Getting 15k Race Ready: Training + Injury Prevention

April 19, 2015

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Nike Women's 15k Training

My #OnTheRunTO squad has cruised through the second week of official training for the upcoming Nike Women’s 15 in June. Every Monday the team meets at the Nike Running Loft in Toronto and we are guided through a customized run route lead by our designated Nike Pacer Christina Tiffin. Over the course of the training period, there will be special moments for the team to better help them prepare for race day. In an effort to keep the ladies happy and healthy over the next several weeks, Nike Canada brought in Dr. Marc Bubbs; Naturopathic Doctor, Strength Coach, Author and Sports Nutrition Lead for the Canadian Men’s Olympic Basketball team. Topics of discussion…the difference between dynamic stretching (suggested for pre-run) and the right way to cool down and stretch post run. Most importantly, the proper way to use a foam roller. Foam rollers are the most popular mechanism for self myofacial release and can increase blood flow through the body, increase range of motion and decrease the chance of injury. I’ve chatted about this in a previous post which you can find here as it’s extremely important for muscle recovery. According to Dr. Bubbs, the first thing to do to start seeing results is to roll out your calves, quads and IT band.

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k Training

To address the calves, begin by placing one leg on the roller, then place the other leg on top of it. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll to the knee. If you find a tender spot, stop and hold.  After 20 seconds, continue to roll through the area four times. Then set the hips on the ground and rotate the leg four times side to side. Through our daily activity and running Doc informed us that the quadricep area can be shortened which can affect the hips and put stress on the lower back. To target this area, begin by lying down in a plank position and place the roller just above the kneecap. Slowly roll down (about an inch per second) towards the hip. Same applies for the tender spots here – stop and hold for 20 seconds, then resume rolling. After four rolls, I like to bend the knee while rolling another four times to get a bit deeper. To get the IT band, turn onto your side and with the roller above your knee and roll up and down along the outer thigh. The best tip though was utilizing a golf ball to get those stubborn and hard to stretch areas like underneath your feet. That little tip has been life changing for myself and the ladies.


I’ve been getting a ton of questions regarding my team’s training program. We are following the program that was created by Coach Chris Bennett, Nike+ Running Global and Nike+ NYC Head Coach that includes progression, speed, tempo and long runs, 1 NTC workout and a recovery day each week. Here’s a glimpse of the week by week breakdown that can also be found within the full Nike 15k training plan PDF:

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k Training

This Monday’s team run was a short 5k route developed by our Pacer Christina that took us on a short jaunt not far from our Toronto run  headquarters.

Nike 15k Training

Nike Women 15k training

Nike Women 15k Training

There are always a few mainstay items that remain in my running/gym bag during run season and this was the perfect time to treat everyone to some of my fave things. Inside the team’s gift bags they received a 18″ Gaiam foam roller, Adams natural peanut butter mini packs, Blow & Go Smooth, OSIS+ Session Label Silk Shine Cream and OSIS+ Magic by Schwarzkopf OSIS+, fresh pressed kale juice by Cedar Juice, Degree dry spray antiperspirant, Vaseline Intensive Care Dry Skin Repair Lotion, Vitaminwater, Smartwater, Simple Skinm’s Cleansing Micellar Water & Cleansing Wipes, Dove Go Fresh Revitalize beauty bars, golf balls (to roll out the hard to reach areas) and of course spring’s hottest Epic Lux Printed running tights from Nike.

Nike Women 15k Training

Nike Women 15k TrainingPhotography by Lesean Harris (@leseanharris)

l to r: Elle Daftarian, Kimberly Lyn, Amy Patel, Michelle Bilodeau, Sasha Exeter, Dr, Marc Bubbs, Cheryl Kozorziz, Melissa Doldron, Jessica Sturrup, Anna Bediones, Shannae Ingleton-Smith, Alex Nikolajev, Kate Matkinson, Andrea Yu and Nathalia Allen

Thank you to all my brand partners for the support and product. Stay tuned for more of our #OnTheRunTO journey over the next eight weeks. Click here for more information on Dr. Marc Bubbs and be sure to get social and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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