Every year at the end of May the MOD Squad travels from our spring paradise in the Methow to the still-winter lands of Bend, Oregon and Mt. Bachelor. The US Ski Team has been running spring training camps for their squads down here for a number of years and as such, there’s usually great grooming happening which, for a nominal fee, other elite athletes from around the country can utilize. This year is even better; the snowpack is so dense up at the mountain that both the alpine and Nordic areas have remained open. This means that instead of just a few short loops being groomed for the USST camps, nearly all the trails are groomed on a daily basis, making the 2-3 hours of skiing every day SO much more enjoyable.
Every morning at around 8am I get picked up by my compatriots from the CXC Elite team: Brian and Caitlin Compton-Gregg, and Matt Liebsch. We drive up to the mountain and are usually out skiing by 8:45am or so. Each day the routine is different; sometimes one of us will throw speeds or L3 intensity into our workout and leave the group for a bit. Today I ventured out on my own to do 20min of 30/30 at a L3 pace – it felt great. Scott has had me focusing this week on lots of volume and at low intensity, with an aim to keep the lactate production <2mmol. Today was a chance to bump above that for a brief time and it was nice to feel some speed in my legs, especially with the Ski2Sea race coming up. That Nordic leg is shaping up to be a SuperTour-level event, with elite skiers coming from all over the country to race for teams. It will be a great opportunity to test our spring fitness!
Here’s a short video (unedited, sorry) of a quick skating pass which Brian took of me. We’ve been working a lot on bringing the hips forward and emphasizing a strong drive of the rear leg swinging through to glide. Watching it I can tell that I need to do a better job of dorsiflexion, that is, getting more forward at the ankles. Also, my arm swing gets truncated occasionally.
A run tonight, a long ski tomorrow, then a rollerski, then a run… then it’s back in the car and Alison and I will drive to Bellingham for the race on Sunday. It will be a great end to a big week of training.