Nutrition Tips W4

We all know that restaurant meals are loaded with big portions and too much fat, but do you really know what’s in your takeout meals?

Whether you go to a coffee shop for your daily coffee and banana bread, grab a panini for lunch or order Thai for takeout, you will most certainly blow any attempts at losing weight. If you enjoy an active social life and go out for dinner and drinks regularly, or if you travel for work and must eat at hotels and restaurants often, you may have noticed an expanding waistline.

Really, it’s not your fault. Restaurants have made it nearly impossible to find any meal under 1000 Calories. Considering most of us need less than 2000 Calories a day, a dinner out with a drink and appetizer can blow our entire day’s worth of Calories. Even healthy-sounding meals like chicken lettuce wraps, salmon rice bowl and grilled chicken salad all boast 1000 Calories – the same as a plate full of calamari! Chefs are experts at adding fat to dressings and sauces to flavour otherwise ordinary meals.  And they stack the portions of rice, pasta and fries to give the consumer value for their meal.

You can avoid these fat traps by staying away from rice bowls, pasta dishes and noodle bowls that have massive portions and rich sauces. Avoid everything deep fried like fries, chicken wings, tempura or breaded chicken. Skip the appetizers and hold the sauce, butter dish, sour cream and creamy dips. Get used to drinking water with all your meals.

So what are some good meal ideas? For breakfast, try a simple egg wrap. For lunch, have a small sub or wrap filled with veggies and grilled chicken (skip the fries, pop and chips). Dinner – order a 6 oz. grilled steak with veggies or baked fish tacos.

If you eat out fairly regularly, you may be interested to learn that many restaurant chains have posted their nutrition information on their websites or at Of course, the more we eat at home, the healthier we will be.

Cristina Sutter
Registered Dietitian

Cristina Sutter is a Private Practice Sport Dietitian at Optimal Performance Clinic in Vancouver. For more information, visit


Week Four from Lynn


We’re about a week away from Valentine’s Day weekend! And in keeping with Cupid, maybe you’re like me (an incurable romantic), noticing love is all around us.

I can tell you as your RunWalk Coach that over the years, I’ve seen many a romance grow out of the InTraining clinics. The most heartwarming of which for me takes me back to my own parents some 10 years ago. My mother and father were smokin’, drinkin’, fun-lovin’ people who loved sports on television, but weren’t interested in fitness for themselves. Finally, they decided to pay attention to my attempts to entice them off the couch as arm-chair athletes and they actually embarked on the Sun Run InTraining journey.

I’ll never forget that year as I anxiously waited for them at the finish line. They were amongst the very last but not least participants. I remember my heart swelled as I watched them cross together hand-in-hand, chatting and smiling, more in love and fitter than they’d ever been!

So it’s week 4 already folks, and you’re heading into a well-earned recovery week! You’ll notice the program follows a macro-cycle pattern of “3 weeks of building” in which we are adding new workloads, and then a much-needed week of recovery in which all workloads are less. I caution you to make sure you stick with the lesser load, even though you may feel like you can handle more.

Why not charm someone special to join you “on the run” with a little indulgence afterwards to celebrate Valentine’s Day? (Hey, I’ve heard from some sources that a little red wine and dark chocolate have protective anti-oxidants that are actually good for us!)

Who knows? Maybe you’ll wind up crossing the Sun Run finish line together too!

*To all Leaders and Coordinators: Watch for arms swinging forward past the midline in both walkers and runners alike. It creates an unwanted swinging of the torso which results in a side-to-side movement in the lower body. This in turn causes potential discomfort with heavier weight bearing and stress on the hip area. Hip discomfort is often a result of long-term side-to-side torso movement alongside a lack of core strength.

Good luck!

Lynn Kanuka
Olympian & SportMedBC’s RunWalk Coach

Running Habits and Not the Good Ones

5 Bad Running Habits and How To Break Them


5 Bad Running Habits

Little running habits—that you don’t even realize you have—can cost you a lot of energy and keep you from running faster. Ignoring them is like driving down the highway with a tarp on top of your car—when the tarp has a loose corner. The tarp resistance can cause your fuel economy to dip—and your energy and enthusiasm for the trip can go with it.

Look around on the road and you’ll see runners doing the same thing. Runners move parts that don’t need to move and compromise their ability to speed up and stay fresh. Here are some of the most common bad running habits coaches see on the road—and how to fix them.

1. Swinging Your Hands Across Your Body

When you run, all of your movement should be forward or back. Any other motion saps energy. Crossing your hands over the midline of your body is a big one. Not only does this force your upper body to work harder, it makes you cross your legs over each other, too.”If there’s a white line on the road and you’re hitting it with every step, then you’re spinning your body more,” says New York City Nike marathon training coach Terence Gerchberg.

The easiest fix is to be aware of where your arms are, he says. Keep your elbows moving front to back and your hands will follow.

“Relax your arms and keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle. When your arms are a little lower, it’s harder for them to cross,” Gerchberg says.

2. Looking at Your Feet

“Look down at your feet and try to breathe in,” Gerchberg says. “Now look in front of you and do the same thing. When you look down, you’re cutting off valuable oxygen.”

Plus, he says, “If you’re looking where you are, you’ve given up. There’s nothing to see at your feet.” Look at least a few feet ahead of you.

3. Squeezing Your Fists

The pressure that you put on your hands translates into your forearms and shoulders, he says. “That energy starts to travel to every part of your body. If you’re not relaxed in your arms and hands, you’ll inevitably feel it in your legs,” Gerchberg says.

When you feel yourself tightening up, let your arms fall down to your sides, relax your shoulders, and shake out your hands.

4. Trying to Get Faster Every Day

To get strong and fast, your body doesn’t just need a workout; it needs to rest. Rest helps to repair muscle tissue, which is what makes you stronger over time.

To get faster, you should either build in rest days and/or truly go easy on your easy days. “Easy doesn’t mean 30 seconds slower than your race pace,” Gerchberg says. “Some of the top runners in the world go as much as two and a half minutes slower per mile than marathon race pace.”

And if they can back off some days and still run fast, so can you.

5. Bouncing Up and Down

Going up in the air doesn’t help you move forward. You need to move horizontally across the ground.

“When you toe off in the back of your stride, think about propelling yourself forward, not up,” Gerchberg says. “Sometimes, this requires more of a bend in your ankle than you’re used to.”

“Just be careful: Sometimes when you tell people to lean forward from the ankle, they want to lean from the waist,” he says. Form better running habits by keeping the action in your feet, and let that lead you to speed you never knew you had.

Younger Next Year

These books are an easy read, written by a doctor and a sporty guy and they talk to their audience with direct simple words and no BS descriptions. It is a book I have read many times and each gives me a deeper insight on what my true, life long goals are. Mostly, I have had to recognize the bigger goal; that I am using my sporting life to enhance my real life.younger Next year

If you are reading nothing today, this is  a perfect book(s) to go through.

Meeting Places For Other Sessions

A bunch of us (Brian, Vivian, Christine, Shalome & I) meet Wed at 6:30 in front of the library.  We are following the Run Stronger program. Annie and Daniel meet there too but they are following the Learn To Run program so they go off on their own.    We also meet at 9:30 am on Sat in front of the library.   We would welcome anyone to join either group.  Just show up when you can. We usually wait for about 5 min in case people are late before we start.

How Hard Am I/Should I Be Working

RPE Scale

This is an RPE scale not to confused with RPG, a role playing game. RPE stands for Rating for Perceived Exertion and as you can see, it is highly subjective. One person’s 7-8 is another persons 9, or someone else’s 4-6. There are many ways to assess where you are, wrist mounted heart rate monitors for example but over time, perceived exertion is still used by most athletes. We would spend most of our daily hours between 1 and 3, Monday’s we will move into a 4-6 which gives you some idea of how much more can be coaxed out you. Our Run Stronger groups will reach into the 7-8 level still leaving room to work harder….but don’t. Running in the top two zones is important to endurance running as golfing. It really does not move you forward as an endurance runner but there is no downside to golfing instead of running except that you will not improve as a runner. Consistently venturing into the top two zones may expose you to uncommon running injuries as the forces on your body go up quickly with speed and lack of form. One other barometer of your fitness is actually how fast your recover. SO in your session, if cannot return to your zone 2-3 during the easy portion, you might wish to consider modifying your pacing.

Walking Groups should be in the 2-3 dipping their toes in the 4-6 RPE zone with the uptempo pacing.

Learn to Run should be consistently in the 2-3 being mindful of entering the 4-6 RPE with the extended running times. Be aware of moving into the upper zones.

Run Stronger should be consistently in the upper 3 and lower 4-6 with your up tempo paces but ensuring that you are retuning to the zone 2-3 on recovery time.

All three groups should be in the 2-3 maybe the lower 4-6 on the non stop runs or walks.

Run with ID


As you are out on the roads more often these days, well actually nights, it is a great idea to keep yourself safe. We are getting pretty good at making ourselves visible now this is next on our safety list. It is a great idea to carry ID. There are many ways to do this and I also suggest not to carry original documents such a birth certificates or Driver Licenses rather carry a photocopy or hand printed note with your address and phone number and contact name. There are commercial products that are included here one is Road Id which is available in all the running stores or you can pick these up at a run expo. There will be a pretty good one at the Sun Run Expo in April