Brainsport Times

Weekly updates on running news in and around Saskatoon and Saskatchewan.
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Brainsport Times Jan15, 2020

Every year, Brainsport offers coached run academies targeted at a range of distances and experience levels.

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Joining a coached run club can be hugely beneficial for athletes — whether they’re training for their first five-kilometre run or hoping to set a new personal best in the marathon after years of training,
 
Wondering if joining a coached run group is right for you? The Brainsport Times spoke with Brainsport coach Patrick Somerville (pictured left) and some of his coached athletes about some of the benefits of joining such a group.

It can help prevent injuries

Derek Trischuk says he was never a natural runner but started competing in triathlons and needed to figure it out. He started in Brainsport’s learn-to-run program and later joined one of Someville’s coached clinics. Trischuk says that, as a beginner, he appreciated the running education that came with the clinic. He was able to learn about common running injuries and how to avoid them.
 
Somerville says a big part of helping his athletes avoid injuries is by developing smart training plans that don’t add too much mileage too quickly. Somerville typically has runners work on four-week cycles that involve three weeks of hard work and one easy week, with runners increasing mileage by no more than 10 per cent each week. 
 
“Many athletes do too much too early and risk injury. A well-designed training schedule helps to avoid injury,” Somerville says.
 
He also walks runners through basic running drills – things like running or marching with high knees and bum kicks – and breaks down each running movement to help athletes learn proper technique. Coached athletes are taught about strength and core exercises that, when incorporated into their training, can help make them stronger and prevent injury.

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Pat Somerville, left, stands with two of his coached athletes at the Berlin Marathon

It provides structure to training

Runner Grant Ferguson joined one of Somerville’s run clinics after years of running and racing on his own.
 
“I joined because I wasn't getting results with what I was doing,” Ferguson said. “I ran my first three marathons and I don't know how many half marathons without any coaching or training partners. It turns out that I had no idea what I was doing.”
 
Somerville said one of the big things he can help runners with is helping them understand when they need to work hard and, equally as importantly, when they need to take it easy to give their bodies time to recover. Some people don’t know how to structure interval workouts or how hard to go during key workouts – that’s where a coach like Somerville can come in and give guidance.
 

It encourages athletes to push hard

Few things can be as motivating as chasing the runner in front of you or trying to outrace the approaching footsteps behind you.
 
Rebecca Goldie joined Somerville’s group because she was new to Saskatoon and looking to meet people.
 
“I do run a lot on my own, but always prefer to have other people for hard workouts (and long runs) because they push you way harder than you can push yourself,” she said.
 
It’s a sentiment echoed by many in the group, including Colleen Isley, who started running two years ago and is part of Somerville’s coached run club.
 
“The group atmosphere pushes me harder than I would push myself. I somehow have the magic ability when I'm running with the group to keep my pace a little quicker than if I was running alone,” she said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by many in the group, including Colleen Isley, who started running two years ago and is part of Somerville’s coached run club.
 
“The group atmosphere pushes me harder than I would push myself. I somehow have the magic ability when I'm running with the group to keep my pace a little quicker than if I was running alone,” she said.
 

It keeps athletes accountable

 Somerville makes training plans for his athletes and they’re expected to run between weekly group workouts.
 
This knowledge is a great motivator for runner Lisa Pasishnik.
 
“I find it inspiring to train with a group of people all trying to improve,” she said. “Running with a group make the hard runs easier and it keeps me accountable to my training.”
 
Grant Ferguson agrees. “Running with a group definitely makes it harder to skip a run,” he says.
 

It’s a great way to make friends

Runner Jack Roberts ran on his own for a couple of years, then joined Somerville’s coached run club so he could run with a group.
 
“The friendships that are developed is the best part for me. Where else can you put 35 people in a room and have no drama and everyone is cheering for each other. It is special,” he said.
 
Lisa Pasishnik agrees.
 
“It is really nice to meet people from all different walks of life who share a common interest in running,” she said.

--
Patrick Somerville is a long-time coach with Brainsport who is trying to run all the World Major Marathons (he’s crossing the Virgin Money London Marathon off his list this spring when he runs that race in a charity spot to raise money for The Bereavement Trust). His 18-week marathon and half-marathon running academy course starts Jan. 27 and runs Monday evenings until the Saskatchewan Marathon.

 Upcoming Races



Sunday, Jan. 26: Resolution Tri
This free event features sprint and "super sprint" triathlon distances. For more information or to register, go online.

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Sunday, Mar. 1: Brainsport Brainfreeze

Sign up for a five-kilometre, 10-kilometre or half marathon event in support of the University of Saskatchewan's cross-country team.

Sunday, May 3: I Love Regina Run (Regina)
Sign up for a three-, five- or 10-kilometre run or walk.

Saturday, May 9: Royal Road Race (Regina) SOLD OUT
The 10th annual Royal Road Race, hosted by the Jaleta Pacers and the RCMP is once again being held on Mother’s Day weekend. Held on the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, this event includes a five- and 10-kilometre race, a five-kilometre walk, five-kilometre wheelchair event and a one-kilometre Mini-Mountie for children. All participants in those races will receive a Hillberg & Berk sparkle ball necklace cluster or petite sparkle bracelet. This race tends to sell out fast so register soon.

SaskMarathone

Sunday, May 31: Saskatchewan Marathon
The Saskatchewan Marathon, the oldest marathon in the province, is organized and produced each year by the Saskatoon Road Runners Association. The 2020 Saskatchewan Marathon features five-kilometre, 10-kilometre, half-marathon and marathon event distances. The Saskatchewan Marathon is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Sign up today.

Sunday, June 7: Run Regina First Responders Run (Regina)
Support first responder mental health initiatives in Regina by registering for a five-, 15-, or 30-kilometre race.

Wednesday, July 1: Run Regina Canada Day Run (Regina)
Celebrate Canada Day by taking part in a three- or five-kilometre fun run or walk.

Sunday, Sept 13: GMS Queen City Marathon (Regina)
Saskatchewan's largest road race has something for everyone. Sign up for a range of distances from a mini-marathon for kids to 42.2 kilometres. 

See all events at the Brainsport events calendar.

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Brainsport Running Academy

Half and full marathon clinic
Coach: Pat Somerville
When: Mondays at 6 p.m. from Jan. 27 to May 25 (18 weeks)
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Prerequisite: This clinic is ideal for less experienced runners or those looking to improve the previous half or full marathon time. It is recommended you be able to run 40 minutes consecutively before joining this clinic.
Register online now.

McGuire's back-of-the-pack running clinic for beginners
Coach: Harvey Weber
When: Mondays at 6 p.m. from Jan. 20 to Feb. 24 (six weeks)
Location: Brainsport (616 10th Street East, Saskatoon)
Prerequisite: This clinic is ideal for anyone interested in learning how to run, or those that need a refresher. No previous running experience is required, just show up ready to have some fun.
What: This program will teach you the essentials of running in a safe and fun environment with a focus on winter running. The clinic ends just in time for the Brainfreeze on March 1.
Read more about last year's McGuire's back-of-the-pack running clinic on the Brainsport blog.
Register online now.

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Courses and Programs

Swimming with Transition Fitness
When: Thursdays from 7 to 8 p.m. from Jan. 9 to Mar. 19
Where: Shaw Centre
Cost: $180
For more information and to register, go online.

Virtual pilates and cycling with Transition Fitness
When: Virtual pilates is held Mondays from 8:15 to 9 p.m. Virtual cycles are on Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m. and Tuesdays from 7:15 to 8:15 p.m. until April.
Cost: $25 a month for one live class per week, $50 a month for two live classes per week, $20 per month for one recorded video per week, $35 per month for two recorded videos per week, $12 per class, $75 for a 10-class pass 
For more information and to register, go online.

Indoor cycling with the Saskatoon Triathlon Club Inc.
When: Eight Saturdays between Jan. 4 and March 21 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. 
Where: Saskatoon Field House
Cost: $120 for all eight sessions, $80 for four rides, $25 to drop-in
For more information and to register, go online.

Just Tri It training program with the Saskatoon Triathlon Club Inc.
This is an eight-week women's-only program designed to get people ready to participate in a triathlon.
When: Swims Sunday mornings starting at 8:10 a.m., bikes Monday evenings at 6:30 p.m., runs Thursdays at 6:45 p.m. The program runs from March 15 to May 10.
Where: Saskatoon YWCA
Cost: $175 until Jan. 31, $200 after
For more information and to register, go online.

Yoga for athletes
Join Leanne Parsons of Breathe Move Be for a 10-week of yoga for athletes session on Thursday evenings starting Jan. 9.
When: Thursdays from 5:40 to 6:40 p.m. from Jan. 9 to March 12.
Where: Midwest Karate (506 Duchess Street)
Cost: It's $140 to sign up for the whole 10-week session. Drop-in to individual sessions for $18.
Register: Email Leanne Parsons at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Announcements

Track and Field: Training for Volunteer Officials
Volunteers are needed for track and field events this winter at the Saskatoon Field House. By attending a two-hour session you will become a valuable member of the volunteer officials team. Attend a clinic on Fri. Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. as part of the K of C Meet. For more information or to register email Saskatchewan Athletics at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..       

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Product of the Week

Craft Sportswear

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Stay warm on your winter runs with a Craft Storm Thermal Jacket and Craft Storm Tights. Both are lightweight while offering wind protection and insulation. 

 

 

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