There’s a new junior camp in town — specifically in Norway — for a select group of American cross-country prospects, and Hailey Swirbul of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club has been documenting the first few days of action.
What do you get when you bring a couple dozen of Canada's best up-and-coming and veteran skiers together to train? National-team head coach Justin Wadsworth explains, and reflects on how the first-ever Alignment camp went.
It all started two years ago when Biathlon Canada’s head coach Matthias Ahrens struck up a conversation with a highland cow farmer. This month, Ahrens and Norwegian shooting coach Joar Himle led an international camp with athletes from Canada, Russia, Finland, Norway, and the U.S.
The Stratton Mountain School (SMS) high-school team recently wrapped up a mini camp, with the Vertical Challenge as its pinnacle workout. Program director Sverre Caldwell picked a "gnarly" combo of biking, rollerskiing and running with a lot of vertical gain. "We said, we want you to go hard," he explains.
The APU Elite Team members capped its recent training camp on Eagle Glacier with an especially long ski: 50 kilometers, or six loops, on the high alpine ridge above Girdwood, Alaska. "If you’ve ever finished a long race and found that you lacked the snappy finishing kick that you were looking for, this is for you," Becca Rorabaugh writes.
FasterSkier contributor Seth Adams was on-scene with his camera at the 2015 Mount Marathon in Seward, Alaska to capture the racing and the antics.
There are workouts where you finish battered and beaten, muscles packed with lactate. And then, there are days when you just go out and ride your bike. Unlike some of the more painful sessions one might do on foot or in the gym, former U.S. Ski Team member Tad Elliott calls this road ride a “free workout” — its psychological toll is minimal.
Rocky Mountain Racer (RMR) skier Maya MacIsaac-Jones recaps her team's two-week, high-performance camp in Park City, Utah. "Because of RMR’s cross-country/biathlon mix, Soldier Hollow was the perfect place for training," she writes. "Coaches were able to coordinate shooting practices for the biathletes with simultaneous rollerskiing sessions for the cross-country side of the team."
Billy Demong battled blustery conditions to finish the New York City Marathon with an impressive time of 2:33:05. While the 34 year old is in top running form, Demong said he is less prepared for the upcoming ski season than in years past. Still, the 2010 Olympic gold medalist hopes to bring his team back into medal contention at the 2015 World Championships.
When Brittany Webster’s name appeared atop a list of results this past weekend, it wasn’t for Canmore’s Frozen Thunder. Instead, Webster replaced snow with sand and finished as the first amateur female in the 2014 XTerra Off-Road World Championships on the north shores of Maui, Hawaii Oct. 26.
U.S. Biathlon, unlike some national teams, doesn't select its World Cup team each spring. Certain team members prequalify, but there were at least two spots up for grabs at the four-race rollerski trials held in August and October in Jericho, Vt. The final team was announced Tuesday, one month before the season starts in Sweden. (Updated)
Twice each fall, the University of Alaska Anchorage's nordic and alpine teams converge on their favorite sandbox for a sufferfest of sand-dune sprinting. "The family that plays together stays together and the ski team that suffers together can win together," Kastning explains of their larger NCAA goals.
“You know we do other workouts,” Tim Burke says with a laugh more than halfway up the 4,867-foot Whiteface Mountain. Minutes before, the U.S. biathlete completed Tuesday's big effort in 13 minutes, 21 seconds, finishing about 1,300 feet higher than he started for a new record in the hill climb named after him.
Looking for some extra motivation, what author Francois Léger Dionne calls "a simple spark so many endurance athletes tend to lose along the rocky road to personal gratification"? How about racing against the pros on your schedule and with home-gym advantage?
In her second year of biathlon, Clare Egan is a member of U.S. Biathlon's development group and already seeing strides this season. In August, she placed third at North American Rollerski Championships for her best-ever biathlon result. "My skiing’s just going to keep getting better ... and with the shooting, I have to just put in the time," she says.
Saturday's Climb to the Castle was a success for both organizers and participants. Despite strong winds, the weather held and skiers were able to ski a challenging 5-mile climb on roads that had been paved just the day before. Take a look at our photo gallery to see the race for yourself.
Liz Stephen is a force to reckon with - even when she’s off her game. Both she and Tim Burke repeated their 2013 performances in windy conditions at NYSEF's 2014 Climb to the Castle.
With the help of U.S. Ski Team head coach Chris Grover and Canadian National Team Head Coach Justin Wadsworth, Tor-Arne Hetland and the Canadian World Cup Team ended up in Vermont last month. "Andy Newell can train here for many years … That’s the reason we are here," Hetland explained.
FasterSkier tagged along with the Canadian World Cup Team and Stratton Mountain School T2 squad for a morning over-distance rollerski on Aug. 15 in Stratton, Vt.