Andy’s New Zealand Top 5

I’ve been at the Snow Farm for training camps more times than I can count, but every year I come to New Zealand I get more and more stoked about skiing. With just one more full day left on snow for this camp I think it’s always a good idea to write down some of the lessons learned. The good, the bad, the epic workouts, technique breakthroughs, and what made it fun.
5. Getting the most out of Speed sessions: Kicking on ratchets is a lot different than the finesse needed to kick a classic ski properly. One of my big goals for the camp was to get in some quality speed sessions and practice going fast on skis in order to make some technique adjustments. We were able to take a lot of video during speed days and practice a lot of steep striding and herringbone, which is virtually impossible to do in the road. Although it felt awkward the first few sessions, by the end I felt a lot more comfortable going fast.

4. Keep up the cross training: This year I think we did a good job of balancing ski training with other activities. It’s always a good idea to keep up with some running while we are down where so that it’s not too hard on the legs when we return to those bounding intervals up Stratton. We took it to the next level by adding in a running OD as well. The 3.5-hour run up the Matukituki valley was one of my favorite workouts. We also built in two hard strength sessions per week down in Wanaka, which makes the camp even more productive with max strength and bounding exercises mixed in.

3. Remembering how to race: Although the FIS races scheduled down here are not the most important starts of the season they do have a valuable purpose. I like to think about the NZ races as a great opportunity to remind yourself what it is you are training for. After a long off-season it’s good to realize you are not just training to train, but to get faster as ski racing! I like to use the races as a super hard workout but also a refresher course in your pre race routines. I find it helpful to remind myself what I need to do for warm-up and between the sprint heats.
2. Going the distance: The number one goal of this camp was to log a lot of distance hours. I find this is the best way to refine technique and also build that aerobic base that is so helpful for getting the most out of the upcoming Fall intensity. So a lot of our workouts were longer distance in the 3-4 hour range. Fortunately with 20+ K of rolling terrain the Snow Farm is a perfect place for logging lots of hours without killing yourself. I ended up logging 21 hours the first week and 26 the second.

 1. Enjoying the process with the team: New Zealand is beautiful so it’s hard not to enjoy the training down here, but sharing the experience with the rest of the US Ski Team is the best. It was so cool having Erika and KO here this year as new comers to New Zealand because I got to see their amazement at everything from the mountains, the local culture, the eels in Lake Wanaka, the food, and all the other things that make New Zealand Awesome. It’s the perfect reminder to the old timers on the team to never take this opportunity for granted.

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