While I love my job as a ski racer, I still have mornings when I don’t want to get out of bed and workouts I dread or would rather just want to skip. I feel very lucky to be doing what I’m doing right now, and a camp like New Zealand confirms my love for skiing over and over and over again. It’s inevitable to have those days when you wake up to pouring rain and have to drag yourself out of bed to go roller ski, but in New Zealand I was having the opposite problem. Well, I think calling it a problem is a stretch. I was so excited to get up and go skiing each morning that it was hard to stop. Finding the balance between these two extremes is important because it’s easy to under do it when you don’t want to get out of bed, and it’s easy to overdo it when you can’t wait to get outside to ski each day.
Between the time change, our fresh legs, and the excitement of being on snow again, the first week in New Zealand I was waking up early each day and couldn’t wait to get on snow. I was following my training plan by going easy, but it was very difficult for me to stop each session after the designated one to two hours written on my training plan. I’m someone who prefers to train based on how I feel versus how many hours I have written in my plan, but this was a long camp, so even though I was feeling great, I tried to stop skiing when I was supposed to.
|By the second week of camp, I was glad I had followed my plan because a case of the tireds was was beginning to kick in. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to be tired at the end of a big training camp. In fact, it’s probably just the opposite. The goal of a camp is to put your body under a heavy training load and then to let it recover and bounce back even stronger than before. The tricky part of this formula is not allowing yourself to get so tired that you dig yourself into a hole. I know I’m someone who can get tired pretty easily, so when the tiredness started to set in, I was just a little more careful. I didn’t try to push through the tired and pretend it didn’t exist. Instead, with the help of our coaches, I tried to monitor the tired and make sure it didn’t get worse. The good thing was that I was still eager to get out of bed and go ski each day. It just meant that I needed an extra cup of coffee, needed to trade an interval session for an easy distance session, and that I needed to cut a couple workouts short even if I didn’t want to. But it also meant that I came out of the camp really freaking tired, but not buried-in-the-bottom-of-a-deep-dark-cave-at-the-bottom-of-the-ocean-tired.|
This camp reminded me of all the reasons I love skiing. It also reminded me that more isn’t always better, but being smart about training is almost always better. The three weeks of excitedly laying in bed each morning until I was allowed to get up and go ski will carry me through any more rainy mornings or grueling strength sessions that I struggle to get motivated for this summer. Not wanting to stop is a better feeling than not wanting to start, but knowing when it’s time to start training and knowing when it’s time to stop training are equally as important. So with that, it’s time to go home. ‘Till next time, New Zealand!