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Posts Tagged ‘training camp’

GRP Ski: A Whirlwind Lake Placid Week

21.Jul.2018 by Caitlin Patterson

Seven of the GRP skiers just returned from a week-long camp in Lake Placid, NY. There’s nothing quite like travelling to make you happy to return home, but we also had an awesome week training with friends from the Stratton T2 team and the US Ski Team.

The week flew by, but was also jam-packed with activities: from Friday July 13th to Friday the 20th, 6 rollerskis including 3 intensity sessions, 3 long runs, and 3 hard strength sessions.  Interspersed with the training was cooking, swimming, lounging on couches and in hammocks, watching an evening concert, watching part of the Harry Potter movie marathon on TV, mini golf, and lots of sleeping.  The camp was a great opportunity to get together with the athletes of Stratton, and to train in new places with interesting variations on the workouts. The team sprint workout on Sunday was the first time this year that any of us had been on a rollerski track, and it’s always surprising how much different the turns and rollers of a track are from straight country roads!

For me personally, there were a few notable highlights to the camp. Our L3 skate rollerski workout on Thursday July 19th was a highly beneficial session, where I was able to work on skiing in a pack and the accelerations and pace changes that result from rolling terrain. I was pleased with how I was able to push through some early leg stiffness, start to relax, and catch back up to a fast group to ski out the rest of the 10×5 minute intervals. Another highlight was a long 4hr run around the Adirondacks to the top of Mt Marcy and out past Lake Colden and Avalanche Lake, treated to beautiful views of mountains and waterfalls. I did miss running with the women and catching up with them during the run, as I decided to run with the men’s group and be the map-reader to lead us around the loop, but we had an excellent and amusing run.

Lowlights… a camp wouldn’t be real without a few of those too. Smacking my shins on a wooden box during strength box jumps, and then falling and scraping my shin during a run; those two instances definitely take the cake for low points and extreme discomfort. Oh well, skin heals!

We’re back in Vermont now, finishing off our week of training with a 4hr OD this morning. I’m enjoying the easy lake access for swimming, the good pavement, visiting with our biathlete teammates, and seeing the latest progress on the dining hall renovation project. Next up — a restful Sunday and then 2 more big weeks of training coming soon!

Team sprint workout start. L-R of the skiers crouched to start: Lina Sutro (our GRP summer training partner), Kelsey Phinney, Liz Guiney, Katharine Ogden, Caitlin Patterson, Alayna Sonnesyn. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Ida Sargent leads a loop of the Team Sprint workout, with Julia Kern, Sophie Caldwell and Jessie Diggins. Photo: Pat O’Brien

Ben Lustgarten charging around the sprint course at the Lake Placid rollerski track. Photo: Pat O’Brien

Both in pink tank-tops, Liz (back left) and Caitlin (front right) holding their own during the team sprint workout. Photo: Pat O’Brien

Let’s not forget our fearless leader, Pepa! Excellent coaching support for the camp, as usual! Pictured with L-R Adam, Ben, Akeo

Ben and the guys heading for the fire tower on Hurricane mountain

Starting the descent off Mt Marcy

Men’s cruise on rollerskis. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Women’s double pole train on an easy distance session. Thanks to all the great athletes for sharing the road, and to the coaches for supporting our training! Photo: Matt Whitcomb

 

Slovenia, below ground and above

21.Sep.2016 by Caitlin Patterson

What takes a skier to Slovenia in September, you might wonder? Surely there are other places closer to a home base in Vermont where it would be possible to dryland train on rollerskis or on foot. And Slovenia isn’t known for any of the skiing glaciers like can be found in Italy, Austria, and Alaska. What Slovenia does have, new this year, is an indoor, underground skiing tunnel.

Make sure to check out the previous post on this blog, which went up earlier today, on the GRP biathletes’ experience at Slovenian biathlon national championships. For this post, I’ll focus on the tunnel experience and a few other mountain adventures in Slovenia that the skiers were lucky enough to get to do.

When our coach Pepa found out early summer about Slovenia’s new tunnel, which is located at the Olympic Sports Complex in Planica, she started considering options that would tie the tunnel into our fall trip to Europe. The last two years the GRP skiers have trained for several weeks in Ramsau, Austria, making use of the Dachstein glacier for on-snow sessions. Last year the snow melted out quickly on the Dachstein, so while we did get some good quality sessions on our skis, we finished the camp feeling a little bit short-changed in the skiing department. The guaranteed snow of an indoor tunnel seemed enticing, to make sure we could log quality workouts on skis, especially since Planica is only about a 2.5 hour drive from Ramsau. Thus in 2016, here on September 21st, we’re midway through a camp that combines a speed-and-technique block in the tunnel in Planica with a distance-and-high-altitude block in Ramsau at the Dachstein glacier.

cp-hdrplan

The Olympic Sports Center in Planica, Slovenia. Our accommodations were simple hotel-style rooms in the building at lower left, and our playground was the mountains beyond, plus the ski tunnel a 3 minute walk from our rooms.

For most, if not all, of the team, this was our first experience with a ski tunnel. It’s a very… interesting… environment, at least this Planica tunnel, which doubles as a parking garage during certain times of the year. The walls are drab grey concrete, and there are concrete columns which the trail winds around… but there are also unusual features to examine, like traffic mirrors and signs in Slovenian, ice-flooded stairways, ice stalagmites growing up from the ground and rime crystals on piping. We skied a single loop in between 80 seconds and 2 minutes, depending on the intensity, which can get a bit repetitious… but it also means that we have many opportunities to work on certain terrain features or transitions, and many opportunities for Pepa, Sam, or Nick to video us for later technique review.  The air wasn’t the freshest, and there was no music playing… but the snow is consistent and predictable, always use-able and often pretty fast, and people could bring in their own headphones with podcasts or music. So the tunnel definitely had its pros and cons, but overall the experience was quite valuable and we put in a quality one-week long speed camp. Below are some photos from our below-ground Slovenian experience.

Tunnel stalagmites, from a low perspective that makes them look extra tall.

Tunnel stalagmites, from a low perspective that makes them look extra tall. We got a few ceiling drips on our heads too, but not all that many. It seemed to be drippier in the tunnel on the days when it was raining outside.

Alex and Heather cruise towards a corner

Alex and Heather cruise towards a corner

Emily on the one uphill of the loop

Emily starting the uphill

Heather in the transition zone, switching from boots back to running shoes for the walk to our lodging.

Heather in the transition zone, switching from boots back to running shoes for a post-ski jog and then the walk to our lodging.

Kait, Caitlin, Ben, Liz focus before a sprint start (Photo by Sam D)

Kait, Caitlin, Ben, Liz focus before a sprint start (Photo by Sam D)

Heather and Ben sprint while wax tech Nick looks on (Photo by Sam D)

Heather and Ben sprint while wax tech Nick looks on (Photo by Sam D)

Liz and Caitlin sprinting on a straightaway (Photo by Sam D)

Liz and Caitlin sprinting on a straightaway (Photo by Sam D)

And then there were the above-ground sessions! Apart from our tunnel skis, fortunately we were able to get out into the mountains for several hikes and runs. Planica is in the Julian Alps, and the mountains are impressive, with steep cliff faces but also trails that bring hikers around to climb-able sides of many of the peaks. Because the skiers and biathletes within our group were on slightly different plans, with the biathletes racing in Slovenian biathlon national rollerski races on Saturday and Sunday (see previous blog post), different groups of us went on a variety of adventures. The trails and peaks that we saw just whetted our appetite for more, and I know I certainly hope to return to Slovenia and this area in particular for future excursions and training! The following photos are from a few of our hikes. (Unless otherwise noted, I took the photos in this post.)

Hiking crew above the Vrsic pass, left to right Caitlin, Nick, Heather, Kait, Ben, Liz

Hiking crew above the Vrsic pass, left to right Caitlin, Nick, Heather, Kait, Ben, Liz

Climbing above the Vrsic pass into the peaks of the Julian Alps

Climbing above the Vrsic pass into the peaks of the Julian Alps

Another view of a deep valley

Another view of a deep valley, Nick and Heather ascending the trail

Fossils!

Fossils!

Peaking carefully over the edge to see the sheer cliff on the other side

Peaking carefully over the edge to see the sheer cliff on the other side

We took brief break from our training routine with a sight-seeing and shopping walk around Bled, Slovenia, which is known for this much-photographed lake and castle

We took brief break from our training routine with a sight-seeing and shopping walk around Bled, Slovenia, which is known for this much-photographed lake and castle

Looking down on the jump complex at Planica from Ciprnik peak

Looking down on the jump complex at Planica from Ciprnik peak

Crazy black salamander or newt from one of our hike/runs. On that particular run we saw dozens of these little guys on a certain section of trail.

Crazy black salamander or newt from one of our hike/runs. On that particular run we saw dozens of these little guys on a section of trail.

Ben celebrates bagging a peak (Slemenova spica, over 6000ft).

Ben celebrates bagging a peak on one of our first afternoon runs (Slemenova spica, over 6000ft – a good climb from Planica at 3000ft).

Coaches and skiers (missing biathletes), from left: Pepa, Heather, Ben, Kait, Caitlin, Liz, Nic

Coaches and skiers (missing biathletes), from left: Pepa, Heather, Ben, Kait, Caitlin, Liz, Nick. Thanks Craft Sportswear for the awesome new custom-designed suits.

This morning was our first skiing session on the Dachstein glacier above Ramsau, Austria, and we were greeted by sunny skies and fast snow. For now follow our Instagram account @greenracingproject, or Craftsbury Green Racing Project on Facebook, for (nearly) daily updates from the glacier – we’ll be sure to get a glacier summary post with photos up here on the blog too by the end of the camp!

Alaska summer training with the USST camp

13.Jul.2016 by Caitlin Patterson

Since last Tuesday, July 5th, I’ve been in Anchorage, Alaska. This city is where I attended high school, and where I returned during the summers between my college years. So it’s familiar, though different without my parents here anymore (they’ve relocated to Montana), and it’s great to visit the places and people I know up here. But really, I’m in Alaska primarily to join the US Ski Team training camp – we’ve had a week of dry-land training in town, and tomorrow morning we’re flying up to the Eagle glacier for a week of on-snow training. During this week we’ve fit in quite a few running workouts, classic rollerski speeds, L3 skate rollerski intervals, L4 bounding intervals and strength workouts. And a week of Alaska summer wouldn’t be complete without a few extracurricular evening activities making use of the long hours of daylight. Below is a summary of the week’s activities, in photos:

Catching the guys' interval sessions, after I've finished my own. Skate L3 intervals with speeds/sprints at the end. Enjoyed the opportunity to frame the guys with flowers.

Catching the guys’ interval sessions, after I’ve finished my own. Skate L3 intervals with speeds/sprints at the end. Enjoyed the opportunity to frame the guys with flowers at Kincaid Park.

When you've been away it's easier to notice the details of a place, like the mini AK tundra, as highlighted when blueberry picking

When you’ve been away it’s easier to notice the details of a place, like the mini AK tundra, as highlighted when blueberry picking

Low bush blueberries, not easy to pick but tasty!

Low bush blueberries, not easy to pick but tasty especially by the handful!

Bounding session, great to follow these 3 speedy women - Rosie, Liz, Virginia, me (in pink). Screenshot from USST video clip

Bounding session, great to follow these 3 speedy women – Rosie, Liz, Virginia, me (in pink). Screenshot from USST video clip

Classic rollerski speed session. Screenshot from USST video clip

Classic rollerski speed session. After getting used to the quiet Vermont roads, it was kind of eye-opening to return to the city-scape of Anchorage, where there are so many more cars, intersections, obstacles, terrain. All fun but a little overwhelming! Screenshot from USST video clip

Finishing off a skate interval with the strong women's group. Screenshot from USST video clip

Finishing off a skate interval with the strong women’s group. I’m in the neon tank with the circle-cedar leaf on the back. Screenshot from USST video clip

Powering through the flats in skate intervals. Screenshot from USST video clip

Powering through the flats in skate intervals, myself followed by Virginia (Italian World Cup skier guest of this camp). Screenshot from USST video clip

Becca focuses on the rocky problem during an evening climbing session with Scott and I on the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage

Becca Rorabaugh focuses on the rocky problem during an evening climbing session with Scott and I on the Turnagain Arm near Anchorage. Thanks Becca for hosting me during the dryland section, great company, food, and training!

Scaling the rock

Scaling the rock. I don’t have much experience rock climbing but every time I’m able to dabble in it, I’m freshly hooked to want to climb more!

Scott on belay, and giving us advice about how to figure out a way up the wall

My brother Scott on belay, and giving Becca and I advice about how to figure out a way up the wall

On the top of Wolverine peak near Anchorage

On the top of Wolverine peak near Anchorage. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Women's camp crew near the start of our ridge run above Symphony Lake

Women’s camp crew near the start of our ridge run above Symphony Lake. Photo: Matt Whitcomb

Rosie Frankowski cruising the ridge

Rosie Frankowski of APU, cruising the ridge on our running OD past Symphony Lake

My brother and I, (not) nailing the jump. Scott decided to pull a best-girl-imitation jump, and I just didn't make it very far off the ground or something.

My brother and I, (not) nailing the jump. Scott decided to pull a best-girl-imitation jump, and I just didn’t make it very far off the ground, or something…

Bounding down the springy tundra towards Symphony Lake

Bounding down the springy tundra towards Symphony Lake

Must cool off! With about an hour still to run, most of us resorted to the head dunk rather than a full swim in Symphony Lake. We swam in a creek once we made it to the parking lot.

Must cool off! With about an hour still to run, most of us resorted to the head dunk rather than a full swim in Symphony Lake. We swam in a creek once we made it to the parking lot.

That’s the week in a nutshell, and now it’s glacier time, can’t wait!