We are over a week into our biggest training camp of the year consisting of two weeks here in Park City and one week training on snow in Canmore, Alberta. This 3 week mega-camp is our last big training push before most of us travel over to Europe for our first World Cup races so, needless to say, it’s ‘crunch time’.
We all have a number of important goals for this mega-camp and the most basic of which is adjusting to and absorbing some quality altitude time. 3 weeks is a good chunk of time to let your body build those important red blood cells and we schedule this camp so we can go into the season openers with greater Hemoglobin levels, which will increase our chances of building a higher Vo2max.
One of the ways I’m always keeping tabs on how I’m adjusting to the altitude is by measuring O2 saturation every morning and making sure to get in enough iron during this block. The SMS-T2 team is fortunate enough to be staying up in the Promontory at the Bairds house again, which provides a perfect place for us to live high and train low. We really can’t thank them enough!
Whenever I’m in Park City its also a priority to check in with the trainers and sport scientists at the Center Of Excellence and make sure everything is dialed before we begin a 5 month race schedule. During my first days in town I was able to meet with my strength coach to try to identify any weaknesses we might need to address before racing.
One of the ways we do this is with functional movement screening (FMS) and strength testing. During FMS my strength coach will try to pinpoint any imbalances I might have, specifically in the hips and shoulders, that might lead to a nagging injury down the road this winter. During the strength tests it’s easy to see if one leg has become stronger than the other or if our power output is higher than in the spring.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have tested a lot over my 10+ years on the ski team so I have a lot of data to look back on which is always helpful. Even with simple tests like body fat and hemoglobin measurements, it’s easy to see different trends and how they can affect my racing. So far everything is looking positive and ready to go for the season.
In addition to the altitude and tests I’ll be busy here in Park City taking advantage of the massive training group that’s in town including the usual USST skiers but also the APU squad and Sun Valley team. I really enjoy linking up with some different skiers and training with new faces. We’ve already had some great workouts including a long ski up American Fork, which had to be one of the most beautiful skis I’ve ever done. We also had a big crew 2 days ago for a point to point 3.5 hour run on the mid mountain tail.
With just a few more days in town, a big focus will be on our skate time trial tomorrow and getting organized for the return to snow. Even after all these years I still get excited about getting on snow for the first time in the Fall. Canmore is the perfect setting to ease back into real snow skiing and I’m more fired up than ever to be done rolling and start gliding again. Check back for more weekly updates!