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!

Posted in 3000m, back to basics, Bronze LA 84, Cross Training, Focus, fun fitness, Hints, kanuka, LA 84, Lynn Kanuka, Lynn Kanuka Williams, Lynn Williams, programs, racing tips, Road running, running technique, runwalk, Technique, Track, Walking technique, walkrun, williams | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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