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One Day at a Time
By:  Karl Saidla   (2007/07/23)

What should you do each day BESIDES train? Yeah, weird question. Why would you care about what you are doing other than training. After all, training is what makes us fast, and fast is what we want to be.

But other things help to make you fast as well. Some of them are related to training ( like recovering from training, or planning more training) and some of them really are not ( like going to see Hot Fuzz or Knocked Up or some other high-brow fare)

I was thinking the other day about what makes a particular day a good one, both from the perspective of training and generally speaking. Now really, these two are related as well. Feeling good generally seems to lead to feeling good while training and vice versa.

So I compiled a mental checklist. Right here, I will put it on paper. I�m not advocating that you print copies of this and stick it to your fridge. While you could if you wanted to, it might not help you in your pursuit of being perceived as �cool�, which is another thing most of us secretly want.

Generally speaking, for me, a perfect day of training might go something like what I will describe below. These perfect days are rare, but I do treasure them. Most of the time, my goals involve simply incorporating as many of these elements as possible into a training day.

  1. Wake up feeling like I slept well, ideally before my alarm goes off. I hate the being woken by the alarm. If this happens it is a subtle indication that I did not go to bed early enough the night before. (This happens pretty frequently, don�t get me wrong).

  2. Breakfast with enough time to relax drinking my favourite coffee, listening to CBC and reading newspapers. If Megan wakes up when I do she likes it when I put down the newspaper and talk. Usually she wakes up a bit later than me. Food has to be good!

  3. Arrive at workout feeling organized, unhurried, with all the equipment, clothing food that I actually need. Have a few small things that I want to accomplish during the workout in mind. This doesn�t always work out. On Saturday one of these things was to keep my head above my handlebars while I was mountain biking. My dented helmet will be a reminder of my failure to accomplish this goal.

  4. Enjoy the workout. Usually enjoy it more when other people are there to do it with, but still enjoy it if I am on my own. I can still talk to myself, but it�s more fun when somebody is listening.

  5. Come home from workout and eat immediately. If find licorice and chocolate milk to be an excellent meal at this point. Take a shower, often with cold water. This feels good and seems to help with recovery.

  6. Eat again. This time some real lunch. Have time to sit down,  and eat slowly in a relaxed environment.

  7. Do the dishes then take a short nap of about 40 minutes.

  8. This is when I like to drink the �afternoon� coffee. Ideally I would stroll over to the coffee shop. This makes for kind of an outing and the short walk combined with the coffee helps remove the grogginess of the nap.

  9. Eat again. A mid-afternoon snack of high-quality food is important, especially if you will be doing more training later on. Peanut butter and jam, bananas, yogurt and cereal tend to be frequent choices.

  10. At this point there is a window of opportunity to do chores. Yuck. Chores have to be done though. I have noticed that when I do them regularly life is less likely to spiral out of control.

  11. Second workout. Repeat steps leading up to and after first workout.

  12. The evening: Time for fun, more good food, and entertainment. This is where you might squeeze in your trip to see Hot Fuzz or Knocked Up, or maybe rent Revenge of the Nerds or Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

Good luck planning your next perfect day of training!

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