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Foret Montmorency Camp! x2

16.Nov.2018 by Liz Guiney

Early November can be a really challenging time to train in New England. Often, the roads get too slick from sleet and snow to roller ski, and even when the roads are clear, the roller skiing is so slow that it doesn’t help us work on our speed. However, it’s rare to have enough snow to get in real skiing, so that leaves very few options beyond running. In the past few years, the Green Team has combated November blues by travelling to Foret Montmorency, north of Quebec City. Foret has done a great job creating the “Boreal Glide”, a 2k loop of snow saved from the previous year under a pile of woodchips. They spread out the snow and have remarkably good skiing very early in the season!

This year we did two separate camps in Foret, one the week of November 5-9, and another from November 12-15. Of course, winter decided to come early this year, so we actually cut the end of our second camp short and came back to Craftsbury to enjoy the good skiing here before we leave for race season. The Foret camps were very productive, in a short amount of time we fit in multiple interval sessions, two time trials, speed sessions, technique review, and plenty of distance skis. By the end of our second week they had almost 30k of really good skiing open!

Here are a few photos, thanks to Caitlin Patterson, from our first week.

Ida on our very first day up in Foret. We had flurries to start the camp!

 

Hallie, Akeo, and Kelsey practicing a no-pole drill and smiling about all the snow!

 

Climbing the only hill on the 2k, practicing leading and following to learn from our teammates

 

Video review is a big part of getting on snow for the first time. We want to make sure that all of our changes from rollerskiing transfer over to snow

 

The whole team outfitted in our new uniforms for the year! Thank you to Salomon for the awesome warm-up pants and jackets! Also thanks to team gear sponsors Skida and Julbo for providing the team with headwear and glasses.

 

The men’s team working together in skate intervals

 

The women’s team paired up with a few Canadian skiers for intervals and had a great time mixing it up with them

 

Happy winter!

Now, the World Cup contingent of the Green Team is in Finland prepping for the Kuusamo Opener. The rest of the skiers head to West Yellowstone soon to start their season. The World Cup biathletes also leave soon for their season, which starts in Pokljuka, Slovenia. IBU Cup biathletes will train in Craftsbury for a bit until leaving for their trip in mid December. Stay tuned for race results, always posted on www.greenracingproject.com, or on our Facebook (@CraftsburyGreenRacingProject) page!

Scullers prep for USRowing Fall Speed Order

30.Oct.2018 by Jen Forbes
Scullers are heading to Princeton, NJ this weekend for their final Head Race of the fall season. Hosted by USRowing, the aptly named “Fall Speed Order” will take place over the course of two days in an effort to: first, measure athletes’ speed on the erg (all participants do a 6k erg test for time); and, second, test their speed and skills on the water- because as the old adage goes “ergs don’t float”. The fastest participants from Saturday’s 8k erg test are seeded favorably in Sundays on-the-water head race on Princeton’s Lake Carnegie.
Nothing necessarily “happens” if you win the speed order, but given that a healthy portion of the  athletes attending FSO are either on the National Team, or are highly ranked US athletes, the competition will be strong. Sometimes, if athletes perform very well at FSO, they may receive an invitation from either the Men’s or Women’s National Team coaches to train at the US Training Center. Usually, though, it’s just a great way to test one’s speed against highly ranked US scullers before the winter months settle over us. We’re all certainly looking forward to capping off the fall season with two good results, both on the erg and the water. After FSO, the four PanAm Games Trials athletes will continue preparing for their race at the end of November in Rio.

UTAH! with GRP Biathlon

29.Oct.2018 by Hallie Grossman

Greetings from the American West! The Green Racing Project Biathlon Team is currently two weeks into a three-week training camp in beautiful Utah. The team has enjoyed cool, sunny mountain weather to complement productive altitude training at the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center. Soldier Hollow, the site of the cross-country ski and biathlon events at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, boasts a paved rollerski loop that covers much of the same terrain as the on-snow course and abuts a 30-point biathlon range. Because the venue will be hosting the BMW IBU Biathlon World Cup this February, Soldier Hollow has been revamping its biathlon setup with new targets and an upgraded coaches box, fencing, and facilities. Needless to say it’s a great time to be training at Soldier Hollow!

 

The camp’s purpose is twofold. First, it serves the team a great opportunity to rollerski on the Soldier Hollow paved loop, carry the rifle, and practice rollerskiing with shooting combination training (or ‘combos’) alongside the national team. While the team may miss running the Craftsbury singletrack, there is no better way in the offseason to prepare for winter competition than rollerski biathlon, especially on World Cup-worthy terrain. “It’s not nearly as terrifying as I thought it would be,” says GRP member Hallie Grossman in reference to the Soldier Hollow paved track’s technical downhills. As for the opportunity to train with the national team led by new USBA women’s coach Armin Auchentaller, first-year GRP biathlete Kelsey Dickinson adds, “It’s been really exciting to work with the national team and I like how we’ve been able to do a lot of things together. They’re very inclusive and welcoming.”

Kelsey Dickinson in the midst of a standing shooting stage on Soldier Hollow’s 30-point range.

The second purpose of the camp begins this week as round two of World Cup Rollerski Trials commence on Tuesday, October 30 with a sprint competition (7.5km for the women, 10km for the men). Competition continues Wednesday with a second sprint competition and wraps up Friday with a mass-start (12.5km for the women and 15km for the men). Each athlete’s three best results from the five total trials races will be tallied to select the US teams for the pre-Christmas World Cups and IBU Cups. The five trials races include the three this week and the two from August trials races in Jericho, VT (from which a maximal of one result can be applied toward selection). Says GRP biathlon coach Sam Dougherty of the team’s readiness, “Probably the second or third day here there was a moment when I realized, ‘Yeah, we’re really ready for these races and for the season’.” That said, a challenging course awaits the athletes, including the famed climb up Hermods Hill. Raleigh Goessling, a first-year GRP team member who celebrated his 27th birthday over the training camp, stressed the importance of maintaining energy and carrying momentum through all the transitional sections as key to a successful race plan.

Raleigh Goessling shooting during rollerski combos at Soldier Hollow. SoHo will host a BMW IBU World Cup in February.

In addition to rollerski-biathlon training, the team has relished the opportunity to explore Utah’s natural playground, for example running the Mid-Mountain Trail in Park City and rollerskiing up Mirror Lake Scenic Byway in the Uinta Mountains.”It has been such beautiful weather since we’ve been here and the Mid-Mountain trail really captures the grandeur of the west and the cool train-running opportunities that Park City has to offer,” says Dickinson, adding her greatest challenge for the trip has been balancing the need for recovery at altitude (Midway, UT sits at 1700m) with her desire to train for hours and hours in Utah’s high alpine landscape. When asked for her highlight of the trip, GRP summer athlete Johanna Talihärm offered, “Definitely hiking Timp[anogos], it’s the closest I’ve ever been to [the summit]… unfortunately we had to turn back because of darkness.” Add in a few quality strength sessions, delicious home-cooked meals, and the excitement of a Red Sox World Series title, and the team calls it a successful training camp.

Hallie, Kelsey, and Johanna on Mt. Timanogos. 

 

Kelsey, Raleigh, and Hallie skiing above 10,000′ on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.

 

Jake, Raleigh, Hallie, Kelsey, and the snow after the team rollerskied up to the Bald Mountain Pass via the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.

 

On the Mid-Mountain Trail above Park City: Bridger Biathlon Club athlete Kelly Kjorlien, Kelsey Dickinson, Raleigh Goessling, and Jake Brown take in the sun, and the view.

 

The view may be a little more brown than the Green Mountains, but the big sky views are worth celebrating.

 

Team dinner as seen through the eyes of Coach Sam Dougherty.

After Friday’s final competition the team will wave farewell to Utah and fly home to cozy Vermont on Saturday. Everyone is anxious to get the racing season underway and return home, where hopefully they will soon be skiing on snow! Yeehaw!

New Zealand 2.0

28.Sep.2018 by Kaitlynn Miller

This is the GRP’s second year in a row making the trek down-under for a late summer, on-snow training camp. While last year’s camp seemed hard to beat, this year’s camp was up for the task. The camp was roughly broken into four segments with a three day dryland training stint in town, a largely technique focused period on snow, a short racing period, and last but not least, a volume block. The primary goals of the camp were to transfer summer technique changes to snow and to get in some quality intensity workouts to solidify those changes. The hope is to make our second transition to snow in the fall much smoother allowing us to maximize our potential at early season races.

After nearly 30 hours of travel we walked off the plane in Queenstown and, despite some pretty extreme fatigue and jet lag, it was hard not to feel happy and excited when greeted by towering peaks and crisp mountain air. And John Alexander, a former professional rower who we met through a Craftsbury rowing camp coach, made our lives much easier by generously offering to transport our ski bags to our rental house in Wanaka. While living in town, we focused on recovering from travel and getting in some short intensity before moving up to altitude at the Snow Farm. We also threw in some adventure running, because who could resist?!

Lake Wanaka

Mountainous views from our first adventure run

View from the gym. Ski camp or tropical vacation?!

Spring in NZ = cherry blossoms (had to sneak a flower photo in here somewhere)

While we enjoyed life in town, we were all pretty excited to move up into winter at the Snow Farm. For our first week on snow we focused on making a good transition from rollerskis to skis. This meant a lot of time spent doing video review and focusing on some element of technique for each workout. While many of us were tempted to just go ski our brains out, it was important to not overdue it too early in the camp. The goal was to maintain good energy so that we could ski well and instill the right technical habits. We were lucky to overlap at the Snow Farm with Stratton and the US Ski Team so we were able to combine some workouts and train with each other.

While sometimes it’s necessary to ski on your own to focus on a personal technique change or reach a personal workout goal, there are also benefits to skiing with others. Different people have different strengths and we can learn a lot from each other.

Pepa, with her trusty iPad, keeping a close watch on us

And pricking our fingers to test lactate mid-interval workout

Corey skiing some Merino Glen switchbacks

Liz with the Snow Farm Lodge in the background

Skiers or ants?

Next up was the racing block! Racing opportunities included the famous Merino Muster as well as the New Zealand Winter Games.  These races provided a good opportunity to get in some low pressure racing and work on maintaining our technique, and newly acquired good habits, at high speed. To meet personal training goals not everyone raced every event, but competition was stiff with racers from Stratton, the US Ski Team, and the Japanese National Team toeing the line. You can read the full race reports here:

Merino Muster | NZ Winter Games

Adam (fourth skier from the left) racing the Merino Muster. Is he being caught by a pack of tutu-clad women, or did he just pass them? He placed second overall so that gives you a clue.

Ida (second skier from the right) racing in the NZ Winter Games skate sprint final

Another shot of the women’s final with the Snow Farm’s UFO towering above the skiers

Ben (third from the left) racing in the men’s sprint final

Adam and Ben (front left) in the lead pack of the men’s 15k classic mass start event

Both Adam and Ben landed themselves on the podium in second and third respectively. Apparently blue mirrored lenses were the choice of the day and directly correlated to podium finishes…

And Caitlin and Ida added to the GRP podium crew placing second and third, respectively, in the women’s 10k classic event

A big thanks to Nick for his tireless wax support, not just during the races, but throughout the whole camp

With the races behind us we turned our focus to volume, but not before a day off to recover.

Lakeside relaxing in Queenstown. We also ate some ice cream, did some chocolate shopping, and wandered through the nearby park.

We encountered a real life Merino Muster while driving back up to the Snow Farm. So many sheepies!!

We spent the last portion of the camp focusing on volume which, of course, included some crust cruising as well as some night skis. We were blessed with significantly more sun and snow than last year which meant a greater number of open trails and much tanner faces, complete with raccoon eyes. The incredible weather made the training extra enjoyable. While poor conditions can certainly be good training for mental toughness and adaptability, we do love skiing in the sun, especially when surrounded by jaw-dropping scenery.

Views in every direction

Cruising that crust!

And soaking up the sun!

A behind-the-scenes shot of getting the perfect selfie. In addition to being a great training opportunity, the trip to NZ also gives us the opportunity to rock our awesome new Skida headwear!

The geology surrounding the Snow Farm is quite unique

Zen Ben

It was a Classic Toko Glove kind of day

Summit selfie on Mount Pisa!!

The whole GRP Ski crew (minus Ida who was on a plane)

And that’s all for now! Thanks to Nick and Pepa for all their help, guidance, and logistical management throughout the camp. And thanks to the Snow Farm for the comfy accommodations, gracious hospitality, stellar grooming, and tasty food! Also, thanks to Steve, the Snow Farm manager, for bringing our ski bags to the airport! And last, but certainly not least, a big thank you to Concept 2 and the Craftsbury Outdoor Center for the support that made this camp possible.

Photo credit: Caitlin, Nick, Pepa, Corey, and Kait