Thursday, 26 September 2013

September training

I love the smell of intervals in the morning.
This morning I had a pretty hard interval session on the rollerski track in Lillehammer. I got beat. Not just a slight dusting up... I got the old one, two sucker punch that leaves you lying in the ditch, gasping at air, trying to hold back your breakfast, and wondering if there is, in fact any air here.
This was like a little personal welcome to Autumn for me, and hopefully NOT a sign of what is to come. September and October tend to be a bit up and down for me, with one day feeling superhuman, and the next feeling like 70 year old 50 a day smoker.

Autumn is quite possibly the most depressing period of the year as a cross country skier, or for anyone. It is cold. It is dark. It is wet. It is cold. What is more, tarmac hardens up when the temperature is colder, so our rollerski tips don't grip into the tar. The tar is wet and covered in fallen leafs, and so our roller skis slip. The coolish temperatures are exaggerated by the high humidity, and after every session my kit is soaked, even if it isn't raining. It is all pretty depressing... and there is only winter to look forward too, the only good thing about winter is snow.

The last period of training has been typical of September for me. Quite a few hard sessions but not over the top yet. There has been a few long sessions as well with varying lengths from 2 hours to over 3. My shape or form has been going up and down in waves. Probably due a little to the altitude camp and then also that at this time of year i tend to see this happen.
After tha altitude camp i had a few training sessions with NTG Geilo as they were in Lillehammer on a training camp. I'm not going to lie. The best thing about being with them was not the training but an afternoon playing paintball. Playing inside, on the upper floor of what appeared to a barn converted to have some offices, we had a pretty fun afternoon. Safe to say, good job i'm not in the army. Got hit a few times. Also good job i don't do biathlon... don't think i got anyone. But somehow I did manage to choose the winning team, as we went on to win the round robin competition. There wasn't a prize...
Last weekend I headed to Trysil, near the Swedish boarder for a training camp with my club. I have moved clubs this year to Bækelaget Sports Klubb. My house mate is in the same club, and it's better to be in a club which is a bit more active, has waxing at races in Norway and the possibility of a relay team at nationals. The camp was really relaxed. Me and fredrik were the two eldest athletes and fredrik's elder brother was one of the coaches. The clubs head coach is only a few years older than me and still training himself. The youngest kids were pretty scared of him and told me on my first evening to be careful of Eirik as he runs a "nazi" plan. Perhaps at aged 15 they did not quite know what they were saying. But what they meant was that Eirik makes sure everything starts on time, and if it says 2 hours on the plan then they do 2 hours.
I remember reading Australian skier, Andrew Mocks blog once. He described having the younger team members with him on a camp. He liked it saying he no longer needed to waste time doing tasks such as polishing his ski boots or carrying skis, as he just got the younger ones to do this. It happened to me as a younger skier and i complained about it, but nothing happened. And now I am reaping the rewards of being an older skier as much as i can. I can't say i went as far as getting them to polish my ski boots. In fact i didn't really have to do anything as Eirik had them on a pretty tight schedule. We didn't have final cleaning in the cabin we had rented... but that wasn't a problem... we had 8 15 to 16 year olds to sort it out.
There were 15 of us in total. Myself and fredrik the only seniors and then 4 junior guys and then all the young ones. We had some good training sessions, i was surprised at how good the junior guys were at running. I took the definitive decision that i would win the Elghufs interval session, but it took a bit more energy that i had expected.
There was also a football match, the young guys had challenged the older lot to a football match as a warm up to strength. We were all useless at football apart from one guy who played for a team. The young guys could actually play but they were to busy arguing amongst them selves over who's fault it was when we scored our first goal. They didn't seem to notice before we had scored 14 or 15 goals. After strength we split the teams into slightly more even groups so we can play another, slightly more even game.

Since the camp i've been training on my own in Lillehammer again. Next week i'm heading over to geilo for some more training with NTG Geilo. Also get in a 3 hard sessions, including a roller ski test. It will be good to compare my results from the test to 2 years ago the last time i did it.

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