June 25, 2009

Oslo trip... quick summary!

I am in Oslo for the ECSS (European College of Sport Science) annual conference at the moment... This is just a really quick summary of events so far. Too tired for all the details at the moment. More to come, but a bit is better than nothing.

Victoria 1/2 IM & sprint - team did SO well!

Flight to Paris was OK, didn't get too restless and even managed to get a bit of sleep (I am usually unable to sleep on planes).

Wondered around a certain Parisian neighborhood for a few hours (I can't remember the name right now). It was pretty cool. Took lots of pictures (will post some soon).

The Paris airport REALLY sucks.

It is still light out at 11:30pm in Oslo.

The accommodation we booked was pretty messed up. There was no one there to give me a key to the apartment and I only managed to get in at 3am. That place was bad. Very bad... got a hotel room instead, but it was too far from the congress centre... so moved to another hotel this morning.

Bruised my right shoulder from carrying my 20kg bag around Oslo. Yap, it is bruised... I really need to get myself one of those real suitcase, and stop overpacking!!!

The sun is shining at around 3am.

Cab driver from hell this morning. Seriously. Got out of that cab after he only drove for about 50m because he kind of scared me!

Good presentations today - started at 9, finished at 18:30. Pretty full on!

I like Oslo. It has a good vibe. Too bad it is so expensive (at least I was warned...)

Norwegian Olympic training centre visit tomorrow evening, after another full day of presentations.

Thats it for now... more details to come at some point :-)


June 20, 2009

Leaving on a jet plane tomorrow...

Well, packing is about 90% done, other than some odd and ends that will be taken care of tomorrow morning. I am seriously an over packer and I have decided that is OK! No point in fighting it, as it seems to be a losing battle anyhow. Every time I travel, I am determined to pack light only to find myself taking too many things. I think it might be better to be an over packer than an under packer, so it is all good. Almost everything on my to do list is done too, which is awesome! There are some things that I didn't really get to, but thats what the flight is for :-)

Tomorrow is a busy busy day. About 10 athletes from the team will be racing the Victoria 1/2 IM (and sprint), so that makes it a pretty early start to a pretty long day. After the race, I will be heading home to get my bags, then head to the ferries to catch the 5pm ferry to Vancouver. My flight leaves at 11pm from Vancouver to Paris, then I have 1 night and most of the next day to wonder around Paris before I catch my charter flight to Oslo. I am scheduled to arrive in Oslo around midnight (on the 23rd) and we have a workshop with a prof from Otago University in NZ at 8am the next day! Ouch! The conference registration starts at 10am (I think) and then we will get a few hours of free time before the first symposiums/presentations start that afternoon. For the next few days after that, it is about 9am to 5pm of cramming knowledge into my brain. Exciting stuff!! If you have any questions, especially in the area of sports nutrition, feel free to post a comment and ask them as I will have access to some smart sports scientists with lots of experience in their areas of expertise. I definitely plan on asking lots of questions while I am away.

Well, time to get some sleep... I will do my best to post on a somewhat regular basis while I am away (pictures, as the bare minimum...).


June 15, 2009

A really good post -

From the guys at the Science of Sport blog. The paragraphs below are taken directly from that post. I think they hit the nail right on the head with this one!

"The value of science lies not in the content it brings to the coach and athlete, though this is of course still valuable if applied correctly. What is infinitely more important is that the person who is applying content appreciates HOW they know what they know, because this gives them the ability to develop hypotheses and critically evaluate their observations.

And that is what good science TENDS to deliver and create in people - the ability to ask questions, measure variables and then answer the question. This SHOULD be a quality that good science adds to the athlete. Sadly, as we show in South Africa, it doesn't happen often, and the sports science we have created rather tells elite athletes that they are average because their VO2 max is not as high as it should be".

Is our attitude in Canada different from the attitude in South Africa? Unfortunately (generally speaking), it probably isn't.

Take what you wish from these paragraphs. On a personal note, they highlight why I chose to focus on coaching after university rather than focus on sport science (i.e.. Working in a lab). I had a choice - I could keep working in a lab doing lactate, V02max tests, etc all day long, or I could keep working with athletes directly. I would like to think I have the ability to ask questions, measure variables and then answer the questions to improve the performance of the athletes I work with.

To read the full post, go here: http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/06/sports-science-and-management-strategy.html

June 13, 2009

A random update...

I am heading to Oslo on the 21st, for the European College of Sport Science conference. On top of the normal conference schedule, we have additional sports nutrition workshops scheduled and get the opportunity to pick some of the most brilliant brains in the area of sports nutrition. I can't wait... only 8 more sleeps! Yes, I said it before and I will say it again: I am a geek. Might as well just admit it, right?

Running has been going pretty well and I have an idea of what races I want to do. I still feel a bit uncoordinated and heavy compared to where I used to be when I was racing and it is pretty hard to just put that at the back on my mind of focus on here and now. The reality is that I just don't have the strength to hold good technique at the moment, but it will come with consistency and patience. I am progressing things very slow mainly because I have had the tendency to do too much too early in the past... I don't really get injured when I do that, but I do seem to get a relapse of CFS and thats really not a lot of fun!

I have been thinking a bit about CFS lately and the fact that it is still an illness that very few have any idea what it is all about. It is significantly more than just being extremely fatigued all the time!! I have been thinking about ways to create a bit more awareness and support for CFS patients and have come up with a couple of ideas. Implementing those ideas might have to wait until I am done with grad school at the end of October, but I will dedicate a post to explaining what CFS is all about and how it has affected me (and still does) sometime soon.

My team is as awesome as always. The latest race report - Myke ran the Great Walk 64km (Gold River to Thasis) last Saturday and won it by about 20 minutes in a time of 5:13:58, which is the fastest winning time in 6 years. Thats an average of ~4:58 min/km... not too bad for a 22 year old, eh? Kamal is racing Wasa tomorrow and then there is the Victoria half ironman on the 21st.

Did I mention that there are only 8 more sleeps till Oslo?! Not that I'm counting or anything... ;-)


June 1, 2009

Sunny Victoria!!

3 runs in a row... haven't done that in a LONG time... they were all pretty short (~30 mins), but since I haven't run at all for almost 2 weeks (and not a lot at all before that...), it is a good start. I should have spaced them out a bit more because my right calf was starting to go... its my weak spot as I tore 3 ligaments on that ankle 2 years ago. In my defense, the plan was to go for a bike ride, but Andrew dragged me out for a little run instead. He is A LOT faster than I am, so the pace was probably seriously slow for him, but he persevered :)

It was nice to run in the sun around beacon Hill park. I don't run there often enough, so it was a nice change of scenery. Other highlights (aside from the great company and fantastic weather) were Matt and Amber driving by (probably shocked to see me running!) and giving a little friendly yell, the sighting of Kyle and Lauren looking super strong on their run and the yummy Ethiopian food from the Cook St food court.

We also went to the ocean, for some ice time... I lasted a total of 45 seconds, if that. Andrew did much better than me. Its not fair though, he has more practice... haha! The ocean is freazing!! I guess thats the point, right?! I'll get my mental toughness back sometime soon, I promise!