For the past two weeks, I have been training in Park City, Utah, with my Alberta World Cup Academy teammates and the National Team women. The other Canadian training centre athletes were there for the camp too, which was great because it gave me the opportunity to train with my friends and competitors from across the country.
This was my fourth year doing a camp in Park City, and I love it there! The combination of high altitude training, long paved mountain passes to rollerski, and an abundance of running trails right outside the door make it an ideal place for a fall training camp. Another big advantage of Park City is the paved rollerski race track at Soldier Hollow. Soldier Hollow was the cross-country and biathlon site of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, and will be the site of this winter’s 2017 World Junior / U23 Championships! Training there gave me the perfect opportunity to scope out the race courses for U23s.
My goal for the camp was to get in a lot of good-quality volume while focusing on fine-tuning my technique. I’ve made quite a few change to my basic body position in technique this year, and I knew that the camp would be a great opportunity to make those technique changes more automatic and natural. During the camp, I only had 2 intensity sessions and 2 strength sessions, which meant that I was able to focus on this during the many long easy hours on rollerskis.
Throughout the week, we were able to rollerski most of what I like to call the “Park City Classics”. We summited Mirror Lake Pass, Little Cottonwood, Emmigration Pass, East Canyon, and Guardsman’s Pass from two different directions. We also got to go on some beautiful long runs on the Mid-Mountain trail, Armstrong, Spiro, and my personal favourite, Loose Moose.
The camp finished off with the workout I had been looking forward to the most: a classic sprint time trial on the Soldier Hollow rollerski track! There will be a classic sprint at U23 World Championships this winter at the same venue, so having a time trial there was a great opportunity to practice tactics and get comfortable with racing at altitude. It was also a good opportunity to test my fitness and speed against the other Canadian girls, and to figure out what adjustments I need to make before the winter.
Overall, I was very happy with my time trial effort. Although there are a couple of small things I want to work on before the winter, I had no problem pushing into the “pain cave” and I felt powerful and snappy. I had a lot of fun battling it out with the other Canadian girls, and we were able to test out some race tactic scenarios as well!
This was the last training camp of the season, which means that now the bulk of this year’s training is over! From now on out, it’s just fine-tuning and preparation for the winter. During the next month, I’ll be getting in some more time trials and focusing on arriving starting at the race season rested, healthy, and ready to push as hard as I can. I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to race for Canada on Period I of the World Cup circuit. I leave November 16th… the countdown to winter is on!!