Français D H M S

User login

Ottawa Race Weekend Newsletter – March 2011

Ottawa Race Weekend Newsletter – March 2011


Spring is happily creeping up on us. A delicious taste of warmth here, a few minutes of extra daylight there – these are signs that a welcome change of season is on the way. These subtle shifts in light and temperature get things moving: sap in the trees, tulip bulbs in the soil, bears in their winter dens, and hitherto dormant distance runners. Everything begins to stir (if only slightly). And Little by little, the excitement is building now towards the full-on action of late spring and summer. 

With this in mind (and body), we’ve got a packed edition of the Pulse for you, with the usual Ottawa Race Weekend news, training tips and nutritional info, plus an important call from the Ottawa Hospital to run for a reason (see below).

And just a reminder, if you're looking for extra motivation, or just to connect with other athletes in the Ottawa area, be sure to check out the weekly Run Ottawa Club training sessions, which happen every Tuesday evening. Click here for more info.  

Ottawa Race Weekend Filling Up FAST!

Athletes continue to register for Ottawa Race Weekend events at a record pace. Indeed, the marathon is already 55% full, the half-marathon is 85% full and the 10K is 55% full. So if you haven’t registered already, this is the perfect time to make your move. After all, it's one of the first and most important steps you'll make on your journey to another remarkable weekend in Ottawa. So don't delay! Secure your place on the starting line today. To register now, click here

Aiming for a Personal Best in Ottawa? Porter Can Help You Get There!

Porter Airlines is offering the Ottawa Race Weekend event attendees a 20% discount on all fare classes. Porter offers free in-flight snacks and beverages (including beer and wine). The discounted fares are available from May 24, 2011- June 1, 2011. Please book online at or call 1- 888-619-8622 using the promo code OWR11.

Run For a Reason!

So you've made the decision to run or walk in this year's Ottawa Race Weekend. Whether you're doing the marathon, half-marathon, 10k, 5k, or 2k race, it's sure to be an achievement you'll remember for years to come.

This year, give your running experience a purpose by signing up to run in support of The Ottawa Hospital. Because chances are, someone you know – your mother, sister, nephew, colleague, or neighbour – will need the Hospital this year. And when they do, you want to know the equipment is the best, the facilities are the finest and the professionals caring for your loved one are the most talented. We do, too. When you support a cause that's meaningful to you, whether it's cancer research, Parkinson's, the neonatal intensive care unit, or women's health, you're putting meaning behind your training and letting the world know what moves you on race day.

Run for Free

Be a part of the challenge and run for free! When you raise more than $250 for the Hospital, The Ottawa Hospital Foundation will refund your race fee.

I want to Run for a Reason!

Courez pour une raison!

Alors vous avez décidé de courir ou de marcher lors de la Fin de semaine des courses d’Ottawa. Que vous participiez au marathon, au demi-marathon, à la course de 10 km, de 5 km ou de 2 km, ce sera sûrement une réalisation dont vous vous souviendrez longtemps.

Cette année, donnez-vous un but en vous engageant à courir pour appuyer L’Hôpital d’Ottawa. Car il est fort probable que quelqu’un que vous connaissez – votre mère, votre sœur, un neveu, un collègue ou un voisin – aura besoin de l’Hôpital cette année. Et, lorsque ce sera le cas, vous voulez que cette personne qui vous est chère bénéficie du meilleur équipement, des installations les plus modernes et des professionnels les plus talentueux. C’est ce que nous voulons, aussi. Lorsque vous soutenez une cause qui vous tient à cœur, qu’il s’agisse de la recherche sur le cancer ou sur le Parkinson, de l’Unité néonatale de soins intensifs ou de la santé des femmes, vous donnez un sens à votre entraînement et vous faites savoir au monde ce qui vous motive le jour de la course.

Courez gratuitement

Relevez le défi et courez gratuitement! Si vous recueillez plus de 250 $ pour l’Hôpital, La Fondation de l’Hôpital d’Ottawa vous remboursera vos frais d’inscription à l’épreuve de votre choix.

Je veux courir pour une raison!

Customize your Ottawa Race Weekend medal with an iTab

Ottawa Race Weekend is recognized as having some of the the best-looking finisher medals around. Indeed, as a handsome symbol of your participation in one of the premiere racing events in the world, you'll cherish your finisher medal for a long time to come. 

This year finisher medals will feature a space for an iTab with your name and finishing time, so your medal will be an especially attractive reminder of your remarkable achievement.  However, please note that engraving will no longer be offered on site. Instead, you can order your iTab online from the good folks at My Sporting Times. For more info, click here.

Upcoming events!

Thursday March 3 – The Training Habits of an Elite Runner

You're invited to check out a special presentation on the Training Habits of an Elite Runner, offered by Run Ottawa president, John Halvorson.  John will fill us in on all the details of the training regimen that he followed on his journey to becoming a world-class athlete. And after his presentation, there will be a question-and-answer period. So if you've ever wondered what it takes to reach the elite level, or are just looking for some practical tips for taking your performance up a notch this season, come on out and listen to what John has to say. 

The presentation will take place at 7:30 PM on Thursday 3 March, at the Marriott Hotel (100 Kent Street) in the lower lobby.

May 10 – Beaver Chase Running Series, Innovation Drive, Kanata

Organized by the Run Ottawa Club, runners of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part in the 1-mile or 4-mile events, which start and finish on Innovation Drive in Kanata. The 4-mile course meanders through the Monk Conservation Area in Kanata Lakes and Morgan's Grant.

Although a participation event, the Beaver Chase Run Series is an excellent opportunity to run with friends or family at a pace that suits personal fitness levels. Each run also has support along the route to simulate race conditions, including a water station, marshals and distance markers. This event would be a great warm-up for Ottawa Race Weekend!

For more information or to register online, click here.


Strength Training for Distance Runners- (Tips taken from On-Line research on strength training)

Strength training is an important but often overlooked component of the distance athlete's training program. After all, having success at a distance event – whether 10K or a full marathon – is not about lifting the most weight or having the biggest muscles. At the same time, your body must be strong and your muscles must be conditioned to work hard over the long haul. This is why a certain style of strength training will improve your performance and help you avoid sports-related injuries. 

Of course, your strength training objectives will be quite different from those of a sprinter or a wrestler, and as a result, the style of workout you do will be a lot different too. Indeed, the endurance athlete's workout is about building strength and balance, not power or extra muscle mass (which will only slow you down!).

Proper weight training will help runners achieve two important goals: greater efficiency and improved balance between muscle groups. Efficiency is gained by targeting the stabilizer muscles, which tend to be the first to fatigue over long distances. As training coach Josh Everett explains, "once [the stabilizer] muscles begin to tire, it causes a slight breakdown in running mechanics and therefore a loss in efficiency of movement".

Focusing on balance between muscle groups is important because an athlete's full range of motion is limited when running at a pace less 100%, which means certain muscles in the legs (e.g., hamstrings and glutes) tend to be underused during long runs. This limited range of motion means that if you're not going out of your way to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes, they'll likely be underdeveloped compared to your quads – a muscular imbalance that increases the chance of physical discomfort and injury over time.

So what can you do? The good news is you don't need a lot of equipment, or even a gym membership, to access a great strength workout. In fact, bodyweight exercises, including squats (full squats), walking lunges, chin-ups and pushups, are an excellent way to work large muscle groups through a full range of motion and to develop strength and muscular endurance without putting on mass. Perform 1-2 high rep sets (15-30 reps) of each exercise, or do exercises density style (performing as many reps as possible during a set period of time, e.g., 2 minutes).

There are many sample workouts out there, so look around, find one that's right for you, and go for it. But whatever you do, don't overlook the benefits of proper strength training! 


Eating for Peak Performance- Beth Mansfield

Get the Plant Based Advantage!

Every day, more and more endurance athletes are incorporating a more plant-based diet into their training and competition nutrition plans. This carbohydrate rich style of eating delivers performance and health benefits, including enhanced muscle recovery and optimal heart and bone health. Plant based eating is fantastic for runners, giving extra energy stores to push performance to the limit! Prudent use of fortified foods and supplements will help ensure that you get all the nutrients you need.

Vegetarians need to be as diligent as meat eaters to make sure they get adequate amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and B12. Female athletes are at risk for developing iron deficiency or anemia.  Routine monitoring of iron status is recommended for female athletes, especially during periods of rapid growth (i.e., adolescence) and when training volume increases significantly. Anyone following a very low fat diet for weight loss or other health reasons is at risk for a deficiency of essential fatty acids, and may warrant supplementation with marine plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Contrary to popular belief getting enough protein is not an issue, as documented in the recent ADA Position Paper on vegetarian diets (JADA, July 2009, p. 1266) which highlights that vegetarians are, in fact, meeting their protein needs. Protein quality of plant-based diets should be sufficient long as a variety of foods are provided with adequate energy.  Because plant proteins are less well digested than animal proteins, an increase of about 10% in the amount of protein consumed may be made.  Recommended protein intakes for vegetarian athletes approximate 1.3-1.8 grams/kg of body weight/day.

Here are some nutrition tips to help you out:

  1. Eat different types of protein rich plant foods (unrefined grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables) throughout the day. Choose small pre-workout meals such as baked beans on toast, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain breads. Refuel after running with a vegetable based lentil and rice soup. For fast refueling, combine soft tofu or yogurt with fruit and soymilk for a high protein shake.
  2. Very low fat diets may lead to a deficiency of essential fatty acids, and may warrant supplementation with marine plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids in addition to other polyunsaturated fatty acids from plant sources (vegetable oils, regular salad dressings, nuts/seeds).
  3. Include plenty alternative sources of calcium such as dark leafy green veggies, fortified soymilk, legumes, peanuts, almonds and seeds. These will be your primary source of calcium, important for a normal heart rhythm, strong bones and teeth, and general health.
  4. Include iron rich plant foods every day – this is most important for menstruating female runners. Plant sources of iron are not absorbed as well as animal sources but combining foods rich in vitamin C with any iron rich food will improve its' absorption. Mix legumes, whole grains, and iron-enriched breads and cereals with dark leafy green veggies and dried fruits to maximize iron absorption.
  5. Include zinc rich plant foods every day and your immune function gets a boost as well. While red meat and poultry supply the meat eaters amongst us with most of our zinc intake, some seafood, whole grains, dry beans, and nuts also provide zinc.
  6. Eat vitamin B-12 fortified foods or supplements to ensure adequate intake.  Vitamin B-12 is only found naturally in animal products and fermented foods such as miso and tempeh have small amounts of B-12 but generally not enough. 


Protein Power Iron Rich Foods Zinc Boosters Sources of Calcium













Milk products


Fish, Seafood


Pinto beans




Wheat germ

Prune juice






Green peas



Fish, Seafood



Black beans




Split peas

Wheat germ

Peanut butter



Kidney beans




Fish, Seafood


Fortified Soy



Bok choy


Kidney beans

Navy beans



Dried figs



Turnip greens


About Beth Mansfield and Peak Performance

Beth Mansfield is a Registered Dietitian, Sport Nutrition & Exercise Specialist with Peak Performance, a sport nutrition and corporate wellness consulting company in Ottawa. Beth educates Canadian athletes of all levels, including Olympians, national and provincial team athletes, as well as University, masters and recreational athletes on sport nutrition for peak health and peak sport performance. For more tips and tools go to

Eat and Run: Basque Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Key Lime Chimichurri

You need food to fuel your body - to help you push further, to run faster, to perform at the highest possible level. But food should be more than just fuel. It should also be a pleasure to prepare and eat. Each month, we share a simple, nutritious recipe to help stoke your energy for the race, or help replenish energy spent during long training miles.

In line with the plant-based advantage discussed above, this month we feature a grilled veggie dish with key lime chimichurri that adds an energizing citrus pop, courtesy of Iron Chef and marathoner Cat Cora. Serve over a bed of steamed brown rice or quinoa for an impressive meal that packs big flavour and lots of nutrients. This month's recipe sourced from


  • 3 bell peppers, all colors, cut into two-inch pieces
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 2 zucchini, cut into two-inch rounds
  • 1 red onion, cut in two-inch pieces

Vegetable Rub

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried orange rind

Basque-Style Green Sauce

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 3 key limes (or 6 teaspoons bottled key-lime juice)
  • 1 fresh poblano pepper, coarsely chopped with the seeds left in (optional)
  • 1 fresh serrano chili, coarsely chopped with the seeds left in (optional)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Cover the veggies with the rub and let them rest in a baking dish or large bowl. Preheat the grill. Make the green sauce by combining the garlic, bay leaves, peppers, and sea salt in a mortar and mash with a pestle until a smooth paste is formed. (If you don't have a mortar and pestle, put all the ingredients in a blender along with just a teaspoon or so of vinegar.) Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the parsley, oregano, and basil. Juice the key limes into the bowl. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Set aside. Skewer veggies and grill on all sides. Serve over a bed of steamed brown rice and drizzle sauce over the veggies.

Calories: 220
Fat: 11 g
Carbs: 29 g
Protein: 7 g


We always like to hear from you about what's working, and what you'd like to see covered in future editions of the newsletter. And we're also interested in hearing your inspiring stories of athleticism and endurance. So don't be shy! Send your impressions, ideas and stories to [email protected]

Race Resources


Enter your email to sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Run Ottawa Club