As usual, fall training has flown by this year. After an intensity filled September and a fun week training in Chelsea, QC., I headed off to Park City, Utah, for a training camp with the National Ski Team.
I’ve been in Park City the past two weeks, putting in long volume days and having a blast at my first ever NST camp! The big advantage of going to Park City (aside from the great rollerskiing, running and mountain biking) is the altitude; we were sleeping at 2500m, which is the highest I’ve ever slept. As someone who grew up spending a lot of time on the Haig Glacier, I’ve always associated high altitude with remote areas in the middle of the Rockies. It felt strange to be able to live at high altitude in such “luxurious” conditions!
For me, the focus of this year’s Park City camp was to get in a lot of consistent, high quality volume training, and to finish the camp not feeling too bagged. This meant a big focus on recovery between workouts. We were lucky to have a great group of support staff, including having Jodi for massage and Mallory cooking us delicious meals every day! Having access to such great support made it so much easier to recovery well and get in a lot of training. Not having to cook also gave me a lot more time to do homework!
Because we were staying at such high altitude, I only did 2 sessions each of intensity, speed, and strength throughout the camp. Most of the volume was split up each day, with a couple of long distance days mixed in. A typical day in at the camp included:
9am: Morning workout
2pm: Massage/physio treatment and homework
4pm: Afternoon workout
8pm: Homework or hang out
10pm: Lights out
Some highlights of the camp included rollerskiing East Canyon and Emmigration Pass, exploring new mountain bike trails around Park City, and watching Riverdale with the girls (not going to lie, there may have been some screaming). We also got to train a couple of times with some of the athletes from the University of Utah!
The second last day of the camp, we had a double time trial day– a skate sprint qualifier followed by a skate distance time trial at Soldier Hollow! The TT day was especially interesting because doping control happened to come that morning to test 7 of us (including me). It took quite a bit of time for them to get blood and urine samples from that many people, so it was good practice for delayed race mornings. Although it can sometimes be an inconvenience when doping control comes (especially if it’s at 6am or late at night), I am so grateful that we have such good systems in place in Canada to protect against doping in sport.
The last day of the camp, I went on a 38km adventure bike ride on the Wasatch Crest and Mid-Mountain trails. I’ve run those trail many times, but it was a lot of fun to ride on a bike, because everything flies by so much more quickly. Although it’s fun to train with other people, I love the occasional solo adventure. I find long workouts alone are very meditative, and are great for helping me sort out my thoughts and re-focus on priorities.
I got back to Canmore a few days ago, and after getting in a hard post-altitude intensity session, I’m now in the middle of a mini rest period. Frozen Thunder is open again, and it has been so much fun to be back on snow! Next week we have some pre-season races on Frozen Thunder, so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do and what I need to fine-tune before the race season kicks off in December.