This summer has seen a few changes with XC Ottawa, the main one being our new coach John Suurronen. With the establishment of the National Athlete Development Centre of Ottawa-Gatineau, we are finding our niche as a team for serious senior athletes who are not part of the national training center program, or, in some cases, for athletes who are with the NADC but enjoy the opportunity to train with XC Ottawa as well. In any case, there is quite a bit of overlap between XC Ottawa, Carleton and the NADC making a large group of competitive senior athletes now living in Ottawa!
I find our XC Ottawa practices a great place for some one on one attention and fresh new ideas. This summer, we have been meeting twice a week. Once at Mooney's Bay for ski striding technique, Z2-4 ski striding and plyometrics, and then on Sundays for a long rollerski where we have been focusing on technique and strength. This summer we have been a relatively small group with some team members gone for various summer jobs, but it has been very rewarding and improvements have been noted by all! In fact, we are getting so good at ski striding, we now have to drag tires up the hill behind us to slow us down a bit!!
All in all, with events such as the Rideau Lakes Cycle Tour, a trip to my cottage and North Bay, group bike rides and runs and our regular practices, the summer has been great so far. I look forward to the fall and the return of more of our teammates for some more great training before the snow flies!