It's that time of year again! Brian and I packed up our house and hit the road (literally) for a winter of racing around the World (hopefully).
Love Infinit! You have to try MUD, the coffee chocolate recovery drink
Our first week was a blast and right on schedule the snow was laid out, groomed and ready for skiing! Frozen Thunder is snow that has been saved from the previous season and stored under a pile of wood chips to insulate it from the warmth and rain of summer. Dump truck loads of the snow are laid out and groomed with a piston bully each morning so that the course is in perfect condition. The weather has been variable enough so that the conditions change and mimic multiple conditions we might find during the season! It's great practice and such an awesome opportunity for North American skiers! We are very grateful for the financial backing and effort Cross Country Canada puts into this camp.
It's that time of year again! Brian and I packed up our house and hit the road (literally) for a winter of racing around the World (hopefully). As we have mentioned before we are thrilled to partner with Timber Ford of Hayward and to represent them well throughout the next two seasons! If you are thinking about upgrading or getting a new car I cannot emphasize how awesome Curt and Amy are at Timber Ford, especially since they are way into all kinds of healthy activities. Plus, Timber Ford is a major supporter of community events throughout Hayward (and Midwest). You will also see their generous support at all of the American Birkebeiner Events as they are the official vehicle of the American Birkebeiner as well :) Our car, which we nicknamed 'Timber' is awesome. The miles on the road click by comfortably and quietly in our new ride. One of my favorite features is the separate passenger temperature controls which allow Brian and I to both be comfortable without him in his underwear and me in my down jacket.
Speaking of the American Birkebeiner...the full 50 km race is now full but there is still opportunities to get in on the fun and experience the multiple events. Both the Kortelopet and Prince Haakon races, which are now on Friday, have space left to Registerand its a great way to get introduced to the atmosphere if you've never done the race before! Or if you are supporting a racer in a Saturday event, a great opportunity to get a race in yourself ;) If racing isn't what you enjoy or you are looking to get a great long supported ski on the course come out and join Brian and I at the 2017 Birkie Tour! We will have our car there as well ;)
We packed up the car and realized that we needed a Yakima Box to carry all of our Madshus skis (more on the number we brought later) and luckily we partner with Hoigaards who had the perfect one in stock and ready to go! We also gathered our other essentials like our sports nutrition from Infinit Nutrition. We have a complete system dialed specifically for our energy and electrolyte needs as Cross Country Skiers! They are a blast to work with and we love it when they bring out new and seasonal flavors for their mixes :) If you are interested you can also purchase the exact mix I use here!
We left the Twin Cities about a week before the snow for Frozen Thunder was going to be rolled out and completed. The idea was to get a week at altitude before we got on snow. We spent the first week running in the mountains and roller skiing on the local roads and on the roller ski track at the Canmore Nordic Center. One of the best parts about being in Canmore is the opportunity to train with so many high level athletes from Canada. We love connecting with different groups and learning from each other.
Final preparations on the 2K loop of snow.
Happy to be on my skis again! Brian and I both race on Madshus Complete systems. This means we use Madshus Redline skis, the Super Nano boots and the Nano Carbon Race 100 UHM Poles. We love our Madshus equipment, the only problem is that the new skis getting better.
No Pole classic skiing in the afternoon.
Testing my new Madshus Skis.
A big focus of this trip is to get some early on snow time and to test out our new Madshus Skis. I am always amazed with the improvements Madshus makes each year. I also feel like my skis are the fastest they could possibly be and then I am pleasantly surprised with the new additions to my fleet. Brian and I traveled out to Canmore, AB with about 45 pairs of skis and Sun Valley was gracious to bring up another 15 pairs of new skis for us. So in total we have 60+ pairs of skis here in Canmore to test and of course...WAX!!! We put fresh grinds on our skis and then saturate the base with Toko NF Hot Box wax. We then apply a layer of NF Blue and the skis are ready to test. We used to put 10+ layers of wax in our skis before we would put them on snow, but we have found that they can be fast right out of the store with just a saturating layer and a hardening layer. We zero all of our skis with NF Blue so that when we are testing skis we know we are testing the ski not the wax. We also make sure that the skis receive a fresh layer of wax after each use. We love Toko's simple yet complete line of waxes and have partnered with Toko for our entire professional skiing career.
Just a boy and his skis. Yes, we brought more skis than socks
Our other goal for this training camp is to get in some intensity and race efforts on snow. We find that there is no better way to test your skis and fitness than to test them at speed! The Canadians were holding their final Men's World Cup qualifier event so we had 3 chances to put on a bib and see where our fitness and fleet was at!
I had a blast racing and am really happy with my results. Brian also raced well and although he wasn't as satisfied he knows where he needs to improve. We loved getting the feedback and splits from numerous coaches on the course and technique advice from Jon Arne. We also love being able to represent our home club Loppet Nordic Racing. You can find all of the results from the week of racing at Zone4.ca
Back at it in the Skate Sprint Qualifier.
It was great to have more Americans in town for some training and the races! I especially love having more athletes on Madshus Skis! Congrats Kelsey on winning the Classic Sprint!
If you haven't heard already the National Nordic Foundation is having their annual Drive for 25 Campaign now through the 15th of November! The NNF organization has been one of the major contributors both financially and spiritually of our sport around the country. The NNF has lead to the success we have seen on the international stage in recent years. I know for a fact that I would never have been able to win a Bronze Medal at the 2015 World Championships in Falun, Sweden without the NNF. When I received the bill from the USST for the World Championships in 2015, the NNF stepped in and covered the entire bill. They also covered all of the unfunded athletes representing the USA at the World Championships. The Drive for 25 did not exist in 2007 or 2009 and the World Championship bill of $4,000 back then was a major hurdle in my racing career which led to me skiping numerous World Cup starts and even declining a selection to the 2011 World Championship team. I am so proud that the US skiers of today have the support of our US skiing community. This is only a small example of the reach and impact the NNF has had on so many athletes competing to reach their goals and dreams! Brian and I have every intention of supporting this organization and it's goals way beyond our own careers as athletes! If you are interested in supporting this organizations goals too please visit NNF.ski and become a D25 suporter!
Chelsea leading the way wearing her Toko Insulated Drink Belt on our OD run from Canmore to Banff.
Thanks NNF and Toko for helping us reach our goals! Chelsea Holmes and I both scored World Cup points here in Canmore during the Tour de Canada thanks to the support from the National Nordic Foundation. We are also showcasing our favorite Toko Mitten and Glove models for this coming season!
In addition to training we are spending a lot of time reviewing and refining technique, preparing healthy home cooked meals and of course having fun together.
Comparing my technique to World Cup technique.
Brian thought he was getting a massage but ended up being "cupped" and bruised :) I think it was really good for him!
Goofing off on our morning runs.
Focusing during our morning core routine with our warm Fits Socks! If you haven't tried this brand of socks yet you have to this winter! They are absolutely the best!!! I also like seeing Brian in pink and purple :)
The weather has been a bit warmer than usual here in Canmore but we have had plenty of cold nights to firm up the ski track and just enough precipitation to have fresh snow falling up in Lake Louise! Yesterday, Brian and I ventured West to Lake Louise and had an awesome distance classic ski up high in the mountains. It was so beautiful and refreshing (not that any other day in Canmore isn't beautiful and refreshing!). The sun here is bright and we were glad to have our Bliz glasses for the journey! With no new snow in the forecast we are looking forward to mixing in even more rollerski options and mountain adventures in the next couple of weeks! Glad we packed our Marwe roller skis and Bliz Helmets too ;)
This year we are once again working with Bjorn Daehlie, now known as Daehlie, clothing for both our winter kit, under-layers and dry-land training gear. We love the quality, durability, look and performance of their products. Although we will be keeping our Legend Jackets and warm-ups from last year (we just love them so much), we will also be debuting the new Raw Collection this season. If you are curious about styles and fit be sure to stop by Hoigaards to check them out or ask us if you can try ours on :)