Alex Gough

2006, 2010, 2014 Canadian Olympian, 2nd 2013/2014 World Cup Overall, 2011 & 2013 World Championship Bronze Medalist

Summer Recap!

So I fell I have been rather remiss in my blogging efforts this summer and fall. I am back in Sochi where I wrote my last post 8-ish months ago…

I feel like I had a pretty fantastic summer! It’s started out with a trip to Sedona right after the season to get some R&R during our two short weeks off between the end of last season and the beginning of summer training. It is ridiculously beautiful red rock canyon country in Sedona and a really neat little town. We got in a few hikes and a little mountain biking and some lazy time relaxing. 

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We were back into off season training March 18 this year. That’s the earliest I’ve ever started training in my entire life. I think it’s paid off though. Rather than taking a whole month off and losing a lot of our fitness we came back earlier and retained more of the strength and fitness we had from the season. This summer we also did a few different things. We were able to do a training camp in Phoenix in May where I think I really benefitted from a change in scenery and a different training atmosphere. We were able to use some really amazing facilities and going from training to pool to training is a pretty fantastic way to spend a week. 

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Three of my teammates and I, the relay team, also had a training camp in June in Germany where we were able to spend a week on the German’s start ramp in Königssee. It was some pretty valuable training to be able to do starts on the same ramp where the best in the world train. I was able compare my times to theirs and find out where I need to get better and where I’m doing ok. As a highlight, after spending 10 years looking up at Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest but not getting to go up and see it since it is closed in the Winter, our Coach took us up to do the touristy bit and check it out. It’s was a pretty neat thing to get to do and having a local ‘in’ we got a bit of a special tour! 

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After Germany I spent a fantastic week in Whistler!! My boyfriend was racing the BC Bike Race and I wanted to be there to cheer him on in for the Squamish and Whistler legs of the race. So, I spent the week training at the gym there and riding the Whistler bike park.

I was introduced to downhill mountain biking a couple of years ago and now its probably one my favourite things. I’ve really gotten into mountain biking in general but riding in the Whistler bike park holds a special place in my heart. I rode in two ladies nights and not only got to improve my riding but met some great ladies!! Scott did awesome and had a fantastic week riding the BCBR, after watching a couple videos of the week it’s been added to my bucket list of must do experiences!!

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Summer was capped off with our two week break in August. I spent the first week in BC, a few days in Nakusp and a couple in Revelstoke. We had some great lazy days by the lake, I broke 100 in golf for the first time and rode Frisby ridge in Revy! I had a great big family reunion over the middle weekend, we’re taking 300 people big, where I learned a lot about my dad’s side of my family, who were some of the first people to settle in the fish creek area. I spent some quality time with my extended family and met lots more family. 

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I went on my first solo backpacking trip overnight to Twin Lakes in Banff. I’ve wanted to try solo backpacking for a while and I think I liked it. I found it a bit unnerving being alone in the wilderness at first but it’s so peaceful once you get used to the silence. I definitely want to go again!

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Once we got into september things ramped up huge with the start of the season fast approaching. I don’t know why but the start of sliding always sneaks up on me. I feel like I’m a week or two out and then suddenly its here. I feel pretty good about the work I did over the summer, I hit new personal bests in physical testing and in start testing. I’m still working on translating all the dryland stuff to actual sliding but it’s coming!

We got on ice early this year, our first day in Calgary was October 1. We slid for one week in Calgary and then had two weeks in Whistler. I was really happy when I pulled personal best starts at the Whistler selection race by about 0.03 seconds. The last day in Whistler was National Championships and on a beautiful sunny fall day I won my 5th or 6th national title. I should really know the number but the years blur together and I just can’t keep track. 

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So now the season has truly officially started. We are overseas and into the International Training week in Sochi before we head to Lillehammer, Norway for the the first World Cup of the season!

There were three other highlights to the summer. First was bumping my mom and I’s usual fall girls trip up to April and going to Washington, D.C. for 5 days. I haven’t done that much walking in a long time but there is just so much to see and do! What an amazing place with so much history and so many fantastic monuments and museums!! I cant even think of what the best thing I saw was. I loved the museum of natural history and the library of congress. Really the whole national mall was so amazing! I loved it and would go back in a heartbeat! 

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The second was OES, the Olympic Excellence Series, it’s like a big Olympic prep convention that the Canadian Olympic Committee puts on for Games bound athletes. They had us all out over a weekend in May in Vancouver this year, where we had some absolutely fantastic speakers (Jon Herdman, Clara Hughes, our chefs for Sochi Steve Podborski and Jean-Luc Brassard) and participated in some really fun team building activities and got lots of good info on what to expect this year. I have been fortunate to have been a part of the OES a couple of times and they just get better every time!! 

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The third was getting to spend a weekend in Tofino with one of my sponsors and his family!! They had Scott and I out and made us feel like part of their family. They took us surfing, I finally learned to stand up for more than 3 seconds!!, and fed us far too much delicious food!! I can’t thank the Hirsts enough for their generosity and support!! 

On that note I have to thank all of my amazing sponsors for their support!! Without them I would not be able to do what I do!! Thanks so much to Pinecrest Energy, Canaccord Genuity, Alberta Energy Services, Alberta Tubular and Secure Energy!! 

I’m also excited to be on board as a brand ambassador with EnergyBITS!! My teammate Arianne introduced me to them. They are 100% spirulina algae which has lots of protein and good things for you in it. I’ve been using them during workouts and training to help sustain my energy levels and get more out of every session. They’ve been great and if anyone wants to learn more check them out at energybits.com!! 

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So after a pretty fantastic summer filled with lots of fun things and lots of training, I am ready to get going with this season! I am excited to (hopefully) see all the training pay off. It’s time to get racing!!!

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