Friday, July 14, 2017

Methow Intensity Training!

Our US Ski Team camp plan has fallen into a predictable pattern over the past few years, returning to the same training locations at the same times of the year.  This year as a women's team, we wanted to mix it up and add a new location for renewed excitement and inspiration.  The goal was a shorter camp with a big focus quality hard training sessions together in a positive team atmosphere.  So what better way to tune out distractions than to drive a few hours into the woods of Washington, turn down a dirt driveway, and continue for a few more miles before establishing our training base camp.  That's exactly what we did as we left Seattle, WA and drove to the Methow Valley of Washington for eight days of intensity training.  The training plan had hard intervals every other day interspersed with longer distance sessions that included rollerskiing up the pass and long runs in the mountains.  It looked intense on paper but without super high volume and the with benefits of the quiet cabin life, it was easy to relax and embrace the training and the company of the team.  Soon we were rocketing through one workout after the next.  We stayed in some wonderful cabins in Mazama that were mostly free of internet and cell service (I say mostly because Jessie still had service and setup a hot spot for us all so we weren't quite offline).  Pete Dickinson, a PT who travels with the team and lives in the Methow, set up a table on our porch for an outdoor PT and massage studio.  And our coaches, Matt Whitcomb and Tim Baucom, kept the fridges full of food and the training plan full of excitement.  Besides Sadie, who grew up a few miles from where we were staying, this was the first time spending any time in the Methow for the rest of us so we had a blast exploring new trails and roads and I'm already looking forward to another visit there!  If you haven't been to the Methow Valley before, I would urge you to make a visit!  From the Dolomitesque spires of the mountain peaks to the crystal clear and freezing cold rivers and the countless miles of trails in between, it is a sunny outdoor playground!

Checking out the map the first day as we learned our way around the Methow Valley

To the mountains! 

Tree huggers

Following Jessie and Kikkan on a long rollerski up Washington Pass

Striding towards the snow!

Tim manning a feed zone in the middle of a rollerski OD.  Tim is my wax tech in the winter but he helped Matt with coaching for at the camp.  Thanks to Matt and Tim for all their working supporting the workouts, driving vans, giving technique advice, and scoping new training routes.

Interval time!  Lots of head to head workouts taking advantages of different strengths and hammering together as a team.

Pain faces and grimaces nearing the end of our mock team sprint interval

More smiles mid L4 bounding intervals courtesy to some much needed cooling efforts!

Scoping the best route into the falls?

It was hot and sunny every single day but there were lots of rivers and lakes to cool off in after or during workouts

The meadow in front of our cabins

Cabin life at its best!  Eat, sleep, train, and chill!
After an awesome week of training, I headed back to Vermont and have settled into some more cabin life, living in my little cottage in Craftsbury and training with the GRP.  I have a big block of time at home now so I'm excited for some of my favorite summertime training and fun in Vermont before the next adventure which is an on-snow camp in New Zealand at the end of August.