Blog #8 – Dusseldorf City Sprint WC

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Zqsd4ds7s8]This was my first Sprint World Cup and what an event to make a debut. I have been working on my sprinting quite a lot over the last year in hope that I could become more competitive in Sprint events but also to improve my distance skiing. Gradually I have felt that I have become stronger but I don’t think that dusseldorf was the best place for me to show my gains. For those of you who know the course and as can be see in the videos, it is all very flat (like most city sprints) but also very long at 1.8km. I prefer a hilly course with hard work then rest sequences so a flat continuous workout was quite hard for me. With this in mind it was not a disasterous result, just average with 150 points which I should be reasonably satisfied with as it is still below the 15% which I will have to ski below in the Tour de Ski in each race over the New Year. I am very excited about this weekend with the Davos 15km Classic World Cup on Saturday which is probably my specialty. I am also looking forward to the freestyle sprint on Sunday to see what I am capable of. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0p8YezPnQI]

Blog #7 – Back to Norway and the Pakis Bil

After arriving back from Sweden I then spent the last 2 weeks or so back in Lillehammer with the British Team. No more snow fell the entire time I was there leaving us to contiue skiing on the 5km Sjusjøen race trail which is a very demading course meaning good for interval work, but extremely tiring and repetitive for long endurance sessions and Double Pole work. Training in these last couple of weeks went well despite the extremely cold temperatures. Anything below -18 is just that little bit more uncomfortable, but more importantly it eliminates the possiblilty of interval work as it can damge your lungs. Luckily I managed to organise my interval session to fit in the warmer periods (which were still around -16!). All the usual trickeries took place but nothing to eventful until the day I left.

Major Mistake #1 – Never rely on the Pakesbil Read more

Blog # 6 – Gallivare WC

To sum up, Gallivare is cold and very dark, but even with these far from comforting factors it’s been quite enjoying skiing and racing here. I arrived on Thursday at mid-day and getting off the plane at -22°C was a bit of a shock, but this was nothing compared with trying to ski later that afternoon. It had cooled down even more (around -25°C) meaning the planned level 3 intervals were quickly dismissed from the schedule. The downhills were brutal on the face and within an hour with some speed work my lungs were already feeling quite sore.
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBAZyEA8N6w]Other than this, preparation for the race went well, but the key to success is obviously Muzzy’s (Andrew Musgrave’s) track visualisation techniques – check out the video! An extremely variable indoor climate in the waxing rooms caused a bit of ruckus along with a light jog where we encountered a humorous drunken miner confrontation and witnessed a crazy man running from someone who came inches from becoming road-kill.

Waxing in Gallivare -22 outside +40 inside!

Race day gave us dropping temperatures that started at -5°C but soon feel to around -11°C by the end of the race. For the first lap I felt quite strong with good speed and recovery on the downhills. Once the 2nd lap come around however everything changed. It was not really the usual feeling of muscle fatigue and pain, but more a lethargic, weak feeling. I had the mental determination there, just no spark. For the third and final lap I found a little more but was still not the kick that I was craving for. I shouldn’t be too dissatisfied as the past few weeks of training have been quite intense and for my first race of the season I should be content with the result as it was decently better than last’s years first race in the Norwegian Cup in Beitostolen.  At the finish I placed 99/104 with 105 FIS pts. British skier and track visualisation master Andrew Musgrave gave the field a decent work over with 52nd and Noah Hoffman from USA just missing on WC points in 31st. I should thank Christer and the team at SkiGo for their efforts this weekend as I was very happy with my ski speed.

As any athlete however I am seeking improvement so it has further increased my urge to race and see what I am capable of, however I need to keep in mind that the main goal is the Tour de Ski and World Championships which are a long way into the season. I look forward to another 2 weeks of hard training before Dusseldorf on the 4th of Dec for my first World Cup Sprint start.

Blog # 5 – Banter with the Brits!

OW suit Lillehammer

So the last few weeks in AUS were actually quite good. My unlucky streak fortunately ended and with this I had a very productive few weeks. My thumb and wrist caused a few issues here and there but overall I was very happy with the training I got in before I left.
I have now been living with the British Team in Norway for nearly 2 weeks and everything has been great! Training has been going awesome – in fact I’m not sure that I have felt this good or trained this hard before! Along with lots of training, we have been getting up to some quality shenanigans with two lots of wing mirror incidents, an odd but effective mouse control procedure and plenty Pom vs convict jokes!
We are now on our way to Sweden for the first World Cup of the season, Gallivare 15km skate. Bit nervous because it will be my first race of the season so I’m not sure exactly what form I am in yet, but I am feeling great so getting quite excited!
Also check out the new Aussie suit courteoues of One Way. Its a tad crazy but its growing on me!

Blog # 4 – The Training Effect

As any athlete will tell you, luck plays a huge part in all aspects of training and racing, however the past week and a bit I have experienced a particularly  unlucky streak. Its amazing how you can go from have 2 years without a crash on the rollerskis to having 2 monumental ones within 10 days of one-another! So first one was last Wednesday doing Level 3 skate intervals. Was just the standard pole between the skis procudure however with larger consequences. Broken left thumb through the upper joint and damaged cartilage in the right wrist meant I was rather frustrated by the outcome!

 

Unfortunately however this was only the start of my frustrations. Back into training the following day and with only legs readily available to train with, I limited myself further by rolling my ankle whilst running. The only fortunate part of the outcome was that it wasnt too severe and riding was still possible. So for the next few days I spent long hours perfected those tanlines you saw earlier!

With the thumb feeling slightly better and secure in a cast and the physio giving me the all clear to use my wrist again I jumped back on the rollerskis yesterday with no real implications. This uneventful streak did not last long however as today I hit the deck once again. A fast downhill with a stick (or should I say branch for enhanced drama) blowing off a tree combined with my delayed response to jump resulted in my large donation to the road’s surface! The thumb was amazingly left unscathed however all the work done to settle down my wrist has been undone! Hopefully the next few days see a change in fortune, I’m quickly becoming tired of the unpleasant sensation of pain!

Blog #3 Endless Hours in the Sun

Alex and I Skiing the Main Range

Finally I have found some decent health! For the two and a bit weeks following the Hoppet I have been struggling to shrug off quite a nasty sickness, however with a bit of a break I now feel 100% and have just had probably one of the most enjoyable yet toughest endurance week of my life. Along with lots of gym and running the clear highlights were on Friday and Saturday. On Friday we (Chris Darlo, Alex Almoukov and myself) went on the most epic 6 hour spring skiing sessions I have ever experienced! Starting off early at Guthega we then crossed the Snowy River over Australia’s flimsiest bridge whose build quality was greatly enhanced by Darlo’s torurous rocking as I was crossing! We then made our way up onto the Main Range and to the base of Mt. Kosciusko. From there we did a nice long loop, down to Cootapatamba hut, then up to the top of various peaks including Townsend, Twynam, and Curuthers. To finish off, we then skied down onto Lake Albina and Blue lake, then back down to the Snowy to get home where the full effects of severe sunburn were first realised. From the incredible tanlines on my legs, 1 layer of

The Bridge

sunscreen was no match to the ridiculously powerful UV rays. This however was better than Alex’s calves which recieved zero layers – they were cooked! All in all it was worth it!

Whilst in the mood of long endurance and extended sun exposure, we decided to go for a ride to the coast and back. Our plan was to drive to bemboka and then ride the rest of the way to merimbula  and back. Another 4 hours in the sun further perfected the tanlines but I’ve got to say that it was without question one of the best rides I’ve ever had. Alex showing off his skills in front of many onlookers by hitting the deck twice in two minutes whilst struggling with his cleats definitely added to the humour of the day!
These are the days I live for!

Merimbula Ride

Blog #2 – Winter Review

AUS Championships 15km freestyle

Sorry for the briefness of this report, however since I’ve on just gotten around to getting this site up and running I will have to summarise the whole Aussie Winter to quite a large extent. As a whole I was very happy with my performance during the season. It started off quite slow with a lot of University commitments as I studied the full 4 subjects in first semester, however with all this I still managed to keep in the essential sessions and focussed on a lot of strength work and as the V02 max test showed I had held on to most of the form that I had built up over the 2009/2010 European Winter. 

The opening races of the season were a little disappointing but by the time the important Continental Cup races started in New Zealand I was feeling right on form again. In all three races in New Zealand I was the first AUS/NZ athlete with the 10km Freestyle porbably the best result with 2nd overall and 84 FIS pts. I was also very happy with the sprint race as I felt it was the best Sprint

Victorian Sprint Champs

race I had skied so far with 7th overall.

Overall I was most satisfied with the progress that I had made in my sprinting form. For the Vic Champs FIS Sprint I qualified 1st with 114 FIS pts qualifying me for World Cup sprint starts and I finished 2nd overall in the final behind Biathlete Legend Alex Almoukov. That weekend I also won my first Australian Championship race with the 15km pursuit.
The season’s highlight was unquestionably the 15km Freestyle Australian Champs event. Here I achieved my personal best FIS pts to date with 57 pts and placed 2nd Australian and 3rd overall. This was incredibly lucky as I needed to have a result under 60 pts for the Continetal Cup place in World Cups to be effective. The following weekend I finished 4th overall in the 42km Kangaroo Hoppet and with this I won my first overall AUS/NZ Continetal Cup series which will give me much needed supported for the upcoming World Cup season. I am therefore very happy with what I have achieved this season and I am incredibly excited about what results I can produce in the upcoming European Winter. 



Blog #1 Welcome

Welcome to the new website. The main purpose of this site is to effectively keep everyone updated on my racing and training
progress as we advance towards Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and beyond. This website building is all very new to me so I
apologise in advance for any errors and blandness. I will endevour to regularly update this blog which will hopefully give
readers a more personal and up to date re-cap on race results and other aspects of traning and racing life.