I can’t believe summer training is already at its midday point. Spring absolutely flew by. Some much needed rest was taken in April after the Olympic season as well as many events, school visits and guest appearances.
As to be expected at the end of an Olympic quadrennial, there has been a lot of change this spring. Long-time teammates retiring, changes in coaching staff and a new crop of up-and-coming athletes added to the roster. May training started off with an on-snow camp with both the National Team and Alberta World Cup Academy at Fortress Mountain in Kananaskis. The new coaching staff and athletes new and old gathered to get to know each other and kick off the training year with some skiing.
At 28 years old I am now officially the oldest member of the Canadian National Team, which is kind of crazy because the average age in Cross Country Skiing on the World Cup is probably around 27/28. I am super happy to have been renominated to the Canadian Senior National Team for the ninth year in a row, one of five athletes on the Senior Team that will be joined by a large NextGen team including two other Yukonners, Derek Deuling and Sasha Masson.
Unfortunately, this year’s nomination came with the absence of Sport Canada funding after having missed the top 8 at the Olympics by one spot. Despite remaining at the top of the Canadian ski scene I failed to meet the international benchmark set out for funding for my age group. Canadian Government Funding has been a huge contributor to my ski career over the past 8 years and I am extremely grateful for them. This year however, I will be relying even more heavily on the amazing support of my personal sponsors. On that note, if you or someone you know would be interested in join my team as a sponsor, I am looking to grow my support team for the 2022/23 World Cup race season. You can find my contact information here.
Now back to the fun stuff: training and traveling! This year I am continuing to train with the Alberta World Cup Academy as well as the Canadian National Team. After my coach of 10 years, Chris, moved to a new role as Nordiq Canada’s High-Performance Director, I have begun working with Academy coach Tormod Vatten. It has been fun getting to know and working with someone new. We have already had two camps with the Academy this summer. The first was a 4-day athlete led mini-camp out in Kananaskis with the women’s team. We did this camp last year as well and it is a great way to get in some good volume training at a bit higher altitude in a relaxed and fun team setting. Without cell service or internet, it is perfect for team bonding and team building activities. Highlights include friendship bracelet making, team ice-cream runs, DP interval pace lines and oven s’mores.
Our second camp of the summer was in Revelstoke, BC. The goal of this camp was to be at lower altitude to do some harder efforts including a Sprint Time Trial at the end of the camp where I tried hard to keep up with the guys, there was partial success. Revelstoke offers some great roller skiing, running and biking options and well as an awesome food scene not to far from Canmore.
In between camps a lot of good training was had around the Bow Valley with a bit of testing on the roller ski treadmill too. We had cool spring which although not great for the tan was quite nice for getting in lots of training. Luckily for my tanning, I was able to take a week in mid-June to travel to Greece with lots of ski friends to celebrate the wedding of former teammates Annika and Jess. It was an amazing week filled with laughter, smiles, and happy tears. I am so glad I took the time to make this trip work into my training schedule this year and was able to share this incredible day with dear friends.
After our Revelstoke camp, I took my roller skis and running shoes up North for a few weeks of training at home. It was nice to be able to enjoy some slower paced family time in between my regular training schedule and get out for a couple lovely mountain bike rides with friends thanks to one of my day one sponsors Icycle Sports!
Looking ahead to the second half of the summer, we have a couple National Team altitude camps on the books. We will be heading down to Park City, Utah here in August and then to Mammoth Lakes, California in September before we get back on snow in Canmore in October.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful second half of your summer!