Wake Up Call At Utah Training Camp

FasterSkierJune 11, 2003

Sarah Peters is a cross country ski racer from Canada.
Her hometown is Navan, Ontario but will be skiing out of the Maine Winter
Sports Center this season.
Sarah represented Canada at the 2003 World University Games.
She won the 2002 Keskinada World Loppet 50 km free.
Her goals for the upcoming season is top 5 NorAm placing and to medal at
Canadian Nationals.
She hopes to represent Canada at the 2005 World Championships.

Sarah's favourite food is popcorn and her favourite movie, 'Twin Warriors'
with Jet Li.
Her favourite book is 'In the Skin of a Lion' by Michael Ondaatje.
Sarah's hobbies include reading and accompanying older men to reggae

Although Torbjorn Karlsen has been coaching me since late last fall, it wasn't
until 12 days ago that I met him in person. I arrived in Utah on May 22nd to
do a training camp with Torbjorn and John Aalberg. My good friend Tasha Betcherman
would join us on the 27th. I wasn't sure what to expect but was excited to find
out. So far my first training camp with Torbjorn and John has not a been a shock
but a wake up call!

Their message is simple, to train smarter and better by making each
workout a QUALITY workout.
How? Well that's what I'm here to learn. Some of the key
ways are to have a better balance in my training plan -hard – easy- medium.
To pick up the intensity in distance workouts – work harder. To focus
on technique all the time, by thinking about what good skiers are doing and
what I need to do to get there.

In the weight room, add more weights and speed it up. This will help with
all those things I need to improve – top speed, strength, explosiveness – and
get me ready for quality INTERVAL training to come. Luckily all my past training
was not been in vain and I can add all these improvement to my good basic endurance!

OH! Before I continue there was one SHOCK early in the camp. This was a concert
ticket to Reggae King Ziggy Marley (w/Torbjorn and Gordon Lange), courtesy of
TorbjornSport! It went late, late and was absolutely FANTASTIC!! Torbjorn and
Gordon enjoyed themselves too. I was happy to see that the coaches see the need
for “breaking away” from all the ski talk and training, and support a little
extra-curricular activity.

Besides from grooving to reggae, Torbjorn and John have been taking us
through running, rollerski, bike, hike, speed, and weight workouts. There
energy and enthusiasm is amazing! In each workout they identify how we
can get the most out of the workout and what we need to work on. I've
the technique sessions and the weight workouts expecially good.

Preceding this camp, I would go into the weight room about 3 times a week
and do what Is thought was a good, hard workout. I was wrong – which could explain
why I'm still tall and skinny and not very strong! Going to the gym with Torbjorn
has opened my eyes to what a hard workout is. The weights are heavier and the
range of exercises is wider. He has shown me how to match reps to the weight,
to not be afraid of big weights, to max out and to try different things. Plus,
the tempo of the repititions is fast, like ski racing. A workout at the gym
Torbjorn-style is fun, hard and they work. After three weight sessions, I'm
already getting stronger. I've moved up on some of the machines and have doubled
my reps in my weakest exercise (dips)! I'm confident now that I can go home
and get stronger. This is exciting because it means getting faster as well!
Trust me, somethings have to be seen to believe!


Another eye opener was all our technique work. Each workout, I get a pointer…or
two or three. Then I get a drill to practice and a key to think about. Both
John and Torbjorn are great at explaining and showing how to improve something.
One of the key things I've learned is about varying technique with the terrain
and race. I usually ski long and fairly upright which is great for long races.
But when I sprint, I should be lower with more leg compression. Plus, I have
wild arms and a funny foot thing going on! But changing technique is definitely
a process. Fortunately, these coaches can endure an evil, frustrated athlete
and they won't let you off easy! These guys tell you what you need to hear not
what you want to hear so that when you hear good, you know it's good.

My spring training camp has been FANTASTIC so far. I am learning soo much
and am not bored at all. Emotions keep it interesting as they seem to
change quickly with all the training. I've gone from a great interval
session to a very frustrated technique session to an amazing weight room
session. But it's definitely worthwhile. I can feel it already – I'm
becoming a faster skier and a better racer so watch out!!

cheers, Sarah


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