Why I ran my first (and only) Marathon

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woman finished marathon run

A proud moment finishing my first marathon.

Anyone who knows my fitness beliefs knows that I believe strongly in the lower-carb, higher-protein lifestyle, weight-training, and interval work rather than jogging.

So why did I decide to run the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 14?


The marathon falls on many people’s bucket list, that mental list of things that you want to accomplish before you “kick the bucket”. Running a marathon has been on my list since I was a teen too, partly because it’s one of those things that most people consider difficult to do.

I’ve always loved a challenge!


My dad was a very respectable runner in his 30s and early 40s, who ran a Boston qualifying time of 2hrs 42min in 1982. In later years he gave up distance running to focus on martial arts and weights. Smart move! Going to races was a part of my childhood, and in recent years my sister Petra has also become involved in distance running, finishing her first marathon in 2011.


Ok, so this is probably the most important part of the equation. Proving all those naysayers wrong.  All those people who think that you need to log hundreds of miles, run every day, eat pasta, and drink Gatorade or ELoad, to do well at the marathon. In my brief foray into this world, I’ve found the recreational racing community to be behind on the training and nutrition front. They believe in following the government’s food guide, having pasta dinners the night before a race, and getting about 70-80% of their diet from carbs (much of which is sugar from gels/granola bars/energy jelly beans/etc.). I wanted to know whether I, with my years of athletic training and nutrition knowledge, could venture into this world and prove that it was possible to do better without following the traditional guidelines.
In future blogs I’ll share my experience of preparing for the marathon – what I did differently to convention and how you can use it to help you race better (if you so desire). Over the coming months you’ll also read about why weight-training is superior to endurance running for body composition (having a hot physique!) and health. Then if you want to run a marathon, you’ll do it once and be convinced that never doing it again is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Ivana Chapman

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Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman

Ivana Chapman BSc BA CSCS is a Canadian fitness and nutrition coach, happy wife, and mom to an energetic 8-year-old boy. She is a YouTuber, writer, published fitness model, speaker, 3rd Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate, former World Cup Karate Champion, one-time marathoner, and CBBF National level Natural Bikini competitor. She loves weight training and chocolate, not always in that order of preference.
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