Posts Tagged ‘rollerskiing’

Spring is the time for recovery, summer is the time to put in the work, fall is for fine tuning and winter is racing. People are often surprised when we tell them that we do the bulk of our training hours in the summer months. We build a solid foundation of aerobic fitness and strength with long hours of rollerskiing, running, biking, hiking, and lifting. We work hard and we keep it fun.

For over five years, I have spent my summers split between training in Lake Placid, New York with the National Biathlon Team and in Craftsbury, Vermont with the Green Racing Project, my home ski club and a place I love dearly. Since they are only three and a half hours apart I can go back and forth often during the year.

Training with the National Team
IMG_1139.JPGExploring the New York Adirondack mountains early summer with the team and Andrea

IMG_1145.JPGNormally we travel to Bend, Oregon in May to get in some skiing but we stayed east this year due to lack of snow. Instead we did a road biking camp near Middlebury

IMG_1149.JPGLunch break, post bike ride

IMG_1171.PNGOne major benefit of Lake Placid is training at a shooting range attached to a rollerski loop

Training with the Craftsbury Green Racing Project

IMG_1168.PNGAlright, maybe we should rollerski longer if we have this much energy post workout

IMG_1170.PNGHelping out with an introductory kids’ biathlon camp

IMG_1155.JPGOn the road in Greensboro

IMG_1157.JPGDoes anybody else out there still love animal crackers?

IMG_1165.JPGWe normally shoot only biathlon rifles, but for 4th of July celebrations Craftsbury biathletes have a tradition of cross training by shooting a wider variety of rifles, shot guns and pistols.

Adventures Elsewhere

June was a busy month for weddings. Two former Craftsbury teammates got married in Wisconsin and two former biathlon teammates got married in Idaho. (Congrats to the happy couples!) Hannah and I spent a week in Idaho doing a high volume block of training between the weddings. Many thanks to Mikey Sinnott and his family, the Sun Valley ski team, and the folks at Elephant’s Perch for welcoming us!

IMG_1167.JPGSkiing with the Sun Valley team

IMG_0008.JPGEveryone told us Sun Valley’s wildflowers were the best they’d seen in years. I might have been so distracted that I flipped over the handlebars. Twice. (credits for these last pics: Hannah)

IMG_0001.JPGTime in the mountains is good for the soul

IMG_0016.JPGHan and I on the summit of Hyndman Peak


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There is a lot to love about being on a mountain top. Refreshing breezes, a flow of puffy white clouds that tow splotchy shadows across ridge lines, and a lush carpet of contrasting peaks and valleys stretching across the land. I can see every shade of green in the forests below and several gray cliff faces.
I’ve been training in Lake Placid the last couple weeks and this camp has been one of the best yet for exploring the Adirondack high ridges. Usually I end up hiking on rainy days with no view, but the weather this past week has been fantastic!
My new favorite place in the region is an area of new rockslides above Johns Brook in Keene Valley created by hurricane Irene. Hiking up a slide combines many of my favorite things: spectacular views, rock hopping, bush whacking, waterfall scrambles, and the thrill of possibly getting lost. I like to marvel at the power of water. In just minutes last August, a small forested stream became a 50 m wide corridor of exposed bedrock littered with uprooted trees. Unfortunately I forgot my camera during that hike, but I took pictures of other recent mountain adventures.

20120615-210606.jpgHanging in there on top of Giant Mountain.

20120615-211050.jpgThe team at the top: Tara, Corrine, myself and Annelies

20120615-211924.jpgLuka trying to steal a snack from Sophie.

20120615-204412.jpgOne evening, after the toll road closed for the day, we rollerskiied from downtown Wilmington to the top of Whiteface. Over halfway there!

20120615-204708.jpgWe gained about 3500 ft of elevation. It was an almost constant grade, as you can see from Hannah’s HR monitor data.


Visiting the granite castle at the top. It was built by NY state during the “New Deal” era of Great Depression projects. FDR himself attended its grand opening. Among XC skiers, the castle is better known as the finish line of the annual painfest: the “Climb to the Castle” rollerski race.

20120615-210427.jpgThe gals: myself, Hannah and Corrine

20120615-210038.jpgLooking down at the road below and enjoying a sense of accomplishment.

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The snow is starting to fly as I reflect on the past several months.  All and all, it was a great summer.  I spent about half my time in residence at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY doing a lot of rollerskiing and shooting.  The rest of my time was split between national team training camps, home (Barton, Vermont), and a vacation to Colorado.  Here’s the summary in a nutshell:


Our team traveled to Fort Kent, Maine for our first major training camp.  For those of you not familiar with Fort Kent, it is a small isolated town at the northern end of “The County” (Aroostock County) in Maine, within a stone’s throw of New Brunswick.  It rained almost every day of the camp, but we still had a blast.  We found plenty of entertainment when we weren’t busy training.

Bed Race_Women

"Interval training" with the National Team, i.e. celebrating Acadian culture by participating in a "bed race" in Madawaska, Maine. I am on the left, BethAnn Chamberlain is on the right, Annelies Cook is sporting the PJs, and the Barnes twins are pushing in the rear. Photo: Gary Coliander


Post-workout visit to a swimming hole in Fort Kent, Maine. Photo: Gary Coliander


During the summers of my college years, I worked at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory near Crested Butte, Colorado doing ecology research.  I missed the lab, the mountains, and the people, and I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to take a mental break from the training lifestyle, so I took a vacation to Colorado.  While I was there, I worked for a Dartmouth professor that I’d had doing stream research.  Among other things, we did a lot of electrofishing (catching fish by stunning them with a mild electric shock) and measured and tagged them so that they could later be recaptured to determine growth rates.   I also fit in as much hiking as I possibly could.


The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory sits on the sit of an old mining village at the base of Gothic Mountain.


Helping set up a nutrient addition experiment to study the diatom Didymosphenia geminata or "rock snot" in Colorado's East River.


Staying in open bay barracks for our 2 week training camp at the Jericho, VT army base proved to be an exercise in adaptability and good team bonding.  We survived the heat and moved on to Bethel, Maine for a week to play in the White Mountains.  I made it home at the end of the month in time to bike in the Echo Lake Road Race.  Of all the years I’ve participated, I’ve never seen it so muddy.  It was quite a challenge trying to navigate a sloppy dirt road on a road bike.


Waiting in line while Gary Coliander dumps a pitcher of icy water on teammate Laura Spector during a brutally hot and humid interval session at Jericho. Photo: Sara Studebaker

Animals (15)

Spending some time at home with my parents and the animals.


Fall is a beautiful season in the Adirondacks.  However I struggle at this time of year, especially with rollerskiing.  We spend a lot of time doing circles on our hilly rollerski loop here at Lake Placid.  I start to dream of gliding over the snow instead of over the pavement.  During one of our low volume training weeks, I traveled to New Hampshire and took part in a timberframing course at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge.  I joined fellow Dartmouth alums and students in building a new house for the Lodge crew to live in.


The rollerski loop in Lake Placid features a difficult uphill approach to the shooting range (under the roof on the left). In the background are the Olympic ski jumps.


Fall training at the Lake Placid practice range.


Learning to timberframe: Here is the partially finished crew quarters that I helped build at Moosilauke Ravine Lodge (Warren, New Hampshire).


The October Utah training camp is one of my favorites of the year.  I love long rollerskis up canyons, hiking along sage-covered ridges, and basking in the western sun.  The last major rollerski time trials of the year happen here.

Utah (11)

These are the "matched" rollerskis that we race on for time trials. They are calibrated to all be the same speed so the race is fair.


Competing in a time trial at Soldier's Hollow in Heber, Utah. Photo: Zach Hall

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