Update – February 28, 2012

Nik’s Chicks is a FREE ladies only running/triathlon group. It is only a time and place to meet & a program to follow.  I cannot join you on every run/workout.  If you are new to exercising, it is advisable to have a doctor’s OK prior to beginning. Please sign my waiver (in “About”) and fill out my contact info sheet when you arrive for your first run.

Quote of the Week:

Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. 

Beginning makes the conditions perfect.

Alan Cohen

Hello ladies, here is the latest news from the “nest”!

Weekly ChirpIt’s Newbie Week! …and I mean that in a good way.  For those of you who have run into me in the past few weeks, you have probably heard these words: “I’m starting new programs on the 3rd.  Do you think you’ll come out?”  or something to that effect.  Recruiting women (career gals, moms, hockey players, teachers, etc) who are all quite busy is proving to be a welcome challenge.  I have said it before and it’s worth repeating – women are generally not selfish enough to carve out personal time for themselves.  We continually put others first, often to the detriment of our own health…and sanity!  Consider March 3 to be your new beginning.  Put your workout times in your Blackberry or iPhone, let your family know that you have appointments and will not be available, set your goals (Mississauga 5km, 10km, Try-a-tri), print off your training schedule Learn to Run 5km Training Program, 10 Km program from 5km base, Try-a-tri and Sprint Triathlon June 2012 (inc. 5km pgm), Ottawa Half Marathon 2012 and post it on your fridge where everyone in your house will see your progress, organize/buy gear so there will not be any excuses/barriers to getting out the door Saturday morning for the 8am workout.  Embark on this new (and scary in the beginning) journey with a renewed enthusiasm for the woman you will become over the next 8-12 weeks.  You will be physically stronger, have more endurance, sleep better, gain confidence, make new friends and reach a goal you may have not thought possible or maybe only dreamed about.  Nik’s Chicks is not only about getting Oakville women running.  It’s really about providing a fun, welcoming group environment where by women become empowered and strong through physical activity.  (I think I just nailed down my mandate!) Looking forward to seeing new Chicks hatch on Saturday 🙂

FREE – New Learn to Run 5km, 10km, Ottawa 1/2, Triathlon start this Saturday, March 3 at 8am:  We leave from my house 1438 Redwing Crt.  Here’s how to get here: I am north of Upper Middle off of Third Line.  Turn East off of Third Line onto Westoak Trails Blvd. Take your 2nd left onto Blackbird Crt. I am 5th house on the right on the corner #1438.  In the past, parking in the cul-de-sacs has been an issue for neighbors so I ask that you please park on Westoak Trails or Nightingale. Look for a sign in my front window!  I  have 6-8 ladies  for the 5km run pgm and around 10-12 ladies considering the try-a-tri!  Please feel free to mention the programs to your friends – remind them that the programs are FREE!  I will be running with the new 5km/tri ladies on Saturday.  If you are beginning the Ottawa 1/2 program with me, I will be doing my 10km run at 11am and you are welcome to join Brogan and I then.

What to Wear for Running: After fielding some good questions about gear, I thought I could direct you to the Cold Weather Running handout from the Helpful Information drop down menu. Here are some tips 1) Dress in layers avoiding cotton (it holds sweat and keeps you chilled) this includes your socks – base layer of long under wear top and bottom, running tights or yoga pants, light polar fleece or yoga jacket, shell jacket, hat, mitts or gloves, sunglasses 2) Regular running shoes are best (Let them know at the Running Company – not the Running Room – that you are with Nik’s Chicks to receive a 10% discount off your purchases)

Swim Training: The training will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings after the runs, around 9:15pm at Glen Abbey Rec pool.  This is an open lap swimming time and not just us so be prepared to have other bodies in the lanes.  I (or another swimming Chick) will go with you to get you started. Expect to be winded and needing lots of recovery in the beginning – you are starting something new! The emphasis will be on technique and NOT volume for the first few weeks.  There will be Slow, Medium and Fast lanes.  Choose the one that suits, you can always change if it doesn’t feel right.  Here is a site about etiquette in the pool that you should review prior to getting into the pool Pool Etiquette  It will answer many questions and let you know what to expect from other swimmers.

Learning Open Water Swimming Technique:  The response for the DVD viewing was less than I expected, so I will postpone the get together. I am looking at Tuesday, March 20th to have the “Easy Freestyle” DVD viewing night.  It will start at 8:15 – replacing the Tuesday day night run and swim – and will last around 1.5 hours.  Please RSVP me at mclaughlins@cogeco.ca so I will have an idea of number of Chicks. Watching the video will help to explain the “Total Immersion Tips” that I have posted in the Helpful Information section of this site.  You can also check out a 6 part series, “Total Immersion Perpetual Motion Freestyle” and the 8 part “How to Work Less, Swim Better in Triathlon” on YouTube. The Total Immersion technique does work – I reduced my swim times during my triathlons and no longer exit the swim portion utterly exhausted! It’s worth the time and effort to learn it!  This DVD may seem more necessary after you have been in the pool a few times!


Swim Training Checklist: Here is a list of items you will need/want to begin your swim training in March.  You have 1 week to gather them!


Swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, flip flops, water bottle, towel, mesh bag for shampoo/conditioner/body wash to take on deck with you and save trip back to locker, print off 12 lesson plans and put Lesson 1 in Ziploc or have laminated, buy swim pass if not a member at Glen Abbey Rec Center ($36.28 for 10 swim sessions).  One Chick suggested I add bikini wax to the list things to do to prepare for swimming!! Good idea!

Shirts:  You can take one home to try one on if you wish.  Total cost will be 52.00 each, taxes in (similar styles sell for 70.00 – 80.00). I have 3 smalls, 2 mediums, 4 larges, and 3 x-larges in stock).

YMCA: There is a contingent of us who meet at the Y to workout and you are welcome to join us. M and F 9:30 weight training and 10:30 swimming and W-12:10 spinning and 1:30 yoga

Tips from Runner’s World Daily Calendar: 1) To track your progress, keep a log, even if it’s just jotting down mileage or time on a kitchen calendar 2) Whenever possible, buy shoes just after the new version debuts. you can get discounts on the old version. 3) Seek man-made protection on windy days.  Buildings can block harsh winds.

Looking to Lose Weight gradually over the next 12-24 months?: Check out this site for helpful calculations.  The body weight simulator takes into consideration that our metabolism slows down as we get closer to a healthier weight. Body Weight Simulator

This week’s workouts (Meet 1438 Redwing Court)

Tuesday – Feb 28 8:15pm (I won’t be out – hockey play offs)

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

ATB – 10km

Mississauga/Toronto 1/2 – 8km

Wednesday – Feb. 29 12:10 and 1:30

YMCA Spinning and YogaFit

Thursday –  March 1 8:15pm

Holding on 5km – 5km with hill x 2

Holding on 10km – 5km with hill x 2

ATB – 9km

Mississauga/Toronto 1/2 – 6km with hill x 2

Friday – March 2 9:30 and 10:30

YMCA Weight Training and swimming (lesson 7)

Saturday – March 3 8:00am New Programs start today!

Learn to Run 5km and Try-a-tri  – 5 min walking warm up, alternate 60 sec jogging and 90 sec walking for 20 minutes (turn after 10), 5 min walking cool down

Learn to Run10km – 10km The 5km Big Block route

Ottawa 1/2 – 10km 10km Westoak Trails route

Mississauga/Toronto 1/2 – 12km 12km Westoak Trails route

ATB – 31 km

Monday – March 5 9:30 and 10:30

YMCA Weight Training and swimming (lesson 7)

Have a wonderful week! Niki