CHULA VISTA, Calif. (Sept. 29) – U.S. cross country skiers are finishing an intensiveÂ two-week training camp at – and around – the U.S. Olympic Training Center outside San Diego. Training at sea level for more than a week “is just what we were looking for,” said Coach Trond Nystad.
The camp closely follows a nearly one-month camp on snow in New Zealand (at The Snow Farm outside Wanaka) and a summer of daily sessions at the residence program in Park City, Utah (elev. 7,000 feet). Everyone but Carl Swenson (Park City, UT), a pro mountain biker in summer who was competing in the U.S. championships, is at the camp although Olympians Kikkan Randall (Anchorage, AK) and Lindsey Weier (Mahtomedi, MN), members of the Development Team, left early because of college classes. At the same time, up-and-comers Zach Simons (also Park City) and Hilary Patzer (Ketchum, ID) are part of the camp, which concludes Sunday.
“Carl's going to rejoin the Team when we get back to Park City,” Nystad said. “He's going to take a little time off and then get back at it with us. I've got no concerns about him being in shape.”
Meanwhile, Nystad said the dryland workouts are showing athletes to be continuing to improve. “We're excited about what's going on. We've had nice weather and the training's been very good. This is a great place for intensity work…
“We've had a lot of intensity at sea-level…five to seven sessions in the first four or five days, and we'll have more. It's been a lot of hard intensity,” the coach said. “It's our first time in San Diego and it's definitely been exactly what we wanted.”
He preferred not to single-out any one or two athletes, noting, “Everyone's on the right track…and getting better. I'm really impressed with their technique and the strength workouts.”
The cross country World Cup season opens Oct. 23-24 with sprints along the Rhine River in Dusseldorf, Germany, but U.S. skiers will skip the openers.