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Archive for August, 2014

More Than Ever

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

I just finished the biggest training block of my entire life.

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It’s not often that I honestly peel back the covers on what is really going on in my training. I try not to overly emphasize the day-in, day-out grind and extremely tiring monotony that is the workout routine of a pro cross country ski racer for a few reasons: it’s hard for it not to come across as very boring, and I also don’t like to be that guy who is always claiming how “hard” he’s been training. There are plenty of those out there, and I personally am not really interested in reading that, so I don’t construct my own blog that way. It’s not usually what I would want to hear.

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But the reality is that it has been tough. I have never trained this hard at any point in my ski career. And it’s been like that all summer long. It has honestly been a test of my will and my desire to succeed at almost every level; often it has been questionable whether I would be able to complete each month, each week, each day, and even each workout. There have been so many times when I just felt so broken, both physically and mentally, that I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep going.

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But I had to keep going. There will be five men representing the United States on the World Cup this fall; the four on the US Ski Team, and me. I do not take this opportunity lightly. I do not take the responsibility of representing our country lightly. I want to show up in Europe in shape, and ready to perform.

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Of course, it’s a bit of a risk. Some people think it’s too much. I’ve had people tell me that I should back off, play it conservatively, that I probably don’t need to train this hard.  And that’s true; I really don’t need to do any of this. I could just go get a job, and I wouldn’t be exhausted all the time, I wouldn’t have to be gone all winter, I wouldn’t have the risk of failure, and I would actually be able to pay for things.

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But that’s not the decision I’m making. I’m going for broke.

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It’s not as risky as it sounds. My training is based on years and years of personal experience, and on the shoulders of my incredible coach Erik Flora. I had a great season last year, making big steps up in my overall performance as well as my consistency. That did not happen because I got lucky; I spent last spring, summer, and fall pushing myself harder in training than I ever had. It made me fitter, and able to maintain the high load of racing fast all season.

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Now I’m just doing it again. But more.

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I would not be able to push through these towering waves of physical exertion, which threaten to crash down on me and pummel my body to pieces, without my team mates. Having these guys right in front of me, and right behind me, is what keeps me pushing.

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I’m also following in the footsteps of those who have gone before me. Over the last year or two, Sadie has taken her talent, added in a gigantic serving of hard work, and made a grand entrance onto the world scene. And she is at it again:

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You have to be strong to be a successful pro ski racer. Tyler and Eric leading by example:

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Sometimes when it hurts so badly, and it would be acceptable to quit, all you can do is focus; focus on just getting through it. Erik B can adjust his focus to a razor point better than almost anyone I know:

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I didn’t mean for this to get all emotional and philosophical and epic. But I have had a lot of people ask me how training has been going, hope I’ve been having fun, enjoying summer, yadda yadda. And I often just play it off, agreeing, like it’s a lot of fun and everything is just easy and smooth. I can be known to over-emphasize the fun parts; the down time, the off time, the adventures I get to do in between training. Maybe that’s just to convince myself that I can keep doing it, that I can handle the training load.

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But the truth is that often, it’s not really all that fun, or easy. It certainly can be. Some of the most beautiful days of my life have been somewhere out on the trail, surrounded by exquisite natural beauty and enjoying the synergy of exercise and creation. But the majority of the time, it’s just plain hard. It’s beyond tiring; it’s beyond a mental grind. It’s exhausting. But that’s what makes the honey of success so much sweeter; when it took everything you had to earn it.

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Thanks for reading

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Drone Rollerski Video

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

A friend of mine made this sweet little video of me rollerskiing, using a small drone. I think it turned out pretty sweet considering that he only filmed for for a pretty short time, and that I insisted that he not waste too much of his time editing it.

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US Mens Glacier Camp

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Last week was my second and final glacier training camp of the summer. It was also the second week of the US Ski Team Mens camp in Alaska. After the first week in town, which was quite challenging, I went up onto Eagle Glacier expecting a tough 6 days of training.

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I think camp starts now, as soon as those heli skids touch down on snow:

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Its always surreal how quickly you get transported from one world to another. It’s like being teleported in a video game… except the sensations are just so much more intense. One second you’re down by the ocean, in the rainforest… and the next you’re staring at this:

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And I was right. When you throw a group like that up into a training center where there isn’t a whole lot to do except ski, that’s what happens. We ski. A lot. Here is a short & sweet video that Andy Newell made from the week:

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All that skiing is quite exhausting… which is why it was so nice to find this treat from the girls, who had left just before us… Whoever made us these biscottis… Jess? I can assure you that I didn’t let the bag make it through the first afternoon 🙂 Incredibly good:

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What made this glacier camp stand out from the rest was that we had some high-caliber guests in town. There are little clues here and there that there must be somebody besides just Alaskans:

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We had some real warm, wet, soft conditions up there, which meant that the yellow based Carbonlites were blazing… Goofing around between waxing:

photo - Eric Packer

photo – Eric Packer

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Besides skiing a ton, a huge benefit of the glacier camp is the opportunity for some really concentrated coaching. There is nowhere to have to go after training; no meetings to go to, no groceries to have to get, to errands to run. So if you want to stop and talk technique, or training, or philosophy… Erik Flora will happily oblige. He will stand out there, and turn in his passion into productive discussion, LONG after everyone else has gone inside:

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If you look closely enough, you can find a whole microcosm of life up there. In the rocks, the moss, the glacier itself… sometimes you don’t even have to look that hard:

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No matter how much you eat, youre muscles still ache and struggle to refill themselves with glycogen fast enough. The trick is to keep eating… I made some gooey, sugary caramel apple crisp:

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Unfortunately, I did have to leave the camp a few days early due to a minor concussion I sustained in a crash during a sprint workout. I was doing some skate speeds with the three fastest dudes in the US, and was feeling good, until I caught a tip and just whiplashed down:

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In the end, it wasn’t a big deal and I was able to get back to training pretty quickly.

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To read a great full-on article about the whole mens US Ski Team Camp, with pics and videos, click HERE.

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So long for 2014, Eagle Glacier! Its been real!

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This week has been a recovery week for me after a long block of big volume. I still have done some pretty decent workouts though, including a long double pole with Noah Hoffman before he left town. He took this picture on a nice early morning:

photo - Noah Hoffman

photo – Noah Hoffman

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Another thing I am really excited about is to continue using Swix poles for the upcoming racing season. Poles are one of those things that, although maybe not as flashy as new boots or skis, can easily make or break a ski race. Having a super-light pole that breaks easily is just not going to cut it. Having a super-stiff pole that is heavy is a no-go as well. When you train all year for races where there are all kinds of crazy people running into you, stepping on your baskets, and where you’ll be swinging your poles (sometimes hundreds of) thousands of times, there’s really no choice except to use what is accepted as hands-down the best all-around pole out there. Dang light. Dang stiff. Dang durable. I’ve tried a lot of other top-end poles, and trust me, nothing comes close to a Triac 2.0:

Reese Hanneman Swix Sport Triac 2.0 Fasterskier.com

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On Monday, we will start back into another big, solid chunk of training.

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As always, thanks for reading! I post pics more frequently on my Instagram feed, so find me there!

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Instagram Logo@reesehanneman

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