Running With Team Rethink

Exercise is so important for everyone’s health, but especially for people who have been diagnosed with cancer. Research suggests that exercise has the “most robust effect” on breast cancer recurrence and mortality. Just 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five times a week increases chance of survival by 40 per cent.

Running is our favourite way to exercise at Rethink. Although it is mentally and physically hard, it is so rewarding (have you heard of the ‘runner’s high’?) and easy to see your progress when each week you can run a bit further or a bit faster. And if you get tired, you can take a break and walk and you are still getting those steps in.

Join Team Rethink as we train for the virtual HER Running Series 5km or 15km. Follow along for tips from experts and post your running selfie with #RethinkRuns and tagging @rethinkbreastcancer. Although we can’t be together right now, we can still create a community of supporting one another in crushing our goals.

Dr. Benjamin de Villena, Chiropractor and avid runner, created a 7-week 5KM and 15KM training schedule to help us train together. Here are his top three tips for new runners.

Tip 1 – Listen to your body.

Treat these training plans as guides. If you feel the need to slow down at any point or miss a day of running, that’s okay. Listen to your body and tweak the plan as needed. For example, if you miss a run, don’t “double up” the kilometres on your next run. Slow and steady progression is the key to success. Running is a long-term process and improved speed and distance come with consistency over time. The goal is to stay injury-free!

Tip 2 – Make a proper warm-up and cool down part of your routine.

If you’re sedentary most of the day and then try to run at maximum effort with no warm-up, you likely are not doing your body a favour. Always ease your way into your runs by doing dynamic stretches and light mobility exercises first. This will get the blood flowing and allow you to loosen up any tight areas of the body. After the run, take the time to stretch to allow the muscles to cool down. This is a great time to reflect and appreciate what your body was able to accomplish during your run.

Tip 3 – Find a way to keep yourself accountable.

Journaling about your runs and keeping track of your runs on a calendar can help you to see progress over time, and to identify areas for improvement. Running with a partner is another great way to stay accountable. You’re much more likely to show up for a run when someone is counting on you. You can also consult an expert, who can help with your running mechanics, provide support, and decrease your chance of getting injured.

5KM Training Schedule

5KM Running Schedule

15KM Training Schedule

15KM Running Schedule

The good news is, this year’s HER Run is not cancelled. Even though we can’t run together in person, we’ll be able to move together, virtually. Join Team Rethink digitally and get your body moving while staying safe. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family to donate to our team to help Rethink continue to run our programs, like our virtual support groups and expert talks. And post a selfie of you moving by using the hashtag #rethinkruns and tagging @rethinkbreastcancer on Instagram. We can’t wait to see your selfies!


Dr. Benjamin de Villena is in the business of getting people to move! As a Chiropractor, he develops treatment plans based on patients’ symptoms and personal goals. Dr. Ben is a graduate from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. He holds a Specialized Honours Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology & Health Science from York University, where he was a member of the Dean’s List and the Golden Key International Honours Society.

Dr. Ben’s journey was inspired by his father who overcame chronic pain through chiropractic care and exercise. Ever since then, he made it his mission to challenge people beyond their perceived limitations. Ben’s ability to motivate, coupled with his passion for optimizing performance, helps people achieve and exceed their goals. Ben is also a coach with Orangetheory Fitness and has taught over 1000 classes. Ben loves to run, hang out with his cat, read books and watch Netflix in his spare time. He recently finished his first half-Ironman!

You may also be interested in

Meet Rhea, Uncovered
#YWBC: Ashley
I Am Anna
50 Carroll Street Toronto, Ontario Canada M4M 3G3
Phone: 416 220 0700
Registered Charity #: 892176116RR0001

Join Our Movement

Follow Us

Donate Now

You can make a positive impact in the lives of people impacted by breast cancer