iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua, Caledon, ON

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas, New York

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris, Winnipeg, MB

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel, Calgary, AB

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka, Alberta

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer, Quebec

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan, Ottawa, ON

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx, Ontario

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie, Ontario

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk, Calgary, AB

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey, British Columbia

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde, Alberta

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch, Ottawa, ON

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson, British Columbia

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung, British Columbia

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava, Calgary, AB

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil, Lombardy, ON

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan, Brampton, ON

iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan, Brampton, ON

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre, Ottawa, ON

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell, Quebec

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling, Ottawa , ON

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve, Ottawa, ON

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick, New Brunswick

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase, Nova Scotia

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie, St-Antoine, NB

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts, Ontario

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean, Ontario

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker, Etobicoke, ON

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott, Ontario

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua, Ontario

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza, British Columbia

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu, Ontario

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie, Yukon

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton, British Columbia

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott, Quťbec

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird, Ontario

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley, Stittsville, ON

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell, Quebec

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail, Ontario

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier, Gatineau, QC

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra, Ontario

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard, Alberta

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter, Clearwater , BC

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes, Ontario

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle, New Brunswick

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell, Nova Scotia

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville, Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk, Vancouver, BC

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis, Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine
2015 Great Canadian Marathon Guide

March 2010

Back to Table of Contents


The 'Oops' Factor

Running the long runs too fast

Generally speaking, the bulk of your long run mileage should be relaxed and easy. Your pace should be 30-45 seconds per kilometer slower than your marathon pace. For most people, that will feel pretty slow, but it is the right pace.

Training with too specific a race-day nutrition plan

You need to know what works, but you also need to know that your body can work on just about anything. Having too specific a plan is risky business because not everything is within your control. Aid stations may be differently spaced out or carry different nutrition than advertised, for example, leaving you feeling helpless if you trained with only one specific gel brand or sports drink thinking it would be there for you race day. You need to be able to deal with anything that comes your way.

Not being flexible enough with the training plan

Mother Nature dictates her own schedule. If you’re supposed to do a tempo run at xx:xx per kilometer, but it’s snowing hard outside, accept that it will have to be about the right effort, just not the exact pace. If you’d rather not adjust your expectations accordingly, move the workout to another day. But keep in mind that learning to be flexible/adaptable during training will also serve you well on race day should anything unexpected happen 

Training for a specific event without running on similar topography/terrain to that of the race course

If it’s a hilly race, train in a hilly area; if it’s a flat course, train on flat terrain. Each type of course places its own, unique demands on you, so prepare accordingly. That said, training too specifically for a given course can be a problem. Keep some variety in your routine, but prioritize your key course terrain and do a bit more of it.

Not doing any race-pace running

Although most of your long runs should be done at an easy pace (see above), you should also include three to five fairly long race-pace efforts so your body and mind can get used to the sensations like technique, posture, nutrition and possibly your racing shoes and clothing. Heading into your “A” race without these dress rehearsal runs can cause unnecessary stage fright when the gun goes off. 

Rick Hellard, Head Coach of Zone3sports in Ottawa, is a lifelong addict to running, triathlon and outdoor sports in general. He has a great deal of experience working with all levels of ability. Along with his many successes, he has made lots of mistakes and shares his knowledge and experience with his clients to keep them from making the same mistakes.


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