Canmore camp & thinking about hours

Summer is here! The past few weeks of training have been a bit different from the smooth buildup throughout May and June, with two weeks of Canmore-based volume. In keeping with this year’s theme of consistency, it wasn’t a big change hours-wise, but even just the shift in mental focus was a refreshing way to start the summer.

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6x4min in the pain cave up Sulphur mountain

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Post-interval treats with Drea and Ilona 🙂

The first half of my volume block was during the Canmore NST camp, which was open for anyone! I joined as much as I could, and it was great to have a big group to train with on the long days and push hard with during intensities.

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Race time! Photo: Noel Rogers / Bow Valley Photography / Nordiq Canada

One of the highlights of the camp was the rollerski sprint. The race was king’s court style, which meant I got to race some of the guys. It was great for practicing new tactics, and I definitely think there would be benefits to hopping on fast rollerskis and training more with guys in the future.

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Photo: Noel Rogers / Bow Valley Photography / Nordiq Canada

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End of the camp, aka the “I’m really tired and everything seems funnier than usual” phase

Last month I wrote about how getting faster is a bit like putting together a big puzzle that fits together just in time for race season. Volume training, like the Canmore camp, is one of those puzzle pieces.

A base amount of volume is important for skiers – putting in hours on rollerskis, for example, can be a great way to reinforce technique patterns and build efficiency. Properly comparing hours to other athletes, however, takes some critical thinking. Just because the world’s best skiers train 800+ hours/year doesn’t mean if you do that many hours you’ll be as fast as them. What goes into these hours  – the quality and content – that’s where the fastest skiers are made. 

On top of that, everyone counts training a bit differently. For example, a 720-hour year for me might be logged as a 700-hour year for someone else. Because of that, I think comparing hours with other athletes is best for general stuff, not for details. Comparing to yourself, though, can be an awesome tool year-to-year. Bottom line is though, it’s not about the number in your training diary, it’s about the training you actually did – something I try to keep in mind during big camps.

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Snuck in a pre-camp backcountry night with my little sis

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Chef Anna with the KD

Up next I’ll be putting in a short intensity block, and then heading to BC in August for some volume training, time on the lake, and fresh peaches!

–Maya

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