Tele Skiing and Training with Clubs

It’s been a busy couple of days. On Monday afternoon, the second half of my day with Ski and Snowboard Club Vail (SSCV), I met up with the junior team for a bounding intensity session.

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My session, which was a little different than the juniors’ workout, was an hour continuous of natural intervals. Natural intervals are intervals that are defined by the terrain. I bounded with poles at intensity on the uphills and jogged and recovered on the downhills while holding the poles in my hand. We did the workout on a six minute loop on the Nordic race trails at Maloit Park in Minturn. The loop was perfect for the workout because it didn’t have any flat terrain.

The juniors didn’t do their intensity continuously which meant they were able to start their intervals with me. In this way they could push me and push themselves at different points throughout my workout. I believe it was a really productive session for all of us.

It was a little snowy on the trails which made it a little slick in places. Here we are warming up.

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We didn’t start the workout until 4 p.m. because we had to wait for everyone to get out of school. It was completely dark when we finished. The sun was down before we started the hour of intensity.

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After the workout I drove back to Emilia’s place in Breckenridge where Emilia and Jess Breda had a roast chicken on the table. It was amazing.

Yesterday was my recovery day and I had the privilege of joining Emilia on the alpine mountain for her first day back on skis since recovering from a torn ACL and two subsequent knee surgeries. She was psyched to be skiing.

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The U.S. Freeskiing Team runs a Back-to-Snow Camp each fall for all athletes returning from an injury. It is a super controlled environment and the athletes have a ton of support. Here is Emilia with physical therapist Laura Teitjen (left), head slopestyle coach for U.S. Freeskiing Skogen Sprang (second from left) and Jess (far right).

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We skied at Arapahoe Basin because it is one of the two resorts currently open. The lift lines were not as bad as I expected considering the limited options for people to ski.

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It was a spectacular day.

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I lived in Evergreen, Colorado until I was 7, so I learned to ski on the front range mountains like Arapahoe Basin, but I hadn’t been back in years.

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They only have snow on two runs, both on the lower half of the mountain, but we had a great time anyways. Here are Emilia (left) and Jess:

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Here’s Emilia ripping her first turns:

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And here’s Jess dropping in:

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I was on telemark gear because my alpine setup is in Europe where I left it after last season. I struggled to keep up with the ladies.

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I was happy to be invited to join them on their first day back on snow.

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As an aside, my uncle used to be on the Ski Patrol at Arapahoe Basin.

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I had fun being the photographer on the hill. Here’s one more shot of Emilia:

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I had to borrow snow pants, a jacket and a helmet from Emilia, so I ended up looking like a pro park skier (except for the tele boots and skis). The Monster Energy helmet really completed the look. Here I am with Emilia and Jess:

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I went straight from the mountain to the Frisco Nordic Center for a training session with the Summit Nordic Ski Club junior team. I was invited to join the practice by coach Olof Hedberg. The workout was an hour skate roller ski with accelerations. We had a huge turnout. Here I am with the team before we started skiing:

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After skiing I got to chat with the athletes and their parents about my experiences. They asked me a bunch of really good questions and were incredibly welcoming. I am very grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of such a strong club.

This morning I left Breckenridge early to drive over Vail Pass to Eagle. I met up with SSCV (the Vail club) for some hard classic roller ski intervals. Here is SSCV junior athlete Nolan Herzog:

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And here is the rest of the group warming up for the intervals.

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Coach Eric Pepper supported the workout.

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I did eight intervals of a set course that took about 4 minutes. I started at level 3 (a sustainable pace) for the first two intervals then increased my effort to race pace, maximal at the end. My third interval was the fastest, but I didn’t get too much slower as the workout progressed. You can see my times for each interval (even numbered lap times) and my heart rate data from my Timex Heart Rate Monitor here. The session was super high quality. Thanks to Eric for the support.

After the workout I drove the rest of the way to Aspen. When I arrived here I stopped in to the Aspen Cross Country Center (AXCC) at the request of manager Dave Peterson to sign a bunch of Madshus autograph cards for the shop to give out this winter.

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My hand was a little sore by the end.

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I also got a picture in front of the huge Madshus poster of me that hangs in the shop. It was weird to see a “bigger than life” poster of myself.

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Then I took a picture with a bunch of the AXCC employees:

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It’s really fun to be back in Aspen. I’m here for two days for our annual fundraiser and send-off party at the Limelight Lodge tomorrow night from 5 to 7 p.m. I hope to see you there if you’re in the Roaring Fork Valley!

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