The CXC Team kicked-off their September training camp with a four day camping excursion in the scenic Porcupine Mountains State Park of Upper Peninsula, Michigan. Athletes embraced the wilderness as they settled into their rustic accommodations along the shoreline of Lake Superior.
The Porcupine Mountains, or Porkies as they are fondly referred to, offered picturesque rollerskiing and running terrain for the CXC Team. The first full day of training in the state park entailed a morning ski-walking interval session up the local alpine hill, followed by an afternoon specific strength workout on the hilly terrain of highway M107. The following day included a morning distance run in the pouring rain, and an afternoon low-key classic rollerski. Frequent post-workout dips in the chilly Lake Superior waters were necessary for recovery, followed by evenings spent around the campfire roasting marshmallows.
One highlight of the week was the seven-mile skate rollerski time trial, with a grand finale finish up the steep climb to the famed Lake of the Clouds lookout. The athletes’ efforts were rewarded with a trip to a local diner with an all-you-can-eat, home-style cooking buffet. To offset such indulgences, the following morning the team took the Porkies Challenge and ran the length (25.6 miles) of the state park for their over-distance workout.
Once back in Hayward for the second week of training camp, athletes prepared for a â€œspeed blockâ€ that included two strength sessions, two time trials, and one interval session packed into three days of high intensity training. Former CXC Team member and 2007 U.S. Super Tour champion Caitlin Compton, now a member of the US Biathlon Team, joined the group for this week’s training. It was great to have Caitlin there for training efforts and she proved to be in top form.
5km Skate Time Trial on County OO
On the first morning of the speed block athletes completed a running and bounding time trial on the infamous Birkie ski trails off of County OO. Coach Bryan Fish noted that his athletes have improved their bounding technique by being more explosive in the kick-off phase, and more powerful in the forward drive motion from the hip and leg. The second workout of the day was a classic rollerski interval session on a gradual climb, leaving the athletes good and tired from the day’s activities.
Color Coordinated Threshold Intervals
The final intensity workout of the speed block was a 5k skate time trial up a stretch of hilly terrain along County OO in Hayward. This particular time trial had also been completed in July, as well as during the previous summer, so athletes were able to compare their times as a benchmark for progress. Local spectators and visitors preparing for the Fat Tire Festival looked on and cheered the group of rollerskiers as they climbed to the top of County OO as storm clouds loomed overhead. The afternoon was spent in the weight room for a final lifting session, and the troupe of skiers was glad to have successfully completed another training camp. Up next for the CXC Team: a trip to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY to train with the National and Developmental Nordic ski teams.