Taking my spikes to the Oval Office, starting with a 800m event in Vancouver next weekend.
Training has been progressing well transferring from ski-specific to run-specific strength training with run specific exercises while maintaining good coordination under increased resistance.
The strength training has been focusing on improving mobility, power and speed while increasing reactive and explosive strength, enhancing reflexes, specifically in the feet and improving posture.
Something as little as changing the way we approach our training can have a huge impact, I tend to approach training with the mindset that I have no weaknesses, I only have untrained strengths.
Looking forward to spiking up and working my untrained strengths.
Arriving home from Nationals in Thunder Bay brings the Indoor Track Season and the Nordic Season to a successful close for myself. On the indoor side I posted 2:56.69 for the 1000m and 4:46.27 for the 1500m and on the Nordic side I focused on the Sprint events in the open category posting good times at Western Canadians and Nationals but not making it into qualification rounds.
The focus this winter was strength training continuing to get stronger, more powerful and increasing explosive power, improving posture and developing an overall balanced body with reduced run and ski training. The running and skiing I did within this strength program was predominantly short recovery work progressing to short tempo work.
The strength program started with strengthening the feet and balance training exercises, Isometric holds, progressing to quick movement with holds and then to plyometrics. It wasn't a steady progression, there were several set backs when I pushed too quickly but after focusing on strength for the past two seasons I feel I have balance back in terms of strength and look forward to building on this for the upcoming outdoor track season.
Having now what I feel is a good base of strength I look to continue with the olympic lifting and plyometric based strength and adding sprint interval training as outlined in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research to prepare for the upcoming outdoor 1500m track season.
The workouts are short and focused, keeping reps short and explosive as training to failure can sometimes be counter productive.
As the name suggests, I run and I ski and its been a busy few weeks with the Alberta Cup, City Team Sprints, the Alberta Games and the Beat the Blues Boogie.
Down in Canmore a few weeks back I entered into the open men's 1km sprint event in the hopes of cracking the top 16 and moving on to the rounds. The rounds did not go smoothly, in that I lost ground not knowing course, which is my doing, but the organizers allowed me to move forward placing 17th. In the rounds knowing the course and ready to go there were some equipment failure issues with an exploding pole. Adding to the excitement yes , but not allowing a moving on to the B final. (It should be noted with or without pole I would not have seen a B final).
Shortly to follow I went down to Goldbar Park for the City Team Sprints with the team and had another grand time getting up to speed over the 1km distance, pulling out the Master win with Patrick.
Lastly this past weekend was the grand finale of the indoor track season with the Alberta Master Championships at the Butterdome taking the top step in Master 1000m (Saturday) in 2:56.69 age graded to 2:34.70 and 1500m (Sunday) in 4:46.24 age graded to 4:09.
More importantly over the weekend, we had a wonderful day out at SWC for the Beat the Blues Boogie on Sunday. A beautiful venue with some terrific people on the trail and behind the scenes raising over $1000 for Julies fight against Cancer.
Beat the Blues Boogie
Hit the trails for the Birkie a few weeks back and bonked hard, real hard. Which if you have been following along is a good thing in that my back has not been strong enough to bonk in a ski race for a number of years!
This weekend I will be toeing the line in Canmore for the final AB Cup of the season. I decided to enter the open event and do the sprint races in keeping with the 4 minute program. The following weekend I will be back on the track for the Provincial Championships 1000m and 1500m.
If the spirit moves me I may hop on a plane for Thunder Bay for the National XC Championships, if just for the coffee and Finnish pancakes. Lappe Nordic is one of my favourite places to ski and we can't let the young guns have all the fun:-)
I have been back on the track for a few events since coming back from Quebec working on building strength and speed on the oval. Focusing on the 1500m or what I like to call the "4 Minute Program" I did the 1500m at the GBO and the ACAC events at the Kinsmen.
Over the course of the season I have been feeling strong but haven't quite found my stride, but it will come.
I certainly have been having good fun with the training and I'm looking forward to the Twilight Meet 1000m this coming Friday night at the Butterdome.
I may be racing just for kicks but I do enjoy a competitive environment and well the Olympic Trials in Quebec provided just that! Combined with having family just a hour away from Mount-Saint-Anne a plan was hatched to toe the line for the classic and skate sprint events.
In the course of the week and changing weather plans went from well thought out to first rodeo type stuff. Arriving at 2am before the classic sprints lead to a short warm up, racing on skin skis and seeing the course for the first time. Changing weather also forced some flight changes for the return trip but the extra time allowed for course training, proper waxing and some fast times.
Olympic Trials Classic 1.35km Sprint
In the classic sprint I crossed the line in 4:11 good for fifty third place in the Senior Men, 1:08 off the top pace. Using the age grading calculator my time would be 3:30 putting me in the mix and it’s always nice to be in the mix!
Olympic Trials Skate 1.35km Sprint
For the skating sprint I placed thirty seven for the day in the Senior Men with a time of 3:39, 42 seconds off the top pace. Age grading put me in the top twenty with a time of 3:10, 13 seconds off the pace if they did such a thing, which they do not:-)
Suffice to say some pianos were moved and moved quickly and having had a chance to pre ski the course for the skate sprint the hills came as less of a surprise. On three separate occasions in the Classic Sprint on Friday I heard myself saying “eff that’s steep”. Two were uphills and one was a downhill where I nearly yard saled not once but twice.
I tell you what between the skis, boots, poles, waxing and keeping track of your bib and timing chip racing is a complicated thing, but giving that I am on the backside of 50 it was a treat to toe the line with the best sprinters in Canada.
These guys have moves!
Sprint racing seasons begins this weekend at the Haywood NorAm Selection Trials in Mont-Saint-Anne.
In conjunction with the track and strength work I have been doing my goal over these past few years has been to get back too and specialize in Nordic sprint racing over the winter months. The transition has taken some time, over coming back weakness and increasing raw speed.
I am not as young as I used to be and one would think one would go longer but I have been long and enjoy the push of the shorter. There is something very pure about laying everything on the track over the course to 2 to 4 minutes and the training that goes with it matches my style!
Had a grand ole time in Athabasca this past weekend for the Athabasca 8km Skating Time Trial!
I am starting to feel strong again after multiple years of dealing with back pain.
The reduction in volume and increased strength training is starting to show not only in how I feel while skiing and running but also in result sheets.
In the coming months a increase in plyometric based strength will be added to the program as base strength levels have improved to the point that I think we can see good gains with added plyometrics or a "good janking"
Went back to the oval this past weekend in Calgary and toed the line for the 1000m. It was a strong event for me as I was in the mix and felt in control and strong the full thousand.
My time while not lightening, it was good for 3:08.51 putting me #2 on the Athletics Canada national 2018 indoor ranking list in the 50 to 55 age group. Back in November, I did the Last Chance 1500m in 4:47.64 also putting myself #2 on the AC ranking list in the 50 to 55 age group.
Good start to the indoor season and will be looking to improve on these times, while we search for snow and more racing on the nordic side. On the training side the focus continues on short precise tempo runs running as fast as possible at a specific heart rate and olympic styled strength work increasing the weight as the body adapts.
So for now we will keep getting after it, see you on the trails or the oval.
Passionate runner and nordic skier who happens to own a run & ski shop!