By Ella Myers // Western Canada Games MTB Champion
Hi my name is Ella Myers and I race Cross-Country Mountain Bikes for team Alberta! I am 16 years old and some of my accomplishments include, current Western Canada Summer Games Champion, Alberta Provincial Champion, and a Bronze medal at Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Championships. With the unexpected circumstances of COVID-19, all racing has been cancelled for the 2020 season. As an athlete, the only thing we can do during this time is to follow the recommended Canadian healthcare guidelines, stay healthy, and continue to train for future events down the road. Follow along to see what I do in a day to stay healthy and get fitter, faster and stronger!
To start the day off right we have breakfast and watch current or previous bicycle races going on during that time of year. For breakfast, I have oatmeal with blueberries, peanut butter and chocolate chips, this is also what I eat the morning of any big race.
My first training session of the day is generally an interval workout on the bike of which I can do indoors on my trainer or outside depending on the weather. I find that it is very important to do these training sessions right away in the morning as that is when I have the most energy as well as it improves my fitness more effectively. During the colder months of the year when I am unable to ride outside I switch between indoor rides on the stationary trainer and the rollers paired up with Zwift and a good playlist to provide some extra motivation! To keep my body fueled consistently and correctly I will use Xact Nutrition’s ENERGY fruit bars and XACT ELECTROLYTES drink mix during my longer training rides.
For lunch, I will have a vegetable bowl of some sort. In this case, I made a Thai Peanut Veggie Bowl, with rice noodles and tofu. I have always enjoyed baking and cooking so I look forward to making new creations in the kitchen every day.
School is a big part of my life as I am currently in grade 11 and working towards finishing high school. With the impacts of COVID-19, I have been doing a lot of online learning at home instead of in-school classes. I have really enjoyed this as the commute to and from school has given me more time to focus on training as well as do school work during the times it best suits my day. I like to spend mid-day and early afternoons getting most of my work complete as I find it is the easiest time to focus on the academic tasks required.
Cross-Country Mountain Bikers not only have to be really strong and fit but they also have to have the technical skills to be able to race on the demanding mtb courses of today’s age. My second training session of the day is built around developing my bike handling skills as effectively as possible. During the spring, summer and fall these sessions include a lot of trail riding sessioning trail features, corning skills and line selection. While the snow is on the ground in the winter I spend this time of my day in the gym building my strength and core, using muscle groups similar to the ones I use when I am racing my mountain bike.
Recovery is one of the most important parts to a successful performance so I make sure to take time to stretch and roll my muscles out after training each day. Recovery is also about fueling right so I take this opportunity to replenish my body with XACT PROTEIN wafers.
Cleaning and maintaining your equipment is very important as a mountain biker and can impact your success significantly. With the intense weather conditions of Calgary, Alberta, you are either constantly washing your bike or doing other maintenance like replacing brake pads,bleeding brake lines, changing out chains, chainrings, cassettes and tires. At the end of the day once I have finished all my riding I will wash and replace parts on my bike preparing it for the following days.
To finish the day off I will have dinner, in this case, Whitewater cookbook veggie burgers (a family favourite) with fresh toppings from the garden. As well as finish off some school work before the following day.
Thank you for following along to see what a typical day looks like for me! Hope to see you ripping it up on the trails!