Select Your Community:
Whether you're an experienced runner or looking forward to your first 10K run, you may have questions about how to get the most out of your Canada Day run. On this page you'll find common questions that Hbc Run for Canada participants have asked in the past and general training tips to help you achieve your personal goals.

We've also included training schedules to help you train for the
Hbc Run for Canada, including one for beginner runners and one for more experienced runners.

Training FAQ


When was the last time you ran? University? High school, or maybe even when you were just a young child? It's understandable that you might be a little intimidated by the thought of embarking on a run of any length, let alone training for a 10K stretch.

Well, take heart! It may take a little bit of effort on your part, but it's likely not as daunting as you may first think. With these tips, you may just find the road to the 10K finish line easier than you expected. So, limber up, read on, and take those first fleet-footed steps along a new path.

Set Some Goals
You would never embark on a work project without having objectives, so why would you undertake a fitness challenge without a goal?

Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Sensitive.

Having too vague a goal, or one that is trying for too much too quickly may set you up for failure so be sensible. An example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal is: "I would like to be able to complete the 10K run on July 1st, 2008 in 1 hour 15 mins. or less". This is contrasted with: "I want to be able to run" (no measurement, no time frame) or, "I want to run my first 10K this weekend and a marathon next weekend" (too aggressive).

Educate Yourself
Do some reading about running and physical fitness so that you understand what is involved, and what the general principles of exertion and progression are in terms of fitness. The internet is a great resource, as are the numerous running magazine e.g. Runner's World.

Get the Doctor's All-Clear
If you haven't had a physical in several years, it might be a good idea to get one now before you embark on fitness activities, especially if you haven't been active for a while. It's a good idea to get regular physicals anyway so this is the perfect time to do so. Once you know that there are no reasons why you should not exercise, you can take the next step!

Proper Equipment and Clothing
Running is one of the most cost-effective sports to take up, but having said that, there are things you can do to make it much more pleasant! An absolute must to avoid injury is to get a proper pair of running shoes (those old tennis shoes will NOT do!). The type of shoe you need depends on the way your foot lands, body weight, distance to be run, so it's worth going to a running specialty store to get properly assessed and fitted. And don't just go for the cheapest, or most expensive, or coolest shoe - it may not be right for you!

You can pretty much run in any old pair of shorts and t-shirt, but if you start running longer distances, or if you sweat a lot, you should consider wearing apparel that helps to wick away sweat. Cotton causes chafing which is very unpleasant, so look for synthetic fabrics like polyester.

Hydration is also key to successful running, so think about getting one of those running belts that holds a water bottle, found in any good sports store.

Have a Plan
Many people make their commitments to running, and then go out and run for 45 minutes the first day. They wake up the next day sore, tired, and possibly injured and not that excited about running ever again.

In order to successfully achieve that goal you set earlier, you need to approach it in a sensible manner, and in achievable increments. If you've never run before, try walking for 5 minutes, then running for 1 minute and alternating in this way for a total time of 30 minutes your first time out. Gradually increase your running interval time until you can run continuously. You should also build up the distance you can cover slowly.

There are many plans that you can find on the internet, or in books, or you can join a clinic!

You're on your way to 10K, and in a S.M.A.R.T. way! By taking sensible steps towards that goal, you'll find yourself crossing the finish line and calling yourself a runner this summer, and actually enjoying it.

Q: What shoes should I wear??
A: The first thing to do is to ensure you have the right shoes for running and for your feet, and ones that are not too old. Every person runs differently, and therefore may have different needs in a shoe e.g. more cushioning, stability or motion control for pronation. Some people may even need orthotic inserts to go in their shoes. It is recommended to go to a specialty running store - staff there will be able to look at the way your foot hits the ground and recommend the right shoe.

Q: How often should I change my running shoes?
?A: Approximately every 300-500km (depends on your body weight). A good tip is to mark the date you bought the shoes on the inside of the shoe, and based on your weekly distance, you can easily figure when it's time to think about a new pair.

Q: What do I wear while running??
A: Non-natural fibers that wick away moisture are best for wearing close to the skin. Avoid cotton as this absorbs moisture and can lead to chafing. Also think about wearing breathable socks that wick away moisture to avoid blisters on your feet.

Q: What should I drink while running??
A: For any exercise up to 1 hour, water does a great job. If you are going for longer than 1 hour, and especially if you are perspire heavily, consider a sports drink which will help replace electrolytes such as sodium.

Q: How do I get rid of a "stitch" (one of those cramps in my side while running)?
?A: A stitch is usually a spasm of the diaphragm - a structure that assists in breathing. If you get one, slow down enough to ease your breathing and take deep breaths, with an emphasis on quickly and forcibly breathing OUT. Try to focus on belly breathing.

General Training Tips
  1. Always check with a doctor before you start an exercise program. ??
  2. Try to eat at least three hours before a run to prevent a stitch.
  3. Make sure you have had plenty of fluid to prevent dehydration through sweating etc. ??
  4. Running shoes are an absolute must. Look for a good fit, quality pair of running shoes (you don't have to pay high prices- try going for last years models rather than paying for the latest designer shoes). Ensure the shoes you select are designed for the purpose of running. A lot of shoes look like running shoes but the mechanics are geared to other types of sport and may not be. ??
  5. Safety First. If you train outdoors, don't expect drivers to look out for you! Wear reflective or light coloured clothing and always carry ID. ??
  6. If you are running alone try to let someone know where you're going and roughly what time you will be back. ??
  7. In the colder months choose several lightweight layers of clothing rather than thick garments and don't forget gloves. Always use sun block when training outside, sunglasses come in handy for sunny days and carry some fluid with you to re-hydrate yourself.
  8. Before any training program it is important to warm up by doing a few stretching exercises. Start by running very slowly until you feel slightly sweaty. Do some gentle stretches, mainly for the front and backs of the legs (get a book on sports stretching). Never overstretch or bounce. ??
  9. The first time you run, don't plan to go too far! Try running until you feel a little out of breath then walk for a while. When you get your breath back- run again. ??
  10. A simple guide to running at the right pace for a beginner is the simple "talk test". If you can run and hold a reasonable conversation then you are ok- otherwise slow down. ??
  11. At the end of your run never stop suddenly. Cool down with a brief relaxing walk or slow jog, and then stretch again. Stretching after you run will reduce muscle tightness and increase your range of motion. ??
  12. Try to run at least three times a week with a rest day in between. The repeated running and adequate rest repair time brings about improvements to your performance. ??
  13. Don't think in terms of distance; think in terms of minutes. Never increase your running time more than 10 percent each week.
  14. Keep a running log. Record each run that you do. It is excellent for motivation. You can use a pen and notebook, computer, or whatever best suits your lifestyle. ??
  15. Set a goal. Make sure your goal is achievable and work towards it. Goals motivate and keep you on track. Enjoy the success of reaching your goal.

Beginner 10K Schedule
Advanced 10K Schedule