Every Saturday and Sunday, Rail Trail and Christie Lake trails were the paths for my long distance off road training. Training filled with long steep climbs, tall trees, loud but tranquil falls, and the whitest snow with imprints of animal footprints (massive contrast with slushy brown dirty snow one finds in almost all streets of Toronto). I can argue it being the perfect context for creating my personal version of “Zen and the Art of Bicycle Maintenance”. Cold and windy rides called for a scarf wrapped all around my head, covering mouth and nose, almost replicating feelings of altitude.
During the week, the streets of downtown Toronto were my tracks for running through multiple neighbourhoods. Cars and cyclists were competitions, racing from red light to red light. Although some argue stops are annoying, to me it was an alternative form of high intensity threshold training, spanned over 10-15 km. Week days were the means by which I gained more access to my internal engine (for the geeks like me, increasing my anaerobic threshold to access more of my VO2).
Alternative nights were spent fighting gravity, lifting weights off the ground by means of squats, deadlifts, and various other forms of resistance training.