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Welcome! My name is Michael Somppi and I'm a competitive cross-country skier. I developed this blog so sponsors, family, friends and fans can keep up to date with my life as a full-time athlete. You can expect regular blog posts about racing, training, and life in general. Check out other sections of my blog by clicking on the tabs above.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Training in Silver Star

Hey Everyone,

Currently I am in Silver Star, BC doing early season on snow training. I arrived here with the team on November 10th after a long day of flying from Thunder Bay to Kelowna followed by a drive in our packed rental van through Vernon and up the mountain to one of Canada's skiing hotspots known as Silver Star.

At the time snow was not an abundant substance. We drove to the Sovereign Trails (10 minute drive) each day and hiked or carefully skied around the rocks further up the mountain to where the snow was a little deeper. My first skate ski of the year came with quite the surprise when after skiing for about 50m I somehow managed to crack one of my rock skis in half right beneath the binding. After driving back to our accomodation and picking up another pair of training skis I was finally able to enjoy my first skate ski of the year.

Over that past few weeks we have received numerous small snowfalls which have gradually improved the trails. The World Cup loops became skiable within the two weeks, which has provided some great terrain for us to do intenisty workouts on. We have also done two time trials (skate 10km and classic 15km) to get the racing legs ready and get rid of any "first race" anxiety. It has been so great to be able to train on snow so early in the season. As cross-country skiers, our off-season can be so long sometimes that training can become quite monotonous and boring during the late Fall season. This can be a huge difficulty as this is the time of year when training is most important. By doing early season training in Silver Star this year I have been fortunate enough to entirely avoid this issue.

As the first NorAm races of the season approach our team is now changing focus from a training camp perspective to a race preparation frame of mind. This upcoming weekend, December 1st and 2nd, is the first NorAm held in Silver Star. I will be competing in a 15km Skate Individual Start on Saturday and Classic Sprints on Sunday. It seems mother nature has been informed of the racing being held because last night Silver Star received almost a foot of snow which should make the trails near perfect conditions.

Until next time,
Michael