Sunday, July 29, 2012


         Fun times are coming around the corner! That title is "training plan" by the way. We only have one day of intensity and that's tomorrow's threshold session. So it's really not that bad.

Training plan Week 4 July 30th-August 5th

intensity level

shoot- tot % of HR

ing hours HR max
Mon morn

AM Impulse with shooting * 8 +Combo 70/20 (single shots)
2.5 82-87 3

on upper loop 25 min + 4*4 min + continous 15 min on RR

PM Weight room + run
1.5 55-72 1

Tues Morn Dry fire basic skills

AM X training kayak/run ?
3.5 55-72 1

PM Free choice
2 55-72 1

Wed morn Dry fire basic skills

AM Skate (Wilmington loop)
3 55-72 1


Thur Morn

AM DP + NP combo 1,5 (+ normal skate after)
2.5 72-82 2

PM Weight room + run
2 55-72 1

Fri morn

AM X training kayak/bike ?
4 55-72 1

1.5 55-72 1

Sat Morn

AM Classic combo standing only (speed play before shooting)
2 55-82 1+2

PM free
2.5 55-72 1

Sun Morn

AM Off




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

LP vs The County

       As if you didn't see this one coming. When people ask me where I'm at or off two there are three categories of answers I can reply with. One is "the county", one is "Placid" and the other should be called the random category. The last one ranges anywhere from Utah to Ostersund, Sweden to Siberia. LP and home life deserve there own designation because I spend enough time there to wish I wasn't there as much. Both have there advantages and disadvantages over the other. This is just an idea of what some of those differences are in my experience.
The top of White Face
       First off, we have to consider transportation. This is something to minimize. The two locations are actually equal, provided I'm only in LP for less than ten days. I consider the eight plus hour drive through Canada part of LP's average weekly driving time. If I'm in Placid for a few weeks at a time the winner is clear. From May 1st to mid June this year I used less than half a tank of gas while the car was parked in the OTC athlete parking lot. The county can't hold a candle to that stat. When you live in Stockholm going anywhere means driving for 20 minutes at the least. The NHC in Presque Isle is about 37 minutes. The 10th mountain lodge in Fort Kent is approximately 35 minutes. I know this because I've made the trip one too many times. I've said before, while I like being in other places, I don't like the process of getting there. Lake Placid has what I need crammed into biking distance of where I sleep.
        Speaking of sleep; nothing can compete with having a single. When I'm home I have a room to myself and I can here the rain on the roof. Conversely when I'm at the OTC I occasionally have to put on head phones and listen to recorded rain hitting a roof to drown out the sound of snoring and cars passing by. Need I elaborate more?
         The food situation is always a critical factor. This is a close and could swing both ways. I don't have to wait, pay, or cook for myself at the OTC. It's fashionable to hate OTC food. I think it taste just fine, and even if it isn't gourmet who am I to complain? If you're one of the athletes that has eaten here only to complain about the oatmeal consistency than I suggest you get over yourself. On the other hand we have home life food. The down side to eating at the OTC is that there is no privacy. I like sit down and enjoy my meals by myself. Instead I find myself in a packed cafeteria watching sports or breaking news I couldn't care less about. A breakfast in the county means going outside to pick some rhubarb to go with my cereal and local eggs. All in a house to myself. What a gem those days are... Obviously, home food is not free or readily prepared, but it's worth the effort in the end. All things considered it's a draw.
This could be anywhere in northern Maine
         Training circumstances is also a close one. Lake Placid has a sheltered range about two minutes from the OTC. FK and PI have an open range about 35 minutes from the house... Seriously I despise driving! In Fort Kent's defense they do have a professionally built roller loop. One with functional pavement that Utah's loop couldn't hold a candle to. The pseudo roller loop in LP goes through a parking lot. It's a straight down hill for 90 seconds followed by a three minute climb into the four point range. We actually have to have someone standing at the top of one of the hills to manage traffic for us while were training. Off loop rollerskiing goes to LP though because there are super nice roads around the Adirondack region. Not just for long distance roller skiing but for up hill time trials and the like. LP has it all. This also applies to road biking. I would have to give the county the upper hand for mt biking though. We have the IMBA trails at the NHC, plus the never ending logging roads that I personally love biking on. By the way, anyone have a cycle cross bike they want to sell? The county has virtually no hiking! LP has the Adirondacks! There are plentiful and enjoyable to hike! I could go on, but both places have there ups and downs for  any form of training... except hiking that is.
Top of Cascade.
        The last factor I want to compare is the fun factor. If not for the fun factor I wouldn't be doing this sport. That said I think it's pretty important. All of my old friends are back home and I always enjoy hanging out with them. If you grew up in the county you know how make it a fun place to be. If you're foreign, it might help to make some friends. Which really isn't hard to do, but still... I have to mention that the average weekend on main street in Placid is even or more exciting than the busiest weekend in the county. Those tourist towns are always putting something on. Half the time it seems like Lowell's band is playing somewhere. These days, the teammates back home seem to be more busy than ever. I'm training a little less than 800 hours this year and have written about how busy I am, and yet still I will make time for a bonfire if the others are up for it. The national team in LP will get a bonfire going on a Wednesday even if we have an intensity session the next day! Then again, the OTC (aka: Olympic day care Center) dorm life will still find a way to wear thin on you. In conclusion I would say county life is more relaxing, but Placid life is just simply more exciting.
Sometimes random can mean Croatia. 
        Aroostook county has endless fields and wood roads that make for the best crust skiing known to man kind in the spring! Lake Placid has some of the oldest mountains in the world! I can;t wait to get back home after the races in Jericho later on in August. Even if it only for a week. But I can't help but appreciate the  conveniences and things to do here in upstate New York. For a biathlete, both are down right nice places to be. And for the record the next answer you get for the random category will be Ruhpolding, Germany. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


        Since I only update about once a month you might recall an article back in May about “new ideas” or something along those lines. It was the start of the training season and I figured that was the safest time to give some nutritionally experimentation a gander. I did some research (googleing) and started looking into the optimum diet for humans. With today's culture's concern over nutrition and the industry that has formed from it you can imagine how hard it was to filter through the waist before finding some logical literature. Needless to say this is what I've concluded so far.
          One theory suggested lots of meat off the bone, organ meats (liver), fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I don't care much for liver, so that was out. There was a arsenal of low carb diets. A full blown low carb diet is out of the question for full time endurance athlete. One ancient system of nutritional guidelines had me fill out a questionnaire about myself to determent what kind of body type I was and then gave a range of lifestyle choices. I was somewhat turned off by some of the dos and don'ts. For example: a diet that tells me not to eat grapes is not worth the stress in my opinion. Another factor that I personally had to take into consideration was the everyday shenanigans that I'm doomed to. On a limited budget and a team atmosphere any out of the way needs are not worth the inconveniences.
       The one that grabbed my attention the most was the one that claimed we should eat what our ancestors ate during the influential stages of human evolution. In other words, we should eat like cave men. I was much too cheap to buy the online book but from what I could gather, cave men ate a lot of fruits, vegetables/plants, nuts and all varieties of meat or fish. Not eaten was, legumes (bake beans, hummus, and even peanuts), dairy (that one made cringe), grains, and obviously refined sugar. When you break it down the outcome result is similar to a low carb diet just with out dairy, and fruits and vegetables were encouraged. Some foods were questionable, such as potatoes or honey.
        For already mentioned reasons I couldn't give this a full on effort, but I decided to give some parts of it a go. I like meat and fish and since the OTC offers a good variety of fish that part was an easy go. I consume a lot a dairy. Cold cereal with milk in the morning and a lunch and dinner that is enveloped in cheese was the norm. I also ate a lot of natural peanut butter. The more research I did on peanuts the more I started to blame that pseudo nut for my latent kiwi allergy. The realistic goal I set was no dairy, no peanuts, less grains, and more fish/meats for a month. I didn't really plan on eating too few grains, more so on the more oatmeal and less granola aim. Milk was an easy out with our good friend Mr. almond milk. Cheese wasn't going to be easy. I eventually found a non soy based dairy alternative that behaved and tasted close to cheese. But it's not something you could snag at a gas station. And so I was off. I had a two week training camp in Bend, OR, a few weeks of OTC life and a week back home to see what might happen.
       Well folks there is a reason why this article is titled “Inconclusive.” I started out at a weight of 68 kilos (150lbs). By the end of the month I was down to about 65 kilos (143lbs). You could draw something from that, but then again historically speaking I always loose weight around the May/June time of year. Energy levels were inconsistent. Some days it felt like I was going into the over training zone and other days I had that springy fresh feeling in the legs. We didn't really have any physical test on the schedule to get any exact numbers. I was supposed to do a max V02 treadmill test and maybe the S.W. Collins 5km running race. Equipment failure put a stop to my V02 test and I simply opted out of the running race. If my memory of CHS chemistry serves me right a proper scientific test is supposed to have as little uncontrolled variables as possible. Obviously that was not achieved in my experiment. I was hoping to just feel better and have better recovery times. With the amount of unknowns it would have to a significant difference to rule out any variable. On the other hand if I felt neutral or even worse it would make my every day life a little easier. Just try and dodge dairy for three months in central Europe. Ironically peanut butter is hard to find in Euro land; so that absence could be done I guess.
Haven't come across many
nutritionist that have anything
bad to say about grilled salmon.
         The only credible conclusion I found was that as a full time endurance athlete carbohydrates are a must. The best proteins and fat sources will never burn as smoothy as a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Fruits and vegetables simply don't supply enough energy. Most people I know don't get enough fruits and vegetables so don't take that last part too seriously. I also found that I like the taste of almond milk and it's not too overly expensive. I also like the taste of almond and cashew butter more than peanut butter. There not to cheap... unless you live at the OTC. I guess I still need a food processor though.
Power Bar supply came in
this year.  
          I did some more researching to better my knowledge of nutrition. I looked into the difference in oils and fat sources. I haven't even mentioned the glycemic value of foods and the potential that can have on endurance performance. I could go into detail about how I feel about some of the common ingredients we see on food labels. There is also the growing difference between food that is supposed to be good for you and food that is supposed to keep corporate CEOs happy. I'll save those for another article because it's a long (and sad) story. But for the record, as a general rule of thumb the less processed a food is, the better it is for you.
I like to think of it as
engineered mental
recovery food. 
           So there you have it, almost nothing, that is. Life is not worth living with out feta cheese. We might not have had the lactose intolerant issues of today had cave men discovered the glories of a cow earlier, but we're doing okay either way. None of these small changes will go very far in Europe. I still think peanut butter made me allergic to kiwis and I can pretty much remove peanuts from my diet if need be. Stick to extra virgin olive oil or just regular olive oil, if your cooking. I'll go into more detail on that one later.

          In unrelated news I'm in Jericho, VT fighting off heat exhaustion. It's Lowell's 31st today. We celebrated with mass start time trial. I had good chance at a decent race until I missed the last two targets. How original is that? And now to go run aimlessly for an hour or so.  
Forgot to mention, at age 25 I decided to
give the old coffee addiction a try.
... also inconclusive.
P.S. This was written on Sunday. Am back in the OTC where internet is on pace with 2012. Much unlike Jericho. More pictures to follow after the 5hr ride. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Day in the Life of Russell Currier

        Today was not the most exciting day ever. Far from it to be honest. Today does however stand to make a good example of what an average day looks like. Life back in the 896 region is much more inconsistent than a day at the OTC,  but a day at the OTC is about as repetitive as it gets. To be fair I should probably leave my finger on the "publish" button on the browser and press it as I'm falling asleep. Either that or I just guess what the rest of my evening entails and try to mimic my predictions as best as I can. Nevertheless here is a general rundown of my 2-7-2012.
- 5AM Wake up to sun in my eyes. I like waking up early and if the first thing I see is pleasant weather then it's all the better

-6:30 Actually get out of bed when I realize it's no longer all that early anymore
-6:35 Throw on the first pair of PJs that I see and an old shirt I've had since I was 12.

- 6:40 Walk outside to where the rhubarb grows and snag a few stocks for breakfast

-6:45 Embark on the making of breakfast. A couple of local scrambled eggs with spinach and feta. Some mint flavored oatmeal that fails miserably. One of the days I'm gonna perfect it. Lots and lots of fruit and honey to counter the bitter taste of rhubarb.

-7:45 Carefully enjoy the best meal of the day with a couple glasses of tea and what ever cheap coffee the mother has left.

-8:30 Run through a battery of sites I'm addicted to such as email, this blog, FB, weather, maybe the youtubery.

-9:00 Decide that it's time to start doing the productive things on my to do list. This consist of wondering around the house, not really being sure what it is I should be doing.

-9:30 The road bike is fixed and ready to make the trek or so I hope.

-10:00 Finally dressed like an actual athlete. Run though a mental check list to make sure I'm not forgetting anything. Leave the dog out in hopes that he'll find a new home and I'm off. Gliding down the hill making sure the faded break pads still hold any merit to their name

-10:05 See Bob Sprague by his mail box and have chat about what we've been up to. Apparently I'm not the only one on Donworth St. that is capable of international travel.

-10:30 The watch has been started, do the loose math in my head a realize it's going to be a long day.

- 2:00PM From Stockholm to Vanburan to Maine st, Madawaska and I get a flat. I know there's a reason why brought the spare tube. I just wish there was reason enough to make learn how to properly change a bike tire.

- 2:20 No success. Not really sure what to make of the situation at  this point. A voice to my right asked if I needed any help. The answer was obvious, he was just being nice.

- 2:45 Leave auto repair shop with a freshly inflated tire and I'm back on my journey. Mega THANKS to the generous help from the mechanic who made the effort to help the idiot on the side of the road!!!

- 4:30 The 145km (90mile) ride is done and over. Good weather and plenty of energy in the legs made the work out a success. I just need to get a new spare tube now.

- 4:45 Snack time. Mostly fruit and moose jerky and some gummy bears.

- 5:00 Check email again.

- 5:15 Sand my rifle stock down a little more before putting it back together

- 5:30 Wonder around the house looking for my gloves.

- 5:50 Find them. Dry fire for 15 minutes. Focus on prone.

- 6:10 Make Dinner: Chicken, tea, salad, and a bunch of avocado

- 6:30 Eat Dinner

- 7:00 more email checking! Embark on this update.

- 8:15 Get tired and decided to take a break.

- 9:00 Done with other boring task: Work on German, sharpen pole tips, do some balance drills, plan out tomorrow schedule and so forth. Get back to this post. Mostly just spell check if you can believe it.

- 9:30 Finish this update

- 9:35 Play video games

- 10:45 commence sleeping.

         The original plan was to just slap on the video from last weekends party. Unfortunately the file is corrupted and I have to redo about half of it again. It's free software so I guess you get what you pay for. "update site" is written on my to do list and as a rule I have to do what every I put on that list before the day is up. This is a good policy to have with your self, but I recommend treading carefully with what you right down for yourself. Hopefully by the end of the week I'll have that video repaired and up and running; no promises though.