NCAA Champion Gelso Set to Join Sun Valley

Nathaniel HerzJune 10, 201030
Colorado's Matt Gelso (photo: Curtis C. Snyder)
Matt Gelso racing to his NCAA title in the 10 k classic in Steamboat Springs, CO (photo: Curtis C. Snyder)

Champions may be made in the summer, but if Matt Gelso is any proof, they don’t have to be made on rollerskis.

Gelso, the 2010 NCAA champion in the 10 k classic, detests rollerskiing. It’s dangerous, he says, and it can cause compartment syndrome. And it hurts his elbows.

“If there’s one thing that’s going to make me quit skiing, it’s going to be too much rollerskiing in the summer,” Gelso said.

But while collegiate athletes might be able to sneak by without putting in big hours on the roads, Gelso recognizes that to make it at the next level, he’ll need to do more. That’s why he’s opted to join the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s (SVSEF’s) Olympic  Development Team for the next year.

“In the summer, I’ve been notoriously unstructured with my training,” Gelso said in an interview Wednesday. “A little bit more structure—especially forcing you to rollerski more—is something that I think is going to be very beneficial, and I like that about Sun Valley.”

After four years at the University of Colorado, Gelso will join a proven program in SVSEF—one that has helped turn out two current U.S. Ski Team (USST) members in Simi Hamilton and Morgan Arritola. But he’s not in too much of a hurry to get there.

The skiing in the Tahoe area, where Gelso lives, is still excellent: he said that he put in three hours on snow on Wednesday morning. And there are also a few triathlons to complete before relocating to Sun Valley later this summer.

With the move, and with a planned increase in training, Gelso said that he’s not betting on immediate success this coming year, though he does mention qualifying for the U-23 Championships and World Championships as potential goals.

After putting in between 500 to 530 hours during each of his four years at Colorado, Gelso is hoping to do at least 600 hours this year—and he knows that he may not be able to adapt immediately to the new setting and the jump in volume.

“Adjusting to that is going to take some energy and time,” he said. “The basic idea is you need to give it a year or two, at least, to get your feet under you.”

Meanwhile, Gelso said that he’s especially excited about the buffet of outdoor opportunities that Idaho has to offer—a big factor in his decision to move there. Rock climbing, kayaking and hiking will keep Gelso occupied during the hours that he’s not spending on rollerskis.

Gelso doesn’t have any big trips planned, although he will travel to the U.S. Ski Team’s (USST’s) National Training Group camp in Park City starting next week. Two other camps with the USST, in Sun Valley and Lake Placid, are also possibilities.

Gelso, a former USST member, was dropped from the team last year along with two other collegiate athletes, which generated no small amount of controversy—especially when USST staff maintained that NCAA programs were not compatible with international success. But despite losing his spot on the national team, Gelso said that he had no regrets about his time at Colorado, citing the high level of support he received when he was competing there.

“The education, the skiing support, trainers, weight room, doctor’s appointments, waxing, traveling—the amount of support that the University of Colorado gave me was incredible…I would absolutely do the same thing [again],” said Gelso.

“As far as the USST, they do their thing,” he said. “They have their program, and I have my program, and when they’re compatible, that’s great. When they’re not, no big deal.”

Nathaniel Herz

Nat Herz is an Alaska-based journalist who moonlights for FasterSkier as an occasional reporter and podcast host. He was FasterSkier's full-time reporter in 2010 and 2011.

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  • dvoisin

    June 11, 2010 at 6:28 am

    Roller skiing causes compartment syndrome? Did I miss an article some how? This is news to me and something that should be expanded on (if it hasn’t already), particularly in light of our beginning to put hours on them for the summer.

  • Mike Trecker

    June 11, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Allright Matt, great college career, now time to step up. Only the second American to win the NCAA classic race, that really says something. Good luck in SV, you can do it.

  • highstream

    June 11, 2010 at 11:48 am

    dvoisin, Yes, there have been a number of articles and blog posts. Skate skiing, including skate rollerskiing, can lead to compartment syndrome, depending on the individual and amount of skiing. Kris Freeman, Chandra Crawford and others have faced this. For more info, use the search box up top and also try a google search on “compartment syndrome skate ski.”

  • Tim Kelley

    June 11, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Of the three discredits that Matt gives to roller skiing, yes – compartment syndrome might be debatable. But the other two, dangerous and bad on elbows, is not much of a debate. Roller skiing is dangerous because no matter how safe the skier is – the uncontrollable factor of inattentive or idiotic drivers is always there. And yes, years (and decades) of roller skiing can cause elbow damage. I can surely attest to that.

    Mike T.: Only the 2nd US skier to win NCAA’s in classic skiing? Ned Gillette (Dartmouth) and Stan Dunklee (UVM), both Vermonters, won NCAAs while classic skiing. At best Matt’s the third, but I’m probably not remembering a few.

  • Mike Trecker

    June 11, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks Tim,
    I was going off of the official NCAA website, however, they clearly screwed up when they didn’t realize that the skating revolution existed. Chris Cook won the 20k classic in addition to Gelso in the post modern period. I had thought perhaps Boonstra took one but couldn’t find that info. Props to Ned and Stan, remember them both from my youth. How many women Americans have won classic? I know Beth Heiden did for UVM back in the day. I wish the NCAA web page “history” covered more than just the overall team winner. There is a lot of rich history there that is missing. In general, insititution’s archives on the net are grossly incomplete and they all need to work on updating the history.

  • weekendwarrior

    June 12, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Matt says he’s trained 500-530 hours his last 4 years at college… Does anyone know how that amount compares to any of the non-college skiers around that age (Noah Hoffman, Tad Elliott) Also how many hours some other top college racers train?

    There was an interview with Simi Hamilton back during the Olympics where he thought that top europeans, even sprinters are training 800-1000/year. Going from 500 hours to 1000 hours seems like a big jump, and in my mind puts college skiers a bit behind the curve in the quality and stretch of their ski career. Obviously there are a few anomalies… but it would seem that the higher chance of having top notch athletes would come from non college skiers? But thats up for discussion…

  • Zach Hudson

    June 12, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I’ve heard from other people that Santi Ocariz, who skied for UWGB and had an All American performance at NCAA’s, has trained around 7-800 hours each of the last couple of years. We’ll see what he does at CXC, there are great things in his future.

  • Kevin Cutts

    June 13, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I’d just like to point out to weekendwarrior that comparing how many hours Matt does to Hoffman/Elliot is kind of comparing apples to oranges. It’s not in how MANY hours he does, but rather how quality the work is that he’s doing. If you’re doing 7-800 hrs / yr, and only 50% of that is quality training, then it doesn’t matter. My bet is that even though Gelso is doing only 500-530, that’s 530 total hours of very quality work. Alsgaard only trained around 550-600 hrs before an olympic year, and look at how well he’s done! So we need to get out of this whole “quantity” mindset, and focus on “quality”.
    Also, bringing up the college debate is a big old can of worms, although i’m sure the fasterskier Peanut gallery (and college nay-sayers) would love for the chance to jump on it…

  • triguy

    June 13, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Kevin, what are ‘quality’ hours?? Are you suggesting that skiers that spend a lot of time doing long endurance workouts are wasting time or that all those guys doing 700+ hrs are obviously doing lots of biking and non specfic training?
    You mention Alsgaard, how much training was he doing throughout his career? Was he a unique case or was he the norm when he was skiing? I would guess that based on what I’ve heard he would be considered the exception and most of the other skiers were much higher volume.
    Ideally 17yr olds should be doing at least 500 hrs and likely closer to 650/700 when they hit U23. A college skier that is maxed out at 500 a year is giving up at least 1 full year of training over the 3-4 years at school.

  • weekendwarrior

    June 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Kevin, I’m not saying that Gelso isn’t doing quality hours, or that Hoffman isn’t either. I agree with you 100% that quality hours are more important than quantity, and I’m sure their hours are high quality. But I guarantee you that there are Europeans the same age as Gelso that are training many more quality hours.
    I was earlier trying to compare between the college and non-college skiers… but ultimately my argument goes on with Americans against Europeans. As triguy said, you easily lose 1 full year of training DURING college, but what about the next 3-5 years it takes you to build up to the 800-1,000 hours that euros his age have been training since they were 21 or 22. Gelso hits 800 hours when he’s 27ish, the others hit 800 when they’re 22ish. That seems like a lot to lose.
    It takes a little personal sacrifice to skip college and go train 700 hours instead. But if the US wants better results from their athletes, and larger group of athletes at that level, they need more athletes to make that sacrifice and truly be “all in”.
    In my opinion, the more athletes at that level, the more chance we have of achieving better results…

  • Kevin Cutts

    June 13, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    No im not saying their training is wasted, i’m just referring to the fact that 530 hrs of training can still be very beneficial by keeping the distance workouts in the correct zones, and making sure that the hard days are hard. Not hammering out 3+hr OD’s at L3 pace… I also just think saying specific hour ranges are what kids “should” be doing is kind of an ambigous statement. Sim is a great example of being able to come out of college and make his mark on the world (i.e 1st place qualifier at U23’s) and i doubt he was able to train 800-1000 hrs right away although i could be wrong. but anyways im not here to argue i just wanted to point out that hours aren’t everything.

  • prairiekid

    June 13, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    The compartment syndrome statement is pretty bold, I have researched it and haven’t found any studies that show rollerskiing equaling compartment syndrome. As a athlete who skate rollerskis and skis and lot this is of interest to me so if you know of the location of such a article or study please share.

  • nordic_dave

    June 15, 2010 at 11:32 am


    I see things haven’t changed much since I went to CU 30 years ago, i.e. you say and do as you please ;0

    I don’t care what Travis or Rick told you to entice you to SV, rest assured you’ll be roller skiing bigtime! It’s amongst the safest places in the U.S. to roller ski yet this old “blaster” lives on the upper Elkhorn loop path. That could be pretty dangerous 😉

    “Sawtooth burger” sometime?

    Cheers, Dave

  • Martin Hall

    June 17, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Let me say this—Matt has to be a talent to have won an NCAA title on 500-530 hrs of training—I find it hard to believe—not the title—but the hours—-but he is the one doing the counting. He won’t win much from here on out if he doesn’t up the hours dramatically.
    I believe hours are the name of the game—quality smality—anyone in an organized program like CU or Sun Valley is performing with coaches and programs that know what training is about and how to do it. That’s not the question, it’s whether you want to do the training or not.
    If you are on an international schedule of hours—with the top number of hours in the progression being considered to be 1000 hrs—-Matt, I hate to tell you, but you have a lot of training hours to make up. A 16 year old on an international training hours schedule is doing or should be doing 550 hrs. If you know Kris Freeman on a personal basis you might want to drop him an e-mail and ask him about jumping hours—I heard Kris speak at a Coaching symposium in Lake Placid about 5 years ago and after he quit college (freshman or sophomore year) he jumped his hours by 100-150 in one year—I think it was the 100 number–I know it was one hell of a jump—and we all know that Kris is a real international talent.
    A few examples of what your competitors are doing—Northug was doing 750 hrs when he graduated as a junior skier into the senior ranks. Women in Europe your age are doing 700 to 750 hours.
    I commend you for joining Sun Valley—I hope you are ready for a busy summer filled with lots of quality training.
    Remember the secret to a lot of good roller ski workouts are having well sharpened pole tips! Good luck!

  • davord

    June 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

    @Martin Hall. Can you give us some data of who those European skiers are, that train up to a 1000 hrs/year? Do you have a reference on Northug doing 750 hrs when he graduated as a junior skier? One year of suddenly jumping from 530 to 700+ hours usually does more harm than good. I agree with Kevin Cutts, there is this great misconception in American Nordic Skiing that massive hours and only hours, will make you fast. Yes and No. Yes you need to steadily increase your hours, in most cases until your late 20’s, but let’s take a look at Northug’s hours for example. You say (again, we need the reference and full data to be able to justify the hours and look at the specifics) he trained 750 hours in his last year as a junior or first year as a senior. That would mean he was 19-20. Now, the general concensus is that proper management of hours/year increase is 20-50/ year. That means that he would top out at 25-26. What will he be doing the next 10 years or so, should he choose to ski that long? You can’t really increase up to 1200-1500, can you? Decreasing would mean that there is either a slight change of plan or most likely, burn out, and we have seen too much of this in American skiing over the years, because of that very reason, too many hours. Quality over quantity. No it doesn’t mean screwing around doing 4 sports a year and training only 300 hours for skiing will get you the results (that’s another problem in US nordic skiing, that leads to burnouts), but you have to be able to know exactly what you are doing. Jumping 100-150 is like a last ditch of effort to correct faults. You need a very good base early on. Then to be able to build around and on top of that base, you’ll need to do systematic and optimal training for many years, not just jumping 100-150 hours all of a sudden. Listen to Kevin, he trains with Sten Fjeldheim, one of the top coaches in the country. As far as college team training is concerned, that’s a real tough subject to fully shed a light on. Not being able to start training until the Fall every year tells all you need to know. Not only does the skier not know where his fitness is, but the coach has absolutely no idea where the skiers are. The season runs for ‘maybe’ two full months, not enough to gauge one’s ability during that span, especially when you race only 30-40 people for a dozen of races/year, including 25-30 year old European skiers that were left off their national A or B teams, who have had a much more structured training regime and are more mature.

  • Martin Hall

    June 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    davord—give me and your readers a real name and then we can discuss this topic.

  • triguy

    June 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Good to see that Marty put in his comments, I completely agree with what he’s posted. Think about what 500hrs of training is. That is around 1.5hrs a day (assuming 1 day off per week). That really isn’t a lot of training for a full time professional skier. Even if you are doing this mythical ‘quality’ training (which we still don’t have a good definition for). A 6hr hike in the mountains might seem like ‘junk miles’ but if your coach/physiologist thinks you might need some altitude blood boosting it could be the best use of your time. A ‘quality’ 1hr z3 workout might be a total waste of if that is something that you don’t need to work on in that phase of the season.

    I think a big difference is what people are considering a successful skier. The National teams (CAN/US) consider international success as podium results at WC, WSC, OWG. Winning NCAA is great, winning Nationals is great, but it doesn’t mean you are a world class skier. No one is trying to get on Gelso’s case here, just using this example to discuss the overall picture of skiing in NA. To be a successful intenational skier means that you are ready to race the WC in November and keep racing until March. To do that you need to be able to keep up your training during the racing season otherwise you will have wildly inconsistent races and generally get slower over the season, or sick from all the travel and stress. Most of the top WC skiers are still training 10-15hrs+ a week during the WC season. Try doing that on a base of 500hrs a year, its not gonna happen. High(er) volume training over a period of years develops the bodies ability to recover and handle the demands of racing and training at an international level. You develop the efficiency and capacity that is needed.

    Look at the athletes in any sport that have succes on ‘quality’ low volume training. I bet in each case you will find that they spent at least 10yrs doing the ‘low quality’ high volume training. Beckie switched to a low volume plan for the last 2 years of her career after 10years on the WC circuit. Swimmers cut down from 15,000m/day to 5,000m/day in the last few years of their career and swim best times. Would that have been possible if they did the low volume training during their entire career??

  • Mike Trecker

    June 18, 2010 at 7:20 am

    Couple things; First, I am with Marty on this hours thing. Sure there are dangers, however, it sounds to me over the years that most of the top skiers in the U.S. don’t really consider Northug et al., their competition. Every time the subject of hours and Northug or Kowalczek come up, there’s just a bunch of hemming and hawing, not really embracing the fact that… THAT’S THE COMPETITION, not the other Americans and what they’re doing. Matt’s competiton is Peter Northug and until the American’s attack this notion, we will always be playing catch up. Again, look at cycling, Americans can compete, but they had to take it up a notch. Lemond took what the Euros were doing, copied and elevated, he didn’t complain about long hours, he out-houred them.

    Secondly, skier burnout. It’s not because of the long hours by itself, it’s because of the long hours combined with almost zero hope of success. The long hours wondering “Why am I doing this?” is much more of the problem than the physical issues with long training. Skier burnout is almost all mental in the U.S., very little “over training” going on out there. Maybe some stupid training, but not much over training.

  • davord

    June 18, 2010 at 8:17 am

    I respectfully disagree, Mike.

  • Mike Trecker

    June 18, 2010 at 1:52 pm

    Can we look at it the other way around, similar to the VO2 Max argument? What’s the least amount of hours trained by a skier that has actually had international success. Defining success is the sticky part. I said Carl Swenson was successful but others argued that he wasn’t. Regardless, the question stands. For distance skiers, what’s the least amount of hours trained by a successful racer? I heard that Torgny Mogren was really low on his hours compared to his competition. Are there other notables, or is it just the rare exception?

  • teamepokeedsbyn

    June 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    It is quite easy to average 1:30-2 hours per day – + 700 hours per year while in college. I did it and never finished top 20 at nationals (I sucked). Considering one has, with summer and x-mass vacation, 4 months off, no problem. In fact, I wager even the kids from Dartmouth who did not make the Carnival team this year, averaged better than 600 hours.

    Kris Freeman raced 2 or 3 years at UVM, and was fine when he began skiing full time. My point is if one has the genetics and VO2 capabilties, one will show freakish promise with 500-600 teaining hours by age 21, including perfomances of relative per/km times capable of at least top 3 at US Nationals (yes, including foriegn skiers in the results). Freeman did, Swenson did, Vordenberg did, etc.

    Beyond that, once one is doing nothing but training for 2-3 years, and has not at least skied relative per/lm pace to make a WC trip and break into the top 30 in WC, that person will never be a consitant top 10 contender or realitic Oly. medal contender. Enjoy the US and International marathon circut, but do not fool onesleve into believing there is some magic # of hours or program that will suddenly place you in the “Red Group”.

    That has consistenantly been the USST mistake of funding those who do not have a freakish genetic gift, and cajoling them along into their late 20’s-30’s, and dumping them when their gentic limitations are revealed after 5-8 years. See Toorin Koos, Andrew Johnson, Vordenberg, Husaby, Boonstra, etc, etc. – there have been hundreds – all great racers, but not among the top 40 in the world day in and day out. Being top 5 in the US will not necessairly equate to top 40 in the world.

    My prediction as a ski racing fan is, based upon the seriousness of the program he left (Bruce Cramner is BKL-level coach), the realtive serious hours of training to this point (almost 1.5 hours per day), and given the elite opportunities of many European championship race starts and trips already, and based upon his per/km race results when compared to others at the same races, that Mr. Gelso, no matter how many hours he trains, will never be a top 10, or even consitant top 30, WC or Olympic contender. He is just not blessed with the genetics required.

  • teamepokeedsbyn

    June 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Correction …”Cramner is NO BKL level coach” i.e CU is a serious racing program.

  • triguy

    June 19, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Gelso raced against some of the canadian olympians (and other olympians as well) when they were all at world juniors and beat them. Those guys that he beat trained full time as skiers for the last 4 years and made the Olympics, Gelso went to school and steadily went down the ranks to the point of not making U23 Worlds. He had some really solid results as a young junior, so he likely has some ‘talent’ or ‘freakish genetics’ that people like to dwell on. I think we make way too much fuss about genetics and not enough about being a serious dedicated athlete. I think the genetics arguement is an excuse by the fans and coaches for why NA skers are not doing well. As Mike mentioned above, what is the lower threshold that is needed? I think you’ll find that the range of genetic ‘talent’ is quite large and I’m sure that olympic champions have gotten there with lower genetic potential than some of the skiers we’ve had in CAN/USA over the years.

  • Martin Hall

    June 19, 2010 at 9:59 am

    All you alias’s—come-on guys—don’t be afraid to be who you are–we’ll respect you more.
    That said—hours are the name of the game if you ever want to find out about what your genetics really have to offer. Like I say—Matt has talent if he can win an NCAA title on 530 hrs—now to find out how much talent, he has to get into the training harness.
    Quickly, as I said before, we have tons of well organized programs now all over NA with coaches who know how to coach programs and training. But, these coaches and programs all the way up to the top want to talk quality not hours. I raised the hours thing with one of the US coaches 2-3 years ago and he came back with we’re into the quality hours of counting.
    The international hours per year progression has been around from way back. From when I started coaching in the late 60s/early 70s numbers of hours was a known. In Canada now they have their LTAD program where they have categories called training to train, training to compete and training to win–or something like this. In the training to win level they do mention hours—reference looks like this-Example: 65 to 85 hrs for a certain month—when you take all the months and add up the total hours you have the hours for a top women with the top numbers—way short on the men’s hours.
    So, you want some numbers—here is what I know—Kochie was a 900 hr skier, but cut back in his last years, Pierre Harvey was a 900-1000 hour trainer and those hours let him be a top 5-10 guy week after week. Before that he was all over the place–5th one day 20th the next day.
    Martha Rockwell was an 800-850 lady, rumors have it that Kowalczyk is a 1000 hr trainer!
    Marthe Christiansen from Norway born in Aug/89 said this in and interview with Peter Graves from SkiTrax.
    Who were your coaches this past year?
    MK: Before being on the junior national team I coached myself with a little bit of help from my school coach (Ole Morten Iversen). Then I was coached by Fredrik Aukland and now I’m with Egil Kristiansen [Norwegian National Team Coach] and Fredrik.

    How many hours do you train each year?
    MK: Last year I trained 730 hours, this year my plan is 750-780.

    How about your hopes for this winter season?
    MK: I’m still young, and this is my first full year as a senior. My goal is to make it to the Olympics Games some day and then do my very, very best!!
    This one I found on langrenn earlier this spring–
    Charlotte Kalla Again
    Talking about training hours, she is going from 750 hours this past year to 770 this next year. These are numbers she and her coach have agreed upon. She is 22 years old and we know what her international racing season was like this past year, being capped with a gold and a silver medal in Vancouver.
    Peter Northug, in an interview in Faster Skier–3 to 4 years ago, as a graduating junior, said he would be doing 750 hrs for the year.
    What ever was said about genetics can’t be proven if you don’t do the hours. So, we’re going to get into the age old argument about all the important development steps you miss by being in college. Simply for Gelso, when it comes to hours (530) it doesn’t hack it in the Norwegian or Swedish woman’s programs—pure and simple.
    I could yell at the top of my voice and 95% of the xc people in NA won’t hear me—you have to get xc dedicated in your mid teens, you have to be doing the hours (for reference at 16 years as a girl-500 hrs and a boy has to be at 550 hrs) and above all you have to be in a good program with a good coach. Yearly progressions should be 50 hrs—think, that is just one hour a week over the year—10 minutes extra per day. Really not that much. Very doable.
    I ask you to look again (above) and I wish I could get Kris Freeman to chime in with the actual years and numbers he added in the one year time frame after he left UVM.
    Matt, I apologize for the pounding you are taking, but you are also hopefully helping the next level of younger skiers and yourself, by getting the straight skinny early enough. To be fair to yourself it’ll take 3-5 years minimum to get there–Sochii is your target.
    You need to align yourself with a good program and especially with one coach, that you have confidence in and a good relationship with, for that period of time.
    Carl Swenson made it, to who ever questioned that—he would have even been better, if he had singled up on the sports.
    Another aside, the Russian’s did a study back in the 70s with 2 test groups doing 1000 hr and 1200 hr years—conclusion was the 1200 guys were ready to be buried at the end of the year.
    I will post a complete hours progression chart for Monday.
    Whether your program is to end up at the top numbers will identify it’s self as you go along—you and your coach, what happens each and every year will bring you to the final number.
    Kalla is only going up by 30 hours this year, rather then the usual 50—something she and her coach have decided on—here would be my conclusions—just had a really great year—solid from start to finish—sickness not a big issue–no big down time issues—so, lets just take a small jump. I’m sure it is not quite that simple—but they have all the numbers, I don’t.
    This is one place you have to level the playing field—if you have the motivation and above all, you have the control.

  • weekendwarrior

    June 19, 2010 at 11:57 am

    So realistically… how many kids in the US actually train 550 hours as 16 year olds, and are up to 750 by 22?


    All the fuss about training quality hours vs quantity… Whats wrong with training 750-800 quality hours? Or is that just a stupid question? Why can’t you do both quality and quantity?

  • JimGalanes

    June 19, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    This discussion is not about any particular skier it is about understanding the demands of international ski racing

    Quality versus quantity in not even in the discussion. Simply, you need a huge base to handle and positivly respond to the amount of quality international skier who hope to be successful

    The big issue is that you must consider the cummulative years of training. If a skier over 4 years of high school and 4 years of college is 100-200 hours per year behind international standards that is a deficit of 800-1600 hours. Lost hours during a crtical stage of human and athletic development. That equates to a couple of years of training.

    In my view that deficit and corresponding loss of physiological development can never be made up or recovered regardless of the talent. There are lots of examples of this problem in North America today

  • Mike Trecker

    June 20, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Age old argument is right!! Marty, keep yelling at the top of your voice, I’m hearing you. And to Matt G., rock on. Train your ass off and kick some!

  • nexer

    June 20, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Since when are medals awarded for hours trained?

  • patrickkidd

    June 28, 2010 at 2:27 am

    I stopped reading at comment 16.

    I think a cultural boost is more important than just adding more hours. An athlete needs to live in an environment that helps them feel like what they are doing really matters, and that they aren’t weird. We don’t have that here.

    Being able to train a shit load is nothing compared to having the fire. If you have the fire then the question of hours and quality disappears.

  • rlcsoulskater2

    July 9, 2010 at 10:33 am

    first of all i would like to say that it is just plain discouraging to me and all the other athletes i know, that some people can not put in hours and not roller ski either and still be quite fast.
    with that said counting hours is relative,
    for example today i got on my road bike for two hours and with all the stops and crossings, it is easy for the heart rate to drop to below even a recovery zone. i will only count the time that my heart rate is in the zone so for today that was 110 and above, which meant my 2 hour bike was actually only 1.5 hours and 1.5 was written in the log
    i am 17 and am in the process of a 610 hour year.
    i trained 540 as a 16 yr old
    also that 610 number would be a low end estimate, i figure that because im not even counting the bi-weekly strength training that could mean if i counted hours differently this year would or could be counted somewhere in the 700s so its all relative
    with strength training some ppl might count the hour u are in the weightroom as 1 hour of trainin and some may only count the seconds u are actually lifting

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