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Lillehammer Update

It has been many years since I’ve missed any US Ski Team training camps, but this July it was time for me to do something a little different. Last Wednesday when the rest of the US Ski Team flew out to Alaska, I took off in the other direction to Oslo Norway. I always look forward to our team training camps and the feeling of waking up every day for 2 weeks with the single goal of getting fitter and pushing one another. It was a shame to miss out on Alaska dry land training and Eagle glacier but if my personal goal is to become one of the best double-polers in the world, I needed to learn from the best.

My Scandinavian training camp was almost over before it began. I was hoping to join the National Team for some training but through talking with a lot of my World Cup Norwegian friends in the weeks leading up to my trip I learned there weren’t going to be any National team training blocks during July. With a formal training camp off the table I set about creating my own, by emailing friends and connecting with skiers on Facebook to set up training partners. In Norway there are basically 3 big locations for skiers: Oslo, Lillehammer, and Trondheim. In the end I settled on Lillehammer because of its accessibility to great roads and training and lots of professional skiers in the area.

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My little ride…… what more do you need

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When in Norway, eat like this

Having arrived on Wednesday I’ve been in town for just over a week and I’m super stoked with the training we’ve done so far, it feels like one of the most productive training camps I’ve ever had with lots of rollerskiing on awesome roads, bog running, and lifting at Hakons Hal Olympic complex. There are two rollerski tracks here, one up at the 94’ Olympic stadium and one up closer to Sjusjoen. Most of the terrain is new and exciting for me and especially some of the downhills which can consist of switchbacks, roundabouts, and all kinds of exciting hazards we don’t face in Vermont.

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Swix headquarters just down the road from where I am staying.

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I have to admit that going to a training camp without an official training schedule was a little strange. Basically all I knew was that I would be joining some local skiers my first week in town before jumping into a week of training with Oeystein Pettersen. I came up with a general outline of how many hours and intensity sessions I would like to do, but other than that I was going to embrace the local training culture. So far things have been perfect!

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I was lucky enough to score a free place to stay with Peter Skinstad (athlete and son of the previous head of the Norwegian Ski Federation Age Skinstad) at an awesome apartment in town. On any given day there are 1 or2 different groups of skiers who will meet for different workouts, often times leaving from the Hakons Hal complex. It’s amazing how many professional skiers I see out rollerskiing and I’m told ‘this is a quiet time of year’. So far Andrew Young, Marius Caspersen Falla, Heikki Korpela have joined me, among others this week. There are so many skiers in town that there is even a Facebook page where athletes can post what their training plan is so others can join… which has connected me to some other ski friends I didn’t know were in the area like Erik Stange and Rune Odegard.

So far some highlight workouts have been uphill intervals from the Swix Factory to Nordsetter which is over 2,000 feet of elevation gain on perfect pavement that we actually skied down! DP intervals and some epic long rollerskis, so far I’ve been out on two different 3.5 hour+ loops and I’m told there are many more where that came from. Today is finally a rest day for me, and a much needed one before we jump into a week of training with one of the all-time double pole beasts Oyestein Polsa Pettersen. Looking forward to it!

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One last shot of that blacktop butter…. rollerski perfection on the roads.

Bringing The Intensity

With a few weeks of longer distance training in the books last week was my first hit of some harder intensity training. This year I’m not training any more intensity necessarily, but a lot of the intervals I do will come in the form of intensity weeks. Call it an interval block, call it whatever you like but it’s basically just trying to fit in many different varieties of intervals and hard efforts into one week and keep it completely separate from all the longer distance training and volume. The goal is to feel good for all the sessions and allow your body to absorb the interval sessions well instead of jamming them in between lots of other distance workouts. It’s still the summertime however so it’s important to keep things fun. In an effort to push myself and try something completely different I jumped in my first triathlon at…

Back on the Blog

Yeah I know it’s been while but the beginning of the training year is a busy time. So here’s a quick catch up: Bend was awesome as usual! This year the snow base was deep enough for us to hold our training camp at the usual time and we spent a full 2 weeks getting in some quality early season ski training. I tried to keep the first two weeks of the training year super chill with low hours so that by the time I got to Bend I could really capitalize on some bigger hours. It’s really easy to settle into a great training routine there, waking up early to get on snow in the morning and going for long bike rides and runs in the afternoon. Racking up the big training hours is usually no problem at all. We even got a crust ski this year! As a…

Back to Scando

My quick weekend break from the World Cup was a great opportunity to get in some unique races and build up some fitness before making the trip back to Oslo and joining up with the rest of the team. The Dolomitenlauf in Austria was an all around great experience with two non typical races, first a city sprint, and a 42k marathon race. The DolomitenSprint is (apparently) one of the oldest recorded sprints, taking place on the eve of the marathon race in down town Lienz. Over the years it has evolved into a true show sprint with the spectators enjoyment in mind. The course consists of a super short 2 lap race in the downtown square complete with downhill starting gates, a super sketchy spiral downhill, and a jump. To add to the atmosphere there are two guys wearing lederhosen who fire a cannon to start each heat! In…

Central Europe update!

Since the end of the Tour de Ski things haven’t slowed down a bit here on the road. Ok, maybe they slowed down for a few days… (post tour I took a few super easy days off from training), but then jumping back into hard workouts again in order to prepare for the next World cup races. I wrapped up the Tour de Ski in Toblach and spent those two days relaxing and hanging out at the Hotel Dolomiten. Taking easy days on the road in Europe can always be a little boring but those few days in Toblach were especially restless since I was awaiting the arrival of Erika! But she finally got here and it was worth the wait. It can be pretty difficult to coordinate travel schedules since we are both spending the winter racing, but it worked out for Erika to come over to a week…

Christmas Blog

When we are so wrapped up in the racing here in Europe I think it’s pretty easy for Christmas to sneak up on you. Some people think that’s strange but a lot of us have been traveling the World Cup for a long that time so spending Christmas with the team over in Europe is just a normal gig by now. Usually Christmas week involves a little bit of road tripping. This year we ended our last period 1 World Cup race in Toblach Italy and planned to drive back to Davos for the 10 days before the start of the Tour De Ski. Luckily it’s not too far… at least on a map… but often those small Italian and Swiss roads can be deceivingly slow. Leaving the Toblach World Cup venue back to Davos. Driving over some of the passes you would think there is a lot of snow……

Kuusamo to Lillehammer

It’s been a busy week so it wasn’t easy to get a blog update in but here is a quick recap of what the US crew has been up to here on the World Cup. EBJ getting in some training in Finland before the Ruka Tripple. Ruka was pretty epic this year. The past two seasons I really struggled in the sprint there for whatever reason. Could have been because we were coming into the season too flat, maybe it wasn’t enough of on snow time, but after a few years in a row of struggling to break the top 25 I nearly swore off Kuusamo last season hoping I would never have to come back again.  Of course that bitterness tends to fade and of course 12 months later I found myself at the start line of one of the toughest sprints of the season in Ruka. This year…

On Snow in Sweden

Well we’ve made the yearly voyage to the far North in oder to find early season snow and racing and have arrived here in Gallivare Sweden.   On Friday I said goodbye to the US for what will be about a 4 month trip on the World Cup, which is always extremely tough to do but exciting at the same time. Being on the road away from girlfriend, friends,  and family isn’t easy but this year I’m more fired up than ever to start racing and want to get back to showing everyone what I can do on the World Cup. Because of this long time on the road it can make the last few days at home a little stressful trying to say goodbye to everyone and also making sure you’re not forgetting anything important. I was lucky that this year Erika, my fam, and all my teammates made…

Talking With VT Kids

With just two weeks at home in Vermont this is always a pretty busy time of year.  We are coming off a solid three week western training camp so it’s perfect to have a little down time at home before the season gets underway.  Most people know that I’m always stoked to take some time to visit with the local schools here in Vermont. Being from a rural area I think it’s so important for kids to know that no matter where they’re from they always have the opportunity to chase their dreams and do great things. That’s why I was super excited to partner with Union Mutual of Vermont this Fall to set up some school visits in the Montpelier area.    We started our Monday morning with a visit to the Union High School. I don’t do a ton of High school talks but I really enjoy connecting…

Introducing Sven Can See!!

With the start of the World Cup season just one month away it’s time for me to officially announce my new head-gear sponsor Sven Can See! I’m super stoked to be partnering with this new Boston based company and I’m excited to help introduce Sven Can See to the world.   So what is Sven Can See?? They have products that can be used on all types of eyewear from ski goggles and glasses, motorcycle and snowmobile shields, to water sports gear like scuba diving and swimming masks. Pretty much anything you want to see through clearly and prevent fogging in any condition.  They make a lens cleaner and an anti fog/ice gel that can be applied to the eyewear.  Perfect for those snowing, sleeting, or raining days on the xc race course.           So whats with the name?? The name Sven comes from the name of a…