Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Definition of a “Real Runner”

What is a “real runner”? Ever since I first started running, I’ve always wondered: when would I be considered a real runner? What separates the “runners” from the “joggers”? Also, why do some runners get so mad when they are referred to as “joggers”?

What is a real runner?

In my books, simply put, a real runner is anyone who puts on a pair of running shoes and runs. No, they don’t need to run a sub 8 minute mile to be considered a real runner. Some snobby “runners” will say that anyone who is not capable of going faster than 9 minutes per mile should be called a jogger.  At the end of the day, if you run, no matter how fast or how slow, you are a runner. Give yourself the credit you deserve and stop putting some arbitrary numerical value on what separates the joggers from the runners. To be honest, at the end of the day, both running and jogging have health benefits. The pace you choose to go is entirely up to you. It often depends on what you are trying to get out of your exercise routine.

When did I become a “real” runner?

I became a real runner the moment I joined my junior high cross-country running team way back in Grade 7. To be honest, I finished dead last in many of my first few races. I still think that even back then, I was a real runner. I trained consistently and tried hard to improve my speed. Later on, I did and I was winning races. I referred to myself as a real runner long before I ever won any races even though there were many people who tried to rain on my parade. HAHAHA.

What separates the runners from the joggers?

First, jogging requires a lot less effort than running because it’s a less intense form of aerobic exercise. One of the biggest differences is, of course, the pace. In order for a jog to be considered a run, a person’s pace should generally be about 10 minutes per mile or faster. Anything slower than 10 minutes per mile is usually considered a jog.

Keep in mind, however, that pace is often subjective. Therefore, for some people, a 14 minute mile may feel like a run if they are starting their fitness journey. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. If you run a 14 minute mile and that’s the best you can do, kudos to you for getting out there and doing it. I promise you will get better if you stay consistent.

Although jogging and running both use the aerobic system, jogging will allow you to burn a higher percentage of fat relative to carbohydrates.There is a time and place for both running and jogging. However, all these numbers used in this example are subjective and vary between individuals.

I urge everyone who is reading this article to take these numbers with a grain of salt.

Above: Photo by IMS FotoGrafix

Why do runners get mad when they are referred to as “joggers”?

Honestly, I have far more important things to worry about than wondering if people consider me a runner or a jogger. Sometimes, I run and other times, I jog. Every pace has a purpose in my training schedule. It’s time that people stopped being “butthurt” over terminology and started focusing on what’s important. Let’s forget about the pace we run. Instead, let’s focus on creating an inclusive community that inspires people to lead a healthier lifestyle. By all means, strive to improve your pace. Aim higher. Try new and challenging workouts. Do hills. Do speedwork. Follow running programs.

However, next time you see someone running slower than you, I urge you to encourage them. Don’t get mad if someone calls you a jogger. Be grateful that your body lets you do the thing you love. Strive towards being an ambassador for this amazing sport.

Running is awesome for many reasons. It’s not expensive. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment. You will make great friends. You will enjoy a lot of free food at races.

The open roads are always waiting for you.

Run4Dreams 2017: Results, Winners and Thank You’s

The moment we have all been waiting for! It’s time to officially close out the 2017 Run4Dreams and start working on Run4Dreams 2018

What is Run4Dreams?

Run4Dreams is a Virtual 5k Race, where the net proceeds from registration will be donated to Help Fill a Dream Foundation. Help Fill A Dream provides hope, help and happiness for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands’ children under the age of 19 with life-threatening conditions. Help Fill a Dream Foundation fulfils their dreams as well as assists their families with much-needed financial support.

Not only that, but Run4Dreams also aims to unite the worldwide running community and inspire runners and walkers of all levels to take part.

I first came up with Run4Dreams back in August 2017 and decided to do a pilot project right away. I wrote more about that on the Q Academy blog.

It warms my heart to know that I’ve been able to sell out the first Run4Dreams. It wasn’t an easy task and there were a lot of skeptics when I first started promoting it (I won’t mention anymore, because this is intended to be a positive post).

The results we’ve all been waiting for:

First of all, I want to say THANK YOU to all those who signed up and participated. I also want to thank Float House Victoria, Muscle MLK Canada and MEC Victoria for donating draw prizes to give to race participants.

THANK YOU to those who believed in the cause and who made a difference.

THANK YOU for believing in my vision to unite the worldwide running community, inspire active living and raise funds for a great charity. I cannot thank the participants and the draw prize sponsors enough for making this pilot project a success.

The first ever Run4Dreams raised $400 for Help Fill a Dream Foundation. There were participants from four different Canadian cities. Images from cheque presentation to follow.

I am definitely hoping that together with my expert team from Q Academy we can get a lot more people to participate in Run4Dreams 2018. We need more participants in order to make a greater impact on such a wonderful organization, Help Fill a Dream Foundation.

Submissions ranged from 16:05 for a 5k to over an hour. This is proof that everyone is welcome to participate and I’m thrilled to see such a wide range of running abilities. At the end of the day, whether the 5k takes you 15 minutes or 1 hour, you are still a winner because you did it. You helped a great charity and you should all be proud of yourselves.

There was a lot of positive feedback on the Run4Dreams endur socks that participants received just for registering!

The WINNER of the $75 CASH Prize for fastest submission is Matthew Winkler. His time was 16:05, which is his personal best. Matthew ran that fast at ParkRun and I watched him do it! Matthew is an inspiring local elite athlete who is passionate about running. I’m so thrilled that he took part in the race!

Above: Matthew looking speedy. Photo credit to whoever took this photo.

DRAW PRIZE WINNERS

Muscle MLK Winners:

Adam Dennis

Kent Ainscough

Karolina Lazdzin

Jerry Hughes

Mark Hamblett

Float House Gift Card Winners:

Bernice Smith

David Mackenzie-Kong

Anne-Marie Sutherland

Dom Spragg

Ian Simpson

MEC Race Entry Winners:

Neil Frelick

Angel Farley

Connect with me to arrange claiming your prizes 🙂 yhempler (at) gmail (dot) com or Yana Hempler on Facebook.

 

 

 

How to Qualify for The Boston Marathon

Many runners dream of one day crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I know this because I was one of those runners. When I was fifteen, I saw the Boston Marathon on TV. Ever since then, I dreamed of running it. Then, finally, in April 2015, ten years after I first saw the race on TV, I lived my dream. 

To say that crossing the finish line was a life-changing experience is an understatement. Despite being about 50 minutes too slow to qualify for the Olympics in the Marathon (Canadian Standard is sub 2:30), completing the Boston Marathon made me feel like an Olympian. There were so many people watching the race and cheering for all of us. Although we were nowhere near the elites, we all still got a lot of accolades and high fives.

It also took a lot for me to get there. When I toed the start line of my first marathon, I never thought I’d qualify. Then, I actually did. If you have been chasing a BQ for the past few years, please don’t despair.

Below are tips to help you qualify for The Boston Marathon:

  1. Review the qualifying standards carefully. Once you’ve reviewed the qualifying standards, understand that to guarantee your spot in the race you must run at least 5 minutes faster than the qualifying standard for your age and gender. There are so many people applying to run the race. Therefore, running a 3:34 when your standard is 3:35 will not get you in.
  2. Figure out what pace per mile (or KM) you need to run to be able to achieve that goal time. For example, if you need to run a sub 5 min km for all 42.2km, it’s very good to know that.
  3. Pick a fast course to attempt to qualify. An ideal course would be relatively flat with minimum sharp turns. It would preferably be done as close to sea level as possible and in temperatures that are not too hot and not too cold. I ran my personal best (3:18) at the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon, which I think is a great course. I’ve also qualified for Boston at the BMO Vancouver Marathon twice. Another good example of a PB-friendly race is the California International Marathon/.
  4. Give yourself enough time to train before your goal race. An ideal length of time to train consistently for a marathon is 6 months.
  5. Don’t skip your long run. The long run will help you improve your aerobic fitness and boost your confidence that you can actually go the distance. You should do at least 3 or 4 runs that are longer than 32km before your marathon.
  6. Hills are your best friends. Learn to love hill workouts. Hill training helps increase leg strength and power as a result of the resistance that hills give you. It will also help prepare you for the faster and more demanding workouts that are ahead of you.
  7. Train at goal race pace. You should strive to train at your goal race pace once a week, especially after you are done the base-building phase. Your race pace training run doesn’t have to be super long. However, it will give you the confidence that you can keep it up.
  8. Don’t be too stressed about qualifying for the Boston Marathon. There will be plenty of other chances if it doesn’t happen at your next marathon.
  9. Enjoy the journey. Listen to your body. Make your workouts fun. Cross-training will help you decrease your risk of injuries.

If you found these tips helpful, please share with anyone who hopes to one day qualify for the Boston Marathon.

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