iRun to prove to myself I canLesley McGougan, Brampton, ON

iRun because the wall is meant to be broken Jonathan Bird, Ontario

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brain Marie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun because I never thought I would be able toGary Morris, Winnipeg, MB

iRun away from the abyss Charlene Thomas, Ontario

iRun see where my feet will take me todayMegan Dolinskas, New York

iRun for the challenge and to remember to fully live Pascale Synnott, Quťbec

iRun because it makes me a better person, a better wife, a better mother and a better friendNathalie Joncas-Caissie, St-Antoine, NB

iRun because pecan pie, french fries and beer are chasing meTeresa Sterling, Ottawa , ON

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sonsKeith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldn't Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun away from the negative and towards the positive Teri Lepard, Alberta

iRun to get to know myself, my strength and my spirit Lisa Groulx, Ontario

iRun to inspire my children! Wendy Bowen, Manitoba

iRun to challenge my mind, body and soul Sonia Mendes, Ontario

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every km Steph Mansell, Quebec

iRun and run, and run, and run, and nobody can stop me Andrei Lucaciu, Ontario

iRun because when I run I feel most aliveMeghan Lynch, Ottawa, ON

iRun slowly!Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because it's a great stress release Brooke McKenzie, Yukon

iRun because I cannot say no to a second slice of chocolate cakeEmily Shandruk, Vancouver, BC

iRun because I want to qualify for Boston and raise money for charities near and dear to my heartChristine Gracel, Calgary, AB

iRun because I like to be healthy Melanie Oickle, New Brunswick

iRun because i love to Mirella Petriello, Ontario

iRun because there is no finish line Claire Kilgour, Ontario

iRun for the fresh air and adrenalin Charlyn McGregor, Saskatchewan

iRun because my heart tells me to William Martin, Manitoba

iRun because it gives my day a boost of energy Sara Campbell, Nova Scotia

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun so that I can live longer and stronger Derek MacPhail, Ontario

iRun so my daughters know that they can, too Shelley Kirkpatrick, New Brunswick

iRun for my heart, so it runs for me! Cathy Brzoza, British Columbia

iRun to challenge myself, physically and mentallyKathleen Keenan, Brampton, ON

iRun because itís cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because I liveGeorges Schneller, Laval, QC

iRun for the cool t-shirts! Pina Bevilacqua, Ontario

iRun to inspire my kids to tryGlen Johnston, Nunavut

iRun because people around me inspire mePina Bevilacqua, Caledon, ON

iRun so I can eat ice cream Sandy Bolan, Ontario

iRun to stay fit and release those running endorphinsLiliana Plava, Calgary, AB

iRun for meKiza Francis, Ottawa,ON

iRun to unleash my inner athleteAdelle Densham, Avonmore, ON

iRun to feel great Kathryn Rachar, Saskatchewan

iRun to correct years of sedentary living! Mike Scott, Ontario

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because it cleans up my life, because I drink more water, sleep better and eat healthier foodsRobin McIntyre, Ottawa, ON

iRun to satisfy the irresistible urge Tim Nixon, British Columbia

iRun because it’s in meMichael Foley, Stittsville, ON

iRun at 50 years old because at 43 I couldnít Peter Cicalo, Ontario

iRun because it gives me freedom to relax my brainMarie-Claude Gregoire, Nova Scotia

iRun to stay ahead of the weight gainMyra Abstreiter, Alberta

iRun because I want to be a role model for our six kids Catherine Empey, British Columbia

iRun because itís like flying, only lower Glenn Johnson, Ontario

iRun to my happy place and some days itís very Doreen May, Alberta

iRun because I love the solitude Janene Tailleur, British Columbia

iRun because I need it to soothe the soul, keep me in shape and for overall wellbeingBeth Neil, Lombardy, ON

iRun for health, i Run for life Pat Cheung, British Columbia

iRun because somebody once told me I couldnít Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun because it is my tonic and my salvation Georgia Ioannou, British Columbia

iRun because it helps me see things more clearly Jennifer Pitts, Ontario

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to prove to them that iCan Catherine Smith, Manitoba

iRun to kickstart my day Sharon Strueby, Saskatchewan

iRun for overall wellbeingTrish McCourt, Halifax, NS

iRun because couch potatoes die young Cathy Andrew, Ontario

iRun to challenge my perceived limitations Cassandra Williams, Ontario

iRun because running is like breathing to Stephanie McEvoy, Ontario

iRun for me! Judi Wearing, Saskatchewan

iRun whenever I feel the need to escape Iona Hillis, Ontario

iRun because it has saved my life John Marshall, Alberta

iRun because endorphins are free Cassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because it makes me feel powerful Sarah Kallaghan, Alberta

iRun because Iíve lost 80 lbs and running has become fun Cheryl Kelly, Ontario

iRun because it makes me whole Denis Ladouceur, Quebec

iRun because otherwise Iím grumpy Alexandre Charest, Quebec

iRun because I canít dance Mario Javier, Ontario

iRun slowly! Jason Hoffman, Manitoba

iRun because it makes me feel powerfulCarlene Paquette, Carp, ON

iRun for the moment when both feet are off the ground Catherine Anderson, British Columbia

iRun because somebody once told me I couldn't Heidi Abbey-Der, Saskatchewan

iRun because it's cheaper than therapy Leah Boulter, Alberta

iRun because it's better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun because walking is too slow Barry Knapp, Ontario

iRun because I love the sense of accomplishment Amber Moase, Nova Scotia

iRun because not everyone can Olivia Harvey, New Brunswick

iRun so I donít say never ever again Linda Klaric, Manitoba

iRun because I want to live to be 100! Colette DeJean, Ontario

iRun because I learn more about who I am with every kmSteph Mansell, Quebec

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because I get foot rubs afterward Kate Howerton, British Columbia

iRun because it reminds me of how strong I can be Monique Lavoie, Ontario

iRun because iEat Sherry Maligaspe, British Columbia

iRun to eat more, especially sweet potatoe fries Joanna Skomra, Ontario

iRun for relaxation and to motivate my two sons Keith Bradbury, Newfoundland

iRun because iLoves my man Beverly Huang, Alberta

iRun because food tastes better afterwards Patrick Houston, Alberta

iRun because I like buying running clothes Pamela Blaikie, Ontario

iRun because I can and I’m gratefulTerry SanCartier, Gatineau, QC

iRun for the individual pursuit Robert Pelletier, New Brunswick

iRun for the challenge to go faster and farther Steven Matejka, Alberta

iRun because itís better than almost everything else Nathan Carey, Ontario

iRun therefore I amDuncan Walsh, Nottingham, UK

iRun to someday win the race Lindy Dunlop, Yukon

iRun to be free and enjoy our beautiful countryCheryl Carter, Clearwater , BC

iRun because itís a great way to see the world Sherry Mahoney, British Columbia

iRun because it sure beats the bus Robin Robbins, Alberta

iRun because it makes me feel good, allows me to spend time with my friends and gives me a feeling of accomplishmentHelen Kolodziejzyk, Calgary, AB

iRun because itís fun when itís done Sue Matte, Ontario

iRun all the livelong day Pierre Saint-Laurent, Quťbec

iRun because it reminds me that I am capable of so much more than I have doneJames Sauve, Ottawa, ON

iRun because of the peace and strength it brings meMichelle Jordan, Ottawa, ON

iRun but not enoughMichael Shaw, New Westminister, BC

iRun because endorphins are freeCassandra Chouinard, Ontario

iRun because I am not as clumsy I thought I was Hanna Baer, Quebec

iRun because all the ladies are chasing my sexy runner’s bodyChris Baker, Etobicoke, ON

iRun to maintain a strong physical and mental state Tammy Rainville, Ontario

iRun because it gets my husband out there Tricia LaLonde, Alberta

iRun to eat Maureen Tritscher, Alberta

Cover photo from the current issue of iRun Magazine

Workout Wednesday

My Best Running Race

June 2012

Back to Table of Contents


Caring for your hard-working runner's body

Four alternative therapies for runners

Pounding the pavement day in and day out leading up to race day can be physically debilitating and mentally exhausting. If you’re looking to shake up your running routine or if you’d like to try healing injuries and improving performance through alternative therapies, consider one of the following options:

Mind-Body Training

“Typical mind-body training focuses on relaxation through the breath to quiet the mind,” says Anna Green, a traditional healer, Reiki master and certified yoga instructor who owns Spirit Well Holistics in Ottawa.

Some examples include meditation, deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, and progressive muscle relaxation.

Engaging in these training modalities essentially provides a ‘time out’ so a person can let go of lingering thoughts that might be holding them back in daily life, or in achieving a personal goal.

“This is an advantage to performance training,” Green says. “The mind becomes quieter, more focused, more relaxed and the person is able to notice and clear out glitches in their consciousness.”

To find the most appropriate mind-body modality for an individual, Green says she assesses each client through interview, observation and personal history before selecting the exercise that best suits their needs.

“There are many doorways to the sacredness of the mind,” Green says. “Each modality of mindfulness has slightly different benefits and some may work better for a person than others.”


Reiki is a Japanese holistic, energy-based modality, which re-establishes normal energy flow to enhance and accelerate the body's innate healing ability.

Through a series of hand positions, directly on or just above the body, the energy worker allows energy to flow through their body. The client’s body then draws off the amount of energy that is required.

“It is normally done shamanically, where the person receives the energy and is passive,” Green says of the practice.

“But Reiki performed directly on oneself has the advantage of the person being able to track where the energy is going throughout the body and to attend to the mind processes that come up.”

Having a strategy to overcome the inevitable pain and exhaustion that comes with running – or the ability to channel energy to the parts of the body, like the legs, that need it most – could be seriously beneficial for a road warrior in the midst of a run.

Reiki might be just what the “traditional healer” ordered.


Acupuncture is another therapy that might benefit a runner experiencing physical and/or psychological pain.

According to Domenic Vallée, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner and acupuncture therapist, these treatments address more than the surface injury.

“When someone comes for acupuncture, I don’t treat, let’s say, a stress fracture. I treat an individual who has a stress fracture,” Vallée says. “So I treat the whole being, both physically and emotionally.”

There are three stages in a complete acupuncture treatment: relieving immediate pain, dispelling the “wind-damp-cold” (pain, swelling, numbness) from the injured area and nourishing the body to regain its former strength – all while improving the patient’s spirit.

“Since no two individuals are the same, each diagnosis is unique and the treatments are tailor-made accordingly,” Vallée says.

While acupuncture isn’t the “go-to” treatment for athletes in Ottawa, Vallée says it could be especially beneficial for runners who are balancing a heavy training regimen with a busy work schedule and a hectic family life.

This is because, according to Vallée, stress causes energy stagnation within the body, which creates heat, which in turn burns body fluids and slows blood flow.

“Due to a resulting lack of blood flow, the tendons become undernourished and injury occurs,” Vallée says.

While Vallée believes acupuncture in its own right can be used to treat and help prevent injuries, he understands every therapy has limits.

“I don’t hesitate to refer and work with other professionals so the patient gets better faster,” he says. “Let’s say the ART therapist will work ‘from the outside’ at the muscle level while I work ‘from the inside’ at the patient’s energy level.”

Active Release Therapy

Active Release Therapy, according to Ottawa chiropractor and certified ART practitioner Lino Panetta, is a manual therapy to identify and release adhesions commonly found in the muscles, nerves, fascia, tendons and ligaments throughout the body.

Panetta says he often uses ART to treat ailments including plantar fasciitis, iliotibial band syndrome and hip flexor syndrome – all very common for runners.

“Even the best runners that follow good habits – like proper warm-up, cool-down, hydration and training techniques – often get overuse injuries,” Panetta says.

“So I’ll tell runners you don’t have to wait until overuse leads to injury … Regular ART treatment is extremely effective to address the early stages of overuse like muscle tightness, trigger points and adhesions, in the prevention of injury.”

Panetta says depending on the diagnosis of injury, ART can be combined with other therapies, or it can effective as a stand-alone treatment.

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