Tag: winter running

Fitness Swellness: December runstreak recap


In late November, my running buddy suggested I do a December runstreak with her. Her plan was to run 5k daily in December. I briefly considered it but knew there’d be days I would be unable to fit that in my schedule. I was also very wary of the runstreak potentially making me hate running.

But then I read about the Runners World runstreak in which you commit to running one mile a day (I believe their time frame is from American Thanksgiving until the new year). That distance Daily sounded much more manageable to me so I decided I would aim for that every day to n December.

I maintained the runstreak straight only for the first six days of December. On December 7, I caught an early morning flight to Vernon, B.C., and was out and busy with Buick until 10 p.m. at night. The hotel gym closed at that time plus I was exhausted as it was 1 a.m. EST and it had been a long day. Short of running in the hotel hallways for one mile, there wasn’t a way to get my run done.

After breaking the streak, I became less committed to it. Upon returning from Vernon I was so burnt out I stayed in bed for basically 24 hours straight. I do think if I hadn’t broken the streak on the 7th I’d have mustered some energy to do one mile, though, but with it broken, I just didn’t see the point.

For the remainder of the month, I continued running fairly regularly. I did several one mile or 2k runs on the treadmill. I’m not a treadmill runner but it just seemed easier than layering on winter gear, plus for such a short distance, the treadmill is almost tolerable (I just find it so boring!). For the last week of December, I did my run first thing in the morning daily, combining it with Billie Jean’s first outing of the day, and that worked out quite well.


In the end, I ran 20 of the 31 days of December, as short as one mile and as long as 10k. I learned to withstand short treadmill runs (one good thing about the treadmill is my runs often became tempo runs since I just wanted off of the treadmill faster). I was able to get my active pup some morning cardio. And it got me to try out running in sand when I was in the Bahamas for work.

While I don’t see myself as someone who will runstreak as a lifestyle (I know people who have run daily for more than two years! Yes, two years!!!), I was happy it motivated me to get off the couch and out into the fresh (read freezing) winter air. I think runstreaks are a great way to motivate some people, but it’s also risky if missing a run derails your entire will to run at all. I’m a fairly dedicated runner so I was able to push myself to fit in what runs I could but I could see the all or nothing thinking derailing some people for good in the same way overly lofty New Year’s resolutions can be the downfall for so many folks. For me, I’m personally better cut out to run less frequently but longer distances but I’m glad I tried it out and I’d consider another one in the future.

If you’re a dedicated runstreaker, I’d love to hear what you’ve learned from it!


Leave a Comment January 2, 2018

Fitness Swellness: Champion running gear review

running photo in Champion gear in Toronto

Ah, two months of “off season” was a treat. I kept it simple — my goal for my off season was to run three times a week, about 10k each run. Just to maintain some fitness. I probably could’ve afforded to do some intervals in that time, but mentally I really just needed this time off of training to be simple; the fall was an intense few months of training and racing.

In that time, I got to put some Champion running gear to the test (remember — I posted some six weeks ago about this). Here, my honest review of the pieces.

run in Champion gear in Trinity Bellwoods park

First off, the running jacket: When I first saw the jacket, I thought it would be too warm and restrictive for running, given it’s slightly puffy. But I could move fine in it, and it’s actually quite lightweight. Since it’s filled, I think it can give you the mental comfort that it’s warm, but layer it with the right gear, and it’s a great option for a winter run. I like the zippered pockets, and while turquoise is not a colour I gravitate towards, look how the hue pops so prettily against the snow! And the style with the contrasting colours make for a flattering silhouette. The only con of this jacket is that I think it could use more snug-fitting inner lining at the wrists (sometimes I could feel cold air coming into my sleeves).

The sports bra: Good coverage. Good support for high-impact. It’s not as stretchy as other sport bras, though, so putting it on can feel like you’re doing a bit of acrobatics (but once on, it’s comfortable). I like the contrast of the green and turquoise (sport bras always peek through when you have them under a tank so I prefer ones that aren’t just basic black so it adds a little something to your fit outfit).

The grey T-shirt: It’s fine, but a bit boring. A decent basic in good neutral colour. Nothing too remarkable about it.

winter Champion gear run

The running tights: Good fit and the turquoise stripe is flattering — makes the legs look slim. A comfortable length (I find some tights seem to fall a bit short but these were long enough so that even with ankle sport socks, I was fine) and they’re not low-waisted, which is good (some tights I have to pull up regularly mid-run, but these have a good rise and I never had to fuss). They are on the thin side, so I’ll only wear them on days where it feels like 0 degrees Celsius outside. Not the current polar vortex temperatures in Toronto. Although I would certainly wear them under a pair of warm track pants or warmer and baggier pants over top for cold winter runs, given how comfortable they are.

After a few launderings, all of the pieces are holding up well so far. All in all, good basic pieces that won’t break the bank. With the right layering, which is key for dressing for winter running, these could all be key elements to your winter fit wardrobe.

Now if only wearing this brand didn’t always end up with me getting that Buju Banton song “Champion” stuck in my head…


west side Toronto run in Champion gear

Leave a Comment January 12, 2015

Running tip of the week

Tips from my weekly half-marathon clinic–usually. This week I had to skip my clinic (wasn’t about to skip Elle Canada‘s 10th Anniversary Party!) so today I’m writing about how to decide how to dress comfortably for running.

The weather is all over the place lately and it can make choosing what to wear a bit of a challenge. A good rule of thumb is to dress as though it were 10 degrees warmer than it actually is. Layering, of course, is always a good idea so you have the option of pulling off a light layer if you need to (although you then need somewhere to stash that layer–which isn’t always so simple…).

And of course, experiment to see what works best for you (include notes on the weather conditions and what you wore and how you felt in your running journal). I know I tend to warm up a lot (which is why I don’t mind winter running too much) so I usually dress like it’s 15 degrees warmer than the actual temp.

(Short sleeve jacket, Adidas by Stella McCartney)

1 Comment March 11, 2011

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