Green Racing Project Blog Header Image

Archive for June, 2016

Spring Testing

6.Jun.2016 by Heather Mooney

by Ben Lustgarten

Although it is only June, the second official training month of the new season, the Craftsbury Green Racing Project has been conducting extensive physical testing in May. The tests include the Canadian Strength Test, an uphill running time trial up local Mt. Elmore, a VO2 Max Test using a Concept2 Ski Erg, and a MOXY Test using a Concept2 Ski Erg. These tests will give us a very solid baseline of information that we plan to build on throughout the training season.

“Hit the ground running” is definitely a good phrase used to describe the Craftsbury GRP training this year. This hard effort and high intensity testing allows for a shorter “break-in” period of sometimes lackluster training in late spring and early summer that plague some Nordic skiers out there. It also increases the early focus, while providing individual goals for each skier to get to by the next testing block.

The Canadian Strength Test is a common standard for Nordic skiers to use. For those of you who are not familiar with the test, it is very easy to replicate if you choose to add it in your own training program to see if you are getting stronger over time. The test is as follows: perform as many pull-ups as possible in 1 minute, 1 minute rest, perform as many sit ups as possible for 1 minute, 1 minute rest, perform as many push ups as possible in 1 minute, 1 minute rest, perform as many box jumps as possible in 1 minute, 1 minute rest, perform as many bench dips as possible, 1 minute rest. The final score is calculated by adding up all of the numbers as they are except for pull-ups: multiply your number of pull-ups by 3.

Below, Mike Gibson demonstrates strength testing protocol for pullups and pushups:


Most Nordic skiers are familiar with an uphill running time trial. Nordies love to just get in that pain cave and test how mentally and physically strong they are, so what better way than running uphill as hard as possible? The Craftsbury team uses local Mt. Elmore, which is more an adequate for searching the depths of the pain cave. As calculated by a Polar V800 training watch, the uphill running time trial is 3.03km long and has 372 meters of elevation gain. It takes between 16 minutes to 23 minutes to complete depending on the age and ability of the athlete. The first half of the run is on a dirt road, while the second half is on a hiking trail. The last few pitches are exceptionally steep, making most runners debate about doing a fast hike or continuing to run. Sometimes putting pride aside and hiking actually is faster and less exhausting.

The VO2 max test was done in our coaches testing laboratory on a Concept2 ski erg with the PM5 monitor. We used the pace function of the ski erg to do a “step test” for each athlete. With a heart rate monitor on, breathing mask to calculate oxygen intake, and muscle oxygen saturation monitors taped on, the athletes started at an easy pace and every 90 seconds increased the pace. For example, start at 2:20 for 500m pace, then after 90 seconds go down to 2:10, then 2:00, then 1:55, then 1:50, etc until the pace cannot be maintained. This will create a max effort and thus max VO2 result. Here is a link to the VO2 max test for one of our athletes:

The MOXY test is also done with a Concept2 Ski Erg with a PM5 monitor. With heart rate monitor, breathing mask, and MOXY monitors taped on, the athletes performed three 4-minute hard intervals with only 1 minute of rest in between each one. The pace was supposed to be relatively consistent throughout the test, so the first interval felt ok, but the third 4-minute interval wax extremely challenging to maintain. The MOXY monitors the oxygen saturation in the muscles. The test is supposed to measure how much oxygen is delivered to the muscles, and how well the muscles utilize that oxygen. A VO2 max was also taken from this test. Here is a link to a video of the test:

June continues a solid training program as we welcome three college athletes who will be training with us for the duration of the summer. Stay tuned for more updates from the Craftsbury Green Racing Project! And if you are not already, follow us on Instagram (@greenracingproject) and Facebook (Craftsbury Green Racing Project) for more information and pictures!

Bend camp

3.Jun.2016 by Ida Sargent

The US Ski Team coaches set a goal of 100 hours on snow for this summer training season and after just one of our four camps, I am well on the way to achieving that goal!  While rollerskiing uses similar muscles, the technique, balance, and speed on snow are slightly different so the extra time spent actually skiing will hopefully make a difference this upcoming winter.  Thanks to a big winter of snowfall in the Cascade Mountains, we were able to once again start the training year with a camp in Bend, Oregon.  There was plenty of snow and probably close to 20 kilometers of trails open and we saw a big variety in conditions from frozen corduroy to new falling snow to deep, soft, slush.  This camp had a big volume focus with several hours of skiing each morning at Mt. Bachelor and then afternoons spent mountain biking, running, and hitting the gym in town.  We trained over four hours most days with some days hitting five to six hours!  The US biathlon team was training in Bend at the same time so it was fun to ski some laps with Susan and Clare.

Summer skiing at it’s best! Skating on the Mt. Bachelor trails with Broken Top Mountain behind me (Bryan Fish photo)
Classic drills with Sophie (Bryan Fish photo)
Herringboning speeds-not something that you can practice on rollerskis (Bryan Fish photo)
Mid winter conditions (Flying Point Photo)
And then mid-summer conditions (Liz Arky photo)
Instant technique feedback- Here I am looking at an iPad with Matt to review video and then make changes (Flying Point photo)

Feeling speedy (Flying Point photo)

Not every session involved drills, skills, or technique work and the best part of the volume camp was having the opportunity to just go out and ski, and sometimes off piste  We took advantage of some perfect snow conditions one day to cruise across the crust, through higher alpine meadows and up into the bowl on Broken Top mountain.  The almost four hour adventure was an absolute blast with great views!

Heading across the meadows towards Broken Top

Sadie leading the charge!

Heading towards the bowl up in the clouds (Bryan Fish photo)
Almost there!  The guys impressively climbed all the way to the top and then skied down on their skinny skis!

Looking back down towards Mt. Bachelor

Halfway through the camp, we took a break from the ski trails to join elite track and field athletes and alpine skiers also training in Bend for a Fast and Female event.  Bend has a couple great junior programs and it was fun to meet so many enthusiastic young athletes!

Fast and Female ambassadors sharing stories, inspirations, and fears (Flying Point photo)
Going retro!  Thanks to F&F participant and fast Bend junior skier Annie for bringing an awesome polaroid camera to the event to save some memories!

And while I love the opportunity to ski in May, my secret favorite part of Bend camp is probably the mountain biking!  The trails are fast and flowy which is nice break from all the rocks and roots in the East.  My aunt Laurie and uncle Bruce live in Bend so I spent a few extra days with them before and after the training camp and had a blast exploring some other trails and sights in the area.

Mountain biking on the Peterson Ridge Trail with views of the Sisters mountains
McKenzie River trail ride (Bruce Lakin photo)

Big trees (Bruce Lakin photo) 

Blue pools!

After the camp it was back to Craftsbury where summer training is in full swing for the GRP.  The heat and humidity was a shock at first for me after the dry western weather but I’m getting my sweat on and loving every moment!  Thanks for reading!