This morning’s intensity session was not very confidence inspiring. Kris Freeman and I did 3 by 5 kilometer classic intervals. This is a workout Kris has done several times. Today was my first time doing this session. The first interval is at threshold (a sustainable pace for at least an hour, 3-4mmol of lactate.) The second interval is at a normal pace for the middle of a race (7-8mmol of lactate.) The last interval is max, the last 5 kilometers of a race.
Today, Kris led the first interval, and I had no problem staying with him. It was a good pace for threshold for me. I led the second interval. We went 10 seconds faster and I felt quite good. The third interval was awful. I repeated a mistake I have made several times before: I was frantic from the start. Because I was frantic, I wasn’t skiing very fast. Kris dropped me almost immediately. When I got dropped, I got more frantic and skied even slower. In total, Kris skied almost a minute faster than me. I skied more than 20 seconds slower than we had skied, with me leading, on the second interval.
At the first World Cup last season in Sjusjoen, Norway, I did this same thing (although it was a skate race.) No surprise, I had a terrible result in the race. The next day, I went back out and did the same race as a time trial by myself. This time I skied smooth and relaxed. I skied almost a minute faster the day after the World Cup than I had in the real race. It is extremely frustrating to make the same mistake today.
Since late July, my energy and training have felt very good but I have had several disappointing intensity sessions and tests. I am struggling to stay confident in my skiing. This trip to New Zealand in particular has been tough for me. I used a lot of resources and put a lot of energy into making this trip happen. All along, this was my trip; Kris was just tagging along for the ride. I was hoping to come down here, make a lot of progress in my technique and leave feeling ready for the coming season. Instead, the trip is winding down, my on-snow training days before the start of the season are numbered, and I feel that I’m not ready to compete at a world class level. However, my coaches, John Callahan and Zach Caldwell, continue to show confidence in my progress and where I am in preparation for the coming season. I hope they know what they’re talking about.
On a separate note, Kris and I had an incredibly windy afternoon session.
We did a two hour skate. At times, the wind stopped us in our tracks. There were also some huge wind-drifts.
Lastly, I took a picture of some of the Snow Farm’s snow pads for car testing:
The Snow Farm is located adjacent to the Southern Hemisphere Proving Grounds (SHPG). The lodge where we stay is actually owned and operated by SHPG. SHPG is a car testing center used by many of the biggest car manufacturers to do winter car and tire testing during the northern hemisphere’s summer months (including Audi and Porsche to name a few.) They have several snow pads, ice pads, winter driving courses, and an underground ice tunnel among other amenities. We are lucky they are here, as the Snow Farm wouldn’t be here without them.