Tuesday, January 30, 2007

SickKids Winter Beginners Program - Now Full

Due to popular demand, we have had to put a cap on new entrants for the SickKids Beginner Program so we cannot accept any new participants at this time.

If you're still interested in joining this program then please drop me an e-mail. If we have enough interest for another class we will be looking into staging a second program.

Thanks for your interest.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Goal Setting

If you've gotten this far into the new year without setting some goals you are not alone. A vast majority of people do not set good goals for themselves and this trait is not helping them to realize their dreams.

I've written a lot before about goal setting but it's a good time to renew some of those ideas and if you're one of the many, start thinking about what's important to you.

Without a goal you cannot have a plan and without a plan you will not achieve great things. The first thing to do is think about what you want to achieve in the long run. Not this week or this month, maybe not even this year. Think about your ultimate goal. It could be to climb Everest or to do an ironman or run from coast to coast. Whatever it is, write it down and put it somewhere you will see it everyday.

Now you have your ultimate goal, start thinking about interim goals which will help you move in that direction. If your ultimate goal is to run a marathon, for example, set interim goals to run a 5K, 10K, half marathon etc.

Goals are good to have but there are several things you need to take into account when setting them. They must be achievable, specific and have a timeline. For example you could say that 'I want to be a runner' but this is not specific (what makes you a runner) and does not have a timeline (by when). A better goal would be 'I want to finish a 5K run within the next 3 months'. It's achievable, specific and has a timeline.

Now you have your interim goal, start out making the plan to achieve it. If you want to run 5K then you need to do some training so plan out how much time you have and can dedicate to achieving the goal. Be realistic with the plan and you can't fail. If your plan requires too much of your time or you think it's not achievable in the timeline you set, adjust the timeline.

If you are really a type 'A' personality you could be setting goals each and every day. Things you want to do that will move you towards your ultimate goal. Most people don't need to get into that much detail but having a plan for what you need to do in the next few days will be a big step to achieving your dreams.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trail Running One Day Seminars

Looking for information on the upcoming Trail Running One Day Seminars produced in association with SALTYDOG?

Pencil the dates in for April 21st and May 19th. Clinic locations will be in the east end of Toronto/Durham Region just in time for the upcoming 5 Peaks races at Albion Hills and Durham Forest.

Details will be published soon.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mississauga Marathon Price Increase

For those of you signing up for the Mississauga Marathon on May 13th, take advantage by signing up now before the price increases on February 2nd.

There will be some great improvements to the race this year according to Joe Hewitt, Race Director for the marathon.

Commit to your goal early and save money!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Bad weather running

With the winter weather finally ariving it's a good time to remind everyone of some safety tips to keep our runs fun.

You can run in almost any conditions with the exception of during or just after freezing rain. If it's a skating rink out there, stay at home and go running tomorrow.

Apart from that, here are some tips to make your run a little safer:
  • Dress in layers so you can add or remove clothing as needed.
  • Wear moisture wicking clothing close to your skin.
  • Cover your exposed skin if it's below freezing.
  • Wear reflective clothing and use lights.
  • Run into the wind for the first half of your run so you don't go out too far.
  • Run loop routes from your finish point so you can take a shortcut home if you get into trouble.
  • Make mental notes of places you can get assistance like gas stations or stores.
  • Stay hydrated, the cold can dehydrate you as fast as the heat.
  • Carry a cell phone.
  • Tell someone where you're going and how long you plan to be out.
  • Avoid getting in front of moving cars when it's icy.
  • If you HAVE to run in the road, face the traffic and be prepared to jump into the snow bank if necessary.
  • Don't presume that drivers have seen you just because they are looking at you.
  • Don't try to get a personal best when it's icy.

Above all, enjoy being outdoors and don't do anything stupid and by the springtime you'll be way ahead of everyone who spent the winter indoors.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Planning ahead

If you are thinking of running a spring marathon, now is the time to plan ahead. We are now providing personalized plans for both the Mississauga Marathon and the Ottawa Marathon as well as both half marathons. All plans are designed for you personally with no cookie cutter plans.

Need more than a plan? Check out our personal or group training programs as well as our coaching programs.

Be ready to have a great run this spring!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Muskoka Triathlon and Duathlon

The Next Hit The Road 'Road Trip' will be to the Muskoka Long Course Triathlon and Duathlon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007
Sprint Triathlon
1 km Fun Run
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Long Course Triathlon
Long Course Duathlon
Location: Huntsville, ON. (Centennial Centre)


Sprint Tri - Swim 750m, Bike 20km, Run 5km
Sprint Tri Relay - Swim 750m, Bike 20km, Run 5km
Long Course Triathlon - Swim 2km, Bike 55km, Run 15km
Long Course Duathlon - Run 3km, Bike 55km, Run 15km
Long Course Tri Relay - Swim 2km, Bike 55km, Run 15km

We have already secured accommodation at the Grandview Resort for the weekend. Those interested can contact tony@hittheroadrunning.com for details.

Space is limited!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

SickKids Winter Beginners Program

Looking for information on the SickKids Winter Beginners Program?

All the information on the SickKids Healthy Workplaces program can be found at hittheroadrunning.com/sickkids

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New year's resolutions

Ah, it's that time of year again. The resolutionists come out of the woodwork only to disappear back again in about a month. Getting fitter and losing weight are perennials on the new years resolution top ten lists (usually in the top 3) but why do so many people come out in January only to be back to their old habits by February?

The answer is that they do not have a plan and that they have set unachievable goals.

The first thing to do is to look at your goal. A goal must have three components. It should be specific (measurable), achievable and have a timeframe. It's one thing to say "I want to lose some weight" but it's not likely to be successful. Try instead to add the three components for example "I want to lose 20 lbs by the end of April". Is this achievable? Probably, if you make a plan and stick to it. If however you wanted to lose 20 lbs by the end of January, I would suggest either changing the amount of weight or the timeframe. Setting goals that you are not willing to commit to will always fail so set a commitment that you are willing to live with.

Now that you have a good goal, it's time to set out your plan to achieve it. It won't happen all on it's own. Break your larger goal down into smaller chunks and write down what you need to do to make the milestones. Twenty pounds in four months can be easily broken down to five pounds a month. Five pounds a month is 1.25 pounds a week and we know that a pound equates to about 3200 calories. Now you just need to figure out how to get a deficit of 4000 calories a week that you are willing to live with. There are 2 ways of getting a calorie deficit; take less calories in and burn more calories. A combination of diet and exercise would be the most effective method.

Decide what dietary changes you are willing to make and what commitment to additional exercise you can realistically do and plan to do them. Don't make the mistake of over estimating the amount of exercise you will do which is one of the most common mistakes. If you currently do little or no exercise, it's not realistic to plan to be at the gym 5 times per week. Start out slowly and build up. Get used to exercising once a week. Once you're OK with that then increase it to two and so on.

The other common mistake is doing too much, too soon. This usually results in pain or injury and quitting. Give your body some time to adjust to the change before progressing to the next step. A realistic amount of change is 10% per week so if you are currently running 10K per week, increase it to 11K the first week. If you increase to 15K you will be sore and risk injury.

If this is too much for you, get help. If you really want to change, get the help of experts who can help you set a goal, make a plan and follow it. Hire a nutritionist or personal trainer but make sure they are qualified to be giving advise. There are a lot of people out there giving advise and if you are turning your hard earned cash over to them, ask what their qualifications are and make sure they are right for you. Even if you think you can do it yourself, you will be far more successful if you have someone coaching you through the process (Take a look at Hit The Road's Coaching Services) who will guide you through the process and give you someone to be answerable to.

Lastly, good luck. Don't become one of the 80% of resolutionists who are gone within a month. Set your goals, make a plan and achieve them.