.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Lake Placid training camp report and photos
By:  Justin Demers   (2008/08/19)


This weekend a number of XC Ottawa athletes made their way south of the border to train hard and hopefully ski faster. Karl Saidla and I were the first to arrive late on Thursday and ready for a full 3 days of training.

Early Friday morning, we set out in duo for a 4 hour road bike ride starting from our hotel in Lake Placid down to Willmington. From there we set out to ride up towards Whiteface until we reached the toll booth. Despite not having reached the top, it was a solid 25 minutes of climbing with no interuptions. The hills here are of greatly different magnitude when compared to the Gatineau Park. We the Rocketed back down with a top speed of 81 km/h only to keep going down towards Keene. After a 1 hour out and back to Elizabeth Town that had its own hill we came back to our hotel via the Keene climb. If you like mountainous road bike terrain and smooth roads with often large shoulders then Lake Placid should be your next destination.

Karl checking the map

Justin conquering a hill

This workout was followed by rest, a meal and a a considerable amount of driving around to find the seemingly only grocery store in the town. By the time we came back to the hotel and the tasks of the day were accomplished, we were joined by Sheila Kealey for an hour of running and 30 min of strength. With a solid day of training under our belts, we ate, watched the Olympics and waited for Megan McTavish and Zoe Braul.

Karl watching some rowing in our posh accomodations

Classy shower curtain

Karl talking on the wicked phone

Saturday morning was scheduled to be a 2.5 hour skate rollerski session with 20 minutes of zone 4 intervals (2 min work, 3 min rest). This was the highest volume week of the year and the first with 2 interval sessions. Lets just say they got hard near the end, something about a lot of climbing the day before. On our way back to the hotel, we inquired about using the 1.4 km rollerskiing loop at the Lake Placid ski jumping facility. We were told this track was to be used off hours, by appointment, by elite athletes only. It appears to be quite a big deal to be using this most often empty rollerski track.

Justin rollerskiing on the warm down

Sheila taking a drink break

Zoe doing some technique work

Back to the hotel meant more Olympics, food and rest. The next workout was a 1.5 hour classic rollerski workout on River road. This is a beautiful winding road where vehicules must pay attention to training athletes. This workout was followed by the same routine: Olympics, food and rest.

Megan out training

Being so close to Vermont, we had to go out for Ben and Jerry's ice cream!

On the final day Sheila went for a hike with her family whereas Karl, Megan, Zoe and I attacked a long hiking loop. We started from the Adirondack Lodge and hiked up to the top of Wright peak. We came down and Megan left us to go on a bike ride due to her recent ankle sprain. The three of us continued on our trek towards Algonquin peak and then Iroquois peak. At this point, about 5 hours into the hike if I recall, we figured we had a long road ahead and that we would probably be longer than the planned 6 hours. There was a long, slippery, steep and technical dowhill for about an hour. It seemed never to end. Once at the bottom, we took a trail running in the valley between these peaks and sprinted to the trailhead for a time of 7:15. This is all for this report as I am packing for a 5 day bike trip leaving in about 2 hours.

Starting up the first big climb of the day

Tricky downhill section

Zoe and Justin at one of the peaks

Highlights of the camp:

Karl, despite being 30 odd years old was asked for I.D. twice in order to legally procure himself beer.

The rusticity of the cabins.

An epic hike through the Adirondacks.

Interesting Reading. . .
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