Harry Seaton and I had the fortune of joining the National Ski Team for an intensity focused training camp in Mount Ste Anne from September 6th – 15th. Our trip did not coincide with blue bird skies and a warm sun, as the predominant forecast was rain, but this didn’t faze Harry and me, we were with the National Team! With roomy accommodations we settled in quickly and dove into some challenging workouts.
The training camp followed a simple schedule with the focal points being intensity workouts every second day. We completed 4 intensity workouts as well as one sprint workout in only 9 days that spanned a variety of activities including skate rollerskiing, bounding, classic rollerskiing, and double poling. It was a great opportunity to compete with and learn from the best in the country. The focus was high and the quality outstanding.
Me bounding up Mount Ste Anne into the clouds.
Harry pushing it, closely followed by Stefan Kuhn and Graeme Killick.
A new experience for me was the cameras following the team around during one of the rainy training days. We did a skate rollerski sprint workout in the morning followed by a strength session in the afternoon. The CBC van set up shop for both workouts despite the morning showers and recorded several sprints, interviews, and other action shots. It was odd having camera crews filming a workout I was participating in. Cross-country skiing doesn’t exactly have a huge media buzz surrounding it in North America.
Making use of one of the National Team's recovery techniques, the NormaTec.
Another highlight from the camp was watching the ProTour road race in Quebec City. I’ve seen much of the Tour de France on TV and followed some other races on the Pro circuit, but to see a Pro race live was a whole different experience. Ryder Hesjedal gave Canadians lots to cheer about by putting on an amazing show with aggressive riding and a 4th place finish. We watched the ProTour race in Montreal on TV two days later, cheering hard for Ryder. He finished 3rd place after an impressive attack and solo ride to victory by Robert Gesink.
The peloton flying through the streets of Quebec City.
Breakaway group including Ryder Hesjedal with 1 lap remaining.
Thomas Voeckler wins!
Podium. From left, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Voeckler, and Robert Gesink.
Ryder Hesjedal honoured for top Canadian in 4th place.
Now it’s a quick turn-around for Harry and I as we rejoin the Thunder Bay Training Centre and travel overseas for a 3 week training camp in Austria in less than a week.