Welcome to my blog! This is a site where you can keep up to date on my life as a full-time athlete in the sport of cross country skiing. You can expect regular updates throughout the year as I report on training, racing, life in general and maybe even some school. Sponsors, family, friends and fans: Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Return of One Fit Man: the Hermit Edition

With the exception of a short 3-day vacation to Kajsa's cabin and a relatively painless laser eye surgery operation, I have had my feet firmly planted in Whistler for the last month and a half, getting work done.  

95% of training sessions are completed straight out my front door, avoiding time wasted driving (not to mention gas burned), and ensuring rapid recovery upon finishing each session, with food and a shower within 15 minutes of completion.  The training options from my front step are exceptional and varied enough to avoid boredom.  

Having trained like this consistently for this chunk of time, the changes in fitness are becoming apparent.  I have made big gains in the weight room (notably, I can now deadlift twice my own bodyweight a few times), to my running (practicing running technique and range of motion downhill is paying dividends), to my cycling (attributable to long hours throughout June along with 2 hard Toonie race efforts), and to my respiratory system fitness (swimming and by practicing breathing large volumes (5L) on spirotiger).  

It seems that the current approach to training is working and getting me into a good position for the rest of the summer!  The goal is to continue this approach until I stop improving, then to switch it up.  It's encouraging, because right now is one of those obvious moments where I know I am in the best shape that I have ever been in. 

 Embarking on a "full hand" day of training (5 hours) with LT, summiting peak 2 and 3 of the Squamish Chief first thing in the morning as part of the extended LT training camp where I was pushed to my limit in both cycling prowess and training volume.  

"Camp LT" was followed by a relaxing visit to the Heyes' cabin at Osprey Lake, but the training did not diminish despite a day of wine tasting in the Okanagan and a Salsa party one evening.  Kajsa's brother, Zayne, and I completed a 5 hour mountain bike ride in the surrounding hills on quad trails, and I made a point to train twice per day regardless of whether or not I was playing tourist at Okanagan wineries. 

 Wine tasting at the fruit orchard winery Elephant Island.  

Kitsilano pool in Vancouver, in which I enjoy the odd swim from time to time.  My swimming ability is improving even though I swim way less than I did 2 years ago, when I first started.  I completed 4 km earlier this week!

 Da bears are out in full-force, especially along the Callaghan Valley road.  Silently gliding by on a road bike is a great way to site see.  Another great way to site see is to venture solo onto un-tamed single track and startle a bear cub up the tree in front of you, not knowing where mama is (happened to me a few weeks ago - not recommended).  

 Whistler is beautiful this time of year.  When it is sunny and warm that is.  The season is late this year and you hear more than a few complaints about how cold and gloomy things are.  Makes for good training though as there is no intense sun to drain precious energy.  

Swimming at Adventures West private beach after an evening run with Antoine.  If I were ever to buy a small place to live in Whistler, it'd be here.  

Below is a short video of me training with my new training partner, Burton, banging out some steep ski bounding intervals. 

Thanks for checking in!

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