Authors Posts by Sandy Jacobson

Sandy Jacobson

Sandy Jacobson
Sandy Jacobson is a world-class marathoner (four-time Canadian National Team Member), sports ambassador and advocate, who has been involved in athletics and fitness for more than two decades. She has won numerous awards in these capacities, and also has an extensive background in public speaking.


Know Your Foot Type Before You Buy

Most running shoes feel comfortable when you’re standing in a shoe store, but the true test comes several kilometres into your run. You’ll soon realize that the ideal shoe has more to do with your running style and the shape of your foot than it does with the logo stitched on the side. There are as many stride types, foot shapes, and foot strikes as there are runners, and no shoe will be perfect for everyone. To find the best running shoe, learn more about your foot type.  If you have a normal arch on your foot, you’re likely a normal pronator, meaning you’ll run best in a stability shoe that offers moderate pronation control. Runners with flat feet normally categorized as overpronate, so they will run well in a motion-control shoe that controls pronation. High-arched runners typically underpronate, so they will run best in a neutral-cushioned shoe that encourages a more natural foot motion.

  • Motion Control – over pronators
  • Stability – neutral pronators
  • Cushion – under pronators

Any of the top running or sport performance stores will be able to help you determine what type of shoe will work best for you and your sport.  Keep in mind, a pair of running shoes should last between 400 to 500 miles of running (three or four months for regular runners).

Whether you’re a runner, walker or gym enthusiast, here’s a sneak peak at what’s in store for 2015!

Saucony Breakthru

saucony breakthru

This is a brand new, lightweight neutral training shoe that’s built a bit closer to the ground for a faster feel. It has an 8 mm drop and promises to be fast and smooth. The Breakthru will appeal to a broad spectrum of runners and can be used on everything from daily training runs to marathon race days.


Saucony Triumph 12

The Triumph 12 has been completely overhauled with Saucony’s new IsoFit technology—a wrap system in the upper that creates a near-custom fit. The Saucony Triumph is a well-cushioned shoe with an excellent fit for a neutral runner looking for a comfortable ride during long runs.



Adidas Adizero Tempo 7

This shoe is for runners who prefer running in lightweight shoes that provides medial support. For long distance running, this shoe will match the mild over pronated runners. The Tempo 7 brings more mid-foot support for extra comfort and performance.



New Balance Vazee Pace

This speedster is a brand new shoe from New Balance that will bring you a light, neutral, cushioned ride, a snug fit and more toe spring in the front of the shoe to help you roll to new personal records.



Mizuno Wave Enigma 5

A neutral shoe with a luxurious, cushioned ride, the 10.9 oz Wave Enigma 5 is perfect for the runner seeking maximum shock attenuation and the plush, floating feel of “disappearing comfort.” Soft and flexible upper materials are constructed in a comfortable, sock-like fit.



ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 20

The GEL-DS Trainer 20 is a lightweight, stable and well-cushioned running shoe for over pronators. The shoe has been designed to have minimal stitching and material overlays to keep the overall weight of the shoe down, and to enhance breathability and comfort.





Take your training to the next level

If you like analytics, there are so many great apps that you can download to any phone to help you track your training and keep you motivated. They provide great data like speed, distance and time and can act like your virtual coach or training partner. If you haven’t tried any of these before, here are a few great free apps that could help you in your training.

APP: RunKeeper - GPS Running, Walk, Cycling, Workout and Weight Tracker

Track your pace, measure workout distance, chart weight loss, crush training goals and more with LifeHacker’s 2012 Best Running App! RunKeeper is the simplest way to improve fitness, whether you’re just deciding to get off the couch for a 5k, biking every day, or deep into marathon training.

APP: C25K - 5K Trainer FREE (Go from Couch Potato to Running the 5K)

The OFFICIAL C25K (Couch to 5K) program. You alternate between walking and running until you build strength. This app is designed for people who are just taking up running.  It provides you with an eight-week long plan, with workouts three times a week, ideally with breaks between days. Each workout session is from 30-40 minutes long (including five minutes warm up and five minutes cool down). This is the only 5K training app to be partners with MyFitnessPal for seamless.

APP: Nike+ Running

Whether you’re a beginner or training for your tenth marathon, keep track of your running progress with this popular GPS-powered app. Log your stats including time, pace, and distance, and get real-time audio feedback so you can keep your eyes on the road. Listen to friends cheering you on through Facebook while you run. If your energy is lagging, a Powersong provides an instant boost.  Share your progress with the Nike+ running community and invite friends to race in a custom challenge.

APP: Runmeter GPS Pedometer Run, Cycle, Walk, Jog & Interval Training

Runmeter is designed for those who love loads of data. It records and stores a wealth of running stats including time, distance, pace, elevation, and even weather. The app syncs with Google Maps for detailed terrain and traffic info so you know what to expect on your route. Track your progress visually with cool charts, graphs, calendars, and maps. Unlike apps that interface with a website, Runmeter stores your running history right within the mobile app. Compete against yourself or against other runners by importing friends’ stats. And if that’s not enough, an elite upgrade has many extra features for $4.99.

APP: Runtastic 

Map and monitor your runs with this feature-rich personal training app. Runtastic keeps a detailed log of your progress with route maps. It also graphs results, including heart rate, distance, speed, and elevation. Set goals and upload your progress to the Runtastic website, where you can join an online community of runners to get tips and challenge each other. Make your run even more social by photographing and geotagging cool sights on your route. You can also get cheered on by Facebook friends as you run. Weather and sunlight data helps you pick the best time for a run. Enter post-workout info to record your mood and rehydrate properly.

APP: Run with Map My Run - GPS Run, Walk, Tracker and Calorie Counter

As the name aptly implies, MapMyRun does exactly what it says: it maps and records your run. The app conveniently informs you of how long you’ve been running and your pace as you go along, and once you finish, you can save and share your for comparison with later run times. The app also counts the amount of calories you burn and charts your elevation profile in addition to keeping track of your diet, all while retaining access to your iPhone’s music catalog and incoming phone calls.

APP: Endomondo – GPS Run, Cycle, Walk, Tracker & Personal Coach

Based on the premise that “when something’s fun, you’re more likely to do it,” Endomondo aims to make any type of fitness social and enjoyable. Start off with a fitness test, then let the app help you create a training plan and set personal goals. Endomodo tracks distance, calories burned, and degree of improvement for every workout. Friendly audio alerts let you know if you’re lagging or setting a personal best while you exercise. Share your progress with a global online community and cheer on others. A premium version comes with expanded features.



Performance base layers are essential to outdoor running

As we know, Edmonton is known for its cold winters so running can be challenging.  But running all-year round can be a successful component to any athletic career allowing to help build a strong running foundation. Training year round can allow you to increase your weekly mileage and speed workouts. Running throughout the winter also trains the mind and gives you that added edge of mental toughness for race season.

Getting out the door may seem hard when it’s cold and dark but it’s actually quite easy if you know how to dress to protect yourself from the elements. Layering is essential and having fabrics that wick moisture, are wind resistant or water proof will make training comfortable and easy. Try some of these must-have items to stay fit this winter and throughout the holiday season.




When you’re up against gusty winds and biting cold, the less skin that’s exposed, the better. Cover up from head to chin with this balaclava made of tech fabric.

Average Price: $25



Cover your dome in an insulating, wind-blocking hat for long, cold runs.

Average Price: $20



Designed for everyday pre-dawn/post-sunset use, the USB-rechargeable 75-lumen Sprinter is ready for any trail in any weather.

Average Price: $68

FlatsLinedrawingsAs in the Workbook


Thermal soft shell jacket combining a high performance fit and insulation for cold weather running.

Average Price:  $210



Great for windy and wet days. These pants offer lightweight coverage for strong gusts of wind and moderate rainfall/snow.  Easy to slip on and off.

Average Price:  $140


If packed snow and ice are making your favorite route look extra treacherous, strap these spikes on over your sneakers for extra traction. As always, though, run with care; sometimes inclement conditions make for a great reason to take a day off to rest and recover.

Average Price: $40



Merino wool gloves plus touchscreen compatibility means warm hands and complete control over your favorite running playlist.

Average Price: $40

Treadmill vs Running Outside

– When the weather or footing is bad, it’s safe and easier (controlled environment)

– No resistance on the body (i.e., wind, hills, etc.) making running easier

– Easier to train at a specific pace and target range

– Can be boring and make one minute feel like an hour

– Can be a pain doing intervals or speed training as you have to constantly readjust your speed

Tip: Setting the treadmill to a one percent grade accurately reflects the energy output and better simulates outdoor running




Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean your training has to end!  In order to help you maintain your fitness level heading into the winter months, try some of my favorite items to help you train, enjoy and reach your personal best.

Photo Credit: photos provided by United Cycle

cool products_1Capture and share your life’s most meaningful experiences with the HERO 3+ Black Edition. Twenty percent smaller and lighter than its best-selling predecessor, it delivers improved image quality and powerful new features geared for versatility and convenience. SuperView is a new video mode that captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective, while Auto Low Light mode intelligently adjusts frame rate for stunning low-light performance. Combined with 30 percent longer battery life, 4x faster Wi-Fi, a sharper lens and compatibility with all GoPro mounts and accessories, the HERO3+ Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro yet.

cool productsUnlike many fitness trackers on the market, the Garmin GPS Vivofit remembers your activity level for the current day and assigns a more attainable goal for the next. A great choice for anyone getting into fitness trackers.

cool products_5This advanced t-shirt from ArmourVent was built to get you to the finish line. It’s the latest innovation for the heat—a new type of mesh that cools you, giving you what you need to power forward.

cool products_4This jacket offers advanced thermal protection with unparalleled breathability, stretch mobility, and moisture management for optimal performance in cold weather conditions.

cool products_3This salute to the ’60s has metal detailing inspired by electric guitars, and the retro riffs are part of a smooth, classic look as original as the icons of rock. Our homage to the era of high-decibel solos and horrified parents, Garage Rock is made of lightweight O Matter for comfort that never dies. It features high definition optics for the ultimate in clarity and protection.

cool products_6You know that point where quitting creeps into your head? Where you’ve had just about enough? That’s when you push yourself one step farther. And these are the capris that’ll help you get there. ArmourVent technology uses a specialized mesh to deliver unbelievable breathability and a light, stretchy, fast-drying fit.

cool products_2Feel the science of soft with Fresh Foam, an innovative midsole created from a single piece of foam that provides a lower, more natural underfoot feel. Developed using specialized design software, this lightweight men’s running shoe also features breathable air mesh and simple no-sew overlays that wrap the foot in the right places. A full-ground-contact, blown rubber outsole complements the shoe’s cushioning and delivers a smooth ride. The New Balance Fresh Foam 980: it’s unlike anything you’ve ever stepped into, and now available in limited edition colors.


Edmonton is home to some fabulous retail shops and boutiques that offer a blend of high performance gear, great training resources, supplements and more. Here are a few that we have showcased but there are much, much more.

12328 102 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 0L9

10558 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2A4

7620 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4Z8

11419 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 2S2

8537 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 1E4


Athletics Alberta



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