After 6 weeks of racing and training overseas in January and February, and I’m back in Canada getting ready for the World Cup sprint and distance finals. Although I don’t love long breaks without races, it’s been fun to catch up with everyone at home and put in a solid block of focused training. This week was especially exciting because the Canadian team has been crushing it at World Junior/U23 Championships in Germany. The team threw down strong sprint qualis and distance results, fought it out in heats, and the junior men won Canada’s first ever World Junior relay medal. Inspiring!
My last race weekend in Europe in Falun, Sweden, ended on a high note. I qualified in 23rd and finished 24th. This was pretty special for me because it’s been 4 years since I last raced WC sprint heats. In all honesty, I didn’t know if it would happen again. Although this year I’ve felt capable of being competitive in World Cup heats, there’s a difference between being thinking you’re capable of something and it actually happening – racing is all about executing when it counts. In the end though, all the pieces came together when they needed to. A day with incredibly high nerves and excitement, tears of joy, and moments to remember.
After these past few weeks of training and unwinding at home, I’m back on the road again getting ready for the World Cup finals in North America. Part of being an athlete means taking smart steps to stay healthy on the road, so I wanted to share some things I find helpful when it comes to staying healthy during race season.
- Keep some recovery snacks handy. I like to travel with some granola bars and recovery drink mix from home. Sometimes you don’t know how long a travel day or group training session is going to be, so having a bit of food available is good for recovery and for keeping your immune system strong.
- Don’t get cold during and after training. If your body is putting a lot of energy into staying warm, it might not have the energy to fight off viruses that are going around. These past few months, I’ve been testing out gear from my new baselayer sponsor, Brubeck, and I’ve found their Extreme Wool line is especially good for racing and training in cold temps. As someone who used to have to wear multiple baselayers to stay warm while training, this has been great. A side travel perk is that the Brubeck gear stays fresh even after a LOT of use, so no hotel washing machine, no problem.
- Sleep! Probably the most important thing when it comes to staying healthy. Whether that’s getting in some naps if you need to catch up on extra hours or working with a sports psych to help with stress, sleep is key.
Coming up soon are the races I’ve been looking forward to the most all year – the North American World Cups! I’m so excited to put on a race bib and have a few more opportunities to chase after my season goals, this time on home soil. The race schedule is below, hope to see you out cheering!
March 14: Classic Sprint, Quebec City
March 15: Skate Sprint, Quebec City
March 17: Skate Sprint, Minneapolis
March 20: Skate Mass Start, Canmore
March 21: Classic Pursuit, Canmore
March 22: Mixed Relay, Canmore
Live timing should be available on the FIS website, and check on the Nordiq Canada Facebook page for links to TV broadcasting.