Sunday, July 26, 2015

Altitude Camp Round 2

I am back in Park City, Utah for my second block of altitude training. Although I wasn't so sure about how effective my first block at altitude training went, my performance on my benchmarks upon returning home to sea level in Minneapolis gave me a lot of confidence.  A huge benefit of being able to go to and from altitude during the training season is that it is allowing us to really dial in our acclimatization plan.  We have been keeping a diary to determine how many days it takes us to feel good at altitude and how long the 'boost' from altitude seems to last.  We are dialing this in as we both felt that our altitude camp in Colorado last year played a big role in Caitlin's bronze medal at World championships and my 35th at the Holmenkollen world cup.

The Run Club Boys
I sure do miss the kids at the Club when I am away at training camp, but the weather started to get pretty warm and humid in Minneapolis and I certainly don't miss that.  Ever since I was hospitalized with heat exhaustion in high school I have found that the heat really adds a big load on to my training.

Technique work with Coach Bill of the Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy
One of the things Caitlin and I really try to incorporate in to our training is working with and learning from other training groups.  It has been great to train with the US Ski Team Nordic Combined crew as well as the Wasatch Nordic Ski Academy.  Coach Bill has been awesome in sharing with us his technique philosophy and observations as well as taking video of multiple sessions.  I have also really enjoyed skiing behind his older athletes who I honestly think are better technical skiers than myself.

Focusing on getting forward and relaxing at speed
One of my bucket list line items has been to hike Mt. Timpanogas and we had a perfect day for it.  Caitlin made it a double date with our friends Noah and Marta which worked out perfect.  We took the more gradual route which allowed us to run most of the way.

Caitlin, Me, Noah and Marta at the saddle on the way to the Summit
Enjoying my LL Bean Gear
A special thanks to LL Bean who sponsors In The Arena and our community service project with the Boys and Girls Club.  I am a big fan of quality gear that is built to last whether it is my new shirt in the photo above or my LL Bean vest which is older than me.  .  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Minneapolis Training Block

Four weeks at home sure went quickly and it is hard to leave to head back to altitude.  The weather in Minneapolis has been fantastic which for me is not too humid and on the cooler side of things.  It has been nice to train on my favorite local loops and see where my fitness stacks up this year.  Training in Utah this spring has been good, but since many of the routes and interval loops are different it is hard to compare my fitness to past years.  My time at home included another volume week of 30 hours of training, a recovery week and an intensity week.

Enjoying Loppet Adventures night with the Loppet Foundation members.
One of the values of the Loppet Foundation is 'adventure', with believe that living an inspired life requires taking paths with uncertain outcomes.  I enjoy and good adventure and the loppet Adventure group meets up once a month for a different activity encouraging experience veterans and first timers to come enjoy an evening together.  I have been getting more comfortable in the canoe and had a great time enjoying the solstice on the chain of lakes my college teammate and friend Brent Knight and our new friend Atan-wa.  A great way to recover after a big week of training.

Perfect summer training weather
Summer session is in at the Club which brings more kids and several new faces to Run Club.  A huge thanks to Kim, Will, and Gwen for running practice while we have been out of town.
Several runners are off the charts at Run Club including Gregory and Avis
Updated Run Club training logs

Plank Off  as we wait for a thunderstorm to roll through before Run Club

Enjoying some rest and an organic apple from Fruitshare after running our  3 mile goal for the day.
A great start to my intensity week, shaving off  over a minute from my 10 km Rollerski Time Trial in Tyrol and pacing pretty darn even splits.  Only 16 seconds of PR from October before Sochi.
Training with the US Ski Team crew out in Park City in May has been a bit of a humbling experience as the guys train hard and fast.  I often felt like I was getting my butt kicked.  One of the nice things about training at home is I could see how I compare in some of my regular benchmarks.   I think it is good to get your butt kicked as an athlete as it can help expose your weaknesses and encourages you to raise your level and standards.  A shout out to my neighbor Gerald for coming out and taking splits for me.