2018 Rikert Eastern High School Qualifier Gallery

Our Craftsbury Junior Nordic Ski Club racers were out in full force at the Eastern High School Qualifier in Rikert, VT President’s Day weekend. Click through to see the best shots from Craftsbury parent Chris Young, or click on any image to enlarge! Results from the qualifier are available here.

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2018 UVM Carnival/Eastern Cup- Photo Gallery

A collection of photos of our CNSC juniors from the UVM Carnival/Stowe Eastern Cup on February 10-11, which ended up being moved to Craftsbury. Click on any image to enlarge. All photos thanks to photographer Dave Priganc!

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2018 Craftsbury Marathon Ski Festival pb Fischer – Marathon Gallery

First round of pics from photographer Kris Dobie from Saturday, January 27th’s 37th annual Marathon!

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2018 Craftsbury Marathon Ski Festival pb Fischer – CL Sprint Gallery

Great day of racing from all our competitors, big congrats to GRP’s Kaitlynn Miller and APU’s Forrest Mahlen, our winners! Thanks to Kris Dobie for the pics, can’t wait to get up and do it all again tomorrow!

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Photos from Tuesday Night Race #2

We were thrilled to have almost 50 racers toeing the line for our second Tuesday Night Race of the season, a 5k classic individual start on Kirby’s Challenge course. Between former GRP skiers, juniors, Sterling College skiers, Craftsbury masters, and more, we had quite the range of ages and abilities. We’ll be holding races every Tuesday night at 4:00pm during the winter season. Results from this week and information about how to enter future races can be found HERE (spoiler:  2018 is the year of pre-reg).

Photos thanks to junior parent Elise Lawson. Click on any image to enlarge.

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Summer Snow Storage Project Update

With ever shorter and warmer winters, a few cross country areas have looked into snow saving as a way to extend the season, or ideally start it much earlier. The idea is that during the winter, a ski area will blow enough snow in a giant pile, and then store it under wood chips all summer. When the temperature is low enough in the fall, they dig the snow out from under the wood chips and spread it out, creating early season skiing opportunities. Here at Craftsbury we’ve been lucky to be the subject of a UVM study to test out the feasibility of snow saving at the Outdoor Center. Read on for an update from the head of the study, Paul Bierman, on the latest on the ground in Craftsbury.

Panoramic view of snow storage off Wilbur’s

From Paul:

“UVM faculty (myself and Yves Dubief), Post-doc (Scott Hamshaw), and undergrad (Hannah Weiss) are testing feasibility of over summer snow storage at Craftsbury. To do this, we installed ground temperature monitors in June and have been surveying potential storage sites using ground based LIDAR – a technique that uses light to measure distance.

We’ve also been building computer models of snow piles to test how they would melt. We use weather data from past summers to drive the models. With scans that take only a few minutes, we can gather millions of survey points and create visualizations of the landscape accurate to the centimeter. We’ll use these to track melt of the snow piles over the summer but as a test, we measured the latest pile over the weekend (editor’s note- this was the weekend of December 9 and 10).  With software analyses, we determined that the pile held 2300 cubic meters of snow. Plenty to cover Lemon’s Haunt!

Our research is supported by loads of in kind work by the Outdoor Center and by the US National Science Foundation (LIDAR unit) as well as the Geology Department and School of Natural Resources at UVM.”

A LIDAR reflector on a tree (orange circle). There are 6 of them around the upper field and 8 around the Wilbur’s Pond Pit- can you find them all?

UVM undergrad Hannah Weiss explaining to CSU skiers how the system works as the UVM crew scans the current snow pile

Setting up to scan the pile with Lucas and the invaluable generator

Scanning the pile as skiers go past

Lucas watching our every move out by Wilbur’s

This is pretty cool stuff! Thanks to Paul and his team for coming out to do some preliminary research. We’re very eager to see the results of the study. In the meantime, make sure to check out the proposed snow storage site on the right as you’re coming through the final S-turns on the north end of Lemon’s Haunt.

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Craftsbury Marathon Nutrition Tips: To Carbo-Load or Not to Carbo-Load?

This is a repost of a blog that we published last year, that explores the concept of carbo-loading. However, with the Marathon coming up, it is certainly still a pertinent topic, and we hope racers find it useful in their personal Marathon preparation.

Psst: like this content and want to see more like it? Sign up for our monthly Marathon eNewsletter here.

From Olympic Rower and Nutritionist Carlie Geer
Inevitably the prospect of a marathon event brings up this question. The answer is, if done “properly”, carb loading can result in a 2-3% improvement in performance. This means that for a ~3 hour event you could improve you time by as much as 3-5 minutes!
The goal with carb loading is to make sure your glycogen stores (energy stored in both the liver and muscles) are maximized. This is important because glycogen is the body’s preferred fuel for moderate to intense endurance exercise. The more glycogen you have stored, the less you will need to rely on exogenous carbohydrates (“feeds”) during the event to keep your blood sugar levels up and maintain your race pace. Even with carb loading, the amount of glycogen you can store will not be enough to get you to the finish line feeling strong if the event lasts longer than ~90 minutes, so even if you do a great job carb loading you will also want to have a tried and true plan for carbo feeds (energy drink, gels or bars can all work) every 30-40 minutes after the first 60-75 minutes.

So how to carbo load “properly”? Carb loading has gone through various phases and lots of studying since its inception in the 1960s. The current recommendations involve not just increasing the amount of carbohydrate(CHO) in your diet for 2-3 days prior to the event, but also, and this is important, cutting way back on your training volume and intensity for those 2-3 days leading up to the event.
While a typical daily training diet might contain 300-500 gm CHO per day (or 50-55% of your daily calories)– depending on your gender, weight and energy expenditure, for CHO loading you will need to increase to more like 400-700 gm CHO per day (7-10 g/kg body weight).
When adding extra CHO, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Avoid too many high fiber CHO’s (legumes, whole grains, fruit) in order to avoid the GI distress associated with a sudden increase of fiber.
  2. Try to decrease your fat intake some, so that your overall calorie intake is not excessive.
  3. Expect a 2-4 pound weight gain because water is stored with glycogen. This is a temporary weight gain.
  4. Just gorging on pasta the night before the race (without the recommended exercise taper and increased CHO intake over several days) will not get the kind of benefits you are looking for. In addition, overeating the night before will likely mean you will wake up feeling too full and sluggish to eat a good high CHO meal and hydrate the morning of the race, both of which are important.

Suggested ways to add CHO (without too much extra fiber):

  • Be liberal with syrup on pancakes/waffles or yogurt, and be liberal with jam on toast or pb/jelly sandwiches.
  • Eat sweetened/fruit added yogurts instead of plain yogurt
  • Increase your portion of CHO at each meal (more of the oatmeal/cereal, bread, rice or other grains, potatoes, pasta).
  • Add a glass of fruit juice if you don’t usually drink juice
  • Snack on CHOs like a baked sweet potato, a banana, pretzels or crackers.

Lastly, don’t forget to plan ahead for those CHO “feeds” during the race. Stick by the rule “never try something new on race day”!

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Fischer Marathon Prep Workout: The Pre-Race Routine

A good warm-up can make the difference between a so-so race and a stellar one. In your early season prep races, try this pre-race routine that the Green Racing Project skiers follow:

GRP skiers racing out in West Yellowstone earlier this season (Photo Ian Harvey/TokoUS)

Sticking to a solid pre-race routine helps you know how your body will feel going into a hard effort like a race or time trial. Playing around with the duration at different intensities is very important to learn how your body responds to your efforts.

Aim to start your warm up about 1 hour to 1:15 before race start time. Do about 15 minutes of easy L1 skiing with perhaps a bit of L2 to test race skis. Usually, the GRP uses this time to pick race skis (the A pair) and finishes their warm up on a B pair. If this doesn’t apply to you, you can start your warm up 1 hour before the start.

After about 20 minutes of easy skiing, or 40 minutes from race start, do one or two 4-5 minute easy threshold intervals to get your body used to creating and clearing lactic acid. Threshold is important to warm up the aerobic system, so make sure to focus on your breathing. It’s easy to go too hard during these intervals because of pre-race nerves, so watch your heart rate and try to go more conservatively than you think. If you feel especially sleepy, crest the hills harder to try and wake up, if you’re feeling fatigued then cut the interval short and just do 3 minutes. Judge by how you feel, don’t make it super hard.

Next throw in a few 1-minute L4 harder intervals. For a sprint, you can do up to 3 of these intervals, for a longer race maybe just 1 interval, and all depending on feel. The L4 pieces are important in order to work up the anaerobic system. Make sure to leave enough rest, at least 3 minutes in between intervals.

After the L4, do a few shorter speeds, around 10 seconds long. Focus these shorter speeds on transitions, cresting hills, and flats. Try to avoid doing these hard efforts on climbs, because it’s easy to get tired that way. These shorter speeds are for your neurological response and warming up that system.

Here is a short synopsis:

  • 1:15 to 1:00 before race, start warm up
  • 15-25 minutes easy skiing and ski testing
  • 1-2 x 3-5 min L3 threshold aerobic warm up with 2-4 min rest in between
  • 5-10 min easy skiing
  • 2 x 1 min L4 harder intervals on transitions with 3 min rest in between, anaerobic warm up
  • 5-10 min easy skiing, change into race top, gloves, and hat
  • 3 x 10 sec fast speeds, neurological warm up
  • Race time!
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Photo Gallery: Craftsbury Nordic Skiers at the Fort Kent Eastern Cup

The Craftsbury Nordic juniors had an awesome weekend at the Eastern Cup in Fort Kent this past weekend. In temperatures barely above the legal limit (it has to be warmer than -4f per FIS rules), they threw down some very fast times and had multiple podium finishes. Craftsbury parent Chris Young shared some photos from the races featuring the mini greenies. Click on any photo to enlarge!

Link to a full write-up and results HERE.

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Fischer Marathon Prep Workout: Ski Specific Strength in Poling and Double Poling

From GRP/USBA Biathlete and Fischer athlete Susan Dunklee

This workout is great for improving core stability, core strength, arm strength, and balance.
These drills are a staple of the US Biathlon Team’s strength training program. However, ski specific strength applies across all modes and distances of cross country skiing and racing. While Susan may use this workout to improve her biathlon performances, marathon racers will also benefit from specific strength and a stronger double pole in long races.

GRP skier Liz Guiney working on specific strength

Time:  ~1 hour including warm up and cool down

You can use either classic or skate skis.
Warm up for at least 20 minutes with easy skiing.
Find a straight stretch of trail about 50-70m long, either flat or slightly uphill for a challenge.
Ski your chosen section of trail once for each of the exercises described below. After each one, ski easily back to the start and give yourself plenty of time to recover (~2 minutes) before starting the next exercise.

•    Double pole with very long cycles, extending your arms well past your hips.
•    Double pole with very short cycles, only move your arms half way to your hips.
•    Double pole alternating 5 short cycles, 5 medium cycles, and 5 long cycles.
•    Single stick poling (striding style poling, just don’t use your legs).
•    Remove one pole and “double pole” using one arm only.  Try to keep your core solid and hips facing forward. (It should feel hard and probably will feel awkward.) Repeat on other side.
•    Double pole balancing on one ski.  Try to keep core solid and hips facing forward. Repeat balancing on the other ski.
•    Double pole balanced on the balls of your feet.  Try not to let your heels touch the bindings.
•    Core-only double pole.  Keep your elbows locked and try not to use any arm muscles.
•    Arms-only double pole.  Keep your core locked and try to use your triceps.

Optional second set: Take a 15 minute break of easy skiing then repeat.
Cool down for 10-20 minutes afterwards.

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