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, June 27, 2011

5 Reasons Why Font-Romeu is Awesome

I'm back. In Canada that is. The whole team arrived safely back in Canada on Friday from what proved to be an amazing camp. For me, it was probably my best ever camp. Coming out of this camp I feel like I am in a great place physically, far ahead of where I was last year, but most importantly, motivated and excited to keep training this summer.

Here are 5 reasons why I thought Font-Romeu was/is awesome.

1. The training centre has everything.

Olympic sized arena, running track, inline speed skating track, soccer fields, swimming pool, weight rooms, gyms, medical support and from there you can access a myriad of fairly tale like roads for biking that wind infinitely through the valley.

2. The setting is beautiful

For me it was the perfect setting. The town is nestled on the side of a mountain and looks over a large valley towards Spain. You are surrounded by nature and mountains with trails to explore and viewpoints to relax at. Clouds roll through the valley, the sun paints the mountains red in the evening. Beautiful.

3. The town creates an ideal training environment

Font-Romeu has only a few thousand habitants. As you can imagine, there isn't a whole lot going on. But this is perfect for training. It means that for the most part, all you can do is train or recover. No distractions.

4. Altitude.

The town sits at around 1800m, and the training centre is slightly higher than that allowing us to take advantage of the thin air to boost the value of our hard work.

5. The general atmosphere.

A laid back mountain vibe permeates from every part of the region. Small, quaint, family run restaurants and shops. The town shuts down on Sunday, and most of Monday. Street corner food vendors selling products they have made themselves. Beauty.

I could go on and on about how I loved Font-Romeu. It simply was the perfect place for us to put in some hard early summer training and set up the rest of the season. I hope to be back someday, road bike in tow, in order to explore some mountain climbs and explore the region without being obligated to feel good for the next days training.

The view from our balcony....

                                                              on a cloudy/rainy day...

                                                                    in the evening...

                                                         and first thing in the morning.

The training centre.

Lastly, watch this. Its a video made my Cameron Sylvester of the Canadian Rowing Team. Mega inspiring. 

Inside The Olympic Dream from cameron sylvester on Vimeo.

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