You probably can’t win a ski race in the summer, but you can definitely loose one. It’s no secret that us cross country skiers use the summer off season to lay the foundations for the winter. And, after my slow start to the off season, I’ve set about doing just that. The last few weeks have been spent on various training camps putting in the hours that will hopefully make a difference come winter.
Every year the British ski team has a summer training camp in Scotland. I headed home a few days before the camp started to get to spend a few days with my family before all the training kicked off. The first part of the camp was in my home town, Huntly, before we moved to Glenmore Lodge for the last few days of the camp.
All in all it went pretty smoothly. However about half way through the camp I managed to fall over roller skiing. The worst thing is I wasn’t even going fast. I was pretty much going at walking pace and managed to hit a stone and topple myself over. So I spent the second half of the camp wrapped in bandages.
We had some good training sessions and this year we had quite a few of the junior athletes joining us. It was fun to be pushed by those guys. We used slightly slower roller skis to do intervalls with them and it was impressive to see that they jumped at the opportunity and the challenge to keep up with us. The senior athletes definitely have to be on their toes in the future if we don’t want to let them catch us
I had to make a quick dash from the camp. I flew back to Norway early the morning after the camp finished. Each year my club in Norway, Bækkelagets Sports Klubb, arranges a kids football tournament. It’s actually the biggest football tournament in the world, with competitions for age groups from as young as 6 up to 20 and teams from around the globe coming to compete. Naturally an event like this only works with volunteers. Everybody in the club has to do some volunteering at it. So I headed to Oslo and Ekkeberg Sletta to do my bit. This year I was working with rigging up the big stage for the evening concerts, and helping with security at the concerts – making sure people don’t jump the fences etc.
After my volunteering I headed to a training camp with Team Telemark. Mari Eide gave me a lift from Oslo down to the camp near Kragerø on the Telemark coast. It was great to be back with the guys on the team. I’ve definitely missed training with those guys. The weather down on the coast was quite warm, most days we could train in just shorts. But the one day we decided to have a BBQ it rained.
The training went well and for me it was the first time this year that I started to really feel good and that I was where I wanted to be. We had 2 interval sessions. A longer double pole session and a shorter 6x6min running interval. The roads around the coast there are great for roller skiing with short, sharp, steep climbs and descents. The roads there are definitely the closest to being a rollerski track I’ve ever seen. It made the long sessions fun and meant we could keep working on the various techniques throughout a whole session.
The only complaint I had a of the camp was the lack internet and TV. The accommodation was also carefully placed in a zone without 3G. Thankfully the olympics didn’t start until after the camp so I didn’t miss out on too much TV time.
After the camp I headed up to Lillehammer. I’ve been training on my own this week, and actually its been pretty nice to just train on my own to own schedule. The weather here has started to turn very autumn like. Before every session I have the debate with myself of shorts v tights and t-shirt v long sleeves. Especially coming from such a warm camp down in Telemark its been quite a noticeable change. Next week I’m back with the Team Telemark guys for a training camp in in Aure before we race at Toppidrettsveka. I’m looking forward to racing again and seeing where I am compared to the other guys. At the same time my expectations aren’t too high and I know there is still a lot of work to be done before the winter and racing starts for real.