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Best Fall Cross Training Activities

Try these fun cross-training activities to keep you moving while the weather is still nice

Starting to wind down your running or cycling mileage for the summer? Here are some other fun cross-training activities you can do to help keep you moving outdoors while the weather is still nice.
 
Agility training – Agility training is a great way to mix things up as you start to wind down your endurance training from the summer, especially if an obstacle course race is in your future. Head to a local park or playground and practice jumping over park benches, sprinting in the grass, running through tires, and hopping over logs or rock. If there are no parks nearby, pick up an agility ladder and practice a few drills outside at home.
 
Geocaching - If you’re looking for a fun, outdoorsy activity to do with your kids that only requires a smart phone, good hiking shoes, water and snacks, it might be time to give geocaching a try. Geocaching, where you use GPS to hunt for hidden “cache” boxes with cool treasures inside, is a great way to get some exercise outdoors and spend time with your family. For tips on how to get started, check out this beginner’s guide to geocaching with your family.
 
Hiking – Fall is one of the best times of the year to hit the trails in Canada, and not just because extreme temperatures, poor weather and bugs and other irritants that can ruin your hike during the spring and summer months are nowhere to be found—hiking in the fall also means that you get treated to the stunning colours of the season, and what better way to keep moving than to enjoy the scenery of some of Canada’s best trails that you may have missed while you were so focused on training this summer.
 
Paddling – If you were too busy with endurance training all summer to get out on the water, the fall is still a great time to explore your local waterways by canoe, stand-up paddleboard or kayak. Head to any paddle or surf shop to rent your watercraft of choice and take in the fall scenery from the shoreline for a few hours. Just remember to dress warm in layers, especially if you plan to paddle in the ocean. 
 

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“It’s the best field we've ever assembled in Ottawa,” Manny Rodrigues declares proudly surveying his handiwork.

 

The elite athlete coordinator for the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon has found his IAAF Silver Label race increasingly appealing to athletes and managers around the world, with the improvement in the quality of fields, and finishing times, naturally following.

 

A year ago, the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon produced course records in both the men’s and women’s races as the Ethiopian pair of Tariku Jufar (2:08:05) and Yeshi Esayias (2:25:31) won their respective races. Consequently, this year, Rodrigues’s pacemakers will be aiming to lead the men’s field to a 2:06 or 2:07 finishing time, and a new Canadian soil record.

 

The fastest time ever run on Canadian soil is 2:07:05 by Ethiopia’s Derissa Chimsa, achieved a year ago in Toronto. As added incentive to eclipse that mark, the organization has put up a bonus of $10,000 US as well as a 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe sports utility vehicle to whoever can beat the standard in Ottawa. This is in addition to the $20,000 US first place prize money.

 

Because of his impressive marathon record Kenya’s Wesley Korir is the man to watch.  The tactically smart graduate of the University of Louisville is most famous for his ‘come from behind’ victory at the 2012 Boston Marathon. But he is also a two-time winner of the Los Angeles Marathon (2010, 2009), finished second in Chicago in 2011, and owns a personal best of 2:06:13, recorded at the 2012 Chicago Marathon.

 

Korir’s intelligence is not limited to road racing. Last year, he was elected to the Kenyan parliament representing the district of Cherangany, which has also meant balancing a heavy parliamentary workload. Still, Korir has a reputation for producing on the day and will certainly be the man to watch.

 

“My training has been going well, not the best, but good,” he admits. “I think coming to Canada for the two months before the race will allow me to push it to the next level. My work in parliament has been very busy.”

 

“I have been doing about 70 to 80 miles a week (112km - 130km) and am now starting to push it up there. I train by myself but I have a bodyguard, a policeman, who runs with me sometimes. He is a 2:06 guy.”

 

Korir, 31, is naturally cautious about predicting the outcome of the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon but believes he will be fully prepared.