Welcome! My name is Michael Gilday and I am a Short Track Speedskater from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. I currently train at the National Training Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I've created this blog primarily to let family and friends know about competitions and travel. I also hope to educate a bit about short track and maybe even entertain. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pain season!

Its that time of year again!! The time of year when you get out of bed in the morning, stand up and stretch and feel like you have been in a street brawl the night before. Yes its pain season again. No its not bad pain, in fact its the type of pain that is good. The type of pain that comes from knowing that you are doing your workouts properly. Despite the fact that we are still a little over three months away from starting our competitive season, this is the time of year where the biggest gains can be made physically and technically. During this time, we put it in what I will call "quality" training. Its not that we don't train with quality all year round, its just that at this time of year we don't have competitions and travel getting in the way of putting in big blocks of solid training and smart recovery. Its actually a fun time of year (if you enjoy breaking down your body and then trying to find the best way to repair it quickly before the next workout, that is). I also find it to be a very rewarding part of the season as well. Rewarding because you notice that you a training session is easier than it was last week, or you can lift more in the weight room than you could a few sessions ago, or you notice that all of a sudden you aren't thinking about a technical point you were working on, but you are still doing it.

And now for something completely off the above topic....

If you are looking for some great listening while you are doing your spring cleaning, or if you are lucky, enjoying then sun out on the deck, check out CBC Radio 3. They play all Canadian, all independent music. There are a ton of podcasts available for free too so check it out and expose yourself to some great Canadian music!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Today I had the opportunity to participate in a program that is put on by Lisa Bowes of CTV, Equity Transfer and Trust, Big Chief Beef Jerky and the Calgary Board of Education. I went out to COP to meet a class of Grade 7 students who had been learning what it is like to be a reporter. I was brought in so that they could have a mock up press conference. Each group of students had questions about the life of an athlete that ranged from the issues surrounding funding for amateur athletes, to more personal questions about university and what I do outside of sport, growing up etc. I was really impressed with the amount of thought and research that had gone into the questions that they had. After the “press conference” the students will be writing reports that are filmed by CTV to present to the class. This was a very cool experience for me and a lot of fun too! Thanks to Lisa Bowes for asking me to do this and to the whole class for all of your amazing questions!!

Lots of questions!!

With the class

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Below is a trailer for a a video called A Ride with George Hincapie. Hincapie is one of the best American road cyclists of all time. He was Lance Armstrong's right hand man for many (not sure how many but could be all) of his 7 tour de france wins. This guy is a beast on the bike.

Today was the day that the Hell of the North Bike race went off. Most would know it as Paris-Roubaix. George Hincapie is a perennial favourite to win this race but this year, like several in the past, he ran into some bad luck that ended his chances of winning. On his twitter site he wrote "Rough day for me today. Bad luck again. Not going out like that!!! Back next year." What a cool attitude. While I was watching Paris-Roubaix thi morning, I saw some similarities to short track. When Hincapie flatted, he calmly started taking off his flat wheel while waiting for the support car to come. Even though this put a major dent in his chances of winning, instead of freaking out, he calmly did what he could then got on a rode hard again. It was out of his control and he could only help the situation by recomposing himself. Alot like Short Track. Later, towards the end of the race, there were only six riders left in contention for the win. Coming around a corner on the slippery cobblestones, Juan Antonio Flecha went down taking several riders with him and ultimately ending their chances. Again out of their control and again like what can happen in Short Track. But all the riders jumped back up and keep riding. Today, none of them would come back and win, but it could happen another day. And thats why they got up and kept riding.

Friday, April 10, 2009

For those who have been there, this story is hilarious!

I ran across this story while checking out the Amateur Sport section at cbc.ca/sports. Any athlete that has had to do a doping test will find this blog written by Kevin Light, a member of the the gold medal winning Men's 8 rowing team from the Beijing Olympics, comical.


While you are checking that out, look also for blogs that my teammate Jessica Gregg has been writing for the CBC leading up to the games next year.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We're Back!! (In more ways than one...)

Welcome to the 2010 Olympic season! While most winter sports are just wrapping up their seasons and thinking about some well deserved downtime, Short Track is back at it in preparation for the all important Olympic trials in August. After three weeks off, we started up our season on ice last week. But before I go more into how we are back to training, I’ll start with the “off-season” (can a season be three weeks long???).

After trials it was time to relax. Of course, after a few days of doing nothing, the body starts to get restless. Luckily for us, we had Oval finale (a season-ending long track meet) to practice for. Never having done long track myself, I decided to sign up for the 1500m. Most wondered why I would sign up for this as it is considered one of the hardest races (similar to the 800 in track, its not a sprint but its not an endurance race either). But I had some rationale. Being a rookie on claps, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go full out or start that well (hence no 500) but didn’t want to go extra hard and be in extreme pain (hence no 5000m or 10000m). So the 1500 it was. I managed to finish in a respectable (so I was told) 1.49.01. It was really fun to do something a little different but man did I gain a respect for the type of pain long trackers experience. It’s a lot different than a short track burn but you are totally wasted after going full out for that long.

After finale, it was off to Arizona for a little vacation. My Dad and I took our bikes down to the Flagstaff/Sedona area to do some hiking and biking. Bikes turned out to be a great way to check out the local scenery at our own pace. What a cool part of the world that is. There are endless hiking and mountain biking possibilities in a really temperate climate. The road biking is pretty good as well, although some of the highways don’t have much of a shoulder and are quite busy in the tourist seasons. It wasn’t exactly the typical athlete vacation of sitting on a beach and doing nothing, but I don’t get the oppoutunity to just hike and bike as much as I want very often because I should be resting instead so it was nice to take advantage of some time off to get in an activity I really enjoy.

Big Wall!!
At the top of a 13km climb to Sunset Crater
How do these not fall down????
The Grand Canyon in all its splendor
In the words of Bubbles "Deeeeeeeeecent"

Arizona wrapped up my off-season and we were back on the ice the day after I got back. It hasn’t been that hard to get back into the groove of things because we weren’t off for very long and because I did some long track which is nice. In a normal year we would spend at least a week or more just getting used to being back on skates, but this year we can really just get back into it comfortably and we are still in relatively (not really-but better than a normal year) good shape. So that’s pretty much it for the last few weeks. Like the title says, we are back in more ways than one. The first is that we are back on the ice, the second way is that I should be updating the blog a lot more often now that the season is getting into full swing. I’ll try to have some quality content for you each week. Remember to buy your Whole Grain Cheerios and Golden Grahams and put the code in online! There is a new link on the right had side where you can get all the information about this!