Two CXC Teams, Senior and Junior, recently concluded their monthly training camp at the US Olympic Education Center in Marquette, MI. Following are weekly reports from Elite Team members Caitlin Compton and Maria Stuber.
The weather has been extremely cooperative and all training sessions have been very high quality. The CXC Junior Development Program had the opportunity to join the Elite athletes for most of the workouts this first week, which created an impressive mass of rollerskiers with over 20 skiers on the bike-paths as well as awesome interval sessions and time trial competitions.
The week started with track intervals on the Marquette High School Track. One of the best parts of training in Marquette is the access to Lake Superior after almost every workout. The clean cool water is always a refreshing way to end an intense or long training session. Another Marquette icon, the Superior Dome, offered us plenty of space to work on running technique, ladder drills, hurdle jumps and a great weight room for our afternoon strength session.
On Thursday morning our intensity focus shifted to rollerskiing as we headed inland to the gradual climbing, low traffic roads of Skandia, MI. Again, the Seniors and Juniors trained side by side and completed a long L-3 focused skate workout followed by a hydration study. The study had us check our weight before and after our workout to see exactly how much fluid we really loose during a workout. Even in the cool UP weather and after drinking an entire drink belt filled with sports drink we all lost a great deal of fluid. The conclusion: We all sweat a lot and hydration is extremely important!
The distance skiing in Marquette often brought us to the waterfront bike-path with a beautiful maritime backdrop complete with sail boats, seagulls, and the occasional iron ore boat or Laker! As we skied inland we had the opportunity to ski up some great sustained climbs which allowed everyone to continue the focus on technique drills that begin every distance training session.
Saturday was a big day filled with isometric exercises before breakfast, Marquette Mountain ski walking, a favorite past-time of mine from my days at NMU, and a classic sprint time trial. Marquette Mountain is the alpine ski area here in Marquette and our workout started with 4x2 moosehuffs followed by 5-7 X 7min ski walking intervals. The time trial consisted of a double pole only sprint format of qualification lap and semi and final rounds shortly afterwards. The Juniors were incredibly strong and gave the Seniors some great competition. Although Gus Keading won the men’s sprint a number of juniors including Ben Hugus were not too far behind. In the women’s race Jesse Diggins, a Junior, was victorious and showed the women’s field, junior and senior, how to race a double pole sprint! Saturday’s weather started out with a down pour during breakfast but the skies cleared for the workouts and the temperatures we near perfect for training!
The final day of the week brought the best weather and the best scenery yet. The juniors had left for home, so just the senior athletes drove to Munising and ran a 4 hour over-distance session along the coast of the Pictured Rocks Lake Shore. This was probably one of the most beautiful runs I have ever been on. The footing was soft and the water was almost Caribbean in color. We ran along the sandy shore, through the forest and out onto some amazing rock ledges, discovering some incredible natural rock formations. After the O.D. the fun didn’t end The steady breeze across the lake brought some good size waves that a few team members, Garrott and Brian, couldn’t get enough of even after 4 hours of training!
Train wisely. Check out some great training ideas at www.cxcacademy.com -Caitlin Compton
The second week of the Marquette training camp was significantly scaled down from the first, both in intensity and in numbers, the Junior Program having departed after their week. Monday was a rest day, as usual. We started things off on Tuesday with some 30 second sprint intervals on the hills in my neighborhood. Wednesday the team went for a beautiful run along Lake Superior and to the “Top of the World.” Thursday we got to do some harder skate intervals in the morning and specific strength in the afternoon. Friday was an easy distance classic rollerski. Saturday consisted of a running and bounding workout through some pretty treacherous long grass (so I hear) out at the Al Qual ski trails. Then, on Sunday, we ended the training camp with an over-distance skate around the big mine in Palmer.
Around the Palmer Mine
The sun was shining all week and the temperatures remained comfortable in the mid 70’s. The only place unbearably hot was the weight room, which could have been due to the humidity, or the new strength program that the CXC girls have been working on. The lake has finally warmed up to perfect “after-training” swim temperatures and most of us took advantage of that. The USOEC dorms created a very inspiring environment for the team. As you walked down the hall filled with athletes, all TV’s were tuned in to the Olympics. We got to see some very inspiring performances including Jamaica’s Usian Bolt easily breaking the 100m World Record and brining home the first gold medal in that event for his country and Michael Phelps collecting eight golds and becoming the most decorated swimmer of all time.
The NMU alumni on the Elite Team had a great time showing their CXC teammates favorite training venues. We also had some fast-looking NMU skiers join us for a couple of workouts. It was wonderful to have Kristina Owen back from Norway; however, we had to say good bye to our team physiologist as she heads to Bozeman to continue her education. Good Luck Sarah Willis, and thank you for all that you have done for us this summer! You will be missed.