It has been many years since I’ve missed any US Ski Team training camps, but this July it was time for me to do something a little different. Last Wednesday when the rest of the US Ski Team flew out to Alaska, I took off in the other direction to Oslo Norway. I always look forward to our team training camps and the feeling of waking up every day for 2 weeks with the single goal of getting fitter and pushing one another. It was a shame to miss out on Alaska dry land training and Eagle glacier but if my personal goal is to become one of the best double-polers in the world, I needed to learn from the best.
My Scandinavian training camp was almost over before it began. I was hoping to join the National Team for some training but through talking with a lot of my World Cup Norwegian friends in the weeks leading up to my trip I learned there weren’t going to be any National team training blocks during July. With a formal training camp off the table I set about creating my own, by emailing friends and connecting with skiers on Facebook to set up training partners. In Norway there are basically 3 big locations for skiers: Oslo, Lillehammer, and Trondheim. In the end I settled on Lillehammer because of its accessibility to great roads and training and lots of professional skiers in the area.
Having arrived on Wednesday I’ve been in town for just over a week and I’m super stoked with the training we’ve done so far, it feels like one of the most productive training camps I’ve ever had with lots of rollerskiing on awesome roads, bog running, and lifting at Hakons Hal Olympic complex. There are two rollerski tracks here, one up at the 94’ Olympic stadium and one up closer to Sjusjoen. Most of the terrain is new and exciting for me and especially some of the downhills which can consist of switchbacks, roundabouts, and all kinds of exciting hazards we don’t face in Vermont.
I have to admit that going to a training camp without an official training schedule was a little strange. Basically all I knew was that I would be joining some local skiers my first week in town before jumping into a week of training with Oeystein Pettersen. I came up with a general outline of how many hours and intensity sessions I would like to do, but other than that I was going to embrace the local training culture. So far things have been perfect!
I was lucky enough to score a free place to stay with Peter Skinstad (athlete and son of the previous head of the Norwegian Ski Federation Age Skinstad) at an awesome apartment in town. On any given day there are 1 or2 different groups of skiers who will meet for different workouts, often times leaving from the Hakons Hal complex. It’s amazing how many professional skiers I see out rollerskiing and I’m told ‘this is a quiet time of year’. So far Andrew Young, Marius Caspersen Falla, Heikki Korpela have joined me, among others this week. There are so many skiers in town that there is even a Facebook page where athletes can post what their training plan is so others can join… which has connected me to some other ski friends I didn’t know were in the area like Erik Stange and Rune Odegard.
So far some highlight workouts have been uphill intervals from the Swix Factory to Nordsetter which is over 2,000 feet of elevation gain on perfect pavement that we actually skied down! DP intervals and some epic long rollerskis, so far I’ve been out on two different 3.5 hour+ loops and I’m told there are many more where that came from. Today is finally a rest day for me, and a much needed one before we jump into a week of training with one of the all-time double pole beasts Oyestein Polsa Pettersen. Looking forward to it!