Sunday, October 4, 2015

Home Time

Late September is a wonderful time in Minnesota and it has been great to be home and enjoy it.  Our house really is a fantastic home base for training and recovery.  The cool nights certainly help to provide some great sleep too!  These last two weeks have been my first opportunity to work one on one with Coach Tom too.  It has been fantastic to have a fresh set of eyes analyzing my technique and facilitating the workouts.  One of the big takeaways from the US Ski Team's camp in Norway was on a progression for double pole.  Tom has been working with both Caitlin and I on the progression and we can feel the difference in our double pole.

Meeting up with the Endurance United (EU) Junior Team for some classic technique work and a distance ski
Alternating between high altitude training in Park City, UT and training at home in Minneapolis in blocks has allowed my regular training routes to be fresh routes every few weeks.  It has been fun to track my workouts and see the improvements over the course of the summer.  One of the new tools we have been using this year is a Polar V800 heart rate monitor watch.  The watch has all the bells and whistles making it easy to track distance and pace.  Being a bit of a data nerd I have enjoyed that additional information.  I have even had fun on my workouts setting different pace goals.  If nothing else this has taught me to drink on the downhills instead of stopping.

Lahti has been enjoying my habit of a daily recovery jog
Not only do I get faster in the Fall, but so does Lahti.  As a husky he doesn't do so well in the heat.  Often in the summer he can only run for 15-20 minutes.  When Fall comes he can show his true fitness.  He had no trouble doing 12 miles on Saturday
Loppet Adventure Group Paddle and Eclipse Viewing 
We have had a number of local community events in the neighborhood.  Including the Surly Trail Loppet half marathon.  The start is literally a 5 min down the trail from our house.  I love being able to do a race in my backyard.  My running intervals in Utah helped me in the race and I felt strong.  I finished 4th place with a personal best for the course in 1:22:03.  The course is a bit different each year so it is hard to compare.  I finished less than 30 seconds off of the win which I considered to be pretty good.  I still need to do a bit more fast running to have the legs for the final kick.  My regular training pace is about 10:00 min/mile so my race pace of 6:11 min/miles is a bit of a shock on my body.  The second event we had in the neighborhood was a Loppet Adventure Club paddle.  The evening couldn't have been nicer with warm temperatures and a clear sky.  We had a perfect view of the full moon and the eclipse.
Classic intervals with Liebsch
I have also had a number of interval sessions on my Tyrol 1km loop.  I really enjoy being able to compare my lap times and work on my pacing during my interval sessions.  A huge thank you to Matt Liebsch and Zak Ketterson for coming out and pushing me in intervals.  Matt is holding on to some strong fitness while still working 40+ hours each week.  Zak is a Senior in high school this year but has his first period of classes off and makes it up with an online course.  Zak is in great shape this year and I look forward to seeing his strong results at the Junior World Championships this year.  His goal is to be top 10, but I think he could go top 3.  I am looking forward to my 3rd 10 km skate time trial in tyrol on Tuesday.

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