Wednesday, April 28

Northern Nordic Information

Northern Nordic 2013 Draft Calendar:

*All of these camps will be run on a cost recovery basis, with minimum camp fees to cover any guest coach or guest athlete travel expenses, and, accommodation costs, food costs, and any trail fees of all camp participants. Our camps will be co-coached by participating Northern Nordic Club Volunteer Coaches, and, administered by host club volunteers for registration and any camp costs. Or, we can charge a small camp fee to have our Cross Country Alberta office do the registration. Or, other ideas please?

Late October = Northern Nordic Frozen Thunder Ski Technique Training Camp in Canmore. 
Focus on ski technique feedback for Juveniles & older, and, coaching development x ski technique.
Camp will include: reviewing the racing footage ski technique of World Cup athletes, ski technique feedback, ski waxing seminar; hands on waxing sessions for all athletes, advanced race waxing session for coaches, National Team Guest Coaches for technique & National Team Guest Athletes for seminars, coaching development, other ideas?
Logistics: Arrive on Friday night and finish on Sunday mid-afternoon. Car pool travel. Minimum parental support required...developing athlete independence. Accommodation = Banff Boundary Lodge x sharing big suites.

November 8-11 = Northern Nordic Lake Louise Ski Technique Training Family Camp in Lake Louise. 
Focus on ski technique for Mini-Midgets and older (younger skiers are welcome to attend). 
Camp will include: video technique feedback, race preparation, other details to be confirmed.
Logistics: Arrive on Thu/Fri night and finish on Sun/Mon late afternoon. Car pool travel. 
Maximum family involvement welcome! Accommodation = Lake Louise Hostel. (back up site if no snow in Lake Louise = Canmore Nordic Centre - Frozen Thunder)

November 16-18 = Northern Nordic Ski Technique Training Camp; Youth Family Camp in Northern Alberta...hopefully Camrose or Athabasca, or back up sites most likely to have snow and with a club that is willing to host us = Hinton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Drayton Valley, Edmonton, Strathcona Wilderness Centre, Vermilion, Red Deer...and ONLY if we have to, Northern Saskatchewan. 
Focus on ski technique for Jackrabbits, Track Attack, Mini-Midgets, Midgets & older = for younger athletes, parent volunteer coaches, new recruit athletes, who don't travel the long road to Lake Louise the previous weekend.
Camp will include...details to be confirmed...

Logistics: Arrive on Friday night and finish on Sunday afternoon. Car pool travel. LOTS of parent support required. Accommodation = a school we can use as a training camp base for sleeping & eating. 


Summary of Club Coaches Feedback to First Draft of Northern Nordic Calendar = avoid end of June date x some schools on June 29th // don't have a camp to close to Swift Camp dates // ask Beckie to continue to be a guest coach // Jasper is an dream location for a training camp // some club coaches will help coach as long as they can learn by coaching with experienced coaches from other clubs // some bigger clubs already have scheduled spring-summer-fall training camp dates in their calendars // some smaller clubs don't have training camps and want to join larger clubs for their camps // coaches from larger clubs welcome smaller clubs to join them // if possible schedule Frozen Thunder during Canmore ski equipment swap // at some camps like Frozen Thunder provide one day options for busy families // some camps like Lake Louise = let clubs provide their own training camps to build their own team relationships // or at Lake Louise plan to do ski technique with NorNor coaches & athletes working together in technique groups...and...then do their own club team building in the evenings // or at Lake Louise plan to have club coaches do their own ski technique during the day...and...then do inter-club guest coach - guest athlete presentations & social things in the evenings // spread out the two November camps by a couple of weeks // continue with coaching development and coaching mentoring during the camps // avoid the dates close to the AST-ADT so that all club athletes can take part in NorNor camps // or schedule NorNor camps at the very same time as AST-ADT camps so that the athletes who are not on the AST-ADT do not feel like left-overs // invite all Alberta clubs to our camps including the southern clubs // not much interest in skiing in May // instead of spring skiing, a better bang for our buck, and, fall skiing opportunities will be more beneficial to our athletes skiing next winter // offer cross training sport camps like triathlon training in the spring  // it is hard to convince parents of athletes to travel long distances to take part in camps // we need to be sure to fit any camps into the annual training plans of athletes at different levels of development or modify-change-adapt individual athletes training plans so that they can take part in the camp AND to ensure athletes come into the camp well rested and have a restful recovery week after the camp // follow the new CCC Athlete Matrix // make sure we plan so we achieve goals & objectives for each camp for athletes & coaches at different levels // many skiers are already committed to summer cross training sports like soccer, triathlon, swimming, cycling, track, etc so the conflicting schedules of other sports will determine participation // Frozen Thunder Camp is too close to Lake Louise Camp // Frozen Thunder is a longgg drive to share a 2-3 km loop with other skiers...athletes are better off staying at home & training // some clubs from the far north won't travel long distances to Frozen Thunder & Lake Louise & Athbasca-or-what-ever-town-has snow in October & November // 

Core Stability Exercises and Strength Training Circuit

Rocky Mountain Racers Stability Exercises by Jennifer Jones:  IF you are busy and do not have time to practise, these are excellent exercises you can do in 20-25 minutes, to improve your core strength for skiing and shooting...especially standing..
*do these exercises two or three times per week, in your yard or on a carpet, with your friends or family
*repeat the exercise circuit three times from #1 to #8
*perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 30 seconds rest in between
*focus on stability = with your body locked rigid in a straight line plank, tighten your abdominals & squeeze your bum muscles & hold still & tight with no wobbling movement of your body
*when you can perform an exercise for 30 seconds without wobbling, you can increase the duration of that individual exercise by 10 seconds of both exercise & rest = 40:40 seconds, and, over time, slowly increase each exercise to 50:50 seconds or 60:60 seconds.
*depending on your personal individual strengths: do the most challenging difficult exercises for you for 30 seconds; the medium challenging difficult exercises for you for 40 or 50 seconds, and, the least challenging difficult exercises for you for 60 seconds.

+ plus = add things you can do to make the exercise more challenging.

#0: Stability Exercises require you to Focus on Stability: with your body locked rigid in a straight line plank or bridge, tighten your abdominals & squeeze your bum muscles tight & hold still with no wobbling movement of your body

#1: Side Stabilization Right Side: upper body weight your right elbow & right foot
+ left arm extended straight up in the air reaching for the sky
+ balance on your right hand instead of your elbow
+ raise & lower left leg slowly
+ left leg slow movement pattern of raise & lower & front & lower & raise & lower & back & lower

#2: Side Stabalization Left Side: opposite of above

#3: Front Stabilization Right Arm: push up position on both elbows & both feet

+ extend left arm straight above your head
+ balance on your hands instead of your elbows
+ extend left arm straight above your head
+ raise right leg up & down slowly
+ move left arm & right leg slowly sideways outward and inward in star position
+ slowly bring left elbow & right knee to touch together under body and stretch apart

#4: Front Stabilization Left Side: opposite of above

#5: Inverted Stabilizer Right Arm: start in back bridge or table top position & hold
+ extend left arm straight out above head & hold
+ extend right leg straight out & hold
+ move left arm & right leg slowly sideways outward & inward in star position
+ slowly bring left elbow and right knee together above body and stretch apart

#6: Inverted Stabilizer Left Arm: opposite of above

#7: Skier Squats Right Leg: stand on right leg, with left knee bent and left foot below right knee, both arms bent 90 degrees angle like runner, slowly bend right ankle, slowly extend left leg behind, stretch if far back, left arm swing slowly forward, right arm swing slowly backward, return to original position while reversing arms
+ rise up onto your toe at the top of each stride

#8: Skier Squats Left Leg: opposite of above

*this is your general strength training circuit that you will do at home for self training.
*do this circuit twice per week, with at least 2 days between circuit...ideally Mondays & Wednesdays, on the days you are not doing intensity training, and not on Thursdays or Fridays on the two days before competition..
*for motivation = invite your family, parents or school friends to do your strength circuit with you.
*the best place to do your circuit is a park with playground with equipment and picnic benches, or in your yard or basement.
*print this circuit on paper to use while training.
*perform this 10 minute warm up: 5 minutes of barefoot jogging with a focus on running technique; then complete this warmup circuit for 5 minutes, do each of the 8 exercises for 10 seconds and repeat the warmup circuit 3 times: push-pull arm extensions with your palms-fingers while your feet are against a pole-tree-post-fence, cat crawl forward, jumping jacks, crab crawl backward, trunk twists, cat crawl backward, jiving jacks, crab crawl forward.

*complete the circuit of exercise from #1 to #12 in order. This structure allows muscle groups to recover as we change from arms to core-back-abdominals to legs.
*perform each movement exercise with very slow motion: one second contraction & one second extension, to recruit more muscle fibres.
*move quickly to change exercises with 10 seconds between exercise.
*complete each circuit three times from #1 to #12.
*do not do any exercise that cause you joint or muscle pain or soreness.

*to save your legs for xc run or xc ski races, do not do exercises #3, #4 & #8 if you are competing the day before or the day after doing this strength circuit.

Midgets 12-14 = repeat each exercise for 25 seconds.
Juveniles 14-16 = repeat each exercise for 30 seconds.
Juniors 16-18 = repeat each exercise for 35 seconds.

Juniors 18-20 = repeat each exercise for 40 seconds.
Seniors 20+ = repeat each exercise for 45 seconds.

#1: Pull Up Slow = palms forward, use your home pull up bar; pull up with your feet on the ground doing a diagonal pull on a low hanging bar; OR pull up with your feet on a chair and body completely horizontal; OR pull up with the assistance of one leg with your foot on a bench-chair on a high hanging bar; OR jump up with a double leg push off and slowly come back down with a reverse pull up; slow motion and never stop up-down movement.
#2: Left Bridge Plank = left elbow; straight body from head to knee (easy) with bent knees OR head to toe (hard); rigid tight flexion of abdominal and bum muscles; straight arm reaching to knee along on top of body.
#3: Leg Press Extension Slow = stand on a picnic bench or stable chair; all weight on one leg; lower leg to 90 degree bend in knee; always keep knee cap lined up directly above 2nd index toe; return high on straight leg; slow motion; never stop up-down movement; focus eyes on something infront of you for balance.
#4: Leg Press - other leg.
#5: Push Ups Slow = start with hands beneath shoulders; rigid straight body from head to knees (easy) or head to feet (hard); come down all the way until your chin and belly button touch the ground; slow motion and never stop up-down movement.
#6: Right Bridge Plank = right elbow & same as Left #2 above.
#7: Hanging Abdominals Slow = hang on bar palms forward; start with knees 90 degrees in front of body and knees bent at 90 degrees; lift knees up to touch chest & return knees to front; slow motion and never stop movement.
#8: Skipping Rope Fast = spin as fast as you can with your feet close to the ground; do not jump high; skip on a soft surface.
#9: Dips Slow = back close to a picnic bench; thumbs pointing at each other; legs bent (easy) or straight out in front of you (hard); lower your body until your elbows bend to 90 degrees; slow motion and never stop up-down movement.
#10: Sit Ups Double Poling Slow = on back with knees bent; touch hands to grass shoulder width apart above head; slowly swing hands forward to touch chest to knees and to touch hands to bottom of feet; slow motion return and never stop up-down movement.
#11: Front Bridge Plank = weight on both elbows and toes; same as #2 above; chin up.
#12: Trunk Twist = laying on your back; arms outstretched 90 degrees to side for stability; slowly twist bent knees to each side to touch elbows (easy) OR slowly twist straight legs to each side to touch hands; slowly side to side.

Build a safe and secure pull up bar = 30" inches long and 1.5" to 2"round wooden dowling with two holes drilled through the ends so you can hang your bar safely with two very strong ropes to secure it to something stable in your home-basement ceiling or outside on a strong tree or outdoor beam, with long adjustable rope lengths, so that you can lower the bar to different heights off of the ground to build up your progression for chin ups: 3 feet off of the ground to do horizontal chin ups with your feet on a chair; 4 feet off of the ground to do angular chin ups; 4.5 feet to 5 feet off of the ground to do one leg squat assisted chin ups with one foot on the floor; 6 feet off of the ground to do one leg squat assisted chin ups with one foot on a chair; 7 feet off of the ground to do real chin ups with leg jump assisted push offs; 8 feet off of the ground to do real chin ups AND do hanging abdominal exercises.

Elite Athlete Lifestyle

The Elite Athlete Lifestyle = The Pursuit of Excellence! 

Many athletes and their parents approach me to ask if I can coach them and give them a training program to become champion athletes.  What everyone needs to understand is this most important reality: in the long term, the ELITE ATHLETE LIFESTYLE is more important than a perfect training program!  

I have seen many talented athletes who had incredible performances as teenagers, but who left sport after they were not able to continue with winning results.  I have exchanged ideas with some of the best elite coaches/athletes from across Canada and around the world.  I have learned these important lessons from my experiences after 20 years of coaching.  As a result, from my small villages of Vermilion, Alberta & St-Ferreol-les-Neiges, Quebec, I have been able to help coach 9 athletes to qualify to represent Canada's national teams and win medals at the Olympics & World Championships, including Olympic Gold Medallist Beckie Scott and Alex Harvey in cross country skiing.  -------------------------------------------------------

The elite athlete lifestyle = Dream, Drink, Listen to your Body, Sleep, Eat, Positive Motivation, Rest and Recovery, Physical Work, Enjoy Nature, Balance, Love, and, the Fun Positive Attitude of a Champion.  ------------------------------------------------ 

DARE TO DREAM & LISTEN TO YOUR SELF!  Dare to Dream.  Dare to dream realistic and optimistic dreams.  We all need to dream about something to hope for, and, to look forward to!  Listen to "your" voice inside of yourself.   Dare to take the risks to set goals for yourself, and believe in your dreams & believe in your self.  Set specific achievable goals that you can measure…goals that MOTIVATE YOU to train for a short term specific event or competition.  Only YOU can motivate YOURSELF, no one else can motivate you…as a coach, I am just a “glorified cheerleader” because I believe in the saying “you can’t push a rope or it collapses” = you can't push an athlete or they collapse.  It must be YOUR dream, not your coach's dream nor your parents' dream.  ---------------------------------------  

DRINK:   Drink lots of water = "Pipi Clair”.  Our urine should be clear all of the time, or else we are dehydrated.  Carry your water bottle with you everywhere you go and drink & pee and drink & pee all day long.  Dehydration is the #1 leading cause of poor performance for endurance athletes.  Dehydration is also the cause of people in our society feeling tired or lazy or yawning or lethargic or headaches or unproductive or blah or sleepy or droopy-eyed, etc.  Herbal teas without caffeine are great.  
*Wash & dry your water bottles, to clean away and kill any bacteria that may grow inside it.  Many plastic water bottles are contaminated with bacteria.
*Never ever share your water bottle with other people!  = because water bottles are one of the best way to share germs = sharing viruses, sharing infections, sharing bacteria, sharing ??????
***Avoid sick people and sick friends, to prevent yourself from picking up their contagious viruses.
*Drink water frequently all day long until supper, and after supper do not drink a lot before you go to bed, or else you will have to wake up to pee during the night. 

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!   IF you don’t “feel” like training, drink 2 big glasses of water and start your warm up for training.  The neck divides the head from the body.  IF your head is just psychologically lazy and unmotivated, and, after you drink water and start to train, you feel great, then you were just dehydrated and lazy FROM THE NECK UP, so keep on training.  IF your body is physiologically tired and fatigued, and after you drink big 3 glasses of water and start to train, and, you still feel tired, and your body is really tired FROM THE NECK DOWN, you need to STOP and walk home and rest. The ultimate question we must ask ourselves if we don’t feel like training today is “AM I LAZY OR AM I TIRED?”  The best way to answer that question to drink 3 big glasses of water and start your warm-up and let your body answer the question for you = listen to your body.  Find that special balance for yourself, a balance that each elite athlete must find for themselves, as they discover their own training threshold. --------------------------------------------- 

SLEEP:  The lack of sleep has a direct effect on our training and performance capacity.  Sleep is the second most under-rated and most over-looked factor (after dehydration) of endurance athlete performance.  We must be 100% disciplined with our biological time clock routine; every day; 7 days a week; for all 52 weeks a year.  You must explain your priority for a disciplined sleep schedule to your        family, your friends and your team mates so they understand why you want to go to bed early.  We must be fair to our body and give our body the rest & recovery it needs.  (Here is the secret = "discipline"!) 
For your ultimate best bio-rhythms, establish the same hour every night to go to sleep, and, establish the same hour to wake up every morning.  Because our peak energy output is around 12 noon, it would be ideal if you could wake up at 6-7am every morning, and, go to sleep between 8-9pm every night.  IF you are able to establish a new sleeping routine for 10 consecutive days, your body will adjust to the rhythm, and, you will wake up automatically at 6-7am every morning, without an alarm clock to wake you up.   And, at 8-9pm, you will start to feel sleepy and ready for bed.  We call this a "Routine Biological Time Clock".  If you are sleeping with really great quality, you should wake up feeling "fresh & alive & awake & well-rested".  IF you wake up feeling tired & sleepy, you need to go to bed earlier the next night. 
*IF you want to stay up late one night for a social activity with your friends, it is OK to sleep in the next morning, but, remember to return to your normal sleep routine immediately the following night.
*Quality of sleep is very important:  you must have a comfortable pillow; extra warm blankets; open your bedroom window for a little bit of fresh air at night
*You need a proper pillow and a solid mattress for quality posture during your sleep. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

NUTRITION: IRON is necessary for oxygen-binding capacity for all athletes.  Eat red meat: beef or chicken for hema-iron daily (or tofu) + remember to eat foods rich in vitamin C to help absorb the iron = tomatoes, cranberries, apples, oranges, grapefruits, etc /// MORE IRON...all of these snacks with vitamin C orange or apple one big handful of pumpkin seeds or raisins or dry apricots or dates or figs prunes or a spoon of molasses every day or spinach or other iron rich foods. PROTEIN is necessary for muscle development and synthesis, and repairing damaged tissue from training.  Organize your meals and snacks so that you can eat a small source of protein 5 or 6 times a day about every 3 hours /// #1 protein = one egg every day for breakfast (boiled or poached or omelette or fried or… for complete amino acid source for muscle, tendon and ligament tissue recovery ///  eat as much fish as you can (salmon or tuna or trout, etc) and flax for omega-3 acids ///  almonds, nuts, soy nuts, cheese, wheat germ is an excellent source of protein with yoghurt & cereal or yoghurt & fruit, cottage cheese is an easily digestible protein before and after training  /// lots of beans & lentils.                                         FRESH FOOD = eat five fresh fruits and five fresh vegetables every day…for vitamins, minerals and fibre, OR, a big vegetable salad or fruit salad every day /// lots of berries = blueberries, strawberries, raspberries.                              CALCIUM = three times per day consume lots of dairy products for bones for growing athletes= milk, cheese, cottage cheese and plain on toasted bagels & toast, or yoghurt with honey on pancakes & french toast, or, yoghurt with cereal & oatmeal  /// use butter not margerine /// use honey & maple syrup & molasses not sugar /// include onions & garlic & chives & ginger in your cooking /// olives & olive oil /// cabbage /// good complex carbohydrates: 
BREAKFASTS =  fresh fruits, long-cooking 10-15 minute oatmeal, quinoa flakes, whole grain hot cereals, whole wheat bread & whole wheat bagels.          LUNCHES AND SUPPERS = fresh vegetables & fruits, whole grains, whole wheat bread, potatoes, whole wheat pasta, brown rice long-cooking 30-40 minute, bulgur, kasha, couscous, beans, lentils, barley, corn, home made soups.  
***There is no magic "supplement" food or drink that can replace the value of a well-balanced variety diet of healthy, wholesome, locally grown, organic, fresh food.  It is important that young athletes help their parents with grocery shopping, and, maximize buying the fresh food located in the coolers around the outside of the store (fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy).  Minimize buying the old food in cans, boxes, glass/plastic bottles and plastic bags located in middle of the store.  Avoid the sugars and fatty foods and junk-foods that cause obesity, diabetes, etc.  Beware of the cancer causing substances in the food we eat = chemical contamination of herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers, chemical preservatives, artificial flavours, artificial colours, artificial sweeteners, chemicals in the packaging, etc.  We are what we eat!  
“BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS" Always eat a big breakfast = the most important meal of the day!  The best champion athletes eat their size of meals exactly opposite of our society:  
"NON-athlete" people in our society eat: (% calories of total day)
breakfast 0-15%
lunch 20-40%
supper 40-70%
The result of this unhealthy eating routine is that most of the calories we eat at supper & digest at night:  
*for the Men it goes straight to their GUT (belly-stomach), and,
*for the Women is goes straight to their BUTT (bum).  I have explained this to all of our athletes, because they think the will become fat if they eat more?  They are wrong...they will not get fat!!!  I told them to eat more, BUT, to eat better and to eat smart = a big Olympic breakfast, NOT, a big bad high fat supper!
Champion athletes eat: (% calories of total day)
breakfast 40%
lunch 30%
supper 30%
Actually, the best would be
30% breakfast & 10% mid-morning snack,
20% lunch & 10% mid-morning snack,
20% supper % 10% evening snack.  
Champion Athletes timing of meals is really important.  Eat good meals a couple of hours before training-racing.  Eat recovery snacks immediately after training-racing = chocolate milk & boiled egg, or whole wheat protein sandwich with lots of peanut butter, or salmon or tuna.

***This eating system provides athletes with the best energy for training and recovery every day.  This is also the eating system of the smartest academic-elite student-athletes at college/university!  ------------------------------------------------ 

POSITIVE MOTIVATION:  The statement we must use is I “WANT TO” train/compete today” = positive attitude.  IF we know we WANT TO train, then we have the spirit within us to enjoy the special opportunity and privilege of exercise & training as an elite athlete, something that over 5 billion people in today’s world will never have the opportunity to dream of and do…Africa, Asia, India, China, South America, etc
The statement we must avoid is I “HAVE TO” train/compete today  = negative attitude.  IF we feel like we HAVE TO train, then it is something we do because we have no choice and we feel like we HAVE TO train, instead of the positive motivation that we WANT TO train/compete.    ---------------------------------------- 

REST & RECOVERY DAYS:   I have learned from many years of coaching in the real world that we need to plan rest & recovery days in advance before we become tired. YOU MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your rest days = really cold weather, rain, and days we are too tired to train dictate our rest & recovery days.  When you are feeling sick, when you have exams, travel days, family vacations, etc. those are natural rest days = one day or two days a week is important!  IF you are traveling all day, it is impossible to train, except maybe to go for a short run.  IF it is cold below –30, no training outside!  IF it is cold below –20, do easy distance training breathing through a scarf or neck tube.  IF there is a snow storm with no ski tracks, make your own track in the deep snow, or go for an easy distance run.   TIRED?  IF you are too tired, do NOT train.  NEVER train when your body feels tired.   ------------------------------------------------------------------ 

PHYSICAL WORK:  To build and strengthen your body's complete musculature, you need to take every opportunity you can, to do as much physical work as you can.  We need to do a greater "variety" of different physical work tasks, to utilise all of the muscles in our body.  By finding a great variety of physical work, we can strengthen the "core" of our body = our back, our abdominals, our hips & our shoulders.  We do not develop our total core body strength by limiting ourselves to our sport and exercises in a weight room.  We need to do more!  Many athletes are limited in their athletic achievements because they do not have the core strength needed to stabilize and control their body movements during their physical execution of their sport.  The cause of the weak core strength in our society is because we spend too many hours each day with poor core posture in front of our televisions & computers.  Some of the greatest athletes do a lot of physical work to compliment their training!  

I always have believed that if we have a choice of doing "productive" physical work...why would be bore ourselves with the monotony of pushing iron inside of a weight room full of stale air and sharing other people's germs on the weight machines?  Especially if we can find work that is outside in the fresh air & sunshine!  Ask your family & neighbours & friends to create a list of the most physically challenging work they need to be done, and, do that work with the attitude that it is an important part of your training for your body.  Imagine how strong your core will become if you offer to shovel snow for 2 or 3 of your neighbours (and, maybe earn some extra money to pay for your sports expenses!).  Make your own list of physical work: "outside yard-work" = gardening, mowing the lawn, raking leaves, pruning trees, shovelling snow, outdoor painting, chopping wood, cleaning up nature trails, fruit orchard work, organic garden work, farm work picking rocks, harvest work, washing vehicles, etc.  Or, "inside house work" = vacuuming, cleaning, washing floors & walls, scrubbing bathrooms.  Or, "service work" = pushing people in wheelchairs while visiting with them, or, walking people's pets.

We spend 80-90% of our lives in bed, on our feet, or, in a chair.  We need wake up and realize the importance of our basic needs:  Buy a proper posture computer chair.  Sit on a physio-ball, or, on the floor, while watching TV. Buy proper shoes & sandals, and, spend a few minutes each day walking barefoot on the grass to strengthen our feet muscles.  Make sure we have a proper posture pillow and solid bed mattress.                 ----------------------------------------------------- 

ENJOY NATURE:  We need to spend time outside in our natural environment, and, enjoy exercise in the outdoors.  We need to expose ourselves to the sun's radiation and to absorb the sun's rays.  We need to breathe fresh air.  One of the best ways to enjoy the outdoors is to go for nice easy enjoyable walk by yourself, or, with your family or friends.  Find a nice nature route close to your home, where you can enjoy the water, the forest & trees, the birds or other animals, the rain, the snow, and the many other small miracles of nature.  The 4 best times of day to walk are:  early in the quiet of the morning to watch the sunrise while the rest of our society are in their homes waking up;  at noon/lunch time when the sun is shining it's brightest to warm you up;  during the sunset to enjoy spectacular scenery while of the rest of the people hurry about doing their daily routines and are too busy to stop and enjoy the simple beauty of the colours in the sky;  at night under the light of the moon & the stars to enjoy the peace & quiet at the end of your day.

LOVE:  We need to make time and take time to share love each & every day with our family & friends.  We need to spend time with those we love, talking & listening, and, sharing & caring.  IF we are too busy to share love with our family...we are TOO busy to live, and, our lives will be out of balance.  There is ONE reason why we are able to enjoy the elite athlete lifestyle = the support of our parents!  We need to communicate our appreciation to our parents, for the sacrifices they have made to enable us to participate in sport.  Without our parents, our pursuit of excellence in sports would be impossible.  "Behind every champion, there are parents who made the athlete's dream possible!"    ------------------------- 

BALANCE:  As elite athletes, we face a great challenge to balance our lives.  We need to keep perspective that the most important things in our lives are our self, our health, our family, our friends, our community, our environment, our education & academics, our work and our world.  We can make our pursuit of excellence in sport a priority, but, we must keep a good balance of sport within our lives.  We need to discipline ourselves to use a calendar & agenda day-timer to make our list of priorities of the most important things we need to do each day.  Time Management = we need to take a few moments each morning to sit down with our day-book and make decisions to choose what we will do each day to use our time effectively and efficiently, so we have some control of our lives.  ------------------ 

FUN POSITIVE ATTITUDE OF A CHAMPION!  A real champion is a humble person, who remembers where they came from, and, We MUST focus on creating our positive energy 24 hours a day, each & every day.  There is no place for negative thinking.  We must have FUN, smile and laugh every day!  
Happy People = Healthy People!   ---------------------------------------------

QUESTIONS?  Of course, I expect an email or phone call from you with a few questions about our elite athlete lifestyle.  I encourage questions and your feedback to challenge me on “why” we are doing what we are doing.  I encourage you suggest some changes from your experience as an athlete…I am always learning from everyone!  Please send me your thoughts on important elite athlete lifestyle actions:    HYPERLINK "" \t "_blank"   780-691-6912

I hope you are thankful for the privilege we share to live in a country where we have the opportunity, freedom, resources, facilities, sports organizations, time & money...and most important, the health we are blessed with, to pursue excellence and enjoy the elite athlete lifestyle.

Yeee Haaa! of many coaches...    Les Parsons 

Thursday, April 8

Training Camps, Race & Loppet Information

All Athletes...especially New Athletes Copy and Print our Key Technique Words on paper (scroll down below) that you can fold up in your pocket to refer to during self-training and team-training and  competitions.

Diagonal Stride: 1 = touch toque to sky tall body position and look forward with head up and hips forward (not head down and hips back); 2 = twist hips to ssswwwiiinnnggg knee and rotate hips to swing recovery knee forward; 3 = bellybutton follows recovery ski tip forward to keep hips forward during glide; 4 = keep recovery knee bent and point toes down to keep the tip of ski in the track and the tail of ski in the air so the ski doesn't drag forward during recovery; 5 = land your recovery ski forward like an airplane landing (not put it down on in the track behind you); 6 = ssswwwiiinnnggg elbow and rotate shoulder forward; 7 = popcorn snap your kick leg-foot straight down to break the ball of your foot (don't kick back or you will back-slide); 8 = crunch pole and crunch abs to break pole strap; 9 = elbow person behind you to pole back with upper body rotation; 10 = relax muscles like jello during recovery swing.
Double Poling: 1 = drive recovery elbows forward and fall forward from ankles so that your body weight comes up off of heels; 2 = open bellybutton forward; 3 = powerful poling platform with elbows elbows bent at 90 degrees during crunch; 4 = crunch poles down to try to break pole straps by crunching abdominal muscles at the same time as you collapse ankles with knees collapsing toward ski tips; 5 = crunch-curl your upper body like a cat; 6 = keep weight on the balls of your feet during poling effort (don't sit back on toilet); 7 = recover bounce your elbows and body forward.
Herringbone Uphill: 1 = relax and breathe; 2 = use long relaxed zone 3 bound-strides;  3 = keep recovery feet passing close to each other while stepping up the hill (don't stride with your feet way out to the side; 4 = relaxed upper body.
Kick-Pole (one step double pole): 1 = slide your kicking foot forward one boot length to prepare for powerful kick; 2 = bounce collapse your kicking ankle at the same time you ssswwwiiinnnggg your arms forward using your arm swing bounce to add power to your kick; 3 = snap your kick leg-foot straight down to break the ball of your foot (don't kick back or you will back-slide); 4 = drive everything forward together at the same time bellybutton-hip-knee-foot-ski-shoulders-elbows-poles; 5 = fall forward from ankles so that your body weight comes up off of heels; 6 = open bellybutton forward; 7 = powerful poling platform with elbows elbows bent at 90 degrees during crunch; 8 = crunch poles down to try to break pole straps by crunching abdominal muscles at the same time as you collapse ankles with knees collapsing toward ski tips; 9 = crunch-curl your upper body like a cat; 10 = keep weight on the balls of your feet during poling effort (don't sit back on toilet); 11 = recover bounce your elbows and body forward.
Finish each workout with 15 minutes of poling strength training, by alternating techniques between double poling up gentle hills or into the wind; and one arm poling on the flats or with the wind, changing techniques from one arm poling before your arm completely fatigues.
One Arm Poling Key Words: 1 = ski tall to touch head to sky; 2 = rotate-twist shoulders to reach forward with elbows; 3 = open bellybutton forward; 4 = crunch pole with abs to break pole strap; 5 = rotate-twist shoulders to elbow the person behind you; 6 = one arm pole with whole upper body and not just your arms.

Two Skate Technique Key Words: RECOVERY: 1 = touch "toque to sky" tall body position and look forward with head up and hips forward (not head down and hips back); 2 = "step forward" with recovery foot toward opposite ski tip; 3 = land on "outside edge" of ski; 4 = land your recovery ski forward like an "airplane" landing (not put it down on in the track behind you); 5 = glide with weight on your "baby toe" side of ski for a flat ski; 6 = "bellybutton follows" recovery ski tip forward to keep hips forward during glide; 7 open bellybutton body tall; 8 = "collapse" ankles to "bounce" your body weight like a beach ball; 9 = "ssswwwiiinnnggg" elbows forward off of kicking foot to add power to your kick; POWER: 10 = "crunch" poles to break pole straps with upper body crunch; 11 = "karate kick" down and kick perpendicular 90 degrees to the side; 12 = follow through behind with giant arm swing (but remember that you are moving your bellybutton forward in the opposite direction of the arm swing); 13 = timing is "One-Two," with One being your kick with one leg and Two being both of your poles and kick with the other leg.
One Skate Technique Key Words: 1 = create more power from the upper body crunch compared to two skate;  2 = open bellybutton forward; 3 = "crunch" poles down to try to break pole straps by crunching abdominal muscles; 3 = powerful upper body "poling platform" with elbows elbows bent at 90 degrees during crunch; 4 = "crunch-curl" your upper body like a cat; 5 = short poling action with hands stopping beside legs (don't follow through with arms like two skate); 6 = short "quick karate kick" action; 7 = timing is "pole-kick."
Uphill Offset Technique Key Words: 1 = keep weight on "toes" with hips forward up the hill; 2 = timing is both "poles and feet contact" the snow at the same micro-milli second as your recovery foot; 3 = "answer telephone" with upper hand; 4 = move head side to side; 4 = "quick and light" short step up up the hill; 5 = "push knees" toward ski tips for glide; 6 = reach upper elbow forward and platform pole with both arms using a short "abdominal crunch" against pole straps; 7 = "equal kick" with both legs to the side; 8 = spend 66.66% percent of your time working on your non-favourite side; 9 = "switch sides" half-way up each hill with a "quick-pole-pole" transition.
Finish each workout with 15 minutes of poling strength training, by alternating techniques between double poling up gentle hills or into the wind; and one arm poling on the flats or with the wind, changing techniques from one arm poling before your arms completely fatigue.
One Arm Poling Key Words: 1 = "ski tall" to touch head to sky; 2 = "rotate-twist shoulders" to reach forward with elbows; 3 = open bellybutton forward; 4 = "crunch" abs to break pole straps with your abs; 5 = rotate-twist shoulders to "elbow the person behind you;" 6 = one arm pole with "whole upper body" and not just your arms.

Tuck Key Words: 1 = "breathe and relax" leg muscles; 2 keep weight on "balls of feet;" 3 = drop body "weight low" to the ground; 4 = bend "back flat parallel" to ground; 5 = hands together in front of you.
Downhill Corner Turn Key Words: 1 = "breathe and relax" all muscles; 2 = keep weight on "balls of  feet;" 3 = drop body "weight low" to the ground; 4 = choose the "best line" by swinging wide to the outside of the turn; 5 = "wave arms" out to the side like wings on a bird for counter balance; 6 = start five "quick steps" with inside foot before turning; 7 = "lead turn with your eyes" looking at the path you want your skis to follow; 8 = lead turn with "inside hand" moving forward; 9 = lead turn with "inside foot" stepping forward about a half ski boot length; 10 = take "quick tiny popcorn steps" while going around the corner; 11 = keep your "feet moving quick until you complete your turn";" 12 = "breathe and relax" when going straight again.
Step Turn Key Words: 0 = used on flat terrain to accelerate around a corner; 2 = "lead turn with your eyes" looking at the path you want your skis to follow; 3 = reach forward with both elbows with a double-poling swing; 4 = at the same time "step forward" to lead the turn with your outside foot; 5 = both poles and your outside foot "contact" the snow at the very same time; 6 = powerful "crunch pole and karate kick" at the same time to push body around the corner; 7 = sharp fast corner use "quick kick-pole;" 8 = long slow corner use more "powerful kick-pole."

Friday 5:30pm = short 15 minute team meeting at the HorseShoe by my office for a short meeting to coordinate and confirm your RoomMates and TeamMates sleeping and food arrangements for Saturday supper, Saturday sleeping, Sunday breakfast and lunch. And, to pick up rock skis if you didn't do that yesterday. And, to help me load up our waxing benches and waxing stuff for the weekend. I am in Edmonton en route to Camrose right now...Yippeeee!  Les

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday:
Homework and Studying: plan your study schedule for Thursday; all of Friday evening to do homework that cannot be done in a moving vehicle; Saturday morning x 4 hours of travel time study; Saturday afternoon x 2 hours of study; Saturday evening x 2 hours of study, Sunday mid-morning x 3 hours of study; Sunday afternoon-evening x 4 hours of travel time study.
Food Preparation:  buy groceries to plan your 6:00am breakfast at home early on Saturday morning; a second bag breakfast to eat at 8:30am en route to Canmore; a bag lunch #1 to eat at 10:30am before our first ski on Saturday; a second bag lunch #2 to eat at 1:00pm after our first ski; a third bag lunch #3 to eat before our second ski of the afternoon; PLUS bring a huge two day supply your favourite HEALTHY high energy high protein high carbohydrate snacks to eat as energy food before-during-after skiing...try to avoid really sugary snacks = kick-back glucose blood-sugar boost spike and collapse (a big box of "Kashi Crunch Cereal" is much healthier and cheaper than sugary granola bars). IF you wish to pre-prepare some of your food for Saturday supper and Sunday breakfast and lunch, discuss that with your RoomMates-TeamMates...see below.

...after 2:00pm on Thursday...Glide Wax Your Rock Skis and replace rollerski tips with ski pole tips: I will leave a block of Swix Blue CH6 glide wax left on the biathlon wax bench OR other old chunks of green wax left on the ski team wax bench, 2 irons, 2 scrapers, wax remover, sandpaper, heat gun or klister iron, base binder klister, klister cork in each wax room for you to glide wax and scrape your skis on Thursday or Friday (we will not be glide waxing skis in Canmore...only applying kick wax or klister wax over our base binder. Prepare the kick zone of your classic skis by sandpapering your kick zone with 80grit sandpaper, and, apply a THIN layer of base binder klister to your skis with the klister iron or heat gun and brush, and, then cork it smooth.

Thursday and Friday: complete all of your personal packing before supper on Friday night. Here is your checklist of things to bring: homework, laptop, food, personal spoon and sealable container big zip lock plastic bowl or big eating thermos jar to carry your left-over supper to eat as lunch on our bus ride back to Camrose on Sunday, lots of thin layers of your warmest winter ski clothing including warm extra mitts-gloves-buffs-toques-jackets-pants-clothing, sunglasses, rock-skis for both skate and classic technique (no good skis...they will get scratched on small rocks on the ski trail), skate and classic ski poles (change rollerski pole tips), skate and classic ski boots, rifle-ammunition-paper certification to possess and transport rifles, sleeping bag - thermorest sleeping pad - pillow (for those sleeping on the floor), headlamp-flashlight for homework, headlamp with rechargeable batteries for night skiing if it gets dark on Saturday, lots of $10 and $5 bills ("cash" to give to one athlete on during the bus ride to pay for everyone's trail passes and biathlon range fees when we arrive on Saturday), training journal to share with coaches, one extra towels for showering at Nordic Centre or lodge (there are not enough in our rooms), two water bottles & waist water bottle carrier, book to read if you don't have too much homework so that you don't distract studying teammates, deck of cards for study breaks, PLEASE let me know what to add to this list _____? _____? _____?

Our #1 goal and reason to travel to Canmore is to focus on fundamental ski technique: the first 1,000 and 10,000 strides of our ski technique will program our muscle memory for the rest of the winter, so we need to focus on perfect execution of ski technique...starting on the flats with poles, and, progressing to all techniques over the weekend. IF we don't start our first ski strides perfectly, and you start skiing without perfect technique, you will have to spend a lot of time and energy = mental energy and physical energy trying to correct ski technique errors for the rest of the season
Our other goal is volume training: we will not be doing any intensity skiing, because we will not combine intensity with volume at high altitude. We may do some short speed skiing technique (two skate, one skate, diagonal stride, double pole, kick pole) down gentle slopes, for muscle movement memory at race pace, without any cardiovascular effort. We are conserving our energy for next Saturday October 27th= our ACAC Cross Country Running Championships which we are hosting here at Augustana.
Our other goal is shooting training: for our biathletes to prepare for our first biathlon race November 24-25.
Our MOST IMPORTANT PRIORITY = student-athletes: to complete as much homework study as we can during the weekend.
COSTS:  Bring cash to pay for your trail fees ($10/day), biathlon range fee ($5/day) and your food costs to buy groceries. Augustana is paying for travel-bus costs, accommodations and coaches expenses.

This is our proposed draft of our schedule for this weekend. 

Friday...until 9:00pm: complete as much of your study homework as possible. For study breaks...complete all of your personal packing so you can go to bed at 9:00pm.
Prepare Saturday Packs to have accessible on the bus and leave in the Day Lodge or in the Bus or the Wax Room: dress in your ski clothing for the trip to Canmore, two full water bottles, homework, food for Saturday, $10-$15 cash for trail-range fees, change of dry clothing-sandals for lunch-study in Day Lodge, ski boots in your ski bag, 
9:00pm: sleep time x 9 hours needed for volume training 

6:00am = breakfast #1
6:30am = arrive outside my office doors to load our van and trailer
6:45am sharp = we leave for Canmore x 4 hours of study time + breakfast #2 + lunch #1 and meet in your cooking groups to decide on menu plan and groceries for supper-breakfast-lunch
10:45am = arrive at Canmore Nordic Centre
11:00am = everyone skate ski technique
12:30pm = biathletes snack break #1 and biathletes prepare for shooting
12:30noon = skiers snack break #1 and continue skate ski technique or possibly change over to classic skiing...depending on ski track condition
1:00pm = biathletes shooting training with skis routine and snack break #2
1:30pm = skiers lunch #2 and study break in the Day Lodge and klister application
3:00pm = biathletes lunch #2 and study break in the Day Lodge
4:00pm = some team mates buy groceries for your cooking groups supper-breakfast-lunch and individual coach:athlete meetings (other team mates will cook meals and wash dishes)
5:00pm = lunch #3
5:30pm = everyone classic ski technique 
7:00pm = leave Nordic Centre and check into Banff Boundary Lodge 
8:00pm = supper and prepare travel lunches for tomorrow and study time
9:30pm = sleep

6:00am = breakfast #1 and check out of hotel 
6:45am = leave for Nordic Centre
7:00am = everyone classic ski technique
9:00am = breakfast #2 in Ski Lodge and study
10:30am = biathletes shooting training and skate technique
12:30noon = biathletes and skiers lunch #1
1:00pm = skiers skate technique
2:15pm = biathletes skate technique
3:30pm = load van & trailer
3:45pm = leave for Camrose x 4 hours of study and eat prepared bag-container supper-leftovers-lunch #2 en route

RoomMates in the King Suites at Banff Boundary Lodge: use email to decide amongst your roommates-teammates on sleeping arrangements and planning your supper, breakfast and lunch: who wants to share beds or only have one athlete per bed and who can bring along sleeping bags, thermorests sleeping pads and pillows...some athletes don't have sleeping bags. The suites are big and clean, each suite has one bedroom with a King Bed, a second bedroom with Queen, a double pull out sofa-bed in the living room, a complete kitchenette, a full bathroom and a half bathroom. 

Room #1: Jenny, Keely, Davis, Rachel, Taya, _____? (We welcome Rachel = a 2nd Kinesiology student, and a xc ski teammate of Davis from Grande Prairie...her number is 780-978-4656)
Room #2: Lauren, Emma, Johanna, Ilona, Maja, _____?
Room #3: Alex, RyanB, Sasha, Devin, _____?
Room #4: Kieran, Andrew, Hans, Nick, _____?
Email each other: Taya Hoar ; Rachel BurkingshawZelko Alex Frost ; Jenny Paterson ; Davis Alton ; Nick Lenko ; Ryan Burlingame ; Devin Bergquist ; Keely MacCulloch ; Sasha Eccleston ; Hans Asfeldt ; Maja Zimmermann ; Lauren Brookes ; Andrew Brisbin ; Kieran Baird ; Emma Norris ; Johanna Ferrie ; Ilona Gyapay  

Canadian Birkebeiner Registration and Deadline = today x Wednesday: xc skiers and biathletes have been asking who is going to pay for your Birkie registration fee. I have decided that each athlete will pay for your own $75 registration fee on-line. Keep your electronic receipt. At the end of the season, after nationals, if I have enough money in our team budget, I will reimburse you for your fee. I want to make sure we have enough money in our budget to travel to Whistler. I really want all of our athletes to do the is a world class event in our own backyard. IF you cannot afford the $75 fee, I will pay for you out of my own pocket...because I don't want you to miss this great event. Registration =

Canmore Race Preparation = to complete before Thursday night, so that you can relax on Friday night and focus on studying:
#1: Glide Wax and Scrape all of your race skis that you want to test for glide for racing in Canmore this weekend. To test skis for glide and kick for our Canada Cup Glide wax and scrape your skis with the Swix LF6 Blue Glide Wax...I have left a block of this glide wax in the Swix translucent wax container in each wax room...this Swix LF6 is for your race skis only. There is another container of other glide wax pieces for your rock training skis. You must do the same precise wax job and number of scrapes and brushes precisely the same on all skis that you are testing for glide, to compare 2 or 3 pairs of skis. Clean your kick zones with wax remover, but do not sandpaper your kick zones. We will do our skate ski testing Very First Thing on Friday evening in Canmore, and, our classic ski glide testing on Saturday during our sprint race cool down.
#2: RoomMates for Cooking Meals: Guys = Hans, Kieran, Nick and Andrew; Gals = Ilona, Emma, Taya and Lauren. Talk to your teammates in your hotel room, to plan and buy your groceries in Camrose before Thursday night (for breakfast and lunch and snacks on Saturday), so we won't have to go grocery shopping in Canmore until Saturday afternoon. Bring your food in sturdy cardboard boxes from the grocery store, so they don't get squished in the back of our bus or trailer. Buy groceries to plan your to eat a bag lunch #1 en route to Canmore; a bag supper #2 to eat at 6:00pm en route to Canmore before or after we do our ski testing; your pre-race breakfast on Saturday morning; your easily digestible carbo-lunch on Saturday between qualifying and heats; a second bag lunch #2 to eat after the heats; PLUS BRING a huge three day supply your favourite HEALTHY high energy high protein high carbohydrate snacks and fruits to eat as energy food before-during-after skiing...try to avoid really sugary snacks = kick-back glucose blood-sugar boost spike and collapse (a big box of "Kashi Crunch Cereal" is much healthier and cheaper than sugary granola bars)IF you wish to pre-prepare pre-cook some of your food for Friday-Saturday-Sunday supper...discuss that with the teammates staying in your room.
#3: Plan your homework studies for: Friday x 4.5 hours travel time; Saturday x 4-6 hours; Sunday x 4.5 hours travel time. Bring your head-lamp to study in the van en route. 
#4: Copy and Print a copy of your race course trail maps to use for your race strategy discussion with Les while driving to Canmore, including segmenting your race course loops.
5: Checklist of things Bring: light rain jacket and extra change of race clothing for forecast rain or wet snow for the sprint race and possibly cold weather; homework, laptop, food for Friday night and Saturday morning and lunch, personal spoon and sealable container big zip lock plastic bowl or big eating thermos jar to carry your left-over Saturday supper to eat as lunch on our van ride back to Camrose on Sunday, headlamp with rechargeable batteries for studying, training journal to share with coaches, one small towel for showering at Nordic Centre, two water bottles and waist water bottle carrier, book to read if you don't have too much homework so that you don't distract studying teammates, deck of cards for study breaks, let me know what to add to this list _____?

Fri Nov 30: 2:00pm load van and trailer; 2:15pm van departs for Canmore; 6:30pm arrive at nordic centre to set up wax room; 45-60min; Z1; test skate skis for glide, and, ski your sprint course one time "EXTREMELY SLOWLY" x Zone 0 = Great GrandParents Pace; while Les is at 7:00pm Coaches Meeting.
Skiers staying in Camrose: 90min-120min Z1; skate technique.

Sat Dec 1: Canmore Canada Cup = Sprint Freestyle Skate Race; 25min Z4 + 120min Z1. Alberta Cup = Distance Freestyle Skate Race; 25min Z4 + 75min Z1.

Skiers staying in Camrose: 1:00pm; meet at our wax room to kick wax skis and walk over to the ski trails; classic ski technique; 90-120 minutes; intensity intervals of 2 minutes race pace and 2 minutes of slow recovery skiing; repeat 8 to 12 intervals

Sun Dec 2: Canmore Canada Cup and Alberta Cup Race = Distance Classic Race; 45/60min Z4 + 75min Z1.
Skiers staying in Camrose: 1:00pm; meet at our wax room to kick wax skis and walk over to the ski trails; classic ski technique; 120-180 minutes; long slow distance ski to explore all of our ski trails