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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.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Boot Camp 2011

The Thunder Bay team kicked off the 2011/12 season with its annual Boot Camp this past week. Our team of 12 athletes led by 3 staff members participated in the 8 day camp filled with dryland training, physical testing, meetings, two great BBQs, and of course a sauna and chilly swim at the home of Reijo & Tuija Puiras. Thanks to our NDC staff (head coach - Eric Bailey, assistant coach - Timo Puiras, and team manager - Amanda Holdsworth) Boot Camp was well organized and ran smoothly. Also, a big thank you to the Reijo & Tuija Puiras and Nancy & Frank Luckai for hosting the BBQs.

The team (minus 3) looking "badass" against a graffitied wall in TBay .

(Photo Credit: John Sims)

For new athletes to the team, Boot Camp is an introduction to how the team functions, what resources are available for the athletes, and meeting those involved in our team. For returning athletes such as myself, the focus is more on the physical testing. During the 8-day camp there were three main tests: critical speed, strength, and classic rollerskiing. The critical speed test involves two running time trials where protocol requires you to run a 4000m time trial followed by a 1000m time trial 2 hours later. We perform the test on the 200m track inside the Lakehead University hangar. At the end of May I don’t expect too much from myself since April is a rest month and it’s only the beginning of a new season, but this year I surprised myself, setting a new PB in the 4000m by a few tenths of a second with a time of 12:57.3. I also ran my fastest early season 1000m ever, finishing less than 2 seconds off my PB with a time of 2:47.4. Awesome start to the season!

The strength test went well too, as I set a new PB in both the first and second set by a few points. Our strength test involves performing as many repetitions of an exercise as possible in one minute, then taking a minute rest and moving on to the next exercise. The exercises included are: pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups, box jumps and dips. There is no extra rest between the first and second set. The trend continued in the classic rollerskiing time trials. At Ouimet Canyon we do a 2.1km uphill rollerski time trial followed directly by a 1.2km uphill double pole rollerski time trial. I managed to tie my PB in the 2.1km TT and set a new PB by a few seconds in the 1.2km DP TT. What a great week of performances! And it wasn’t just me who was setting new PBs and performing well. Many returning athletes were either very close to their PBs or setting new benchmarks throughout the week. It was great to see!

Overall, Boot Camp was a success and the NDC – Thunder Bay team is poised for another stellar season.

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