Testing, Intensity, and Arrowhead

As the summer winds to an end, it’s time for training to shift from longer endurance based training to more specific training, and time to train at a higher intensity more often.


As my facial expression suggests, this wasn’t one of my favourite training sessions this summer.

During my last visits to Gatineau and Orillia we achieved this quite nicely. We returned to Gatineau to repeat some of the tests which had done there in May. To give you an idea of what my training life is like these days, my week looked something like this (If training details aren’t why you are reading this blog, feel free to skip a bit, Brother):

Tuesday AM – Double poling test on moderate uphill.

Tuesday PM – Sit ups, jumps, medicine ball throws and 3000m track test.

Wednesday AM – uphill running with poles on Penguin Hill.

Wednesday PM – drive to Orillia.

Thursday AM – Skate rollerski technique work at maximal effort.

Thursday PM – Gym core and general strength workout.

Friday AM – Skate rollerskiing on a long uphill.

Friday PM – Easy run.

Saturday AM – Training session with the Arrowhead Nordic Ski Club.

Saturday PM – Drive to Kingston.

Sunday AM – 3hr:35min road bike ride.

Monday – sweet, sweet rest.

I was very excited to be back at Arrowhead because I began my ski racing career there with my very first race (a 15km Classic) – the Muskoka Loppet in 2006. This time, there was no snow on the ground, and then leaves hadn’t yet started changing colour, but this didn’t stop Arrowhead Nordic’s new coach, Katerina Dokoupilova from assembling her team. I was honoured to be invited to join the athletes for their first training session of the coming season.

11 young athletes sacrificed one of their last opportunities of the summer to sleep in to make it out to practice. We ran on the beautiful trails of Arrowhead Provincial Park, passing over scenic Stubbs Falls, we did some plyometrics to work on power and speed, and we rounded out the practice with a lively game of soccer.

It was a pleasure to train with our young athletes, everyone seemed happy to see each other again after the summer, and the excitement built when we talked of the trips they would be making to competitions around the province and country this coming winter.
Growing up in Kingston, training with a ski club with friends during high school was not an option for me – looking back I wish I had some of the opportunities the local students have in Huntsville. Hearing about the infrastructure developments and new grooming equipment coming to Arrowhead it sounds like an exciting year ahead for the club. Best of luck to all the athletes! If you’ve never been to the area before I can definitely recommend the Muskoka Loppet.
Muskoka Loppet 06 003

All smiles after my first ever ski race. XC Chelsea Masters members in the background – before I knew them!

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