This past weekend’s training camp in Lake Placid was the first assignment of the new school year. We took advantage of an excellent room and board situation at the U.S. Olympic Training Centre, the always scenic and challenging hiking trails of the Adirondacks, and roads with great variety and little traffic for rollerskiing.
Personally, it was fun to “slam it with the twenty-somethings” in the workouts also to attempt to keep up with their subtle wit and turns of phrase in the cafeteria. My teammates are sharp, let me tell you! Some of them have also been saving up material since May because they’ve been out alone in various corners of the Canadian backwoods chiseling themselves into shape and not speaking with anyone. Look out....the hounds have been released and they are howling!
This weekend also reminded me that training for cross country ski racing can be about as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. When you’re putting a lot into it, there’s a real temptation to make it complicated as you search for a recipe for success, however defined.
A funny thing is that it sure seems like most people’s
success is determined by how well they do things that are really the simple
parts of training. Examples include getting appropriate rest, eating well,
training at planned intensities, balancing personal life with training, not to
mention taking the time to enjoy it all.
“Training camps” that go well make it very easy to do the
simple parts of training well. They are also a good time. In this way, they are
a useful reminder about what we should probably be trying to accomplish (at
least to some degree), when we are back at home and dealing that ever so
pressing “real life”.