Run like a girl

Shoes, stretches and bras that won't let you down: Here's everything you need to hit the pavement.
Run like a girl

Run like a Girl | Chatelaine

What to eat, how to train, and the harsh truth about what can happen to your feet — here’s what you need to not just survive, but crush a 26.2-mile race.

Illustration, Remie Geoffroi. Illustration, Remie Geoffroi.

In parternship with Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.

From our rotating shoulders to our springy tendons to our gigantic glutes, the human body evolved to run. But when it comes to running really, really far — like, say, 26.2 miles — women are the ones with the advantage. Recent studies have found that, compared to men, we’re more resistant to muscle fatigue over long distances; we get more of our fuel from slow-burning fat, instead of quick-to-quit carbs; and we’re just all-around better at pacing ourselves. So, yeah, dragging yourself to the end of a marathon is incredibly daunting, but remember: we have the upper hand. Here, some tips to help you reach the finish line.


‘When I registered [for] the following October and got my acceptance letter, I also got my positive pregnancy test — the exact same day.’

Julie McGivery ran the Boston marathon eight months pregnant Photo, Julie McGivery

Julie McGivery, 36, had been training for more than a decade when she finally qualified for the race runners dream of — the Boston Marathon. In the year and a half between qualifying and the race, McGivery became pregnant with her second child. But that didn’t stop her. Chatelaine spoke with McGivery, who lives in Moncton, N.B., about what it was like participating in a gruelling race when she was eight months pregnant. 


On your mark! Time to spruce up your running wardrobe and get back out on the pavement


Running is challenging enough. An ill-fitting top or the wrong pair of socks can make it even harder to get through your route — but you may be more motivated to get moving if you have a cool new visor or pair of shorts to throw on. Here’s the newest running gear that we’re pumped about this season.


A convincing new study shows that a running habit can extend your life by as much as three years.

Post workout cool down Photo, Getty Images.

Health Canada recommends 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of exercise a week. If that sounds daunting, a new study may help convince you to try to meet that goal. According to a review published in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases in March, people who run live 3.2 years longer than people who don’t run. The researchers simplified this to an even more astounding ratio: for every hour you spend running, you extend your life by seven hours. 


Ensuring you’ve got the best fit for your breasts is essential to avoid discomfort and chafing.

woman, bra, sports bra Getty Images

It’s a fact: breasts move around a lot. And they move around even more when we run. Up and down, side to side — they’re all over the place. It’s because breasts have no built-in stability function; the only thing connecting them to us is skin tissue. And that’s why finding the right sports bra is so key. There’s a whole field of science dedicated to breast motion and how it impacts performance — it’s known as breast biomechanics.  


Here’s everything you need to know before shopping for a new pair this spring.

Photo of a woman's running shoes

Most people tend to think about arch support when shopping for running shoes, but that’s not what running shoe manufacturers have in mind. Bryan Smith, a Toronto-based manager with the Running Room, says shoemakers are thinking about stability and how much foam is needed to let your arches move. “It’s not so much that the arch is high or low, it’s whether it’s flexible or not,” says Smith. “You can have low arches that still have flexibility in the feet, or you could have high arches that are mobile.”


A novel about a 1920s competitive female runner, a memoir about how marathons are like romantic relationships and more.

Recent(ish) books about women who run – 2016

Are you running wrong? Here’s how to improve your form


Get the most out of your run (and avoid injury) by following these tips.

The best way to warm up for a run

These five easy pre-run stretches, designed for women’s bodies, target the glutes, hamstrings, hips, pelvis and feet.


How to properly cool down after a run

These three exercises will open and stretch the hips, glutes and the front of your body.

Adidas used motion-capture cameras and went through more than 100 prototypes to perfect this beauty.

Photo, Erik Putz. Photo, Erik Putz.

Fifty years ago, women weren’t allowed in the Boston Marathon — it took a 20-year-old track star named Kathrine Switzer, signing up with her initials, to prove that women have every business running alongside men. Now we actually outnumber them in races, representing 57 percent of the field (and in half-marathons, we climb to 61 percent). But we tend to hit the asphalt in shoes first made for men, then shrunk down for us. At Adidas, the prototypes are technically unisex, but they’re also all a men’s 9.5, so few women get to try out the new kicks. Not so with the new Pure Boost X, the first Adidas running shoe designed specifically for and on women. 

Haven’t run a kilometre in your life? Not an issue. These tips will turn you into a pro in just 10 weeks.

two women running in the hills Photo, Masterfile.

Running is the king of both convenience and calorie-burning, but it takes planning, patience and persistence to become a regular runner. I tried and failed at least four times before I finally got it to stick. I’ve been a regular runner for over six years now, and I think it might hold this time. Here are my tried and tested running tips:

1. Pick a “go” day. Give yourself a couple of weeks to get everything prepared, but have a day that is specifically marked on your calendar as the day you start running. Start getting excited about this new you who is a dedicated runner.


Prevent injuries, relax and soothe your tired muscles and stiff joints with this sequence.

A woman wearing red pants does warrior pose in a garden outside, yoga Photo, Istock.

Maybe you’re a marathon, long distance or interval runner, or maybe you enjoy an early morning jog around the block to get your heart rate pumping. Regardless of how much you run, balancing this rigorous exercise with a more calming routine is smart. A simple a, b, c sequence helps ease tired muscles and prevent injury, and can easily fit into any running schedule.


This lesser-known (and kind of scary) symptom of running long distances can be avoided with these six simple suggestions.

Fit blonde woman running Photo, Masterfile.

Run for long enough, and sooner or later, you’ll find yourself with a black toenail, a.k.a. runner’s toe. “If you want to start becoming a runner, be prepared to have your nails injured,” says Dr. Roy Mathews, a podiatrist in Vancouver. Caused by toes rubbing up against the inside of your shoes, black toenails are often the result of long runs and running downhill. Here’s how to avoid them — and what to do if you have one.

Fitness expert, and avid runner, James Fell spent the day with a running coach. Find out what he learned, and how you can apply it to your technique.

A young fit woman goes for a run on a city pathway Photo, iStock.

While running is one of the most universal activities, the reality is, 80 percent of people have poor technique — and improving it is easier than you know. The issue mostly boils down to computers and shoes.

Many of us have desk jobs and comfy chairs, so we slouch forward, staring at the computer screen. This poor posture translates into our running.

The other problem is comfortable shoes. Not just running shoes, but any shoes. They make the muscles in our feet weaker so they’re not as well adapted for running. We wear runners with thick pads that allow us to hammer into the ground repeatedly rather than teaching us to run softly and silently. Read on for how to fix these problems.


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