Andy recaps the start of a June training block back in Stratton.
At Stratton the beginning of June marks the unofficial start of team training for the SMS Elite team. For the past two weeks everyone has moved back into our condos around the village and settled back into daily training with coach Pat. US Ski Team coach Jason Cork is also living in the Stratton area again this summer so we are lucky to have him around for many of the group workouts as well.
I always really enjoy the training of early summer because although your fitness may not be at its peak and you may not feel your strongest, most of the workouts are fresh and exciting. It’s not hard to get out the door for a rollerski when you have your teammates at your side and you’re not completely sick of the roads yet. Long rollerskis can actually be pretty enjoyable in this area with the low traffic and smooth pavement and the trails have been in great shape for running and bursting with green color.
Some of the more exciting workouts of our first weeks back together are made up of testing workouts. Here at SMS we have two main training test we use throughout the year, the double-pole test and the uphill run test. Each test is fairly simple to run and are usually done with the club skiers and the elite team and give us an easy measuring tool to use throughout the year. We might do each test 3-4 times per summer.
On Thursday we kicked things off with the double-pole. The test is done just down the street from SMS on a rolling uphill road taking 3.5 to 4.5 minutes and needless to say it’s a lung burner… and an arm burner, back burner, and shoulder burner. Basically everything hurts by the end and it can be especially tough this time of year since most of us have not done any seriously hard efforts since the end of the season. I’ve even been knows to dish out a few barfies on the pavement after such a shock to the system.
I don’t believe we had any breakthrough PR’s on Thursday with the elite team but we all had fun putting down one hard effort to start the training year and set the bar for further improvement. At the end of the day that’s what these test are best used for and why we do them. Not to compare times with one another or to take too seriously, but to show us how we can individually improve throughout the summer. With more specific strength workouts, more hours spent double poling, and more technique work its actually really cool as an athlete to see your testing times improve throughout the prep period.
Next up will be the Uphill run test which is a 3ish K all uphill run which takes the leaders about 12 minutes. Again it’s one of those things that we would like to see steadily improve as we do more hard running and more L4 intensity throughout the summer. But for now we just have to step up, put the hammer down, and see how it goes. Check back to see who gets their PR’s!