It’s been a very busy and exciting time for me in the last few weeks. Immediately after returning from the Czech Republic I drove to meet my coach to do a skate rollerski time trial. I skied a 6.25km loop twice and was able to focus and ski each lap in the exact same time. This was a big step for me as I quite often go out too hard on the first interval. Hopefully this was also good practice for racing right after a long journey which may be necessary at times this winter.
After the time trial I had 9 days to prepare for the next departure to a training camp in Canmore. I had a few quiet moments to kayak, sleep in, get a haircut, and press some fresh apple cider with friends. These moments were eclipsed by lots of time spent training (cycling, running, rollerskiing, weights) and driving to Gatineau to gather some wax, clothing and equipment for the coming winter and to repeat some tests for the third time this season.
We repeated the uphill double poling test, a 3km track run and an uphill running with poles test and were pleased to see some improvements in fitness as the season continues.
I also managed to fit in a cyclocross race. Cyclocross is a brilliant sport which uses bikes similar to road bikes with wider tires to race on grass, mud and sand. Courses involve quick changes in direction, and obstacles which can necessitate dismounting from the bicycle. I am still very new to bike racing so I was pleased that this race (my 2nd ever) went a lot better than my first race last year.
Moving from cold and rainy Ontario, Petr and I are now in Canmore for an on snow training block at Frozen Thunder. Now in it’s fifth year, the staff at the Canmore Nordic Centre have done an excellent job of preparing a track just over 2.2km long featuring a nice mix of terrain. Things are getting busy here with skiers from all over Canada, the United States, Austria and Japan taking advantage of the amazing training here in Canmore.
Just like in Oberhof, there is a palpable excitement in the air around the snow. Yesterday a classic sprint race was held with many skiers taking part. Unfortunately many of Canada’s top skiers weren’t racing. I didn’t participate as I still need to spend more time on snow working on technique, before moving on to intensity and then preparing to race.
Noah Hoffman – an American skier – is doing an excellent job taking many pictures, capturing the atmosphere here in Canmore as he prepares for Sochi.
Though the skiing is excellent at Frozen Thunder – skiing alone does not a skier make. I’m still doing lots of running and ski bounding to keep in shape.
The nights are getting cooler here in Canmore – perhaps we’ll even get some new snow before I leave on November 8th!