For only have one week to work with, the amount of progress in Lake Placid was plenty sufficient. The goal with every training camp is utilized any opportunities that you might not have access to otherwise. In this case, it was mostly having that head to head style competition and an overabundance of coach feedback. An extra week would have been great. Nevertheless, after a few very hard sessions crammed into a seven day period the confidence is better than it was before I left.
The idea was to push a lot of hard sessions into a short period of time. The reason having a lot to do with exercise phys. The exact kind of test we did were chosen because they are the same ones we did a year ago. Giving the coaches and athletes some results to work with. The last benefit is the fact that we would all be doing this at the same time.
When it comes to shooting, this extremely beneficial. Dryfiring in you pajamas and doing a time trial in the cold rain may actually look very similar mechanically, but mentally it's much more different. Having a chance to shoot in a situation that creates the pressure and stress of an important race is always worth your time. For my week in LP this was a couple of afternoon shooting test and couple of morning time trials.
Physically the time was just as demanding. With only 15 hours total it shouldn't be anything out of the question. Still, the week ended with an almost 40 minute continuous uphill race. This was after three time trials, a short race pace effort session, and three strength sessions. Not to mention the easy distance sandwiched between it all. I mentioned the first two time trials in my last update. The third one was XC roller ski race on the well known Bear Cub road. The conditions were a little better than our previous test on the road. As a result most of the team was about a minute faster. Still, I like to think we're just that much better now, but who knows.
As for the last day, this was the so called "C2C" race. The Climb to the Castle put on by NYSEF has become a staple in the annual US ski and biathlon fall calendar. There is actually no obligation to show up. The only gain you have is the satisfaction of completing a very hard workout and knowing how good you are at long sustained uphill efforts. Long story short, the 2015 C2C was a success. It could have been a little better and lot worse. I learned that in the awkward V1 or V2 (similar to 1st gear or 2nd gear in standard vehicle) technique delima, V1 is the choice for me. Compared to the other athletes V1 felt like a recovery, but without losing any ground. I also learned that if you know know you're going to be racing in a cloud, the darkest set of lenses you own are not the optimum choice of accessories. While I'm at it, make sure you know the course well enough. I wished I had attacked a little bit earlier. On the other hand, with the way the last 100 meters panned out I'm not sure what effect that would have had. I was in the back of the lead group of five. After drafting for about 35 minutes I was fresh enough to go for it. Unfortunately I'm not much of a sprinter and should have made a move earlier. In this case, Tim lost a pole tip and was out of full sprinting capability. This opened up a window for me. I wasn't able to out sprint Patrick Caldwell to the line, but was able to secure a second place for a second year in a row.
Good results or not the week was a success. I drove back with some new information to work with and solid week of training under my belt. This harder intensity block of training will give the top end gear the update it needs just in time for the next round of races in Jericho, VT. Shooting wise, standing was dependable as always. The prone grouping is equally as solid when the focus is spot on. The conclusion between the coaches and I was to just simply keep reinforcing a well focused shot again and again. I really do like the flow of living and training in Lake Placid, but it's also nice to be in the county this time of year. From here, it is still unknown what the the full fall plans are, but in the meantime all I can do is make the most out of every training session.