Motivation to Move [And my Tour of Sport Chek MLSQ]

IMG_1194Last week I had the joy of touring the new Maple Leaf Square SportChek. This is my local store, just outside the Air Canada Center, and I absolutely love the innovation it utilizes and the community it brings to the downtown core.

I first met the community team online (@scmapleleafsq) last summer and it didn’t take long for them to become active members of the Tribe community joining us for run’s and out at our summer YogaJam. This relationship gave me the opportunity to sneak peak the store before it was finished, and now it’s done – wholy moly it is rad.

When you enter the main floor, off of Maple Leaf Square, you are instantly transported to every sport lovers dream as the entire  floor is dedicated to sports paraphernalia. When I needed a new Raptors hat for my first game of the season, I knew where to go!

Also located on the main floor is their interactive touch screen. Not only can you find specific in store locations of the gear you covet, you can also get hot fitness tip, including those from Tribe YogaJam teacher Lisa Davidson, and when you check out what activities are going on in the area, on the community board, that you’ll find Tribe represented there too.

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The first floor also contains on the spot jersey customization. Make your personalized selections at the kiosk, then make your way to the booth at the back and watch it come together before your eyes.

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Upstairs is certainly my favourite area in store and where I spend most of my time. The second floor contains their “brand shops” where you find anything and everything for running and training. You’ll also find two virtual shopping kiosks. This is where you can order anything available from SportChek online and have it shipped to your house. You don’t input payment information here, that you can do from the safety of your home computer or device through email for up to 14 days after you created your order.

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The second floor is also where you’ll find all their technology, including my favourite 3D display for the fitbit Surge.

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I received my fitbit in September for my birthday and it has be laps of her living room to beat the coveted 10,000 daily steps – I too have found myself doing the same thing. Talk about motivation to move!

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So, if you are someone who is more motivate by the couch and Netflix once the weather gets cold, I suggest letting Santa know you’re interested in an activity tracker like a fitbit. It is simple to use and is guaranteed to get you moving this cold winter season – or whenever the cold finally arrives!

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Huge thanks to SportChek for the tour of their new store at Maple Leaf Square!

Triathlete Gift Ideas: 6 Gifts For The Triathlete On Your List

With Christmas just around the corner, here are six ideas to help you gear up, outfit, and accessorize your favorite female triathlete (or yourself) this holiday season.

This is the third in my series of gifts for the fit females on your list. Check out my rad runner, and yoga lover posts for more seasonal ideas for your favourite female on the move.

As a triathlete, what do you covet most? What have I left off the list? Let me know in the comment section below. Happy holidays.

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  1. Cat Attack Silicone Cap – Elastomeric Fit. SpeedoUSA. The Speedo Elastomeric Cap is the first silicone swim cap specifically designed for fitness swimmers. Elastomeric caps offer greater elasticity and increased ease of stretch (as in won’t give you a headache during a longer swim) with a softer silicone compound than traditional performance caps. It contains a micro grid texture on the inside of the cap which provides more comfort with less snagging and pulling of hair (yippie!). They have may cute prints – but this is one is purrrrfect to get ready for your next race. Available online. $14.99 USD.
  2. Garden Party ISM Adamo Prologue Saddle. Betty Designs. Betty took her inspiration from runway fashion to put a spin on the current floral trend. The result is a seat with touches of feminine flair in black and white to match whatever frame you ride. TECH SPECS: The Prologue builds on the success of the Podium and Breakaway. ISM’s design team kept the longer length and narrower hamstring section to allow for more forward and rearward body movement. We also integrated the sloped front arms to cut down on superficial chaffing on the inner thigh. The biggest change is they added more foam and gel padding to soften the ride. Great for distance cycling and triathlon. Cr-mo rails. 270mm long and 135mm wide. Available online. $189 USD.
  3. Get a Coach! X3 Training. For the traithlete who is looking to take one part, or all three, of their racing to the next level – hire a professional! I’ve worked with Michael in the past for cycling and know a number of athletes who have reached the big BQ (Boston Qualifier) under his coaching. Whether it’s off season fun, or regular season work – check him out! Prices vary on program.
  4. Race Entry. Toronto Triathlon Festival. I’ve blogged about TTF before, as well as how race entries make great gifts – well with TTF your athlete gets double the present when you sign them up (with their permission) before December 25 as they will also qualify for TTF Gold Member status (which means lots of great bonus swag and it will save you a few bucks too!) Read about why you should choose TTF here! Available online. $108-$130 CAD
  5. Fresh Foam Zante. New Balance. Personal bests are meant to be broken. Help your triathlete break theirs with the all-new Fresh Foam Zante – 2015 road shoe of the year. This shoe has carried me through hundreds of training kms and the Paris marathon – and it’s definitely a favourite shoe of mine. Featuring an impossibly smooth heel-to-toe transition and an explosive toe spring for an overall faster ride, the Zante gives your triathlete the opportunity to turn personal bests into personal betters. Available in various stores around the GTA and online. $129.99 CAD
  6. 2016 SIDI Buvel Women’s Fuchsia cycling shoe. Lickbike.com. So many reasons why this shoe is on my list – but I think the first is very obvious (it’s pink!!). It’s also a less expensive version of another shoe I’ve fallen in love with. Lickbike will ship to Canada, so if you’re wondering the source, that’s why. TECH SPECS: : New for 2016, the SIDI Buvel MTB shoes are the absolute favorite for cross-country, mountain bikers, racers and adventurer seekers – I race triathlon in mountain bike shoes (the clip is embedded so for me they are easier to run in). European handcrafted quality that keeps on performing season after season offering superb comfort. The shoe features a Caliper Buckle two-way ratchet for easy on-bike adjustment with incremental tightening and loosening. Soft Instep Closure System and padded tongue eliminate pressure points. High Security Velcro won’t shift or slip. SIDI Competition Sole. Made in ITALY. Guaranteed for 1 YEAR. Available online. $199.88 USD.

7 Holiday Gift Ideas For Your FitFriend

Everyone has a friend that runs marathons or obstacle races, or a family member who wants to get fit on their holiday shopping list. To help shoppers buy for fitness-enthusiasts here are my top seven get fit gift ideas – and the best news, they can all be bought online!

1. The Asylum

Okay, this first gift doesn’t sound very happy holidays and it’s not, this is a butt kicking extreme at home workout that will make you regret even smelling the beautiful combination of egg nog and gingerbread! I started The Asylum leading up to the Hamilton Road 2 Hope Marathon and it is killer. I was intrigued in the program because of the recent surge in functional fitness style workouts and local programs like Game Changer, so thought giving it a try at home would save me some embarrassment in the park. Insanity: The Asylum is  Beachbody’s latest home fitness programs with celebrity trainer Shaun T. It’s a 30 day elite sports training program, which would be a great gift for athletes of all levels including those just getting started and those training for marathons, triathlons, and especially obstacle races. It includes the 6 DVDs, a workout tracking calendar, a nutrition plan, as well as both a jump rope and agility ladder for the many die hard drills. It does require some floor space (my Toronto condo was tight), but with some creativity you can make it work and it’s well worth it! Asylum is available at Best Buy, Sears, TV Showcase, Walmart, Beachbody.com and Shopnorthern.com for $119.99.

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2. Oakley Extreme Tight Capris

I love the look and feel of these tights, and every time I wear them I feel like I am in a scene from Tron (the new one) come to life. Created for “zoned support and mobility,” the Extreme Tight Capris are a high–performance compression fit capris. They have stretch panels which cover key alignment areas of the body, and a nearly seamless construction which “reduces chafing and increases durability.” The capris also have articulated knees and mesh panels which “provide a natural feel and optimize airflow.” These capris would be a great gift for any active gal who likes putting her clothes through demanding multi–sport workouts, run, yoga, or cross-fit, these capris will have you covered. Available in store and online at http://ca.oakley.com for $100.

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3. Nike+ SportWatch GPS

After my Nike+ SportBand died I needed something new and knew many runners rocking the Nike + SportWatch so decided it give it a try. The reason Why I am so happy with this watch is best described on their sight “Think Less, Run Better Put on your Nike+ SportWatch GPS, go outside and run.” The SportWatch allows you to personalize the scrolling data that you want to see during your run which includes the ability  to track your pace, distance, calories and heart rate and more. It contains a built in USB into the watch strap, so post run you just plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery. You can also combine this watch with the Nike+ shoe sensor which acts as an optional backup if the GPS signal gets interrupted or for indoor use on the treadmill. The SportWatch also allows you to connect with Nikeplus.com which allows you to connect with friends through Challenges and sharing your run activity on Facebook and Twitter, and also allows you to see your mapped route with pace data, and elevation changes. Available in your local Nike store, at http://www.RunningRoom.com or http://store.nike.com for $169.

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4. Saje Natural Wellness Pain Release Natures Remedy Roll On

While in Vancouver for the SeaWheeze Half Marathon last August I was introduced to Saje and fell in love with this store. The air at the start of the race was filled with the scent of their Pain Release Remedy Roll as their army of volunteers filtered through the start line massaging this oil onto the necks of the eager runners. The Pain Release Remedy Roll On is an all natural pain release remedy which is a safe, gentle topical recovery tool for all skin types. The easy-to-use roll on format is ideal for muscular pain, joint stiffness, external bruising and arthritis, and is perfect for your FitFriend who may need some extra recovery help after those long runs or tough strength workouts.  Available at http://saje.ca for $26.95.

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5. Tiny Devotions Stack

For many years I have been in love with Tiny Devotions and their mala beads and gorgeous stacks. Perfect for yogis, yoginis, or mindful athletes, every piece of jewelry is connected to an intention such as love, joy, patience, focus, adventure, freedom, and strength to name a few. Below is the Bardot Stack, named after Bridget Bardot (a piece I have been coveting for a while). This yellow and cherry quartz, lotus and sky blue fire agate stack has the intention of being a beautiful person on the inside and out. I suggest purchasing a stack over a mala necklace because personally I love to mix my stacks with each other as well as other pieces of jewellery for the ultimate arm party – I’ve even mixed my Gangster stack with my Goddess stack, my RoadID and Nike SportWatch for what I refer to as Endurance Boho or Mindful Athlete style. Available online at http://www.lovetinydevotions.com/ stacks are made in Canada and range in price depending on the stones. The Bardot stack is available for $127.

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6. RoadID, Wrist ID Slim

If you are shopping for a runner, cyclists, or anyone who likes to get fit outdoors, the RoadID should be a must on you list.  Their website puts it best stating that “in the event of an accident, if you can’t speak for yourself, your Road ID will.” RoadID is a silicon bracelet with the emergency contact information of the wearer. After deciding to no longer race with my cell phone, Road ID for me was a must, because “it’s not just a piece of gear – it’s piece of mind.” I purchased a black  Wrist ID Slim which is the slimmest (or smallest) ID in their lineup – also suitable for kids. The website states “with its stylish and comfortable silicone band, you will be tempted to make a lifestyle statement and wear it 24/7” and to be honest I have considered that – especially when off to functions with other fit peeps (read above re. arm party). Like all their ID products, The Wrist ID Slim can be laser engraved with  three emergency contacts and is available in ten different colors. Side note – be sure to double check your phone numbers – I wrote my sisters down wrong 😦 Available at https://www.roadid.com for $17.99. (Shoppers hint: there are often sales and promo codes flying around the internet so do a quick Google search to save on shipping.)

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7. A Gift Card to Your Local Fitness Studio or Race Registration

I love sweating in new ways and January is always a great (although crowded) time to start. Consider purchasing an entry fee to an upcoming race event or a month long membership (or at least a 5 class pass) for your FitFriend at their favourite gym or a new studio within the community. Better yet, make a purchase for the two of you and start 2014 off sweating together!

What’s on your fitness holiday wish list? Share it in the comments!