Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Value of Getting Picked On

Kent was in Norway last week, and had the amazing experience of a private classic ski lesson with none other than Anita Moen.  Here are Inge's photos and write-up of the day.  May I be next, please?




The value of getting picked on. 90 minutes with 100 percent focus on your bad habits. It could be the most important workout you do this season. 
Technique coaching is invaluable for those who want to ski fast, or just want a better skiing experience. Although technique should be solid by the time January rolls around, there is still time to undo the kinks before the main events of the season. 
Passion and enthusiasm – for you. Former Norwegian national team racer, world champion and Olympic medalist Anita Moen Bonden runs her own ski program in Trysil, Norway, and offers private coaching with 100 percent attention to just you. Yours truly and Kent tested just that, and returned filled with enthusiasm and energy.  
Most of what Moen harps on is stuff you’ve heard before. The difference is how she has an eye for identifying the elements that you benefit the most from working on, and how she goes to work on those. She’s right there with you – side by side with you on the trail until you’ve got it down. The difference is her experience and insight, her ability to explain by example and the instant feedback. Her approach delivers a sense of accomplishment, and contributes to lift the entire experience.  
Intensely focused. Anita Moen starts the workout with a short warmup around the stadium loops. Technique work is smoother when the muscles are warmed up, she explains. The lap also gives her an opportunity to identify what she should focus on. 
In our case, there was a lot to start with, and we started with diagonal striding in rolling and uphill terrain: Stay in contact with the snow, bend your knees more to get more power out of your quads, timing the kick right, hips forward, use your abs…. Double-poling, herringbone, double-pole kick. Weight transfer, hips high, look up, find the rhythm and the flow. Practice makes perfect. 
Getting perfect kick because the technique is solid, that the speed and efficiency increases, and that the miles just run by with far less effort. Magic.  
Impressive resume. Anita Moen Bonden has an impressive resume that spans 18 years on the Norwegian National team, she has won the Norwegian Birkie (and holds the course record for women, although this was set in a season where the Birkie was a part of the World Cup and the racers didn’t have to carry a backpack), she has won the TjejVasan (the women’s race in the Vasaloppet week), as well as 16 national championship titles. To mention some. And it shows!
Web site: http://www.anitamoen.no/

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