Make your luck, pick your team, play your game

Week 7 –


Ending 2015 as Junior National Champion in Thunder Bay; home snow, home team.

First – I need you to believe that, to a certain degree, you make your own luck.

Next, imagine that you pull some people together for your lottery pool.

Get everyone to pitch in.

Pick some numbers, play your cards.

Then if you put together a winning combination, everyone shares the win.

That’s sort of how teams work in individual sport.

As an athlete, you surround yourself with people who want to buy into and share in your pool. These people are willing to invest in your potential with little or no guarantee of success, but want to share the time and camaraderie nonetheless. How they buy in – be it with their own unique expertise, resources, money, advice, encouragement, anything, is what you build your luck with.

Create your pool of people, have everyone pitch in their best, work on building and collecting some luck – then pick your numbers, play your cards. Win, and you share it. Lose, and you reinvest and roll again. Either way, you’ve got the team to share it with.


Z3 Intensity up Mt McKay – 17 October 2015
3×4.3km w sprint points, skate rollerski


There are few things more satisfying in training than some good old Z3/subthreshold intervals. Getting into a good rhythm and finding that “just right” effort to cruise along steadily at… But racing isn’t like that. Being able to change pace and recover from short-hard bursts then resettle and find that rhythm again is key. It’s also important to know how to shift gears and adjust technique according to terrain and speed.

The idea with this workout was to have an aerobic interval session, but with some max speed/efforts mixed into ramp up technique and create some acidosis to then clear out. Put a little hot-sauce on, so to speak. The sprints were 20-30seconds, three of them within each interval over the 4.3km stretch of road below then up Mt McKay, near Thunder Bay. Recovery was whatever it took for us to all pile in the team van, and then have Vic rip us back down to the start…

Here is the workout summary, comments (or a novel, on this particular day), and graph – which shows how by the third rep, my recovery within the interval was much more muted than earlier on. Although I was also winding the overall speed and effort up a bit more, which further reduced the differences between cruising Z3(ANT) pace and the sprints.

I think all my female training centre teammates were there for the workout; Alannah MacLean, Katherine Stewart-Jones, Sadie White, Mia Serratore.


Interval) time, avg/max HR (speed)
1) 18:43, 173/184 (13.8)
2) 17:49, 176/185 (14.5)
3) 17:04, 177/187 (15.2)

First interval, kept it pretty relaxed, focussed on putting the power down for the sprints and continuing to ski with sharp/strong technique in and out of the sprint sections. Second and third interval I tucked in for the early part of the flat section because it was super windy, but led through the sprint onward and raised my effort/pace on the climb a bit, ANT in parts, but all in all a very sustainable effort. By the last interval the sprints weren’t as fast, but still good reminders to keep the technique sharp.

Overall, I felt like the workout came together really well. I had good energy and focus throughout. Having the offset sections was good practice, a bit frustrating with poles slipping but it forced me to think about keeping hands in and up, rather than falling away to the sides. One skate felt very strong and like I was, most of the time, “getting” how to get a smoother rhythm with glide.

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Thank you for continuing to show up.
A little longer workout discussion/dissection.
Feedback and ideas are most welcome!

Next post Tuesday.

One thought on “Make your luck, pick your team, play your game

  1. Pingback: Talent, opportunity, and work. | Jenn Jackson

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