Lahti Intervals

This morning I did some short hard classic intervals here in Lahti, Finland. The purpose of the workout was to work on my high end capacity after Sunday’s slow 50 kilometer slog. I’m preparing for a 15 kilometer classic World Cup here in Lahti on Sunday.

The workout consisted of a 5 minute warm-up interval at level 3 (aerobic threshold, a sustainable pace) then 6 by 2 minutes at level 4 (race pace). Only about a kilometer and a half of the course had tracks today, so I did the intervals around that section of course. Intervals 1, 3 and 5 were on the first half of the loop and intervals 2, 4 and 6 were on the second half. Here’s my data from the session:

Interval # Course Time Average HR Max HR
1 A 2:05 138 155
2 B 2:31 142 159
3 A 1:58 147 162
4 B 2:21 146 164
5 A 1:58 150 163
6 B 2:24 149 162

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Lahti

On Monday Emilia (my girlfriend and a professional slopestyle skier) received an invitation to Nine Queens, a prestigious week-long photo shoot and big air competition in Austria beginning March 15th. Next week there is a slopestyle World Cup in Switzerland that Emilia wasn’t going to attend, but now, since she’s coming over to go to Nine Queens anyways, she is going to compete in that as well. She needed to be in Europe next Tuesday, so we looked into her coming early to visit me, watch this weekend’s races and get adapted to the time change. We were able to make the logistics work and she is leaving Colorado today. She’ll arrive here in Lahti, Finland tomorrow. I’m very excited! (Ironically, she’s only been to one World Cup cross country race before, and it was here in Lahti last year.)

I didn’t get a blog up yesterday because I was travelling and working on logistics for Emilia’s trip. My apologies.

On Monday evening, our last day in Falun, Sweden, the city that had been packed to the gills for two weeks was eerily quiet.

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Falun 2015 50K

I was too exhausted to blog last night after the Falun 2015 World Championships 50 kilometer race.

I mentioned in my last blog that Emilia and I are doing a new challenge for the month of March. After not eating foods with added sugar in January and replacing forks with chopsticks in February, we’re writing in a journal for 10 minutes first thing every morning during the month of March. So, I had to go pick out a journal and pencils on Saturday evening. Luckily, there is a book store across the street from our hotel, and they had everything I needed. While I was there I saw that they were just about sold out of a book about Norwegian skier Petter Northug.

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Falun 2015 Women’s 30k

I just posted final scores for the World Championship Fantasy League. They include results from all six races. You can view the results here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on  Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.

The winning team consisted of Marit Bjørgen (Norway), Maiken Caspersen Falla (Norway), Therese Johaug (Norway), Charlotte Kalla (Sweden), Stina Nilsson (Sweden), Kerttu Niskanen (Finland), Ingvild Flugstad Østberg (Norway) and Heidi Weng (Norway).

Congratulations to Johanna Talihärm, Lene and Vili Črv for picking the winning team! The three winners will receive the first, second and third place prizes. I will have a drawing next week, hopefully in some creative way, to determine the order of the winners. I will also do a drawing of everyone who entered to determine who will receive the Timex ONE GPS+ watch.

As I’ve mentioned, Emilia and I are doing a different challenge every month this year. January’s challenge was to not eat foods with added sugar. February has been to replace forks with chopsticks. As luck my have it, my chopsticks broke at lunch today. (I did bring a couple of backup pairs, but the timing is perfect since it’s the end of the month.)

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Falun 2015 Relay

Lots of my teammates have parents and family members here in Falun, Sweden supporting them this week. Liz Stephen, Andy Newell and Sophie Caldwell’s parents all rented a house 20 kilometers outside of Falun. Last night, Jessie Diggins, Ida Sargent and I got to join Liz, Andy and Sophie for dinner at their parents’ place.

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Falun 2015 Women’s Relay

I just posted updated scores for the World Championship Fantasy League. They include results from today’s women’s relay. You can view the results here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on  Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.

Toko rep Ian Harvey sent me this cool screen shot from the live stream of yesterday’s 15 kilometer skate race.

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Falun 2015 15km Skate

This morning I posted updated scores for the World Championships Fantasy League. They include fantasy results from yesterday’s 10 kilometer skate race. View the standings here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on  Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.

Last night we had a celebration for Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg, who both finished on the podium in yesterday’s 10k skate race. My teammates organized a champagne toast.

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MEDALS!

It was a historic day for U.S. Cross Country Skiing. Jessie Diggins and Caitlin Gregg finished second and third respectively in the women’s World Championships 10 kilometer skate race. As coach Jason Cork said, “it is unbelievable in the best possible way.” It it probably the most successful day in U.S. Cross Country Skiing history.

Two weeks ago Caitlin was debating whether she should come to the World Championships at all. Neither Caitlin nor Jessie has ever been on a World Cup podium in an individual race. I am incredibly happy for them and speechless about their accomplishments.

Weather played a big factor in today’s race, and our service team absolutely killed it. Indisputably, we had the best skis in the race. Our service staff deserves more credit than they can possibly get. Today’s race will make the season for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team.

It was an advantage to start early because it started snowing hard soon after the start of the race. We had the good fortune of having Caitlin start third and Kikkan start fourth. Kikkan skied to an excellent 15th place finish, though I know that with the way the weather went and the way she felt, she was disappointed with her result. Luck was on our side, especially for Caitlin, when it came to the starting order, but remember, there were lots of other ladies that started early and Caitlin skied better than all of them. Also, it seems like too many times luck is working against our team. It feels good to be on the right side for a change.

Jessie started much later than Caitlin with the 37th bib and had to battle through the snow storm for her entire race. There’s nothing to it except that she skied incredibly well and our service team produced skis that were great in the freshly falling snow, unlike some of the big ski nations like Norway and Germany.

The fourth American in the race, Liz Stephen, also deserves a huge congratulations for a great race. Liz did not have the advantage of an early start position. She started 53rd out of 71 ladies, yet she battled to a 10th place finish. Four American’s in the top 15! It truly is unbelievable.

Today’s race is a little reminiscent of the men’s 15 kilometer skate race at the World Championships in Sapporo, Japan in 2007. In that race, a snow storm moved in as the highest seeds were starting and the conditions got much slower. Belarusian Leanid Karneyenka was the third athlete to start and ended up finishing in 2nd place. To give you an idea of how much of an underdog Karneyenka was, the 2nd place finish was his best result in any FIS race ever. His next best finish during his career in a distance race at the World Championship, World Cup or Olympic level was 51st place.

The Norwegian team had particularly bad skis in the falling snow today. Their top finisher was Heidi Weng in 22nd place. Six time Olympic Champion Marit Bjørgen finished in 31st place, 2 minutes and 24 seconds behind winner Charlotte Kalla from Sweden. The last time Bjørgen finished a race outside of the top 30 was 2009, when she had two finishes lower than 30th. Other than those two finishes, she hadn’t finished outside the top 30 since 2003.

This morning, it didn’t look like we were going to see crazy weather today.

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Chill Day

Last night my teammate Ida Sargent and I got out of the hotel for dinner with Toni Adams, the mother of the family I’ve lived with in Park City for six years who’s here supporting us in her role as the assistant team manager for the U.S. Cross Country Ski Team. We went to a tapas restaurant around the corner from our hotel. It was wonderful and a nice change from the buffet food in the hotel. I particularly enjoyed the dessert, which is something we don’t get in the hotel buffet.

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Falun 2015 Team Sprint

I just posted updated scores for the World Championships Fantasy League. They include fantasy results from today’s team sprint. View the standings here. (Again, I suggest you use the “find” keyboard shortcut to search for your name. It is Ctrl+F on Windows and Cmd+F on  Macs.) As always, I owe a huge Thank You to my friend Scott Lacy for compiling these scores. They would not be published without him.

Earlier today I posted some information from my friend Shane Keilson about the Falun 2015 Apps. If you’re following Falun 2015 from home, it’s worth checking out the Apps. See what Shane had to say here.

I woke up this morning feeling like I’d been hit by a truck yesterday. It’s funny how the races that don’t go my way seem to hurt the most. My shins, quads, hip flexors, low back, shoulders and pecs are all sore. I saw physical therapist (PT) Ana Robinson this morning to help flush out some of the aches and pains. It helped, but recovering is going to be a multi-day process.

After my PT session I headed up to the venue with several of my teammates. Here are, from left to right, Caitlin Compton Gregg, Ida Sargent, Erik Bjornsen, Matt Gelso, and Kyle Bratrud:

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