.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Training Log - From a Resident Highlands Trailblazer
By:  Adele Lay   (2008/08/10)


Almost all the Highlands Trailblazers team members travel about 100km to get to training on weekends. Obviously this is not ideal, as there is little or no contact with the coach or other team mates throughout the week. For years, Larry Sinclair, the owner of Highlands Nordic, has dreamed of having “Resident Ski Racers” move from their hometown to Collingwood/Duntroon to allow for much more coach contact as well as access to extensive trails, reliable snow and year round training on the escarpment. Myself and two other team mates were the guinea-pigs of this project this year.

I had planned to take a year off of school and primarily ski race so I figured, why not be in Collingwood? Last September, we moved from southern Ontario where there is some snow occasionally, minimal trails and a 1.5 hr commute to Highlands. The three of us found a house in Collingwood to rent and I found a part-time job and the other two went to high-school.

Training up here is fabulous! I skied almost everyday from November 7th to April 4th. In the off-season there is a wealth of country roads, Bruce Trail connections and other adventures to make training endlessly fun. I can see the YMCA from my bedroom and can bike up to Highlands in an hour when I can’t find a ride.

Here’s what a July week looks like:

July 21st to 27th

Monday PM:

  • Zone 1- Run (30min) warm up
  • StrengthWeights (40min): Max Rep 8 (the most weight you can do 8 reps x 3 sets). Exercises included bench press, squats, military press, etc)

  • Strength - Core (20min)

  • Flexibility - Yoga (1hr) after strength at Y.

Weekends are usually heavy and I worked a lot as well so I slept in this morning!

Tuesday AM:

  • Zone1- Run/Ski Walk (2hr). About 20km around trails at Highlands.
  • PM: Zone 1- Rollerski Classic (30min) warm up
  • Zone 4- Rollerski Classic (6x 1min/ 2min). I do these always on the same section so I can tell if I’m slowing down or not. Usually I focus on one specific technique, today it was kick double pole.

On Tuesdays I spend the day training and working at Highlands. In the afternoons we have a team practice with Larry and do technique/ video work and intervals.

Wednesday AM:

  • Strength- Weights (40min). MR 8. Able to increase squats and bench today!
  • Strength- Core (20min)
  • PM: Zone 1- Road Bike (1hr).
  • Zone 1- Run (1hr).

These are my favourite kind of Z1 one workout. I bike to a trail crossing about a half hour from my house and then I lock my bike to a tree and run on a trail for and hour and then bike home. This allows for much more variety of run routes than just what I can get to from my doorstep. These combination workouts also seem to fly by!

Thursday AM:

  • Zone 1- Road Bike/ Rollerski (1hr) bike to and from RS road & warm up
  • Zone 3 - Rollerski Skate (10minx 3/ 2min). These felt a little sloppy. I’m tired by Thursday.
  • PM: Zone 1- Road Bike (2.5 hr) Rode out to Creemore with friend. Nice rolling terrain, not the greatest pavement.


  • REST DAY!!!

Unfortunately I can’t stay off my feet because my job, serving at a (busy) restaurant requires me to run around like mad all day. I try to sleep in and go to bed early as well as do something fun with non-skier friends.

Saturday AM:

  • Zone 1- Run (20min) warm up
  • Strength- Endurance Strength (40min), involves doing low intensity exercises (crunches, leg raises, push ups on window sill) for long periods of time (3-5min). I actually really like this work out
  • PM: Zone 1- Run (1.5hr) very flat and fast!

Sunday AM:

  • Zone 1- Rollerski Classic (45min) warm up and technique work
  • Zone 3 - Rollerski Classic (10min x 3/ 5min). Did these diagonal stride on very long hill that goes straight up the escarpment. Able to diagonal stride fairly realistically.

Larry takes the team members to roads that are usually busy with cars during the week but quiet on Sunday mornings. This particular one is a 15 min continuous climb, perfect for diagonal striding.

TOTAL HOURS: 15.5hrs

COMMENTS This was a pretty good, solid week but I was not able to recover as well I as would have liked because of work. It was very very busy all week and my feet were often protesting to be walked on by the time I got home at 5pm. Road riding is usually a good option when the feet are complaining.

Collingwood is a fabulous place to train, year round but I’ve been reassured that Ottawa is excellent too!!! I can’t wait!

Interesting Reading. . .
Interested in supporting XC Ottawa or advertising on our site? Email: info@xcottawa.ca.
© Copyright 2001-2006, www.xcottawa.ca. All Rights Reserved. Contact us before re-publishing anything seen here.