Friday, July 16, 2004 - Athlete Perspective
Haywood Report: Quantity vs Quality

By: George Grey

www.haywood.com

At this point in my ski career I can’t overlook either of the two above, quantity or quality. I am now training with 830 hours in the cross hairs but I need to ensure that every hour is executed with quality. The more I reflect on World Cup racing, the more I realize that little separates those on the podium from Canadian skiers. My job now is to find out just what it takes and where it comes from. It is a recipe that must be individualized and precise or it will spoil. This recipe is being concocted by a combination of coaches and outside resources such as the University of Calgary’s Sports Centre.

Eight hundred plus hours is not hard to do but it is hard to do right! I believe every training day is the most important day of training. There must be a goal no matter what type of training needs to be done. First and foremost I must be able to recover from every aspect of training. Doing a heavy load is then possible but it takes precision and concentration. I have to take into consideration that I still need to do intervals with high intensity, strength with power, and technique with quality. In order to do this, the allocation of the large hours is hugely important. If long hours are placed a day too late or a day too early an intense session may be compromised. This is why we have coaches and test results, they determine how much and when the optimum time will be to achieve the goal of accurate training.

Overall our team saw large improvements in results last year and this was in part due to the science behind our intervals. Dr. Dave Smith from the University of Calgary has been working with the team for several years with great enthusiasm. He, along with others, came up with individualized intensity sessions that give the greatest training effect. Expending huge amounts of energy during intensity training feels that much better when you know there is science behind the pain.

Skiers on the World Cup circuit have their own unique techniques and training programs. But the fundamentals are the same. You must deliver the power to the right place with efficiency. This is something that I have been playing with over the last two years and there is still much fine tuning that needs to be done. The good news is that the changes I made last year were beneficial to both techniques.

All aspects of my training are now being analyzed by half a dozen minds that are collaborating to offer the best training regime in the world. I know Canada has the right coaches that offer only the best to each athlete. With this kind of cooperation the gap to the top will be closed with time. One of my great training partners and team mate, Drew Goldsack, once said “I feel something big is happening now in our sport and I am glad to be a part of it.” He is absolutely right and sometimes you can almost taste the enthusiasm of our team.

Haywood WC Report is powered by Haywood Securities Inc., proud sponsor of the Senior National Cross Country Ski Team

Source: Cross Country Canada


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