10.23.13 Skiing Just Around the Corner
Skiing is just around the corner, and this month I’m writing to you from snow up in Canada! Right now I’m at the last US Ski Team training camp we have before the race season starts. We started our camp in Park City, Utah, and then moved up North to Canmore for the last 10 days. The fun part about this camp is that we get to be on snow while we are in Canmore, thanks to a fun thing called “Frozen Thunder”. It’s a huge mountain of snow that the Canmore Nordic Centre saves under sawdust and woodchips all summer, and then spreads out in a loop as soon as it starts getting chilly in October. Sounds pretty cool, right? Skiing on snow in mid-October? Even though we are going in the same circle as many as 30 times during a training session, the views from the ski trail are amazing with snow-capped mountain all over and a fun rollerski track and running trails available if we get tired of skiing. But so far, nobody is tired of the loop at all and every morning tons of skiers are out on the snow with huge smiles on!
Skiers from around the World:
A lot of my ski buddies are from Canada, and the Canadians have a great ski history. In 2002, Becky Scott, a Canadian cross country skier, became the first woman in North America to win an Olympic Gold medal. And in the 2006 Olympics my friend Chandra Crawford also won an Olympic Gold medal, in the skate sprint! So the Canadians have been good role models and inspiration to our team for a while. We are very lucky to train with them, and we share training ideas and techniques to help make all North American skiers better.
On the Frozen Thunder loop, there are many clubs out practicing and doing ski drills, intervals, and games. Club skiers of all ages are out enjoying the snow…just like MYSL! People have come from all over Canada and the US to ski early; from Quebec, Thunder Bay, Whitehorse, Montana, Utah, Idaho, Vermont, and Minnesota. The only thing I wish we could change is if we had more snow to lay down a field for some good games of tag on skis.
Cool things about Canmore, Alberta:
Canmore is a very active community, and you can always find people out biking, hiking, skiing or rock climbing around town. There are tons of mountains surrounding the town, which means that the sun doesn’t peek over the tops till later in the morning. It’s also very close to Banff National Park, which is famously beautiful. Canadians also love a good cup of tea so there are numerous coffee and tea shops in town. Canmore is famous for their Nordic Centre and surrounding trails, where they have hosted numerous World Cup races.
Unfortunately, there was crazy flooding in Canmore and all over Alberta this June, and the river that we run over on our way to the ski trails became deep and fast, and took out a lot of houses, creating a lot of damage to the town. Luckily, the Canadians were able to build the town back up and it now looks as beautiful as ever.
Intervals – you do them all the time without knowing it; in a soccer game, race to the stop sign, game of tag, running back up the sledding hill. But what are intervals, exactly? Intervals are when, for a short period of time, you are working hard and going faster than you normally would, and then you rest, and do it again. They are good to practice because they help you practice moving quickly and build up your ability to race fast! I think intervals are fun because although it’s hard work for a little while, I always feel really good afterwards. It’s fun to be moving as fast as you can, and as you get older and practice more, you get moving faster and faster!
You already do them, but I’m going to suggest some more fun ways to practice. Try doing a team relay race, or a fast-paced game of tag, like fish and minnows. Maybe your ski group can talk a parent into organizing a scavenger hunt, and you can all sprint from one item on the list to the next. Next time you go sledding, try running back up the hill as fast as you can (this is also great because you’ll get to go flying down the hill twice as many times!) If you have to breathe hard for a little while, you’re doing intervals!
Till next time,