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Athlete Diary Entry: Gavin Hamilton
By:  Gavin Hamilton   (2005/10/12)


We are coming to a very important section of my year's training. To be in peak condition for the the ski races starting in January there are many things that one must keep in mind. My goal is to be ready for the Under 23 races at the start of January and then hopefully be able to continue skiing fast for the OUA Championships and the Nationals. There are a few things that I have learned in my last two years of competitive racing that are essential for a racer in their October/November training.

Firstly, I try and keep my diet as healthy as possible on my student budget. I always end up eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches for my protein but I seem to get by. A balanced meal is much better that trying to load up on either protein or carbs. The most important thing I have learned is to eat right after a workout. This is so that my muscles will recover faster and it also boosts the immune system. I also never try and go to bed hungry especially if I have a practice early the next morning.

Secondly, I find that rest/sleep will get rid a cold if I feel one coming on. Since I do most of my training before 9:30am in the morning, I am usually beat by about 1-2pm. I will take an hour (which then turns into 2 hours!) nap just so that I can stay awake in my evening biology classes.

Thirdly, stay warm because the weather is beginning to get much cooler. Since we are all used to training in shorts and t-shirts we usually try and do this too close to winter. Especially after training it is important to have warm dry clothes to put on so that the drive back from the Gatineau Park is comfortable.

And lastly, in the hard workouts, in the words of my former coach, push yourself until 'you see black'. This is the time of the year when it is essential to push yourself to your limits and see what you are made of. The effort that you put in now will give you the results that you are looking for this winter.

I guarantee that if you do all these things correctly (which I most likely will not!), you will probably be faster than me this winter´┐Ż

Here is a look at a average week for me in October:

MondayRest Day
TuesdayEarly morning Carleton practice.
  • 1.5 hours of Z1 running
  • 10 second sprints every minutes for 10 minutes
  • 30 minutes of circuit strength training
WednesdayXC Ottawa Practice
  • 1 hour of Z1 running
  • 40 minutes of intervals up Penguin ski striding
ThursdaySame as Tuesday
FridayIndividual Training
  • 40 minute zone 1 running or rollerskiing
  • 1 hour of weights at Carleton
SaturdayXC Ottawa Practice
  • 1 hour Z1
  • 30 minutes of intervals on skate rollerskis
SundayXC Ottawa Practice
  • 2 hours of Z1 classic skiing with technique with 20x 10s sprints.

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