This morning I did a 15 kilometer skate roller ski time trial against Alex Harvey from Canada on the roller ski loop at Soldier Hollow. We used two pairs of matched skis from a huge Canadian fleet of matched skis. Alex started 30 seconds behind me because he has better FIS points than I do. The race was three laps of a loop that was actually only 4.7 km long.
Alex caught me on the at the bottom of the biggest hill on the final lap. I had seen him slowly gaining on me throughout the race. He stayed behind me up the hill, and I tried to back off a little bit so I could stay with him for the move that I knew was coming over the top. I successfully stayed with his first move, but then he put a small gap into me over the next short uphill. I was just out of his draft on the long flat across the old Olympic stadium, but I got as low as I possibly could in my truck and was able to glide back onto him by the Olympic bridge, 100 meters before the finish. In the final 100 meters Alex dusted me by 3 or 4 seconds, therefore beating me by 33 or 34 seconds.
In this same race last year, I was only 17 seconds behind him.
My intensity sessions this month, like the one today, are the highest priority in my training. I am trying to have good energy for each hard session. To have good energy today, I took Friday off of training and only did one light session yesterday.
I believe the training plan worked, my energy was good today, and this morning’s race was a representative effort. I was able to elevate my heart rate easily. I averaged 170 BPM and maxed at 179 BPM for the race, both very high numbers for me. My lactic acid was measured at 12.3 mmol after the race and was still at 10 mmol ten minutes later, again both very high numbers for me.
In the race I felt like I was able to use my capacity and get into my central system.
I am a little disappointed to be further behind Alex than I was last year at this time, but it’s also not surprising. I have not done too much intensity and the training load has been high. I am also not as good at roller skiing as Alex.
The race was short. Alex’s time was around 29:45.
In addition to some mild disappointment, I also have an opposing sense of relief. After so much training on my own, at least I’m not miles away from where I need to be.
Thanks to U.S. Ski Team coach Jason Cork for supporting me in the session. Hopefully I will be able to post some video that Jason shot of the race.
The next intensity session will be Wednesday, a joint session with the U.S. Ski Team and the Canadian National Team.