Quality & Consistency

Over the years, it has become more and more evident to me how important consistent quality training is to making performance gains.  When writing my own training plan this season, these two ideals are always on the forefront of my mind. 

How can I maximize the quality of my training sessions?  For me, it starts with, ‘what am I trying to accomplish this session?’  Once I determine the session’s focus, then I can figure out the logistics: where, when, how long, etc.

How can I perform consistently in training to maximize gains?  Managing my energy levels is key.  Writing a training plan with good balance to allow the body to recover from hard efforts and not overuse a muscle group is key.  Ensuring my body is ready to go for intensity sessions has been a major focus.  Managing stresses in my day-to-day life is another key factor in maintaining consistency.

This is all very fundamental.  It’s no secret that quality and consistency lead to success.  However, it’s much easier said than done.  Over the past 2 months, I’ve been really satisfied with the quality and consistency of my training.  Coming into the fall months, I’m starting to really feel the gains taking shape and that’s exciting!

In August, my focus was on volume.  I joined the Alberta World Cup Academy for an awesome 3-week training camp in Canmore.  Highlights included 3 big training days while sleeping in the alpine at Bow Hut (2350m) and 5 days of skiing on the Haig Glacier.  Big thanks to Scott, Chris and Ian for the coaching support throughout this camp!  The logistics throughout the camp, especially on our Bow Hut days, were substantial and the coaching staff did an amazing job to ensure quality training.

Stunning scenery on the hike into Bow Hut.  We were a 4 man crew with Dom,  Evan and Jack.  Thanks for a killer training days boys!

Bow Hut showing off on a blue bird day in the alpine.

Ridiculous morning views running out from Bow Hut to start a big training day.

Some great ski days on the Haig Glacier!

All eyes on the helicopter as it flies the portable outhouse down the valley!  Couldn't resist staying to see if the mission would be a success or a crapshoot.  Can you spot the flying outhouse?  Hint: it's headed through the valley away from us.

Following the camp, my focus transitioned to recovery and moving.  Britt started the move into our new home in downtown Kelowna while I was away, so it was both exciting and busy returning to Kelowna with a somewhat empty home to set up!  Painting furniture, shopping trips to Canadian Tire, and building IKEA furniture took up the bulk of my time.

Gifts from our new garden!  Unreal to have grapes growing in our yard!

Sunset swim in the Okanagon.  Amazing having the lake so close to home!

Two weeks later I rejoined AWCA for another training camp, only this time the focus was intensity and we met halfway in Revelstoke, BC.  It was short and sweet, 4 nights with 3 hard intensity sessions.  Pushing my limits with the Academy guys was awesome and a great way to fuel my competitive spirit heading into the fall season.  I drove back to Kelowna on Saturday afternoon and kept the focus going with a local running race Sunday morning.  I paced the first 8km along the waterfront well, threw down a hard attack on the climb up Knox Mountain to take the lead and finished with a strong final mile to claim the win!  Racing in the off-season is always a good reminder of what’s to come in the winter months and coming into the finish for the win is even more thrilling!  I’m looking forward to chasing those feelings this winter!

This past week I had two more training highlights: joining the Telemark team for their uphill skate rollerski time trial and an epic trail run with the man, the myth, the legend, Greg Kilroy.  Telemark’s TT course is a challenge, covering 4.3km with 265m of ascent and 0m of descent.  Following 2 weeks of intensity-focused training plus a little recovery, I felt fairly sharp and was able to set a new course record for the young team to chase.  The next day, Greg and I went out for what was planned to be a 2.5-3 hour easy run.  We totally misjudged the length of our route, yet both succumbing to summit fever, opted to push on and summit Little White Mountain (2173m), climbing over 1700m and covering 22km in the process.  Summit conquered!  Hell yeah!  Wait… now we had to run 22km back to our car with both of us pretty much out of water and food.  It ended up being over a 5.5hour, 45km adventure and if I could go back in time and redo it, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Epic!  Now and then, you gotta push the boundaries and let your curiosity for exploration take control.

Hollywood Greg here, on the phone at the top of Little White Mountain.

Thanks for reading!  Next post, I’ll be racing on Frozen Thunder!  Ski season is coming!