
  • Be patient, and let your breathe come naturally.
  • Take it easy on the way down as the impact is greater.

You’ll be tackling that Cambie Street Bridge Hill en route to the final mile on Sun Run Day with gusto!

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Almost ready for the Sun Run (or another event?) Find Focus in your Workouts

VSun Coaching Advice – Week 12 – Find Focus in your Final Workouts

The cherry blossoms are out, the winter chill has disappeared and I wonder if you realize how your workouts are perhaps the one time during the day that you are NOT multi-tasking?  You are now fit, strong, able to find your rhythm, and tackling only the task at hand. This morning on my own run I started off mentally ticking off the things that needed doing today, but by the end of it I had no awareness of that checklist and only felt a sense of calm and confidence. It’s argueably one of the greatest benefits of what we are doing; leaving the world behind for that simple hour 3 times a week.

I’ve noticed a few things during my visits to clinics that might help you find focus in your final workouts:

Walkers:  Be tall in your body with a wide swing of the arms and reach forward with the legs to generate a strong heel-toe action. Take advantage of a nice wide range of motion.

LearnToRunners:  Try to limit the side-to-side sway in your upper body – it’s wasted motion. The arms must swing freely from the shoulders, not from the torso.  Be strong in your abs and make sure the hands do not cross the midline of the body in front.

Runners:  Many of you are overstriding. Concentrate on a nice quick turnover by lifting the knees the moment your feet touch the ground. Imagine you are stepping quickly over a small barrel in front of you.  When you overstride you are “braking”.

The work is done now folks – Only a couple weeks away now from Event Day! But please don’t test yourself over 10K until the Sun Run:  These final sessions are icing on the cake and the consistency solidifying your training program will help you have your Best Day on Event Day.  So turn that phone off , forget the multi-tasking and find “focus” in your final workouts!

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Halfway 5K at HillCrest Clinic in Vancouver

Such an awesome group they are at the Hillcrest Sun Run InTraining Clinic!  I was privileged to join them last week at their Over-Halfway-to-Sun Run 5K…  The location just happens to be right at Queen Elizabeth Park, right across from the start of one of the most beautiful point-to-point marathons on the planet:  BMO Vancouver Half and Full –  (of course I’m a little biased:) coming up soon on May 4th the week after the 30th running of the Vancouver Sun Run.  Between these two events there just aren’t other footraces that feature such gorgeous options for sightseeing:)

These Sun Run InTraining participants finished their 5K with gusto – throwing up their arms at the finish line with Big Smiles – the faster finishers waiting for all to finish – celebrating that good feeling of accomplishment with the best Sport Drink ever afterwards – a nice bottle of good-ol’ fashioned chocolate milk – who knew something that tastes so good could be so good for you with just the right nutritional replenishment after a good workout!?

The pleasure was all mine at Hillcrest, and honestly it’s the same at every clinic I manage to visit.  Thanks to Philip Wong the Clinic Coordinator who doesn’t miss a single detail making sure his participants have all their coaching advice and stay safe out there on the roads.  Thanks to you ALL at Hillcrest for your enthusiasm and effort –  it’s YOU who inspire ME in the spirit of fun and fitness – I’ll be there for you and all participants on my perch with 1 mile to go to BC Place Stadium just as you cross over the Cambie St. Bridge on Sun Run Day – After that easy peezy 5K you KNOW you can do it!

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Inspiration on the run – Wonderful fit couple

Today is a gorgeous day, but last Friday I remember it felt like the sky was falling when I put my private umbrella on (yes I alternate between my Vancouver Sun Run and my Vancouver Marathon Hats!) as I headed out the door for a jaunt in the trails.  I’ll admit it was not the most pleasant day out there – but I reminded myself of what I absolutely know to be true: it feels good to be a little crazy out there in the yucky weather. Coupled with oxygen in the air and a guaranteed endorphin release if I were to push the pace a little, I was hopeful I’d find inspiration on my run, and I wasn’t disappointed. After a nice 40 minute change-of-pace workout (yep I follow my own programs just to make sure they’ll work for you!) I cooled down back to my car just as a big ol’ Lincoln pulled up beside me. I called my wet soppy dog away from the nice man and woman as they proceeded to head out arm-in-arm towards the community center pool:  What a dapper fit couple they were – he with his cool cap and cane, and she in slim jeans, high heels and trendy hair style.  They could have been 70 or 80 years old – I don’t know – but I followed them and asked what their secret was to obvious good health.  “50 years of marriage and we swim everyday” he says with a twinkle in his eye. And she says “I dress this way because my husband likes how I look.”  

Isn’t it nice to know people do things for each other and with each other for no reason than because it makes the other feel good?  So they swim together every day and I noticed they walk together every day too – arm in arm. 

So just as the days are growing longer, you are able to run and walk longer now, and know that you look good because you feel good, for yourself and for those who care about you. Celebrate your fitness every day – Stay confident in your talking pace, find a lightness in your step, and go for a nice walk arm-in-arm with somebody soon and not because it has anything to do with fitness.

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