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XC OTTAWA at USA Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, Part 1
By:  Andre Marchand   (2012/09/04)

There were a lot of things to look forward to about this training camp: the return of the majority of our team from their various work outposts and homes across Canada, the amazing training venue that Lake Placid has to offer, the all-you-can-eat meals of the training center, but mostly it marked the beginning of the fall and the quickly approaching race season!

Needless to say, there was excitement in the air as the team gathered in the cafeteria Friday night, with hugs and handshakes all around; it was good to have everyone back! Everyone seemed in good spirits despite the 5 and a half hour drive to get there, which should have only taken 3 and a half, but long weekend traffic changes things!


We made it!

Saturday morning began early with a short pre breakfast run in the woods near the center, plus some classic technique drills lead by Karl. The focus of the drill was to mimic the motion of your arms while diagonal striding, and make sure you are relaxed through that motion. Then it was back to the cafeteria for a pre-interval breakfast.

It's worth mentioning that it is no ordinary cafeteria, typically offerring 3 different  options per meal, plus a fruit & Salad bar and cereal available all day, the running joke (with the guys at least) was that meal time was the best part of the day! Obviously they had athletes in mind, which is a rare thing to find when it comes to food. Thankfully with the 4 by 4 min Zone 3 intensity session up next on the agenda, the team exhibited good self control at breakfast :)

The intensity session was planned to be a fairly easy keeping in mind the large volume ahead. The idea was a sub lactate threshold workout, with emphasis on pacing and technique. It was a good workout that lasted just over two hours on skate rollerskis. Many people were just excited to finally be training with a group after being solo all summer.
Karl letting us in on the important things to focus on today.

Nice day for a ski! 

After lunch, a longish nap, and some coffee we were ready to go again. The plan was a 2 hour run/hike up one of the many mountains in the area. In the end we settled on climbing Mt. MacKenzie with an extension onto Mountain Ridge pass. It was a super nice day and the views were nice and clear, which has not always been the case on other trips I've been on. Not an overly technical climb to the top also meant that we would be flying down. Some people (like Logan) took more risks than others and impressed more than a few onlooking hikers as he flew down the mountain with Lee, Aaron and Peter hot in pursuit!


One of the sweet views.
Water break... picture break!

Logan in action

After the hike we "enjoyed" a brief swim before heading back for supper. It was cold!
Here are a few of us shivering, while the Yukon'ers heckled that it wasn't even cold!
Add on a hot shower with a large supper and that wraps up Part 1 of our training camp. An amazing day, stay tuned for Part 2 which is coming up shortly.
Thanks for reading!
Andre M.
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