In my mind I am an Olympian, in reality, I am a regular person who has a serious case of the running bug. As a winner of the 2XU Camp contest, I got to experience life as a professional athlete for a few days. The experience began with a phone call from Nikki and Natasha from 2XU calling me to book flights to Toronto, no expense was spared as they booked me direct flights with advance seat selection. They also offered to pick me up from the airport. A few days later, a large box arrived containing several small boxes of 2XU products, so I would be able to show up to camp dressed in my gear once in Toronto. I felt like a pro already and I hadn’t even done anything yet!
The other participants stayed at the Delta and had a driver to bring them to the training facility, The Canadian Sport Institue of Ontario each day. I opted to stay at home since all my family lives in Toronto, so I could get my running in on The Beach. Thanks to my dad who took on the role of my personal driver, running partner and chef this week (though we did have an actual chef making us lunch during training too).
I’ll tell you day by day what the training camp consisted of, and I will also include my running schedule from last week.
Day 1: Tuesday
Those from out of town flew in on Tuesday, mid-afternoon. We met at CSIO at 5pm to start the camp. First there were intros from the coaches, Kris John Vargas of Basketball Canada and Chris Joyner of The Blue Jays, and then a tour from John, the director of business development at CSIO. The facility is absolutely amazing, hands down the most amazing training centre I have ever seen, and then been able to use! Many of our Canadian Olympians train there, especially the swimmers, the pools are stunning. Part of the centre is available for public use including a running track and gym. We were in the portion reserved for carded professional athletes, which was amazing!
Following the tour, we had our weights taken and did our functional movement screening (FMS). FMS is a tool coaches use to assess their athletes at different points within the season. It is customary to do an initial one when off season ends and spring training starts in the case of The Blue Jays. The FMS involves 7 movements an individual from any country and background naturally learns to do at an early age. However, as we age, it becomes harder to do these movements without practising them. Each movement is scored from 0 to 3 depending on if/ how well you can do it. The purpose is to notice any imbalances in the body between the left and right sides and determine the necessary corrective exercises for each athlete.
The 7 exercises are:
1) Deep Squat: a regular squat, but you hold a bar overhead, so your arms form 90 degree angles.
2) Hurdle Step: you stand behind a hurdle, the height is determined by the measurement of your leg from the ground to your knee. You balance on one leg while lifting the other leg off the ground, bending at the knee to reach over the hurdle without touching or looking at it and tapping your heel on the ground, before reversing the movement and returning to standing position.
3) In-Line Lunge: you hold the same bar from the deep squat behind you, vertically, between your lower back up to your neck while lunging on a very narrow measuring stick. The distance between your feet is the same measurement to determine the height of the hurdle.
4) Active Straight Leg Raise: you lie on your back and lift your legs one at a time to a 90 degree angle.
5) Shoulder Mobility Reaching: you start off standing with your arms straight out and form fist with your hands, then you reach one arm over your shoulder towards the ground and the other arm going up your back, you want your fists to get as close together as possible.
6) Trunk Stability Push-up: similar to a regular push-up, but more challenging because you have to start with your hands in line with your cheeks, rather than under your shoulders.
7) Rotary Stability: you kneel on the thin measuring stick and lift one arm and the same leg off the ground (if you can), alternatively, you do the opposite arm and leg, also called: bird dog.
I scored 12/21. I was very even in my scoring between right and left sides of the body, which is good! However, my squats, lunges and push-ups need some work apparently. Some professional athletes score even lower than I did, but can still perform at a high level in spite of their inneficient fundamental movements!
My running week was as follows:
Tuesday: 60 minutes easy, out to Ashbridges Bay and back.
Wednesday: 60 minutes easy, out along Dundas to Broadview then down to Eastern ave to get back to The Beach (in Toronto).
Friday: 60 minutes easy, same route as Wednesday.
Saturday: 90 minutes easy, made it to sugar beach and back (in Toronto).
Sunday: 45 minutes easy, run home from work.
Total Weekly Mileage: 54.7 km
Stay tuned for part 2 of my experience at 2XU Camp coming later this week!