Our European tour is fast approaching, and as a result, my coaches, my guide and I have stepped up our training. Since recovering from my Holiday-time cold, I've been doing lots of volume (longer skis) and more intensity (harder skis). This increase has been taking a bit of a toll on my body though: I was really tired all of last weekend and Monday.
I had an amazing training session yesterday though thanks largely to having a back and leg massage a few hours before my workout. My quad muscles had been getting tired and stiff really easily during workouts lately, so my massage therapist performed Active Release Techniques (ART) on them yesterday. He explained that, from constant use and rubbing together, the muscles making up the quad group can get stuck together and not work properly. Using ART can help separate the muscles thus making them slide across each other and perfom their functions as they should. And what a difference that massage session made! I was able to go up the Pink Lake hill in the Gatineau Park, about a 7-minute uphill interval, five times without my quad muscles giving out on me as they had been. I encourage all athletes reading this to use the services of an ART-certified massage therapist. If you don't know one in the Ottawa area, ask me for a recommendation.
This weekend we have a couple of time trials planned with our Kanata Nordic coach, Harris, in the Gatineau Park to test ourselves before we head out for the World Cups. We were considering going to a race a few hours away, but thought better of it, what with the risk of getting sick and over-tired from travelling right before our big trip. I've got two more workouts planned for today as well, and I should be heading out for one of them as I write. So, I shall bid you good afternoon from Ottawa and head out to Mooney's Bay!