Shoulder Season

The shoulder season is upon us.  The nights are growing longer, the air has turned crisp and the colourful leaves are falling.  My first major race weekend of the season is only 7 short weeks away!

For me, the heavy lifting is done.  My major training goal this season is to increase my training hours to in turn increase my general fitness.  I’ve spent enough time on the World Cup circuit to realize how fit the best in the world are and the only way I see myself moving towards that level is by improving my general fitness.

Despite April being my rest month, I competed in local ski races through the beginning of the month and gradually began introducing strength, running and cycling towards the end of the month.  By May 1st I felt ready to go and jumped into a 15-hour training week.  5+ months later I’m on track to accomplish my 850-hour annual training plan, a 100-hour increase from my biggest training year to date.

I say ‘the heavy lifting is done’, because I finished my last major volume block of the training season on Wednesday this week.  A training camp in Park City, Utah was a great way to cap off what has been a consistent training year for me.  It was a good opportunity to put in some big hours at altitude with a focus on climbing.  Over 17 days in Utah, I put in 70 training hours with a total elevation gain of 22,131m.

I’m back home now, enjoying some well-deserved recovery before I change my training focus to intensity in order to sharpen my fitness heading into the race season.  In many respects competitive skiing is becoming ‘old hat’ for me, however, I’m still excited thinking about the race season ahead.  I’ve had a fantastic training season to date.  I’m confident in the work I’ve put in.  I’m excited to see where this winter takes me!

Beauty views and fall colours from Sunset Peak in Utah
Battling the elements on Big Cottonwood Pass
Beauty day on Mirror Lakes Road!  The snow made for a tough day on Big Cottonwood, but it sure was pretty the following day!  My 5hr day up Mirror Lakes Road took me to the summit of Bald Mountain shown below.

A second summit of Sunset Peak with some of the boys: Andy, Evan, Bob, Ricardo