Free 5k Training Plans

While it might seem counterintuitive to be a running coach and offer free training plans. I believe that offering these programs will help a large group of runners, who are looking to get started or improve on their current running abilities but are not yet ready to invest in a running coach.

I believe a customized training plan is the best way for runners to increase mileage safely and reach their full potential. However, not everyone is looking for the services of a running coach. I want to provide these plans as a valuable resource for someone who is looking for a guide to getting started.

If you are someone who finds yourself having a bit of success and want to take your training a step further, be sure to check out our customized training plans and coaching packages available on the VDOT marketplace.

This will be a growing list of programs available that I will add to as they are completed.

5k Rising Start Plan

The goal of this schedule is to build you up, so that you can successfully complete a 5k. This is an 8 week plan that includes a combination of running and walking that increases in volume and duration of running as you move through the training plan.

This plan would be best paired with some introductory strength training and form drills to help you develop into a more comprehensive and injury resilient runner.

5k Shooting Star Plan

The shooting star plan is another beginner level training plan that starts with short run distances and builds up to a 5k. This plan would be great option to complete after the rising start training plan or for those who are a little more active and can run a mile or more without walking.

This plan would also work best when paired with some introductory strength training and form drills to help you develop into a more comprehensive and injury resilient runner.

Are you trying out one of RunCanvas’ free training plans? Be sure to share your progress with us on social media #RuncanvasTraining


Ready to take your training even further? These training plans are a great starting point but one size fits all training is very limited. Consider trying out one of RunCanvas’ custom training plans or Online Coaching Programs.

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships. I have designed plans for runners who are just starting, reaching for new distances, have the dream to run a Boston Qualifier and earn a spot at the Marathon Olympic trials.

Completely customized plans that are developed at your current fitness level to get you to your goals.   For more information click here

Product Review- BUFF® DryFlx+ Collection

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF® DryFlx+ neck warmer and headband as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

Hello, todays product review seems so perfectly timed.  Here in KC we are waking up to super cold temperatures, a light dusting of snow and ice on the roads.  I know a lot of runners will he hitting the treadmills or skipping their runs. Today, I was excited to really put my Buff DryFlx neck warmer to the test. Running in the cold and wintery conditions comes with its own set of challenges. However, if you take the proper steps and dress correctly it can be such a beautiful and enjoyable run.

The solution

When running (or working out of any kind) in cold conditions you have to address two keep issues, staying warm and staying dry.  I have headed out to runs with clothes piled on because I wanted to be bundled up and warm, only to sweat midway through the run and end up freezing my tushy off.  Sometimes, less can be more.  The quality of the material you wear becomes so super important.

Enter, Buff DryFlx+

I was given the opportunity to try the Buff DryFlx+ neckwarmer and headband.  I jumped at this opportunity because I have so many “sports” headbands that just don’t work for me.  They are either too thin and do nothing for warmth or they are super warm and I sweat like crazy. Like the story, the Goldilocks, this DryFlx+ headband was just right.

The Buff DryFlx+ products are made out of a synthetic blend that is super fast at wicking the moisture away as you log your miles in cooler temperatures.  The materials is also super soft and stretchy giving it a really snug but comfortable fit. Another bonus is that the material has reflective material woven into the design.  Which helps with keeping you visible but also keeps the design looking good.  My only complaint is that there isn’t a purple and/or gold options so I can grab a pair for my XC team to rock out!




I tried out the headband over 3 weeks of running, which included a variety of temperatures. I get earaches pretty easily on moderately cooler days that have a bit of wind.  This headband was a life saver in those in between 40-50 degree days because of the fast moisture wicking performance. I also got to get in some freezing temps and the headband kept me warm despite being thinner than many of my other headbands.  The product would perform best in temps 25-50 degrees.  If it wear to get a bit colder I would consider the DryFlx+ hat.

For the neck warmer, it also performed really well.  I didn’t wear it for quite the same range of temperatures as I don’t typically start adding neckwarmers until we hit freezing temperatures.  The neck warmer is multifunctional as I was able to pull it up over my face when it was cold.  It fit snug on my face and was very breathable.  As I warmed up I pulled it down and kept it on my neck.   Again, because of the fast wicking material I didn’t over heat when I started to warm up and was able to stay sweat free.

Overall, this is a must have set for runners who want to get outside and run comfortably in colder weather. Paired with the correct apparent choices you can run outside all winter long.

I hope this review is helpful! If you’re interested in BUFF® products, feel free to go to Sign up for BUFF® newsletter & get 15% OFF.







Join my 2021 Accountability Group on Facebook. It will be all about sharing and supporting group members goals in 2021. 




Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here



Check out what other BibRave Pros are saying about Buff DryFlx+



Anxiety stole a year of running from me, but I am fighting my way back!

Anxiety is a normal response to stress, something everyone deals with it at some point. Someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder, however, manages persistent overwhelming feelings. Often during everyday situations.

I think I have always been a “worrier” but there was a definite shift for me when the worry became a constant feeling of dread and inadequacy that I struggled with almost daily. This was compounded by a sense of guilt I had. I was happy, I had the best husband and an amazing little girl and a rewarding job as a teacher and recently landed the coaching job I have been dreaming of. Managing these negative feelings left me feeling guilty and ungrateful. I also felt underserving of having so many positives in my life. I guess it could also be characterized as sort of imposter syndrome.

Benefits of Running on Anxiety

Research has shown that running is a great remedy for managing anxiety. Some studies show the benefits of running to be nearly equal to some medication treatments, such as SSRIs like Lexapro and Fluoxetine (Prozac). Along with the physical health benefits, running can help manage your mental wellness.

Running can give you a mental break from the negative spiraling thinking that comes with anxiety. Exercising also encourages the body to release chemicals that help you feel good, endorphins. Many people who struggle with anxiety disorders have troubles with healthy sleep patterns. The physical exertion can help calm the body and allow for better sleep.

Exercise induced Anxiety

So with all of these wonderful mental and physical health benefits it’s easy to see how my enjoyment for running grew into a passion. Well, until it became a trigger and I felt like I had lost my strongest coping mechanism.

When I am anxious my mind races and I can not sit still, I sweat and my heart races well above what would be normal for the situation. When I am really struggling I have panic attacks that can leave me physically sick. The physical symptoms far outweigh the mental struggles I manage. Symptoms including, light-headed dizzy feelings, nauseas, heart rate sky rocketing, sweating, chills and all over body shakes. Sometimes when it was the absolute worst I would have black out vision and begin to loose function in my hands and feet.

The problem, many of the basic “symptoms” of a good workout so closely mimic the symptoms of my anxiety attacks that even when I mentally knew what was happening it was as if my body couldn’t tell the difference. They began to occur frequently and at the worst possible times. Being miles from my car or home and having these panic attacks became down right terrifying.

Overcoming my anxiety

I had to start by getting my body and mind back to zero. I could not move forward without first working on my anxiety issues as it impacted parts of my life that were of much greater importance then running. I took time to first take care of myself and family. I used a combination of talk therapy and medication to help me move past some the biggest hurdles. I feel like I have been relatively successful at recognizing when I am struggling and possible triggers and being proactive about taking steps to minimize symptoms.  

One of the greatest gifts running as ever given me is the life long friendships I have created running. Those friendships have blossomed into an amazing support group when I needed it the most. I continue to talk about how amazing the running community is, and this was another example. To better manage my exercise induced anxiety attacks I take few steps to work on breaking the cycle.  As I am able to overcome hurdles the related anxiety lessons.  Running with friends and keeping my mind distracted is a huge part of that.  Focusing on enjoying the run and the friendship can take always my body analyzing each triggering symptoms.  

What else have I done to help add running back into my life?

  • I run loops and break longer runs up currently. The opportunity to stop if the run becomes overwhelming paired with being a safe distance from my starting point offers a great mental relief and I am able to take those less frequently then when I started. 
  • I have changed my goals to reflect action steps verse outcome based. Which is funny because I am actually seeing quicker results from focusing on the process verse the outcome.  Mentally, I am enjoying the process so much more and I take time each day to journal the positive moments so I can see just how far I have come. 

I need some accountability!   My goal (resolution) is to be consistent in my running and prioritize my mental health. I will share my successes and struggles weekly and would love for you to join me.   For 2021 I am reclaiming my running journey and I want to hear about yours.  What have been your biggest roadblocks in fitness/running in 2020 and what are you doing to overcome them?


Join my 2021 Accountability Group on Facebook. It will be all about sharing and supporting group members goals in 2021.  






RunCanvas 4 year celebration

Wow, I can not believe it has been 4 years since I started this blogging adventure. I started this as an opportunity to share my running journey and connect with other runners. I am just so obsessed with the running community and constantly looking for ways to connect with my “tribe” like minded people.

A lot has changed over the last 4 years and I plan to build on that growth into the new year. Over the last 4 years I have chased goals, over came injuries and built a Coaching business through this blog. I am looking forward to what the next 4 years and many more has ahead. Because 2020 can just go away already, right?!

Boston Marathon was a huge force behind my blogging adventure. I can’t wait for things to return to a somewhat relative normal and take on the Boston Course again.

Looking toward the future RunCanvas will see a new look in the next week, new products and a new line up of content I have been working on for months.

  • New products- including more comprehensive training plans that will continue to be fully customized with added components of a full strength program and injury prevention regiment
  • New content to reach a whole new group of readers and bring back those I have loved over the years. Content will be posted on a weekly schedule. This will allow some accountability on my end and the predictability for followers to find the information they are looking for.
  • New look, will be released after Christmas, hoping to clean up the look and make the site more user friendly.
  • Onsite purchases, we will continue to work through the VDOT marketplace while also allowing followers to purchase products with in the RunCanvas site.
  • Video content and Subscribers only content will be unlocked for all RunCanvas athletes.

I am so excited to reconnect with the online running community at a deeper level for 2021. What kind of stuff do you like to read about?

I have rejoined as a BIbRave Pro this year. I am excited to share new products and discounts. Be sure to check out the discount page!

Got a running related blog? Share you link below so I can follow and connect!

Running Base Training weekly recap- week 1

Woah, so much has happened and it almost feels like the world has been turned upside down. After a long year and some personal struggles with anxiety and depression. It is weird to be facing a pandemic with more clarity and happiness than I have had in a long time. Getting back to what I love about running has been a big step to healing. With things being a bit unpredictable, now is a great time to turn a negative into a positive and focus on building a strong endurance base and include other training components that will elevate my training when races start becoming more predictable.

My short term goals include rebuilding my endurance base over the next 6-8 weeks. Beyond just mileage, I also want to be better about including dynamic warm ups, form drills, strides, hill reps and strength training. After the eight week base building, I will have a better idea of my fitness and can plan the next stage of training. Long term, I am thinking I would like to return to Boston Marathon 2021. The extended qualifying window, means I do not have to find a late summer qualifier which is a huge plus.

Monday– Double Dip!

AM-5.02 miles

PM- 5 miles

Tuesday– 7.01 Miles

Wednesday-Double Dip!

AM- 5.00 miles

PM-3.07 Miles

Thursday-6.10 Miles

Friday-3.00 Miles

Saturday- 12.00 Miles

Sunday-4.00 Miles

Total Mileage-50.2 miles

Along with mileage I completed a complete dynamic warm up each day, strides 2x and ab/core work 2x. This week my focus will be on including more ancillary training to compliment the running I am doing and I will be going back to the weight room.

So how are you using this time to train? Are you training differently now, compared to pre-covid training?

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

VDot certified!

 I am a VDot  Certified coach with over 12 years of coaching experience! I have worked with young beginners in the middle school level, high school athletes who have gone on to compete at national Division I championships, and adults runners of all abilities.   For more information click here

Terms of Service

At RunCanvas Coaching, our mission is simple: we want to help you achieve your fitness goals. We believe that we can best assist you throughout your journey by providing a training plan just for you; primarily based on your goals, abilities, and life.

Services included in your monthly coaching are:

  • An initial consultation to discuss your running goals, abilities, and life as it pertains to your current, past, and future training.
  • Fully customized training plans created by certified coach, and adjustments made through the training cycle as needed.
  • Unlimited communication with coach as needed through the training cycle in the VDOT app.
  • Strategic pre-race discussion as needed including nutrition discussions.

Your commitment includes:

  • Uploading your training data into the VDOT App or manual entering data
    • This information is vital to the success of you reaching your goals as the feedback allows for better modification and customization of workouts and overall training programs.
  • Always notifying your coach if you have something that seems to be causing you pain outside normal training/muscle soreness so she can quickly give advice as to how to proceed. This gives the best opportunity to limit injuries.
  • I understand that training programs are made specifically for me and shall not be shared with others without consent from RunCanvas Coaching.
  • Training/Racing, doing your best, and having fun along the way!
  • I give RunCanvas permission to post post-race congratulatory statements on the Runcanvas Blog and Social Media pages which could include pictures and tagging you in the post.

I hereby contract Janell McKinney owner and coach of RunCanvas Coaching, as my personal running coach. I agree to pay for coaching services up front as agreed upon. I agree that should I require any one-on-one coaching outside the time included in my monthly coaching package that I am expected to pay a rate of $65 an hour for said services. I understand that these services can, at my discretion, either be billed as one complete hour or split into two half hour sessions. I understand that ALL services I require are to be billed and paid for up front before I receive said services.


 In consideration of RunCanvas Coaching for the purposes of improving my fitness, I hereby attest that I am in good health and that my statements in the Consultation Questionnaires are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I fully understand the risk involved in such a fitness/running program and accept for myself, my heirs, and my personal representatives’ full responsibility for personal bodily injury, death, or property losses that may occur as a result of my being a part of this program or engaging in training sessions. I hereby indemnify and save and hold harmless my coach and RunCanvas Coaching from any loss, liability, damage and cost I may incur due to my participation in this program. I have read this waiver and release from liability, and further agree that no oral representations, statements or inducements apart from the foregoing written agreement have been made.

Medical Examination.

You acknowledge that RunCanvas Coaching is not a medical practice and does not employ doctors or licensed health care providers of any kind. Accordingly, RunCanvas Coaching cannot and will not provide medical examinations or medical or healthcare advice. You are strongly encouraged to have a complete physical examination by a licensed medical doctor prior to beginning any work-out program or strenuous new activity, including but not limited to Athletic Activities for which RunCanvas Coaching Services are provided. If you have a history of heart disease, you should consult a physician before undertaking any Athletic Activities.

This contract goes into effect when services are paid and training is loaded in the VDOT Online Application.

RunCanvas Testimonials

Coach McKinney has been awesome to work with. Always quick to respond to my questions. Looking forward to continuing to work with her.

WEs Ferraiuolo

“Janell listened to my goal and created a training program that help me to not only succeed but smash it. She will help you make adjustments as needed and is encouraging along the way. I just started my second season with her!

Jessica Scherer

Her customized plans are well-rounded and they work! She listens to what you want and meets you where you’re at. Her workouts are detailed and she always explains why she’s having you do something. She makes adjustments when you need them. She’s always accessible and responds super quick. Awesome coach!!”

Candice Dillion

“Janell perfectly balanced a tough, results oriented coach with being flexible. Her expertise was quickly seen through creative and challenging workouts. With her help, I shaved over 6 minutes off my half marathon PR and plan to use her again. Thanks, Janell!”

Nate White

I’ve been trained by her for the past 4weeks and I enjoy the program. I just hit the ‘runner blues syndrome’ after my last race on October 2019, and Jannel’s program is very enjoyable so far. Thank you, Coach!

Rismania Veradiza

Awesome coach! Once I am back from injury I will ask her to coach me again!

Robert Felicetti

“You have probably heard the phrase, practice makes perfect. Well I’ve found that this is not entirely true, especially if you’re doing it wrong to begin with. But it’s just running, right? Put one leg in front of the other and keep going. You’ll get better and faster very soon, you’ll often hear. Nope. The reality is, you’ll see improvement for sure, but after a while you’ll most likely plateau, or end up injured like me. “

“It’s safe to say that Janell knew what she was doing

Alastair Vance

Check out Alastair’s full Blog Review Here

“It was a good month, covered a lot of miles, and feeling great! Training with Runcanvas has really stepped up my ability to just run and to enjoy the sport versus pushing myself to the limit every time I step out the door. Yes, there are intervals and some speed sessions, but nothing that completely drains me that I dread any workout. Highly recommend!”

Ken Stands on Things, blogger

“Janelle’s coaching has been exactly what i needed to reach my goals. She is beyond amazing.”

Stephen Losey

“I’ve been working with Coach Janell McKinney for the last few weeks and my experience has been great. Coach McKinney is very helpful and responsive to questions.”

Joe Nmic

“Been nearly a month working with Janell, Really enjoyed having a set plan ready for the week that goes straight onto my watch and tells me exactly what to do. Its nice to have structure to my training and working towards a goal. Would definitely recommend.”

Sean cardall

“Excellent program, motivation, follow through… Weekly schedules ahead of time with very helpful details… Enjoy working with her”

Gulsum Rustemoglu

“The workouts are specific to your current fitness and are updated weekly based on how well the previous week’s training. Janell is responsive to the feedback you post on each workout. I like how she gives you a note on why you are doing a specific workout for each day of the week. I was in shape before I started, but I feel much stronger and confident about running after 5 weeks of training.”

Robert Davis

Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun

Disclaimer: I received two pairs of Knockaround Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

This is my second review of Knockaround sunglasses. Previously, I reviewed the seventy nines sunglasses (Check it out!).  The seventy nines were an awesome pair of sunglasses I chose for on the run.  This post if a review of the Mile High Sunglasses, a pair for fun in the sun!


This time around I got to check out the rose gold and copper Mile High Sunglasses.  I was super excited as I thought the looked absolute fab online.

Product Information

The eye-catching combination of rose gold frames and copper lenses sets these aviator sunglasses apart from the crowd. Knockaround Mile Highs are our take on the classic, teardrop-shaped frames made famous by pilots during WWII. Every pair combines streamlined wire construction, rubber ear pads, and polarized lenses that come standard to keep you glare free whether you’re soaring at 30,000 feet or relaxing on the ground.

  • Rose gold metal frame
  • Tortoise shell rubber detailing
  • Polarized copper lenses
  • Full UV400 protection
  • FDA approved impact resistant lenses

As you can see, this pair had many of the same strong qualities as the seventy nines. Adding a bit more classy to my evening outing with friends, and my fourth of July fun in the sun.  The Mile High Sunglasses come in a great variety of colors and at such a reasonable price for the quality. Durable and super light weight.

Overall, the seventy nines were a slight win over the mile highs. Mostly because I felt they fit my face a tad better. . With my hair down the mile highs were great, with my hair pulled back, such as at brunch after a run. I felt a bit like I had that bug eye look. Not a design issue at all, just a me problem.  Tiny human problems

img_3015Don’t forget you can save 20% OFF your entire order with code“BIBRAVEKNOCKS2” Limited to one use per user. Coupon active only until 7/15.

Knockaround Sunglasses-Seventy Nines for on the Run!

Disclaimer: I received two pairs of Knockaround Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I received two pairs of Sunglasses from Knockaround to try out. One pair for sun  and one pair for fun.   This post will discuss the pair for “run”. For this pair I received a pair of Matte Black on Black/Smoke Seventy Nines.


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In the summer, running sunglasses are a must for me. I use them for my own training as well as when I am coaching my high school athletes or working solo with a few of my adult clients.  Either way, these bad boys get a lot of use, and abuse.

Product Information

From the Knockaround website;


Designed to deliver a perennial summer high, Knockaround Seventy Nines are fashion-forward but always approachable. Whether you’re headed to the office, checking out the new coffee shop in your neighborhood, or hopping a flight to your next adventure, these casually cool sunnies will be your go-to companions. Each pair offers just the right balance of vintage vibes and contemporary style for a look that’s on trend yet perfectly timeless.

Seventy Nines offer a chiseled, low profile silhouette that looks especially great on small to medium-sized faces. Unisex styling in a wide array of colors means you can share a pair with bae. (But let’s be real, you’ll each want your own!) Every pair gets a few finishing flourishes in the form of recessed metallic hardware, matching logo detailing on the arms, and a laser etched logo on the lenses.

Enduring Style Meets Exceptional Durability
You’ll want to wear these versatile sunglasses season after season, so we’ve designed them to last. Every pair of Seventy Nines is made with strong 5-barrel hinges and FDA-approved impact resistant lenses, so they can take whatever knocks you dish out. Other thoughtful details include full UV400 sun protection and the option to add polarized lenses to all of your favorite frame colors. Speaking of colors, you can fly under the radar in black on black and tortoise shell frames, or make a splash with eye-catching options like jade lagoon and glossy white. Snag your favorite pair (or maybe more than one!) with free shipping on all orders over $50!”

So many selling points, in the description I was super excited to test these bad boys out!

  • Smaller fit for smaller sized heads!
  • Strong and impact resistant lenses
  • Full UV400 sun protect
  • Polarized Lenses

What did I love most about them!? I think they are absolutely adorable and fit well for both running and for fun.  I basically took this pair everywhere. Along with being super durable the seventy nines are also super lightweight. While running they stayed put without a bounce.  I put these glasses through the ringer and they are still flawless. I already plan on ordering more!   This time I am going to get adventurous!  Which ones should I choose next?

791792Don’t forget to check out part 2 of my review!  Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun!  “BIBRAVEKNOCKS2” for 20% OFF your entire order. Limited to one use per user. Coupon active only until 7/15.

Don’t forget to read part two! Knockaround Sunglasses- Mile Highs a Pair for Fun

RunCanvas Giveaway going on right now! Sponsored by Bibrave and Science in Sport

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