By: CXC Team athlete, Oscar Friedman
Since I last checked in here in Marquette, the CXC Team has completed our largest volume block of the training year. That means a lot of coffee, daytime naps, and blisters on our hands. Roughly half of those hours were spent rollerskiing with a renewed focus on the double pole technique, with the remaining time divided between running (sometimes with poles) and strength in the gym.
Those of you in the cross country skiing community who know me well, know that I take an imprecise approach to planning and logging my training. During my distance workouts I don’t even bring a watch with me anymore because I know about how long each rollerskiing and running loop takes. Instead, I focus on my technique and let the way my body feels on a given day dictate the length and pace of the workout (within reason). Since I bring my phone I know how long I’ve trained at the end of the workout (and take some blurry pictures for this blog).
Following this approach this summer I’ve had no problems meeting weekly hours targets set by Coach Keller. Furthermore, I often train slower than I would otherwise and enjoy the workout more. As a result I find that on interval workout and strength days I am able to perform at a higher level and with better technique.
The last hard workout of this training block was a 3000 meter time trial featuring the full Northern Michigan University (NMU) Ski and Cross Country teams as well as the Canadian National Development Team from Thunder Bay. The camaraderie of the group counteracted the dreary weather, and I ended up finishing in 9:33, just a couple of seconds off of my PR (runners keep in mind I weigh 190 lbs).
Another highlight was a three and a half hour double pole to the Eagle Mine about 50 miles out of Marquette, which contains the largest climb in the region. It was a privilege to be able to follow my teammate Kyle Bratrud and NMU skier Fredrik Schwenke, both of whom ski with exemplary technique.
This past week was our recovery week which I spent visiting family and friends in Los Angeles and San Diego. I even got to surf a couple of mornings!