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Archive for June, 2009

A “Classic” Camp on Eagle Glacier

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Last week I completed my first glacier camp of the summer with my APU team at the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier.  It was supposed to be an 8 day long camp with a 50/50 split of skate and classic skiing. Once we got started however, there were some problems with the grooming equipment, and there was more volcanic ash in the snow than predicted, so we ended up classic skiing almost the entire week.

At first, I was apprehensive about the effects of classic skiing every session for a full week.  I was concerned that my feet and joints might get overworked.  As the sessions played out however, I found it was actually quite beneficial to be able to be so submersed in one technique and my body actually held up pretty well.  I guess this is what they did back in the old days anyhow!

This camp was mostly focused on distance training, with a few speeds in most sessions.  We did intervals once at the beginning of the week and one session near the end.  It was a nice relief to ski a little faster in the slow and soft snow conditions (also great prep for Whistler conditions).  One day midweek we did an over distance session of three hours.  In the afternoon we played a team game of speedball, which turned out to be way more fun than I imagined.

By the end of the week, I had 24 hours of skiing under my belt.  The initial plan was to fly out, but the clouds were hanging in thick and even after holding out until the very last minute, I ended up hiking down with the team.  My legs were quite sore from the downhill by the end.  Yet it was a really fun way to close out the camp with everyone in high spirits and quite silly at the bottom.

I’ll have three weeks of dryland training until the next camp.  A perfect balance.  Here’s some pictures from the camp.

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June Training Update

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Now that the first six weeks of the new training year are complete, I thought I would take a quick look back at what I’ve done so far:

– 91 hours of training total

– 12 hours of skiing (on-snow)

– 30 hours of running

– 39 hours of rollerskiing

– 3 hours of strength training

– 7 hours of “other”

And here’s what it looked like:

The infinite possibilities of crust skiing

The infinite possibilities of crust skiing

Pretending to be a rock star in Hollywood

Pretending to be a rock star in Hollywood

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Sweet skiing in Bend, OR

A brief stop in Croatia

A brief stop in Croatia

A fun Saturday OD with the girls, we hit snow line!

A fun Saturday OD with the girls, we hit snow line!

Should we keep going... of course!

Should we keep going?? ... of course!

Part II of the OD, snow flurries at the top

Part II of the OD, snow flurries at the top

And lots of play time with the kittens!

And lots of play time with the kittens!

Now I start period II.  This week begins with a few testing sessions: 90 seconds max skate RS uphill, 2 min DP max effort and 5×5 min L4 bounding.  Then on Friday I’ll head up to the glacier with my APU team.

Only 8 months and three days until the opening ceremonies…

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Getting to know FIS… in Croatia!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Hey guys!  This post is about two weeks overdue at this point, but I felt it was at least important to summarize my experience at the recent 2009 FIS Calendar Conference and explain my new role as an Athlete Representative on the FIS Athlete Commission.

After just getting going on a great training camp in Bend with the US Ski Team, I had to say goodbye to the sweet skiing and hop onto a plane over to Europe.  It wasn’t the most pleasant plane trip, mostly in the middle seat, and for a while I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.  Thankfully, upon arriving in Dubrovnik, Croatia, I immediately realized what a great opportunity it was going to be to see FIS in action and got right to work meeting everyone.

My first day of meetings included the sub-committee for Ladies Cross-country and the inaugural Athlete Commission meeting.  I was able to sneak out for a run midday, but ended up missing lunch.  The Athlete Commission meeting was super cool.  All 12 athlete representatives were present, and amazingly, we are all on the same page.  We all really want athletes to have a voice that counts!!  Here is a summary of what we discussed:

  • Athlete Reps Communication and Transparency – We want to clearly and openly communicate with all athletes, so that everyone knows what we are discussing and also so we can hear what issues are important to all athletes.  One of the athlete reps, Ryan Blais, created a new social network for all FIS athletes, coaches, judges and officials.   www.democraski.com.  This will be a great tool for the Athlete Reps, and athletes in general, to be able to communicate on a constant basis, sharing ideas and bringing forth issues.  If you guys haven’t signed up, please do!  There are already some great discussions going!
  • Drug testing – most of the discussion centered around a need for a better web interface for updating whereabouts information.  This doesn’t really apply to the US because we use the USADA system and not the ADAMS system.  I brought up my topic about wanting more testing and a representative from FIS explained that they have put more of an emphasis and more funding into out-of-competition testing, and that is why we’ve seen less in-competition testing.  The discussion moved on to a different topic after that, so I didn’t really get any ground on my specific issue.
  • Funding for severely injured athletes/program for athletes in transition after sport – This came especially from the alpine and freestyle sides, a desire to see FIS implement systems to financially help athletes that are severely injured in competition and maybe don’t have good insurance or support systems.  Also, the athletes would like to see FIS give more education and support to athletes when they finish their athletic careers and are transitioning on from sport.
  • Minimum requirements for WC Organizers –  This was a hot topic amongst all disciplines.  Basically, the athletes from each sport need to put together a list of all things we would like to see standard at World Cup events and FIS will help us make these mandatory requirements.  We were able to participate in a panel discussion with some World Cup organizers and they are interested in our feedback.  I’ve started a discussion on Democraski about this, please check it out.

On the second day, Sami Jauhojarvi (the other XC rep) and I were able to sit in the Cross-Country Committee meeting.  While we do not yet have any voting rights, we were asked for our feedback on several issues.  Here is a brief summary:

  • Multi-stage “Tour” World Championships – The XC Committee voted in favor of the idea to contest a “tour” world championships in a non-championships year.  This would be an 8-9 stage race over 10 days and only the overall winners would be crowned “World Champions.”
  • Bringing XC to the web – FIS would like to boost its marketing efforts by creating a new website.  Something to the effect of, “crosscountryiscool.com”.  This website would utilize modern technologies to bring the fans closer to the action, closer to a younger audience, etc.  The site will need support from the athletes and national federations for content.  More info to follow.
  • Mini-Tour in Kuusamo – FIS was proposing that an additional race be added to the comp schedule in Kuusamo and that the 3 races would be contested as a mini-tour.  Sami and I brought up a few concerns on behalf of the athletes, and after a little discussion, this idea actually ended up not being supported.  So, Kuusamo will remain as it has been.
  • Remove B Final from sprint format – It was basically decided that FIS would no longer require a B final in sprint competitions.  The reasoning behind this is to give more attention to the A Final, and to encourage racers to go for it more in the semi-finals.  This means we probably won’t see B Finals on the world cup anymore, but it will still be an option for NorAm or Continental Cup races.
  • Tour rules – A racer won’t have to finish all races to get full points during a tour event.
  • World Cup Finals – Will change to only top 50 world cup overall ranked racers, plus U23 champions and Continental Cup leaders.
  • Ski exchange in 30/50km – There was a lot of discussion on what specific rules to apply, but basically, all that was decided at this point was that this idea was supported and specifics would be decided in the future.  What are your thoughts?

Overall, my experience at the conference was really beneficial.  I got to see and understand how FIS works, how ideas and concerns are addressed and discussed, and also give feedback from an athlete’s perspective.  FIS was really excited to have athletes involved and will be looking to us to help guide their policies and discussions in the future.

I really encourage all of you coaches and/or athletes to join www.democraski.com!!  We’ve already started several great discussions on the website and we want your feedback!

Here are some shots from my trip too, Croatia was a pretty sweet place to visit!!

a view of the shoreline

A view of the shoreline

the Athlete Commission

The Athlete Commission

Cavtat at sunset

Cavtat at sunset

Dubrovnik old town

Dubrovnik old town

Sneaking in a run along the beach

Sneaking in a run along the beach

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