Hi Everyone!


I believe there were no races last weekend. Some people are starting back to base training, some people are in the thick of it for November races, and some people are still recovering. Whatever phase you’re in, be in it! Every phase has a purpose and you can’t fast-track it.


That’s what I’ve been thinking about in terms of recovery. I get a lot of questions from people along the lines of “can I do this” or “can I add that” and I say … “as long as you can recover from it”. It’s not the stimulus that hurts you – it’s the inability to recover from it. If you look at the difference between what elite athletes are doing and what we are doing, it’s basically just a lot more work. And they also eat twice as much and sleep twice as much as us. A typical daily schedule would be: wake up, eat something, train, eat something, sleep, eat something, train, eat something, sleep. They can train more only because they are eating and sleeping more – not the other way around. So it stands to reason that if your eating or sleeping get cut down for some reason, your training has to follow suit or else you’re risking injury or breakdown, or at the very least not getting stronger from your training. Your training HAS to be dictated by your ability to recover from it.


I’ve been fascinated (as many people have) by the Norwegians and how they train. Currently the fastest runner, cross country skiers and triathletes in the world are all Norwegian. I’ve listened and read a lot about their systems, and there seems to be a few similarities across all these disciplines. One, is that they all train with a long-term athlete development approach. No one is an overnight success. They have all been doing smart, not crazy, very sustainable training that builds gradually from what they’ve done before, year after year.


The second thing builds on the first: they are all very focused on athlete health and recovery. No one can train hard and perform well over 10-20 years if they aren’t really healthy. The Norwegian national cross country ski team does body mass checks for its athletes at the start of every training year, and has been known to tell top level world class athletes that they can’t train with the team because they are too light. They have to go back and put on weight so they can absorb the training. The coach of the Norwegian triathlon team (which boasts the two fastest short course and long course athletes in the world), repeated the same philosophy. If their athletes are getting injured or tired, they don’t cut down their training – they grill them on whether they are eating enough and sleeping properly. That is their responsibility as athletes and they have to focus on it as much as their training sessions. The top two triathletes in the world, Gustav Iden and Kristian Blummenfelt, are not your classic skinny, cut looking endurance athletes. Blummenfelt has addressed this: he doesn’t care what people say. He knows his body has to carry the mass he does in order to be strong. He is not getting injured and he can go back to the well again and again and again. Because he has the energy to sustain it. The old paradigm of what a strong and fast elite athlete looks like is breaking down. If you’re losing weight while training, that means your energy out is greater than your energy in. This is not a formula for sustained performance.


This is just something to think about for people who are transitioning from a mindset of “exercising” to “training”. Training is about performance. If you want to perform and grow and improve, you have to recover. In order to recover, you have to eat. A lot. To paraphrase the amazing Jen Sygo (nutritionist to the stars who came to speak to us a year or so ago): You have to eat more than you think. And you can’t get it all in with nuts and fruit. You have to eat the chips!


So much more to say on this topic, but I’ll leave it there for now. (also if anyone is interested in booking an appointment with Jen, she is at – she knows so much and we honestly don’t know what we don’t know)


Onto tomorrow’s workout! Back to Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO TIME!

  1. 2 x 800 w 1:30 rest. 2 min rest. 4 x 400 w 1:15 rest. 3 min rest. REPEAT
  2. If going by time: 2 x 3 min w 1:30 easy, 2 min easy, 4 x 1 min Hard, 1 min Easy – 3 min easy – Repeat!
  3. If just coming back from an injury or illness, or just getting into it, do 1 set OR skip the 2nd set of 800’s.


That is all – see you in the am!





Feeling Good

Hey Gang!


What a heart warming, soul filling day we had in Toronto on Sunday! Congratulations to Carolyn who ran her first marathon (not in an Ironman) and crushed it, and to Amanda, Colette, Sonia, Zoe, Kenzie, Gillian who all ran the half. These are all big distances which require a fair bit of digging and inner strength. And huge congrats to Miguel and Andrew H who tag-team guided Jared (a visually impaired runner) to a PB of 3:02!


The heart warming and soul-filling part of the day wasn’t the results, but the coming together I witnessed out there. Our cheer station was full for 5+ hours – and some of the runners who ran the half even came back to cheer on the finishing marathoners! You guys brought your families and all your positive vibes and well wishes to share them with total strangers out there fighting their own personal battles. You spent your Sunday mornings making other peoples’ journeys lighter and happier. And Miguel and Andrew spent their mornings running hard in what was not their perfect specific training for their goals, in the efforts to help Jared, also previously a total stranger, towards his goal. Why do we want to give our own time and energy to help other people succeed? Why do we sacrifice things we could be doing to forward our own advancement in order to invest in someone else’s? There is no glory or medal for those of us lifting others up. I can’t say I know why we do these things, but I can say I’m very glad to witness it. I’ve been a recipient of these random acts from others to help to push me along, and it just gives me that feeling of faith in humanity and love for other people. So thank you all for that. The love and energy you put out is received and reciprocated in waves you will never see, but that make the world a better place.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore and Leslie!

(FYI – I will be there, but just cheering you on as I am doing the lead leg for a Run-To-Montreal relay tomorrow evening, and if I’ve learned anything it’s that the double-workout day takes a little too long to recover from for my comfort)

Marathoners from Chicago, still no workouts yet – you can come and jog if feeling ok. Marathoners, half marathoners from the weekend, no workout either. So we might be a smaller crew.


  1. 1 mile tempo – keep it tempo – easing into things. 2 min rest. 4-6 x 600m w 1:45 rest. 3 min rest. 1 mile tempo. If newer to workouts, leave out the 1 mile tempo at the end. This is to build strength (the ability to run hard-ish on tired legs), but is tough and takes some working up to. NYC marathoner, you can do this at Marathon Pace or a bit faster.
  2. If going by time: 6 min tempo, 2 min easy, 4-6 x 2 min fast, 1:45 easy, 3 min easy, 6 min tempo.


That is all – see you in the am!





Momento Mori

Hi Everyone!


Wow – what a weekend of watching races. From the men’s and women’s Ironman World Championships in Kona, to the Victoria and Chicago marathons, I feel emotionally spent! Huge congrats to our LES athletes and friends who put themselves out there this weekend! Samantha Farrell, Amy Hayes, Elizabeth Gladney, Kerry Kuluski, Madalyn Marcus, Lyndsay Hayhurst, Colin Stevenson, Carol McFarlane, Nir Meltzer, Ingrid Ambus, Bob Hayes. Everyone put their hearts and bodies on the line and made us so proud! Also, nod to Emily Sisson who took down the US Women’s Marathon record, running it in a time of 2:18:29. I can distinctly remember a loooong stretch of time when that would have been the world record. Humans are amazing.


This weekend I’ve been noticing and really relishing in the fall colours. They’re so vibrant and gorgeous right now! I think part of what makes us really appreciate them is the fact that we know they’re so short lived. In a few weeks, they’ll be brown and then gone altogether. We know and accept this, and it’s part of the reason we make trips and hikes specifically to appreciate and enjoy their beauty. If we had them year round, we’d probably take them for granted and forget to let them awe us. I’ve been thinking about how we could benefit from using this perspective in more areas of life. This is a philosophy that the Stoics called Momento Mori (remember you will die). This sounds depressing at first glance, but actually, it’s the exact opposite. It’s the philosophy of not putting your head in the sand and pretending that you’re immortal, but acknowledging your mortality and therefore truly living life awake – with purpose. Many Buddhist practitioners have this as one of their most important meditations. Understanding and accepting that we will all die allows you to let go of fear, pride, embarrassment, greed. It lets you trade in consumerism for experiences, vanity for purpose, jealousy for compassion. I’m no expert, and just exploring this philosophy myself, but it does make me think that having experiences like running races and testing our limits in physical challenges, really helps to make us feel connected and alive. There’s nothing sharper to bring you immediately into the here and now than the starting gun of a race. And that euphoria we feel afterwards – whether we nailed our goal or not? I think that’s the feeling of truly experiencing being alive. So don’t get down and depressed about it – instead, take the opportunities and chances that come your way – whether you’re “ready” or not, whether you’ll run “fast” or not, whether your training has gone well or not. We have to remember to live now. Appreciate the colours, the races, each other, because we can. That’s the gift of understanding the impermanence of it all.


On to tomorrow’s workout!


We are back to hills! Ppl running Toronto Full or Half – taper workout – no hills.

Unfortunately there is covid in my house, so I won’t make it out. Ugh.


Let’s do Pottery Rd Fulls and Halfs (halfs start at the construction/stairs)

Sets of 2 x Full, 1 x Half

Repeat 2-3 times


People in the Beach, please coordinate and do similar. Fulls are around 400m, Halfs 200m.


People racing: let’s give you what we gave the Chicago crew last week: 1 mile @ race pace, 2 min rest, up to 4 x 400 a little quicker w 1:30 rest.


That is all – major fomo already for all of you!!!


Oh, and check the fbook page and please sign up for our Cheer Station for the marathon! I will repost with more details.







Hi Everyone!


Congrats to our LES team who ran the Michelob Ultra Night 10K on Saturday eve! Tanis, Amanda, Annick, Fran and I participated and I think surprised ourselves with how fun it is to do our usual events with unique challenges and circumstances. Talk about nuance. And huge good luck to everyone running Chicago or Victoria this weekend! We will be with you all in spirit and will be cheering you on virtually!


What I’ve been thinking about this week is how interesting it is how peoples’ characters are revealed through sport – specifically running. It’s funny getting to know people just through this lens. There are many people for whom I know remarkably little about their personal or work lives, but I feel I know their true characters. I can see if they’re the type of person who can experience a set-back and disappointment, but still show up for and be happy for others who are succeeding. I can see if they’re the type of person who will show up for a run or race or workout to help someone else out – not just for their own advancement. I can see if they can remain upbeat and positive and keep working even when they aren’t seeing immediate results. Everyone who runs will experience some form of success, disappointment, injury, self-doubt, seeing teammates achieve what we hope to achieve, achieving something others would love to achieve, … How we handle all of this says a lot about us.


The other aspect of this I was thinking about is that as much as running can reveal our characters, it is also a very safe place to learn to develop aspects of ourselves that we want to grow. When we race we are practicing vulnerability. There is nothing more vulnerable than openly trying your hardest in front of an audience. Vulnerability is now considered a superpower because it is so hard to do, but leads to so much compassion and growth. And once you learn how to do that through sport, it can become a part of your character. Through running we can practice how to set goals, take risks, sit outside of our comfort zones, lose graciously, be selfless leaders, succeed with humility. And when we get it wrong (I often do), we can try again and again. Running gives us endless opportunities to practice going from “I wish I was the type of person who..” to “I am a person who…” And the beauty is, once this becomes part of your character, it doesn’t just stay in the running realm. It becomes part of who you are. And people who may not know anything else about you or your running, will always be able to see your character.


On to tomorrow’s workout – normally we’d do hills, but let’s do one more Lakeshore to send off our Chicago runners! Lakeshore and Leslie – 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time!


  1. 1 mile tempo. 2 min rest. 2 x 1 mile as 200m fast, 200m float (I will set out cones every 200m) w 2 min bw sets. Finish with 1 mile tempo.
  2. If going by time: 6 min tempo, 2 sets of 4 x 30 sec Hard, 30 sec Medium, 6 min tempo (2 min easy between all sets)
  3. If running Chicago (or Victoria!): 1 mile @ marathon race pace, 2 min rest, 4 x 400m a little quicker w 1:15 rest


That is all – see you in the am!