Employee Story: Michelle Shrives, Techform Penetanguishene
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Making Time to Run

Michelle Shrives, Program Manager at Techform, a division of Magna Closures, is training for her first full marathon.

Running has been life-changing for Michelle. “My story is pretty simple,” she says. “I’m a runner who only started three years ago and since then I’ve ran eight half-marathons and I’m currently training for my first full marathon, which will take place at the end of June 2015.”

She does make it sound simple, but this wife, mother, puppy-owner and full-time Program Manager at Techform, a division of Magna Closures, is committed to her sport. Her typical exercise week begins on Tuesdays when she’s up by 5:30am and does a 7.8km run around town. “It’s just me, my music and the sun rise. It sets my positive mood for the entire day.” Wednesdays she does hills, Thursdays she does a session with her ‘Love 2 Run’ group, Saturdays are for long runs – anywhere between 19 to 35km –Sundays she walks, and Mondays and Fridays are for rest.

Before Michelle took up running, she’d been going to a kettlebell class twice weekly. “A lot of the group were active outside of the class and I found myself wanting to be more active." She credits her fellow athletes and her family for keeping her going. “I love the positive people I’m able to surround myself with.”

“Two years ago I bought a road bike and I love it!  There’s no better feeling than heading out on a ride and covering 60-80k on a road bike.  You can drive your car on the same road every day – but once you ride it on your bike you realize more detail of the road.  The trees are blooming – the birds are singing.  The kids laughing and playing in the sprinkler... it keeps you grounded.” Michelle’s entire family has benefitted from her more active lifestyle. Her 11 year old daughter has taken up running and she did a warrior dash with her son. “Last year my husband also bought a road bike so he’s able to join me and our ride group.Our family also enjoys snowshoeing in the winter.”

In addition to her 5-day a week fitness routine, Michelle pays attention to her diet. She uses the app ‘My Fitness Pal’ to track her food intake and calories burned through exercise. On her run days, she makes a point of drinking plenty of water, and she eats breakfast every morning. “My lunch always consists of a salad with some protein (chicken, tuna, etc…), fruit, and some cut-up veggies that I prepare at the beginning of the week so it’s easy to grab.”

Michelle Shrives’ advice for beginners:

  • When you start running, don’t run back to back days.
  • If you can’t breathe, slow down. You’re not the road runner – speed will come.
  • Make sure your hands are not fists. This creates tension in your shoulders. Pretend you have Pringles cans in your hands.
  • Good shoes and socks are a must. Visit your local running speciality or sports store and make sure you get fitted properly. You’re going to be spending some quality time with your shoes – make the investment!
  • Ladies: You need a good sports bra! Nothing is worse than chaffing after a run.
  • Dress as if it’s fifteen degrees warmer out than the actual temperature. When you start running, your body heats up. You might be cold to start but within minutes, you’ll be toasty.
  • Tie your shoelaces in double knots.
  • Swing your arms, your legs will follow.
  • Be light on your feet. If you’re pounding the pavement, there is a lot of extra impact being added to your body.
  • Keep your toenails short. Long nails will cause pain during and after your run.
  • There are plenty of running apps that will help beginners with interval running
  • Sign yourself up for a race! That gives you a target to work towards.

And the advice she gives herself? “My attitude is ‘scales are for fish’. I feel great so that’s what matters.”

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