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Dave Proctor Breaks TransCanadian Speed Record

September 14, 2022 4 min read

Dave Proctor Breaks TransCanadian Speed Record

We sat down with Dave Proctor and friend, Arielle Fitzgerald of Swiftwick Canada, to hear about his record-breaking run across Canada.

Dave Proctor, an ultra-marathoner, dad, and multi-Guinness World Recorder holder, broke the 31-year-old TransCanadian speed record on July 21st, 2022 in Victoria, British Columbia after 67 days 10 hours, and 27 minutes of running. All 67 days were run in Swiftwick socks.

Proctor started his journey across 7,159 km (4,448 miles) on May 15th in St. Johns, Newfoundland with his team, a goal, and the mental strength of a champion.

Proctor had attempted to run this route in 2018 but was only able to make it to the east side of Winnipeg when a back injury cut his journey short. 2020 was going to be his next attempt but the pandemic put an end to that dream. So here we are in 2022, and Dave Proctor has finally crossed the finish line.

Training

“There is no level of training or fitness that gets you truly prepared for this,” Proctor said.

Physical training looked like 250 - 300km (124 - 186 miles) per week leading up to his start date. During the 67-day marathon, Proctor was running an average of 105.28km (65 miles) per day in order to break the speed record.

Mental training was an entire beast of its own. There are a few things that could stop you when you have mental strategies that are as tough as Dave Proctors. Working with a sports psychologist, he built up a few tricks that translate to any goal, running-related or not.

1. The vault

Proctor used the analogy of a vault for your mind. He thought through questions like “What do you bring into your vault? What serves you? What doesn’t serve you?” The idea that you need to lock things inside your vault that serve you and lock things outside the vault that don't, helped him continue to run.

For Proctor, he locked self-worth inside his vault and locked pain out.

2. The four animals

Another mental strategy that kept Proctor on the road was the 4 animals that ran with him the entire way.

  1. His pessimism: a salamander (named Amelio) that kept whispering doubts and lies like “you're not good enough or strong enough and people don’t like you.”
  2. His peace: an eagle flying above him that could see something else from its vantage point and reminded Proctor to pause, relax, and stop listening to a stupid salamander.
  3. His pain: a coyote running next to him always biting his leg. But the coyote never made eye contact with him because it was too busy looking up at the dragon in the sky.
  4. His confidence: a dragon flying high in the sky. Confident, capable, strong, powerful, and never afraid of anything ever.

“My goal throughout this entire run was to allow that dragon within and realize that it's okay to be the dragon…The further that I ended up running across the country, the dragon was getting closer and closer, and ultimately, the last week when things were really rough, he was within me. I was strong.”

What do you eat when you’re running across Canada?

The answer is pastries. This is the only part of Dave’s challenge that seems doable. In order to maintain his pace, Proctor aimed to eat 9,000 calories a day. Most of these calories were from baked goods. Cinnamon buns, scones, muffins, and cookies. Talk about living the dream!

“These multi-week or multi-month runs are more of an eating contest than a running contest,” Proctor said.

Ditch Finds

To help those following his run wrap their heads around 105km (65 miles) a day, Proctor shared his ditch-find of the day along his route. Some of his favorites:

  • Handcuffs
  • Pregnancy test
  • Dairy cow ceramic cookie jar

The Aftermath

During the run, Proctor only suffered from 2 blisters during the entire 67 days. There were a few other injuries he pushed through and only felt the effects after crossing the finish line and opening his vault to pain again. “It was worth the price of admission,” Proctor said. He battled through a fractured foot, bone spur, and plantar fasciitis tear that he believes happened during the first 2000km (1242 miles).

Never Stop Making Big Goals

“My message to people would be to continue and/or to make a really big scary goal that might not be necessarily something you can do in the next year but maybe in the next 5 years or 10 years. Turn over every stone in order to get there.

Understand that there’s going to be an incredible amount of delayed gratification that's going to take place in order to get there, but once you get there, it’s not far removed from finding god. It’s a beautiful feeling.” - Dave Proctor

Time to go set some big goals.

You can follow Dave Proctor on Instagram at @runproctor
Shop the Swiftwick socks that got Dave Proctor across Canada: MAXUS™ collection


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