Our second National Team camp of the year wrapped up in Mammoth Lakes, California last week. Now I am back in Canmore and back on snow as Frozen Thunder has just begun for another season at the Canmore Nordic Center. The main point of our fall camp in California was for access to high altitude terrain. Around Mammoth Lakes, we can live and train above 2000m. The area has many roads and endless trails that climb above 3000m that are great for roller skiing and running.
The team spent 3 weeks in California doing what we call a yo-yo camp where you live and train up high for 5 days and then move down to a lower elevation for 3-4 days to do harder intensity sessions, then repeat. We were up in Mammoth lakes (~2400m) for 3 blocks and down in Bishop, California (~1200m) for 2 blocks in between. When we are living and training up in Mammoth the focus in on longer zone 1 workouts and a higher volume of training.
By contrast, when down in Bishop we did two intensity sessions each block combined with an easier day or day off training. Sleeping down lower around these higher intensity sessions allows the body to recover faster for the next volume set and the overall speed of movement can be higher in the interval sets.
Overall, the camp went well for the whole team. We were there at the same time as our Para Nordic National team, so we had a nice big crew to train with, and a variety of training partners to be inspired by before getting back on snow this week. One of the camp highlights was a long run we did in Yosemite National Park up to Clouds Rest which overlooks Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley, then eating the most delicious chicken salad sandwiches made by Zoe Roy and swimming in Tenaya lake to cap off the day. Another highlight was the fresh pavement on the June Lake road which made roller skiing some of the most enjoyable I’ve ever experienced.
By the second last day of the camp, I really started feeling the fatigue of 3 solid weeks of camp. It’s always a good feeling went you’re exhausted perfectly in time to go home and rest + recover.
I took advantage of the past week to rest lots, train some and prepare for the next month on snow in Canada before race season begins in Europe. Luckily for us, post camp recovery fell perfectly over Thanksgiving weekend. I was able to enjoy a few slower days, good food and time with friends. I even finally took my first trip to the Calgary Zoo after threatening to go for the past 8 years.
Now that there is snow back on the ground, the next month will consist of lots of skiing, some benchmark testing, a few time trials in Canmore and a week of skiing and family time back in Whitehorse. I’m really looking forward to getting back to those winter feelings and putting in the final preparation for race season!
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