We're always on the lookout for amazing results from Canadian athletes on the world stage and we sat down to chat with New Balance-sponsored athlete Trevor Hofbauer prior to being the first Canadian to cross the finish line and ninth overall at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, winning the Canadian Marathon Championships on Sunday, October 22.
This was the 24 year-old Calgary-natives debut marathon finishing with an outstanding time of 2:18:06.
For a guy like me who has a hard time completing a 5k without feeling close to death, chats and amazing feat.
How did you get into running? Do you have any motivation tips for people to get started?
My running enjoyment started in Grade 8. A Mother to one of the students created an event called Run across Canada. The concept was quite simple; get kids to run a 1km loop around the field during the lunch hour to see how far the collective could get across Canada. For the year, I ran every Tuesday and Thursday for the 45min lunch hour for the pure enjoyment it brought me. Throughout High School, I used Cross Country and Track to cross train for Basketball (my primary sport at the time) until College when running became my main sport.
A good way to start running is by making small goals and to align them with a friend. Running is a physically demanding sport so don’t start by running too far or too fast, that’s how people get hurt and develop a negative view on the sport.
Creating a small base goal of walking or running for ‘X’ number of minutes a couple times a week is an easy way to get introduced. From there, you can add another walk or run the next week and so on.
How do you prepare for running your first marathon (full or half)?
To prepare for your first marathon or half marathon, it’s important to ace your longer runs and longer workouts. The more comfortable you can be running longer, the better your performance will be on race day. It’s also important to hydrate during these races, so practicing drinking fluids and gels during longer runs will also benefit your race performance.
What does it take to become a top Canadian professional runner (training, nutrition, support from the community, etc.?)
To become a top athlete (in any sport) takes a certain mindset. I truly believe in my own abilities and my endless growth, that’s why I’ve been successful in the sport so far. Physical capabilities will take you only so far, but the mind will allow you to break through.
Internally, I have a secret formula to success, kind of like a math equation, that is dynamic and accepts change. That allows the training to be easy.
My nutrition is simple; a lot of carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and chicken. I rarely purchase anything from a box/package with the odd exception to a box of chocolates.
Externally, the community plays such a big role towards an athlete’s success. The support runners receive at community events and races definitely boosts morale and keeps us believing.
Tell us about your goal of participating in the 2020 and 2024 Olympics
That was a goal I set for myself about 4 years ago after running my second half marathon, finishing in 1:13:02. At the time, it was a pretty bold goal that definitely warranted the “are you crazy?” looks. But at that time, I believed dedicated hard work and my mindset would allow me to achieve that goal. I still have room to grow and I’ve already grown more than most thought I could, so there’s no stopping now.
What are you favourite running areas in Canada?
My favourite area to run is South Fish Creek Provincial Park in Calgary, Alberta. In that area, there’s endless path/trail that you can run upwards of 50KM without crossing the same spot twice. For being in the middle of the city, it’s dead quiet and you’re never forced to stop for traffic.
My second favourite route goes from the University of Guelph to Guelph Lake. That route is primarily a soft, dirt/woodchip trail that is nestled in deep forest. I typically log my long run on that route as you can run for 2+ hours there.
The south river trail in Edmonton is also a very peaceful place to run. The soft trail surface combined with dense forest makes that route a hidden gem. Like South Fish Creek, the south river trail runs right through Edmonton… but you would never feel like you’re in the city when you’re on it.
Do you have any tips for getting active and staying active as a runner?
My only tip for getting active is to start slow and within your capabilities so you can enjoy the moment. The body will adapt and become stronger, allowing you to stay active for a longer period of time and maximize how enjoyable the experience can be. Running with a group is also a great opportunity to meet new people and keep you motivated to stay active.