Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Oregon Trail

May 15th 
       When we tried the option of on snow training in Bend, OR last year it took on a lot of good reviews. So it was no surprise when I saw it on the came schedule for 2013. Skiing outside and on the snow in late May is asking for a lot. Bend not only provided that it granted more. Maybe next time United will help us get there when they said we would.
Sorry for the focal blur but you get the idea.
         Back in the day, my day that is, traveling to Oregon meant waiting for Friday to role around so we could play Oregon Trail on those old computers. If you played your cards right you could make it there with ample wagon wheels and most of your family intact. Otherwise you succumbed to diphtheria or what not and had to think of something deep and clever on your grave stone. This doesn't have much to do with our training camp in Bend, but man the fifth grade sure did have it all!
       It may not have taken the US biathlon team multiple years to make it to Oregon, but it did take us longer than initially planned. We were sitting on the plane that was supposed to leave Albany before we had to get off. Apparently the window wasn't working...? After a five hour wait the team split up. Half of us rented a car and drive to the LGA airport and my half got on a flight to DC. We picked up our bags in DC and took a 40 minute taxi ride to a hotel. After rechecking our bags again the next morning we made it to San Francisco before our flight to Redmond almost didn't leave. There was some terminal dashing somewhere in there to. We met up with the other half of the team, who didn't get there bags delivered for a couple of days. I'm not complaining, but we did lose a whole day of training for unnecessary reasons.  
        So with a ten day camp reduced to a nine day camp it was time to get down to business. The sun wasn't as present as it was last year, but we never had to ski in the rain. The snow was hard packed when we started and very soft by the time we finished. An average day consisted of three hours of skating in the morning and a couple of hours of running or biking in the afternoon. There was a lot of eating and sleeping crammed in between. The mountain biking in Bend is superb. Better than Utah and more accessible than Whistler, in my opinion. I wish I could say I was a talented mountain biker. Unfortunately the afternoon rides were not as great for me as they were for the other guys. It worked out fine, because it gave me a good excuse to get into running shape for the S.W. Collins 5km coming up next month.
We didn't mess around with living quarters for this camp.
       We didn't bring our rifles with us. This camp's purpose was on snow technique work and lots of volume. If I'm on a reduced hour plan this year these nine days were not reflective of it. Everyone was in agreement after the last workout that they were fried and the goal of a volume tax had been a success. Per and I worked on a few weak points for my technique.  Transitions and cornering are not my strong point. We opened up a few angles with V2 and V1. I won't say it's perfect now, but Per did mentioned that these minors tweaks made my whole camp a success by themselves.
       With a solid three hours of sleep we were up and packing the rental for the trip back to the old right side. Everything made it on time. Lake Placid is still here. I think it may have snowed a couple of days ago, but I was in a t-shirt for Memorial day. Volume will go down as the rifle and intensity go back up for week or two more. I should be back in the county by mid June.
May 26th

Monday, May 13, 2013

Some Structure

       The 2013 training season is back on track. Everyone has a training plan to look at if they so choose. The team is small this year. We've been gathered here at HQ in Lake Placid for about a week now. I can't complain, it's mid May and we're just now getting back into the swing of the non real world life that we live. Some things are little new this year while a lot are not so different.
       It still takes just as many steps to get to the cafeteria at the OTC. It's still popular to hate the free and always prepared warm meals that we're given. Our room is still the same size. It's still a race to fall asleep before Leif's snoring ramps up. Conversely, I'm the one who always wakes up an hour earlier in the morning to get the day going. Roller skiing hasn't gotten any more exciting. That one would be asking for a lot.
       There are a few changes worth mentioning. Training volume is on pace for a solid 100 hour reduction. That's a lot! The coaches and I all know that the training is there. Loading on more hours isn't going to make a significant difference. The base level is in a safe place. At this point my best course of action is to focus on the weak points. Hits and range times are the most limiting. Transitions, balance, and top end speed are also on the to fix list. The training load may be lower, but the top end effort zone will get some extra care. Warm ups and cool downs will decrease. The lack of volume will help the harder sessions be more productively hard. I'll also have more time on my hands for slowfire. It would be nice to break the 500 mark on the precision test before I die.
Summer Shenanigans 2013 is coming ! 
       Those are some of the performance based changes. In other news, I'm taking an online class. It's one class, so don't take this the wrong way. I'm simply picking away at a potential someday education and preventing brain atrophy at the same time. It may have taken a decade or so, but the roller loop in LP actually looks like a real roller loop now that the extension is done. That means less time skiing through an trafficked parking lot and calling it a roller loop. There isn't too much going for excitement these days. In past years we have been done with a full camp already by now. The extra time to ease into the routine was much appreciated. We leave on Wednesday for Bend, Oregon. That one was a real gem camp last year. We still have the Jericho, Euro, and Utah camp on the plan. The only other change I can think of is the absence of "mega desk" in our room. I sure did like mega desk.

Rest in peace Russell's old car.