Brazilian Circuitry in the Snow

Brazilian Circuitry in the Snow

So much fun to join Arian Nation at the Walnut Grove Sun Run InTraining Clinic – THANKS Gord for your enthusiasm and for capturing the essence of what it’s all about (having’ fun and being kids in the snow!)

Way to go gang – you are AWESOME – see you at the Sun Run!


Coach Lynn

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Don’t let WEATHER get in theway of your training!

Well there’s STILL snow and slush on the ground out here in South Surrey/White Rock as I type, and worse yet last night was the black ice underneath.  Last night I had to put my training group through the paces in a gym because it’s wasn’t safe to be slipping and sliding outside.  I put cones out on the outside corners, and they completed their RunWalk program in a pattern around the cones, diagonal between the cones  and then out the door down the hallway and back.  Music helped to keep everyone upbeat and smiling, and I threw in some body exercises including high knees, lunges, even planks, sit-ups and push-ups, just to keep things interesting.  (It was fun!)  My point is, if there’s a will there’s a way, and whether it’s miserable rain, snow or cold temperatures,  it’s the mind that talks us in-and-out of things, so be strong, give yourself that positive self-talk, be creative and get out there to do your workouts – You can do it!  

Consistency in training is everything, and you simply will not progress properly and you risk injury if you don’t stick to the program.  With consistency, days become weeks and quickly months become years in your back pocket, so that if you miss a day or two you won’t lose any fitness at all, and even having to miss a week or two means you’ll come back to your base level of fitness more easily. Most beginning RunWalk programs require you to complete a minimum of 3 workouts each week, so spread these sessions out evenly, and stay with that pattern.  My Dad was always funny because he thought it would be ok to “get all 3 workouts over with on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday” so he could sit on the couch the rest of the week (nice try Dad!) 

So either dress properly for the weather outside, or find a way to do your RunWalk in a gym or on a treadmill with a 1% grade to account for the fact that the machine generates your momentum. You can even elect to cross train by doing the exact RunWalk workout on a stationary bike, elliptical trainer or by deep water running at the pool:  staying afloat in the deep end of a pool by utilizing a running action with arms and legs.  More on cross training ideas next week, but meantime make arrangements right now for that tropical trip over Spring Break – a RunWalk workout on the beach sounds pretty good about now!  (I wish…)

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Love and Wellness

 “Love is everywhere” – I hope you managed a special time with someone you love this past Valentine’s Day weekend, and perhaps you did something “active” before you shared your dark chocolate afterwards! Many a spark has been struck between people in the spirit of wellness – by now you’ve discovered how nice it is to solve the worlds’ problems as you run or walk or ride together with a friend or partner! In fact it’s amazing the subjects you can cover in a 40 min. workout! Love is at the Olympics too – I think I was wishing I were 15 again after I watched our prairie boy snowboarder Mark McMorris overcome a broken rib to win Bronze in the slopestyle event early on in the Games – so humble and gracious – and the comraderie between competitors so evident with their high 5’s after each one completed their run. There was love in the spirit of competition when Denny Morrison won his 1000m Silver and wouldn’t have competed if his teammate Gilmore Junio hadn’t given up his spot for him. What about our skate star Charlie Hamlin’s amazing Olympic Gold in the 1500m short track when we were all waiting for him to find his sweetheart in the stands – Marianne St. Gelais – for the same Happy Hug ‘n Smooch they shared at the Olympic Oval in 2010?  It wouldn’t have mattered where he’d finished in that race!  At the Vancouver Sun Run amidst 50,000+ people there will be those who cross that finish line hand-in-hand, proud to have accomplished their 10K goal and even happier because they were able to share it with one they love.  My own smokin’ drinkin’ fun loving parents fall into that category when never-in-a-million-years would I have thought they’d complete the program and do just that:  take steps toward better health in love and fitness with the Sun Run as their pivotal goal.

So amidst the incredible performances from our Canadian Olympians – look out sports fans – can’t wait for the hockey finals(!) – Stick with your exercise program (if you need help DO let me know…!) – and then afterwards put your feet up, grab that remote and settle in with one you love as you take in all the inspiration from every single effort this last week in Sochi. 


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Inspiration from Sochi

Are you not EXHAUSTED from trying to catch all the Olympic Events as our Canadian athletes do us proud in Sochi?  (As I type I’m waiting for the highlights!)  I’ve been hooked ever since I decided to stay up and watch our snowboarding phenom from my hometown Regina –  Mark McMorris – OMG My daughter is in LOVE with him – and every athlete young and not-so-young needs to see “Making His Mark” –  He is SO humble and grounded… and had SUCH an incredible performance with a broken rib!  HOW do those guys make what they do look so easy – soaring through the air as they do?   Our Canadians have really shown up to play this time in Sochi…from Moguls to the Skate Track with so much still to come… I can’t put a finger on it exactly but there is an energy of world-class performance and effort that seems to be inspiring them ALL to greater heights… GO CANADA!  It’s the journey that means everything…

 *Here’s an excerpt from an article I wrote for the Vancouver Sun Newspaper this week…

”An Athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in head”                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Emil Zatopek  Legendary Czech Runner Olympic Gold 5K,10K and Marathon in 1952

In the midst of fantastic competition at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games I can’t help but reflect on the mixture of excitement and trepidation that exists for our young Canadian athletes in their dream competition.  If I close my eyes I can instantly take myself back 30 years to the 1984 Olympic Games myself:  I remember what it was like to be so ready to face the world, knowing I was in the best shape of my life, trying to tuck any insecure feelings away so that I would find my best possible performance on that one important day.  My own daughter posed quite a philosophical question for me after breaking a record at the recent Harry Jerome Indoor track meet, and watching our athletes win Gold in Olympic Competition:  She had felt on top of the world after her performance, and she asked me if I would trade my Olympic experience for all the money in the world… (Wow what a question!)  “All the money in the world or… no Olympic competition?  My answer of course is that what I could never trade would be the journey of choosing to be the best I could be at something I found myself truly passionate about.  It’s the message I try to preach week in and week out to those of you I have the privilege of coaching:  “Sport is life”, and you as an athlete have set your own performance goals while taking steps toward better health.  With every session you complete you will feel fantastic as you inch closer to your goal and I guarantee the demands in your life will be accomplished more easily thereafter.  My own Olympic journey was no different, and the lessons learned translate to life every single day. So lace up those shoes, record your successes in a logbook, entice a friend to join you and stay committed – it’ll be worth it!  You’ll have a greater appreciation of what our athletes will accomplish in Sochi (and maybe I’ll tuck my Olympic Bronze Medal in my pocket when I buy my lottery ticket next week!)


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Bert’s Story in Bella Coola

In my role as SportMedBC’s RunWalk coach I’ve been privileged to work with wonderful leaders in the Aboriginal community across the province, helping people to take steps toward better health by becoming active walking and running.  Bert in Bella Coola has beat cancer and lost over 100 pounds because he decided he wanted to LIVE:  he started walking and changed his lifestyle.  Most important he’s seen his grandchildren born!  It’s a lovely story of inspiration.  Thanks Janice Kyle, for your wonderful leadership in Bella Coola!  xo

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Coach Lynn goes Woo Hoo

This morning when I snuck out of the house at 6:30am for my morning jog I had this wonderful awareness it was no longer pitch black outside – the light was definitely peeking through those clouds!  And as I emerged from my favourite canyon trail that leads down to the beach, I was treated to such a special photographic moment:  Just west of me the moon was still huge and hanging in the sky while at the same time to the east the sun was rising up over the horizon.  It was windy, and there were “sheep” out there on the water (a windsurfer’s delight!), and I had to stop just to breathe and take it all in.  I felt so thankful in that moment to be able to start the day in this way, to have my health and to feel the beauty in our world because of it.

I think that activity of any kind in one’s life is a good thing, but it’s only those that take us outside in a quiet way that allow us to experience the powerful energy from the earth that somehow engulfs us from the ground right through the body to one’s inner self.

(Oh dear I think I’m going “woo-hoo”!)

I have my biggest emotional lifts and personal inspirations whenever I run, and if that’s not your experience just yet, then trust me… I know it will happen with you too.  Just as the days are growing longer, if you’re easy on yourself and progressing carefully in your program, you will be able to run or walk longer, gaining strength and confidence in yourselves with every week that passes by.  With that will come an ease with your running and walking – a “high” that takes form in different ways, whether it’s afterwards when you breath a sigh of relief the work is done, or whether it’s during your runwalk that you experience the nature around you and revel in your fitness.

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Join me for a webinar noon-12:30 Thursday Nov. 21st!

It’s normal to experience some aches and pains in response to your training. Most of these will disappear as your body adjusts to the workloads, and some might require rest and special treatment.

Sport Physiotherapist Timberly George will join me, and together we’ll discuss information on common RunWalk discomforts, how you can manage them and stay fit with cross training to support your program.  Register here:


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There has been many-a-love-connection kindled or re-kindled on the quiet neightbourhood streets and trails out on a seemingly unsuspecting run or walk…

In fact I bet you’ve already discovered the surprising variety of topics that come up when you’re out for a run or walk, whether it’s someone you know very well or someone you’ve hardly met… No matter the background, the one common thread is the activity itself.  There’s plenty of time to “talk”, because you are encouraged to stay within your nice comfortable “talking pace”, and good conversation ensues.  You not only solve the family problems, but the world’s problems as well, and you may find you divulge all sorts of personal information you honestly would never talk about at any other time…  everything from what’s happening at work to what you had for dinner …  and  eventually it will go even further to topics like how you are feeling about your health, your kids, your existing relationships, your sex life (yes!) and even whether or not you managed to get to the bathroom before the workout started (or better yet how often you go in a day!) 

Next thing you know you’ll be sharing toilet paper (if you’re not already – This is truly bonding stuff!)

When you find someone you enjoy running or walking with, the experience will warm your heart every time.  I have been a group coordinator of RunWalk clinics for over 20 years, and I always enjoy watching the love couples that rekindle, and those that inevitably emerge. 

My favourite RunWalk “love” vision of all?  My own Mom and Dad, when they decided to prepare to walk the Vancouver Sun Run together…  I’ll never forget the two of them crossing that Finish Line hand-in-hand, with the biggest smiles you can imagine, and the bond that held them together for 55 years never more wonderful to see.

My advice for this week, in keeping with this special Valentine’s Day theme along with my continuous theme as your Coach:  Be careful not to do too much too fast too soon ok?  And good luck with your own Love-on-the-Run!”  

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How about preparing for the Vancouver Sun Run 10K 2013?

 Yep it’s me – The consummate RunWalk Coach – and I’m BACK once again this year in my role as SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach with Sun Run InTraining.  18 years since the Sun Run InTraining clinics were born and I still find myself completely jazzed about people getting off that couch to prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run!  Flashback to the inaugural Sun Run some 29 years ago when I stood on the Front Line as a high performance runner:  Dr. Doug Clement and Dr. Jack Taunton were my mentors (both world renowned Sport Medicine physicians and original creators of this amazing event).  I remember they had to use orange traffic pylons as megaphones, shouting at everyone to step back from crowding the start!  Who knew that our usual Sunday run around Stanley Park would become the phenomenon it is today?

Do we need 50,000+ people to go for a nice Run or Walk?  Oh my gosh I’d be the first to say “NO” and then in the same breath I’d have to say “YES”!  All ages, shapes and sizes… it’s absolutely the most empowering community experience there is and worth setting a goal to complete it in a way that’s right for you.   Just imagine that there are literally thousands of people around BC mobilized in this pursuit of health and wellness exactly as you are at this time every year. What may have begun with a New Year’s Resolution to get off the couch will culminate at the Sun Run Finish Line 13 weeks from now – it’s fantastic! 

I’m also that gal who stood on an Olympic podium after a crazy race in the 1984 LA Olympic Games when the American favourite collided with a wee South African barefoot runner… Now flash forward to last year’s Sun Run wearing my SportMedBC coaching hat as I stood on what felt like a “podium” up high on the Cambie St. bridge, waving and cheering as thousands of people went streaming by to the finish at BC Place Stadium.  It was amazing. I saw so many Sun Run InTraining participants and felt very proud of everyone I saw.  I stood there for 4.5 hours and couldn’t leave til the last person ran by and gave me that High Five on the way.

I challenge you to think about embarking on this Sun Run InTraining journey – you can do it and it’s worth every step.  Stick to the program, SportMedBC programs created by my own Coach Doug Clement and now evolved with yours truly as your RunWalk Coach, and guaranteed you’ll find a newfound fitness from the inside-out with rewards along the way you can’t imagine right now.  Oh – you’ll find muscles you forgot about too, but they’ll eventually adjust to the training – just be patient. 

As I sip my coffee this morning with my trusty 4-legged companion at my feet, waiting for his morning shuffle, I’m reminded that as you get fitter and stronger through the program, you are going to discover the truth about walking and running:  that in fact “there is no finish line”. 

So how about deciding right now to prepare for the Vancouver Sun Run 2013?  There are a number of ways you can do that:  Visit to find a Sun Run InTraining clinic near you.  You’ll have the benefit of leaders I have trained to help guide you through the program.  Or you can sign up for the Online InTraining option, in which you’ll have me as your virtual coach.  Or you can engage me on a personal level to provide personal programming depending on what your goals might be.  I can help you with a plan to get up and off the couch, or  help you prepare for any running, walking, cycling or triathlon event you may have in mind. 

Meantime, here are a few guidelines for you with respect to the Sun Run InTraining programs:

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

 Walk10K                                                                                                                               Whether you are just starting out or already an avid walker, the Walk10K program will include a comfortable progression of distances and change-of-pace sessions to gradually progress from 45 minutes of walking to completing a 10K.


Perhaps you’d like to learn to run, but either haven’t had success in the past, or just aren’t sure how to begin.  If you haven’t been running for 3 months or longer, this is the program to start with.  Using a combination of walking and running, we will slowly and comfortably progress to being able to safely WalkRun a 10K.


Perhaps you’d like to either try to run faster for yourself or even just feel more comfortable when you run.  Your pace is personal, and this program will introduce change-of-pace running with progressions in distance and intensity to help you complete your 10K more comfortably than you ever have before.  For this program you should already be running easily 3 times per week for 30 minutes at a time. If that’s not you, then choose the LearnToRun10K Program.

2.  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.

3.  Stick to the schedule.  No more and no less.  It is a successful program.

4.  Make sure you have good supportive shoes when you start the program.  It will help your success and prevent injury.

5.  Stay at a nice easy talking pace most of the time.  If you are unable to string a few sentences together in conversation, then you are going too fast for yourself.  Slow down!

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

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

8.  Do a dynamic warm-up to get the circulation going.

9.  Do a stretch afterwards in your cool-down.  It will help prevent injury.

10.  Invite a friend or canine creature to follow the program with you.   It will be fun to share in the experience. (plus misery loves company if that’s how you’re inclined!)

Bon Chance and contact me if you’re looking for a Personal Coach – I’d love to help you!

Lynn Kanuka

SportMedBC’s Resident Olympian and RunWalk Coach



You can find me anytime at 


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Want to get off the couch? Time to make a start… even on a rainy day:)

Sometimes when I’m folding the laundry or doing the dishes, I ask myself:  “Did I really stand on an Olympic podium some 27 years ago…?”  (And the answer is:  You bet I did!)  You’re dating yourself if you remember when that American gal collided with a wee South African barefoot runner in a big featured race at the 1984 LA Olympic Games:  I was the Canadian who snuck in there to win a Bronze Medal that day.  Recently in LONDON I had the privilege of sitting in the stands as a spectator for the events I ran way back when and it was FANTASTIC!

These days I still love my runs in the forest, and I’ve dappled in Triathlons, but the only real running I do is to keep up with my four kids!  I’m a personal coach and love to be able to share my expertise with people like you, who for your own reasons have decided to get off the couch.

Just this morning I had a fantastic jog in the forest with my trusty 4-legged companion, whose always willing no matter the weather… and today it was raining for the first time in a while…

Would you like to get started RunWalking?  Maybe have a look for a 5K or 10K event a couple months from now in your community and think about preparing for it.  If you don’t already have a good program to follow, then contact me and I’ll set you on the right path.

You’ve already taken the first step just by even THINKING about it!  I know that with proper guidance and sticking to a tried-and-true program you will discover how easy it will be to take to the streets at a personal pace that is right for you.  Whether you decide to walk or jog, you can be proud of yourself for taking steps toward better health, and having a good time doing it!

“Setting meaningful goals takes courage”…

A couple of thoughts to support your training:

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. The bulk of any runwalk program needs to be at a comfortable talking pace.

Stick to the scheduleNo more and no less.  If it is a known tried-and-true successful program, then stick to it.

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

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

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

Do a stretch afterwards in your cool-down.  It will help prevent injury.

Invite a friend to follow the program with you.  Or maybe find a canine creature.  It will be fun share in the experience.


You can find me anytime at  “From the Couch to the Finish Line.”


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