November means shorter days, colder temperatures, and wetter weather.
Take advantage of the change in seasons and switch up your routine! Now is a great time to unclip the cleats, lace up the running shoes, and start exploring your local trails. Join us, and #achieveyourone20percent!
For all things running related we are checking in this month with one20percent ambassadors Myriam Beauge and Kim Harvey for insider tips and advice on endurance trail runs and route planning. And, back by popular demand, Part 2 of ambassador Gemma Slaughter's series on dynamic stretching for post-run and ride recovery.
Looking for an adventure off the beaten track? Our one20percent ambassador Myriam Beauge shares one of her all-time favorite trail running routes on Vancouver’s north shore. This 24km+ loop has it all – old-growth forest, creek crossings, 600m+ of elevation gain, and the infamous “Stairs of Hell”. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
A veteran of multiple marathons and endurance trail races including the North Shore Knee Knacker and a trip to Chamonix to take on the Mont Blanc Marathon, Myriam is no stranger to endurance trail running. We checked in with her recently to find out what her training looks like at this time of year and where her “go to” local training loop takes her.
Myriam tells us that this is the time of year when she “re-sets the timer to zero” and starts building up endurance with base “shuffle-pace” trail runs. One of her favorite Vancouver routes is a 24km loop starting on the Diamond Trail off Lillooet Road in North Vancouver, just past the Capilano University parking lot. (Link to full route and elevation profile, below).
Myriam says this one is all about continuous running, with a few ups and downs, and just over 635m of elevation. In her words:
“From the Diamond trailhead, you run toward the Baden Powell, down to the 30' pool and up the so-called "Stairs of Hell" to the Varley Trail. Then it's onward along Lower Lynn Loop Trail, Cedar Mills to the Third Debris Chute, then the Headwaters Trail to and across the Norvan Falls bridge, and finally to the Hanes Valley turnoff. Then I just pivot and head back the same way I came. For added kilometers, I can tag on a loop after the Varley Trail and go up the Baden Powell to Fromme via Baden Powell and St. George's, then head back down the road to the Baden Powell and Lynn Headwaters).
Besides the varying terrain and some fun creeks to cross, particularly when it's pouring buckets, this route allows me to get into a nice sustainable rhythm. I've also found it to be a perfect route to meditate or listen to a podcast as I enjoy a solo run. Love it!
Myriam has put up a link to her full route, with elevation profile, on Gaia GPS: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/d4e0ca31-d287-4abe-a5ef-24d48190c1fc/?layer=GaiaTopoRasterMeters
We thank Myriam for sharing her favorite training run with us! Look for her at the WAM 55 start line next year and be sure to follow her adventures on IG @TheRunningScribe. Hope to see you out on the trails!
If You Go Out in the Woods Today...Are You Prepared?
We recently sat down with one20percent ambassador Kim Harvey for a fun and informative discussion on all things running related. Topics covered include what she does “the day before” to prepare for long runs and endurance events, how she plans her routes, essentials she carries in her pack, and who is the best running companion (hint: she has four legs and answers to Lexi!)
Read on and learn ambassador Kim’s top tips and advice to prepare for and get the most out of your next long trail run!
Our Q & A with Kim:
How do you prepare the day before long runs and endurance events?Preparing for a long run for me is pretty simple.
I believe that everybody is different in their rituals and preparation. For me, recovery is key to long term enjoyment of trail running.
Hydration, nutrition, and the 'essentials' are key.
I drink ample water the day prior and ensure that my caloric intake is good, wholesome, and adequate for the length of time I will be on my feet.
The morning of I like to eat mainly carbohydrates, with a little protein for sustenance - sourdough bread, banana and nut butter, or overnight oatmeal with fruit and nut butter. Lemon water and of course a coffee!
I don't sleep well when anticipating an 'event' but do my best to be horizontal for at least 8 hours the night before!
Any wardrobe advice for a rainy day on the trails?
I dress appropriately for the weather after applying one20percent V120 natural chamois cream on all the necessary 'chafe potential' areas – yes!
I use the right shoes for the terrain and love a good pair of wool blend socks.
What’s in your hydration pack?
Water with added electrolytes. I carry at least 1 litre and take my purification bottle to refill safely.
My nutrition also goes in the pack - gels, bars, energy chews, dates and sometimes cheese and crackers!
For longer runs, I am always prepared for the unexpected with headlamp, batteries, extra socks, bivvy blanket, medical kit, ibuprofen/aspirin/salt tabs, gloves, toque, bear spray, personal alarm, charged cell phone and a rain jacket. Weather changes quickly at this time of year and being prepared can make the difference between a bad outcome and getting home safely. And of course, toilet paper and bag!
What do you consider when route planning for a long run?
For a long run, I choose routes I am 100% familiar with and have run before. I also want to feel accomplished and inspired, so choose a mix of elevations.
I love the beauty of trail running so always stop to take it in and snap some pics.
Any post-run recovery tips?
For me, recovery is of ultimate importance. I have a protein snack waiting for me at the end and plenty of fresh water.
I love a good stretch, hot bath, recovery cream on tired muscles, and enjoy a healthy meal to replace the calories my body consumed!!
Favorite companion on the trails?
I bring my 10-year-old dog Lexi on almost all of my adventures. She is a staple!!
Kim brings extensive experience in the fitness, health, and wellness industry to her role as one20percent ambassador. A fitness instructor of over 27 years, juggling raising her family with training and coaching, Kim was recently named 2021 Featured Fitness Instructor of the Year by Impact Magazine. A veteran runner, she made the jump from pavement to trails in 2014 with her move to Squamish. Kim missed this year’s Squamish 50 with a foot injury but we know she will be on the start line in 2022!
We are grateful for Kim’s advice and thank her for sharing her experience and insights with us! Follow her adventures on IG @kim_harveeee
Don’t Neglect the Stretch!
If you missed Part 1, be sure to check out our October newsletter here
As a recap from last month, Gemma’s 3 key takeaways for endurance athletes are:
- Warm up for physical efforts by preparing your body using dynamic stretches
- Start your training sessions with dynamic stretching to mobilize joints, lengthen muscle fibres and increase blood flow through your body
- Preparing your body for work will provide it with the ability to function optimally
- Recover from your physical efforts by stretching passively
- Post ride/run stretching re-aligns muscle fibres and encourages re-oxygenated blood full of nutrients back into the muscles
- Passive stretching after workouts, combined with a nutrient dense, high protein, fibre rich snack or meal is the winning recipe for recovery and longevity in life and sport!
- Between workouts schedule 2-3 mobility and stretch sessions weekly to increase your range of motion and build stability in your joints
- To move and function well we need a reasonable amount of flexibility in our joints. Stretching can help us achieve that
- Our bodies also require a certain level of stability in our joints
- This means that stretching (flexibility) alone does not decrease the risk of injury or improve performance
- Mobility, which is a combination of flexibility and strength, is the complete package which makes up our total movement capacity.
Gemma shares one of her favorite dynamic stretches for pre- or post-workout for runners and cyclists – the Side laying T-Spine Rotation (AKA Bow and Arrow
What it stretches: Thoracic spine
Benefits of stretching your thoracic spine:
- Improved posture
- Improved movement and mobility of upper and lower limbs
- Increased capacity and function of diaphragm (better breathing mechanics)
Gemma tells us that with a stiff thoracic spine the natural rounded curve increases and the ability to extend (straighten up) and rotate is decreased. This leads to the head and neck sitting forward which is associated with neck pain and headaches.
Below the thoracic spine the pelvis often ends up in an anterior (forwards) tilt and the lower back more rounded in the reverse direction (lordotic) to compensate for the thoracic spine posture. Lower limb mechanics due to thoracic spine stiffness are less noticeable than in upper limbs. An increased thoracic curve leading to increased lumbar spine lordosis (arch) and an anterior pelvic tilt changes the forces on the lower limb which can have particularly detrimental effects in any sports that involve running.
How to perform the side laying T-Spine Rotation (AKA Bow and Arrow) stretch:
- In a side laying position, bend the top leg to roughly 90 degrees placing your knee on the ground. For added comfort, place a yoga block, towel or pillow under your head and bent knee. Extend your top arm away from you with straightened elbow and place your bottom hand gently on your bent knee.
- It is important to use your breath as a relaxation tool to ‘melt’ into this mobilization.
- Take your top arm and beginning the movement from your shoulder, slowly start to glide your hand along the ground in an upward windmill pattern around and above your head.
- As your bicep reaches roughly parallel to your ear, slowly start to open your palm toward the direction you are moving while continuing the rotational pattern.
- Once your top arm is in a diagonal pattern with your top leg you should be in a full exhale state. Focus your breath and exhale into the base of your top rib cage and picture your spine in a spiral position opening up to the direction of your top arm.
- Slowly bring your top arm back to the starting position following the same path. Inhale before performing another repetition. Tempo for your breathing should be 3-4 seconds for both inhale and exhale.
- Repeat 3-6 times each side.
Don’t let chafing woes interfere with your day on the trails or local running route! Clothing seams, sports bras and hydration pack straps are just a few contact points that can leave red and painful chafing marks after even a short run (ever experienced the burn of water hitting chafed areas in your post-run shower? Ouch!)
So - when you are out running, riding or whatever you do, make sure you have a good anti-chafe chamois cream to #protectyourbits! Our petroleum-free P120 and V120 natural chamois creams for men and women are made with natural, effective, and non-toxic ingredients that are ethically sourced, natural plant derived and cruelty-free.