Sunday, June 14, 2015

Training and Living at Altitude

I am entering my last of 5 weeks here in Park City, UT. The goal of this long stretch away from home was to gain some benefits from living and training at altitude. Brian and I have been living in a condo at 8,300 ft and after training a bit lower in Park City or even Salt Lake City. We are completely acclimated and I was able to finish an L-3 running workout up high that felt like a sea level pace. Gradually all of my efforts have gotten faster and faster due to a combination of acclimatization and fitness gains. We have been putting in a lot of running and bounding while we are out here in the mountains because we don't get the same terrain at home. That being said we are also taking advantage of the massive climb back up to our condo. We both love uphill efforts and although it's important to get in some undulating terrain similar to race trails, we have plenty of time at home in Minneapolis and before the season to get that in. For now, we are happy to challenge ourselves with new routes and different types of terrain. 

Another benefit of being out in Park City for so long has been to work with the strength coaches at the Center of Excellence. My routine is not too different from what I have done in the past but it is nice to have so many eyes watching my form and technique for every lift and exercise.

Doesn't look too intimidating yet
 The Center of Excellence also has TWO rollerski treadmills. I put in almost 10 hours on this treadmill last week and I can tell the time has been worth it. One of my big goals for the season is to improve my classic skiing and double poling. I can tell what it is supposed to look like but without much coaching or the ability to see video it's been tough to correct. With this opportunity I can have multiple video cameras set up to watch and tweak my technique instantly. I am also able to watch my heart rate and figure out how to ski as efficiently as possible. Next week I will start to include some intensity on the treadmill as well.

Working on the double pole!

 Park City is well known for it's mountain bike trails and last week I found out why! Brian and I rented some bikes from a local shop and had a blast cruising all over. 3 hours went by so fast and my heart rate was up the whole time. I look forward to entering some more bike races in the future but for now I am focused on preparing for the Tri-Loppet coming up in two weeks!!!

Mountain Biking in our Hoigaard's kits.

Liz Stephen, who lives here almost full-time (well as much as you can as an xc-skier) told us about a running race happening at Solitude Mountain. Brian and I were psyched to get in a good trail race while we are out here. The course was 8 miles and TOUGH! There was quite a bit of vertical and a lot of single track. I loved it! I didn't run too fast but it was cool to see Liz and Brian both win the 8 mile and represent Nordic Skiers! We also had Matt and Brian, two US Ski Team coaches, come out and join us for the race! There is another race on the same course in a couple of weeks when we are back out here and I look forward to trying to improve my time.

Bryan, Matt, Me, Brian and Liz.

Post race stretching!

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