RunCanvas 4 year celebration

Wow, I can not believe it has been 4 years since I started this blogging adventure. I started this as an opportunity to share my running journey and connect with other runners. I am just so obsessed with the running community and constantly looking for ways to connect with my “tribe” like minded people.

A lot has changed over the last 4 years and I plan to build on that growth into the new year. Over the last 4 years I have chased goals, over came injuries and built a Coaching business through this blog. I am looking forward to what the next 4 years and many more has ahead. Because 2020 can just go away already, right?!

Boston Marathon was a huge force behind my blogging adventure. I can’t wait for things to return to a somewhat relative normal and take on the Boston Course again.

Looking toward the future RunCanvas will see a new look in the next week, new products and a new line up of content I have been working on for months.

  • New products- including more comprehensive training plans that will continue to be fully customized with added components of a full strength program and injury prevention regiment
  • New content to reach a whole new group of readers and bring back those I have loved over the years. Content will be posted on a weekly schedule. This will allow some accountability on my end and the predictability for followers to find the information they are looking for.
  • New look, will be released after Christmas, hoping to clean up the look and make the site more user friendly.
  • Onsite purchases, we will continue to work through the VDOT marketplace while also allowing followers to purchase products with in the RunCanvas site.
  • Video content and Subscribers only content will be unlocked for all RunCanvas athletes.

I am so excited to reconnect with the online running community at a deeper level for 2021. What kind of stuff do you like to read about?

I have rejoined as a BIbRave Pro this year. I am excited to share new products and discounts. Be sure to check out the discount page!

Got a running related blog? Share you link below so I can follow and connect!

Running Base Training weekly recap- week 1

Woah, so much has happened and it almost feels like the world has been turned upside down. After a long year and some personal struggles with anxiety and depression. It is weird to be facing a pandemic with more clarity and happiness than I have had in a long time. Getting back to what I love about running has been a big step to healing. With things being a bit unpredictable, now is a great time to turn a negative into a positive and focus on building a strong endurance base and include other training components that will elevate my training when races start becoming more predictable.

My short term goals include rebuilding my endurance base over the next 6-8 weeks. Beyond just mileage, I also want to be better about including dynamic warm ups, form drills, strides, hill reps and strength training. After the eight week base building, I will have a better idea of my fitness and can plan the next stage of training. Long term, I am thinking I would like to return to Boston Marathon 2021. The extended qualifying window, means I do not have to find a late summer qualifier which is a huge plus.

Monday– Double Dip!

AM-5.02 miles

PM- 5 miles

Tuesday– 7.01 Miles

Wednesday-Double Dip!

AM- 5.00 miles

PM-3.07 Miles

Thursday-6.10 Miles

Friday-3.00 Miles

Saturday- 12.00 Miles

Sunday-4.00 Miles

Total Mileage-50.2 miles

Along with mileage I completed a complete dynamic warm up each day, strides 2x and ab/core work 2x. This week my focus will be on including more ancillary training to compliment the running I am doing and I will be going back to the weight room.

So how are you using this time to train? Are you training differently now, compared to pre-covid training?

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here

Terms of Service

At RunCanvas Coaching, our mission is simple: we want to help you achieve your fitness goals. We believe that we can best assist you throughout your journey by providing a training plan just for you; primarily based on your goals, abilities, and life.

Services included in your monthly coaching are:

  • An initial consultation to discuss your running goals, abilities, and life as it pertains to your current, past, and future training.
  • Fully customized training plans created by certified coach, and adjustments made through the training cycle as needed.
  • Unlimited communication with coach as needed through the training cycle in the VDOT app.
  • Strategic pre-race discussion as needed including nutrition discussions.

Your commitment includes:

  • Uploading your training data into the VDOT App or manual entering data
    • This information is vital to the success of you reaching your goals as the feedback allows for better modification and customization of workouts and overall training programs.
  • Always notifying your coach if you have something that seems to be causing you pain outside normal training/muscle soreness so she can quickly give advice as to how to proceed. This gives the best opportunity to limit injuries.
  • I understand that training programs are made specifically for me and shall not be shared with others without consent from RunCanvas Coaching.
  • Training/Racing, doing your best, and having fun along the way!
  • I give RunCanvas permission to post post-race congratulatory statements on the Runcanvas Blog and Social Media pages which could include pictures and tagging you in the post.

I hereby contract Janell McKinney owner and coach of RunCanvas Coaching, as my personal running coach. I agree to pay for coaching services up front as agreed upon. I agree that should I require any one-on-one coaching outside the time included in my monthly coaching package that I am expected to pay a rate of $65 an hour for said services. I understand that these services can, at my discretion, either be billed as one complete hour or split into two half hour sessions. I understand that ALL services I require are to be billed and paid for up front before I receive said services.


 In consideration of RunCanvas Coaching for the purposes of improving my fitness, I hereby attest that I am in good health and that my statements in the Consultation Questionnaires are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I fully understand the risk involved in such a fitness/running program and accept for myself, my heirs, and my personal representatives’ full responsibility for personal bodily injury, death, or property losses that may occur as a result of my being a part of this program or engaging in training sessions. I hereby indemnify and save and hold harmless my coach and RunCanvas Coaching from any loss, liability, damage and cost I may incur due to my participation in this program. I have read this waiver and release from liability, and further agree that no oral representations, statements or inducements apart from the foregoing written agreement have been made.

Medical Examination.

You acknowledge that RunCanvas Coaching is not a medical practice and does not employ doctors or licensed health care providers of any kind. Accordingly, RunCanvas Coaching cannot and will not provide medical examinations or medical or healthcare advice. You are strongly encouraged to have a complete physical examination by a licensed medical doctor prior to beginning any work-out program or strenuous new activity, including but not limited to Athletic Activities for which RunCanvas Coaching Services are provided. If you have a history of heart disease, you should consult a physician before undertaking any Athletic Activities.

This contract goes into effect when services are paid and training is loaded in the VDOT Online Application.

RunCanvas Testimonials

Coach McKinney has been awesome to work with. Always quick to respond to my questions. Looking forward to continuing to work with her.

WEs Ferraiuolo

“Janell listened to my goal and created a training program that help me to not only succeed but smash it. She will help you make adjustments as needed and is encouraging along the way. I just started my second season with her!

Jessica Scherer

Her customized plans are well-rounded and they work! She listens to what you want and meets you where you’re at. Her workouts are detailed and she always explains why she’s having you do something. She makes adjustments when you need them. She’s always accessible and responds super quick. Awesome coach!!”

Candice Dillion

“Janell perfectly balanced a tough, results oriented coach with being flexible. Her expertise was quickly seen through creative and challenging workouts. With her help, I shaved over 6 minutes off my half marathon PR and plan to use her again. Thanks, Janell!”

Nate White

I’ve been trained by her for the past 4weeks and I enjoy the program. I just hit the ‘runner blues syndrome’ after my last race on October 2019, and Jannel’s program is very enjoyable so far. Thank you, Coach!

Rismania Veradiza

Awesome coach! Once I am back from injury I will ask her to coach me again!

Robert Felicetti

“You have probably heard the phrase, practice makes perfect. Well I’ve found that this is not entirely true, especially if you’re doing it wrong to begin with. But it’s just running, right? Put one leg in front of the other and keep going. You’ll get better and faster very soon, you’ll often hear. Nope. The reality is, you’ll see improvement for sure, but after a while you’ll most likely plateau, or end up injured like me. “

“It’s safe to say that Janell knew what she was doing

Alastair Vance

Check out Alastair’s full Blog Review Here

“It was a good month, covered a lot of miles, and feeling great! Training with Runcanvas has really stepped up my ability to just run and to enjoy the sport versus pushing myself to the limit every time I step out the door. Yes, there are intervals and some speed sessions, but nothing that completely drains me that I dread any workout. Highly recommend!”

Ken Stands on Things, blogger

“Janelle’s coaching has been exactly what i needed to reach my goals. She is beyond amazing.”

Stephen Losey

“I’ve been working with Coach Janell McKinney for the last few weeks and my experience has been great. Coach McKinney is very helpful and responsive to questions.”

Joe Nmic

“Been nearly a month working with Janell, Really enjoyed having a set plan ready for the week that goes straight onto my watch and tells me exactly what to do. Its nice to have structure to my training and working towards a goal. Would definitely recommend.”

Sean cardall

“Excellent program, motivation, follow through… Weekly schedules ahead of time with very helpful details… Enjoy working with her”

Gulsum Rustemoglu

“The workouts are specific to your current fitness and are updated weekly based on how well the previous week’s training. Janell is responsive to the feedback you post on each workout. I like how she gives you a note on why you are doing a specific workout for each day of the week. I was in shape before I started, but I feel much stronger and confident about running after 5 weeks of training.”

Robert Davis

Why YOU could benefit from a running coach!

Have you been thinking about working with a running coach but not sure if its right for you? Now you can try RunCanvas Coaching for FREE the entire month of December when you sign up for the standard coaching package.


TRY IT NOW!  RunCanvas Coaching


As I have transitioned to a certified coach, actively seeking new clients and building my hobby into a business. I am surprised by the conversations I have had with runners on an almost daily basis surrounding the concept of hiring a running coach. It’s not what I thought it would be.

It’s not that many runners don’t want a running coach, they feel like the don’t fit a certain mold for the type of runner who could benefit from one. On one end of the spectrum you get runners who feel like they are too new, too slow or just in it for fun. They are motivated, goal oriented runners who feel like they don’t meet some higher tier that is required to work with a running coach. This, my friends, is not the qualifying standard for working with a coach. Motivated, goal-oriented runners of ALL abilities and backgrounds are…

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Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun

Disclaimer: I received two pairs of Knockaround Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

This is my second review of Knockaround sunglasses. Previously, I reviewed the seventy nines sunglasses (Check it out!).  The seventy nines were an awesome pair of sunglasses I chose for on the run.  This post if a review of the Mile High Sunglasses, a pair for fun in the sun!


This time around I got to check out the rose gold and copper Mile High Sunglasses.  I was super excited as I thought the looked absolute fab online.

Product Information

The eye-catching combination of rose gold frames and copper lenses sets these aviator sunglasses apart from the crowd. Knockaround Mile Highs are our take on the classic, teardrop-shaped frames made famous by pilots during WWII. Every pair combines streamlined wire construction, rubber ear pads, and polarized lenses that come standard to keep you glare free whether you’re soaring at 30,000 feet or relaxing on the ground.

  • Rose gold metal frame
  • Tortoise shell rubber detailing
  • Polarized copper lenses
  • Full UV400 protection
  • FDA approved impact resistant lenses

As you can see, this pair had many of the same strong qualities as the seventy nines. Adding a bit more classy to my evening outing with friends, and my fourth of July fun in the sun.  The Mile High Sunglasses come in a great variety of colors and at such a reasonable price for the quality. Durable and super light weight.

Overall, the seventy nines were a slight win over the mile highs. Mostly because I felt they fit my face a tad better. . With my hair down the mile highs were great, with my hair pulled back, such as at brunch after a run. I felt a bit like I had that bug eye look. Not a design issue at all, just a me problem.  Tiny human problems

img_3015Don’t forget you can save 20% OFF your entire order with code“BIBRAVEKNOCKS2” Limited to one use per user. Coupon active only until 7/15.

Knockaround Sunglasses-Seventy Nines for on the Run!

Disclaimer: I received two pairs of Knockaround Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I received two pairs of Sunglasses from Knockaround to try out. One pair for sun  and one pair for fun.   This post will discuss the pair for “run”. For this pair I received a pair of Matte Black on Black/Smoke Seventy Nines.


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In the summer, running sunglasses are a must for me. I use them for my own training as well as when I am coaching my high school athletes or working solo with a few of my adult clients.  Either way, these bad boys get a lot of use, and abuse.

Product Information

From the Knockaround website;


Designed to deliver a perennial summer high, Knockaround Seventy Nines are fashion-forward but always approachable. Whether you’re headed to the office, checking out the new coffee shop in your neighborhood, or hopping a flight to your next adventure, these casually cool sunnies will be your go-to companions. Each pair offers just the right balance of vintage vibes and contemporary style for a look that’s on trend yet perfectly timeless.

Seventy Nines offer a chiseled, low profile silhouette that looks especially great on small to medium-sized faces. Unisex styling in a wide array of colors means you can share a pair with bae. (But let’s be real, you’ll each want your own!) Every pair gets a few finishing flourishes in the form of recessed metallic hardware, matching logo detailing on the arms, and a laser etched logo on the lenses.

Enduring Style Meets Exceptional Durability
You’ll want to wear these versatile sunglasses season after season, so we’ve designed them to last. Every pair of Seventy Nines is made with strong 5-barrel hinges and FDA-approved impact resistant lenses, so they can take whatever knocks you dish out. Other thoughtful details include full UV400 sun protection and the option to add polarized lenses to all of your favorite frame colors. Speaking of colors, you can fly under the radar in black on black and tortoise shell frames, or make a splash with eye-catching options like jade lagoon and glossy white. Snag your favorite pair (or maybe more than one!) with free shipping on all orders over $50!”

So many selling points, in the description I was super excited to test these bad boys out!

  • Smaller fit for smaller sized heads!
  • Strong and impact resistant lenses
  • Full UV400 sun protect
  • Polarized Lenses

What did I love most about them!? I think they are absolutely adorable and fit well for both running and for fun.  I basically took this pair everywhere. Along with being super durable the seventy nines are also super lightweight. While running they stayed put without a bounce.  I put these glasses through the ringer and they are still flawless. I already plan on ordering more!   This time I am going to get adventurous!  Which ones should I choose next?

791792Don’t forget to check out part 2 of my review!  Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun!  “BIBRAVEKNOCKS2” for 20% OFF your entire order. Limited to one use per user. Coupon active only until 7/15.

Don’t forget to read part two! Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun

RunCanvas Giveaway going on right now! Sponsored by Bibrave and Science in Sport

Science in Sport (SIS) energy gels- Product Review and GIVEAWAY

Disclaimer: I received Science in Sport Energy gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

At the end of this review, look for a chance to win a free pack SIS Energy Gels. 

I have never been a big fan of gels.  I have a weak stomach and haven’t had a lot of luck with keeping them in.  When we received the opportunity to try out Science in Sport(SIS) energy gels, I was super exited to try out the products. The SIS gels are designed to be more easily digestible. Which is a huge selling point to me.

SIS hooked me up with a heavy load of Gels. Enough for my training cycle and extras to share on group runs. I can’t wait to see how much they enjoy them! I received 3 different variations of the gels in 4 different flavors; energy+electrolytes (Salted Strawberry & Lemon & Mint flavors) , energy+caffeine (Double Espresso Flavor)  and Isotonic Energy (Apple Flavor). 

I taste tested all the flavors before the run and thought they all tasted good.  My favorite flavors were the Apple and Salted Strawberry. The double espresso was more palatable during my first taste test, but I didn’t enjoy it as much when I tried it during my run.  I am more picky when I run, for some reason.  

The packets are a bit larger than your typical gels but they aren’t huge or obtrusive.  They easily fit in my zipper pockets and flip belt.  I only carry one gel at a time, and I found I had plenty of room.


My favorite flavor was the salted strawberry, it was similar to liquidy jello consistency and tasted good on a hot summer run.  My favorite product was the Isotonic Energy gel (Apple Flavor). It’s consistency was almost like a watery applesauce, not quite as thick.  Isotonic gels are not only designed to be more easily digestible, but they are also designed to be safely taken without water.  I really think this will help me avoid the nausea and bloating I have experienced in previous training cycles.

I would definitely recommend trying the SIS gels if you have stomach issues on the run.  Getting your nutrition right before race day in an important component to your race day strategy.

Want to try SIS for yourself? Use code TRYSIS25 for 25% off at Science in Sport. It works on all items on the site except clearance items.

It’s GIVEAWAY TIME!- Sorry This Giveaway has ended

I’m so excited to host this giveaway, brought to you by BibRave and Science in Sport.  Head over to the RunCanvas Facebook page for a chance to win! 

Two Lucky winners will be chosen to receive a FREE 6 pack of energy gels from Science in Sport. Here is how to enter.

  1. Follow RunCanvas and Science in Sport on Facebook
  2. Like the Giveaway Post on Facebook Page

Be sure to tag/share RunCanvas Giveaway with all of your favorite running buddies.

For additional chances to win

Continue reading “Science in Sport (SIS) energy gels- Product Review and GIVEAWAY”

AfterShoks Trek Airs Product Review

Disclaimer: I received an Trekz Air Titanium Wireless Headphones to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

I was so excited to try out the Aftershoks Trek Airs Bone Conduction head phones.  I know running with headphones in isn’t always the safest option, but it allows me to check out and really use my run as a way to relax.  The Aftershoks bone conduction technology takes away that safety hazard leaving your ears unplugged and more aware of your surroundings.


Getting Started

When first unboxing the product I was nervous about the larger band that would go around the back of my head. I wasn’t sure the size of the band would fit my child sized head. It was not a problem at all.  They have a nice sleek look and sit well doing almost any activity.  I choose the Canyon Red, but would happily received any of the offered colors.

Using the Headphones

The headphones are wireless and connect to your phone via Blue Tooth. This is a huge must for me.  I hate running with wires.  They get tangled up, sticky from the massive amount of sweat and they always fall out. I have an Iphone X and I found the directions and process extremely easy.  Compared to some other Bluetooth products, the connectivity was awesome. Never once did the Bluetooth connection skip out or loose connection. Also the battery life seems pretty solid.


The battery life was great, I found myself able to use the headphones for housework, running and laying pool side multiple times a day and could go a couple days without recharging.  I never reached a low or dead battery, which was awesome.  The website says the Trek Airs give you about 6 hours of continuous music, which should cover a good majority of runners daily use.


Bone Conduction Technology

The question I am sure you are most curious about, I know I was.  How about the bone conduction?  It was great. There are two small speakers on the size of the headphones.  When not placed against your cheek bone, you could hear the sound.  When place correctly, the headphones played the music through your cheek bones.  They could not be heard by others and left my ears completely open and able to take in all of the sounds around me.  This is great news for runners who like to race with headphones.  Many races who have previously banned headphones for safety reasons, are beginning to allow bone conduction headphones.


Use Discount Code: “BRBundle” for $50 OFF the Trek Air Adventure Bundle at

How much fitness will I lose? Taking a break from running and the impact it has on your fitness.

Life happens, injuries happen and sometimes after a lengthy grueling training cycle we just need a break from running. It’s totally understandable.  The question I get from many of my athletes when discussing these bouts of time away from training is how much fitness will I lose?  This is a great question. We work so hard to reach our goals, and the thought of starting over and going through it all again can sound grueling.

I took the time to look into a few studies that addressed this question

two test tubes
Photo by Martin Lopez on

Many runners hate taking off time after a big race, such as a marathon.  Klav Madison et conducted a study on this subject. During this study, athletes took a total of four weeks off from training after their marathon race.  During this time athletes only saw a 20% decrease in VO2 max.  While taking 4 weeks completely off after a marathon isn’t really necessary, some rest and gradual return to running is a good idea.

Another study, conducted by Elizabeth Ready and Arthur Quinnery, tested the fitness decline in untrained men.  The men completed a 9 week training cycle followed by 9 weeks of inactivity. The participates saw a 70% increase in measured fitness during the initial 9 week training cycle. Similar to the decline in the first study. After 3 weeks of no training, study participants saws a 20% decline in fitness. However, the fitness decline leveled off the following weeks with a 40% loss in gained fitness, over the total 9 week period.  It is important to note, the amount of gained fitness over the initial 9 weeks was greater than the lost fitness during the time of non-training. Meaning the participants were not back at square one.

shallow focus photography of microscope
Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on

It is important to take note that the previous study was conducted on untrained participates and compare that to a third study that was conducted by Edward Coyle Et al.  This study tested the aerobic fitness on already trained athletes and rested them a total of 12 weeks. Similar to the previous study, the first 12 days saw a decline, with a drop of 7% in VO2 max and a blood enzyme test used to measure endurance dropped by almost 50%.  After this initial decline, the fitness leveled off a bit.  After the total 12 weeks of no training, the participants saw an 18% decline in VO2 max.  Notice the significant difference between athletes who have been training for a longer period of time and newer endurance athletes.

One short coming of these three studies is that they all measure aerobic fitness.  Aerobic fitness, is your endurance, including threshold and and VO2 max.  Another important component to look at is structural fitness. Structural fitness is the bodies mechanical ability to absorb  the continuous impact forces that running puts on your body. Think about how your muscles, bones, ligaments and tendons are all impacted on the run.  Returning to running can add great stress and fatigue to this structural system and needs to be addressed carefully so you do not end up side lined (again) due to injuries.

Things to consider if you need to take some time off.

  • A couple days to a week will have little to no negative impact on your training and if done infrequently can be a training advantage.
  • Maintaining fitness is easier than building. Some running is better than no running at all.
  • Newer runners will see a faster decline in fitness than runners with a longer history of continuous running.
  • If you need to take time off due to injury, consider the advantages of cross training to maintain your fitness levels.  Be sure to address both the aerobic and structural fitness. Some suggestions include
    • Aerobic fitness: Swimming, biking , aqua -jogging and AlterG Treadmill (if you have access this is a super option!)
    • Structural fitness:  strength training. Depending on the type of injury it may be best to work with a physical therapist.

      “Rest or recovery is part of training, not avoiding training.” – Jack Daniels     Photo Cred-VDOTo2 Instagram

Change the way you look at recovery. Many runners associate recovery/rest days negatively and that simply is incorrect.  Recovery is an important part of the training cycle.  Taking appropriately timed recovery can actually increase your fitness levels and decrease your likelihood for injury.

When you are ready to return to running,  do so gradually and listen to you body.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to like, comment and subscribe! 


Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified! I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 11 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here




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