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

"I tried that...it didn't work!"
By:  Megan McTavish   (2012/07/08)

Everyone makes mistakes, its how we learn and get better.  However, it is a good idea to learn from other people's mistakes so that you don't make the same ones.  I went out and collected some advice from XCOttawa alumni (as well as myself and Karl) to pass along.  Now if you make these mistakes you have no excuse, we warned you!


"Make sure your rollerski wheels are on tight before you lend them to someone who's friendship (and life) you value."

"Don't start rollerskiing down any hill where you can't see the bottom and that you haven't done before.  Definitely don't do this if there are three of you following each other closely."

"Don't try to hike from Nakkertok North to Nakkertok South and back on a hot late summer weekend with a hand drawn map." 

CRAIG STOREY: (photo by www.HarryNowell.com)

"Training with a cold, then racing with a cold that came and went for
months.  Worked for a while, but lead to mono once the racing season
was in full swing and there's no time to recover.."

"Racing myself into shape after a summer and fall off.  Sure, you get
better as the season goes on, but look where you started
from...couldn't get worse!"

"Waxing for myself at major events.  Too much energy/time wasted
before the race, and the wax was never as good as it could have been."

DAVID ZYLBERBERG: (photo by www.HarryNowell.com)

"There was a strength workout I liked whose effort resembled a hard interval workout and in combination with the rest of the training program, one fall I ended up consistently doing very hard workouts on 5 consecutive days many weeks. I was in great shape in late September, but was tired for most of October, couldn't train well in the late fall and never raced fast that winter."


"Head injuries are awful, try to avoid getting concussions as they really put a damper on training and leave your neck unfit for squats for ages."

"Sunbathing between workouts is not good for recovery and results in a less than ideal second workout. But sometimes its worth it when you live in Canmore and summer is a very rare thing here. Vitamin D aids long run recovery and a tan makes you look buffer and therefore fitter and faster. "


"If you sprain your ankle, don't  finish the workout, insist on continuing the glacier camp or go race at the OUA Cross Country running championships a few days later - this behavior may lead to reconstructive surgery."

"If you are so sick you are throwing up on the ski trails while training or during races, you probably should not be training or racing."


"Never workout right after a night shift without sleeping it will kill you in both the long and short term."

"I never liked strength but I pretended I did and now i'm convinced."

"Keep it light. I had a lot more fun racing and did a bit better when I stopped taking myself so seriously."


"I tried flying to two sets of races out West while writing exams - it didn't work!"

"I tried sprinting - it didn't work at all."


Doing full time engineering at university and working two part time jobs while training for skiing can be done but it isn't optimal.”
“Beware of informal selection interviews.  I was invited to a long slow trail run as a junior once.  I beat my then long run record of 1:45 before reaching the midpoint en route to 4+ hours of trudging along.”
“Corollary: beware of long slow distance workout plans period.  The definition of long and slow varies wildly according to the individual.”

WAYNE DUSTIN (2x Olympian):

"When I was 14 nationals were in Whitehorse, I was pumped to go. Races did not go great. At the end of the year I looked back at my training and my biggest week was the week before I went to nationals. Don't do your biggest week the week before your most important race!"


"Animal Pak... it didn't work"

"I tried buying classic skis that were about 5% too stiff for me, on my coach's theory that my technique would get better and I'd be able to kick them during a race. Didn't work... twice."


"Something that I tried and didn't work was when I set my only goal to make world university games. After I didn't qualify, I reevaluated and realized I still wanted to race because I just love training and racing. From then on I had more fun and I got faster."



"If you’re trying to podium in the Women’s Keskinada, don’t shove handfuls of ‘sport’ jelly beans down your throat minutes before the start – I tried that, it didn’t work. Ps- if you’re an out of shape 30-39 yr old male, that women’s podium shouldn’t be your goal – I tired that, didn’t work."



"If you’re doing a long race, don’t make EVERY gel a 2x caffeine gel – I tried that, it didn’t work (well it ‘worked’ in the race, but it didn’t work trying to make friends later (scared ‘em), and trying to fall asleep later :P)"

Other tips:
- racing hung over never works
- bring the right skis to the start line (ie. your waxed race skis, not someone else's skis or your warm up skis)
- after skiing all winter don't start your running season with a 2 hour run - same goes for the weight room

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.