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Posts Tagged ‘training’

Ski Camps at Foret Montmorency

14.Nov.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

The whole 2017 Foret team!
Front L-R: Kait, Mike, Ben, Ida, Hallie
Back L-R: Caitlin, Adam, Liz, Nick, Pepa

Most of the GRP skiers and biathletes spent Monday Oct 30 – Thursday Nov 2, and Monday Nov 6 – Thursday Nov 10 at Foret Montmorency. The Foret Montmorency is a skiing/research/vacation facility operated by the University of Laval, and it is located about 1 hour north of Quebec City in Eastern Canada.

Fortunately for us, based in Craftsbury in northeastern Vermont, it’s only about a 4-4.5 hour drive to the Foret. This made it possible to go up north two consecutive weeks, returning to VT for a few days of the weekend and the NENSA Elite Rollerski race at Trapps on Saturday Nov. 4th.

During both 4-day camps, we put a big emphasis on technique and making sure to ski with good body position. Pepa was out on the trailside for every session, capturing video with her iPad for us to review after the ski. This constant feedback loop of ski-video review-ski can be extremely useful for making changes, but it also requires you to stay mentally engaged the whole time for the most benefit.

Camp week 1 included several distance sessions, skate jump skate speeds, classic start practice, 3 minute classic/DP intervals, and a skate time trial.  Camp week 2 included more distance sessions of both classic and skate, 90 second classic intervals, and 3-4 minute hard skate intervals.

Enjoy the photos below. For more media – photos and videos from the camp – look at our Instagram or Facebook pages.

Ida leaves for Europe on Nov. 15th, the domestic biathletes leave for Canmore on Nov. 20th, and the domestic skiers leave for West Yellowstone on Nov. 21st. The winter of racing is right around the corner!

Thin snow, but it still glides! There were considerable numbers of woodchips, sawdust, a few rocks, but at least the majority of the surface appears white.

Ben and Hallie

Ben and Hallie heading out along the white ribbon. This was during camp week 1, and the narrow spot ahead of them is the part that melted out and was no longer skiable in week 2

Mike out for a classic cruise

Ida and Kait deciding, right or left?

It was great to have Ida up at the Foret camps with the rest of us domestic GRP racers, before she heads to Europe on Nov 15th. Photo: Pepa

Liz and Kait during a skate distance session

Adam Martin wins the men’s race at the NENSA Elite Rollerski Invitational. Photo: Gary Solow

Ida Sargent wins the NENSA Elite race for women. Photo: Dave Priganc

Back to the Foret: Adam Martin, the masquerading Swede

Liz and Kait pass the main lodge along the snow loop. Photo: Pepa

Pepa skis along with the iPad, reading to video and offer technique advice at any moment

Ida, Liz, Kait. Photo: Pepa

Dance for the Foret!

Photos by myself, Caitlin, unless otherwise noted. Thanks for reading!

Mid-June training life in Craftsbury

28.Jun.2017 by Caitlin Patterson

Last week was a fairly standard summer training week in Craftsbury for the GRP, but that’s not to say it’s boring or without unexpected (and expected) challenges. For most of the summer, we follow a cycle of two hard weeks then an easier week. Last week was the first of two, so we’re heading into another similar-if-a-little-harder week of training. A look at last week:

Monday –

Pre-workout: wake-up, stretch, put on my puddle boots and go let the chickens out of their coop. Then breakfast, tea and maybe toast, maybe eggs, maybe oatmeal.

Morning workout: 2.5 hour skate rollerski followed by a few minutes of jogging to stretch out. It was hot and humid, so the jog took the form of running to a creek nearby so that I could swim.

Mid-day, I spent several hours preparing information and finishing calculations on an energy project for our upcoming dining hall renovation at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

Afternoon workout: 1.5 hour run on the dirt roads with teammates Ben, Adam, and U23 training partner Lewis. We GRPers are really enjoying the company of our 3 summer training partners this year – Kelsey Dickinson, Lewis Nottison, and Adam Luban. Read more about these three athletes here: http://www.craftsbury.com/general/about-the-center/news/detail/1857/

Hey chickens, good morning.

Tuesday –

Morning strength circuit orchestrated by coach Pepa. A HARD one, with lots of jumps and several arms exercises right in a row. We do 4-6 rounds of our circuit, and during the first round, I wasn’t sure I was going to make it past 3-4 at most. But… strangely enough most of us felt better throughout, and made it through 6.

Mid-day meeting about the dining hall project with the architect and various other staff at the Outdoor Center.

Afternoon, run including the Craftsbury Outdoor Center Tuesday night 5k race at “tempo” which is a medium-hard pace. I expected it would be a struggle to run fast on the trails after our morning’s circuit, but my legs actually felt good and I had fun cruising the single-track trails during the race.

Kelsey and Matt Moody in a recent Tuesday Night Race

Wednesday –

Morning classic rollerski, 2.5 hours including 3×6 speeds of about 10-15 seconds. These kinds of speeds are a good opportunity to work on tempo and power, and we go as fast as we can possibly manage on the terrain of choice. Successful session with a few good technique modifications, and we always have the opportunity after our workout to review video that Pepa takes during the speeds, which is very helpful.

Adam and Ben out on the roads near Greensboro

Classic rollerski after a sprinkle of rain

Afternoon – coaching, riding, and taking photos at the first “Bike Club” of the summer season. 40 kids signed up for this year’s bike club, an organized once-a-week program at Craftsbury coached by ski coaches and GRP athletes. We’ll be splitting into groups roughly based on experience to learn skills, share tricks, and ride the single-track.

So many excited Bike Club kids!

Thursday –

Our morning workout consisted of uphill running-with-poles intervals on a dirt road gradual climb near the Craftsbury village. After a 30+ minute warm up, we ran up the hill 4-6 times, taking 9-10 minutes each time. Our coaches drive us back down the hill in between intervals, otherwise the rest would take too long. This was a particularly nice workout because while it’s ski specific with the poles, I also felt like it was good practice for my legs and the upcoming running races I’ll be competing in.

Mid-day several of us headed to the garden fields for a little post-lunch hoeing of weeds and mulching (applying thick layers of hay) between rows of squash and melons.

Afternoon Crossfit strength workout with fantastic coach Cady from Green Mountain Crossfit. Cady ran us through a warm-up circuit/stretching for a few minutes, and then we launched into a ladder of deadlifts, 5-5-3-3-2-2-2 reps, working up to our 2 rep maximum weight for the last set. The final challenge of the strength session was 11 minutes of dead lifts (at a lighter weight), hand stand push ups (or normal push-ups) and box jumps. Recipe for soreness tomorrow!

Friday –

The morning was rainy, but Kelsey, Hallie and I ventured over to Belvidere Mountain about 30′ drive away for a run/hike with poles. We saw the fire tower looming above from the summit, if not much else, and enjoyed splashing through puddles on the trail for 2.5 hours.

In the afternoon, with continued rain showers looming, I opted for a 30′ skierg followed by 40 minutes of assorted core strength, arm/shoulder strength, and balance exercises. If you think it sounds hard to fill 40 minutes with core strength, (no heavy lifting, not really any weights) think again and follow your closest nordic skier into the gym. Between banded exercises, variations on sit-ups, variations of planks, balancing and hopping on blue balance disks, it’s not hard at all to fill the time, especially with friends and music.

Saturday –

Time for a morning OD – skate rollerskiing for 3:45 through the rolling green hills around Lowell, Troy, and other such small towns north of Craftsbury. It was a scenic day of skiing, and we passed countless barns and cow fields. I did get caught off guard by a tar snake – that’s a light-hearted term for those slimey strips of tar they use to repair road cracks – which took me down and resulted in a little road rash, but the shock of falling passed quickly and it wasn’t a bad scrape at all.

The men’s crew passing a stack of hay bales. Thanks Pepa for snapping these next few photos on my camera!

The women’s group behind a tractor. Don’t worry, we weren’t actually tailgating it, it had just pulled out and soon outpaced us.

Right to left: Ben, Mike, Adam M, Lewis, Adam L

Afternoon strength – 20′ running to warm up, a few minutes of mobility and core strength, and then lifting. Several of our go-to exercises are such things as back squats, dead lifts, pull ups, bench press, dips, and beyond, typically around 4 sets of each exercise with medium weight. Strength really truly can make you feel better, like this afternoon, when I came into the gym a little sleepy and grumpy but left it tired in a different, better way, but also feeling happier.

Training week, complete! 23 hours, 130 miles covered, only a few drops of blood.

On Sunday, an easy day off from training, I spent the morning with a mix of weeding the berry patch and writing emails and crossing other computer-related to-do items off my list.  After lunch at the Outdoor Center, most of us from the GRP and a bunch of coaches and Craftsbury junior/BKL skiers drove to Sterling College for an afternoon of trail work. It was a few hours well-spent digging in the mud, finding rocks with a crew of Craftsbury kids to use for drainage features, carrying and rearranging logs, building boardwalks, and taking a few photos to capture the process. In the evening, Susan, Liz, Kelsey, Kait and I ventured out to Stowe to enjoy a bluegrass concert through Music in the Meadow at Trapp Family Lodge, a great end to a busy week!

Part of the trail crew. Our total numbers were at least 3 times this many but most of them were elsewhere when I took this picture.

Anna and Audrey (COC ski coaches) getting in their afternoon workout in the woods!

Tools for the trails

A group of Craftsbury BKL skiers helping with the drainage projects, and building a jump

Drainage

Lewis and Adam working on the boardwalks

What’s that pig looking at? Nothing strange to see here at all. (Ski speeds on the grass a few weeks ago.)

 

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!

Crash Landings and Wooden Medals (or, my first year on the GRP)

27.Apr.2016 by Heather Mooney

Ski racing professionally has been a dream of mine since I was in elementary school. It was the “light at the end of the tunnel” of school, because in that case, it meant I got to be doing my favorite thing, all the time, without the nuisance of homework or things that I knew were good for me but that I didn’t like as much. As a result of many years of built up excitement, I had also built up a lot of expectations for how it would be, what it would feel like, how happy I’d be to be finally “there”. Rather than having to wait through class to go skiing or running afterwards, I imagined that I’d suddenly be able to spend my whole day in the exuberant feeling I had found previously in my few hours of ski practice. Little did I know that it was the context and balance of those other things that buoyed my excitement for skiing so much.

I do not love skiing any less now. I’ve just had a harder time finding my excitement for it this year. Plenty of people counseled me that the transition would be challenging, if only for the reason that I struggle with transitions, but I didn’t believe them. I thought of course I could defy the odds, that for me the first year out of college would be awesome.  I’ve been skiing since I could walk, racing since I was six, keeping a training log since I was 13, and have raced in Europe since I was 16. I’ve been through transitions; I know enough that I shouldn’t have to have another year like my first year of college; I should be “better” than that by now. But, sure enough, I wasn’t, because it was a transition totally different from any of the others I’d experienced. The variables were different, and furthermore, I was closed minded to the idea that it even would be hard. Previously, the only thing that had changed was the format of how I went to school; everything else remained constant. Now, in Craftsbury, my life was suddenly structured by the thing I used to do in my “free time” and the things that used to be the main structure in my life, I now needed to create for myself.

I thought in this new life I was going to need to focus harder and more on skiing, because that’s what I was doing, that’s why I’m here, to get faster. I tried to shut everything out, and push harder. This was my job now, I needed to approach it with a tougher mindset than just a “college kid”. It turns out that was the death of me. I got tired, and frustrated, and had nothing else to turn to, where previously I subconsciously relied on lots of other intellectual things. It took me a whole year of suffering to realize I was missing a basic structuring of my life that made me feel good. I was floundering to find any order whatsoever, one that I had very much taken for granted in the structure that school provided. My life wasn’t school, or skiing, or any one specific thing then, but they coexisted in a way that made me happy.

Now, I was trying to make one of these many pieces, skiing, fill up the whole routine that was my life, discounting the necessity of other aspects. I wanted to become my best at skiing by letting it become all encompassing. But, to my dismay, “that ain’t me”.  To be able to bring myself to skiing with the same enthusiasm that defined me in my career to this point, I needed to stoke the fire elsewhere too, something I totally ignored in trying to fit myself into the “pro skier life” this year.

One of my previous coaches recommended that I just had to hold tight and make it to the end of my first 12-18 months out of college, still happy, still skiing, and I’d be ok. I didn’t really know what he meant by that, and I really didn’t want to hear it, that I was going to be miserable for a whole 12 more months, but I trusted it, since it was a promise that I’d be in a better place eventually, and that sounded a lot better than the prospects of it not getting better. I understand better now, or at least have given my own description to it, that by “then” I’d make it through my own rebalancing. All the pieces were still there; it would just take me a while to reorganize them.

 

Objectively, the year was not that bad. I got to stand on the start line proud in the green suit that was frequenting the podium, I raced at U23s World Championships and OPA Cups, and had some good sprint qualifiers. On paper, it shouldn’t have been any different than the year before. I trained nearly the same number of hours, and even less intensity, I shouldn’t have been as tired and wrecked as I was.

Subjectively, I was seriously struggling. I wasn’t happy. It was obvious in my comportment as I showed up- the one who was frequently late, constantly crashed on her roller skis, and couldn’t make it through a 3 hour rollerski workout. This only added to the frustration, as this wasn’t the me I knew. Having prided myself to this point as one who routinely had my life in order, for the first time in my life, I resembled more of a “shit show”. It took me about until February to have any sense of reordering, and it took all of my deflated self to just focus on what I could control. I made it through the season, and salvaged what could have been a lot worse.

 

So what am I doing about it? What changed from the floundering freshman-at-life that showed up last May, to a self-proclaimed more-sure-of-herself-Heather now? Craftsbury is in an awesome place with world class athletes emerging every where you turn, and I’m excited to be a part of it. I’m excited to feel like I’m making my own life routine again. I’m beginning to find my niche in Center work projects, feeling like my skillsets can be useful in a way that I’m happily absorbed and feel good about for their greater purpose in our small Outdoor Center community.  I am also really lucky to have part time work at Pete’s Greens, a way to use my mind and body in a totally different way from skiing, toward something I believe in, the idea that “Vermont Can Feed Itself”.

 

I started out writing this blog, intending to write about the places I got to race, a summary full of pretty pictures of my experiences of my first year of what I hope will be many living the dream on the GRP. Despite training in Austria, Utah, racing in Montana, Idaho, Michigan, Romania, Germany, Italy, the formative parts of the year for me were the emotional ones. I feel silly that my conclusions of my first year as a “pro skier” are something so ethereal; I would love to be able to say I overcame all these physical challenges and am a changed body with new strength or technique. For me though, it was the emotional hurdles of re-learning the basics of what keep me going as a happy person, recreating a structure that supports my passion for skiing and drive to reach my potential as a racer and person.

The most exciting, (or maybe just best documented), of my many skinned knees this year…

Craftsbury F&F 3.18.16-0461-2480x1653

“Almost, maybe next time.” (Reese Brown).