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      Hello Everyone,                                                                                                                                                                                                              February 11, 2021        

     In this Issue:


  1. Canadian Ski Marathon Weekend complete
  2. Bill Narasnek conquered the coast to coast cycling challenge
  3. What to Look for in a Treadmill If You Have Knee Problems
  4. The Benefits of Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Your Metabolic Health
  5. Photos This Week
  6. Upcoming Events; Feb 28 Hypothermic Half   Mar 27 Bush Pig Open, May 30 SudburyRocks!!! Virtual Marathon
  7. Running Room Run Club Update: 
  8. Track North





Canadian Ski Marathon Weekend complete

Canadian Ski Marathon Weekend complete. This has been a bucket list event for me, so I couldn’t pass up the virtual edition this year. 2 back to back days of classic skiing, 50 km each day. Planned a tough day 1 and an easier day 2. The new snow came at a perfect time to take advantage of the back trails at Walden. Skied at Kivi day 2.
Always things to learn during these epic events. I love skiing because it always challenges you.
Congrats to Komrade Konye for also successfully skiing the Ski Marathon this weekend.

by Sara McIlraith

Canadian Ski Marathon complete! Thanks to the organizers for making a virtual edition this year and to the Mazzarati for all the support!
Sara...you are a machine. Keep up the good work and motivating and encouraging both young and old skiers!

by Konrad Wiltmann










Bill Narasnek conquered the coast to coast cycling challenge
Randy Pascal


In the words of the immortal Danny Gallivan, the likes of Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey could go coast to coast as very few others could.

The same could be said for Bill Narasnek.

Though the Creighton born athlete possessed somewhat limited skills on the ice, he would come to excel both as a runner and a cyclist.

In the summer of 1991, the only child born to parents who were both only children themselves (a true rarity at that time) would leave city hall in Vancouver. Thirteen days and six hours of cycling later, he would arrive at town hall - Halifax, establishing a trans-Canada mainland record that would stand for twenty years.

Easily into his forties at the time of his coast to coast adventure, Narasnek had only started cycling, in earnest, less than a decade before. His journey in athletics, however, dates right back to his childhood roots north of Lively.

“My father was always involved in sports: badminton, tennis, bowling, softball, baseball, shinny,” said the 74 year-old current resident of Manitoulin Island. “I was tuned into sports, but in those days, there wasn’t the kind of organized sports that there are now.”

In fact, it wasn’t until high-school, under the tutelage of teacher/coach Cam Desormeaux, that Narasnek would truly develop his base in sports, a key contributor with a handful of varsity teams representing the Lively Hawks. “Basketball was the one that we had the most success with, so the one with the best memories,” he acknowledged.

“We had a lousy football team that whole time I was there as quarterback, maybe one winning season. The school was so small that we just didn’t have enough kids to compete with the bigger schools.”

Though he would leave the area to study at Waterloo for a year, the attraction of full-time work at Inco quickly returned him to his homestead, with Narasnek married and starting a family quite young. It really wasn’t until ten years or so later, with the youngsters becoming increasingly independent, that he would find himself once again immersed in sport.

“I hit thirty and I was thirty pounds overweight,” he recalled. “I grabbed an old pair of basketball shoes and my old football jersey and went out running. I made it for about half a mile the first day and figured this sucks. But I kept at it.”

“I’ve heard that if you keep at running for six months, you will keep at it for life.”

So it was for Narasnek, at least for a few years.

Completely smitten with his new-found passion, he would connect with the likes of the Sudbury Masters Running Club as well as fellow Sudbury Sports Hall of Famer Terry McKinty, progressing to the point where he could not only complete a marathon in a personal best time of 2:41, but also lay claim to the title of Mr Fit Sudbury for the first two years that the Sudbury Fitness Challenge was contested.

Narasnek excelled not only as a runner, but as a race organizer as well. “Terry (McKinty) was a brilliant guy - and he was into everything,” said the man who would cover the 26-mile course in places like Detroit and Ottawa, Toronto and Massey. “I learned so much from Terry and his work with the Northland Athletic Club, with the Fitness Challenge.”

“The most I learned was on the administration side; he was super with that kind of stuff. I was always picking his brain and leaning on him because he was far better at it than I was.”

Unfortunately, Narasnek’s body, at the time, was also sending him a message. Distance running training had taken its toll. Where some might have trouble transitioning to another sporting endeavour, Narasnek would find solace on the bike.

“I knew that I wouldn’t be satisfied with running, just knowing how competitive I was,” he said. “I couldn’t get any better as a runner. I couldn’t do it without breaking down, and if I can’t do it, then I was going to do something else.”

Enter coach Battista Muredda and the Sudbury Cycling Club.

“I really started to enjoy the cycling,” said Narasnek. “I had a son that was into cycling, he was with the cycling club, so I started training with them.”

Before long, he was racing the Ontario circuit, capturing a veteran’s A race in 1989 that still ranks as one of his favourite memories in sport. Free time would be spent sifting through cycling magazines, a source that first piqued his interest in the Race across America - and his eventual decision to tackle the Canadian equivalent.

In order to be fully and completely prepared, Narasnek required a multi-dimensional approach.

On the one hand, there was no denying the physical demands that would be placed on his body, spending nearly two full weeks where cycling is consuming anywhere from 16 to 20 hours a day.

“For eight to nine months before the race, my training was at a full-time level,” said Narasnek. “Even though I still worked, that’s all I did - train and work. I even trained at work.” While some who had attempted this type of cross-country challenge did so using a strategy to ride until they dropped, every day, Narasnek treated it more like a stage race.

“You plan out a certain number of kilometres a day that will give you the record and you try and stick to that plan,” he said. “If that means riding 22 hours in a day, that’s what you do. If it’s 15 hours on another day, that’s what you do. You have a plan that will allow you to break the record.”

Which brings us to the second major requirement that would be critical to success.

“There is a big planning issue that goes into this race, it’s a tremendous administrative challenge,” suggested Narasnek. “Without a good support team, you’re going to fail.”

Here, he would catch a break. Beyond the five man crew he had assembled, the Pelmorex Radio Network had freed morning man Rick Malo to accompany the group. Reporting back to Sudbury with regular updates was a given. Yet Malo would offer so much more than that.

“First, he was hilariously funny, so he was good for the morale of the rest of the guys,” said Narasnek. “But he became an intricate part of the team, handling the photography and helping out wherever he could.” Same for the official assigned by the Canadian Cycling Association, whose only true responsibility was to authenticate the record attempt.

As expected, there were ups and downs - physically and emotionally.

While the crossing of the Rockies went better than expected, a rare eastern head-wind crossing the prairies proved a tough pill to swallow. “We had researched the weather; we should have had a strong tail-wind to help push us right across the prairies,” said Narasnek. “But the wind was coming out of the east and stayed that way for three straight days.”

“Those first two days into the wind took so much out of me, I never fully recovered from that.”

Thankfully, an emotional lift would come at just the right time.

“There was a night in Quebec, as we were heading towards Trois-Rivieres,” said Narasnek. “I lost it in the afternoon - I was tired, I was weak, I was leg weary. It was the first time it had happened all trip.”

Narasnek had no choice - he needed to rest. But the two and a half hour delay could put the record at risk. “I decided to try and ride through the night, and it turned out to be a fantastic night. The weather was perfect, people were out partying on the streets - and I never had another episode like that again.”

By the time he arrived in Nova Scotia, the record was clearly in sight. Narasnek jokes that the final five minutes of his journey may have been his favourite - though that is not entirely true.

These days, there is plenty of pride that accompanies his tales of the once in a lifetime adventure.

“I was never going to the Olympics, I was never going to be a national class athlete” - but Bill Narasnek could go coast to coast with the best of them.






What to Look for in a Treadmill If You Have Knee Problems
Running’s not bad for your knees, but choosing the right tread could ease the impact on your joints.

BY SAMANTHA LEFAVE for Runners World
JAN 26, 2021


As much as naysayers like to tout the “running’s bad for your knees” theory, the fact is it’s just not true. Numerous studies have proven it—one even followed runners and non-runners for 20 years—and some long-term research even suggests running can help lower your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

But that doesn’t mean runners don’t still suffer from knee problems, which actually account for 28 percent of injuries in runners, according to the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine. And sometimes that twinge in your knee (or just good ol’ aging) leads you to search for a softer running surface.

When looking at outdoor surfaces—asphalt, concrete, dirt, grass—there isn’t solid evidence stating one is better than the other for preventing injuries or reducing impact. One small study found that our bodies are actually really good at adapting to various levels of softness, instinctively adjusting leg stiffness in response to changes in surface elasticity.


Depending on the surface you’re on, you could also be trading softness for other risk factors. Take dirt, for example. The surface is softer, but you often have uneven ground, potholes, and roots to contend with—all of which could increase your risk of injury.

Treadmills, on the other hand, offer a middle-of-the-road solution. They are soft, flat, even, and provide a controlled training environment, says Ziad Dahdul, DPT, OCS, owner of Ignite Phyzio & Sports Performance.

“If you’re running on the track or on the same sidewalk every day, you’re getting some level of consistency. But there can still be changes on a day-to-day basis because of weather,” Dahdul adds. “With a personal treadmill, though, you’re getting a consistent environment that can go a long way with somebody who’s had knee problems.”

Of course, as any runner will tell you, not all treadmills are created equal. So if you’re in the market for a new machine—as are a lot of people, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic—here are some of the top features to look for when shopping.

Slatted Belt
When choosing between a traditional belt or a slatted one, runners with knee problems should opt for slatted, Dahdul says. One of the main reasons: Many runner’s knee issues occur due to a lack of surrounding muscle recruitment and subsequent muscle weakness (think: tight hips and inactive glutes).

But rubber slats have fewer springs underneath. This provides a little less give and naturally forces you to recruit more of your posterior chain and lower body muscles, Dahdul says. The extra recruitment can help improve your form, encourage a softer landing, and place less stress on the joints.

“Anytime you have more muscular support of your lower body when you’re running, there’s less strain that’s going to be placed on the joints themselves,” Dahdul says.

Having fewer springs underneath also provides a more realistic ground feel and a smooth, rolling surface underfoot that so many runners love. It’s one of those things that, if you like how the treadmill feels, you’re more likely to use it.

Plus, rubber slat belts, like the ones on the Technogym Skillrun, are also designed to absorb shock better than traditional treads. That lack of “pounding” you feel with each stride means there’s likely more impact being absorbed by the machine and less by your body.

Curved, Non-Motorized Belts
Another belt consideration: curved, non-motorized options, like the Woodway Curve FTG. Although typically pricier than more traditional treads, if it’s in your price range, Dahdul says it could be worth the expense for someone coming back from or consistently battling knee injuries.

The main reason lies in the fact that the machine is powered by you, so it better mimics outdoor running because there’s no motor to propel you forward. “That increases the engagement of your posterior chain quite a bit, so you’re seeing a lot more recruitment of the glutes, hamstrings, and calves than you would likely see on a traditional treadmill,” Dahdul says.

The curved design with an incline at the front of the belt can also help someone who’s early on in their post-injury rehabilitation, Dahdul says. “It’s really nice for walking mechanics, and restoring more of a natural gait pattern,” he explains. It almost forces more of a heel strike when walking, he continues, allowing you to work on your terminal knee extension and get more natural heel-to-toe mechanics restored as you stride.

This style of treadmill typically comes with a slatted belt, so you also benefit from the reduced impact. “I think it’s the best of both worlds for someone who really wants to be prepared for outdoor running, while still getting the convenience of training in your own home,” Dahdul says.

Customizable Cushion
Treadmill decks can range from really bouncy to pretty darn firm; the more cushioned ones are designed to help soften your stride and withstand the impact of you, well, running.

While many decks’ cushioning levels are set in stone, some, like the NordicTrack Commercial 1750, allow you to customize.

“The ability to change the cushioning allows you to individualize that treadmill to yourself a little better,” Dahdul says. “It’s not necessarily a case of changing it on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis, but rather figuring out what works best for the individual runner from the start.”

But just like with running shoes, there isn’t a one size fits all amount of cushioning, says Jordan Metzl, M.D., sports medicine physician at Hospital for Special Surgery. Instead, it’s more about paying attention to how the different levels make you feel. Are you able to keep going an extra few minutes, for example, or bump up the speed dial by a couple of increments?

Pay attention to your post-run levels of soreness, too, as Dahdul says the next 24 to 36 hours are vital for determining whether you responded well to the stimulus applied to your body. If you feel similar levels of soreness to when you run outside on a less forgiving surface, then he says you may want to adjust the cushioning, going a bit softer, and seeing how you respond afterward.
“If you can find a level of cushioning that allows you to recover from your runs really well, and feels good so you get a little more longevity out of your training session, that’s the ultimate benefit of being able to customize the cushion.”

Easy-Use Features
We all know it’s no good to break form when running, like when jabbing a tough-to-adjust treadmill button. “It really just breaks your flow and stride,” Metzl says. “I’ve seen injuries over the years from people falling off treadmills and abrupt stops causing muscle strains.”

It’s one reason why so many companies are tricking out their treadmills with easy-access features, like the rolling side-rail speed and incline dials on Peloton’s Tread and Tread+, or the iFit technology (compatible with ProForm, NordicTrack, and Freemotion treads) that automatically adjusts incline and speed according to virtual terrain for instructor training.

Sure, there may not be an abundance of scientific evidence connecting easy-use treadmill features to reduced impact on your knees, but the indirect correlation may be there. “I think people need to be comfortable saying we don’t know all the answers, so I’m going to try some stuff out,” Metzl says. “Let’s experiment and see what feels good to me.”

How to Lessen the Impact
It’s not just about the equipment—here are three adjustments you can make to potentially help put some ease on your knees.

Take quicker steps.
A review of studies found that, by increasing cadence, runners experienced a lower amount of ground reaction force and energy absorbed at the knee. Experts have found a 10 percent increase to be the sweet spot, as a shorter, faster gait shift’s the force of impact from your knees to your lower legs, Dahdul says.

The even-better news: Research shows treadmill runners typically have a higher stride rate when compared to outdoor running, so you’re already at a solid starting point. But to increase your cadence, you need to know your baseline. Most watches track cadence these days, so look into your metrics. If you don’t have a watch, set a timer and count how many times your left foot strikes the ground in a 30-second time span. Multiply that by two (to factor in both feet), then double that number for a full minute. That’s your strides-per-minute baseline.

From there, calculate a 10 percent increase. Focus on hitting that cadence during your run. Metzl likes to use a metronome app that dings every time your foot is supposed to contact the ground. You could also browse Spotify running playlists featuring the same beats per minute, making sure to stride with the beat of the music.

Stop overstriding.
Speaking of increased cadence, research shows it also reduces the amount of load applied to your hip and knee joints, including lowering your peak braking force—the maximum amount of horizontal force that occurs when your foot hits the ground—by 15 percent.

This is important because after analyzing 65 runners through a 15-week half-marathon training program, researchers found that runners with the highest values of peak braking force were nearly eight times more likely to fall victim to a running-related injury.

Those same researchers then had 12 runners with high peak braking force values go through a gait-training program focused on shortening stride length—a.k.a. no more overstriding—and increasing the number of steps taken. By the end of eight sessions, the runners had decreased their peak braking force by an average of 15 percent, increased step frequency by 7 percent, and decreased stride length by 6 percent. All of which can be a winning formula for lower risk of knee injuries.

Add some incline.
One of the benefits of treadmill running is the ability to adjust incline as needed. Cranking your machine up can help ease discomfort in your knees, as Metzl says it shortens your stride and reduces how hard you hit the ground. “I use uphill running for my patients with arthritic knees, those returning from injury, and for those trying to regain fitness and strength,” he explains.

Dahdul agrees, noting an incline puts you in a forward trunk lean, increasing the reliance on your posterior chain. Increasing the load there decreases the force taken by the knees, and makes the movement less quad dominant, he says.

For anyone just getting started, Metzl says it’s best to set the treadmill at a 1.5 or 2.0 percent incline, then go up from there. “Increase the grade by 0.5 percent each time, until you feel you’re simultaneously working while comfortable,” he suggests. Most runners, he notes, typically find their sweet spot somewhere between 3 and 4 percent.

SAMANTHA LEFAVE Freelance Writer






The Benefits of Moderate-Intensity Exercise for Your Metabolic Health
No need to give up your HIIT sessions completely, but consider having a more well-rounded workout routine.

FEB 1, 2021

  • Recent research in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that exercising at a moderate intensity more times per week may be more beneficial in terms of losing fat and lowering blood pressure than exercising at high intensity fewer times per week
  • However, that’s not to say one intensity is necessarily better than the other—there’s room for both HIIT and steady-state workouts in your routine to keep it well-rounded.



What’s better for your metabolic health and performance: the kind of short-intense bursts seen with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), or more moderate exercise like a steady-state run?

A recent study comparing the two suggests that’s a trick question.

Published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the study looks at 23 sedentary, overweight men who contributed health information like blood pressure and body composition before drinking fat-laden shakes to determine metabolic response. Half of the participants did interval training three times per week on stationary bikes, which comprised of four to six rounds of 30 seconds of hard effort with two minutes of recovery in between rounds. The other half did a moderate-intensity exercise program, riding the bikes at a comfortable pace for about 40 minutes total, five times per week.

After six weeks, all participants showed fitness gains, but only the group who rode steady-state for 40 minutes saw a decline in body fat, as well as improved glycemic response to the shake and lower blood pressure.

Although at first glance this might seem similar to many other HIIT studies (like this one, for example) that have been done, the breadth and depth of the measures used was unique, study co-author Jamie Burr, Ph.D., exercise science researcher at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, told Runner’s World. He credits lead author Heather Petrick, Ph.D.(c), of the University of Guelph, for creating a distinctive method for assessing exercise frequency.

“What was novel about this study was that we looked at exercise prescription in a different way, such that the frequency of exercise differed between the two exercise exposures,” he said.

For example, most research would have had the two groups exercise on the same schedule, but researchers here opted for having them follow recommended guidelines, to allow for more recovery from HIIT sessions.

“Interestingly, it appeared that some key markers of health were improved to a greater extent in the group that exercised more frequently, suggesting that regular exposure to training stress of exercise is likely important,” he said.

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The research has prompted enough controversy that Burr tweeted a clarification stating that they are not supporting one type of exercise over the other, which is the conclusion some readers had when the study was published.

“We were afraid that the headlines would be, ‘do this and not that,’ which is not the message we wish to convey,” he said. “All exercise is good. With this study, I’ve seen comments that we, as exercise scientists, keep changing our minds. That’s not true. This study doesn’t take away from the value of HIIT at all. It suggests that we shouldn’t choose one training style exclusively to the detriment of the other.”

There is value to both interval and long-distance, slower days, he added, especially for runners who want to push themselves to race faster but not burn out or risk injury.

“There is no reason your training has to be done in such a regimented way that you choose only one way to work out,” said Burr. “Not when you can get the benefits of both.”
















Photos This Week



Moonlight trail Feb 2

Loach's path Feb 3

Nuthatch Feb 3

Laurentian Feb 4

A murder of crows on Fourth ave Feb 4

Feb 4 Cemetery sunset

Feb 5 Loach's path

Feb 5 Laurentian trails

Feb 5 Laurentian

Feb 5 Loach's path

Feb 6 Sunrise at Laurentian


Feb 7 Flag trail

Feb 7 Moonlight trail






Upcoming Local Events


   February 28, 2021


Event Information and Registration

Hypothermic Half Marathon 2021 - Virtual Run Canada
Ontario: Sunday, February 28, 2021 - Registration





  March 27, 2021


The 1st Bush Pig Open Race in 2021 is scheduled for Sunday Mar 27th.

Fat Bikes only - minimum tire width - 4"







SudburyROCKS!!! Marathon








Run Club Update




Store News


Good afternoon Sudbury Runners and Walkers,


We have FREE run club Wednesday nights at 6pm and Sunday mornings at 8:30am.

Cancelled until Further Notice








Track North News - by Dick Moss








Dick Moss, Head Coach
Laurentian XC/Track Team
c/o Coach Moss <pedigest@cyberbeach.net>
Web: http://laurentianxctrack.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/laurentianxctrack/
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For information call me.
Vincent Perdue

Proud sponsor of the Sudbury Rocks!!! Race-Run-Walk for the Health of it




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