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:
The view from home:
Skiing in Idre:
The Mo I’m growing for Movember:
Have got the best bed here in Idre, oh damn!:
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!!
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!
Some photos aren’t the best quality, sorry…
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!
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!
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!
Getting some revenge on the coach!
A couple of shots from the final sessions on snow in Bruks during our training camp…
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…
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!
It definitely gets pretty dark in the afternoons here, a head light was a good purchase!
Doing some intervals today and feeling like the form is pretty good!
Definitely got some top blokes here at the academy to train with!
Here’s Cal before training “yeah mate, I’m ready, I’m coming right now”.
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!
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!
Cal running some bush mechanics while I offer assistance (hold the light).
Cal’s “found the problem”.
I’ve also done some pretty brutal sessions on the treadmill. I’m pretty quickly learning to hate that thing!
Cal modeling some Autumn fashions.
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!