I've just finished my second week of training in Livigno. This morning we drove over to Val Senales, where we will be for the next 2 weeks.
Last weeks training has gone pretty well. On Monday I was joined by Posy and my Dad came back out to coach. It's been nice to have a few more people to share the cooking and washing up duties with. I had quite a few hard sessions this week and it's been good to have my dad along to film and give some feedback during the sessions. Although filming with an iPad is quite good as we can get instant feedback on the screen, he does look just like any other muppet holding up an iPad into the air. He has however managed to avoid filming himself instead of us skiing. I had drive and pick them up from the train station lower down in the valley. I was meant to do a rollerski session before I left to pick them up. But it was absolutely chucking it down with rain and it was about 3 degrees. So I went out running with poles instead as I couldn't bring my self to face 2 hours of rollerskiing through puddles. As I drove to pick up the others I saw another ski team who had been out roller skiing. They were rollerskiing "indoors". There is a 9k long section of road that is covered by avalanche protection in a sort of semi tunnel with one side open or with windows if you like. They had been rollerskiing back and forth in there keeping dry.
My first hard session was a "level 6" double pole session. It's something I've started doing this year to work on my double poling and work on my speed as well as my speed endurance. I've found in the past that often when I do speed work I never actually get up and going into a good rhythm and my technique doesn't really seem to benefit from it. The session was 10x45seconds. I did it 2 blocks of 5 with 30min easy in between and in between each individual "sprint" I have around 3minutes break so I'm fully recovered. This was one of the best double sessions I've done this year and I was really pleased with my technique and how I skied during the session. I'd promised myself to take lots of photos and video last week for the blog. But that never happened. I kept the promise for one session and took some film from the double poling. You can see it in the blog post bellow.
The second hard session was a disaster. It was meant to be a really hard classic session. Just about everything that could go wrong did. I managed to fall over on the second interval, making quite possibly one of the most embarrassing mistakes I've ever made on roller skis. I was stepping round a corner at fairly low speed when I mange to lift my outside rollerski up and step it on top of my inside rollerski. Rollerskis are only 65cm long so I have no idea how I managed to end up on the floor with me feet crossed. The session continued in such a fashion. Getting to long downhills with 30 seconds left of the interval and the final straw was when a tractor stopped in front of me and I had to stop mid interval. Yes a tractor stopped in the middle of a roller ski track.
I managed to see the funny side of it, but after such a session I knew my final hard session of the week had to be a good one. Yesterday I did an almost identical session to the classic session but skating. Everything went as planned... no tractors and no falling over.
For my first week in Livigno I'd just done my strength training outside using body weight and a "trx" or "redcord" as the local public gym has closed down. I'd never noticed the hotel opposite our apartment with the sign that says "bodybuilding gym" on it. It wasn't until I noticed a Swedish ski team van parked outside the hotel that we worked out there was a pretty good gym 20m from our front door. I had a session in the bodybuilding gym, which at this time of year only had skiers in it. It was a pretty good gym and I managed to have a better session than I would have if I had beed messing about outside stinging trx's up round fence posts.
We got to Val Senales in time for lunch and a short training session this afternoon. Tomorrow will be our first day on snow on the glacier. The conditions have been far from ideal here. The webcam showed mostly black glacier ice with a few white strips just a few days ago. It has snowed since then so hopefully the conditions will be good tomorrow, and there is snow forecast in a few days time. In terms of training this will be my hardest week of the camp. Having been at altitude for a while now I should be beginning to adapt to the thiner air now and able to tolerate harder training.