Follow my Progress

November 10, 2017

If you can cast you mind back to my last blog at the end of August, I mentioned I was about to start college and expanding on my relationship with sport and physical activity by taking on a course in Sports Coaching, Development and Fitness.

Whilst school was constant, and you could set a routine, college is a little different and I now have to combine my coursework, 2 hours travel a day as well as hold down 4 jobs that help to pay for my skiing and my love of tech.

With only a few weeks until the start of the new winter race season, fitting in as much training as I need to do is difficult but fitness wise, I'm still managing to get a few sessions a week in as part of my course.  However, I recognise that I need to do more if I want to stand a chance in the races.

I'm signed up for some racing in January 2018 and I'll see how it goes, I've not had any time on snow this year since April and therefore in January, I'll manage to get a few days on the white stuff prior to...

August 25, 2017

Wow, where has the summer gone - I can't believe it's nearly the end of August already.  So, I thought it was about time that I updated you (for those that follow the blog) what I've been up to since my last update.

Well firstly, I finished school in June and just awaited the final exam results.  They came in pretty much where I expected and I managed to pass all that I sat, with some tighter than others - but I start college at the end of August in Sports Coaching & Development at Aberdeen.  Really looking forward to it and the course will allow me to build in some training into my studying so I can get to do two things at once - result!!

​​In the meantime, I've not been sitting around enjoying the spectacular NE Scotland summer weather - nope, since stopping school (even before), I've been practically working full time to earn some pennies.  One of my roles is as a leisure assistant on a road show of zorbs, bike tracks and climbing walls going around the N...

May 16, 2017

For those that are not regular followers of cross country skiing, you may not know that we (as a sport) tend to take a month off during April/May to recover after a very long season.  Well that's my rest period over with and its now back to the hard slog of training with a bang.

Whilst I've not been completely idle over the past month, I must say that I've not done anywhere near as much exercise that I would normally do.  Therefore, to start the training programme with a 3k run test is probably not the best way to start the season.  There is room for improvement between now and the end of the season.

My days have still been pretty much crammed with other activity whilst taking a break from training.  During the month, I was lucky enough to get an invitation to the Young Scot Awards as part of my role within the SportScotland Sport Panel.  The evening was fantastic and I really enjoyed hearing about all the shortlisted candidates and the things they had achieved - certainly...

March 19, 2017

I can't believe where the time has gone and looking back on my last update, it's been over a month.  I've so much to squeeze into this update that I'm sure I'm miss out something so be prepared for a 2nd edition.

Well, what’s been happening since my last update.  Firstly, you may recall that I'd had the confirmation from the British Olympic Association that I'd been selected for the Team GB youth squad to head out to Turkey in February.

Well, literally as soon as the letter landed, myself, Jack, Oliver and Fergus headed off to Ramsau in Austria for a pre-competition training camp.  The main purpose of the camp was to get acclimatised to racing at high altitude.  None of us had raced so high before and the week in Ramsau was brilliant fun and spectacular scenery.    We worked hard but as it was a week prior to a competition, it was not off the scale in terms of pushing ourselves too hard otherwise we'd overdo it and be too tired for the following week.

Then it was a qui...

February 3, 2017

Firstly, hi to a few new followers of the blog this week, I've just found out how to add new contacts to the blog listings so if you helped me out on my recent crowdfunder, I said I'd keep you up to date with my progress but please feel free to unsubscribe - hopefully you'll find the updates interesting.  I only tend to do 1 a month so I promise not to fill your inbox.

As the headline states, "What an amazing week".  From my previous blog, you see that I'd been impatiently waiting for a couple things to happen, firstly my driving test which I'd been waiting to sit for a couple of months and then also whether I'd been selected for Team GB and going to the European Olympics in February.

​​Well the week started well on Monday with a large white envelope arriving in the post - the tell tail sign came on the outside the evelope but I'd left strict instructions to my parents not to open it.

Inside was the news I'd been waiting impatiently for which was confirmation of my selection for the...

January 21, 2017

I've been a bit like a caged tiger this week, pacing up and down awaiting various things to happen or arrive.

Firstly and most importantly, I'm still awaiting to find out if I'm going to EYO in Turkey next month by the British Olympic Association (BOA).  Whilst I've been confirmed that I'm on the long list, with only a few weeks to go until the Games themselves the BOA have yet to announce the final team.  The coaches are saying everything will be fine but until I actually see my name on an email or list, I wont be rest a little easier and start preparing.  

I had hoped to hear this Friday past but still no news.  They say that no news is good news but I'd still like to hear as the plan is to head to an altitude camp in Austria the week prior and there are lots of travel arrangements still to be made. Oh a a littl ematter of 4 prelims to fit in prior also.

Wait number 2 is my driving test, I passed by driving theory test back in early December but the earlies...

January 12, 2017

 That's me back from Slovenia where over the weekend the temperature dropped down to -20C.  In one of the races I had, it went down as far as -18C and I'm told that if it gets to the magic -20C for a race then they cancel/postpone the races for the day.

Luckily, that didn't happen and the races all went ahead.  Friday was the sprint race and I did ok and was within the target that I wanted to be in for athletes of the same age so it was off to a good start.  What was even more encouraging was that the race was only one of a few sprint races in Europe and the very best of the U20 competitors from France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Slovenia and others were all there to try and qualify for the World Championships in Utah so no pressure then.

It's only my second season of racing, I say season, I'd previously had only completed 3 race meetings the year prior, so I'm still practically a rookie.

​​Saturday was a disaster, that was when it was the coldest temperatures a...

January 5, 2017

Happy New Year to you all,

I didn't get much chance to celebrate the New Year festivities as no sooner had the bells chimed then I was thinking about packing and getting ready for leaving the house at 3am on the 2nd of January.

This time to head out to Slovenia.  I had to look it up on the map as I had no idea where Slovenia was or what to expect.  However, after 2 flights and a 2 and a half hour drive from Salzburg we arrived in the beautiful Slovenian Alps - they're stunning.

The race camp this week is taking place at the Planica Nordic Centre, a custom built centre for cross country skiing and also ski jumping.  It's an amazing centre and has an indoor ski tunnel, fantastic track and if I was brave enough, the ski jumps are awesome.

There's not been much snow so far this season in central Europe, but the snow making elves have been hard at work after Xmas and the race track is excellent with nice fresh dry snow - good for racing on.  Temperatures are expected to drop down to -15C o...

December 20, 2016

After coming back with great news from my recent race camp in Sweden, I came down with a bang in Switzerland.  I always knew it was going to be tough as the races were in my least favourite style of classic and I knew I'd have to pull off some absolute personal bests to come anywhere close to being competitive in the races.  However, what I hadn't prepared for was that the best of Europe to be attending and for the races to be all pretty brutal.

The reason for the high calibre of entry was due to lack of snow elsewhere in Europe, so the best of the Italians, Germans and French were all attending the camp in Goms where they were also trying to qualify for various competitions or teams.

Thats said, when I look back, I think I did ok and I certainly learned a lot from the trip.  One big issue was the extreme temparatures and no wind so at -12C when you're breathing hard it hurts and I couldn't suck in enough air when I wore a buff over my mouth - so that's something I'm going to need t...

November 30, 2016

I say perfect, perhaps a slight exaggeration but it was a good start.  I'm just back from Idre in Sweden where I was racing in the first of my qualification races for selection for the TeamGB squad heading out to Ezrurum, Turkey in February.

We headed out on the Sunday and used the first few days to re-familiarise ourselves on that strange coloured white stuff that was all over the ground in Sweden.

Weather conditions were perfect, blue sky, crisp snow and ideal skiing.  The week finished with 2 races, a sprint race and then a 10km distance race on the Saturday.

I had two goals for the season when I started, first was to get a good enough result that allowed me to qualify for selection for the Ezrurum European Youth Olympics and the second was to get my points tally down to move up a squad within the British Nordic system and go from Youth to Junior.

Well, I managed to do both in Idre.  My first race I managed to get pretty close to the age group winner in terms of my percentage behind whi...

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