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Reconnecting with Olympian Liz Gleadle, one of Javelin’s sponsored athletes

Article by Liz Gleadle created/updated January 24, 2017

Hello Javelin family! I’m happy to reconnect with you for 2017. I can’t believe it’s been a year since we all first met!

Getting around the Olympic village FAST

Getting around the Olympic village FAST

After competing at the Olympics, I took some real time off: two weeks, no working out allowed! I got to know my teammates better in the Village and at Canada House; Team Canada is such an amazing community. I explored Rio with my family and friends – we saw Christ the Redeemer, danced in the streets of Lapa with the locals, and drank Caipirinhas (Brazil’s national cocktail!) on Copacabana beach.

Once back in Vancouver, I had the laziest first week back – all I did was read books, binge watch Suits, catch up with friends, cook with my mom, and drink wine with my dad. “Diet” was not a concern for the first time in a year and I lost my abs – totally worth it, and a great mental break.

Getting back into training

When I take time off from working out, I enjoy it for the first week…and then I feel lethargic and depressed from the lack of exercise. As soon as I finished my first run through the UBC Endowment Lands, I was out of breath, and euphoric. I spent the next six weeks working my way up to a 10 km run in 58 minutes, stretching it out in yoga a few times per week, and doing short gym sessions to finally instill proper squat technique (something that has always eluded me). I also implemented a sauna protocol after reading about the effects on recovery and maintaining muscle mass.

In mid-November, I went back to training at the Alberta centre with my coach. I’m living with new roommates in Lethbridge, in a bedroom with no closet, but the best lighting in the house. I have only the clothes and kitchen tools that fit in one suitcase…and I’m loving the focus that living a more minimalist lifestyle gives me. My computer crashed, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise; I’ve been tearing through books and articles on fat adaptation (nutrition/health), listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast, and working on getting the “RackFin” fine-tuned and patented (the Javelin Tech assisted project!).

Throwing indoors allows me to do more throws in a controlled environment; however, you can’t see how far your throws go or their flight characteristics. Throwing outside allows for visual feedback, makes you throw harder (because you want it to go farther) and acclimatizes your brain to different visual cues. I always spend the first couple of weeks of spring just adapting to being outside.

My training schedule has been changed up a little bit this year:

  • No more heavy lifts in the morning (just throwing and one or two priming exercises, imitating throws)
  • Eight practices per week instead of nine (two sleep-in days!)
  • Focusing on maximizing technical proficiency by slowing down runway speed

Southern escape over the holidays

For Christmas break I had three days at home, and then to Palm Desert with my family for a training camp! My parents are retired “snowbirds” so I’m testing out a training facility near their house, and my boyfriend Ray joined me for warm weather workouts! My father also tagged along and started making himself a gym routine.

Tracks with javelin runways can be hard to find but I was able to train an hour away, and I even met Tom Petranoff, former javelin world record holder (99.70m)!

Back to Canada to kick off 2017

I’m starting off a new training cycle this week, but doing some testing first to see where I’m at! I’ll be doing fewer reps (1-5) in my lifts, focusing on speed and quality. Yesterday’s test results included a personal best in the 4kg back toss – 14.80m!

I’m excited about a few things my upcoming training:

  • Front squatting for the first time since 2011! It’s one of my weaker points, and I find it forces me into better/healthier positions.
  • Shoulder and scapular mobility for better posture and power production.
  • Fine tuning eating habits. I’m back on my low carb (<120g/day) high fat (~120-180g/day) diet, but I’ve compressed my eating window to 11 hours so that I (1) don’t snack mindlessly or aimlessly, (2) extend “fasting” time to take advantage of processes that help with recovery, (3) fall asleep earlier.
  • Re-incorporating mental work into my daily routine. 10 minutes meditation, 10 minutes pre-practice visualization, and five minutes activation breathing. I find visualizing an event before it happens makes it less stressful, because you’ve done it many times before in your mind.

One of my mantras for this season is being EFFECTIVE over efficient. I’m looking for elements that give me the biggest return, and making sure I’m not just running myself into the ground checking off boxes. I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds! No firm competition dates yet but you might see me at some college meets in the U.S. beginning in April.

Looking forward to seeing you all again! Thanks again for your support!

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Liz Gleadle

Liz Gleadle is Canada’s top female javelin athlete, now sponsored by Javelin Technologies. Find out more about her at http://www.lizgleadle.com/ and http://olympic.ca/team-canada/elizabeth-gleadle/, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @javelizz.

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