The Sweat Life

Erika updates us on the past few weeks of hot summer training in Vermont! 

While our U.S. teammates headed north to Alaska, the rest of the SMS crew stayed in Stratton just in time to welcome mid-summer heat and a whole lot of humidity. After the cool nights and mid-70 degree dry days of June, we started to wonder if summer in the East might actually be the new West. We were wrong. But there is something strangely satisfying about suffering through the sticky days of July. You finish workouts drenched in salt and sweat, party disgusted and partly proud of the fact that your shirt is now a complete shade darker than when you started.

Despite the heat, or maybe because of it, we’ve had some great sessions here working through big volume training. Here’s a peek into a typical day with the team….breakfast and the Bachelorette included….

Getting after it!
Getting after it!

7 AM: Wake-up, drink water and coffee (lots), peanut butter toast and a bunch of protein-heavy Greek yogurt topped with fruit and granola (see our actual team breakfasts here!)

Julia working on those ups (Reese Brown photo)
Julia working on those ups (Reese Brown photo)

8 AM: Training session #1 Classic threshold intervals 5X8 min. About mid way through Pat will stab us with a small needle prick our finger to test our blood lactate and compare our pace, heart rate and perceived effort with our body’s production of lactic acid.  For threshold, a reading of 4.0 mmols means you nailed it. 1.2mmols means pick up the pace or eat more for breakfast.

Sweaty sessions in the gym (Reese Brown photo)
Sweaty sessions in the gym (Reese Brown photo)

11 AM: Ice bath (aka jump in nearby river), stretch and eat a post-interval recovery banana bread with almond butter. Showering is a plus and not totally necessary if you jump in the river.

Afternoon agility practice
Afternoon agility practice

12 PM: Lunch! I’ve been a little obsessive over FOX mustard and turkey sandwiches lately especially since Annie taught me to make homemade sourdough bread.

1 PM: Nap. I’m admittedly not great at this, but taking the time to actually rest the legs and at least attempt to close the eyes does wonders for body recovery.

Afternoon warm-ups
Afternoon warm-ups

2 PM: Work. Many on the team, myself included, have a running stream of computer tasks to complete during the middle of the day. This can be anything from writing blog posts and organizing events for sponsors to editing the team website or pictures. Sometimes work means planning your meals for the week to make sure you are getting the nutrients you need to perform your best. Other times it simply means calling your parents to let them know that yes you are still alive and yes training is going well and no I don’t need anything (except cookies are always welcome).

3:30 PM: Gear up for second training and begin warm-up

Focus (Reese Brown photo)
Focus (Reese Brown photo)

4:00 PM Training session #2 (part a): Roller-ski agility with the junior team-usually a series of drills, relays, cone slaloms and short speeds to work on technique and athleticism (of which most skiers actually have very little-we’re working on it)

4:45-6:15 PM: Strength. (mobility, heavy lifting, core, jumping) Every day is different but everyone shows up to the gym ready to work. This can be one of the sweatiest sessions of the day but also one of the most rewarding. Building muscles is pretty fun ☺

Double pole intervals (Reese Brown photo)
Double pole intervals (Reese Brown photo)

6:30-8 Shower (non-negotiable), make dinner, eat dinner, clean up dishes, phew!

8-10: The Bachelorette! The golden hours after dinner offer the one true break in the training day and I try to leave those hours open rather than filling them with additional computer work. This past Monday I invited bribed the team to come watch the Bachelorette after dinner. (Yes, I know its terrible and yes I still enjoy watching it). Here’s to hoping we started a new team tradition.

10:30 PM: Read a few pages in Girls (current book club book) and hit the hay. Dream big. Sleep soundly. Prepare to get after it. Also find a spot near a fan.

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