Tag: 5k

Fitness Swelless: 5 reasons you should light up the night and do the Ultra Night Run

Michelob 4

The best part about running is completing a race—for me, anyhow. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment, after all of that training, to cross the finish line. Throw in some post-race festivities and that’s a winning combination. Which is just one reason why you should also do the Ultra Night Run.

Let’s get into why this is the race you should add to your fall goals:

  1. It’s the first year of the Ultra Night Run so you can forever brag about how you took part in the inaugural one. The race is happening in six cities across Canada including Toronto (where I’ll be taking part on September 8th), Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. Find out about each city’s race here.
  2. There’s a 5k and a 10k distance. So you’ve got options. Maybe one of those is your preferred race distance, or maybe you’re new to running and want to stick to a 5k distance to get your feet wet.
  3. It’s a night run. These are more rare and hey, you don’t have to get up at 4 or 5 a.m. like you do for most races. The temperature will cool for the evening, and running at night is a different experience. Every runner will get an Energizer LED headlight you must wear for safety (but that’ll add to the fun of racing the course in the dark).
  4. It’s a chip-timed race. OK, now I know this race will definitely be more on the fun side rather than nail-a-PB type of race, but if you’ve got a personally competitive streak like I do, you know how important a race being chipped is!
  5. Did I mention the post-race celebration? After the race, you’ll get an ice-cold Michelob Ultra to toast with the other runners, along with some food and music. Picture a beautiful early fall evening, you’ve all got a runner’s high from the race you just completed and you have a refreshing beer in hand. Maybe getting to that party will push you to run even faster? Sounds like a pretty perfect way to party after a great workout (Bonus: Ultra is only 90 calories and 2.6 grams of carbs!). That’s what #liveultra is all about.


I’ll be there, headlight on and ready to light up the night. See you at the start line!

To register (all runners must be legal drinking age, btw) or for more info, visit Ultra Night Run. Don’t wait too long to register, though, as the number of participants is capped in each city!



6 Comments August 8, 2018

Fitness Swellness: How to make running a habit


I’m so excited this year to be partnering with the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women, a fun race that takes place in a few cities across the country. The theme of the race is such an important one: “It’s up to us!” It’s all about how it is up to all of us to encourage, support and communicate with each other to make sure we are taken care of. The run’s goal is to support women’s mental health programs in the race cities. Women are three times more likely to suffer from depression than men.

I personally feel strongly about the cause, and love that it’s a running event. Research has shown that running can be as effective as medication at helping to deal with anxiety and depression; in fact, I wrote a feature for Flare magazine a few years ago about that topic, about how training for a half-marathon helped pull me out of a rough time in my life.

With the Run for Women dates fast approaching, and you’re keen to participate (I hear it’s a super fun race, you can walk if you prefer, and there’s a choice of 5k or 10k, plus there’s a total fun sisterhood vibe, too!), you might be wanting to get a bit of regular training in before the run. (And even if you can’t take part in the Run for Women, developing a running habit is good for your heart health and, as mentioned, stress relief and mental wellbeing!) Well, here are a few ways I make sure to run at least three times a week:

Find a running buddy or join a run group. I mostly train with my friend Shawna now, but for many years, I would join the Running Room for their group runs. You can also check social media for running crews in your neighbourhood. Although there is something to be said for running alone (you can decompress and zone out, for example), I think when you’re starting out running, and trying to make it a regular habit, ensuring you’re meeting up with someone will help keep you accountable.

Reward yourself. Make sure to treat yourself throughout your training and when you complete a race. After a month of training, get that cute running top you’ve been coveting. After completing your race, book a treatment at your favourite spa.

Develop cues to get you to run. For example, I work from home, so I’ll put on my running gear in the morning if I plan to run later that day. There’ve been times I’ve been tempted to skip a workout, but I’ve just felt too guilty to change out of the running gear without having run. For you, you might find that having an alert in your calendar (or on your running watch) remind you that it’s time to go for a run will work, or that changing into your gear as soon as you get home and heading straight back out to run is the best way to ensure you don’t get pulled away into doing something else instead of fitting in your workout.

Register for a race. I’m fairly disciplined with my training now, but I know I’d slack off if I didn’t have a race I’d paid registration for in my calendar. Not training and going to do a race could cause you to injure yourself, not to mention make the run pretty brutal to endure. Train regularly and you won’t be completely out of breath and in pain as you work your way through the course! Need a race? May I suggest the Run for Women?

I’ll be participating in the Run for Women in Oakville on May 31st. That’s just six weeks away! There are 12 races around the country that you can take part in, some are this month. I hope you’ll consider taking part in one of the races — even better, gather your daughters, sisters, friends and make a gal pal day out of it (that’s what I’m doing!). Oh, there’s also a 1K race for girls under 12 if you’ve got some young runners amongst your group! What could be a more positive and impactful way to spend a beautiful morning than with women important to you in the name of women’s mental health?

Hope to see you at the finish line in Oakville or to hear about your day at other Run for Women races on social media (I’m @healthandswellness on Instagram and @healthswellness on Twitter, and I’ll be sharing updates on my training and from the race day!)!

Any questions? Ask away (running or Run for Women-related) and I’ll do my best to answer them)!

Leave a Comment April 20, 2015

Fitness Swellness: More from Nike Toronto run clubs


Hello, Toronto runners — you’re in luck (whether you’re a newbie or seasoned runner) as Nike Toronto has expanded their run club offerings. Having talked to runners in the city and learning that they wanted both longer runs, and more of them, and some folks wanting to get into running, here’s what Nike is serving up:

Out of the Eaton Centre Nike store (you’ll find it on the lower level of the EC) is their Gridlock Runners run club. The sched:

Mondays at 6:30PM: track work or tempo runs to help you improve your pace

Tuesdays at 6:30PM: rookie runs for those looking to learn to run

Thursdays at 6:30PM: club runs (more of a fun run, some sort of social element — think yoga stretches post-run, or yes, drinks!)

Saturdays at 8:30AM: long runs (distance will vary but you can expect a run of about 15 to 20k)

Out of Black Toe Running on Wednesdays is the  Queen West run club:

Wednesdays at 6:30PM: two distances offered (about 5k for the shorter run and 7-10k for the longer run), but you can also expect a mix of tempo, intervals or hill training, too

Besides more run club training options, Toronto runners who join in can also anticipate more services — so a nutritionist might come and speak about fueling for your runs, for example.

The clubs are drop-in and free, so it’s easy to find people to run with if you’re downtown and you need the extra boost running with a group can provide (I know I find it helpful to mix up running on my own with a running buddy or group, especially for longer runs!). Check it out (and say hi if you do — I’m sometimes at the Queen West run club on Wednesdays!)!

Queen West run club


1 Comment August 22, 2014

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