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waves, camps, and intervals: Stratton Update

Upon returning from Norway I didn’t waste any time enjoying a little break from serious training and relaxing with Erika. Since I left for Norway just after our recent engagement we planned on taking a few days away from Stratton to go up to the beach up in Maine. It’s a little bit of a drive to get up to the Portland area, but we enjoy the laid back scene of surfing small waves at Higgins Beach, and we were lucky enough to have some friends let us stay at their house up on Orr’s Island. I’ve never spent much time out on those small lobster town islands of Maine and it was a cool scene to paddle out among the islands and do some sight seeing.

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Surfing some big foamies is the best way to enjoy 2 foot waves!

IMG_3281Erika checking out a mini island we decided to paddle out to and explore

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After a few down days and some ‘beach cross training’ we headed back to Stratton for a busy week of training and helping with the SMS BKL and junior camps. It’s really incredible to see how much the SMS camps have progressed over the years and it’s pretty special for me to help with them since they are one of the biggest reasons I started training for skiing as a kid. I can remember coming up from Shaftsbury to SMS for the training camps in the summer as a 12 and 13 year old. I learned how to train for skiing, how to rollerski, and was inspired to then attend SMS for skiing.

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Working with the ‘older’ BKL kids on some cornering technique. It was another great year for the SMS camps with nearly 50 youngsters and over 50 juniors attending the camps.. along with a Swedish Junior group. We spent a few days working on technique, talking training, and hanging out with the kids.

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Just because it was junior camp didn’t mean it wasn’t a big week of training either! I decided to jump in the uphill running time trial for the week along with Paddy Caldwell. It was a fun, super hot, super humid, sweat fest of a hard effort… but a good chance for Paddy and I to push each other to the finish. Paddy got the victory by 2 seconds:)

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Thanks to PodiumWear for our kick ass new uniforms!

Along with some of the camp workouts I was adding in a lot of my own training, especially my own intensity. Since the few weeks in Norway had a big volume and distance training focus the past two weeks here in Stratton I have been trying to work more in intervals before heading to New Zealand. The week has consisted of 5 intensity sessions including the uphill run, L4 Classic, L3 Skating, and L4 double poling. It has been a cool learning experience figuring out how to do 5 interval session in a week and finding the balance between the right combination of threshold, controlled L4, and all out L4 pacing.

IMG_3847After a hard week of training it was time for another BBQ night at the cabin in Weston. Erika enjoying the view of Stratton from the newly cleared land next to the cabin.

Although the camps are over the Swedish junior group is still in town so they have been joining the SMS team for a lot of workouts. Today we headed out for a rainy long distance ski down in Manchester and tomorrow we will all be bounding up the mountain with our typical L3 ski walking interval day. Going to be a solid finish to a tough week of training with more L4 intervals scheduled on Saturday. The good news is there is no lack of motivation around here especially with all the kick ass performances by team USA so far in Rio. So you know what I’ll be doing in between interval sessions! GO USA!

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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…

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…