It’s very rewarding to see the training paying off for our student-athletes. Two of our top women posted big improvements on the 3 km uphill DP TT last weekend. One, an NCAA All American, improved by 1:10. The other, a top-15 NCAA skier, knocked 1:26 off her time from last year. Other team members improved in the 3000 running TT, 5 km uphill run, and strength tests. The secret’s out, training works.
Archive for September, 2009
Cross Country season has begun at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Our student-athletes arrived on August 15 and we began our early season camp with the usual NCAA paperwork, testing, and group activities. We decided to do something a little different this year. At the end of the first week we embarked on a one-day run/hike on the 27 mile (43.4 km) Pinnell Mountain Trail.
This wilderness trail is located about 80 miles northeast of Fairbanks. I told the team that since this trail is well above treeline that we would postpone it if the weather was bad. Since my training has been a bit “moderate” in August I was praying for lightening, thunder, fog, hail, snow, or some other natural disaster to save me from my own great idea. But alas, we woke to sunny skies! Darn, I had to go. Just fake it, I thought, just fake it.
The vans departed at 5:57 am for the two-hour drive. Since the trail is a point-to-point we decided that our new assistant, Matt Dunlap, (aka Chewy) would go with the men in one direction while I would run with the women in the opposite direction. With an average 8% grade on the trail, and some sections reaching 25%, this is no easy nature hike.
Long story short, the athletes rocked it and I suffered with blisters and tired legs. My group ran/hiked for 7:15 (total time with breaks was just under nine hours). It was awesome, though. Excellent training day. -SJ