May 8th marked the official start of the CXC Ski Team. We built a consistent daily routine, which included a 2.5 km morning jog at 7:30 AM followed by light strength and stretching. The athletes would then eat breakfast and conduct their first workout of the day at 9:00AM. The CXC team would eat lunch upon return from the morning workout and relax until the 4:00 PM workout.
The camp was stationed at Cresthill Resort near Hayward, WI and five (Bryan Cook, Matt Leibsch, Andre Watt, Tami Kochen and Caitlin Compton) of the eight athletes participated for a portion or all of the camp. Brian Gregg, Garrott Kuzzy and Laura Valaas were all still in school. Brian Gregg is currently climbing Denali and Laura Valaas just recently returned to school after she helped lead her team to the division II NCCA (National Collegiate Cycling Association) championship title in Kansas. Laura ended up placing 4th overall in both the road race and the criterium.
The first objective of the camp was to assess the athletes’ general fitness. These tests do not directly relate to ski specific performance, but they indicate general areas of general physical strength and weakness. Skiers commonly take time off in April to physically and mentally regenerate, so early May is an excellent time to test athletes for their baseline fitness and build and improve from this point forward.
The second objective was to begin ski specific training. For most athletes, this was the first time rollerskiing this year. Rollerskis were mixed in with more general activities such as running, mountain biking and paddling. The first week we focused on classic skiing and the second week we did more skating.
Week one could be summed up as cool and rainy. We were caught in rain showers during workouts every day except one day all week. There was a consistent ritual of setting our wet shoes and ski boots next to the fireplace to dry them out for upcoming workouts. The athletes were very good at bringing an extra change of clothes every workout to change into – rain or shine.
Monday, May 8th
The morning workout included a 1.4-hour distance run on the Birkie trail north from County OO. We ran the 3000-meter on the track in the afternoon.
Tuesday, May 9th
We did a strength assessment in the morning, which included pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, dips and box jumps. All activities were done for one minute. The athletes got one minute of rest and then the athletes did a second set for one minute. The box jumps were the only exception. These were done for one set for ninety seconds. The afternoon was a very easy 1.5 hr paddle.
Wednesday, May 10th
Some athletes went for a 1.5-hour run, while others went for a 2-hour mountain bike from Cable. The second workout included a distance run and strength.
Thursday, May 11th
Thursday was scheduled off for the whole day.
Friday, May 12th
There was a short circuit strength workout pre-breakfast and then the morning workout was an easy distance classic. There was no afternoon practice.
Saturday, May 13th
We did an easier specific strength poling workout in the morning and the afternoon was off.
Sunday, May 14th
We did a 2.5 hr classic over distance workout. No afternoon practice.
Monday, May 15th
We skated for 1.5 hrs in the morning. 0.5 hrs was without poles. We concluded the workout with 8 X 20 sec pick-ups for the women and 10 X 20 seconds for the men. The afternoon workout included weight room strength and a 1 hour and 10 minute easy run.
Tuesday, May 16th
The athletes all went for a 1-hour run and the athletes had an opportunity to either paddle for another hour or run for another half hour. The women continued running and Bryan Cook decided to paddle. There was fun and relaxation between training.
A paddle in a rowboat turned into a challenge of netting painted turtles. Bryan Cook joined the adventure by playing lead role in diverting the turtles in my direction, so that I could net them. We were able to net 6 turtles, which the athletes named. Their competitive mind-sets made it appropriate for the athletes to conger up the idea of a race amongst the turtles. The athletes numbered the turtles and plotted a racecourse for them. This race was far more entertaining than I had anticipated. It was a photo finish. Rest assured the turtles were released in good health back to nature.
The afternoon was off.
Wednesday, May 17th
The morning workout included a rigorous specific strength poling workout and the afternoon was a distance trail run or mountain bike at Telemark Lodge. The runners went 1.5 hours while the mountain bikers went 2 hours.
Thursday, May 18th
We the morning workout was the same skate rollerski as on Monday the 15th. The afternoon was off.
Friday, May 19th
The morning workout was weight room strength with a 45 min easy run. The afternoon was a 1 hour 10 minute classic distance ski.
Saturday, May 20th
The morning workout was a 3.2-mile interval start skate rollerski time trial from Vortanz Lumber (corner of Hwy 63 and County OO in Seeley) to the Birkie trail crossing on County OO.
Sunday, May 21st
Caitlin Compton was the sole member of the CXC Team remaining, for she provided a presentation at the CXC Coach’s Symposium later that morning. The morning workout was a 1.75-hour distance skate on Lake Owen Drive.
The priorities of our training for the remainder of May are improving general aerobic fitness and general strength. Also, continue the body resistance strength (pre-breakfast strength) in between the weight training to improve general strength. Running intervals will also become more prevalent in our training. We will be conducting another general fitness assessment in July. Core strength results were best amongst the athletes, upon reflection of the first general fitness assessment. We have set some definitive goals to improve running speed, upper body strength and endurance strength (the second sets of the general fitness strength test). More ski specific goals will soon be used as well. Overall, I thought it was a good start for this new program. Planning is well under way for the camp in Minocqua, WI in early June.
STRENGTH TEST AND TIME TRIALS RESULTS
|Pull-ups||Pull-ups 2||Sit-ups||Sit-ups 2||Push-ups||Push-ups 2|
|Dips||Dips 2||Box Jump||3000m TT||Rollerski |