Holy HOKA!


“There are shoes for everyone but it is not always easy to find the ones for your feet!”

I have been running for almost 30-years….say that a lot don’t I …sorry. Sometimes it just seems odd that I have been running that long. Over the years I have run in almost every brand of running shoe and tried many models and many different running shoe technologies and philosophies.



Okay – first off- I really like this shoes. I am not saying this just to appease the friendly HOKA guy who gave me a deal on the shoes. I have really enjoyed my first pair of this newer HOKA running shoe model – the Clayton.

FIT: Snug fit at the midfoot-reinforced with midsole support that creeps up pre-arch, good heel cup with good toe room and comfortable footbed. Fits much snugger and feels better than last year’s HOKA Clifton (my review). I also like the laces that stay laced up snugly and rarely have to bend my old creaky running dad body down to retie.

FEEL: Uber light HOKA feel (considering beefy look) and very cushioned feel without being marshmallowy or feeling thick and too solid. The shoe is also quite responsive despite being a thicker-soled shoe and you roll off the toe quite easily. Not sure how light it could be? It weighs 7.3 oz, the Adidas ADIZERO ADIOS 3  weighs 8.1 and my favourite race shoes the New Balance RC1400 weighs 7.2oz!!

Specs on the Clayton (7.3oz for a size 9)

  • Offset: 4 mm
  • Forefoot: 20 mm
  • Heel: 24 mm


Lightweight, No-Sew TPU Lattice Provides Forefoot Support
Lightweight, Form-Fitting Heel Construction
Microfiber Reinforced Midfoot Support
Early Stage Meta-Rocker
PRO2LITE +10 Midsole for a Unique Balance of PROpulsion and PROtection
Forefoot Matrix Technology provides dynamic cushioning and flexibility at a breathtakingly light weight.
Oversize Active Foot Frame for Maximum Tuned Stability
Full RMAT® Outsole for High-Rebound Cushioning and Traction



I really like this shoe for my marathon training and for my current 40-year old feet. The toe box gives room for my cranky stiff first joint on right foot and space for my feet to move around (not as much as Altra shoes I have tried)(shaped like feet) and good cushion for my feet that seem to demand a wee bit more love these days.

I was expecting this to just be a long run that was uber cushioned but a bit responsive. I have now worn this shoe for easy runs, tempo runs and done a solid track workout and loved it.

I did find there was a few (2-3days) of getting used to the bigger shoe (but was comfortable from the get go) feel but once I had a few runs in—loved. I have always considered myself a New Balance boy but my feet are really the ones who decide – because if my feet are not happy, I don not run and I am not happy!

*You can also check out my review of the HOKA trail shoes (Speedgoat and Challenger ATR) here.

**Watch for a coming review soon of the updated and I hear–snugger-fitting new HOKA Clifton.

Have fun out there my running friends!

Me on Twitter @NoelPaine

Week 3 on Dylan Wykes plan


“I have a tendency to aim for the clouds when still only at 500ft but if you don’t try – you don’t know.”

I am almost done week three of my marathon plan for an October marathon in Vermont. I am training under the guidance of Canada’s second fastest marathoner ever (Dylan Wykes) and his coaching program (Mile2marathon).


This will not be a novel-length update but just a snapshot as to how things are going. I will be giving you blog-sized chew-able bits to read as my training progresses. You will get to see how things go – and learn more about Dylan, those he trains and what it is like to be trained from afar by an elite marathoner.

How it is going

After the Ottawa marathon I took a couple weeks of mental and physical rest. Then it was time to slowly work back into running again. The first week of Dylan’s plan was solid miles with a tempo workout. The workout was tough as leading up to Ottawa I had really just focused on miles and getting strong. I also started looking at how I would fit in workouts and try and balance my life as a newer running dad. Thirdly I am committed to working on my mental game – for the race and to be a more positive and confident person in general. Lots to do!


Today I am a little tired after my first real track workout in a while (I could of done on the road also). On a hot and humid Ottawa evening I hot a local cinder track and pounded out a 6-mile workout 6X800m (at 3:36km pace)+800 (at 4:00km pace). It was supposed to be continuous but I had to take 5-10 second breaks between 800s to grab a sip of something. With warmup and cooldown worked out to a 16km run. I was a soggy, tired mess after. But I got it done.

CmttaGcWAAEMa5k CmttbS4WcAAuzcm CmttgzRXEAArnfO


Week 1     103km

Week 2    107km

Weight (I am 6’2″)

Week 1       156

Week 2       154

V02 Max (as per Polar M400)

Week 1        68

So things are going well. Have a 5km race on the weekend and will see what these wobbly old running dad legs can do. Soon I hope to have a chat with Dylan and ask him why he decided to coach and what he gets from it and make touch base with some of those folks he coaches! Stay tuned for more updates.

See you out there running friends!

Catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine







Run selfies from a different angle


“Going for a run is often an adventure and many of us want to capture and share.”

XSHOT Sport Pole

This is the fun part. Ever taken your cell along with you and taken a few selfie run pics? Well how about a sturdy, sport extendable selfie stick that can hold your cell phone or attach to a camera.


The Xshot is easy to extend once you get the hang of it (twist-locking) and has a clip for a cell phone and a screw in attachment for GoPro cameras. It is light, waterproof and has a strap for when you are on the move.

About it

  • Twist-locking Shaft with Quick Release
  • Salt-Water Resistant Hard Anodized Aluminum Shaft (ATSM B117-11)
  • Anodized Aluminum Thumbscrew
  • Anodized Aluminum Lock Ring Fixtures & Tether Point
  • Reinforced Polycarbonate GoPro®
  • Extra Sports Camera Tether Points for Added Security
  • Adjustable Paracord Lanyard
  • Water Drainage Port for Easy Cleaning
  • Textured Non-Slip Grip
  • 1/4” Accessory Mount on Bottom of Handle
  • Works with Any Camera type or Phone
  • Weight: 7oz / 200g
  • Closed: 11.75in / 30cm
  • Open: 39.25” / 100cm
  • Max Weight: 2.2lbs / 1kg


I took the pole out for a run and it felt light enough not to worry about carrying but could more foresee it being stuffed into a trail running backpack and pulled out for cool still or video shots. I don’t have a GoPro so tested with cell phone – it worked until I broke inards of the contraption that holds cell under tension. Grrrr. But was working fine until then!

Solid selfie pole for sports enthusiasts but take it easy on cell attachment! XShot GoPro Pole is $54.99 online.

Have fun out there running friends!

Catch me on Twitter at @NoelPaine

Interview with a running writer



Two blogs about running books in one week – insanity! But when I had the chance to talk with my friend and Canadian runner JP (Jean Paul Bedard) about his new book – I jumped. I love running and I love writing – and promoting both.


Jean-Paul Bédard is an author, advocate, elite endurance athlete, and was named one of the “50 Most Influential Canadians” by Huffington Post. Jean-Paul was awarded the 2015 “Golden Shoe Award” for being named “Canadian Runner of the Year”. As a Brooks sponsored athlete and veteran of over 130 marathons and ultra marathons, Jean-Paul represented Canada in the prestigious Comrades Marathon in South Africa, a grueling 90km race through mountainous terrain.


Jean-Paul turned to long distance running to help him battle his addiction and mental health issues. In 2013, Jean-Paul disclosed to family and friends that he is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape. Since that time, he has become an international advocate for other survivors of sexual violence. In 2014, Jean-Paul ran the iconic Boston Marathon twice in the same day in a highly publicized campaign. In the fall of 2015, Jean-Paul ran the Toronto Waterfront Marathon three times in the same day to demonstrate the resiliency of survivors of trauma.

Jean-Paul is also a featured contributor to Huffington Post, a columnist with iRun Magazine, and his book Running Into Yourself will be released in the spring of 2016. You can read more about Jean-Paul’s incredible journey of resiliency by following his popular blog Breathe Through This, which has over 2 million reader/subscribers. (Info taken from JP’s website).

The Canadian running community is small – a few years back I profiled JP for Canadian Running magazine (see blog piece) and have been a fan and supporter ever since. I have watched JP run his amazing ultra runs for his cause and watched as he worked on his book project.

I got the chance to ask JP about his new book.


What drove you to write this book?

“I decided to write the book primarily as a form of catharsis for a lot of the turmoil that I was working through.  It was going to be a book about how running has helped me heal, and find myself in a better place in my life.”

“The book started off as a an article I wrote for Huffington Post about how running was instrumental in helping me get clean and sober.  I was contacted by a publisher out of New York who was interested in me making the article into a book.  After some negotiations, I signed a contract to write that book, but it became quickly apparent in the process that I didn’t really want to write ‘that book’… there was something pulling me towards a broader scope.”

“I worked on an outline for the book, and as I sat down to write the first two chapters, I put a call out on the social media about whether not “running has helped you through difficult times in your life”, and I asked people to send me their thoughts on this. Within 24 hours, my inbox was flooded with stories from people all around the world, and that’s when I decided the book that needed to be written was how running has helped all of us through difficult times, how it’s made us dig deeper than we ever thought we would ever need to, more importantly, how it has connected us to a broader community of fearless people.”

“At that point, I began putting out more pointed questions to people on social media, and I asked them to contact me if they were interested in getting involved in this project.  The stories that were coming in were incredible in there bare honesty, and more importantly even though some of the subject matter was incredibly difficult, all of the stories ended on such a positive and inspirational note. It was at this point that I thought I would ask some of my contacts among the elite runners to see if they would be interested in contributing their thoughts to this book as well. Not surprisingly their stories were no different from the everyday runner, and as a result, I’ve included the stories from many elites in this book as well.” 


What do you hope people will take away from reading your book?

“As the weeks went by, and I completed each of the chapters, I would sit down with my wife in the evening and read to her what I had written, and the stories that I had woven in from other runners around the world.”   

“These nights were some of the most beautiful nights of our life together, and every time we sat together reading this book, we would both well-up with emotions, but at the end of it, we would always have an incredible sense of optimism, and a deep respect for the tenacity and beauty of the human spirit.” 

“I guess what I would really like people to take away from this book is the belief that deep within all of us is an incredible wellspring of resilience, it’s something that many of us have never had the need to tap into, but it is something that is there for us when we need it most.  But I think one of the most pricing things to come out of this book is that it is definitely not a book about running. The sport is simply the palate on which all of these beautiful stories are portrayed.  I’m positive that everyone who sits down to read this will see themselves within the trials, the hopes, and the dreams unfolding within these pages.”

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

“That’s a great question, and the answer is somewhat unexpected.  I had written this book about how running unearths resilience inside of us, but I knew there needed to be a chapter in this book about “What happens when we can’t run? “… When I sent the call out on social media for stories about how people have been sidelined by injury, illness, and life circumstances, I was expecting to be flooded by depressing, “poor me” soul destroying accounts.  It was a chapter I knew needed to be included, but one that definitely was not something I was looking forward to. And guess what?  It turned out to be one of the most powerful chapters in the book, and the stories included in that chapter are some of the most uplifting and inspiring stories you’ll ever read.”

What is your next writing or running adventure?

“Well next up for me is a Quadruple Toronto Waterfront Marathon… That’s 168.8 km in one day.  I’ll be doing it again to raise awareness for survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and as a way of introducing something that I started earlier this spring called “JP’s Team”.   With the help of some very close friends in the running community, I’ve put together a group of runners from around the country who have rallied behind me to support this cause, and along the way, it has grown into over 100 people who consider one another their second family.” 

“In terms of writing, I’ve already started on my next book, which will be a broader investigation of how resilience plays out in the lives of some very inspiring people not only in Canada but from around the world. I’ve begun to interview the 30 people who will be included in this book, and believe me, the lessons that I hope people take away from the second book will be things that will definitely change the trajectory of many lives.” 

I have yet to get my hands on JP’s book but it will be on its ways soon! Hold tight and a book review will be added to this blog piece soon!

If you want to get ahead of the game and can’t wait – click here (Amazon) and get the book.

Jean-Paul’s website. On Twitter: @runjprun

Keep on running my friends and see you out there!

A full serving of running reading


“Sometimes a runner needs to fuel the mind and not just the body.”

I love running and writing (not that great at either lol) but know I read well! Books were always something I escaped to as a youngster and I still find books a way to unwind and go somewhere else (in my mind).  Books can entertain, inspire, inform, make you laugh and nourish your soul – or so I think.

Here is a running dad review of three running books – le dernier c’est une livre Francais.


The Power of One Step – Kellie McNaabb

This is a very personal journey written in almost journal format. It is the very personal writings and thoughts of the author as she struggles with life, boyfriends and the goal of training and completing an Ironman triathlon.

Kellie has just gone through a heart-breaking divorce and has decided to go on a personal journey – one that involves being fitter and completing something that would intimidate most people (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run).


The writing is not the writing of a polished professional writer – but the simply, down to earth writing makes you understand it is Kellie who is talking to you. I like this book and was a simple read and kept me turning the pages to see how things played out. Some guys may not be as interested – but I read anything and enjoyed.

About the Author: Kellie was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Kellie has been a French teacher for over 20 years working in both Saskatchewan and Ontario.  She lives in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

I myself have been divorced, I too have struggled with relationships and despite being a guy – I enjoyed this story. Life and running have their ups and downs – and often make interesting stories.

Thumbs up on this one – light, fun read.

Wintertickle Press (Feb. 25 2016)

254 pages

Author’s website here. Twitter: @powerofonestep

Buy the book here.



The Ultra Mindset – Travis Macy

Some of us are mentally tough – others not so much. I have always been one who likes to run and train but often have struggled mentally. I was intrigued when I saw a book by ultra runner/endurance athlete Travis Macy.

When the personally signed book (Thanks Travis) arrived – I dug in. Mental training is even a focus now as I train with Mile2Marathon (Dylan Wykes) for a fall marathon. So I was interested.

Travis Macy has summited peaks in the French Alps, rappelled into vast limestone caves in China, and ran through parched deserts in Utah. He has won one of the ultra-distance event called the Leadman, a high-altitude series of super-long-distance races, culminating with a 100-mile mountain biking race and a 100-mile trail run.

Travis is mentally tough, it is clear. His secret is what he calls the “Ultra Mindset,” -principles for daily life. The book is co-authored with award-winning running writer and journalist John Hanc. The book blends personal  and race experiences  as he shares his mental strategy for running and for life.


Finisher of over 120 ultra endurance events in 17 countries, Travis Macy is a speaker, author, coach, and professional endurance athlete. He holds the record for Leadman, an epic endurance event consisting of a trail running marathon, 50-mile mountain bike race, Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race, 10k road run, and Leadville 100 Run, all above 10,200′ in the Rocky Mountains. Travis lives with his wife and two young children (a fellow running dad) in the mountains around Evergreen, Colorado.  His sponsors include HOKA ONE ONE, injinji, Ulimate Direction, AYUP Lights, Vespa, Native Eyewear, and Northern Lites Snowshoes.

This is a solid read and a great addition to any running library. Always neat to peer into the working of someone who pushes past limits many of us can only imagine. This book is also a good read for me as I struggle often mentally in life and running. As a new running dad – I am finding things tough….for me its like an ultra I have been thrown into.

So anyway – go check out this book!

His racing results here (if you want to see in detail what he has run).

288 pages

Da Capo Lifelong Books (April 14 2015)

Author’s website here. Twitter: @TravisMacy

Buy the book here.



Marathoniens de l’extreme

“Une voyage de 1000 km commence toujours par un pas.” – Tao Tseu

This book review is of a book written in French – hence I will continue in my second languague.

Oui je suis une anglophone, mais je habite auQuébec et a une épouse Francophone – et je suis capable de lire en peu dans mon deuxieme langue. Donc une critique de livre de course Francais! J’ai rencontré les deux coureurs et auteurs sur Twitter et ils me ont envoyé leur livre.


After doing a few marathons I have progressed to doing a few trail ultras and have really enjoyed them. I love reading about other people dpoing crazy ultra adventures – so loved getting hold of this book.

Ceci est un livre sur deux coureurs qui ont surmonté des événements personnels , mentaux et physiques dans leur vie et trouvé quelque chose dans la course qui les a aidé. Le livre vous emmène en mots et en images sur les 5 aventures en cours d’exécution ( Feu , Métal , l’ eau , bois et terre ). Ces essais ont lieu partout dans le monde.

Il est amusant de lire , mais aussi instructif car il passe par ce que les deux faire pour la formation, la nutrition et comment d’éviter les blessures.

Great read if you can read French!

Au sujet des auteurs cliquez ici.

Site web cliquez ici. Twitter: @M_delextreme

Commander ici.


Okay you running weirdos! Vous coureurs fou! See you out there!


Catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine



Training under an Olympic running dad


“No one ever knows it all. Sometimes the advice of some one with more experience can make all the difference.”

It has started today. Another running adventure. This time I will be guided on my attempt to tame the mighty marathon mistress with the help of Canada’s second fastest marathoner ever.

I have used the online training program from Canadian marathon beasts (Vicsystem) Eric Gillis and Reid Coolsaet helped put together. Great option – but lets see what happens with a real coach!



Dylan Wykes

Dylan is currently the 2nd fastest marathoner on the Canadian all-time list behind Jerome Drayton’s 1975 run of 2:10:09. (2012 Rotterdam Marathon) He then went on to run at the 2012 London Olympics (20th place finish) – the highest finish by a Canadian in the Olympics since Jerome Drayton’s 6th place in the 1976 Montreal Games.

Dylan is younger than me, but is my height, about my weight and also a running dad. Perfect coach to understand this tall, skinny, 40-year old dad chasing a dream.

Dylan is based in the fine city of Vancouver, BC. He does the majority of his training within the city limits at Pacific Spirit Park and Stanley Park.

Dylan is also working hard at building his personal coaching business, Mile2Marathon, with friends Rob Watson and Mike Woods.

Dylan’s blog           Dylan on Twitter @DylanWykes


Mile2Marathon Coaching

Mile2Marathon is the brain child of 3 elite Canadian endurance athletes. They offer their experience and knowledge to help others train and race.

On their website they describe their coaching services:

  • Initial one-on-one consultation & goal setting session via email, phone or skype
  • Monthly personalized training schedule (adapted and altered to your progress)
  • Free Athlete account on Training Peaks Software
  • Regular communication with your coach via email, text, skype, or Training Peaks
  • Instructional Videos for form drills, core, strength training & rehab exercises
  • Intensive consultation on technique, performance nutrition, injury prevention & more

You can give the guys a shout via email at: info@mile2marathon.com

My marathon goals

After a rough Ottawa marathon where plans for a relaxed sub 3hr 42.2k (was on 2:52 pace at 26k) went to plans to drag my wobbly ole buns across the line (3:55). I literally walked from 32k to the finish line with a jog the last 400m for appearances. It was a rough day. I was happy though with having an A, B and C plan going in and following plan C (Stay positive and just finish) when things crashed.

So now I am taking the time to train hard and smart under the guidance of someone experienced – who has run fast.

I want to train smart, get mentally tough and positive and race smart.

Sans titre

Found this pace chart and race pace calculator on the web here.

I hope to get as fit as I can and go after something between 2:35-2:40 depending on how training goes. The goal race is a small Vermont marathon in October.

2:35 is pretty ambitiuos, but why dream small?

Day 1 done. 6’2″ 156.8lbs and a 11k easy run.

Feel free to follow the adventure!

My coaching goals

Having been a runner for almost 30-years (soon enought it will be 30!) and having run a number of race distances and having helped and informally coached some other runners – maybe its time I get some real training! I do not want to start a busieness like Dylan and the boys but I would like something that says that someone has confirmed I know what I am talking about and that I have put some study and time into knowing what it is is to coach another runner.

I am hoping to take my experiences, the experience under Dylan and persue a certification through NAASFP (Marathon coaching). Thats another adventure – will keep you updated!


See you on the roads my running friends!

You can also catch me on Twitter @NoelPaine!

Seeing blue on my runs

Sans titre

“Any ole sunglasses will block out some sun but only good ones will do a good job and look cool at the same time.”

I have been running for almost 30-years. For most of my life I have also worn glasses as my eyes seem to slam shut when trying to poke contact lenses into them and just not sure about laser eye surgery. In the past I have occasioanlly work sunglasses but they never did a great job. I have some cool sunglasses for runners that you might find interesting.

Some new Xx2i sunglasses

I currently run with Xx2i sunglasses that I reviewed on my blog (check out here). The sunglasses have firey yellow-red lenses making me feell cool, stay on my face while running (or on my head when need to see in more detail in the shade). I recently tested out two more.

Sans titre

Me running the 2016 Ottawa marathon with my trusty XX2i sunglasses.

XX2i Hawaii1 Sunglasses

Theses sunglasses are uber light and the lenses are super clear and adjust almost without you noticing to light levels. With my very little hair they do not stay on my head as well as my other Xx2i sunglasses but are lighter. My frames were white and looked sharp.


Me after a test run from home with the Haiwaii model.

FEATURES: Lightweight and adjustable for any face shape and activity. Bendable nose piece and rubber temple arms.

Hawaii1_White_large_fb24aa6f-1490-4e9d-b15a-83aedabf7185_large Bahamas1_White_large


The second set of sunglasses (Bahamas) I recieved for testing were a pair of polarized casual sport glasses. These were not as light as the running pair but same cool, polarized lenses. My wife thought they looked good on me but were not my style – I however liked the quality and optics.

Both sunglasses have a life-time warranty and 365 day return policy – shows the company is confident about their products.


Amazing case with lots of extras and on this model even a headstrap.

All Xx2i sunglasses come with a sturdy case that zippers closed, foam interior for throwing into a bag and staying safe and comes with extra nospieces, arms, screws and a tool.

The running sunglasses are $125 and the casual pair are $100.

What I thought

I liked both pairs. The lenses on both are very clear and sharp and change with light which means you can run in varying light conditions not just uber bright. The running frame is uber light and geared for someone with hair as they do not stick to almost bald heads as well as rubber arms do. Both worth a try! Both quality.

If you like what you see check out the whole array of sunglasses from XX2i Optics on their website. Wanting to share the love – I gave both pairs away to local runners to try out!

Keep on running my friends.