Here are a few more insights into what the team is upto in SilverStar this week.
So what has the team been doing to prepare? Well the preparations take many forms. The first order of business after we all arrived was getting a few groceries and supplies for the week.
There's also getting some equipment ready. Saturday's race is a duathlon (this consists of a classic race immediately followed by a skate race with a quick transition between them much like a triathlon). For a fast transition racers wear the same boots for both techniques. With the rising popularity of this type of race, the boot companies are making a duathlon boot which is a mix between a classic and skate boot. Since these are rather expensive, only a few have them. Other options are using classic boots and reinforcing the ankle with duct tape or cutting up old skate boots to allow more flexion of the foot and ankle.
The transitions themselves in duathlons present an interesting problem. Everyone gets a 1 meter wide area where the skating skis are kept during the classic portion of the race; but where to position the skis??..to the right..the left, center, outside?? Making sure our transitions are smooth and fast requires a lot of practice. (On far left, note P-O in Sheila's space...)
Of course there's also the the physical training. With most of the preparation behind us, the focus here has been speed and rest. Short intervals, time trials and technique help to get us feeling sharp. These, as well as easy recovery skis and stretching, occupy much of the day.
Add to that the waxing and wax testing chores. Some are also madly testing new skis, deciding which pair is best suited to what and comparing the n! combinations of skis, snow types, structures and glide combinations available. This can be a daunting chore, one that could drive the average skier mad but we are taking it in stride.
Not to be forgotten is the mental training aspect. The library in Stellar J abounds in the most cutting-edge literature on ski psychology.
More pictures below: