Patience has never been one of my strong suits except when it comes to being stubborn, and that doesn’t help my case. My last 7 months have been a bit of a roller coaster, forcing me to learn to be patient with my body and training.
After a rough February and March with consecutive days where I didn’t even want to go out and train (a feeling I had never really experienced before), April brought time for fun activities like kayaking, surfing, ski touring and mental reframing.
Come May I was all set to start back up with the training regime but boy oh boy was I out of shape. That’s where this so important patience thing comes in. Today is July 24th and I am finally feeling like my fitness and body are back a the level they should be, however it has taken me ever single day since my return to Canmore on May 7th to get to this stage. The last 2 ½ months have been difficult at times but also very rewarding. I feel as though I have learned so much about my body and my mind as well as have matured as an athlete.
Here are some of the things that I have learned along the way that might be useful to you all one of these days.
1.Most importantly is to be patient, which means not forcing the process. You and your coaches have made a plan, stick to it and believe in it. If you think it is the right one it probably will work for you. You may not see the results instantly but give it time and your improvements will start to become more and more noticeable. This is something that I think applies to all aspects of life and is something I will probably struggle with again in the future but for now I think I have a good handle on the situation!
2. Listen to your body. It knows when it’s tired; respect what it is telling you. Some days it will tell you do the extra half hour, other times it will say, you’re skiing too fast, slow down and take it easy.
3. Respect your zones! This was and still is a hard one for me and I have had to focus a lot on it. Being the youngest on my team by 2 years my zone 1 often just isn’t fast enough to keep up with the other girls during distance workouts. I have done many of my distance workouts alone off the back of the pack this year but I know it is the smart thing to do. Respecting my zone 1 has allowed me to rebuild my training base well and has given me energy to be right with all the rest of my teammates when it comes to an intensity session. You’ve got to know when to hit it and know when to leave it, we are doing all this training to win races right, not training sessions, so train smart.
4. Finally be happy with what you are doing. Enjoy the scenery on those beautiful long workouts, relish in the pain after your last interval and take those rest days and do something fun! I know that I am here because I love it and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
Over the past month I have been seeing continuous improvements in my training, which makes it easier again to be happy and excited about training. We AWCA girls just did out last intensity session of our large volume block yesterday and are now heading into a recovery week starting Sunday. Unfortunately we were not able to go up to the Haig Glacier for our volume block due to the terrible flooding that happened last month. We still had a great “camp like” training block around Canmore and on the positive side I had the opportunity to roller ski on new roads and do a couple new mountain runs! Here are a few pictures from our last 2 weeks of training. The Alberta Ski Team joined us for the first week, it was so nice to have them around!
Emma and Ember at Moraine Lake
On our way up through Gibbon pass on our 4hour run!
Remember, don’t get caught up in a training frenzy, train hard, train smart and listen to what your body is telling you.