February 23, 2012
Some would say that the toughest days to be a skier (or possibly any athlete) are the days you are supposed to rest. While it may be easy to rest for one day after a really intense and hard week of training, if that day turns into several, or the training hasn't been too tough, some athletes start climbing the wall. I've always been pretty good at dealing with my down-time. I work hard and enjoy training, but also love the times when I can go spend hours in a coffee shop, or sleep in and spend the day in my pajamas...or better yet, actually get dressed in "normal" clothing and not change all day!
That said, this week has been a major test of my ability to fill the time. We're in Ridnaun, Italy for our pre-World Championships training camp, and "training" camp might be stretching it a bit. As we start the peaking process for the end of the season, the training is minimal. We've done the work and now it's time to fine-tune and kick it into top gear. That means most days only one workout, shorter workouts, and a little more intensity. Yesterday, for example, we had a threshold interval set followed by "tolerance" - basically when you go as hard as you can for short burst of time (15, 30 or 60 seconds)...and usually on tough uphill terrain. The idea is that this wakes up your muscles and reminds you how to go hard...finding that extra boost! We followed that tough workout with an 90 minute easy ski with shooting and an afternoon off today. Pretty nice.
Luckily, we're in an extremely beautiful place. Ridnaun is known for nice sunny days, and a good venue right next to our hotel. The toughest part of our job right now is trying not to eat too much of the great (and plentiful) food here at the Schneeberg. We've been taking full advantage of the huge sauna complex, and the great sitting areas that have pretty decent internet. Even with all that, though, I'm starting to get antsy to race...which is precisely the point! I think I'm just about ready for Ruhpolding...