by Adam and Lucy [early August / most photos from SMS Facebook]
After a great strength workout with the team early Wednesday morning, Lucy and I drove to SMS for a four day ski camp. That afternoon we went for a classic rollerski with a focus on technique. We worked on our weight shift and kick impulse by bounding up a steep hill and finished it off with some speeds and no-pole double poling. Joining us were some of Sweden’s best young skiers who were visiting Vermont for some summer training.
The next morning we competed in a two mile uphill time trial. Ford Sayre was well represented with Andy, Sarah, Daniel, Lucy, Jacob, Perrin, Adam, Kennedy, and Peter all finishing strong. We got to race against not only the Swedes but also some SMS T2 skiers, some of whom are also members of the U.S. Ski Team.
Afterwards we played a giant game of soccer, USA versus Sweden and Canada. For a twist we played with three soccer balls and two giant yoga balls. We outnumbered the other team by a large margin but still didn’t manage to win. Are the Swedes good at everything?
Stratton Mountain School was nice enough to let us play in their Air Awareness room. Used for alpine ski training, it’s equipped with three giant trampolines and an apparently bottomless ball pit full of foam blocks.
That afternoon we went to do a skate agility workout. I skied in a group with the some of the Swedes, Andy Newell and other U18s where we did some technique work including no pole skiing, one pole skiing, double poling, and free skating. Then we did some speeds, figure 8s, wide slaloms, and narrow slaloms before skiing back to the school.
In the evening we cooled off with a dip in the local swimming hole. After dinner we played Go for Twenty, a giant game of capture the flag with 10 flags on each side. Though tired, everyone was up for another hour of sprinting.
The next morning we went on a combination classic rollerski and run over distance workout. My group skied uphill from the school for a while at an easy pace. We came to a downhill and skied to the bottom. It wasn’t until we began striding back up that I began to notice a problem. My foot seemed to be dragging on the ground, but the wheels were still attached. I realized that the shaft of my rollerski had snapped in half, held together only by the binding. The foam composite inside was spilling out the end. With over two miles of uphill left to cover, I removed the ski and tried to keep up with my group using a combination of running, scooter drill but was getting left behind, so I told them to send help the next time they saw a coach. A few minutes later, Pat O’Brien showed up with a van and gave me a ride to the trailhead.
Meeting up with my rollerski group, we jogged up Stratton Mountain together. It was so hot and humid that I drank my entire water bottle by the time I reached the top. Everyone else quickly disappeared running down the mountain, but my knees were a bit sore so I hiked down and finished in time for a late lunch.
That afternoon we did a fun strength workout, which included agility ladder drills for good running technique, ski ergs, weighted lunges, box jumps, pull ups, push ups, and many other exercises. We also did some stretching and core work.
On the last day of camp, we drove to Ball Mountain Dam, where there is a 2 kilometer long road with nice pavement and very few cars. We did some L3 skate intervals on rollerskis, starting with a long uphill gradual enough to V2 before opening up into some flats and rolling hills which let me really work up to some fast V2 alternate and even free skating. The intervals ended in a 30 second flat out sprint. I did my first two intervals with Russell Boswell and some Swedes. It was extremely hot out. My last two intervals I skied with SMS’s elite team, following Andy Newell, Simi Hamilton, Paddy Caldwell, Ben Saxton, and Tad Elliot. By matching their technique I was able to keep up for both intervals, though I got a little bit dropped in the final sprints.
SMS camp was a really fun training opportunity to chase Olympians, go fast on rollerskis, and generally have a great time. I was excited to see so many Ford Sayre skiers participating, and it was great to train with my friends from all over New England in preparation for the coming winter.