A Message from Kate

Running Coach, Coach Kate Van Buskirk

A Message from Coach Kate

As a “professional runner”, I often find myself confronted by the same question from non-athletes: “what do you really do for a living?” In addition to trying to explain the very convoluted funding structure for Canadian athletes, I answer that question by saying that I coach for an incredible team of elite recreational runners. This answer seems to elicit very little clarity in terms of what I “really” do, but that’s because until you spent time working with, running with, cheering on, teaching and learning from this remarkable team, you really can’t get it.

Although my work with Pace and Mind is technically one of my “jobs”, I feel honoured, privileged and proud every day to be part of a team that at its core is about a collective of amazing people, striving together towards athletic and life goals that challenge and reward us in ways that we sometimes can’t image possible. I am a professional runner. That is my career, and I love it. But I am more inspired by watching my athletes work towards and achieve their aspirations than I am by the elite running community. You are doing this amazing thing because your passion and drive transcend the other elements of your life that threaten every day to get in the way: you have “real” jobs, you have families, you have myriad other commitments that would make it easy for you to say “its too much, I can’t do this”. And yet, you’re out there, without complaint–actually, often with huge smiles on your faces–pursuing this thing we so simply refer to as “running”, all because you understand that it enriches your lives in surprising and beautiful ways.This fall, Rachael and Kevin both ran enormous PB’s in their respective marathons (Chicago and Toronto), despite small injury set-backs and huge learning curves. In addition to spearheading the 5 Peaks Trail Running Series, this spring Erin ran incredibly strong at the Nike Women’s 15km and has put in a fantastic base for her early 2016 race goals. Bruce, our Moncton representative, has PB’ed in pretty much every half-marathon he’s started this year (including in training runs), and is on track for a fantastic year ahead. Each of the athletes I’ve had the pleasure of working with are humble, yet hugely
accomplished, talented, and committed. They are a dream to work with and awesome to call my friends.

Although I’m in Victoria training towards my Olympic dream, I feel so connected to the passion and strength that comes out of this group in Toronto and reaches all the way across the country. Thank you for sharing your journey with me. I miss you all very much and look forward to seeing you soon!


About Pace & Mind

Pace & Mind is an advanced coaching service for distance runners. We offer advanced and highly customized 5k, 10k, half-marathon and marathon coaching for runners to improve their performance both on and off the road. Our coaching is based on the principles founded by Head Coach and Co-founder Rejean Chiasson, a Canadian marathon champion, 4x half-marathon medalist and NIKE+ NRC Coach. He is supported by our Online Run Coach, Kate Van Buskirk, an internationally accomplished track and field athlete, bronze medalist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Brooks Elite Ambassador. Unlike traditional ‘cookie-cutter’ or ‘clinic’ approaches to coaching, our Coaches first assesses, then customizes each runner’s training program based on:


Coaching programs are powered by TrainingPeaks software to ensure data accuracy. No runner’s program is the same and it constantly changes season by season, cycle by cycle. Our Coaches review your plan in detail each week, then adjust based on your progression and listens to you in terms of changes in nutrition, mental state and cross training efforts. Each runner also receives a cross-training plan and a racing singlet as part of the program.

You have one life to live. Run for your life

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