Fall Training

My ski, boot and pole sponsor Madshus has launched a new website. I’m honored to be featured on the homepage along with 2010 U.S. Olympian Caitlin Gregg, 4-time Norwegian Olympic Gold Medalist Emil Hegle Svendsen and the most decorated winter Olympian of all time, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjørndalen.

The website focuses on Madshus’s new emPower program. The emPower program is designed to get the right ski for each customer. Getting the right ski is the difference between fast skis and slow skis. Skis that are right for me would be way too soft for Thomas Alsgaard, who is several inches taller than me. All of the skis I race on are hand-picked at the factory, most of them by Zach Caldwell of Caldwell Sport. (Zach handpicks skis for anybody, not just world cup athletes.) The emPower program helps local ski shops pick the best skis for their customers. This video explains it best:

One more note on Madshus: If you’re in the Park City or Salt Lake area, Madshus is throwing a party from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Friday, October 3rd at White Pine Touring (1790 Bonanza Drive, Park City, Utah). The event is a free celebration of winter; there will be appetizers and drinks. I will be there as will Nordic Combined Olympian Bryan Fletcher. Madshus will be raffling off a pair of Redline skis and 100 UHM poles. I bet the chances of winning are pretty good. I hope to see you there!

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Santa Barbara Vacation

Thursday afternoon U.S. Ski Team men’s coach Jason Cork and I went to the Soldier Hollow roller ski track for a skate intensity session. The workout was 3 laps of a 5 kilometer loop with 4 minutes of recovery between each lap. The workout was designed to replicate pacing for a 15 kilometer race. Therefore, the first 5 kilometers were under control, “deliberately backed down”. The second 5 kilometers were high energy skiing with really clean relaxed motions. During the last 5 kilometers I added as much energy as possible. I tried to add energy, “push”, in the places that I would get the most return for my effort. Here I am with Jason as I start the first interval. (Emilia came down to Soldier Hollow with us and did school work in the shade while I did my workout. She took this picture from her vantage point.)

Santa Barbara 2014 001 (1024x683)

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Skiing with Liz

Yesterday afternoon I had a three and a half hour double pole workout. I don’t normally do afternoon sessions that are that long because I would generally do my long sessions in the morning. However, my strength coach Tschana Schiller is returning from maternity leave and is only around in the mornings, so I scheduled my strength workout with her for the first session and did the long double pole in the afternoon. My energy was pretty good, and I was psyched to be joined by my teammate Liz Stephen for a couple hours in the middle of the session.

Roller Skiing with Liz and Running 001 (1024x683)

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USSA Fundraiser and History Hike

My second session yesterday was an hour and forty five minute mountain bike ride followed by a set on the roller board. I treasure every opportunity I get to mountain bike because they have been few and far between this summer. I rode by the activity center at the base of Park City Mountain Resort (which, as I mentioned yesterday, was acquired by Vail Resorts two days ago), and I couldn’t believe the crowds.

Deer Valley Hike 002 (1024x683)

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Intensity and Bananagrams in the Woods

Yesterday afternoon I did a classic roller ski speed session on the treadmill. I have done the session several times over the last two months, and I am definitely improving. Some of the speeds are max striding efforts where intern Hans Fischer continually increases the speed of the treadmill until I can no longer stride and have to switch to double pole technique. (Once yesterday I wasn’t able to double pole fast enough before Hans could slow the treadmill down and I got thrown off the back. I didn’t break myself or any equipment.) When I first started the max speeds in early July I couldn’t go past 14.5 mph. Yesterday I got to 15.2 mph twice.

The entire session is done with the treadmill set to 5% grade. To change the grade Hans presses the up arrow or down arrow buttons. It is measured to the 100th of a percent but it jumps by large amounts each time the arrow is pushed. In dozens of hours spent controlling the treadmill, Hans had never hit his goal grade exactly. Yesterday he did it. He had to take a picture to mark the occasion.

Banana Grams in the Woods 004 (1024x683)

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