Training & Gaining in Thunder Bay

Since I have returned from my first camp in Tremblant, I have been in Thunder Bay training & gaining (in case you missed the title…). In July, my team hosted the annual Alignment Camp for the first time. This camp brought all three of Canada’s National Development Centres together for 10 days of training. Although I may be a little biased, the training camp was extremely well organized and a huge success thanks to some very dedicated and hardworking volunteers. The Thunder Bay ski community never ceases to amaze me!

One of the highlights of the camp was the Canada 150 rollerski race on July 1st.  I seriously have never had as much fun on rollerskis as I did racing the fast and technical 800m rollerski course in downtown Thunder Bay. The day started off with a two lap sprint qualifier and finished with a 12 lap distance race.  Although we did not get the crowd we had hoped for, there was no lack of excitement and enthusiasm. To add to the hype, the event included cash prizes for the top 3 in the qualifier and the distance races as well as primes, prizes for sprints in the distance races. The product prizes were donated my various local business and included bath bombs, ice cream gift certificates, water belts, coffee and much more! As for me, the race went decently well. My legs and body were feeling heavy and tired but I pushed hard, focused on skiing efficiently, and even earned a bit of $ and prizes to bring home, bonus!

Sadie (White) leading Annika (Richardson) and I around a tight corner.
We made it!


As the focus of the camp was intensity, the rollerski race was just one of many hard workouts. We also did a double pole Z3 workout, a 3km uphill running race, a z3 skate intensity and we finished off the week with the Matterhorn Madness. The Matterhorn Madness is exactly that, mad. The name comes from the fact that the total climb is equal to that of the Matterhorn. Luckily, we did the event in teams of 3, each racing up Mount Baldy Ski hill 4 times as fast as we could. It was a real “pain fest” and really tested your mental strength after 9 days of hard training.

Mandatory post intensity picture. (me, Laurence Dumais and Sadie White)
Both Caitlin Gregg and Jessie Diggins joined us for the hike up The Giant


Top of The Giant

I’ve talked about the training, but what about the gaining? In this post, I am talking specifically about gains in the gym. I have always taken strength training seriously, but this year I am picking it up a notch. Ever since I joined the training centre and started working with my strength coach I have become much more aware of my body. I now understand even more than before that being mobile and knowing how to move in a functional way is just as, if not more important than raw strength. In other words, lifting double plates on bench press will not automatically make you the queen or king of double-polling. So, to make sure my strength gains in the gym transfer to skiing as efficiently as possible, I have been doing a daily mobility and functional movement session. In my case, I am working on strengthening and mobilizing my hips so that when on skis, I can keep a strong base position and have a better range of motion.

Post workout swim in Lake Superior
I had a short visit with Jack in Canmore before heading to New Zealand. As you can see, we know how to picnic.

In other news, thanks to many generous donations to my fundraiser as well as some new partnerships (to be announced soon!) I have now reached $7000 of my $8000 fundraising goal! To those who have contributed, I seriously can’t thank you enough. I promise I will make the most of it. For everyone else, thank you for reading this extremely long post, you’re the bomb.

I will finish this off with the wise words of Jessie Diggins: “It’s not about wining workouts, it’s about winning races”.

See you on the flip side


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