Sunday, July 27, 2014

Alaska Man Camp

Two week of Man Camp in Alaska has come to an end.  A great opportunity to train with the US Ski Team and the APU 7.  I have been impressed the entire camp with the fitness and speed of my friends and training partners.  What a treat to get 50 hours of quality training in two weeks with 27 hours on snow. I always enjoy being back in Alaska as so much of my skiing career has been shaped through training and competing with my teammates at the University of Alaska Anchorage.  A special thanks to the Moon family for hosting Caitlin and I for our stay in Alaska.  They welcomed us into their family and couldn't have made us feel more at home.

Erik and Andy my teammates from the 2014 Olympics at the Glen Alps trail head
 after a 2.5 hour Freestyle Distance ski.

One of my favorite sessions: a distance ski up the Hatcher Pass Road

We had one week or dry land training in and around Anchorage.  We had 17 of the fastest guys in the country pushing each other each day.   Several of the workouts were run as progressive distance workouts where the pace would start slowly and finish quickly.   I started doing workouts like this two years ago with the Methow Olympic Development Program and found it to be a fun and beneficial way to train.

Caitlin and I enjoyed 24 hours together in Alaska when the Women's Camp came down from the Eagle Glacier
 and the Men's Camp flew up.
After a week of dry land training we had a rest day before heading up on the Eagle Glacier for the second week on snow.  Caitlin and I got to spend 24 hours together which was awesome.  Although we were both in Alaska we didn't get to see each other as our camps were separated.  It has really been three weeks since we have been together and I am super excited to fly home and be with Caitlin in Minneapolis

8 minutes in a helicopter and you go from shorts and flip flops to winter on the Eagle Glacier.
The training setup was incredible with freshly groomed tracks twice each day and a full service facility for cooking, eating, sleeping, waxing and training.  Adjusting to non camp life will be a challenge.
The opportunity to get on snow is has been huge for my classical technique.  To share the snow with such a strong group of American skiers was an even greater treat.  I have found that I learn best through imagery and watching World Cup video and skiing behind or around efficient skiers.  I actually trained slower than most of the athletes at camp up on the Glacier but it was great to take a kilometer or so to ski behind different people and then do a lap trying to make the technique my own.  I feel like I had a real break though with my arm swing and poling that has allowed me to ski much more relaxed.

Recovery run in to Rabbit Lakes for a quick swim with Brent, Mark, Paul and Ben.

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