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Old Dogs Interview Series: Wayne Dustin
By:  Karl Saidla   (2004/12/03)


This is the second article in the popular "Old Dogs" series. Read the original "Old Dogs Learning New Tricks".

Wayne Dustin is a two time Olympian in cross country skiing, having represented Canada at Calgary in 1988, and Albertville in 1992. 1992 was almost 13 years ago, but you can still find Wayne at some of the highest level North American races, such as the Canada Cup to take place at Silver Star this coming weekend. As Wayne is now my team mate I had the chance to ask him a few questions about what keeps an old dog like him motivated.

Wayne Dustin raced for the Canadian National team in the late 80's. CP PHOTO/COA/Ted Grant.

How old are you and what is your current status with respect to living arrangements (wife, kids, girlfriend etc) and work.

Marital Status: Girlfriend
Work: I work full-time as a Computer Engineer (I develop embedded software).

What are some of your goals for the upcoming ski season and beyond?

My main goal for the next 2 years is to do well at the World Masters in Italy in 2006.
This year my main focus is to regain my speed in the shorter races. I really noticed a lack of speed last year, due to focusing my training on longer races. I am also going to start doing some triathlons, which means getting into more biking and swimming, the ultimate goal being an Ironman race somewhere in the distant future. By doing different races (longer races and triathlons) I don’t have to compare my times now from when I was faster! I can still PB at a marathon, but it’s not going to happen in a 10k.

Over the past year or so, you competed in an impressive number of long distance running and skiing events. What were they, and what inspired this accomplishment?

Since working full-time I have slowly lost fitness, increased my body weight and generally got slower. In the fall of 2002 I decided enough was enough. I decided to put a stop to the slippery slope and get back in shape. I had always wanted to run a marathon, and this would definitely inspire me to lose weight. So I entered the Ottawa Marathon for May 2003. I got in decent shape, lost 30 lbs and ran ok (3:10). But a lack of miles on the road came back to haunt me in the second half of the race. I thought I could do better, so I entered the Toronto Marathon for Oct 2003. This race went much better (2:55) so I thought since I qualified for the Boston Marathon, I might as well do it. As part of my training in the winter I focused on more of the longer events. I did the Craftsbury Marathon 50k classic in Vermont (beautiful course and race), the Keskinada 50k skate, the American Birkebeiner 52k skate and the 50k skate at Nationals. The only big mistake I made was in the 4 weeks between the Birkie and Nationals I went a little overboard with my running training and had no legs at Nationals. The long races culminated with the Boston Marathon in April. This was probably the most impressive race I’ve ever done as far as crowd support. Unfortunately it started at 12 noon, and although it was a beautiful sunny day, it was also a near record 30 degrees. So I knew after 10k it was just a day for survival, and ran 3:24.

Could you please briefly summarize what a typical week of training is like for you at this time of year, including how you manage to fit it around your work etc?


Mon: am off
pm weights 0:30 run 1:00
Tues: am roller ski 1:00 z3/z4, bike to work 1:00
pm bike home 1:00
Wed: am weights 0:30 run 1:00
pm off
Thurs am roller ski 1:00 z3/z4, bike to work 1:00
pm bike home 1:00
Fri am weights 0:30 run 1:00
pm off
Sat: am run 1:30 z4 hills
pm bike 1:00 or off
Sun: roller ski 3:00, sprints, legs/arms only.


Workouts could be rollerski, ski, or run with poles, depending on the weather. If there’s no snow for skiing the parkways in the Gatineau park are closed to traffic, making rollerskiing great.

Mon: am zone 1 1-1:30
pm weights 0:30
Tues: am 1:00 z1 + 0:30 z3
pm 0:45 z1
Wed: am 1:00 z1 + 0:30 z5
pm off
Thurs am 1:30 z1
pm weights 0:30
Fri am 1:00 z1 + 0:30 z3
pm off
Sat: am 1:15 z1 + 0:45 z4 hills
pm 1:00 z1
Sun: am 3:00 – 4:00, z1, some sprints, some legs/arms only.
pm off

I like to try to bike to work as much as possible, since it saves me 30 min each way in the car. I’m also lucky that Gatineau park is so close, so I when the snow comes I can ski on my way to work, with only about an extra 15 min of driving. I find it much easier to train early in the morning before work, I find I have no energy if I try to train in the evening.

What motivates you to continue pushing yourself?

I love to race, and it’s a lot more fun when you’re in shape!

What advice do you have for aspiring ‘old dogs’. In other words, what do you think has helped you to be successful as someone who might not be able to dedicate your entire life to skiing, but still wants to compete with ‘full-time’ skiers?

My advice to aspiring ‘old dogs’ is to slack off, so I can kick your ass!

More useful advice would be:
- Find a training routine that fits around the rest of your commitments. I think for most people training early is best. You can grow to like it!
- Do what you can. If you planned a 90 min workout, but only have 30 min, do a 30 min workout. It’s better than nothing!

Wayne racing at the 88 Olympics. CP PHOTO/COA/Ted Grant.
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