Skiing Towards The 2018 Olympic Games

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Latest

Getting slower…

I’m definitely no skiing fast that’s for sure. First World Cup of the season this weekend and it was far from what I was hoping for. Yesterday was a skate sprint and I was 91st out of 119, 17 seconds back, that’s a long way! And today I was 3:40 back in the 10k skate, just under 16% behind the winner, that’s an even longer way back!

After the first races two weeks ago, while we were still training hard, I thought I had some better results yet to give but now after a couple of easier weeks and feeling fresh I’m definitely questioning that. I just can’t figure out why I’m skiing like an old galah! I feel I’ve put in a lot more of the “train smarter” approach this year, while still training just as hard but something isn’t working for me. I can’t even blame the skis, because they’ve been fast as hell!

Next weekend we will be at the World Cup in Davos and another skate sprint. Going straight from zero altitude into 1500-1600 meters probably won’t positively affect my race result but I’ll have a solid dip anyway!

Unfortunately being outside the 15% cut 0ff means I got the boot from this “mini tour” so I’ll be sitting on the side lines cheering on Cal-boss, who has found some killer form!

Hopefully I can turn this wombat-like form of mine upside down some time soon because my future as a skier is not looking real bright at present.

Sorry for the all writing/no photos blog but I didn’t take any, next time…

Doing some racing

Had two races in Idre Fjall this weekend. A Skate sprint and a 10k skate. Initially it was meant to be a classic 10k but with insufficient snow to set classic tracks they decided to change it to skate. The following day it snowed a lot but they decided not to change it back. It was a pretty strong field and I had a pretty good day on Saturday in the sprint. I qualified in 8th, 4.12 secs back. I managed to go through until the semi finals. I was in the second semi and watching the first semi come through there was a big gap from second through to third so I thought there would be a good chance both the lucky looser spots could come from my semi if it was tighter, which it was! I finished in 3rd just behind 2nd and thought it would close for me to go through to the final but unfortunately 1st – 4th of the first semi went through, meaning I missed out by 0.8 second behind Victor Gustaffson’s time in the first semi meaning I was left outside the final in 7th.

The Sunday was a bit of a fail in contrast. It was a good course, not so hilly and should have suited me pretty well but I was pretty tired and didn’t ski well. The heats and repeated delays in the program from the day before meant I’d done a lot of skiing. I also had a major spud moment when I caught my tip in some loose snow and went down like a sack of potatoes! This was on a fairly fast section and lost me maybe 10-15 secs, not ideal!

Here’s my semi. (photo credit to Adam Johansson)

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Cooked after a solid weekend of racing…

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Now we are back in Falun and leaving for Lillehammer, Norway, on Wednesday to commence racing back on the World Cup circuit. It’s a mini tour in Lillehammer with the first race being a skate sprint on Friday then a 10k skate and a 15k classic (pursuit start) the following days.

Hopefully my form continues upward because there’s no room for bad races on World Cup!

Skiing slowly

This past weekend was the first races of the season for Cal and I and unfortunately I can’t say they went very well. On the friday, the 10k classic, I had an actual shocker! It was just one of those disaster days where nothing really goes right. I didn’t feel great, went out a little hard and my grip was poor. My technique fell apart quickly as I tired and generally I skied like an old chook.

I skipped the 15k skate to rest for the sprint on Sunday. The sprint was better, not great but better. I didn’t ski like such a spud, keeping my technique together, my grip was pretty good and I felt alright I just didn’t really go that fast. The time behind the winner wasn’t too bad but I was a fair way down the result list and didn’t qualify for finals.

All up this weekend was a bit of a devastating one that’s for sure. Often the first weekend of racing is a fair indication of the season to come for me but I hope this is not the case. I trained pretty hard leading into these races and with the focus on the world cups in 2 and 3 weeks time I am hoping for more. I do feel I can ski a lot faster than I did; or at least I hope I can!

Since the races we went back to Falun briefly and have now gone north again for a smaller race in Idre before the world cup in Lillehammer next weekend.

Sorry I didn’t manage to get any photos of myself racing, here’s some other random ones…

Back at the grind in the gym:

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The view from home:

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Skiing in Idre:

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The Mo I’m growing for Movember:

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Have got the best bed here in Idre, oh damn!:

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Here’s to hoping I can find some form and start racing a little faster!

Skate sprints for 3 weeks in a row! You little ripper!!

One last Session (death by treadmill)

Today Cal and I completed one last hard interval session (roller skiing on the treadmill) before the first races of the season this weekend. The treadmill sessions are always killer and when you see one down on the training plan in the coming weeks you have to start mentally preparing early because they’ll get ya every time… every time! Mattias (our coach) literally writes these down in the plan as “Death by Treadmill”!

This particular session today was 6 X 4 mins. The 4 min blocks being broken into 1 min Threshold, 1 min all out then 2 mins threshold. Tough! But in reality it ended up being more like 1 min hard, 1 min sprint, 1 min struggling to stay upright and the last minute struggling not to get pushed off the back of the treadmill while Mattias continually winds up the incline and speed dials! I swear the more we were hurting the more pleasure you could see come across his face! Before the last interval which I was wondering if I would actually make it through Mattias said to me “Now, in this one, you just have to remember the proverb; Lets stop whining like a little b!#ch and make some gains!”.

He’s a hard man. You would never think tell him to slow the treadmill down in case of loosing all respect and dignity for the weeks (years) to come so you suffer on through or get thrown off the back, simple as that!

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Some photos aren’t the best quality, sorry…

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In other news, our car is now completely stuffed! The leaking water pump ended up fully breaking off while I was driving it to a mates garage to work on it, thus the timing belt flew off and the engine is cooked! Not ideal that’s for damn sure. We had some big jobs planned for that junk box!

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We’ve now currently got a loan of this little 2 door power house, courtesy of Cal’s generous girlfriend Teresa! So we will be able to get to the races this weekend although could be a bit of a battle getting the skis, bags and bench in but we’ll make it happen!

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Here’s something even more non skiing related (sorry)… Found this tree eaten almost through by a beaver down by a lake one day, thought it was pretty full on!

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Getting some revenge on the coach!

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A couple of shots from the final sessions on snow in Bruks during our training camp…

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So tomorrow we are packing up shop and then heading north early the next day to Bruksvallarna for the first Swedish Cup of the season. 10k classic, 15k skate and Classic sprint. I will miss the skate on the Saturday to rest/prep for the sprint.

Hopefully the form is good. We’ll see…

On snow again!

After a few more miserable days of training in the pouring rain in Falun it finally got below zero so they could make snow up north in Bruksvallarna.

We are now back on snow skiing on a man made loop which started off at only about 1.5km long but has stretched to around 4.5km and continues to grow by the day with the snow making. The snow conditions aren’t the greatest but it is getting better by the day and so good to be out of the rain and off the roller skis. We are here for about a week with the first race of the season, a Swedish Cup race, less than two weeks away.

Have had enough of roller skiing that’s for sure!

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It definitely gets pretty dark in the afternoons here, a head light was a good purchase!

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Doing some intervals today and feeling like the form is pretty good!

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Definitely got some top blokes here at the academy to train with!

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Here’s Cal before training “yeah mate, I’m ready, I’m coming right now”.

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Hopefully we get some natural snow soon but either way I’m loving being back on snow and it’s even better to have some dry weather! Feels like my form isn’t too bad either so looking forward to getting into some racing!

General Faff

Nothing much to really report on other than our poor old Opel Astra (piece of junk) car has basically called it a day and packed it in!

And just a few photos of life here in Sweden….

Another big group for the Monday intervals!

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Cal running some bush mechanics while I offer assistance (hold the light).

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Cal’s “found the problem”.

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I’ve also done some pretty brutal sessions on the treadmill. I’m pretty quickly learning to hate that thing!

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Cal modeling some Autumn fashions.

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At the moment we are looking at now being on snow in a weeks time for an on-snow camp and looking forward to it!

Back to the Grind

Getting back into the swing of things here in Sweden. Training is going well and lots of pretty intense sessions with the group at DSA. Just finished a big interval set this morning with a group of 25 athletes including some of the top Swedish World Cup skiers. Pretty motivating guys to be around but as you can imagine I’m not the strongest there so feeling like a beaten up old biscuit tin now! Basically just training, eating, sleeping and occasionally studying these past couple of weeks and feeling pretty good about it.

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Cal skiing with Calle Halfvarsson20141031_104541 (2)Me feeling pretty cooked after a solid session

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Helping Victor fix his English grammar 5 minutes before he needs to submit his assignment.20141030_200553 (2)Always cooking up a good feast to fill the hole!

20141030_122825 (2)Unfortunately our on-snow camp has been delayed a few days as it hasn’t been cold enough to make snow but now it’s dropped below zero we are looking at being on snow again by Thursday!!

 

 

 

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