Update – January 20, 2016 – Winter Running/Facebook/Thinking of Triathlon?


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.  Any information or products represented on this site are for educational purposes only and are not a substitute for any advice given to you by a medical, nutritional or fitness professional. Please sign my waiver (in “About”) and fill out my contact info sheet when you arrive for your first run.  Please park on West Oak Trails Blvd, Nightingale or at Bloomfield Park to avoid congestion, locking beeps and car doors closing around my neighbours’ houses – especially on Saturday mornings! We run Tuesday and Thursday evenings 8pm and Saturday mornings 8am from the corner of Redwing and Blackbird Courts.  Check out Weekly Workout section for specific times and distances.

Type your email address in the blank to the right and click follow to automatically receive my updates! You can also check out the Nik’s Chicks Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/132984713404930/

Quotes of the Week: 

Good health, peace of mind, being outdoors, camaraderie – those are all wonderful things that come to you when running. 

Bill Rodgers



It is distance, not speed, that holds the answers.  The reward comes with crossing and confronting the boundaries of fatigue.

John Bingham



Being defeated is often a temporary condition.  Giving up is what makes it permanent.

Marilyn vos Savant


News from the “Nest”: I have been experiencing some technical issues with my desk top lately.  This certainly isn’t the end of the world – but addressing the problems feels like a big time waster!  Dealing with technical support is never a fun thing to do…and gets frustrating when they can’t seem to solve the problem for me.  I seem to be improving my own skills as I trouble shoot and become less dependent on other to fix stuff for me.  This….is a good feeling.  It means I can learn to do new things at my age. (And so can you:) If you have been thinking that “I can’t run” or “I am too old to start something like running” or “Only fit people are runners” remember that it’s never too late to embark on a new journey of any type.  Put your reservations aside (anxiety/nerves) and step out of your comfort zone.  We really are a friendly bunch!

Need Motivation to Run?:  We can all agree that when it is cold and dark out in the mornings, our motivation to get out for our run starts to decline.  Watch this video for 5 ways a morning run will change your life:)

Winter Running: So it’s windy, cold and dark.  These are only variables to consider when prepping for your run, not actual barriers to getting out there.  What do you need to do ahead of time to ensure you are ready to roll?  1) To tackle the wind you need to ensure you skin is adequately covered to avoid frost nip/burn.  Invest in wind resistant pants and jacket and add layers of wicking fabrics underneath. Don’t forget a neck warmer/balaclava to cover your face and great gloves/mitts. Wear a hat or ear band to protect your ears. Put moisturizer on your face before heading out:)  2) When running in cold temps, layers are very important.  You want to be warm but not too warm. Wear base layers (including undergarments and socks) made of wicking material (synthetics or wool/bamboo) so sweat doesn’t cool on the skin giving you a chill.  Wear midweight layer over top of your base and under your outer shell.  3) Yes it’s dark in the early morning and in the evening during prime running hours. This isn’t really an actual deterrent to the act of running, you just need to be sure you are seen by others. Wear bright colours, reflective gear or LED lights, consider a head lamp – there are many options for lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree!  Keep in mind the saying that there is no such thing as bad weather – just bad gear.  Invest in a few key pieces to keep you comfy and not making excuses to avoid the elements instead of tackling them:)  And don’t forget to record “The Bachelor” (or other guilty pleasure) on your DVR to watch when you get home!!

Facebook:  I set up a Nik’s Chicks Facebook page years ago before I started this blog.  The activity on it seems to have fizzled in recent years.  Thanks to Amy for suggesting we start using it again.  It could be a great vehicle for you Chicks to communicate with me and each other about alternative run times, registering for races, recipes, good sales on running gear, etc. You can find the page here https://www.facebook.com/groups/132984713404930/  and then send me a request to join the group.

New Program: The last round of programs have ended – congrats to the Learn to Run 5km girls who had started from scratch in November.  The Learn to Run 10km program began on Saturday, January 16th.  We will hold off on a new Learn to Run 5km until March (unless there are some interested (and hardy) ladies out there. Here is your new program to get you from 5km to 10km: 10 Km program from 5km base (T,Th,S)

Half Marathon: The consensus is that the ladies want to push back the Half Marathon race to a late April/May date and allow some of the 10 km runners to catch up and maybe join us.  We will go into a holding pattern for the next few weeks (alternating 13 and 15kms) for the long runs.  Tuesdays will stay around 10km and Thursdays 6-8km. Ladies, do a little research to see what our race options are for that general time of the year.  It would be great to come up with a race that is unique and fun instead of just Mississauga and Toronto 1/2s.

Upcoming Races:  I was updating this page and lost everything I had put in:( – the joys of technology. Working on a do-over.  If you have any race ideas that I can post, send me a note. Thanks!

Triathlon:  There is some banter amongst the Chicks about perhaps doing Sprint or Try-a-tris in the early summer.  Some ladies have begun swimming lessons, some have recently purchased bikes or are considering this.  (Check out Cyclepath for good deals and remember to tell them you are with Nik’s Chicks).  Now is a good time to lay down a solid foundation for all three disciplines.  Get in the water and begin some easy training.  Use these lesson plans for guidance Swimming Lesson Plans 1-12 (1100m – 1600m) where your session is broken down into sets and recoveries – not straight swimming.  Consider jumping into a weekly spin class to develop some leg strength and endurance so when you start riding outside you are not starting from scratch.  If you are still running outdoors with us, your running base will be a solid one.  If you have begun to hibernate, hit the treadmill instead so there is no “square one” in the spring.  Here is the entry level tri training program Sprint Triathlon (16 week pgm) that you can use. For a June tri, you will need to begin your training in February:) The program is for a sprint, and will over prepare you for a try-a-tri. Check out this document – it will give you food for thought.   Thinking About Doing A TRI  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Training for a try a tri or sprint tri can be done in only 4-6 hours a week.  Doable, right?!

Running Lights: My recent light order has arrived!  Only 7.00 each for more visibility!   Bring cash to the runs and I can give one to you. (These lights arrived without batteries:( – I have ordered a bunch of batteries and will have the lights working soon! Argh!)  For the three ladies who bought some last night, you can either wait on batteries or I will refund you 6.00!


Swimming:  There are a few of us meeting at QE Pool Friday mornings 10:00 – 10:45 to do laps.  Feel free to join us if you are interested. Don’t forget your cap, goggles, flip flops, water bottle, towel, shower items, lock.

Do you have my “Easy Freestyle for Triathlon”DVD?:  I loaned this DVD to someone but I have no recollection of who!  If you have it, can you please pop it back to me so I can share with others? Many thanks!

YES I AM TALKING TO YOU!!! Have you Ordered Your Road ID?:  Spend the 20.00 on some peace of mind NOW!  If you were unconscious during a run, would EMS personnel know your details?  Unlikely!!  Order a bracelet or shoe tag at Road ID

Road ID

Tips From Runner’s World Daily Calendar 2016: 1)  Eat fish and flax.  Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found in fish and flax seeds, encourage your fat cells to send the “we’re full” signal to your brain.  This causes the brain to send the signal to your metabolism to burn more calories.  2)  Previously foud on diabetics and plane pilots, compression socks have been making their way onto plenty of runners lately.  Perhaps that’s because they’ve been shown in studies to stimulate blood flow, helping legs recover faster from a hard run.  The snug fitting knee socks are meant to increase circulation and reduce lactic acid build up.  Some runners wear compression socks while training and others use them after a run.  3)  For healthy post run treat, reach for an apple.  They are high in cholesterol lowering solvable fibre.  A Japanese study found apples also contain an antioxidant that may protect against muscle injuries – particularly those caused by downhill running.  4) Treat injuries with ice.  Fill paper cups with water and put in the freezer.  Once frozen, peel back the to edge of the cup.  Rub the ice in a circular motion over the injury three times a day for 10-20 minutes. 5)  Food for thought: Sweet potatoes contain more potassium (needed for healthy circulation) than bananas.  In one study, eating sweet potato extract for a week boosted levels of antioxidants and lowered markers of muscle damage after a hard run.

This week’s of workouts (Meet at 1438 Redwing Court): NEW 10km Program began on January 16th

Tuesday – January 19   8:00pm

NEW Learn to Run 10km – 5km 

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

Half Marathon – 8-10km

Thursday – January 21 8:00pm

NEW Learn to Run 10km – 4-5km with 400m repeats x 3 (out and back 1.5km to warm up – weather permitting)  (The sched calls for sprints, but will try to keep you with the rest of the group)

Holding on 5km -5km with 4 x 400 m repeats (out and back 1.5km to warm up – weather permitting)

Holding on 10km – 5km with 4 x 400 m repeats (out and back 1.5km to warm up – weather permitting)

Half Marathon – 7km with 400 m repeats x 7 (out and back 1.5km to warm up – weather permitting)

Saturday – January 23 8:00am

NEW Learn to Run 10km – 6km

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 10km

Half Marathon –  (Holding for now) 13km

Tuesday – January 26   8:00pm

NEW Learn to Run 10km – 5km 

Holding on 5km – 5km

Holding on 10km – 5km

Half Marathon – 10km

Have a wonderful week! Niki


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