Women will lead next running boom Running for advice after the 10km One Run race By Chris Woodall The running boom of the 1970s and early 1980s has gone, but there's another one looming, says Runners World senior editor Bob Wischnia. This time it will be women who lead the way, Wischnia said during a NIKE One Run post-race seminar at the Delta Whistler Resort, Saturday, Oct. 11. "It's the second most popular sport in Europe," he said, sporting a pair of sandals with a dead rat on the sole. Wischnia tested his legs — with proper shoes — in the 10km run up and down the bases of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, coming 67th. "The resurgence won't be from Joe Jogger, but from Jane Jogger," the editor said, noting that 26,000 women competed in a recent run in Portland, Oregon; and that 50,000 women ran in an Oct. 5 Canadian charity event. The free-flow seminar covered many other topics, including shoe technologies and running advice. Types of shoes we wear have advanced tremendously in the past decade, Wischnia said. "We've been tracking shoes for the past 30 years. The worst shoe made today is better than the best shoe made 10 years ago," the Runner's World word boss said. The single biggest innovation in shoe technology is the ability to make shoes that fit your foot. "It doesn't matter if it's air, gel, or a pump: if it's not any good, throw it out," Wischnia said. As for NIKE's new Air Minot winter running shoe: "This shoe's great," because of its waterproof upper and two sets of rubber spikes. Running needs high-profile athletes to bring the sport back to the peaks it once enjoyed, said former top-ranked marathoner Alberto Salazar. "It's the kids at the bottom (of the competitive ladder)" who'll make running popular again, Salazar said. But running has many hurdles to hop, Salazar says. "Running is at rock bottom right now, so it has no where to go but up," Salazar said. We need to attract more people to our sport." Rules governing what corporations can do with high school and college-level runners are hindering that potential connection says Salazar, no thanks to scandals that have plagued college football and basketball in the U.S. Track and field organizations have to market running events a lot harder. "Unfortunately we don't see elementary school kids going into running. Other sports are so much more well marketed," Salazar said. "To get Joe Schmoe off the couch we have to make it cool to run," Salazar said. While a lot of top runners have personal coaches, Peter Fonseca coaches himself for the most part. "I listen to my body a lot more," he says. He also adjusts his training schedule to what his body says. The #2-ranked marathoner in Canada says to push yourself when your body feels inclined. Doing too much when the body is not ready can only injure it. "If I have days where I feel terrible, I won't run or will do very little," Fonseca said. "If I feel real good, instead of just a standard five miles, I'll go seven, or 10 to get the maximum from that good feeling." Who you run with, by yourself or with a group, is important to motivate you; as is where you run. "If you love nature, run where the woods are," Fonseca said. And don't ignore walking. A walking break between miles of running will help you go those longer distances, Fonseca said. For competitors, Fonseca suggests eating something — no matter what — after a race. "A marathon really beats up your stomach. I recommend taking in a lot of carbohydrates even if you don't feel hungry." But go on a little jog first. "Don't stop cold," Fonseca said. The hardest thing for a runner to learn is patience, said 1,500m Canadian champion Leah Pells of Langley, B.C. She is also ranked fifth in the world in the 1,500m distance. "When I came in fourth at the ’96 Olympics, (that achievement) started when I was 11 years old," said the 32-year-old Pells. The second important thing is to be consistent in your workouts, Pells said. "You don't have to be at your fastest or at your best with every workout, you just have to be there." There are bound to be bad training or event days, but don't be too hard on yourself, she said. Third, set smaller and more realistic goals. "Some people set these really huge goals for themselves," Pells said, talking about one women who had just started running and was claiming she'd be marathoning by the end of the year. "Setting smaller goals makes fitness and running a lot more enjoyable," Pells said. One trick she uses is to train with the guys. Being a top-ranked woman means she is always better than most of her fellow women, which means she lacks motivation to push harder. "Train with the guys and beat them!" is Pells's advice. "You have to train harder and you don't want to be at the back of the pack." Last but not least, have fun. "Fitness isn't supposed to be a chore," Pells said. "Make it really social, run different courses, or take an extra 10 minutes to drive to another place to run."