April 25 2018
After any tough goal race, it's important for athletes of all levels to take a running break.
“We work on stability, strength, cardio and conditioning for any weakness or minor injuries I may be incurring,” Duhamel says. She uses resistance bands more than machines when working on strength exercises.
On the flat side of a Bosu ball, place your weight on your right foot and lift your left foot off the Bosu. Begin to squat while extending your left leg forward. Once you’re at the bottom of your squat, push up to a standing position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions, then switch sides. Complete three sets. The choice to use a weight or simply stick with your body weight is up to you.
“I do a class called Essentrics,” Duhamel says. “It’s a full-body workout that stretches the muscles, then strengthens them.”
This workout, designed in Montreal by a ballerina and physiotherapist, provides a combination of movement and self-therapy to help keep Duhamel flexible, strong and ready for the ice.
“I work once again with my strength and conditioning trainer–but this time, [the workout happens] before my skating session. We do the same type of work as Monday’s session,” Duhamel explains.
“I’ve been doing Pilates for about 10 years now, and I credit Pilates with saving my lower back from a serious injury in 2009,” Duhamel says, referring to a past stress fracture and herniated disc.
Pilates challenges those hard-to-reach muscles that most athletes forget to strengthen. Pilates is also valuable because it reveals your weaker muscles and offers insight into where athletes are overcompensating and what they need to strengthen.
Can we say Fri-YAY? “Friday is my running day! I try to get outside and do a 5K to 6K run. This is hard to do in the winter, so typically I’m stuck on a treadmill during the cold winter season, but I always prefer running outside,” Duhamel says.
Duhamel considers running to be a form of meditation. When hitting the pavement, she opts out of music or podcasts, preferring to run with the quiet for company. “I love running outside because I can get fresh air and clarity. I don’t just use it as a form of cardio training: I also use it for mental purposes. I spend a lot of my runs visualizing and calming down after a long week of training.”
One of Duhamel’s goals after the 2018 Olympic Winter Games is to start training for marathons. “I’d love to travel and run marathons all over the world,” she says. “It would be a great way to see new sights and explore!”
“I have weekends off from skating, but it’s impossible for me to sit around and not do anything. I like going to a hot yoga class on Sundays, to prep my body for the training week that is ahead of me,” Duhamel explains.
In addition to hot yoga, Duhamel also enjoys cross-country skiing during the winter and tennis when it’s warmer outside. The variation of fun activities keeps her moving without risking burnout.
“I find time every day to do some yoga,” Duhamel says. “Sometimes it’s in the morning before leaving home, and sometimes it’s at night before bed.”
Duhamel uses Yogaglo, a website that offers online yoga flows and meditation practices. This enables her to practice anywhere, at any time. Classes range in time from five minutes to two hours.