Contact Me:

Follow me at
Email TinaFab at:

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Running Inspiration with Chandra Crawford

This year, Chandra Crawford  is the Honourary Chair of the Calgary Marathon. Woot! #RunYYC

Chandra is well known in Calgary - and all of Canada - as an Olympian, and all-round fab woman! I - along with all of Canada - watched and was inspired by her 2006 Olympic Gold Medal Win in Cross Country Skiing (and in many other of her world cup and Olympic races). And, by her singing (click for the best in happy inspiration)!  :-) 

I first met Chandra at a 5Peaks race in Canmore back in 2013. She is all kinds of awesome, sincere, humble, fun, inspiring and funny all rolled into one ball of FABULOUS! 

So when I heard she was Calgary Marathon's honourary chair - and was running the halfmarathon - I was stoked. 

She's also running Rocky Mountain Soap Women's Run  - the halfmara! There were squeals all around when I said ME TOO! Actually, The RMSC run was her first halfmarathon. This year, she is returning to run her second half. And following the next week with Calgary - her third. Very Exciting! 

I find her super inspirational and hope you do too. 

I caught up with her last month after a Calgary Marathon event and was so glad she said yes to a quick interview....

1. It's been a while since you ran a race. 16 years since your last half marathon? What made you choose this distance?
I have always loved running. I've chosen this distance as part of my role as the honourary chair. I thought long and hard about whether I could fit marathon training into my schedule, especially with MBA school right now. The best thing to do is to plan for a really fantastic, fun halfmarathon. And, make sure I am out there running and being part of the community in Calgary - I can worry about doing a full marathon some day . I chose the halfmarathon because it's a challenge. It gets me out the door to do more kilometres of training. 

2. What are you doing for training for your upcoming half? Are you following a specific training plan?  
When I first started thinking about this race, I wrote out a plan asking myself, "Could I conceivably increase my mileage on my long run, which is one day per week, by 10 per cent per week". And then I looked at that plan and it was really exciting. My plan is keep getting one long run per week and one interval session per week -- whether I work on a steady state for half an hour or 5 times 5 minutes hard to work on my v02 max* I've been basing  it loosely off what I know from cross country skiing and what I prioritized as the only two workouts per week that I am actually going to get done. I'm doing intervals on Tuesday and a long run Thursday. That will be a big braktrough as I normally only do 20 minute workouts. I am excited how the race has organized my training plan.

*VO2 max is a measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use. 
It is measured in millilitres per kilogramme of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min).

3. After all your experiences with the Olympics and World Cup, how does doing an event like the Calgary Marathon compare? Are you nervous? Will you channel all you've learned in your years as a competitive cross-country skier into your race? 
All my years of experience as a high level competitive athlete have led to some really great things that I am going to bring to my half marathon. The top and most important one being is the ability to Enjoy the Moment and to lose myself in the cadence and my breathing and moving through space and just enjoying all the sensations of running.

Another thing that I will also bring is to Start Conservatively pace-wise and continue to increase that pace as opportunities arise. Whether I am out in a training run now or in my actual half marathon, I would like to start pretty comfortable and then increase pace throughout the last half. That's the ideal way to get the best time, in my opinion  - and from what I have done in ski racing.

As long as I am enjoying the strides that is the best and most important thing. And the thing I am most looking forward to.

4. Do you have a favourite running buddy you like to train with? 
My favourite running buddy that I like to train with is my golden retriever, Stella. However, she is only 6 months old. So I never run more than 3kms with her. Although I love her and she is really cute, she is not the BEST training partner.

I have really enjoyed my training runs with Kirsten, the Race Director of the Calgary Marathon.
It will be interesting to see if I can get more runs in with her. The social aspect of getting to know someone so neat while getting to exercise is one of my favourite things.

I also love to run on my own with podcast. If I can't line up people to run with, then I have a library of podcasts  - my favourites include This American Life, TEDtalks and Freakonomics.

5. What is your favourite piece of run gear?
My favourite piece of gear, is my lululemon vest. You can tell its my favourite, because no matter what the weather, I'm still wearing this west even though it makes me a little on the warm side. I love that is it so flattering, it's all reflective, it's a nice light shade of pink, it has amazing pockets that keeps my keys and phone separate. The incredible design, fit and functionality of that piece makes it something I love to wear.

6. Do you have any advice you have on training or goal setting for those of us also running the halfmarathon (or any distance for that matter)?

Just Sign Up. Get yourself signed up. It's amazing how powerful signing up is for me and my friends. It gets you out the door. It gets the schedule organized and prepared for the challenge! It's also really important to Stay Positive. When I've missed my kilometres, I don't beat myself up. I go, "Well I guess I can try and go today." Really not taking it so extreme and applying too much perfectionism. Because the point of running - the health and enjoyment - can be at odds with perfectionism. Let this running part of your life be enjoyable and find your stride!

7. And lastly...can we expect some selfies at the start line?
Yes! I hope to do some selfies. I'll be running with my phone and taking pictures and enjoying the moment. I look forward to giving a lot of hugs at the finish line and a lot of encouragement as we all run together. It's a phenomenal feeling and I haven't had a chance to do a running race in so many years, So, I can't wait to be a part of something so big in the beautiful city of Calgary! 

Chandra will be pacing me killing it at this year's Calgary Marathon. She'll be rockin the Subaru 21.1K while raising money for the organization she founded, Fast and Female. In 2005, Chandra created Fast and Female because she was passionate about sports and wanted to keep young women involved (as they are much more likely to drop out of athletics than males). I have volunteered at a few Fast and Female events and I have to say that these events ARE awesome and really do create a positive environment. 

You can find Chandra on her Blog and on Twitter, Instagram


  1. Great interview! It's interesting to see how half-marathon training compare to her ski training.

    1. I am excited to un two halfs with (well not WITH but you know) Chandra - she is so positive and encouraging and it will be great to "compare notes" as well as be inspired by her killing it out there!

  2. Awesome!! Really enjoyed reading that, good luck in the race both of you fine ladies :)

    1. We are so going to have all the fun on race weekend -- cannot WAIT!! ANd it's your Mister's birthday ...oooh BIG weekend indeed