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!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Montreal World Cup Wrap-Up

Yesterday evening we finished of the first world cup stop of the season here in Montreal. Overall the weekend went really well for the team, especially Sunday. Sunday Team Canada managed to pick up another 7 medals, including 4 gold (mens/womens 500m, mens 1500, mens 5000m relay). For me, I had a solid weekend as well, winning a silver in the 1000m and taking part in our winning relay team.

Obviously without the Koreans here, the races took a slightly different shape than normal, as everyone normally expects the Koreans to be in a fight for podiums at every turn. Despite that though, I don't think you can take to much away from our team. Both the men's and women's teams skated well and this was a good point to start off on as we begin a new Olympic cycle.

A second change this weekend was the introduction of several new rules. In order to create more passing the ISU decided to tweak how impeding was called. Previously, the onus was on the skater that was passing on the inside to make a clean pass (i.e no contact) as they moved up. Any contact with the skater being passed that caused that skater to lose position would have resulted in the skater executing the pass being disqualified. This year, the onus to keep the race contact free changes over to the skater being passed once the passing skater draws even with the lead skater. Because this was the first competition where we have seen this new rule being enforced, there was a bit of confusion on the part of athletes, coaches and officials, but as the weekend wore on, everyone got more and more used to how the rule would play out. It will still take time to iron out exactly how to take of advantage of the new rule from an athletes perspective, and also how to defend against it, but hopefully everything will lead in a positive direction for the sport.

Lastly, I want to extend a huge thanks and shout-out to one of our teams sponsors, Intact Insurance. Intact has been with our team for a long time and this year, has announced a new initiative that will help develop grass-roots skating in Canada. For each Canadian that steps on to a world cup podium this season, Intact will donate $1000 to a speedskating club in Canada. I can't even begin to explain how fantastic an initiative this is. Huge thanks goes out to Intact and if you have a chance to support this company, please do!

So thats all from Montreal, we head up the St-Lawrence this afternoon to Quebec City for the second World Cup of the year next weekend.

Photo by Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu

Photo by Antoine Gelinas-Beaulieu

Photo by Peter Doucet - Speedskateworld.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Montreal World Cup

The 2010-11 World Cup season starts off tomorrow morning here in Montreal. Tomorrow will see all of the qualifying heats go in each of the four distances being skated this weekend (500m, 1000m, 1500m, 1500m, 3000m Relay (women), 5000m Relay (Men)). I personally will be skating in the 500 and 1000 meter events as well as the relay. Despite the 500m maybe not being my strongest distance, I have chosen to compete it a few extra times this year so that I can hopefully be just as strong in it as other distances.

If you are interested in tuning in to coverage of the competition, there are lots of options for you! First of all, for those who live in the Montreal area, come out and watch LIVE! It should be a great show Saturday and Sunday afternoons when the finals go. Info on scheduling and tickets can be found at coupedumonde2010.ca.

For those that aren't in Montreal, there are the following options:

1. Live Stream at cbc.ca/sports. The stream will be live both Saturday and Sunday beginning, I believe at 3pm ET, which is 1Pm for those of you in Calgary and Yellowknife.

2. CBC television will be showing an hour of coverage at 3pm EST on Saturday.

3. Tony Chung of ShorttrackHD.com should be twittering all day long for all three days of competition. You can find him at twitter.com/shorttrackHD.

4. The ISU site normally has live results on their website. Find it here. Click on the yellow LIVE button on the top to reach the live results.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nascar Nutrition

One question I often get asked when the subject of skating comes up is "do you follow a specific diet?". The answer I give is normally quite simple. No, I'm not on a diet, but I do eat a certain way in order to help myself recover the best I can from workout to workout and from day to day.

The way I eat is actual a bit more complicated than that simple response. The key in my response is that I am not on a "diet". To me, a diet means that one is eating in a specific way in order to achieve certain changes in ones body shape. This is not something I am normally trying to do, although as an athlete I will occasionally try to achieve a certain body weight that is optimal for me just prior to major competitions. For me, eating is about two things. The "what" and the "when". Everyone today knows all about the benefits of eating in a healthy and balanced way. This part makes up the "what". The "what" is very important, but I have learned from experience that to get the most out of the "what" part, it is important to pay attention to the "when".

By this I mean paying attention to the timing of your meals. For example, picture your body like the gas tank of a car. Before you go on a long or difficult journey, you would fill the gas tank to full. If you don't start full, you may run out of gas before you reach your destination. For me, filling up before leaving means breakfast and the long journey means the hardest workout of the day, which normally occurs in the morning. Running out of gas means I bonk in the middle of the workout and don't get the full benefit of the work I am doing.

Once you get back from a long journey, you need to fill up your car with gas again, so you don't run out of gas later when you head out to do some errands. Also need to do general maintenance to repair the wear and tear the long journey has put on the engine. For me, general maintenance comes in the form of a protein shake immediately after the hardest workout of the day. Following that, I will eat my biggest meal of the day (i.e dinner, but at lunch time). Think of this as the refilling the gas tank at the end of the journey so that I can be prepared for shorter journeys later on. Think of these shorter journeys as errands, or in my case my second workout of the day which is normally a bit easier than the morning one.

But running errands also takes gas and the tank the gas needle will slip farther away from F and closer to E. You know that you have another long journey the next morning, so you take the time to top off the tank and do some more general maintenance to help the car be ready for the next time you need to use it. So in my case, general maintenance again occurs right after the second workout, and then following that I will top of my tank with my second biggest workout of the day (i.e lunch for dinner).

By repeating this process day in and day out, your car will never run out of gas (or energy in your body's case). Also, by filling the tank the fullest before and after the longest journey, you are never carrying more gas than you need, which is inefficient as it is just extra weight. The same can be said about food. I always try to eat to most (by volume) when my body needs it the most (after the longest/hardest workout) and eat less when I haven't drained my own personal gas tank as far.