OW Glove Support!

Gloves are always a product that skiers generally go through in rapid fashion! I however seem to have the knack of going through even more standard and as a result I have often decided to rollerski and ski in warm conditions without gloves. This means an initially painful process of toughening up the hands, however quickly becomes worth it especially when you don’t wear holes through every last pair of gloves that you own!

2016-02-22 10.40.30

With thanks to our National Team clothing sponsor OneWay, this is now less of a problem with recent glove support. Thanks OW

Lahti World Cup

I would much prefer to do shorter posts with more photos however unfortunately due to no race photos actually being taken, that is not the way this one is going to go! Instead I will just use another picture taken from World Cup races in Falun – the weather was good and the photographer is a pro, so why not!

12698410_10154041581495921_5922457301040276021_o

Photo cred: Adam Johansson

Saturday was my first sprint race back on World Cup since early last season. I have done close to no sprint training this year and I could really notice this in the tricky glazed conditions. Essentially, it felt like I reverted back to the technique I had back when I was 16! There’s no way you can ski fast looking like that and that’s exactly what the result shows. There’s much to work on with my sprinting, however that will be one of the focuses for next year. The positive to take from it was that my body actually felt really good and it was a good awakener for Sunday’s race.

30km skiathlon’s have been where I have seen my better results in the past. After last weekend, with a strong result in Falun, I had high hopes for Sunday’s race. Wet, fresh snow falling always creates tough waxing conditions for classic skis and yesterday was no different. I opted for zeros and due to having Randy back waxing for us, the skis were some of the best compared to some of the competitors around me. I started off relatively slowly, but worked into the race well finding a good pack to ski with. I was often leading this pack trying to catch up more skiers as they dropped off the main bunch. Here is a link to a video courtesy of Michael McClusky – Thanks for all the support out there guys:

https://www.facebook.com/michael.mccluskey.391/videos/vb.537130564/10156620843170565/?type=2&theater&notif_t=mention

By the time the skate leg came around I was in a comfortable position and our pack had broken up somewhat. I was now working with fellow DSA athlete Robin Norum and another Finnish athlete but we worked well together pulling in a couple more skiers. I felt better and better as the skate leg progressed, however by the final lap I could feel my arms beginning to cramp. No-one had perfect grip in the classic leg and my arms had suffered a bit as a result. I sent almost no power through my arms for most of that last lap until the final major climb where I decided to go for a break. Unfortunately that was ineffective and I ended up losing the sprint to both Robin and the other Finnish athlete. But with a final result of 65th, I feel quite satisfied with my performance.

Today we fly out to Canada and I know I have more good shape to come so I am excited to see what sort of result I can produce there.

Travel Day Done Right!

Travel days, as you may have figured from a previous post, are frequently troublesome for us boys. Maybe our trip to Estonia was enough bad luck to last us a while because the trip went almost unbelievably smoothly! I was quite certain that we hadn’t paid for bags in our air tickets but luck was so good that they all went through for free! Since when does that happen?

2016-02-17 16.01.58

The only unlucky part of the trip so far is that our coach Mattias got a severe case of the deadly ‘man flu’ and is stuck at home recovering and feeling sorry for himself. In all seriousness though, it was smart for him to stay home and recover as risking getting us sick at this point would not be worth it. Get well soon Boss!

As a replacement, local skier and Redbull Nordix / Jerry of the day Superstar Johan Eriksson has joined us as coach and wax tech assistant for the Lahti World Cup. Him joining up with our legendary wax tech Randy Gibbs makes an unbeatable team. Unlike last weekend, I’m sure getting fast skis will be entirely hassle free.

 

 

Falun 15km Mass start World Cup

Traditionally I haven’t really enjoyed mass start races at World Cup level, however yesterday was simply fun! I started well, and found myself in the bunch feeling quite relaxed. With the pace starting to lift, other skiers began dropping off and gradually I too lost contact with the lead bunch however found myself in the mix with a good group of skiers. I worked hard on the second lap to gain more positions and felt as though maybe I’d pushed it a little too far with a lot of lactic acid building. Luckily Philpot, who had been skiing with me in that group began to pull me along a little to allow for some recovery which I desperately needed!

IMG_20160215_122943

Photo Cred: Adam Johansson

Going onto the 3rd lap, I regained my energy and pushed my limits to gain a few more positions. It was a tough day with all the ski preparations once again (read my previous post in regards to our waxing setup for the weekend), however we managed to give ourselves skis that were competitive enough. That’s probably the most rewarding thing, to know that you didn’t have it anywhere near as easy and any other skier in that field, yet you still showed you deserve to be there. I was ranked 94th but placed 77th, just over 8% behind the winner’s time. This is my 2nd best ever percentage behind on World Cup and shows that my coaches plan of having me peak in the later season is really coming into effect!

IMG_20160214_201322

Photo Cred: @Joersa

I’m excited for the World Cup’s to come in Lahti and Canada!

Falun 10km Classic World Cup

Today was my first World Cup in 1 year and I have to admit it was a tough re-introduction. This weekend is unsupported and this is never an easy task to deal with. It’s a juggling act of wax tech vs. athlete. For the day before the race, consider carting all the equipment from the truck, setting up the wax cabin, prepping and zeroing skis to test and then testing those skis all in order to find the fastest 2 pairs. Then the day of the athlete starts where we complete the pre-race session – about 1hr 15mins of skiing in total with some threshold and race pace intervals. When other athletes go back to the hotel to rest up for the following day, we return to the life of a wax tech to race prep the skis. Finally after organising entries, team captains meeting and other duties are complete; the day is done.

Race day is no better, particularly on a classic day with fresh snow falling. The skis need to have the final coats of glide wax applied along with being grip waxed and tested to ensure they are working in the conditions. Then once the best pair out of the two is found, we gladly had Mattias there to fix the top coat and make last grip adjustments. Then after >2.5hrs on the feet already, its back to the life of the athlete with a warm up and finally onto the race. After the race when everyone is feeling completely wrecked, we get to go back to life of the wax tech by prepping the skate skis and testing them for the following day. It’s a tiring schedule that no-one else has to deal with but we just work with it the best we can. It’s not a complaint as it was our own decision to come here unsupported – it’s just a way to raise awareness of what is actually involved in just getting ourselves to the start line. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing our Wax Tech (and all round good bloke) Randy next weekend in Lahti.mms_img-3903384181

The race today for me was very tough indeed. The tracks were completely skied out and I need to be honest and say I am simply terrible at classic skiing in un-even, broken up tracks. I always have been bad at it and even though today was slightly better than usual, I still wouldn’t class it as technically solid skiing. It’s frustrating because my body felt good, but I was just unable to turn that into fast skiing. The result wasn’t disastrous and in terms of percentage back, it was probably one of my better classic World Cups that I have skied recently with about 13.6% back in 90th. Considering not being healthy all week, I am satisfied enough, but I am a lot more excited about tomorrow’s 15km skate. I am confident with my skating at the moment and really excited to see what I can do!

mms_img-14759742411

 

South Nordic Shipment!

Don’t you just love it when you get more than you expect? Well picking up a shipment from South Nordic today gave me exactly that! 6kg and just over 1600EUR worth of the best quality casual and sports clothing ever produced!

2016-02-11 14.04.04

Yeah ‘talk it up’ is what you are probably thinking right about now, but go and test some of this gear and then trying telling me you disagree!This company takes no short cuts. They are all class, and have the approach of only using the best performing and highest quality materials in their products. There is more technology that has gone into making this race suit than there is in the car I drive! Just take a look at this info sheet:

Race suit

Performance, practicality, comfort and style are all boxes that are ticked! The underlayers and warm up kit is no different either with the same technology going into those products. In terms of the way it feels to ski in, the only way I can explain it is that it feels like nothing! Ski clothes that are a boxy fit, don’t breath, don’t keep you warm, rough in the wrong places, and are without any true shape feel like something and it’s not pleasant. Skiing in SN gear just feels like it keeps you warm without making you sweat, supports in all the right places and fits as though it was specifically designed for me!

2016-02-11 15.12.35

The casual gear shows some of the only Nordic focused clothing that doesn’t shout ‘unfashionable’. It’s Nordic and damn proud of it, but keeps a calm, subtle and tidy look which is just perfect for someone’s who’s life is Cross Country Skiing, but likes to stay with the current trends of every day fashion.

2016-02-11 13.54.02

I absolutely love the gear and if you would like to know more about any of the items of clothing for sale on the website, just let me know and I’ll give you a full run down of what it’s actually like! Checkout the website and online store at www.southnordic.com

 

Intervals and an explosion

Today’s training was a tough interval session in the morning with Japanese Skier and DSA member Akira Lenting. Unfortunately it has been ridiculously warm again for the past 2 days here in Falun and the once perfect race trails are beginning to suffer. Race organisers are doing everything to preserve the courses and this means no heavy machine grooming in these warm temperatures. What this means is that the classic tracks are melted out and hard as an ice skating rink! Skiing in general is not the easiest, but keeping up with one mighty strong Japanese lad in 5min intervals is bloody tough!

Due to the lovely Swedish weather offering more light rain to cool us off in this tropical climate, I didn’t risk the phone getting drowned so no photos were taken. But that’s probably a good thing, because honestly it’s beginning to look a little sad out there. The other unpleasant thing about warm weather and icy conditions is that klister is the only option for classic skiing. I have always hated klister, but after today’s latest explosion, I hate it that little bit more…

20160209_220953

Interval Training with DSA

Today was a tough interval session on the World Cup race loop with Dala Sports Academy. These sessions are always painful and this one was no different! Heart rates were surprisingly low, but the power and speed was right up there so I’m hoping that’s a good sign!

The layout: 5mins at threshold, 2 X 30,30’s (30 seconds race pace, 30 seconds easy), 5mins at threshold. Gradually I’m feeling even more control in my skiing at speed and with all these sessions on the race loop, I’m gonna know exactly how hard I can push and where seconds can be gained!

IMG_20160205_222040

Photo Cred: Mattias Nilsson

Enchiladas

Mexican Cuisine has always been a bit of a favourite of mine, however when traveling, it is often hard to find! Here is Enchiladas cooked my way – just slightly different to what you may have previously experienced, but I’m going to be arrogant here and claim that it’s an absolute winner! Despite what you may be thinking, it’s quite healthy too!

2016-01-26 19.43.07

Here’s what you need:

  • 500g Chicken Breat
  • 2 red Capsicums (diced)
  • 2 brown onions (finely diced)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 large eggplant (chopped into larger squares)
  • 2 large handfuls of button mushrooms (quartered)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Thai red curry seasoning
  • Hot Chilli sauce
  • 400g of salsa
  • 3 tablespoons of light sour cream
  • Cheese (for topping)
  • 12 medium size Tortilla wraps

2016-01-26 18.56.21

Method:

  • Fry the brown onions and garlic in a pan until golden brown, then set aside
  • Fry the chicken breast until almost fully cooked through
  • Add the onions/garlic, along with the capsicum and taco seasoning. Add 1/2 a cup of water (more if too dry) and cook for 7 minutes)
  • Add the mushrooms along with the eggplant, Thai red curry seasoning and Hot Chilli Sauce – amounts depend on how much of a spicy kick you are after! Cook for a further 10mins
  • Carefully wrap each of the 12 enchiladas. Best approach I have found is to set the filling in a line, folding in the short sides, then wrap and roll from the larger edges. Place all compactly in a baking tray
  • Mix the Salsa and Light sour cream in a bowl, then evenly pour over the enchiladas
  • Top with grated cheese and back at 180 degrees C for 25 minutes.

ENJOY!

L2 Classic on ‘Murderbacken’ World Cup Race course

Today I am mostly going to let the photos do the talking. The waxing was actually difficult to get right in the morning (as you can see from the first shot), but after that was dealt with there were no other complaints. This morning’s session was a 3*5km loops at 5km on the loop that will be used for the World Cup while this afternoon was an easy 1.5hr skate. All photo credit: Teresa Riman

IMG_3876

IMG_49441 IMG_49451 IMG_49461 IMG_49431