The U.S. Ski Team’s annual May training camp began in earnest this week in Bend, Ore. A few inches of fresh snow greeted skiers at Mt. Bachelor on Wednesday morning, just in time for the group’s first interval session: a set of 6 x 4-6 minute L3 freestyle intervals with intermediate sprints.
“We’ll put a little sprint halfway through the interaval, and that’s to mimic mass start racing and preems and time bonues on the World Cup,” said U.S. sprint veteran Andy Newell. “We try to do it pretty controlled today, but skied in a pretty good group.”
The USST is joined at Mt. Bachelor this week by the National Training Group, the Canadian National Ski Team, the U.S. Biathlon team and U.S. Paralympic athletes. With so many high-caliber skiers training on the same six- to seven-kilometer loop, Newell says the workouts interesting.
“I think tomorrow we have a three-hour one on the schedule,” he said. “We have the Canadians here, the U.S. biathles are here, so there’s so many people out we can catch up with Tim [Burke] and Lowell [Bailey] an ski a lap with them. It’s pretty fun skiing with that many people around.”
Though the workout was the first group interval session all spring for many skiers, Newell noted the pace was pretty controlled.
“We’re pretty used to training with one another so it’s not that competitive,” he said. “Maybe the preems we definitely try to race each other, to try to ge across the preem line, but as experienced skiers we know that there’s not a whole lot of stock in being in great shape in May.”
Special thanks to Dan Simoneau for his photos.
Audrey Mangan (@audreymangan) is an Associate Editor at FasterSkier and lives in Colorado. She learned to love skiing at home in Western New York.