Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Preparations for Departure

While I am enjoying my last week and a half in Canada before heading to Briancon, it is still pretty tough not to think about my next adventure and what needs to be done before my departure. I started compiling a list of essential items I will need to bring with me to France. These are things that I cannot get in France and must find a way to squeeze it into my luggage.

Heading up the top of the list is Gatorade! This beverage is consumed by millions in North America and beyond, but searching through the isles of Carrefour and Géant Casino, this item is nowhere to be found. Gatorade crystals are the key, light weight and makes up to 21L. This is essential for recovery after hard practices and games as it provides the body with electrolytes and helps you avoid dehydration.

Another popular item is GU Energy Gel! Some of you may be familiar with Powergel, but I find GU to be a great way to replenish my energy stores that I use up during a game. I usually have 2 GU Energy Gels per game. A few boxes of GU will be packed away for sure!

It is not easy to bring over food, and with France being pretty solid in that department already, I don't really have to. Though one item I enjoy that I have still not been able to find is Oatmeal. I usually bring over the instant packets and just add water to it. I enjoy this for breakfast as it provides me with some carbohydrates to give me energy for the days workouts.

Now, an item that you cannot consume is the Roller. This is a tool used before or after a workout or practice to help relieve some tight muscles and you roll over them with this tool. This is great for myofascial release which is a form of soft tissue therapy, intended for pain relief, increasing range of motion and balancing the body. Essential for hockey players for their hips, legs and back!

Well, there are just a few things of what I will be bringing with me on August 2nd when I leave. I am very excited to get started with my new team and start winning some games!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Bike Sprints

As the summer is slowly coming to a close before embarking on yet another journey to France, I thought it would be nice to share a part of my workout from the other day. Spending at least 5 days in the gym doing hockey specific training, one of the aspects used for conditioning purposes to complement a hard lift is bike sprints.

My brother and I have done many different bike sprint routines, but on this particular day we did a series of sprints in different time intervals, with the mental image of being on the ice, ranging from exploding out of the zone for a loose puck (10 second sprint) or trying to keep our feet moving on a long shift (45 seconds).

Sprint Routine was as follows:

Find a good tension on the spin bike where it is difficult to pedal, then during the sprint, turn it up a few notches.

5 minute spinning
10 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
20 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
30 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
45 second sprint (x3) 1 minute recovery
30 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
20 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
10 second sprint (x2) 30 second recovery
5 minute light spinning

This was completed after a Chest/Back (Push/Pull) workout. I will see if I can bring my camera into the gym on one of our lifting days to give you a closer look at the hockey specific exercises we do!

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Shooting Pucks in the Backyard

Yesterday, my brother Gabe and I spent a few hours outside in our backyard firing some shots. You are never too old to work on your shot and like I mentioned in my last blog, we went to Canadian Tire to buy a big tarp, so that we avoid breaking any windows or the fence, or worst case scenario would be sending a puck over the fence and hitting the neighbours house, or simply landing in their pool for evidence.

Last week, after shooting about 200 pucks, I developed a few blisters, so in a way to be more game like, and prevent these blisters again, I put on my hockey gloves. All I was missing was....well everything else. I might toss a pair of skates on next time to at least be at the proper height, though I'm sure while standing in the grass, I would eventually sink down a few inches, making me at the same height I started at with my shoes on.

Well, all this talk about shooting pucks here, I think I might have to head outside while it is still light out and fire a few more.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

3 Weeks Away!

In just over 3 weeks I will be boarding the plane in Detroit, MI and headed back to France. As per the past 2 seasons, I landed in Paris and too the TGV Train to Epinal. This year will be different, as I will be headed to the French Alps to Briancon!

At home in Windsor, Ontario I have been training with my younger brother Gabe as we have been battling those early morning gym workouts together, then finding some ice session in the evening a few times a week. He is also preparing for his season as he plays junior hockey in Ontario and aspires to have his own professional hockey career in a few years.

For the month of June, Marion made her first visit to Canada from France and enjoying the luxuries of being a border city with Detroit, allowing us to frequent the USA for shopping, baseball games and Cedar Point Amusement park. The highlight of her trip though must have been our trip to Toronto, where she had the privilege of visiting The Hockey Hall of Fame, with nephews. I had to show her the shrine of hockey and just how passionate we Canadians are about hockey (I'm sure she had not figured that out yet haha).

Always trying to improve my game in someway, last week Gabe and I went to Canadian Tire to buy a big tarp. A big tarp? How is this going to make us better hockey players??? Well, since we have been able to raise the puck and shoot fairly hard, the fence in our backyard has gotten beat up pretty bad and sometimes our shots even hit the crossbar and slam into the neighbour's house, so for protection and prevention, we bought a tarp that we have tied to the trees so that any errant shots will be blocked. We lose less pucks this way too!

Well it feels good to start writing again and I hope my followers from Epinal will continue follow along the way this season!