According to the Oxford Dictionaries online, the definition of volume most relevant to my usage of it in this blog is “an amount or quantity of something, especially when great”. When it comes to training, volume (i.e. zone1 training) is great for a number of reasons. Volume is great because–if you are training properly–it will make up the majority of your training hours, a great, a vast, amount! Volume is great because it will always guarantee a certain amount of improvement: as my coach says: “you could complete only volume training all year long and, when the snow flies, you would still be a bit faster than last season”. Volume is great because volume workouts are so much fun!!
Hangin’ out at the top of the access road to Norquay after a 4hr rollerski. From left to right: Yannick, 2 Alberta Ski Team guys, Seb, me, more AST guys.
View from Norquay: that’s Banff down there.
I mean, in a volume workout you could cruise along through pristine boreal forest, letting your mind wander as you fall into the steady rhythm of diagonal stride or one skate. In a volume workout you could scramble along fallen logs, over boulders and up scree slopes on your way to summiting a mountain pass–a ribbon of singletrack winding its way up, up, up through the alpine vistas. In a volume workout you could lose yourself (quite literally) in dense pine forest when the trail you were supposed to be following turns out to be less of a trail than you had expected. Add some variety and you can make every volume workout a new adventure!
For me, volume has been the theme these last two weeks; I even happened to experience each of the three scenarios that I detailed in the last paragraph!

Now, with so much volume to cover it would be hard for me to give a synopses of all of it, so instead I’ll detail just one workout, debatably the funnest workout, that we did right in the middle of the two week block. Turn the clock back exactly one week…

Monday July 15th. Wake up at 7:35am. At 8:20am I have eaten my daily oatmeal packed some après-training clothes and some snacks, laced up my Speedcross 3s and I’m out the door. The meeting place today is the boat docks (there are actually no boat docks at the boat docks, interestingly enough). Hop in the van at the boat docks and it’s off to a “surprise” destination for training today! I like surprises. ETA to the surprise? 30min. We arrive at the trailhead locked and loaded; turns out the surprise destination today is Buller Pass: a trail that will take us up into the alpine terrain, with a total ascent of just around 700m vertical.

Now, from here the jog can be divided into 3 sections:

1st section:
The defining characteristic of the first section is wash-outs. Wash-outs and fallen trees, to be more precise. Thanks to the amazing flooding we had a few weeks ago, the beautiful Ribbon Creek trail, the trail that we would be following up towards the pass, had been more or less ruined by it’s namesake creek–whose valley it followed. This basically meant that the first part of the jog required some awesome ninja skills for fording creeks (read, slipping on rocks and falling in creeks) and sweet balance-beam log crossings. Segment one ended after about an 1:45, when we got to a picturesque waterfall and started going up more steeply.

2nd section:
The second section was between the waterfall and the summit. 15min or so down the line after the waterfall, we hit the section of “trail” that Mike had mentioned at the start of our hike, when he told us to “make sure you have at least 3 people for the chains–one to go for help, one to comfort and one to die in agony.” Fun. The chains lived up to my expectations in the form of several lengths of chain drilled into the side of a cliff so as to give some form of safety hold for what was basically the closest thing to rock climbing you can get to without actually rock climbing. Thankfully we made it safe and sound.
At the top of the chains we ran through some more forest, past Ribbon Lake and then up through beautiful alpine meadows spotted with snow (yes, we did surprise the guys behind us with a snowball ambush). Eventually, the alpine meadows (some of the most beautiful terrain I’ve been through) gave way to rocks as we scrambled our way up the last 100m or so of vert. to the summit of the pass! Pretty views and some hail were the main attractions of this part of the run.
Top of the world!! Or, more accurately, top of the pass.

Looking down at the descent. Photo creds to Chris for these last two!
3rd section:
The descent. This made up the last hour or so of the hike and was mostly comprised of super-fun downhill running (I wanna go fast!) through some crazy epic burnt out forests. I had so much fun on this workout that, up until about 20min to go I really didn’t want it to end…. but once we hit just over the 3hr mark in what was supposed to be a 2:5hr workout, my legs started complaining.
Finally, we made it out of the woods, to finish what was one of the coolest adventure runs I’ve done.

Well, hopefully that give some insight into what a “typical” volume workout with the Academy is like! Jump back in time to the present and I’ve just made it through a rest day and am ready to finish up the last hard week in this four week block of training. For those of you interested in numbers here are some stats from the last two weeks:

Week 1 total: 22:44hrs
Week 2 total: 21:05hrs
Number of 4hr workouts: 3
Number of workouts: 19
Average z1 heart rate: 139
Mountains climbed: 2
Cycling races watched: 1
Washing machine loads: 2
Awesome scree slopes descended: 1
Majestic elk seen: 2
Sun burns: 2 occasions
Sunscreen bottles exploded in backpack: 1 (this sucked)
Eggo-style waffles eaten: 12
Hours of sleep not including naps: 130
Clif Bars eaten: approx. 22
Number of naps: not enough (you can never have enough)

In whatever volume workouts you may encounter, remember to Dream big, people!

Dinner and a Show

With all this new moving to and living in Canmore stuff going on lately, I’ve been doing a lot more cooking than I had been doing while living at home (surprise surprise). With not too much blog-worthy stuff going on for me this last week, coupled with the fact that everybody likes good food (right everybody?), I am doing things differently for my blog post today. Today I will give you a typical culinary day in the life of Zeke–complete with recipes and entertaining dialog!! Watch out Master Chef!!

Speaking of food… a fantabulous Omelette I made the other day! Got enough veggies?

As a high-level endurance athlete, it is very important for me to spend a stupid amount of time eating, and, to be picky about what I am eating from a nutritional standpoint. Unfortunately (surprisingly?), for an athletic male of my age, I am really not a huge fan of eating (it’s kinda boring!). With these facts in mind, I choose recipes that don’t take too long to make and I like to keep stuff not too one-sided (for instance, I wouldn’t eat just chicken with curry sauce for supper). Just like in life, I try to go for variety.
But without further todo, I give you a typical day in the life of Zeke: from a food perspective!

Wake Up


-Just over 3/4C Water
-1/3C Quick Oats
-1-2 Tbs Brown Sugar
-Bit of Cinnamon
-3-4 Tbs Yogurt
-1 Apple
-1 Banana

Cut an Apple in half. Eat one Half; Chop up the other half.
Make Oatmeal.
Add brown sugar+cinnamon+yogurt+chopped apple to the oatmeal.
Eat the banana by itself.

Morning Workout: Eat 1 clif bar every hour if the workout is 2hrs or more. Drink 1 big waterbottle full of water+drinkmix for each 45min-1hr of workout.


1 Can Tuna
Pinch of Salt
Sprinkle of Pepper
1/3-1/2 Onion
1 Clove Garlic
1/2-1 Tbs Olive Oil
3/4 Tbs approx. Lemon Juice REALLLLEMON!!!! (said to the sound of the powerthirst guy saying “real lightning!! I do like real lemons)
1 Tomato
2 Bagels
A few green leaves
1 egg
A few knives of butter

Smash the garlic clove and cut up the onion into squinkly-little pieces. 
Drain can of tuna; take Tuna+Salt+Pepper+Garlic Clove+Onion+Olive Oil+LemonJuice and mix them up real good. Take the knives of butter and apply them to the bagels; put greens on your bagels; put your mixture of the above ingredients on the bagels. Cut up the tomato and put pieces of the tomato on your bagels. You’re done! Enjoy the savoury tast.
Eat the rest of the mixture with some green leaves.
Fry the egg with a knife of butter and eat it.

Nap: Nothing is eaten here.

2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 or 1 1/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup milk mixed with 2 teaspoons lemon juice (or buttermilk if you have it)
3 bananas
Pinch of salt
1tsp Baking Soda
1 3/4 C floor (I use half white half brown)
A squig of butter

Cream Cheese

Mash Bananas. Mix bananas with all the above (except Cream Cheese!!!!), in the order above. Use your squig of butter to butter a bread loaf pan. Pre-heat oven to 350; Place stuff in oven; cook at 350 for 30min; turn down to 325 after 30min time elapses and cook, checking every 5min, until you can stick a knife through the loaf and pull out the knife without stuff sticking to it. Cheers.

Cut a few pieces of the banana bread and eat it with Cream Cheese. Be happy.

Maybe eat some yogurt or nut mix too.

Afternoon Workout: Same deal as morning workout.

Reco (recovery) Drink:
4 Tbs CCC Chocolate Recovery Drink OR 3Tbs Powdered Milk (preferably whole milk powder)+a bit of sugar
3/4 tall glass of milk

Shake or Stir real well to mix. Either option is quite tasty.

Ice Cream:

Use $5 to purchase a small tub of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream from your local food place. Eat half of it and save the other half for a later date–best to keep it in the freezer unless you want an ice cream drink.

I eat desert first.

2C green lentils rinsed and drained

8C water
1Tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 C Brown rice
1/3 C Olive Oil
6 Onions
1 to 2 garlic cloves
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
3/4 Tbs Olive Oil
pinch of Salt

Bring water to a boil on the stove; add lentils and rice; turn down heat to a simmer; let simmer for 30+min, adding water to the mixture as needed (add more water to make the rice/lentils softer and make the cooking time longer–add less to make ’em al dente. I like them al dente).
While the above simmering is going on, chop your onions into slices and sauté them with the Olive Oil in a pan until they are a nice goldenish colour, and a bit squishy in consistency.
Once all that is done, add stuff together with the cayenne pepper and mix it up.
Chop up tomato; smash garlic. Add Tomato+Garlic+Lemon Juice+Olive Oil+Salt and mix well. You’ve made a taste salad.

Serve the Rice/Lentil stuff with the Tasty Salad and BOOM! Instant hunger annihilation! I really like this meal.

Watch any Lord Of The Rings movie, any Tarantino movie, Ice Age (has to be the first one), Hanna or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

That’s the “and a show” part.

NightTime Snack:
More banana bread and cream cheese, some nut mix and some yogurt.


There you have it!! Hope you enjoyed my food journal blog! It was kinda time consuming to create–and now I’m hungry!! 

Thanks a bunch to my awesome mom–a couple of the above recipes (among many other good things) I got from her!

Dream Big, People!!

P.S. If you have any amazing recipes you’d like to send to me, feel free to send them my way! If I receive any recipes–and if there happens to be one that I like–I will post it on my blog in the next couple weeks!!