So, the rollerskiing in Penticton is awesome. I spent a week there earlier this month, and between the buttery smooth pavement, rolling roads with minimal traffic, and sweet views, it’s high on my list of places to train in again.
The mountain biking is also next level. Turns out “BC blue” is a real thing – the trails were a lot harder than the stuff I’m used to in Canmore. Patrick and I had a blast ripping down the more technical stuff and checking out new trails.
Penticton was (and will be) my biggest training week of the year, volume-wise. I find recovery is a lot quicker at low altitude, so it was great to take advantage of that, put in the big hours at slightly faster Z1 speeds and get in some harder intensity sessions without feeling the training load as much as usual.
For those big volume weeks, it’s important to be extra aware of injury prevention. When it comes to injuries, there are two main types. There’s the stuff that happens in accidents – we all end up in bad situations or make stupid mistakes sometimes – and then there are the often more frustrating overuse injuries. When it comes to overuse stuff you can obviously still get unlucky, but there are tons of preventative tools out there that can help your odds. With all these tools available, you need to prioritize what’s going to make the biggest difference with the least amount of energy output. For me, those things are:
Balance of different training modes – being smart and building into any new type of training, keeping day-to-day variety. Without a doubt, for me this is the most effective way to prevent overuse injuries. As an extra incentive, it’s free and it also probably makes those key sessions more effective.
Proper equipment– finding the right equipment takes time and money, but it’s like an investment in your immediate and long-term health. This means running shoes that fit well, sharp pole tips (your elbows will thank you), and rollerskis that are smooth and track straight. In stereotypical xc skier fashion, my running technique is rather questionable (let’s just call it a work in progress), so I like using HOKAs because they help counteract that.
For rollerskis, I got the sweet opportunity to try out RundleSport’s gear earlier this year, and I’ve been using their Flex Skates and Rush Classics. For skate, the built-in dampeners make the skis really smooth which keeps my shins and feet happy. For classic, I find the wider ski base improves stability and reduces tension in my calves and feet. The wheels also track super straight, so I can ski with better technique because I’m not having to make direction adjustments all the time.
All that being said, even the best equipment needs to be maintained well to be effective. Running shoes or rollerski wheels can be great, but if they’re really worn out they won’t work how they’re supposed to.
Consistent mobility/therapy– pick your priorities and keep it consistent. No one’s got time to stretch and roll their entire body every day, but I find even a solid 20min 2x/week can be enough to maintain things and keep me aware of any changes. More can obviously help, but if you’re like me and you find the idea of doing an hour of mobility every day overwhelming, then aim for what feels manageable. And if you’re lucky enough to have insurance that covers massage or physio, use it!