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Whistler Sprint Relay

Kris Freeman

Mon, Sep  8, 2008 - By Zach Caldwell

Today’s session was organized as a sprint relay simulation - not an actual sprint relay. Everybody went head to head, with approximately equal rest between efforts. They ran a three-lap “semi-final” and then, after a 45 minute break, another three-lap “final”. Kris didn’t win the workout today, and for once that might be good news. Andy Newell put on a clinic on how to dominate some of the best skiers in North America, piling up huge gaps in the last lap of each three-lap heat. Kris felt good. He worked hard, and his fitness was good. He simply didn’t have the top gear to follow Newell when Newell threw down a move. I’m not sure many people in the world could have followed Newell today.

The thing about relays is that you need a team. If there’s one guy in the world that Kris might not mind getting beaten by, it’s the guy who’s going to be on his team at World Championships. If today’s session was a workout the week before Worlds, the team would be Newell and Kris, and Kris would be extremely confident going into the race with Andy looking as good as he’s looking.

Rollerski sprint relay at USST Whistler camp

A short run-down of results from today - these are cumulative three-lap times. It’s worth noting that there were many different rollerski speeds in play out there today. Also, Newell broke a pole in the second lap of the final and didn’t get a time. I credited him a tie with the winners because it seems inplausible that he wouldn’t have been right there.

Semi-final
9:49   Andy Newell
9:56   Kris Freeman
9:59   Pat O’Brien
9:59   Mike Argue
9:59   Fred Bailey
10:02 Torin Koos
10:02 Dan Roycroft
10:05 Nick Klein
10:12 Chris Cook
10:12 Dave Chamberlain
10:59 Noah Hoffman (equipment issues)

Final
9:30   Andy Newell
9:36   Pat O’Brien
9:37   Kris Freeman
9:39   Noah Hoffman
9:43   Fred Bailey
9:44   Torin Koos
9:44   Mike Argue
9:48   Chris Cook
9:48   Nick Klein
9:52   Dan Roycroft
10:02 Dave Chamberlain

It’s worth noting that the gaps Newell has there came in the last lap of each heat. In fact, they came in the last third of the last lap of each heat. The man is fast.

Rollerski sprint relay at USST Whistler camp

As you can see, rollerski speed can make a big difference. But it also makes for a good simulation. A World Cup sprint relay is a mixed-up affair - there’s no guarantee you’re going to be rubbing elbows with people you’ve heard of. So who does it hurt to have Pat O’Brien and Fred Bailey in the mix?

On the whole the camp is going quite well. Kris is pleased with the two efforts he’s had so far. However, it’s worth noting that he came into the camp rested, and that has meant that he’s had the ability to hurt himself in these efforts. This is pretty different from the last camp when Kris started with a set of threshold intervals and followed it up with a sustained running/bounding session. The downtime in this camp is much easier. Tomorrow’s training schedule: 1 hour run. Saturday is the hillclimb time trial. More then…