Sleep, eat & train in Europe

Sleep, eat & train in Europe

I am writing this from my hotel in Ramsau Am Dachstein, Austria. I am here with the rest of the junior and U23 team who have qualified for Worlds in Liberec, Czech Republic.
The last few days have being quite exciting but also very different since it is my first time in Europe.  For a cross-country skier, while we are preparing for a competition, there are 3 very important things we think about: Sleep, food, and training. During the last few years of training I have gotten into a routine that revolves around those aspects.  It seems though that coming to Europe has completely thrown me off my regular routine and the adjustment is not as easy as you would think.

Sleep. It all started with an 8 hour flight from Toronto to Munich, Germany. It was the longest flight I had ever been on and honestly I was a bit excited about the free food and movies.  The flight departed at around 6 so I had been told to try to sleep as much as possible on the flight because when we arrived in Munich we would not be allowed to sleep until 8 that night (Austrian time which is 6 hours later). I was already pretty tired so I didn’t think this would be a problem. So after keeping myself awake until the free food came by, which consisted of chicken and “couscous” that looked more like fish eggs, I dozed off.  Unfortunately my eyes did not stay closed for very long and by the time we arrived in Munich I had about only 2 hours of sleep. Keeping my eyes open for the rest of the day was, let’s just say, a bit of a challenge.  Luckily our beautiful ski in Ramsau helped take our mind off our sleep deprivation!

Skiing in Ramsau
Food.  We are eating at our hotel and I am not going to say that the food is bad, I will just say that it is… different. I soon discovered that their favorite flavors are butter and salt, and lots of it! I have yet to search the amount of people in Austria with clogged arteries but my guess is that there are a lot!  I have nothing negative to say about the breakfast except that I find it a bit odd that they serve fresh vegetables, meat and cheese. Other than at breakfast, it is very rare to have fresh fruit and veggies. Most of the vegetables are pickled.

Training. The skiing here is amazing! We can ski right from our hotel and the trails are always perfectly groomed. It has snowed a lot since we got here but for some reason there are still tractors spreading snow on the trails- what service!  Unfortunately, the mix of lack of sleep and altitude (about 1100m) definitely has an impact on my energy level! If you’re planning to come to Europe to train anytime soon, here is a little tip: ski really really slowly.

The whole Canadian U23 and junior girls team at the world cup stadium in Ramsau
Thanks for reading J