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Archive for August, 2010

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28.Aug.2010 by Chelsea Little

Today Lauren and I were coaching the BKL kids, and had them running 2 minute intervals on the trails. We tried to explain that the intervals were supposed to be as hard as possible: run as fast as you can! Go as hard as you can go! Give 100% – this shouldn’t feel like 90% or 80% or, as you requested, 30%! You should feel like collapsing at the end! (But don’t, please actually keep moving around so you will feel better!)

There was a bit of grumbling – 2 minute running intervals are really tough, if you do them correctly, and Pepa always calls it the workout where us GRP members will be “on our knees praying” – and one kid said, “How about at the end the coaches have to do whatever WE tell them to.” This idea has been brought up by this and other kids multiple times.

Lauren did a good job of explaining why this wasn’t a legitimate argument. “Yeah, see, Pepa already gets to do that to us, every day, twice a day……”

The kids might have thought that we were being slackers, but they hadn’t seen us this morning.

testing1

What did we do this morning that was so hard? A 5k test on the SkiErg, as hard as you can. If that’s not hard enough, add a breathing tube in there, and a noseplug to further restrict your breathing. The chair behind me in the picture is for when you collapse at the end of the test, because you will collapse. You won’t be able to stand up.

testing2

This was early in my test, probably somewhere in the first 1000 meters. You can see (or maybe not) that my heart rate is 178 on Pepa’s big fancy monitor. By the end, my heart rate was 199: yes, that’s 100% of my max. The test was strange in that I hit my max heart rate and had a high-ish VO2Max, but the time was slower than when I tested in the spring. While this might be frustrating to an athlete, to a coach, it’s really no matter: for Pepa, everything is data, telling her how we are responding to training and what we should do differently.

After sprinting it in, I was ready for the chair, and the chair was ready for me.

testing3

Thanks Marc for taking pictures!

In Search of Mojo

26.Aug.2010 by Susan Dunklee

mo·jo
n. pl. mo·jos or mo·joes
1. A magic charm or spell.
2. An amulet, often a small flannel bag containing one or more magic items, worn by adherents of hoodoo or voodoo.
3. Personal magnetism; charm.
(from thefreedictionary.com)

An August afternoon at the Craftsbury range.

An August afternoon at the Craftsbury range.

While running down Bolton mountain a couple of weeks ago, I got into a discussion with one of my biathlon teammates about our philosophies of training.  Cross country ski racers (including biathletes) train an incredible amount throughout the year.  We go for long rollerskis, bikes, runs and hikes to build our endurance.  We do a variety of drills, such as no pole skiing, to work on technique.  We do blocks of hard intervals where we ski with a high heart rate to increase our speed.  A couple of times a week, we lift, do circuits and work on core exercises to increase our strength.  All of these components help us to become faster racers.  But there is still a piece missing.
My teammate told me about a cyclist coach she knows who has a motto “You’ve gotta have your mojo.”  Racing at your highest potential requires the cooperation of your body, your mind, and your spirit, and having a little luck thrown in certainly doesn’t hurt.  You need a good training plan to get there.  But you also need the magic.
I’m constantly in search of mojo.  My number one goal as a biathlete is to have fun.  When the challenges I tackle during training and racing are enjoyable and motivating, I know I’m on the right track.   My favorite training involves adventures, such as long hikes or exploring new trails on a mountain bike.  I like being in places with rugged, wild terrain where I can physically engage the landscape during workouts.  In my experience, I race best when I am happy.  Coincidence?  I think not.
What’s your mojo?

Some snapshots of summer:

Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club bounds up Elinor's field

Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club bounds up Elinor's field

Googie watches proceedings at the top of the bounding hill

Googie watches proceedings at the top of the bounding hill

Hannah, Lauren and I spent a Saturday afternoon learning hunter safety. The instructors lent us some stylish safety glasses for shooting practice.

Hannah, Lauren and I spent a Saturday afternoon learning hunter safety. The instructors lent us some stylish safety glasses for shooting practice.

Pat and Ethan tinkering with rollerskis in the front yard

Pat and Ethan tinkering with rollerskis in the front yard