Saturday, 11 October 2014

Livigno, Week 1.

So I've been in Livigno a week now and training's going pretty well. Livigno is good for altitude training, especially at the start of an altitude block. It's not so high that is it uncomfortable and there is quite a lot of flat terrain on offer compared to other altitude training places. Often when you head to the alps you end up running and rollerskiing up massive mountain passes, and in the first few days when you aren't adapted it turns into basically walking. But here there is a 12k cycle and walking trail through the valley which is perfect for rollerskiing. No, it's not long and yes, it does get boring. But I can rollerski from the apartment, the trail is fairly flat and easy. So it's perfect for the first week at altitude. There is also quite a lot of running on offer here and I've managed to avoid running up massive mountains and then having to run back down - "running downhill - easy hours in the book and sore legs". It's easy to find undulating off road terrain that is forgiving on your legs.
Everywhere has their problems however. The gym that we used last year in Livigno has since shut down. It closed permanently in the spring. So I had to be a little creative for my strength training but I managed.
We are self catering whilst we are here, which is great. We decide when and what we eat and alter it around our training. It works well when we are such a small group... indeed I was alone for much of the week. However food shopping in Livigno is not so great. There is no one supermarket in Livigno, but rather about 20 small grocery shops. In most places this would be fine. But Livigno is duty/tax free. Livigno has been tax free under the current agreement since 1840. It was made tax free because the area is or was so inaccessible during the winter. The then Austrian Empire made it tax free to encourage people to live here year round and they could in return claim the area. The kingdom of Italy then continued with the agreement in 1910. Anyway... this means that each little shop gives about 90 percent of its floorspace over to alcohol to get in on the duty free market. There is also an aisle dedicated to chocolate. So in a 3 aisle shop, 1 is for alcohol, 1 for chocolate, 1 for proper food. The shops do however sell good local bread and milk... if you get up early and buy it before it sells out. The other day I had to go to 3 different shops just to get dinner.
All negative things do seem to come in 3's. The gym being shut, trying to by dinner... and falling over. On my first classic rollerski session of the camp my rollerski wheel bearings decided to pretty much explode. I don't think it would have cause any major problem if it wasn't for the fact it happened on the only downhill on the cycle path. There is only one hill in 12k, it's about 100m long and has a corner at the bottom. But I managed to fall on it anyway. I sort of half made it onto the grass, but not enough to avoid a nice bit of road rash up my left shin... in exactly the same place from my fall in Sognefjell. I have some super slow wheels I took with me to use for some double pole strength work, but now I have to use them permanently. There's only 3 weeks (fingers crossed) of the rollerski season left, so I'm sure I'll survive.
Ive had a couple of hard sessions in the second half of the week. I've driven over to Valdidentro to use the rollerski track there. After having been there last year I'd easily of called it the "most insane rolerski track in the world". This year however it seems a lot better. Last year it was really greasy and slippery, both times I've been this week its been raining but I've had a lot better grip than last year. It makes the track much more skiable and I was quite comfortable using almost all the track in my intervals this morning. I tried to time my breaks in with the double switch back bends. It has now been downgraded from the "most insane rollerski track in the world" to "moderately difficult".
Both my interval sessions were ok. I've only gone up to threshold/steady state this week. Next week I'll have a few harder intervals once I'm more adapted to altitude. Although the rollerski track is lower down I come back up here to Livigno to recover. And recovery takes longer up here, so I have to be a bit careful with that.
The next week is shaping up to be a good medium/hard week of training. I'll start having more days with 2 sessions, in fact next week there is only 1 day with a single training session. Tomorrow I have two rollerski sessions planned. I'm looking forward to it and looking forward to having some harder sessions too.

No comments:

Post a Comment