Guest Post: What’s It Like To Rock Tribe’s My First Race Program

Through the Tribe “My First Race” mentoring program I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and running with over a hundred new or returning runners. Folks who literally got off the couch to join our run, those returning after having a baby, and those looking to connect with family through fitness.

As we begin our third “My First Race” program I wanted to share a story of an amazing inspiration, Ljiljana Stanojevic, a fierce mother who not only met her goal of racing Spring Run-Off as part of our training program, but then went on, with the motivation of her daughter, to race a 15km road race and a half marathons during 2015. Ljiljana has a drive and energy that is truly contagious and you can’t help but be inspired when you sweat with this gal. Please enjoy the “My First Race” story of Ljiljana.

When I joined the ‘Learn to run’ program I couldn’t run. I thought it would be easy to start running, but all my attempts failed and I ended up with sore muscles and an injury. During a weekly yoga class held by Tribe Fitness at MEC Toronto, I heard about the ‘Learn to Run’ program with Canada Running Series and signed up without too much hope that I would ever be able to run, was I ever wrong.

IMG_2043My first day of training was interesting. I was nervous and I thought that all the other participants would run with ease while I fell behind. Thankfully, all of the Tribe mentors were there and were so encouraging, patient and supportive, explaining what to expect and the difficulties that everyone can face when beginning to run. We were all given a training schedule provided by Tribe. During this first session we ran for 1 minute, walked for 2 minutes, and repeated that for a specified amount of time. During the week we were told to run two times on our own as part of the program and once a week we would meet and run with Tribe. The running time would increase and the walking time would decrease every week.

A draw to this free program is that we were teamed up with experienced run mentors from Tribe. We would connect through email and in person at the weekly runs. My mentor, Jenna Pettinato, was amazing. She helped me by providing valuable advice and sharing her own experiences. She understood the difficulties that I had and followed up with my training through emails. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be running today.

IMG_2042What I loved most about the ‘learn to run’ program is that Tribe is like a family. They care and help each other and always welcome new members. I felt very comfortable during my training and later on during the runs with Tribe. Tribe’s founder Heather Gardner invited various representatives of sporting goods and supplies stores to come during the training sessions to talk to us about proper clothing, running shoes, nutrition etc. which was very helpful. We learned more than just running, we became part of a community.

The goal race was Spring Run-Off. Everyone knows it finished with a giant hill. During the Spring Run-Off killing that hill would have been impossible without the Tribe cheer squad standing at the bottom cheering everyone on. You get an energy boost when you see a bunch of people yelling words of encouragement, holding signs, dancing, and telling you that you can conquer the hill.

One thing I would tell a new runner would be, you can do it! It’s an amazing program. Your mentor and all the Tribe members will be there to help you all the way. You will not regret it. Trust me, you are going to kill that hill!

If you’d like more information or to sign up for this free training program, find all the details here.

5 Easy Ways to Find Time for Activity

BeActive

In an ideal world we’d each have a full hour for physical activity every day. But even if you don’t have plenty of time, short rounds of exercise can add up over the course of your day. So, whether you’re at home or at the office, make the most of your time with these five ways to sneak activity in to your busy schedule.

1. Divide it up. Finding an extra 60 minutes a day of activity might seem tough. Consider breaking your workout into two 30-minute, or three 20-minute segments at times that are convenient to you. Moving first thing in the morning before your shower, and then again at lunch, or finishing your day with a workout while making dinner will leave you with a raised heart rate and feeling of accomplishment.

2. Turn your Commute into a Workout. Try walking, running, or riding your bike to the office a few days a week. You’ll save money on gas, possibly save time from public transit or congested driving, and start your day with a clear head. Live too far for an active commute? Try getting off the bus or train a few stops earlier, or park your car farther away.

3. Take the Stairs. This is an easy option depending on your physical activity level and workplace attire. For added fun, consider counting the number of steps you can do in a minute, or for an extra glute workout, when you can do it safely, take two steps at once. For those working in high towers, why not take the elevator part way and walk the rest!

4. Talk and Walk. Need to take a few minutes to catch up with a colleague at the office? Why not do it with a walking meeting. Commit yourself to two or three 10 minute touch base conversations where you can brainstorm a project, follow-up and plan next steps, or bring your phone along and chat it up while on the move. A great way to get fresh air while getting down to business.

5. Take a Class. Consider gathering a few colleagues and hold each other accountable to a noon hour sweat session. If you don’t have enough time to take a full class, consider getting on a machine or using free weights for 30 minutes is a great way to break up the day and sneak in “Me time”. And as a bonus, depending on your intensity, you might even be able to return to work sweat-free.

How do you sneak in some extra physical activity during your day? Share it in the comments!

2016 Race Goals

2016 is already shaping up to be a year of excitement and change. Last year I took a small step back from racing, only entering 10 races (5km x 1, 10k x 3, 15km x 1, 21k x 1, 30k x 1, and 42k x 2), which included my return to Triathlon after my first half Iron Man in 2014.

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This year I am very excited to have Tribe team up with Canada Running Series to support their Toronto races and help with an exciting new race, the Waterfront 10k. I’m excited to be in the position of Director of Ambassadors with Toronto Triathlon Festival, so look forward to having my TTF experience community based and supporting those online nd in Tribe. I will be returning to the pace team at SeaWheeze for my fourth consecutive year and will be taking over 30 members from Tribe with me – our biggest Tribe Tour yet! The NYC Marathon will be my 10th, so I’m excited to head back to the city where my marathon journey began, and to top it off, I will be making my return to Iron Man distance races with the Montreal 70.3.

If you’re looking to race more, please join me at one of the following races this 2016 season.

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