Tag Archive | "Training"

Blog Roundup w/Brooks, Stephen, The Hoff, and Kershaw

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


July 04, 2013 – Catch up with Holly Brooks, who is celebrating her Fourth of July differently this year. Plus, Liz Stephen looks back on the recent Western REG Camp, Noah Hoffman reveals his secret desire to be a track runner, and Devon Kershaw checks in from Canmore.

Holly Brooks
Hard Decisions, Obvious Decisions
This upcoming July 4th will be spent entirely different than my last couple. For the past four years I’ve raced Mt. Marathon in Seward, Alaska. Mount Marathon – they claim, is the Nation’s second oldest foot race behind the Boston Marathon and this year will be the 86th running.

It’s a tradition for Alaskans on Independence Day and the small town of Seward swells from 3,000 people to 30,000 thousand overnight. While only 500 or so people actually compete in the race, the rest crowd main street eating ice cream, socializing, and watching the race unfold. For those unfamiliar with the format, the race starts on main street, runs 3,022 feet directly up a mountain, rounds a rock at the top and descends 3,022 feet.

Read more here.

Liz Stephen
REG and ELITEAM
This week was full of excitement with the Regional Elite Group (REG) camp in town. This is a group that each region of the US has, and they get together for a training camp each summer. From these camps, USSA picks some athletes to come to the National Elite Group (NEG) Camp. It was really great to have these awesome athletes in town to train with and get to know some of the up and coming athletes that will represent our next generation of US skiers. Read more here.

Noah Hoffman
Track Workout
I secretly want to be a 5,000 and 10,000 meter runner. Every year my coach allows me to do one track workout to indulge my fantasies but also probably to remind me that I am not even close to fast enough to be a runner. Today was that workout. On Thursday morning I’m running a 5 kilometer road race here in Park City, so today was a little tune-up for that race. It may be my only running race of the year. My coach allowed me to plan today’s workout based on pace instead of heart rate, the same way a runner plans his workouts. Unfortunately I am full of myself and thought I could run faster than I can. Read more here.

Devon Kershaw
Kicking Back Here in Canmore, It’s Raining, I Can Be a Bit “Hippiesh”
It’s here – “monsoon-June” has rubbed its wet, stinky glove right in Canmore’s face and the rollerski boots and wet pavement are ubiquitous reminders that the Rockies “wet season” is upon us yet again. I thought perhaps Lenny’s calming influence would have had an effect – but apparently not.

As you can probably tell, I’m reaching a little for material this week. That’s a good thing. It’s been a lot of “normal Canmore living” here these last seven days. Aside from some wet training (and only “some” – for the most part it’s been fantastic weather-wise actually since I’ve been back from Bend/Tremblant/Toronto), life is ticking along in a standard way. Read more here.

New Rundle Sport Inc. Innovates with RUNDLESKI Suspension Equipped Rollerski

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


June 26, 2013 (Canmore, AB) – Rundle Sport Inc. is a new company based in Canmore, AB, that has introduced an innovative new rollerski to the market, RUNDLESKI™. The three co-owners, Hugues Wanlin, Alain Parent, and Andrew Hicks, take care of designing, machining, testing, marketing, and assembling the RUNDLESKI™, which features their novel suspension system.

The patented RUNDLESKI™ was designed with two goals in mind: to reduce road vibration transmitted to the skier, and to simulate the feeling of compressing a skate ski on snow. According to Rundle Sport the suspension system of the RUNDLESKI™ significantly reduces the fatigue and strain on the athlete’s legs. It also minimizes the rollerskis from skipping and chatter by maintaining consistent ground contact. The rollerskis offer a maximum of 16mm of suspension with nine levels of stiffness and three options for wheel speed preference – check out the vids below and visit the site here.

 

 

Blog Roundup w/ Diggins, The Hoff, Stephen and SMSXC + Bjornsen & Gaiazova

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


June 24, 2013 – Check out the latest news from US skiers in training for the upcoming Olympic season. Jessie Diggins has bid adieu to her adventures in Park City and is headed to Stratton, VT; Noah Hoffman celebrated Summer Soltice Swedish style and contested the second annual U.S. Ski Team Sufferfest uphill road bike race at Sundance; Liz Stephen returned from Norway and now back in Utah she fills us in on her bro on Mt. Denali, Sufferfest and her favourite restaurant in Park City, Vinto; plus SMS Nordic reports on its first Eastern REG camp and Sadie Bjornsen gives us the scoop on the sun, beaches, rivers, paddling and rodeos Alaskan-style…

Jessie Diggins
Last couple days in the Wasatch
This is as close to home as I’ll get in the next month; a 2.5-hour layover in the Minneapolis airport! But that’s ok because I’m going from one awesome place to another; I’ve just left Park City and am en route to Stratton, where I’ll rejoin my club teammates that I haven’t seen in way too long!

Before I left Park City, I wanted to go on an adventure OD – a fun long workout that wasn’t directly related to roller skiing. So Cork and I hiked up Mount Timpanogos, the second highest peak in the Wasatch mountain range.
Read more here.

Noah Hoffman
Sufferfest
I went up to my teammate Liz Stephen’s house last night to celebrate Midsummer, a Swedish (European) holiday on the summer solstice. (We know we were a day late.) Liz really likes Sweden and can see herself living there someday. She made us a Swedish meal for the occasion. She recruited our coach Jason Cork to make the bulle (Swedish Pastry). Read more here.

SMS Nordic
Eastern REG Camp Update #1
Everyone arrived at SMS for our REG camp yesterday and settled in with a run, dinner and a short intro meeting. Today we started to get down to business.

USST coach Bryan Fish led the group through a V2 technique progression that started with… V2 with no poles….(6 repeats of a 15 second section)… Read more here.

Liz Stephen
Sunday Sundance Sufferfest
I’m not sure if you have noticed the super moon the last few nights, but it has been amazing.  Check it out tonight if you get a chance and haven’t seen it, as last night once the sun went down I couldn’t believe how bright my living room was with moonshine!  As I was looking at it, I was actually thinking about my brother, Andy, who for the last month has been in Alaska guiding trips for the American Alpine Institute (AAI) up Mt. Denali!  I realized last night, as I was admiring the moon from 8,200 feet, where I live, how much more amazing it must be to see it at 14,000 feet, which is where he and his team currently are on his second trip up the mountain in a month.  The last trip he led his team summited, but he was not able to, as one of the clients fell ill with altitude sickness and he stayed with her at 17,200 feet.  He is hoping to summit this time up, though he has assured me that, while summiting would of course be incredible, just being on the mountain and doing what he loves, is cool enough. Read more here.

Sadie Bjornsen
Summer is HERE!
What is summer in Alaska? I didn’t even know it existed. I can remember about 3 total sunny weeks that I have experienced in Alaska where I break out my shorts and tank tops. That’s why it’s always such a miracle when the heat makes its way up here! While we were at our camp in Bend I kept seeing pictures from Anchorage of people skiing in shorts and sports bras and I was worried I had missed my opportunity, but sure enough- when I got back, summer was still here! As amazing as the sun is in Alaska, it also has its challenges. I always get this feeling that when it is sunny, I have to be outside as much as possible. I want to do my training outside, eat my meals outside, do my homework outside, and do any form of activity outside…. but that doesn’t work so well. Read more here.

Dasha Gaiazova
Summer is HERE!
The Olympics are a scant 8 months away and I’m excited to be sharing my training and preparations progress with you as I make every workout count on the journey to Sochi. When compared to my last-minute Vancouver 2010 qualification, being already qualified for Sochi allows me to shift the focus entirely to performing on the Olympic race day and not worry about the qualification races along the way. It makes my purpose feel so simple and that’s just the way I like it… read more here.

 

Four US Ski Jumpers Begin Training in Europe

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


June 24, 2013 (Park City, UT) – In a sure sign of the coming 2014 Olympic Winter Games season, members of the US National ski jumping team have arrived in Europe to begin their first international preparation period.

After leaving the US Sunday, the team comprised of Peter Frenette, Anders Johnson, Nick Alexander and Nick Fairall, will spend two weeks in Europe at the ski jumps of Stams, AUT and Kranj, SLO, they will be accompanied by USA Head Jumping Coach Clint Jones.

In an interview today Coach Jones told the USASJ News Bureau the camp was part of a very important season build up, noting…”We will be spending a lot of team with our new European-based coach Bine Norcic, which will be very exciting and we will be dealing with a host of issues like organizing rental vans for the season, training plans and locations, and gathering all the equipment from skis, to suits to bindings. We will be looking to test a lot of new equipment during the summer, and we will be looking to get some solid training with the many European teams who will also be in the area.”

Jones also stressed the importance of the US team to have close contact with the Europeans early in the summer, “so that they know exactly how high the level of competition is going into the summer training phase. This will help provide great motivation for our team, not only for the four athletes that are with us in Europe, but also those that they will be training with when they return.”

Diggins Report – Pics from Park City

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


June 19, 2013 (Park City, UT) – For once, I’m going to let the pictures do the talking! Here’s what we’ve been up to in Park City the past few days full of hiking, biking, swimming, pasta… and whole lot more.

Alaska Eagle Glacier Master Camp Hosted by APU – June 29 to July 3

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


May 10, 2013 (Alaska) – This summer APU is hosting a masters on-snow ski camp at the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier. Come experience glacier training like APU and US team athletes Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Erik and Sadie Bjornsen, who use the method to extend their on-snow seasons.

“Skiers are made in the Summer”

The camp is coached by APU Elite coach Erik Flora, Dylan Watts, and Calisa Kastning. Flora has coached at Olympic and World Championship levels, including the 2011 and 2012 Overall World Sprint Champion. Watts is long time APU Master ski coach and overall winner of the Tour of Anchorage. Kastning is an APU Master ski coach and coach of the APU Women’s Master program. Snow camp will be from June 29 to July 3, including 5-6 ski sessions.

Camp includes classic and skate techniques. There is opportunity for participants to ski a lot, plus take part in technique discussion and video review. Cost $750. Includes skiing, coaching, housing, and food. Space is limited. Additional fee for helicopter transport.

Please contact Dylan Watts (dwatts@alaskapacific.edu) for registration and further information.

Job Opportunity – Cross Country Saskatchewan

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


April 01, 2013 (Regina, SK) – Cross Country Saskatchewan is looking for a uniquely independent spirited technical director / high performance coach to inspire young skiers to experience success while carving new innovative futures.

Cross Country Saskatchewan is looking to hire a skilled, dedicated and passionate provincial technical director / high performance coach to lead the Saskatchewan ski team into the 2015 Canada Winter Games. As the technical director/provincial coach you will be provided with the opportunity to shape, develop and nurture athletes in the Learning-to-Train to Learning-to-Compete stages of development, while creating the framework of a sustainable provincial ski program. Saskatchewan currently has 6 clubs with active racing skiers with dozens of developmental skiers ready to benefit from an enthusiastic leader. Clubs are supported by an eager and committed volunteer base ready and willing to support the position. The successful independent candidate will be required to work from their own home in the province of Saskatchewan.

General competencies:
– Organizational and environmental awareness
– Result orientated
– Developing Others
– Flexible
– Innovative thinking
– Planning and organizing
– Team leadership
– Strong communication skills

Functional competencies:
– Current knowledge of ski technique
– Knowledge of the principles of training
– Knowledge of coaching
– Knowledge of the CCC LTAD
– Lead a team in competition
– Ability to use office technology, software & applications

General Responsibilities:
The Coach/Technical Director is accountable for all aspects of the delivery and growth of the provincial High Performance program. In collaboration with the CCS Executive, the technical director / high performance coach will be responsible for the following performance measures:

– Create the infrastructure to support a sustainable High Performance Program;
– Support the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a provincial High Performance program;
– Demonstrate an improvement in the number and performance of Saskatchewan skiers participating at divisionally and nationally sanctioned events and improved athlete placing at the 2015 CWG;
– Ensure the coordination of single and multi-year periodized training and development programs and camps, competition schedules and integrated sports medicine plans for High Performance athletes;
– Mentor, advice and support club coaches in an effort to grow club programs aimed at encouraging the development of Saskatchewan skiers;
– Ensure individualized athlete mentoring and monitoring to High Performance athletes;
– Ensure the coordination of logistics for provincial training events and competitions, including transportation, accommodation arrangements and attendance when identified by the High Performance Committee;
– Ensure clubs work with the Coach/Technical Director regarding the coordination of activities involved in the preparation of a provincial team for any out of province event;
– Encourage coaches support of the implementation of the Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) program within the province;
– Foster the development of certified provincial coaches by supporting the coordination and delivery of NCCP training courses and other professional development activities including mentoring of club coaches;
– Support the establishment and viability of clubs and High Performance athletes training with these clubs through the development and implementation of a support plan.

Qualifications:
– A demonstrated coaching qualifications such as the NCCP Certification or equivalent certification
– Post-secondary education in a physical education or sports administration field is an asset
– Familiarity with Saskatchewan Cross Country skiing environment
– Car is required with a valid Class 5 License
– Current CPR and First Aid
– High speed internet is required

Need to know information: Competitive salary and benefits package for a 3-year term

Travel is an essential part of the position

Interested applicants can send resume to the CCS office at ccs@sasktel.net

2013 Oregon Spring Camp Dates Announced

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


March 18, 2013 (Bend/Mt Bachelor, Oregon) – The annual Oregon Spring Camp event in Bend/Mt Bachelor, Oregon has finalized dates for the 2013 Camp with Mt Bachelor grooming staff. Two sessions are currently planned on two consecutive long weekends.

– Session #1: Thursday, May 23 – Sunday, May 26.
– Session #2: Thursday, May 30 – Sunday, June 2.

As in past years, the Oregon Spring Camp features on-snow sessions every morning on the groomed Mt Bachelor Nordic trails and an array of optional afternoon activities including dryland clinics, training lectures, and video review. Optional world-class physiology testing is also available on select weekdays. Campers are welcome to pick their own schedule with any combination of days possible from either session.

Designed specifically for adult skiers and racers from the high beginner to expert levels, the Oregon Spring Camp also welcomes skiers under age 18 with a parent/guardian attending the Camp serving as a chaperone.

Session #1 overlaps the period that in 2012 saw both the U.S. and Canadian National XC and Biathlon Teams training at Mt Bachelor as well as a large array of top club skiers from throughout North America. Session #2 requires a minimum attendance to be guaranteed with interested campers — but also represents a unique opportunity to ski into early June on one of the world’s longest groomed ski seasons.

Complete information about the 2013 Oregon Spring is now posted HERE.

We’ll see you this spring in Oregon!

Craftsbury GRP Ski Program Accepting Applications for 2013/14

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


February 28, 2013 (Craftsbury, VT) – The Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP) is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 training year. Space will be limited, but we hope to be able to add a few new members to the team. Applications will be due by April 1 and decisions will be made by April 15 at the latest.

The Craftsbury Green Racing Project is enjoying another successful year, with one member on the USST, several others who got World Cup starts, two members on the USBA World Cup squad, an USST U23 team member, several top-10s at Nationals, SuperTour podiums, and the Eastern Cup overall women’s winner to name a few highlights of the year thus far.
The GRP is a program of the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, a non-profit organization whose mission is:
1) to support and promote participation and excellence in lifelong sports with a special focus on rowing, running and nordic skiing;
2) to use and teach sustainable practices; and
3) to protect and manage the surrounding land, lake and trails.

In exchange for coaching, travel support, room & board, GRP skiers are asked to take on projects that contribute to work of the Center. GRP projects in the past have included: ski trail mapping and improvements, construction of single-track trails, coaching of youth and junior skiers, outreach to area schools, growing vegetables for the Dining Hall, designing and building a compost system for the Center, construction of a stone/brick pizza and bread oven, organization of events and programs at the Center, design of the GRP website and clothing, blogging and writing articles, helping develop a regional trail system, and working to bring more local food into the Center’s Dining Hall.

If this sounds like work you would enjoy, while taking your skiing to the next level, then you may be a good fit for the GRP. You can read more about the team at their website: www.greenracingproject.com. The application is available here, and you will find FAQs here. Any remaining questions may be addressed to skiing@craftsbury.com.

Athletes applying, or thinking of applying are encouraged to talk to coach Pepa Miloucheva at one of the late season ski races, contact her at the skiing@craftsbury.com address, or call 802-586-7767 ext 33.

Kershaw Report – Tour de Ski 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


January 17, 2013 – The 2012/13 Tour de Ski is over and remains in all our rearview mirrors. There were Canadian highlights abound during his year’s German and Italian odyssey – the major ones being Ivan’s career-best 7th overall, Lenny Valjas’s two podiums, Alex’s podium and 4 top 6 results and last but not least – the bulldog’s absolute annihilation of Alpe Cermis  – where he posted the 2nd fastest climb up that nasty, nasty slope.

It was a great completion for Canada, yet I must say my own Tour de Ski was a disappointment. Ok, a big disappointment. It was a good thing that Ivan, Lenny and Alex threw down because my body was no help – as it just wasn’t recovered and ready for such an arduous event. While there were a couple glimmers of “ok-ness” during the week – for the most part I was missing that top gear needed to compete atop the results page.

After a nice 9 days in Switzerland over the holidays, it was off to the Tour and first up was the fog engulfed hilltop village of Oberhof. While the weather is some of the worst I experience every year, traditionally I love the courses and race well through the grey half-light. Not wanting to disappoint, Oberhof stayed true to its reputation and was pretty warm and foggier than San Francisco’s “June Gloom” by a factor of 7. The snow barely held up for the first few races under the German grey – with some sections of the 3.75km loop showing some black pavement during the 15km classic!

The races this season in Germany though did not go well. After a great intensity workout a few days before the Tour – the first in awhile – I was hopeful that the Tour would start well. It didn’t. The prologue was more of the same – I’d start controlled and then have no gear to switch into for the last kick to the line. The 15km classic (pursuit start) the following day felt like Groundhog Day – as the feelings in the body were the same – feeling great until I didn’t – struggling home and losing oodles of time in the last lap of that 4-lap race to finish in 27th. Conditions were tough – soft and slushy snow – which are usually favorite classic conditions of mine, but this season my legs felt like they were as stiff and had more weights attached to them than a whole group of tanned geriatrics working out on a Miami Beach boardwalk.

After a small turn-around in feelings and celebrating the MAN Lenny Valjas’ 4th career World Cup podium on New Year’s Day on the tough sprint in Val Mustair, Switzerland (Len was 3rd, I ended up 15th), it was off to Italy for the last 4 stages in a row in Toblach and Val di Fiemme.

If you would have told me that my best race feelings of the year to date after the Tour was over would be in the 35km loppet style skate race from Cortina-Toblach and up the fabled climb of Alpe Cermis, I would have laughed myself silly. But that’s how things ended up. The two classic races that I was most fired up for ended up being super disappointing (the 5km classic in Toblach and the 15km in Val di Fiemme), whereas in the two “special” skate races I ended up feeling “ok and ok ++” in. Especially the climb – which is usually the site of the annual “epically ugly/slow monkey skating filled with the hollow eyes and slobber beard that any golden retriever in a cheese factory would be proud of.”

I ended the Tour in 12th overall.  All things considered, I’m surprised I ended up there. Most days I felt drained and it was a difficult set of races mentally – as I was so hopeful and trying to stay in that positive “maybe today I’ll be back feeling good!” for the duration. I moved up for the first time ever on the climb – which was the personal racing highlight – from 18th to 12th.

While I was left wanting more and disappointed – the Tour was so exciting everyday for Canada. Lenny snagged two podiums – 0.1seconds away from his first ever World Cup victory in the 15km classic in Val di Fiemme, Babs was a total boss all around and blitzed the climb to move from 17th – 7th snaking the 2nd fast time on that beast in the process for his second World Cup podium – and Alex was a few centimeters behind Len in the exciting 15km to finish 3rd (we had two on the podium and Babs had a career-best classic race in 7th!!) and like I said up top – had four races in the top 6. It was a Tour for the ages again and the stoke is uber-high for us Canadian Nordies. The women are getting in on the action too and I’m psyched for Dasha’s 4th in Liberec a few days ago and for Peri’s career-best 9th in the same race. Momentum for the team is building, as the days get longer. Good news with the 2013 World Champs only 5 weeks away under the Italian sun. The “team behind the team” – our absolutely bad-ass/awesome staff are killing it this year too. The techs (Micke, Yves, Joel, Joel, Sacha, and Timo) were lights-out good during the tour (and every race so far this year!!), Anne (Osteo), Wolfman (need’s no introduction…) and Justin (the only coach on the ground at the Tour) were on their A ++ game, so huge thanks to them for their hard work and unwavering passion.

After the Tour, I fled to… Norway! I know right? Lenny went to the beaches of Egypt to recharge, Alex joined his girlfriend in Nice, France and I headed up to Scandinavia – I guess I missed the shorter days, brown cheese and waffles. There must have been a good reason right? Well there was – I really enjoyed spending time with Kristin who was coming off a boss 3rd place overall Tour de Ski finish and there was nowhere else I’d rather be. We hung out in Oslo for a couple days enjoying some great times with her crew there and then headed up to Sjusjoen for some quiet days at her cabin. It’s a beautiful spot and while the week went by far too fast – I had a great time and feel like my body did a decent job recovering from the stress and beat-down that the Tour does to a racer.

I’m now in France, in the small mountain village of Praz de Lys – which is about 45min from this weekend’s races in La Clusaz. I had never been here before, but I swear every year for the past 5 all Dasha can say when the question of “where should we go train in-between races?” comes up is an enthusiastic “Praz de Lys!” about 19 times in a row. Well Dasha, you were right. The skiing here is some of the best I’ve ever done. It’s unreal – gorgeous views of Mt. Blanc, meters of snow, and tons of perfectly groomed trails to enjoy daily with mountain views at every angle. Aside from Seisser Alm, Italy, it’s the best skiing I’ve had in Europe. I must say that seeing all the back country skiing happening leaves me with a sore neck (looking up the whole time!) but other than that – paradise.

I’m looking forward to this weekend to get some racing action in before another two weeks of World Champs prep/training “sans racing” before we head to Sochi to scope next year’s Olympic trails and scene.

Other than dreaming of ripping the surrounding powder – I’m listening to some older stuff these days – Wilco is on heavy rotation, as is the Shins, Kishi Bashi, and this band called “Say Hi.” (Formerly “Say hi to your mom”). I’ve also been spinning a lot of old school blues actually – some BB King (Live at the Regal), Muddy Waters (Hard Again/I’m Ready), and John Lee Hooker – eclectic I know. Reading-wise, I’ve been cruising through a Brent McMurty recommendation “the Leap” by Chris Turner (great book man!). The Globe and Mail’s review of it HERE.

Kikkan Randall’s Q&A – Training and Strength

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


January 10, 2013 – Kikkan Randall’s 2012/13 season is off to a blistering start with numerous WCup wins and podiums, so it’s no wonder Morgan wants to know Randall’s strength workouts and training secrets. Read what Randall reveals and… check out Randall’s Training Rap HERE and check her MAILBAG for all Q&As thru the season.

Q&A – Training and Strength

You are SO beast!!
I was just wondering what kind of strength training and normal training you do to become one of the best in world. It’s so inspiring to watch you race and do so well. :)
Thanks!
Morgan

Hi Morgan,
Thanks for the compliments and your question. Strength is one of my favorite parts of my training plan. A few years ago I began working with a US Ski Team strength and conditioning coach to redesign my strength training plan and since then I have seen big improvements in my skiing. We’ve focused more on mobility and balance in the body, i.e. not just hitting the ski muscles all the time, and on some specific power and quickness stuff for my sprinting.

When I was younger, I did a lot of basic strength exercises like pull-ups, push-ups and core exercises, as well as jumping and sprinting uphill. This provides a good base and when you get older, you can get more specific.

Best of luck!

Cheers,
Kikkan :)

Concept2 and New England Nordic Ski Association Renew Partnership

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


November 29, 2012 (New Gloucester, ME) – Signing on as an official supplier of the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA), Concept2 will continue their long-standing support of NENSA and the key Eastern Cup, Marathon, and Zak Cup race series. Concept2 will also support NENSA’s 2013 TD Bank Eastern High School Championships and Bill Koch League Festival. As part of the sponsorship, Concept2 offers NENSA members special pricing on their SkiErg products, and continues as a resource for NENSA’s coaches education program.

“Concept2 is known for their innovative approach to product development and their SkiErg products have become important tools for coaches and programs implementing accurate and measurable specific strength training and testing,” said NENSA Executive Director, Zach Stegeman. “Concept2’s commitment to innovation is matched by their dedication to supporting programs for the good of their sports, and NENSA is proud to partner with Concept2 and their SkiErg brand for another season.”

“Concept2 Is excited to be supporting NENSA in bringing the sport of Nordic skiing to New Englanders of all ages and abilities,” said Concept2 co-owner Judy Geer. “Numerous C2 parents and children have participated in NENSA programs, from Bill Koch League to Eastern Cup racing to Junior Nationals. Though rowing is still our favorite summer sport, Nordic skiing is our favorite winter sport!”

Russian Teams Gear Up for the Season

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


November 08, 2012 – There are only 16 days left until the start of the FIS Cross-Country World Cup in Gällivare, Sweden. Russia’s 24 athletes are going to take part in the opening ladies and men competitions.

The ladies’ part of the Russian Cross-Country team travelled to Europe already and has trained in Muonio, Finland. “All the athletes are healthy and we train as planned,” head coaches Gregor Menshenin and Dmitry Bugaev say. Russian skiers have been on snow already a month as they carried out a training camp in Ramsau.

Sprinters in Yakutia
Russian sprint specialists carried out the first winter training camp of the season in Aldan ,Yakutia region. The sprinters took part in a show competition that was organised at the opening of the new skiing centre in Aldan. The 85-long super sprint was won by Olympic Champion from 2010 Nikita Kriukov. “Unfortunately Alexey Petukhov and Anton Gafarov could not take part in the competition. Alexey has been recovering from illness and Anton has had small issues with his back. So we did not want to risk anything,” sprint coach Mikhail Deviatiarov said.

Bjornsen Blog – Doing the Snow Dance!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


November 01, 2012 (Anchorage, AK) – Since getting back from Park City Camp, Anchorage has yet to get any snow. Of course, when every skier is looking for moisture, the sun finally decides to show in AK. With no snow, the temperatures haven’t hesitated to resemble the typical Alaskan weather at this time of year.

As temps dropped down into the single digits, rollerskiing gets less fun! Pounding freezing cold pavement isn’t exactly the nicest thing for your joints. But, with a little extra clothes, and a longer than usual warm up- we made it happen.

One day we were rollerskiing at a local park, where all the ducks have decided to reside around a half frozen pond. They also have chosen to poop all over the trail. So, aside from the trail being half frozen, our skis were also being stopped and tripped up by frozen pooo. It provided for some laughing, a little swearing, and fortunately only one fall that didn’t end up too bad.

Last weekend was also the annual APU ski swap, where all the elite athletes pass down our great equipment to the younger generation of skiers. This is one of the neatest qualities about this elite/junior/devo team. A great pair of skis never leaves the team as someone grows out of them, it just keeps living down the chain. The ski swap is also a time that Kikkan takes the opportunity to clear out her closet and raffle off all her stuff to the young kids.

This is one of the most exciting things I have ever watched. Kikkan manages to accumulate some pretty awesome gear, so the kids get called out by number, have 10 seconds to pick something on the table, and then the next person goes. It’s a pretty awesome thing Kikkan does- and I am sure that 90% of those kids mark the day on the calendar, it’s that exciting!!

On that same day we had one of the young devo team boys and Rob Whitney put on a fundraiser run for Mary Robicheaux, a young devo on our team that got hit by a car while she was biking. Mary has been in the hospitals for the past two months as she is learning to walk again. She suffered a fractured skull, many broken bones in both legs, a broken spine, and a tough road to recovery. She has been amazing though as she has continued to improve from day to day with a whole lot of heart.

Anyways, one of her friends, Luke Jager headed up a running race for the community. He set up a little 5k course that weaved over logs, through trees, around in circles… you name it. It was pretty fun. It was amazing to see the community come together, with around 300 participants, who managed to raise $14,000 for Mary’s recovery.

So, this leads to last weekend. On Wednesday last week, I headed up to Fairbanks for a little on-snow time. Since Fairbanks has about 3 inches of snow, our team was off to find it. This weekend is also the First Tracks Camp, where all the skiers of Alaska group together for the first “on-snow” camp of the season.

It is pretty awesome, they all get to chase all the elite skiers around during training, and then there are a bunch of talks set up from Nutritionists, Health Specialists, NCAA skiers and coaches, and the World Cup Team. With everyone in the same place, everyone gets to take advantage of the others around them. This is the first time I have attended one of these First Tracks Camp, but it is pretty amazing. Thanks Matt Hajdukavich and Challenge Life Alaska for an awesome time!

The final day, we celebrated Halloween and dressed up in costumes for our ski. I was doing intervals this day, so it meant throwing down pretty hard in a pink onesie suit with a white cotton t-shirt on top. It provided for some entertainment though for sure.

Kikkan and Holly also organized a “world-cup field” for the final day where they brought all their race suits from other countries they have accumulated, and then raffled off who got to wear them the final day. The kids also got to wear world cup bibs on top, so it was pretty hilarious to watch the “foreigners” skiing around.

So after four days of sweet skiing, we had to head home for some good “home time” before leaving for the winter. This is also the hardest part. Trying to get your life truly organized before being gone from your home for potentially five months!! Yikes. In the mean time, if you see me on the side of the road dancing… I am just doing the snow dance!! C’mon snow.

Diggins Report – Pre-Gaming the Season

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


October 29, 2012 (Canmore, AB) – Camp wrapped up today in Canmore with a classic sprint time trial and strength. My warmup for strength was somewhat more embarrassing than usual since I lost a bet in the race and had to wear my underwear over my tights. But that’s not all that crazy.

The crazy part of this time trial/pre-season race was that there were actually some of the very best sprinters in the world in attendance; an Olympic gold medalist, World Champs gold medalist, multiple World Cup race podiums scattered throughout the start list. It’s cool seeing so many North Americans kicking butt. And it’s cool training with them and learning from every session, time trial and race experience!

I’d almost forgotten some of the sensations that accompany sprinting: the lactic acid and nerves seemingly boring a hole in my stomach (maybe I’m slowly developing and ulcer and don’t know it?); trying to stay warm while not sweating too much so I don’t freeze once I finally do take my jacket off; trying to dial in kick and not knowing when to add more or go with better glide. It’s a circus, all right!

And today was the best practice ever, thanks to Cross-Country Canada for hosting! I know classic sprinting is my biggest weakness and therefore I’m super thankful for any good chance to work on it that I can get. I felt a little like I was spinning my wheels, going nowhere during the race, but I worked hard and even when I totally ran out of energy (and technique!) in the final, it was a sweet learning experience. Slowly but surely, it’ll get better!

The interesting thing about racing is that while there is one person who wins, there is also someone who pushes the hardest, someone who dials in their skis the best, someone who has the best technique, someone who hurts the most and someone who uses the smartest tactics.

Whenever I get nervous, I focus on trying to be everything but the person who wins and more on the things I can control. Then, sometimes, things pull together and result in a good race. And sometimes not…

Tomorrow I fly back to gool ‘ol Minnesota, and I’m super pumped to get in a WHOLE TWO WEEKS there! Yes, that’s right, you heard me. 2 weeks in one spot NOT for a training camp. It’s a rare, beautiful thing.

However, I will be sad to leave all my teammates, especially since I won’t see my SMS crew for a month and a half! It’s been an amazing summer and fall, and I know we’ll have even more good stories when we’re reunited in Quebec.

Several of these shots are those One Way’s Reese Hanneman took (Engine Room Media). We had a fun time taking some goofy shots (I can’t help myself) and some better ones, too. Check them all out HERE.

Rolling Out the Competition-Development NCCP Context

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


October 29, 2012 (Canmore, AB) – Since the first year when Competition Coaching-Introduction: Advanced (CCI-Advanced, T2T) workshops were offered in 2008-09, an increasing number of coaches have been trained for that context and will now complete their certification by undergoing the evaluation process. The next step in the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) progression is the Competition Coaching-Development context (CCD).

Cross Country Canada (CCC) is pleased to announce that we will host a first CCD dryland workshop in Canmore, May 8-12, 2013 (5 very full days!). The On Snow workshop (4 days) is planned for November 2013.

Given the large number of currently trained CCI-Advanced (T2T) coaches wanting to start their training in the CCD context, registrations for this first dryland workshop next spring will likely be offered to targeted 2015 Canada Winter Games(CWG) candidates in priority. It will be up to divisions to provide a list of prioritized coaches in that regard.

2015 CWG coaching eligibility requirements have been somewhat lowered for part of the support teams by the Canada Games Council earlier this month but still require old level 3 certification or CCD certified status in the new system for the head coach of each provincial/territorial teams and CCD trained status for all other coaches (excluding team manager and wax technician).

If the demand is such that several interested and eligible coaches cannot take part in this first CCD dryland workshop next spring, CCC will consider offering a second dryland workshop in the fall of 2013.

To be accepted for the CCD dryland workshop in May 2013, all candidates must be at least trained in the CCI-Advanced(T2T) context (both workshops completed) and be in the process of completing the CCI-Advanced(T2T) evaluation process (at least three out of five outcomes evaluated, including “supporting T2T athletes at a competition”); see CCI-Advanced (T2T) page for details HERE.

As well, interested candidates should take note that they can start their CCD training right away by completing training and evaluation in the multi-sport modules required for cross-country skiing (see CCD page HERE for details).

To view the whole CCD training and certification progression, see the flowchart HERE.

Noah Hoffmann – Snow in Canmore

Tags: , , , , , ,


October 23, 2012 – USST skier Noah Hoffman is currently in Canmore, AB, getting first tracks with the team. The Park City, UT native has been taking advantage of the white stuff in Canmore, where it’s cold enough to fire up the snow guns. He has also been hanging out with the Canucks and watching football. Read more about it HERE and HERE.

First Day on Snow in Fairbanks, Alaska

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


October 17, 2012 (Fairbanks, Alaska) – There is snow in Alaska, and the gang at Birch Hill in Fairbanks took some great photos of the NSCF-FXC Comp Team out training yesterday afternoon. Last report was that there is more snow coming down. Just 145 days until the Junior Nationals start on these same trails.

Skiing was reportedly… “Still a bit scratchy, but hey, it’s skiing.”  The groomers rolled a couple of km, so the squad skied around a bit and did some double pole sprints as a group.

Park City Camp – 16 Days and Only Rained Once!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 17, 2012 (Park City, UT) – This is why I love going to Park City for October camp ever year – the weather is so awesome it makes for incredible training! While it’s starting to get rainy and gross outside in most of the U.S. once the leaves have changed and fallen, PC has been sunny and reasonably warm. Although I’m such a hot-blooded creature that it’s been much warmer for me than the rest of the team. :)

After allowing some time to acclimate to the high altitude, we’ve moved to putting in more speed and intensity sessions, including some harder L4 intervals.

So, this weird thing happens to me every fall. I start to worry that I’m not going fast enough in speeds, not long enough in intervals, and I lose confidence and worry that my season is going to be a disaster. But then the season goes just fine and I feel silly for stressing so much about it!

However, yesterday we did a 6×4 min L4 bounding session, and although I went as hard as I could, I was just out of it and ended up being pretty hard on myself. I figured sometimes you’re the bug, and sometimes you’re the windshield, and that day I was most definitely the bug. And it felt pretty bad.

But then my coaches and teammates reminded me…they’re not going to kick me off the team, or think any less of me, if I don’t perform 100% every single day. In fact, it’d be impossible to have a perfect training session or race every time! It’s normal to get nervous before the start of the race season…that that’s something that might never go away, just something I need to get better at dealing with.

So why am I going on about this? Because everybody has those days when, for whatever reason (bad session, injuries, sickness, bad day at work) they feel like the bug. Sometimes it just sucks! And it’s good to be able to admit when you’re feeling down and simply ask for a hug. I feel so lucky to know that I can get one anytime from such a great group of teammates and coaches. We’ve got each other’s backs!

But today was a rest day, and I think this cartoon (forwarded by Soph) pretty accurately sums up a skier’s day off: it’s never really as empty as we say it is.

Today’s day off consisted of chilling at the SMS team house and then finishing part 2 of a photo shoot for One Way Sport with Reese Hanneman (Engine Room Media – check out his site HERE! ). Reese took some good shots and was super fun to work with, and I can’t wait to post some of the photos in a couple days!

We took photos all over different parts of Park City, but my favorite spots included skiing up Main Street at night, climbing a rusty tower at an old mining site, and skiing over Guardsman Pass.

Doing the shoot on Main St was really cool because of all the lights and people but also a little sketchy; we’d wait for the street to clear and then I’d do a sprint up the middle of the street, and Reese would take some shots, then I’d scoot down the side of the street and do it again.

We got some great comments from the peanut gallery of pedestrians, too. “Ski like you MEAN IT!”…”Where can I get some of those wheels?”…”Whoa. That’s a lot of neon”…”so, uh, do those things mainly roll uphill or downhill?”. Luckily, it was dark, so although my face went red whenever people would stop and stare I don’t think anyone could tell!

Brooks Blog – October at Altitude

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


October 16, 2012 – The countdown has truly begun…. in just a short 29 days I will be headed on another 30-hour travel to Europe to kick off the 2012-2013 ski season. With less than a month to go, nerves and excitement are starting to brew in my belly and the anticipation is high.

I find our sport to be qualitative to a fault. It’s usually this time of year when I start to wonder, am I fit? Have I prepared well enough? What page of the results will I be on for the first race of the season? Unlike running, biking, or baseball we have comparatively few ways to measure our progress or improvements. We don’t measure wattage, we don’t keep stats, and skiing isn’t as simple as running a repeatable track workout. We can repeat intervals on roller skis but weather and temperature change the speed of the pavement up to 20%. We can do a running test or a strength test but realistically, just because you can do more pull ups than 6 months ago doesn’t guarantee that you’re double pole is going to improve.

Physiological testing at the USSA headquarters in Park City, Utah is just one of the reasons why US Ski Team members make an annual trip here to train come October. The weather is generally beautiful, we can use the facilities at the Center of Excellence & we can “test” with the sports science department. On top of all this, we can take advantage of the opportunity to live & train at altitude.

In fact, as I type this, I am sitting at our condo in Deer Valley @ almost 9,000 feet! For those unfamiliar with altitude training it is basically a natural way of increasing your red blood cells & hemoglobin – both of which are responsible for carrying & delivering oxygen throughout your body. All said and done I will have been here for a full 18 days which should be enough time to spike my hemoglobin. I took a test upon landing and will take another one just before departure to track the change.

In addition to the hemoglobin tests I was scheduled to do a series of “max effort” tests on the ski treadmill to measure my Vo2max among other things. Unfortunately, I’m suffering from a bit of an intercostal muscle pull and at this point, have been unable to test or use my left arm to it’s full capacity. Some of you may remember seeing this from a post I wrote in May:

I was hoping to repeat this test (and see improvement!) but the priority is on fully healing my muscle so that I can do on-snow intervals in Alaska before departing for my first race in Munio, Finland! One of the advantages of being near the COE is that we have in-house trainers & physical therapists. I am seeing them daily and think that I should be 100% healed in no time!

Aside from using the COE and testing, my trip to Utah has given me a much-needed change of scenery, pace, and WEATHER. While the weather at home in Alaska had been quite “challenging” the weather in Utah has been gorgeous. It’s motivating to get out the door and in fact, sometimes you have to keep an eye on your watch because it’s tempting to stay outside all day!

Last week I got to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now and that is climb Timpanogos, an 11,700 foot peak just an hours drive from Park City. Lucky for me I got to climb it with a huge group of friends as it was part of my dear friend, Katie Ronsse’s pre-wedding activities!

Another thing I’ve been able to take advantage of here in Utah is the FOOD. I love ethnic food, particularly Mexican food. There is plenty to be had here – you can see by the site of this salsa bar…. last week I also went to a farmer’s market and just about died of happiness as there were fresh local fruits and veggies for REALLY affordable prices!

Another huge highlight of the past week and a half was attending Katie and Justin’s wedding. Rob was able to join me for the wedding and a small respite from the Alaskan rain. He was “happy as a clam” biking 8 hours a day on the extensive Park City mountain bike trails!

I have another four days here in Utah and its action packed with training sessions, physical therapy appointments, meetings with our new team sports psychologist & travel agent, getting outfitted with gear for the new season & an National Nordic Foundation fundraising meet & greet. (More on that and the Drive for 25 later!)

In the meantime, for all you folks up in Alaska – we’re having a fun(d) run for Mary this upcoming Sunday! I hope to see some of you there! Please help spread the word:

That’s it for now from Utah! Smiles & thanks for reading,

– Holly :)

FIS XC Athlete Interview with Kikkan Randall

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 11, 2012 – USA’s Kikkan Randall became the best sprinter on the ladies’ side last season. The skier from Alaska talked to FIS Cross-Country News about her summer preparation, goals for the winter and her four-year term on the FIS Athletes’ Commission.

You are coming to the end of your four-year term as the female representative for Cross-Country on the FIS Athletes’ Commission. How has the experience been and would you like to continue for another four years?
Kikkan Randall: Yes, I have really enjoyed my time on the FIS Athletes’ Commission representing Cross-Country. It has taken these four years to learn the ropes and get to know the people, and I have established some good paths of communication with the top levels of the cross-country committee. So I feel that can I continue to be effective and would enjoy doing this for another four years.

After having such a successful season last year taking the World Cup Overall Sprint title, what are your goals moving forward towards the 2012-13 World Cup season?
KR: Yeah, last year was certainly a lot of fun and I would like to continue to improve at both my sprint and distance results.

You have struggled with a foot injury this summer. Has that affected your off-season training?
KR: Unfortunately, I’ve had to slow down a little bit this summer after good training through mid-August, as it became clear that I had a stress fracture in my right foot. I’ve had to take the last month a little bit easier too give the foot some rest and avoid activities that aggravate it.

What are the activities that bothered the foot?
KR: Primarily, it was skate skiing. But for the past six weeks I have also not run, and only double-poled roller skiing.

Has that changed your approach to the start of the racing season?
KR: Normally I would have been looking forward to really coming in in good form with the opening races in Gallivare, and the mini-tour in Kuusamo, as well as the two sprints in Quebec. But I haven’t been able to skate for six weeks now and it’s still another couple of weeks before that becomes a possibility. Hopefully, I will be ready to participate in those races, but don’t see my form coming around until the Tour de Ski.

FIS Interview with Italian Coach Silvio Fauner

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 11, 2012 – Italy will be hosting two major events next season, the final stages of the seventh edition of the FIS Tour de Ski and the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Val di Fiemme. The Squadra Azzura has been working hard to meet the challenges of competing on the home ground. FIS Cross-Country News talked to Italy’s head coach Silvio Fauner.

Silvio, how was the off-season for your team and your athletes?
Silvio Fauner: We had a very good summer. The team was healthy except for David Hofer who was coping with muscle injury in July, however, it was a minor injury and he did not have to stop training. The team has been working very hard. The men’s team is now training in Passo Stelvio together with the B team. Ladies team is in Ramsau.

Have there been any changes in your coaching staff?
SF: We have made only one change; Paolo Riva has become the main coach of the men’s team. He was the B-Team coach and also coached the Italian Biathlon World Cup team. Saracco remains the sprint coach and Stauder coaches ladies.

For Italy, Roland Clara had a very strong start into the last season. Do you expect him to be again strong, or somebody else?
SF: I hope Roland will again be in good shape. On the other hand, I would wish that other young skiers will do well. David Hofer has been working hard on the free technique and Thomas Moriggl has been looking good, too. There are other good young skiers with a potential in the B-team. I would like to take one or two of them to the first World Cups of the season.

Italian ladies’ team has been through a generation change. Do you see light at the end of the tunnel?
SF: I think we have really good young ladies, but this year will probably be too early for them. I feel they are still too young to break through on the World Cup level. Deborah Agreiter is the silver medalist from the U23 World Ski Championships in Erzurum last year. She is 22 years old and even the big names such as Paruzzi, Longa and Follis had their first big successful competitions and results when they were 27 or 28. I see young women with a potential but not yet for this season.

What is your preview to the next winter?
SF: The season will be long and most likely we all our athletes will not compete in all World Cups. Also not all the athletes will finish the Tour de Ski, maybe two or three. The rest will continue preparation for the World Championships. For sure our biggest goal for the season is to perform well at the home Championships in Val di Fiemme. The dream would be to claim a medal every day, but that’s not so easy. I see our biggest chance in the sprint, 15 km free technique and team sprint, maybe in the relay.

How is the upgraded Val di Fiemme venue?
SF: It is a new venue with upgraded Cross-Country courses. The stadium has been changed and the tracks are very, very hard, especially the ladies’ sprint. On the other hand they are very nice and fair.

You are representing Italy at Cross-Country Committees here in Zurich. Will you return home satisfied?
SF: Yes, I am leaving Zurich satisfied. Perhaps we will speak with other nations to suggest some small changes.

Fast and Female Park City and Drive for 25 Info

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 09, 2012 – Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone! Ok, now the blog post can begin. The Fast and Female event in Park City was officially AWESOME. As per my usual, I got to lead the dancing/endurance station, where we keep moving the entire time and each girl gets to add a dance move of her own to the group dance. The dance gets longer and longer and by the last group of the day I’m always working so hard to try and remember which move comes next! But it’s so much fun. Anne Hart was my dance station partner and we had a blast although by the end we both had jelly legs and were wiped out.

For me the coolest thing is seeing each girls face light up as the entire group does the dance move SHE got to add. It’s fun to make each girl be the star for 10 seconds!

And now… the National Nordic Foundation’s Drive for 25.

I realize that there are a ton of fundraisers going on this fall. And my personal fundraiser, the Chilkoot Cafe dinner in Stillwater, is going on this fall as well, on November 10th. But, I’m putting this up because the National Nordic Foundation directly helps me as well as many other junior, senior and U23 athletes looking to take the next step in international racing. NNF lowers trip costs for World Juniors/U23′s, and help pay for World Cup expenses. NNF also helped the US Women’s team travel to Sweden to train with some of the best in the world and improve.

So!

If you cannot come to Stillwater, MN on November 10th but are a friend of mine and/or Nordic Skiing and want to help out, this fundraiser is the best way to do it. I’ve linked my fundraising page below, and my goal is to get 20 people to donate $25. All the fundraiser information is on the link – even if you do not want to donate, please check out the NNF and their mission – the stories, pictures and race blogs are well worth looking at. Thanks for your time!

Jessie’s Drive for 25 page HERE.

Junior Biathlete Camp Held at 10th Mountain Center in Maine

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


October 04, 2012 (Fort Kent, ME) – Over the weekend of September 21-23 junior athletes from throughout the county came to the 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent to participate in a 3-day shooting camp. During the camp athletes learned the skills needed to begin training in the sport of biathlon. They participated in a variety of shooting practices, running, strength and roller ski sessions over the long weekend in preparation for the 2012-13 winter season.

Focused sessions like this are great prior to the winter to help young athletes hone their skills while the weather is warm. This winter the Maine Winter Sports Center is excited to announce the 10th Mountain Center will be hosting the 2013 USBA National Championship over March 7th through 10th.. We hope to see many of these young athletes competing there. These athletes will also have an opportunity to participate in biathlon evens as part of the North American Cup races in Valcartier and La Patrie Quebec, and Jericho Vermont.

What is next? Junior athletes from throughout Maine are currently training outside Cody, Wyoming with MWSC Head Nordic Coach Will Sweetser. Here in Maine a group is enjoying fall training on Mount Desert Island, and we are preparing to start our regular weekly fall/winter sessions.

Parent information sessions will be held on October 2nd in Presque Isle at the Nordic Heritage center at 7:30pm as well as on October 4th in Fort Kent at the 10th Mountain Center at 7:30pm. Come and learn more about these programs. We look forward to seeing you all out this fall.

Noah Hoffman – Fall Training and Fun

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 01, 2012 (Park City, UT) – The USST’s Noah Hoffman has had a busy fall after returning from a training camp in New Zealand with a quick stopover in Putney, VT. Back home in Park City, Hoffman has been enjoying the fall weather, quality time with family and friends, and hard training sessions in preparation for the upcoming competitive season.

Find out more on his blog HERE.

Volcanoes, Glaciers and Rollerskis: 2012 Training Season Update with Coach Wadsworth

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


September 27, 2012 (Canmore, AB) – It’s funny. The athletes came into this training season more excited than ever, when one would think that after such a successful last season it would have been just the opposite. The amount of work this team has done over the last two years has been exhausting and I thought maybe people would slow down a bit and need to be encouraged back into training mode. Well, that couldn’t be further from the case.

Champing at the bit, the athletes travelled to Bend, Oregon for an on-snow camp combined with the US ski team. We had amazing skiing and weather which helped make this our best spring camp ever. Everyone on the team came into this camp fit and pumped up to get things going-it was great!

A few weeks after the Bend camp, our newly formed women’s team, led by Coach Eric de Nys, went north to Alaska for a half dryland and half on-snow camp with the US women’s team. This camp was a major success, with one of the largest (and for sure best) women’s training groups ever assembled in North America. Although the weather on the glacier wasn’t exactly sunny the women laid down some serious K’s and hours and came away more fit than ever.

While the ladies were in AK, the guys and I were hammering up from sea level to 10,000 feet on rollerskis on the island of Maui. The men tallied up more than 60,000 feet of vertical over 12 days, while camping high up on the volcano. There are other places to do altitude camps but nowhere else where you can do this kind of full-on vertical training. By far this was the camp where I saw the biggest changes in the guys, and everyone knew they had just gone up two notches in fitness. Straight from Hawaii we finished off the altitude training at the Haig Glacier in Alberta with 3 days of skiing at 3000 meters.

Since we have camps almost every month with most lasting around two weeks, I thought this summer would be a good time to give our athletes a six week break to settle in, train, and visit friends and family. During this period, Joel Jaques from our technical team and Perianne Jones from the women’s team got married and it was a celebration shared by many in the Cross Country Canada family.

In late August the women’s team joined forces with the Alberta World Cup Academy (AWCA) in Whitefish, Montana for another large women’s camp. Once again energy was high and the women focused on a good mix of intensity and distance, with a couple hard time trials to start engaging the racing legs. Chris Jeffries, Head Coach of the AWCA, and Eric de Nys worked well together and the energy coming out of this camp would carry everyone for weeks.

During this same period, the men were in on-snow in New Zealand banging out big hours and focusing on skiing technique. Coach Louis Bouchard and I were extremely happy with the work done there and left excited for the real winter to come.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are now off to Park City, Utah. Although the teams have different schedules, we’ll be doing some workouts together and eating dinners as a group. It’s our last dryland camp of the year and it will be fun to get everyone back together.

We’re all back to Canmore after Park City for skiing on our “kept” snow for our famous Frozen Thunder event. The Canmore Nordic Centre scrapes off the sawdust used to insulate the snow during the summer and rolls it out Oct 15th. It’s such an advantage for us to know we can start getting the edge on our competition by skiing so early, and right at home!

The World Cup races start Nov 24th in Gellivare, Sweden, and then move on to Kuusamo, Finland for the first mini-tour of the season. From there it’s time to head back to Canada for the much anticipated Quebec City and Canmore World Cups.

Our team is in a better place than ever and it’s an exciting time for everyone involved in cross country skiing in Canada. Without the support of our CCC members, fans and partners we would not be where we are today. Thank you!

Justin

Lenny,-team-van,-Justin_cropped.jpg
From left: Lenny Valjas, Coaching Consultant Torbjorn Karlsen, Coach Wadsworth. Location:Canmore, AB

Cologna Training at Altitude

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


August 16, 2012 (Davos, Switzerland) – The defending FIS Tour de Ski Champion and FIS Cross-Country World Cup winner is getting ready for the coming season at home, in Switzerland. After a few days at his home place Davos, Cologna started a high altitude training block in Engadin and Flüelapass. “I spent a great week with Curdin in Engadin. We trained together very well and he showed me some great tours in his home area,” Dario Cologna wrote on his website.

After the week in Engadin Cologna returned back to Davos “I am sleeping at Flüelapass in 2382 m but mainly do the training down in the valley in Davos. Together with Toni Livers we will carry out running tours at the Flüellapass,” Cologna adds.

Cologna’s training program is full packed for the rest of the month. “On Friday we are having an Odlo bike tour. On Sunday I am taking part in the roller skiing competition in San Bernardino. At the end of the month we are travelling to Oberhof where we will be training again on snow,” Dario Cologna revealed plans for August.

Find out more about Dario Cologna:
Website: www.dariocologna.ch
Twitter: twitter.com/dariocologna
Facebook: www.facebook.com/

Red Deer Nordic Hosts Inter-Provincial Dryland Training Camp – Sept. 7-9

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


August 16, 2012 – Red Deer Nordic is hosting a province wide dry land cross country ski camp and we want you to come! WOW!!! Some of the best coaches and athletes in the province will be here to help you develop as a person and athlete. You won’t want to miss this opportunity!

Registration is now open at Zone4.ca. Click HERE to register. Please note that registration numbers are limited, so be sure to sign up a.s.a.p.! Please note that registration closes at 10pm on Tuesday September 4.

What: Red Deer Nordic Hosts- Cross Country Alberta Inter-Club Provincial Dry Land Training Camp

When: September 7, 8, 9

September 7 – Coaches and athletes with a long drive can come into town and settle in for the evening. Others may want to come in on saturday morning? We could have a coaches meeting at 8:00pm to firm up some of the details.

September 8 – Coaches meet at 8am, Athletes meet at 8:45, programming will start at 9:00 and we will run until 9:00pm (including snacks, lunches, dinner and presentations)

September 9 – Coaches meet at 8am, Athletes meet at 8:45, programming will start at 9:00 and we will plan on being done between 3:30 and 4:30.

Where: Red Deer, Alberta

Who: Athletes ages 10 and older, Track Attack Skiers, Alberta Cup Skiers, Members of the Alberta Development Team and Alberta Ski Team, Members of the Junior National Ski Team, any athletes from other sports ages 10 to college and university age who would like an introduction to training for cross country ski racing; plus coaches of all levels from beginner youth coaches to experienced club coaches; and parents of young athletes.

Why: The goal of this camp is to bring together all of the athletes and coaches from cross country ski clubs across Alberta to train together in a Provincial Camp. A great opportunity for athletes to gain valuable friendships, learn from each other, and develop together.

Coaches of all levels, this is an amazing chance for you to work with some very talented coaches that we have in Alberta, to develop your own skills, coaching style, detection and correction and work with different athletes too.

We will be using our amazing trail system through the river valley, have dinner and presentations at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, preview the High School Provincial Cross Country Running Race Course and enjoy being around so many great people in our sport. We have prizes from Fast Trax Run and Ski Shop, SkiGo, and Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Red Deer!

Detailed information, registration and costs will be available August 15th.

Coaches and parent coaches if you are interested in being part of this camp please contact Graeme Moore at 403-314-9356 or email at gsmpaddleski@gmail.com. Please let me know if you would like to make a presentation to the coaches and athletes and what topic you would like to share.

Coaches, please take 2 minutes after you finish reading this message to email this out to all athletes ages 10 and older, coaches and parent coaches so they know about this camp!

The Way I See It – The Weight Room

Tags: , , , , , , ,


August 14, 2012 – Short and Quick – Who wins? Have believed in this ever since the beginning of my coaching career (early ’70s) – way more times then not the stronger skier wins. Essentially the top skiers are all doing the same training, but if there is an area where there will be a difference, it is in being in the weight room and doing the proper lifting programs. The musculature between these three ladies is quite dramatic to my eye and whether I knew the names or not I would have picked the heavier muscled skier to be the more successful one.

Back then it was important to be strong, but in today’s skiing it is even more so, with skating and even in classic because of the huge reduction in hill lengths because of the short loop format that is used. There is way more double poling happening and it will continue to grow in proportion to the use of the diagonal stride. Cross country skiers have shown the propensity to train anything they want to when they set their minds to it.

When skating started it was said no one could skate a whole course, and then it was off-set was the technique, which quickly became V1, which is now the most used technique. It is now being thought that the diagonal stride will be dead soon, as everyone will double pole everything and it will be faster.

Here is some reading if you don’t believe it – click HERE.

It is not too late for you to get on board – remember specific strength gains beat general endurance work – everyone does big weights and small reps now – make it a part of your future success.

US XC Men’s Ski Team Euro Training Camp – Heading Home

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


August 14, 2012 – The US XC Men’s Ski Team recently spent three weeks training in Austria and Germany with some workouts on glaciers, in the gym, and skiing at the DKB Skisport Halle in Oberhof. When the camp wrapped up, the squad travelled together to Munich, where they sought out a gym for one last workout before their flight.

The next day, after enjoying a fabulous hotel breakfast, Noah Hoffman and Tad Elliott travelled back to Aspen, CO together, but not without some adventures along the way. Since his return home, Hoffman has enjoyed lots of family and friend time, as well as quality training. Read more about the US XC Men’s Ski Team and what the Hoff has been up to on his new website HERE.

NNF Invests $6,000 in upcoming USST International Development Camps

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


July 24, 2012 (Sun Valley, ID) – The National Nordic Foundation will invest $6,000 in two forthcoming Cross-Country Pillar Projects in its summer round of XC 2012/2013 funding. The primary goal of these USST International Development camps in Austria, Germany, and Sweden is to get the athletes on snow midway through the preparation period, and most goals will be technique-based. The National Nordic Foundation’s investment will offset some athlete’s travel expenses thereby reducing the personal cost for many of the athletes. Primary funding for the camps will come from USST with a significant additional investment to the men’s camp from the Oregon Nordic Ski Foundation. These strategic investments are made to Support Tomorrow’s Stars Today.

Men’s Camp: July 28-Aug 3 Ramsau/Dachstein, Austria, Aug 3-9 Oberhof, Germany
The men’s National Team is looking forward to the upcoming camp in Ramsau am Dachstein, Austria and Oberhof, Germany. Ramsau and Oberhof are two of the best summer cross-country ski training venues in central Europe. Both venues provide excellent skiing, as well as world-class rollerskiing and dry-land training opportunities. It has been many years since the USST has been in Ramsau for a summer camp and we are looking forward to being back in a place that is already one of our winter homes. This will be our first summer camp in Oberhof, a venue that offers a rollerski track over 10 kilometers in length as well as the ski tunnel. The primary goal of our camp is to get the men back on snow midway through the preparation period, and most goals will be technique-based. We also gain a unique opportunity to test new equipment directly from the European factories. This camp would not be possible without the generosity of the Oregon Nordic Ski Foundation and the National Nordic Foundation. We are grateful for the support of both of these great Nordic organizations; they have made this camp a reality.

Women’s Camp: August 3-16 Torsby & Salen Sweden
The women’s National Team is preparing for its third of five preparation period camps – this time to Sweden. The team will spend its first three days training in Torsby to kick off the camp. During this time we will test equipment on snow in the tunnel with ski industry representatives. We’ll then pack up and meet the Swedish National Team women in Salen for five days of dry land. For the final five days of the camp we’ll head back to Torsby’s ski tunnel with the Swedes. An important national strategy for this group is international partnerships. We’ve made significant progress with Canada in two years and have felt positive benefits on a number of levels. These partnerships naturally inject change into our program without drastically changing our direction. The excitement of new faces and training methods is motivating. We have more fun this way, and we train harder and better. If you want to see a hardcore interval session like never before just put two national teams together and stand back. Our team depends on a deep network of support and NNF is at its center.

North American Women’s XC Training Camp: Alysson Marshall Report

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


July 24, 2012 – Canada’s Alysson Marshall recently participated in a groundbreaking collaborative North American women’s cross-country ski training champ in Anchorage, AK, along with over dozen other athletes from Canada and the U.S., along with Finland’s Aino-Kaisa Saarinen. For the full report and photos from the camp that saw the athletes on rollerskis, in running shoes, skiing on the Eagle Glacier, and celebrating Canada Day in Anchorage, click HERE.

Brooks Blog – Back at it!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


May 07, 2012 – Like everyone else, I had huge intentions of writing a huge blog post (almost a month ago now) reviewing my season, talking about the highs and lows in detail – and covering everything in between.

However, in reality, I needed time to rest – both my body and my mind and that included taking a short hiatus from blogging and telling the world about my exploits :)

Now that I’ve had that time to rest, here is how it went, in a nutshell:

– A delayed departure for Europe due to no snow…. got my first taste of tunnel skiing in Torsby
– An awesome streak of World Cup performances – better than I had ever imagined… scoring WC points in 6 of 9 individual start races. I almost made the distance red group after one period alone! This was certainly a break through for me mentally, physically & emotionally. It also gave me the green light to extend my season in Europe and join the Tour de Ski USA crew! This meant spending Christmas in Europe.
– Christmas night: fell on icy road and broke my wrist four days before Tour de Ski. (Nice timing, right?)
– Proceeded to race the Tour de Ski with my wrist – didn’t find out it was broken until half way through the Tour when I got x-rays and an MRI en route to Italy.

– Stubbornly finished the Tour with the help of pain killers and tape jobs (thanks Steph!) Was ecstatic to reach the top of the Alps Cermis, even if my performance took a huge tumble.
– Proceeded to take some much needed rest in Italy at the home of Bill and Kathy Estes – thanks Guys!
– Continued onto Ramsau, Austria, SOLO for a one-pole ski camp… often in a blizzard.
– Got back into World Cup racing in time to come down with the weird stomach bug that took almost everyone out at one point or another. Dropped out of a race in Czech (Heck, I didn’t even drop out of races when I had a broken wrist!) and then the next day summoned all my courage and energy to help the USA ladies to our best 4x5k relay result ever. Certainly a HIGHLIGHT of the season!

– Just the day before I had purchased a ticket home for a 2-week recovery trip. My wrist episode combined with the stomach bug took a bigger toll on me than I’d thought. I traveled back to the States, 30 pairs of skis and all; knowing that I wanted to come back but not knowing if I could come back.
– Raced the American Birkebeiner and WON! That one had been on my list for a while ever since loosing my an inch in 2009!

– Returned to Europe for the Lahti World Cups but skied poorly. Perhaps 20,000 + miles in an airplane, a 50k and jumping 4 time zones doesn’t work….
– Skied and WON OPA cup finals in Toblach, Italy! It wasn’t WC Finals but it certainly felt good to stand on TOP of a podium. I won countless pounds of cheese and meat for my efforts.
– From Italy I continued onto Craftsbury Vermont where I met my APU teammates. It was close to 80 degrees so we had to get tanks and shorts at thrift stores…. I continued to have what I felt were mediocre races at spring series.

In all, the season was a huge breakthrough for me. Going into it, I had no idea that I would be spending almost five straight months overseas. I didn’t anticipate a 13th place in Davos, just missing the distance red group at the end of December, or even starting the Tour de Ski. Injuring myself was a huge bummer, especially with the momentum that I had created….. but on the bright side, it wasn’t an Olympic year, right? I raced in 26 different World Cup races in countries and venues all over Europe. In all, I raced 51 times last year, summer events included. I learned a lot, as you’d hope I would in that period of time. But perhaps the most important lessons when it comes to International performances are that 1 – I can do it; we can do it. We have the tools to succeed, let alone WIN against the Europeans. 2 – Next season I will need a planned break to come home to AK 3 – Diversify racing venues and level of competition – I didn’t race my first non-World Cup race until the American Birkie in February! As hard as it is to miss World Cups, standing on a podium and being in the hunt for the win is important and not to be under estimated.

All in all, I’m excited to train really hard this summer and take another stab at it next winter. I’m crossing my fingers to stay injury free and be able to pick up where I left off!

WHEW….. That wasn’t supposed to be long winded but it was, sorry. Here are some pictures of my spring to make up for it:

Following the ski season I did what so happy skiers do after 5 months of traveling on the road, chasing snow; go to the beach! This trip was actually planned as a college reunion some 8 months prior to going. There was lots to celebrate and lots to catch up on including BIG birthdays…. (and some anxiety on my part for those that know me well!) Time with my college girlfriends was awesome. We cooked amazing meals and talked for HOURS about all kinds of non-ski related things. My friends are all amazingly accomplished and it was fun to hear about mobile butchers for Sarah’s meat CSA, Al’s trips on the Grand Canyon, Jayne’s PhD in geophysics & Laura’s teaching exploits from Oahu!

It was a tight turn around to get to Hawaii. I came into Alaska on a red eye and had less than 24 hours in AK to give my husband a hug, vote, pack, un-pack, lead a clinic & attend to all kinds of business and months of mail. Then, I departed on another red eye for the islands….. arriving 10 hours later; exhausted to say the least. (I’m NOT complaining though!)

The girls also put up with my need to exercise – at least a bit. I’ve always wanted to bike on the islands and this time I was finally able too. Here I am at the 9,000 ft. lookout for Mauna Kea.

The other super fun thing I did this spring was attend my good friend, Chrissy’s bachlorette party. Instead of a night on the town we took a water taxi across K-Bay in Homer to her family cabin. We brought skis, running shoes, and blow-up paddle boards – and used them all!

The spring is also a great time to participate in some awesome community programs. ARISE is a new program co-lead by Alaska Sports Hall of Fame and Healthy Futures. It stands for Anchorage Runners Inspired to Succeed and Excel. Basically, it brings local runners and health advocates into Title I schools in Anchorage to run with elementary school kids at recess. The goal is to show that being active can be fun! This spring Tyson Elementary in Mountain View is the pilot program.

The grades, K-5 are having a competition to see which class can run the most. Mid-week last week, the Tyson kids had run 584 miles total! Last Thursday we had a “speed gun” where kids did a full on sprint. The school is going to take our mileage and overlay it across the state of Alaska. The goal is run from Anchorage to the North Slope – at least!

In other news, training for 2012-2013 has started and we’re hitting it hard with APU. Lucky for us, we can still ski in Anchorage so we’re mixing some on-snow training in with running, lifting, etc. Should be fun (and sometimes sore) times!

More real soon…..

Cheers!

Holly :)

Talkin’ with the Gravy-Train – Marty Hall Part 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


April 24, 2012 – On this week’s edition of Talkin’ with the Gravy-Train, we pick up where we left off last week during Peter Graves’s interview with former US and Canadian XC Ski Team Head Coach, Marty Hall. Hall delves deeper into the North American success this year and looks at the next wave of talent and what it means for the future of the sport on this continent. Hall coached the US Team when Bill Koch won his Olympic silver medal at the Games in Innesbruck, Austria, and was also at the helm of the Canadian Team during Pierre Harvey’s heyday – check out his report cards in his column Hallmarks in the final issue issue of SkiTrax this season.

Marty Hall part 2 – for part 1 click here.

Kowalczyk Recovers from Knee Surgery

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


April 09, 2012 – Justyna Kowalczyk underwent arthroscopic knee surgery at Warsaw clinic on March 20. “The recovery process has been going as planned so far but there is still some work to be done,” Kowalczyk wrote on her website www.justyna-kowalczyk.pl. The triple Tour de Ski winner spent Easter with her family, but on Monday she starts rehabilitation at Litwa sanatorium.

“Last year we returned from Kamchatka on Sunday evening before the Easter Monday. This year it’s the opposite,” Kowalczyk’s coach Alexander Wierietielny said. Kowalczyk will be rehabilitating in Druskienniki. “We had been here last year before we went to Kamchatka. They can boast of very good treatment. It’s not only about the knee. Also other parts of Justyna body need recovery after the season so that Justyna can take the training load,” her coach explained.

You can find more at www.justyna-kowalczyk.pl

Talkin’ with the Gravy-Train – US XC Ski Team Head Coach Chris Grover

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


April 06, 2012 – On this week’s edition of Talkin’ with the Gravy-Train, renowned sports journalist and announcer Peter Graves speaks with US XC Ski Team Head Coach, Chris Grover. In his interview, Grover reflects on the historic season for the US squad, that saw Kikkan Randall take home an overall World Cup series title, the American women storm the international circuit with tremendous results, the first distance points for sprint star Andy Newell, and a U23 Worlds silver medal for Noah Hoffman. Graves and Grover explore what changed within the US team and with the athletes themselves that made their fantastic season a reality.

Grover has a 25-year history in the sport, with nearly 20 of those years as a coach, telling Graves that Randall’s hard work, focus, and energy made her achievement a reality and showed the entire team it is possible to make it to the top. Looking at the next generation, Jessie Diggins floored onlookers this season with the incredible leap she made in her skiing, such as when she qualified first in the Moscow sprints.

Chris Grover

 

Employment Opportunities – Team Hardwood

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


March 02, 2012 (Barrie, ON) – Team Hardwood is seeking to hire qualified cross country ski coaches to fill two available positions: Junior Development Squad Coach. Both are part-time positions with most work responsibilities on Saturdays in the fall and winter seasons. Read on for all of the posting details. Coaches are based at the Hardwood Ski and Bike full-service cross country ski and mountain bike centre located near Barrie, Ontario.

Junior Development Coach
Team Hardwood is seeking to hire a cross country ski coach to lead our Junior Development Squad, one of the largest and most successful Midget racing teams in Ontario. This is a part-time position, with the majority of work being done on Saturdays in the fall and winter. The Junior Development Squad coach will also work closely with the coach of our Senior Development Squad. The ideal candidate will have at least NCCP Level I coaching certification or equivalent experience.

The Junior Development Squad coach will have the opportunity to be involved in one of the top racing clubs in Canada, one that routinely places athletes on the Ontario Ski Team and in National Training Centres, and consistently ranks in the top ten at Nationals. The entire team (including the Junior and Senior Development Squads and Masters) comprises nearly 60 athletes and is supported by dozens of enthusiastic and committed parent volunteers.

The successful candidate will work out of Hardwood Ski and Bike, a full service cross country ski and mountain bike centre located near Barrie, Ontario. The position also offers an opportunity to be mentored by the Senior Development Squad coach, as well as Jack Sasseville (former national team coach); and Petr Jakl (Head Coach, Southern Ontario Training Centre).

Responsibilities:
The Junior Development Squad coach is accountable for all aspects the delivery and growth of the Junior Development Squad, which is aimed at athletes in the Learning-to-Train stage of development, with the goal of preparing them for graduation to our Senior Development Squad. In particular, the coach will be responsible for:

– conducting Saturday training sessions from September to March;
– coaching and waxing support at local races and some O-Cup races;
– helping the Senior Development Squad coach to organize and deliver the SOD High Performance Training Camp in late August, and
– assisting with team fundraising, marketing and recruitment initiatives.

The Junior Development Squad coach reports to the Board of Directors of the Hardwood Hills Nordic Development Centre (HHNDC), aka Team Hardwood, an incorporated non-profit organization.

Salary Range: Dependent on qualifications and experience

Type of Position: Part Time – Seasonal

View more details for Team Hardwood Junior Development Coach HERE.

Senior Development Coach
Team Hardwood is seeking to hire a cross country ski coach with the skills, experience, leadership qualities, and passion needed to lead our Senior Development Squad, one of the most successful junior racing teams in Canada. This is a part-time position, with the majority of work being done on weekends in the fall and winter. The ideal candidate will have at least NCCP Level II coaching certification, or equivalent experience. The Senior Development Squad coach will work closely with the coach of our Junior Development Squad.

Coaching at Hardwood offers the opportunity to lead one of the top racing clubs in Canada, one that routinely places athletes on the Ontario Ski Team, in National Training Centres, and consistently ranks in the top ten at Nationals. The entire team (including the Junior Development Squad and Masters) comprises nearly 60 athletes and is supported by dozens of enthusiastic and committed parent volunteers.

The successful candidate will work out of Hardwood Ski and Bike, a full service cross country ski and mountain bike centre located near Barrie, Ontario. The position also offers an opportunity to be mentored by two senior coaches who are also on site: Jack Sasseville (former national team coach); and Petr Jakl (Head Coach, Southern Ontario Training Centre).

Responsibilities:
The Senior Development Squad coach is accountable for all aspects of the delivery and growth of the club’s racing programs, which are aimed at athletes in the Learning-to-Train to Learning-to-Compete stages of development, with the goal of preparing them for success in provincial, national and international competition. In particular, the coach will be responsible for:

– the design and delivery of annual and seasonal training plans,
– conducting weekend training sessions,
– conducting training and testing camps,
– coaching and waxing support at Ontario Cups, World Junior Trials and Ski Nationals races,
– organizing and running the SOD High Performance Training Camp in late August,
– co-ordinating team fundraising, marketing and recruitment initiatives,
– mentoring the Junior Development Squad coach and leading parent volunteers, and
– ensuring that team equipment and waxing supplies are properly maintained.

The Senior Development Squad coach reports to the Board of Directors of the Hardwood Hills Nordic Development Centre (HHNDC), aka Team Hardwood, an incorporated non-profit organization.

Salary Range: Dependent on qualifications and experience
Type of Position: Part Time – Employee

View more details for Team Hardwood Senior Development Coach HERE.

Contact Information:
Jack Sasseville
Team Hardwood
402 Old Barrie Rd.
Oro , ON
L0L 2E0
E-mail: jack@hardwoodskiandbike.ca
Tel. 800-387-3775

Dusseldorf, Car Races, Christmas and Such…

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


January 18, 2012 – My return to the World Cup this season definitely didn’t start off as I had envisioned but it certainly ended on a positive note! After a slightly better but still disappointing sprint day on Saturday in Dusseldorf, Germany, I was encouraged by a better feeling body and regrouped for Sunday’s sprint relay.

I teamed up with the towering Lenny Valjas and together we put in a great day of sprint racing. We went into the sprint relay not really knowing what to expect as we had both had disappointing results in the individual sprint qualifier the day before. However, after the qualifying round was finished with, we knew that today would be different.

Len and I posted the third fastest qualifying time of 28 teams and after the disqualification of a German team, ended up being the second ranked qualifiers on the day. Going into the final, our attitude quickly changed.  We started the day with the goal of just making it into the final, now the podium was in our sights. We stuck to our race plan, skiing conservatively, conserving energy and staying out of trouble.

This meant that we were often at or near the back of the pack but as others burned  energy fighting for a position or two, Len and I managed to ski relaxed and then go for it on our final laps. Thanks to an impressive finishing kick from Len, we were able to pass the Austrian team down the final stretch and lock up 5th place, just 4 seconds out of the top spot!

Unfortunately it was too little too late to justify staying on the World Cup circuit so I returned to Canada to pick up the start of the NorAm series in Silver Star. As is often a result of hectic race/travel schedules I came down with a cold the day before the first races in Silver Star and consequently missed that weekend of racing and the following weekend in Rossland. A total bummer but not a whole lot you can do about it! If there was a positive to missing the pre-Christmas NorAms it was that it allowed me to get in some really good training volume over the Holidays in preparation for the second half of the season.  I had a great Christmas at home in Red Deer with family before returning to Canmore for another week of volume consisting of some great days out in Kananaskis. I even managed to sneak out into the backcountry for an awesome day of charging knee deep pow with Brent McMurtry and Phil Widmer.

It’s now a new year and with a lot of racing ahead I’m looking forward to the weeks to come. Hopefully I can get back in the mix and join the race for the NorAm spot on the World Cup this spring!

As a final thought, I’d like to comment on what I’ve seen happening with increasingly extreme weather patterns around the globe.  It’s really concerning to see what can only be explained as the early signs of climate change. It’s not news that humans are having a profound impact on our environment and climate but as I experience the increasing extremes of weather around the globe, it really drives home the fact that we need to be ever more conscious about what we’re doing to our planet.

Whether it’s seeing pouring rain just kilometers from the Artic Circle in late November, hurricane force winds in the City of Calgary or a complete lack of snow around the globe, it’s worrying to think about the impact that this will not only have on the planet but on the sport that I love. This is certainly not a new concept but I really feel like I need to reiterate how important it is to make environmentally conscious decisions every day and continually evaluate how those decisions impact the planet. For a list of the top 10 things you can do to make a difference have a look here: http://www.davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/top-10-ways-you-can-stop-climate-change/

Have a great 2012 everyone!

-Drew Goldsack

Overheard: 

“Ugh, I’m soooo tired” –Devon Kershaw, the night before an awesome race.

In the Tape Deck:

Artist: Lana del Rey, Track: Video Games

Artist: Mumford & Sons: Track: Awake My Soul (Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London)

Artist: Mumford & Sons: Track: Little Lion Man (Live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London)

On the Tube:

http://youtu.be/6UeCRY1wciA

This blog and others can also be found on www.drewgoldsack.ca!

Heading Home…

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


December 21, 2011 – After the ski racing scene made a stop in British Columbia’s SilverStar Mountain, I headed six hours south down the Okanogan Valley to my old stomping grounds to the Wenatchee Valley. Highway 97 might not have the most recognizable name, but traveling the two lane road takes you through some of the finest agricultural country in the west. It’s always interesting to head through mostly rural, largely geographically isolated towns, like those that trade in names such as Pentecton, Oroville, Brewster or Chelan, where signs from a different era and brick storefronts replace the Chevrons and Golden Arches. The locals have a little more presence, a little more personality and, I suspect, reflect more the life of the people who live there.

Heading home, though, has not brought an end to the mostly snowless winter. Snow is patchy at best. The first day I hit the trails I couldn’t head to my familiar haunts like the little Ski Hill in Leavenworth or trails that meander along the Wenatchee River. That first day I skied the first day in an alfalfa field, rolled with an Arctic Cat snowmobile in Plain, Washington. For the meager amount of snow, and limited terrain, the skiing wasn’t more than what one could expect. Also, it’s always interesting to skate and glide in some new locale. That the Plain ski venue in the alfalfa fields sits next to the only road I’ve ever seen the backseat of a Crown Vic on – for rollerskiing outside the fogline up Beaver Hill – brought back some remembrances.

Getting back home also gave me the chance to catch up with Mr. Peck and his 5th grade class. With Christmas Break now upon them, and the schoolwork assignments giving way to Christmas parties, the girls have told me they think I am their lucky rabbit’s foot. It’s been great to get back in the classroom – especially that I finished my own finals for the university learning – to catch up with Mr. Peck and connect with the kids. Yes, the days in Pacific Northwest are the perfect place to be, even if I wouldn’t mind for a few more snowflakes to fall any day yet.

Until the next time,

Torin

USST Members to Give Free Clinic to Methow Valley Home Team – Dec. 21

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


December 21, 2011 (Early Winters, WA) – This year, the Methow Valley Nordic Team has no less than four graduates who are skiing at an elite level in international competitions. Sadie Bjornsen and her younger brother Erik Bjornsen are members of the U.S. Ski Team, hoping to make the 2014 Olympic Games.

Brian Gregg, ranked among the 10 fastest skiers in the country, has been invited by the U.S. Ski Team to compete in Europa Cup races and has earned World Cup Start rights by leading the overall Super Tour.

Casey Smith, named Junior Biathlete of the Year by the U.S. Biathlon Team, and is near qualifying for the U.S. Biathlon European Championship Team

All four of these elite athletes will be giving back to the community and their home team, by giving a free ski clinic on Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Mazama Community Center, for members of the Methow Valley Nordic Team. Over 30 kids have pre-registered!

Click HERE to view the announcement on Sadie Bjornsen’s blog.

Q & A with Kikkan Randall – Drafting

Tags: , , , , , ,


December 08, 2011 – In this week’s edition of Kikkan Randall’s Q&A, biathlete Carsen Campbell asked an interesting question about drafting in racing. Kikkan responded with some valuable tips and a word of caution…. Check out Randall’s Training Rap HERE and check her MAILBAG for all Q&As thru the season.

———-

Q&A Drafting

Hello Kikkan,

I am a biathlete from eastern Canada and am trying to take my raceing to a new level, my question regards drafting. How effective and important is this? Any insight you could provide and tips for effective drafting would be of great help to me.

Good luck, and keep up the great results.

Thanks,

Carsen Campbell

Hey Carsen,

Thanks for your question. Drafting is always a curious topic. Sometimes it can really make a difference and sometimes it doesn’t seem to really work at all.

From my experience, if you can tuck in behind a good skier and follow their rhythm, it can help teach you how to make efficient movements and stay relaxed in your own skiing. You can also save up a little energy for that last punch you need at the finish.

The only thing to consider when drafting is that you are at the mercy of the skier ahead. They get to take whatever line they want, they could fall or bobble and you may have a hard time getting around them when it counts. So my advice is to practice skiing behind others in practice and learn to always be ready for something to happen.

Good luck in your racing!

Cheers,
Kikkan :)

Canadian Men’s Team – Livigno Update Video

Tags: , , , , ,


December 05, 2011 (Livigno, Italy) – Canada’s Devon Kershaw just tweeted this entertaining video of the men’s National XC Ski team in Livigno, Italy. Viewers are treated to wine-tasting with Alex Harvey and clips of the team training, all with some great background beats. Check it out.

THE Update: If You Only Read One This Year, Make This It!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


November 18, 2011 – Wow, another race season is roaring into action already! With one race under my belt and my first World Cup start of the year just over a week away, it’s high time that I update you on what the heck I’ve been up to all summer! I apologize in advance for the lack of detail but in lieu of a novel, I figured it’d be best to just give you the Coles Notes…

As it seems to be the case with most summers of training, the time flew by. I regret not writing an update sooner but my website was being held hostage by my previous web hosting company (long story) and I have finally completed the arduous task of moving my website to a new host. I hope you enjoy the newly designed drewgoldsack.ca, check back often for updates throughout the winter!

As is the case with most years, I started off the spring pretty much living at the ski hill. Sunshine Village near Canmore is generous enough to comp NST members lift tickets, so come April I’m a full time hill rat. Springtime in the Rockies almost always brings big dumps of snow and I enjoyed some incredible steep and deep days this spring!

From the majestic snow covered peaks of the Rockies, I headed across the prairies to Eastern Manitoba and the rugged terrain of the Canadian Shield to try my hand at ranching. For a guy who grew up in the prairies, I am embarrassingly green when it comes to anything ranch.

However, it didn’t take long to tune into the cowboy blood that, as it turns out, has been coursing untapped through this Alberta boy’s veins…well at least that’s how I saw it anyway! I spent an incredible week horseback riding, crust skiing, sauna-ing, being entertained by newborn lambs, eating freshly laid eggs and relaxing next to a wood-fired stove.

Three lambs were born just before my arrival, which was good news as delivering lambs may have been just a little outside of my abilities. Plus, I got to experience all the fluffy cuteness and none of the gooey sponginess! After being repeatedly stared down and stomped at by the mama sheep, one thing’s for certain: “The older they get, the cuter they aint!” to steal a classic line from The Simpsons.

Though it was hard to leave the serenity of ranch life behind, the beach was calling, and I soon headed off to Miami for some sun and last bit of non-athlete fun before starting up with training for yet another season. Elated to find out that I had been named to the National Team for another year, I was also really looking forward to building on a great season of training with the Alberta World Cup Academy. This year’s training kicked off with the AWCA at an on snow camp in Silver Star in May, followed by a great road bike camp in Kaslo, BC in June.

From there, I made a quick trip up to the Haig Glacier (the best kind of trip to The Haig imho) with the National Team that was actually delayed for a week by TOO MUCH snow, so much snow in fact that they couldn’t find the buried Pisten Bulley on the glacier! The glacier camp was followed by a great month spent training at home in Canmore and a quick trip to the eastern beaches of Cape Breton Island for a friend’s wedding.

The late summer brought a training camp in Whistler with the Academy and then an incredible high altitude camp in Park City, UT with the National Team. From there, I headed back to Whistler with the NST for an intensity block which included four hard intensity sessions in six days and a week of torrential rain… luckily, spending the week shacked up at the Four Seasons Whistler offset the lousy weather!

With fall in the air and more leaves on the ground in Canmore than feral bunnies, I returned home for some much needed rest. It wasn’t long before Frozen Thunder (Snow stored under sawdust from the previous winter… I know, it sounds crazy but it actually works!) was rolled out at the Canmore Nordic Centre (October 15th) and before I knew it the ski season was under way! The last two weeks of October delivered outstanding ski conditions in Canmore and I was able to log a lot of hours on snow before taking off for Europe and the start of the World Cup season….

It’s shaping up to be a great year of racing, see you out there!

– Drew Goldsack

Overheard:
‘I’m going to log out of Facebook, Seriously.’ – Alex Harvey

In the Tape Deck:
Artist: Ben Howard, Album: Every Kingdom
Artist: Bon Iver, Track: Calgary (Cillo Remix)
Artist: Devil Makes Three, Track: Chained to the Couch
Artist: Active Child, Track: When Your Love is Safe

On the Tube:
http://youtu.be/8r1CZTLk-Gk

Holly Brooks on APU – It’s Rad!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


November 09, 2011 – We’re excited to announce that US xc ski star, Holly Brooks, from Alaska, 2011 SuperTour overall winner, is joining SkiTrax’s team of bloggers this season. Her section on the site will be ready soon, but check out her great overview of APUs (Alaska Pacific University) stellar program that has produced top skiers like herself, Kikkan Randall, Lars Flora, James Southam, Kate Fitzerald, Morgan Smyth…

People often ask: What is APU? How does it work? You’re a University team that isn’t NCAA – What does that mean? These are all good questions and yes, the format (if you will) of APU can tend to be confusing to people looking in on us from the outside. However, here it is in a nutshell: We are community ski club based within a University such that skiers of collegiate age can attend school (undergrad or graduate) while pursuing ski racing at a high level. Our community program is then built both below and above the University-based team in age. We have APU skiers as young as 11 and as “senior” (!) as their mid-eighties! In all, our total program membership involves over 200+ people directly on a regular basis. It’s RAD.

Here we are, a small club in Anchorage, AK that has duel goals of winning Olympic medals and teaching 11 year old how to huck jumps! Or, making it possible for University students to attend online classes while at training camp on Eagle Glacier and teaching a mother of four to V2 alternate.

Erik Flora, the APU elite team head coach and APUNSC Director wrote a great update to our programs at 3am this morning – I thought it was worth sharing. It explains what each group has been up to the past couple of weeks!

APU Program Members
Winter is off to a great start! We have already had groups skiing at Glenn Alps, Hillside, Hatcher Pass, and Russian Jack. Glenn Alps and Hatcher Pass have mid-winter conditions. With snow in the air, it is a good time for program update. Of course there are 100 more items, here are a few.

Junior Program has had a strong off-season of training. We have had full programs with lots of new faces and athletes reaching a new level of fitness. Part of the group participated in last weeks camp in Fairbanks. Next up is an early season snow camp in Hatcher Pass where they will focus on volume and technique (plus a whole lot of fun!). High School skiing started this week. Impressive as two junior team members were named to US National Training Groups Tarynn Hunt-Smith and Thomas O’Harra.

Devo’s have been ripping up with coach Charlie, Erin, and Dylan. This group keeps on getting faster and faster. It is amazing to watch this group as they continue to have fun and explore the joys of ski training. Keep an eye out, if you see a group of unusually fast moving-jumping-excited kids blasting through the woods and across the trails. It is a good chance it is the Devo’s!

Master Programs are in full-swing with Noon, Evening, and One-day Women Groups. Winter session has started off well with mix of dry-land and skiing at Hatcher Pass. The move to 2 and 5 day options has been a great way to get more people involved and enjoying ski training. We are excited to add a coach to the Master Programs this winter. Calisa Schouweiler is going to join Dylan and Sam for Evening Masters, Noon Master, and Women’s One-day. Calisa has a strong background in coaching. She will start in mid-November. More to follow.

The Elite team is getting ready to travel. We have had a good summer with most athletes setting record amounts of training and new PR’s on interval courses. APU members Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, Sadie Bjornsen, and Lars Flora are heading to Norway next week to compete on World Cup. The rest of the team will focus on early winter domestic race series starting in Fairbanks, racing West Yellowstone, Bozeman, SilverStar BC, ending at Kincaid at Besh cup 1 and 2. After Christmas we are competing in Maine at the US Nationals, World cups, Alaska Races, and World Junior and U23 World Championships in Turkey. APU added more athletes to US Ski Team programs: Kikkan, Sadie, Erik Bjornsen, Kinsey Loan, and Celia Haering. Plus Men and Women current Super Tour Leaders Lars and Holly. The Elite team was on tonight’s 10 o’clock news, click hereto watch. Best community outreach year to date with athletes really busy hosting Fast and Female events, helping at kids events, and working at junior camps.

Coaches have stepped up community support of nordic programs. Two of our coaches, Dylan Watts and Sam Sterling, are going to help with local high school programs. Dylan at West HS and Sam at East HS. Eric Strabel at Regional Elite Group camp at Hatcher Pass. Eric and Charlie will coach at Junior Nationals. Casey Fagerquist stepping up this fall to help World Cup waxing during fall schedule. Erik Flora coached 3 US ski team camps and First Tracks High School camp in Fairbanks. Plus we hosted a new Alaska “open” Junior Glacier Camp. This is a good year for coaches to extend their experience to help strengthen Alaska and US skiing.

Good for our programs, Anchorage skiing is really good for early season right now. Glenn Alps and Hatcher Pass are race ski ready with good coverage. Russian Jack and Hilltop are skiable, but quite a few rocks/grass. The NSAA did a great job rolling Hilltop today. Let’s help Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage set record sales of trail pins. The more support they get, the better grooming we will see! click hereto join.

This is a great club to be a part of. I look forward to seeing everyone on the trails!

Sincerely,
Erik

Erik Flora
Director, APU Nordic Ski Center

Craftsbury Green Racing Project Update from Muonio

Tags: , , , ,


November 09, 2011 (Muonio, Finland) – Its hard to imagine how different our experience in Muonio, Finland has been since we were here last year. Normally cold snowy weather has been replaced by warm temperatures and steady rain. Despite the unseasonable weather, the grooming staff at Oslo has done well to provide great skiing for the numerous national and club skiers frequenting the 3k loop. Today the track was closed to skiing as the workers frantically reallocated precious snowpack from one of the out-back sections to shore up the racecourse for the coming competitions on the weekend.

Although the weather seems to be conspiring against us, the skiing has remained solid.  Its seems we are past the worst of the rain and the mercury is finally dropping after 2 pretty nasty weeks. Big thanks to the workers at Olos for all of their hard work keeping the tracks open and several hundred people on snow. The races this weekend should certainly prove interesting with large competitive fields tearing around the shortened race loop.

CNEPH Launches New Website

Tags: , , , ,


November 09, 2011 – The Pierre Harvey National Training Centre (CNEPH) in Quebec is pleased to announced the launch of a new website. On the new site, you can find information about the centre, along with news, updates, and videos from CNEPH athletes. Visit the new site at www.cneph.ca

Le Centre National d’Entraînement Pierre-Harvey (CNEPH) est fier de vous accueillir sur son tout nouveau site internet. www.cneph.ca

Q & A with Kikkan Randall – Nutrition

Tags: , , , ,


November 04, 2011 (Park City, UT) – In today’s edition of Kikkan Randall’s Q&A, Everett Wilson asked a great question about nutrition for athletes and Kikkan reveals her sweet treat of choice…. Check out Randall’s Training Rap HERE and check her MAILBAG for all Q&As thru the season.

———-

Q&A Nutrition

Hi Kikkan,

Really enjoying your training rap. I’m a cyclist as well and think about nutrition and the sports I partake in more than I actually put into practice but know it’s an important factor in the whole “equation” so to speak. I love all kinds of foods and any tips you can share would be great.

Thanks,

Everett Wilson
Calgary, AB

Hi Everett,

Thanks for your question. As an athlete you can appreciate the role nutrition plays in optimal performance! I like to think of my body as a race car engine, the higher the quality of the fuel I put in it, the “faster” the performance I get out. That means eating a balance of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats and a lot of fruits and vegetables. One of the benefits of being an endurance athlete too, is that the engine burns pretty hot so there is a little room for “treats” in there too. One of my favorite treats after a tough interval session is the white chip Macademia nut cookies at Subway.

Basically, if I eat a smart balance of foods and time my meals/snacks to occur every couple hours, I keep an even level of energy that allows me to handle all of the training and racing my schedule demands.

Enjoy the winter!

Cheers,
Kikkan :)

Countdown to Silverstar Mountain Ski Camps – 4 Weeks To Go

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


November 01, 2011 (Silverstar Mountain, BC) – A number of readers wrote back asking “what is the difference between a ski coach & ski pro (instructor)?” To generalize, historically a ski coach will focus on how to increase speed whereas a ski pro will focus on how to control it.

Leading ski nations around the world cross-certify ski coaches & ski pros between their different skiing associations so as they are able to take a common approach when developing a skier.

The use of common terms, unified understanding of biomechanics / physics used by skiers, as well as a common methodology when communicating with a person has proven to develop a skier more quickly and to a higher level.

Over the past 25 years, the approach to our cross country camps has been just this – have a blend of top ski coaches and outstanding ski pros who are experienced and knowledgeable in developing you as a skier (technique) as well as how to apply it at higher level when competing / racing (tactical / strategies.)

With new snow on our upper trails this past weekend the excitement for skiing is growing. If you haven’t already – check us out on Facebook at “Silver Star Nordic.”

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Cheers,

Guy Paulsen, Nordic Manager

Time is starting to run out! Book your Silver Star Mountain Cross Country Camp between now and October 31 and receive 20% off your on-mountain accommodation. Now that’s something to smile about.

Did you know? Silver Star Cross Country Camps incorporate yoga / stretching sessions in our camps given by fitness expert Ms. Claudia Sorenson. Two more great reasons to come to our camps this fall. For more information and to book your Silver Star Cross Country Ski Camp please contact our Central Reservations at info@skisilverstar.com / 1-800-663-4431 / 250-558-6083

Sweden Bullish on 2012

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


October 27, 2011 (Italy) – A high altitude training camp of the Swedish cross country ski team is coming to an end and Swedish coaches are satisfied with it. Running, cycling, roller skiing and strength training at 1800 meters were on the training schedule of the first week in Livigno.

The camp continued with seven days at 2,000-3,000 meters altitude in Val Senales and glacier skiing every day. Thin air, hard work and stress – what it takes to become an even better national team.

“We have been constantly developing both as individuals and as a group. Autumn high altitude has given us a lot. We are looking towards the season with confidence. What we have seen and experienced by the active attitude and performance during the camp week in the Italian Alps makes us look forward to the season with confidence. It is a hungry bunch who bit down and have shown what they want,” head coaches Joakim Abrahamsson and Richard Grip said.

The training load has been calibrated so that athletes do not go over the limit. “It must not be too much. The athletes have different training backgrounds and differing abilities to handle heavy loads at high altitude over time. Therefore we have chosen to send home some of younger skiers. Calle Halfvarsson, Hanna Falk, Hanna Brodin and Jesper Modin had cut short the camp three days before the others who traveled home on Wednesday,” coaches revealed.

“We want our skiers to be fresh and active at the next camp, which begins the first week in November. The quartet went home and had done a good job. They will have a little more time to recharge their batteries,” the coaches say.

Anna Haag also left Val Senales, slightly sick. “It is the coach’s responsibility not to let the athlete “run down” or walk around with cold,” the coaches explained.

Weather was on the side of the cross country squad and the team could carry out the training program as planned. “Although we are now done here in the Alps and the athletes are tired, their minds are positive,” Joakim Abrahamsson comments while waiting for Marcus Hellner and Anders Sodergren to come back from a demanding long ride.

In the meantime, recovery of Emil Jönsson and Johan Olsson has gone well in Sweden. Emil Joensson pulled his thigh muscle in Livigno and Johan Olsson developed a problem with a shoulder before the trip to Italy. “Both of them are in training, but do not run up,” Joakim Abrahamsson says.

Snow is Here – The Racing Season is Coming…

Tags: , , , , , , ,


October 27, 2011 – The snow has finally fallen enough to accumulate some ski trails up at Hatchers Pass. Lots of pictures and stories have been circulating around already, so I think the word is out that the Alaskan Crew got to ski on October 20th!! Thats so early. What this means is I skied every month of the year this year, besides one! So I skied on snow 11 months of the training year… how many racers can say that???

The skiing has been great. Extra blue, packed tracks, and blue bird cold days!! The APU crew headed up last thursday for a distance ski, and by the following day I was sore. It’s funny how rollerskiing never seems to train the exact same muscles, so you are sore the first ski of the season, regardless. We then skied a second time on saturday… so by the end of the three hour ski, I was cooked. I have to say, this is the main reason that I love training in Alaska. The opportunity to be on snow as much as we are I see as a huge benefit. By getting that early “snow shape” back together in October, you can sometimes jump start the engine for the early racing season.

Speaking of early racing season, I will be on a different path this fall period. For the first time, I will be racing on the World Cup Circuit for Period 1 along with a group of 4 other girls. This has been super exciting news for me, and I have to say, I have been counting down the days for the “2012” experience to begin! The greatest thing about this year is it is the year to experiment and try new things. Because there are no main Championships of the year, I can set my own expectations and goals. Having never raced much in early season, nor raced much on the World Cup Circuit, nor left my home from November 6th until the end of March…… I will be switching things up quite a bit.

Last year I had a small introduction into this top level of racing, and ever since I have been working hard to jump into that category. This fall will be a great opportunity for me to open my eyes wide, learn some new skills and tricks, and have a great time skiing along with the best skiers in the world.

My schedule starts with me Leaving November 6th for Beitostoelen, Norway and follows:
– November 11-13, FIS Races in Beitostoelen
– November 19-20, World Cup in Beito
– November 25-27, World Cup Kuusamo, Finland
– December 3-4, World Cup downtown Dusseldorf, Germany
– December 10-11, World Cup Davos, Switzerland

Following that, December 12th I will fly back to Washington for a short break in Washington before Nationals, early January in Rumford Maine.

Unfortunately this opportunity has come with a price. Being named to the US SKi Team this last year has provided me with the opportunities and the steps at reaching this next level, but it has also provided me with some responsibility for completing these steps. Having major budget cuts this year resulted in the funding being cut for all B-Team level athletes for this top level of competition. What this means for me is that the spot is available for me, but I must find my own funding to get there.

I am not sure on my definite plans for the entire year, but I am going to guess the financial need will remain at the same level through Period 2 as well as Period 3. What it looks like for this first period of racing can be broken down easily between room and board as well as plane tickets to and from Europe, and between race venues. This comes to a total around $8000.

Being an athlete similar to every other nordic athlete in the country, this is not the kind of money we can ask our parents for, or we can raise on a side job. This is the kind of financial support we must find in our supporters and followers. This is also not only a problem for me, but every other talented young athlete in this country that is ready to make another step in their development. It starts at the 16 year old level skier who just made Scando Trips, and continues through the World Juniors level, affecting everyone all the way up to the top level of World Cup Racing.

The Nordic community has been working hard recently to make these unrealistic financial expectations more realistic. With the new push at the National Nordic Foundation level, supporters are beginning to see the sad truth of the financial demands affecting the opportunities for a new level of talent our country is now experiencing. This is just the beginning, but it is a step forward.

Which brings me to my final point. I have a long year in front of me, and it could cost me around $30,000 to race at this level throughout the season. If you would like to support either myself, or the other athletes in getting there; there are several options. As with everything, even the smallest amount makes a difference and builds towards that end goal. Just like us athletes; it wasn’t the 4-hour ski we did that made us fast, but it was the culmination of all those 1 hr., 2hr. and 3hr. workouts that made us great. So please know that every effort is greatly appreciated!

Your options for supporting our skiing goals for the year are:

1) Methow Valley Ski Education Foundation- The community in the Methow has been extremely helpful and supportive towards trying to help make this next step available. The team has created an Elite Opportunity Fund with 501(c)(3) status. Money can be donated to help support the athletes of the Methow participating in international level competition. If you would like to send a tax-deductible donation towards me, or the athletes of the Methow Valley, send to:
MVNSEF Elite Opportunity Fund
PO Box 1063
Winthrop, WA 98862

2) Donations directly towards me. Email me at sbjornsen@alaskapacific.edu if you have questions.

3) Donations towards the National Nordic Foundation, which is a non-profit organization aimed at supporting the nordic athletes of the US. They are recently doing The Drive for 25, which will include a small support of a large spectrum of supporters. Check out this site to get an idea of what we do and learn how to help HERE.

4) Support through the APU Ski Club

There are many ways to help out and support including you standing on the side of the trail cheering and screaming. It all counts, and it all keeps us going. So keep it up, and get ready…. race season is coming!!! Thanks to everyone that has helped so far, and that may help in the future! You guys are truly making it possible!