(Holly, Liz, Anna Haag, and Charlotte Kalla, taking a break during the Tour de Ski)
Power Training, New Trails & New Partners!
Well, it’s August and depending on where you live, summer is either in full swing or winding down. In Alaska, the fireweed flowers are nearing the top of the stem, which indicates colder times to come. However, I am not in Alaska right now. Instead I am on my fourth (of four) flights en-route to a two-week training camp in Sweden. I’m nearing 24 hours of flying and will probably face a total of 30+ hours of total travel, door to door, by the time we reach our destination of Torsby, Sweden.
Five USST girls will join the Swedish National Team (who knows how many!) for ten days of intense training. Part of the time will be spent in Salen, the start line for the famous Vasaloppet Ski Marathon, and then we will spend more time in Torsby, skiing in their ski tunnel in the mornings followed by dryland in the afternoon. Before convening with the Swedes, I will spend 2-3 days testing skis in the ski tunnel with Salomon!
As many of you know, I have access to Eagle Glacier and skiing right out my back door. Weather permitting, it takes an hour to get from my house to the groomed track on Eagle Glacier. When Aino Kaisa Saarinen trained with us in June, she thought it was crazy for us to travel to Sweden to ski in a tunnel when we have the glacier at our disposal. While she had a point, I am traveling to Sweden not for the recycled air in the snake-like refrigerated tunnel, but for the people – the new training partners. To see how “the Swedes do it” and in the hopes of making new friends.
In the month of August, I am really excited to run on new trails, with new training partners. Training has been solid up to this point, and I feel that August is the perfect time to switch it up, try something new. Different personalities flourish with different inputs, and I am certainly an athlete that is excited to try something new. I flourish with adventure and new challenges. While some people could run the same trail every day, I like to run new trails every day. I find that switching it up keeps me motivated and fresh.
So, my August challenge to you is this: break your regular training or workout mode. You don’t have to fly half way across the world to change it up. This could be as simple as trying a new TRX class at a gym and learning some new core strength activities. Or it could be jumping into the Wednesday night Tiger Mountain Interval Group (does this still exist?!) Reach out to a new riding partner or go do a track workout. Erik Flora, my coach, emphasizes the importance of training with new partners and talks about “stealing their tricks.” By this he means, jump in behind someone and try to emulate something they’re good at. You’d better bet that I plan to V2 behind Swedish Olympic Gold Medalist Charlotte Kalla!
Training-wise, August is traditionally a time where some power training is introduced. June was used to build base, July was used to balance volume and used a variety of intervals, and in August, I will concentrate on shorter intervals, speed work, plyometrics, and building raw power. Training volumes will remain high (just did 30-hour week on the glacier and expect more of the same here in Sweden) and recovery, as always will be imperative. To compliment the shorter, harder intervals, I am also going through a power phase in the weight room. The ladies at APU are doing exercises three times, one rep of 12 to warm up, and then two near max reps of six.
While I haven’t been good with updating my own blog lately, I hope to improve in the next couple of weeks with some specific updates from Sweden – but, that all depends on accessibility to internet and the like. Until then, happy training!