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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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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