The introductory meeting stated the purpose of this camp – to enable the athletes to have a group training environment which may not be readily available on a consistent basis; For the coaches to offer support during the training sessions, and provide technical feedback; and to have lively and productive roundtable sessions in which athletes, coaches and guests can share their experiences on topics such as managing a long term ski career, technical nuances and recovery, and conditioning for this age group.
Camp began on Thursday with a classic roller ski on Bear Cub Road to loosen up and give the coaches a chance to observe the group. In the early evening the skiers were put through a tough mobility and strength circuit that, on paper, belies how challenging it really is.
Friday's warnings of severe thunderstorms never materialized and we held the morning bounding/ski walking session on Whiteface Mountain. The whole mountain was used, with the most experienced (older) athletes making their way up to the top by their last interval. These trails are steep in some sections and provide a continuous work effort of up to 30 minutes.
We started the workout with some competition. 3 skiers lined up to ski walk, then bound as fast as possible to the finish line. The athletes were then split into three groups for different duration intervals – ranging from 6 to 10 minutes. A swim and rock jumping at the Flume finished off a great workout.
The sun came out in the late afternoon making it hot and humid. But the skiers pressed on with a distance skate ski session on varied terrain. One particularly long steep hill provided a good challenge among the otherwise rolling terrain. This was a good loop to ski as it had very little traffic and consistently good pavement from which a 2.5 to 3 hour loop could be strung together. Everyone was back just in time for dinner and a chance to recover from the day.
This morning it is raining out but temps are more manageable and the Double Pole speed session should be fun. Later in the day the athletes will take to the trail for a run/hike up Cascade- Porter Mountain.
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What a difference a few hours make. This morning we headed out towards Keene and Jay for an endurance double pole session with speed. When we left it was the three H's in full force – Hazy, Hot and Humid. In our favor was the overcast sky that was hiding what could have been a blazing sun. With temps predicted in the 90's, the coaches brought along plenty of water in the vans…by the end of the workout most of it was gone. Good for the skiers, making sure they stayed hydrated during this training week.
Several skiers were scheduled to do a longer workout this morning so I stayed back with them and ran the van for support. Arriving back at the OTC this afternoon, post workout, we passed the rest of the campers, making their way to Cascade mountain for the day's second training session, a hike/run.
The double pole workout this morning was enlightening. It offered the coaches a few hours to observe the skiers and make technical suggestions along the way. There are definitely common aspects of technique inefficiencies that can be addressed to the masses. But for the most part, this group is solid and working hard to improve all of the details in their conditioning and their skiing. Pete Phillips ( Burke) and Andrew Johnson joined the coaching staff of Paul Stone, Chris Klein and Janice Sibilia today and are looking forward to spending the next few days with these athletes.
David Chamberlain, Fred Bailey, Eli Enman, Tim Baucom, Tim Reynolds, Shane McDowell, Isaac Noyes, Justin Tetlow, Jess Synder, Alex Jospe, Tom Stark, Alex Howe, Sam Marshall, Nick Mancuso, Katrina Howe, Robyn Anderson.
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E-Town hill, as it is affectionately called, otherwise known as Elizabethtown, is a fairly steady, long climb with a few steep sections located near Keene, NY. The goal for Saturday morning's workout was skating intervals, alternating no-poles/with poles. The workout proved quite challenging as intended, and some of the skiers are beginning to feel the effects of the weeks steady training.
The skiers completed anywhere between 4 to 7 minute intervals with 50% rest. The number of intervals also varied, depending on the individual's goals for the day. The two most experienced athletes at camp, Dave Chamberlain and Eli Enman, finished up their sessions with a strong no-pole skate set that was very impressive. Andrew Johnson, attending camp as a coach, skiied with the athletes as well â€” prior to heading home by way of a 2 hour double pole ski up the Keene hill and back to the OTC. AJ's presence here is another nice addition for for these skiers. There is a great benefit from being able to train with the older athletes, all of whom are very encouraging and supportive.
Yesterday afternoon was more laid back with a recovery run on the Bear Cub Trails, and a competitive game of soccer.
Last Day – Franklin Falls Skate Time Trial
The week is over, but the skiers will take away experiences they can continue to draw upon in their own training environments. It was a solid week, and just as important, the opportunity to train with a group of similar age and ability. For the first attempt at a senior/U23 age group, the mix of workouts seemed to agree with the skiers. Some things will be certainly be tweaked for next year, but the basic concept was well received and people are looking forward to returning. Thanks to all the athletes who made this a fun and challenging week!
A special thanks to all of the coaches who took time to help out at this camp;
Chris Klein (Utica, NY), Pete Phillips (Burke), Paul Stone (UVM), Will Sweetser (MWSC) and Andrew Johnson (Coach and athlete!)
Time Trial Results
The women did the 7km course and the men 9km. Everyone used their own roller skis, so comparisons are challenging, but for the skiers who have done this before, it is a good benchmark.
Dave Chamberlain – 28:15
Fred Bailey- 29:20
Sam Marshall – 29:31
Tim Reynolds – 29:43
Eli Enman – 30:21
Isaac Noyes- 31:29
Nick Mancuso – 32:17
Tim Baucom – 33:39
Shane McDowell – 34:22
Justin Tetlow – 35:53
Jess Synder – 27:04
Alex Jospe – 33:02
The first climb