Last Thursday's practice was the second 1k double pole TT of the summer (and it was so much fun that Dave had us do it twice!). It seems like almost everyone was able to set a new personal best, and a couple people were even faster on the second 1k than the first. I felt good on the first 1k up, and my time was fast - a new course record and personal best by 5 seconds in 2:34. Bjorn started a few people back came in at 2:36, and Derek finished in 2:40. The second time up the course was tough for me though. The first thing to give out in these all out sprints is my legs, and they were getting pretty bogged down by half way up the course. I also had Bjorn starting just a couple seconds behind me, and I could hear his poles getting closer and closer. In the end I was able to hold Bjorn off, and finished faster than I thought I would in 2:37, but Bjorn killed the course in a new course record time of 2:30. The TT confirmed to me that I need to get my legs stronger. I have been putting in lots of running this year, and that has really helped my fitness, but I have been lacking in the leg strength category. I will have to find time to get to the gym for more lifting, and should ideally add some bounding to the training. At least I know what I should do, now its just whather I find the time/energy to do it.
Sunday was the first long group rollerski of the summer. Last year these group skis got very popular, drawing in most of the top skiers in the Metro at one point or another (with our biggest group being 28 people). Every year we move the start date further up the calender than the last year, so I wasn't sure how many people would be up for the long group skis on August 1st, but there must have been some pent up demand since we still drew a group of 12, including olympian Carolyn Bramante and national champ Caitlin Compton, among others.
The discussion on these long skis often involves how fast we (as individuals) should be going. The course that we take around Afton always includes plenty of out and back sections that allow for regrouping, but some people are better at going there own pace than others. I know that I have probably "won" a few to many hills on these long skis. Caitlin is inspiring on these long skis not for how fast she goes, but for how slow she takes these long skis. She is a master of the "ski slow to ski fast" mentality. My struggle is always how to adapt this to my training. She is training twice (or three times) as many hours as I am in any given week, and she has to keep her long skis easy so that she can hit her intervals hard. I am often not able to get in a workout every day, and so have more recovery built in to a given week, but does this mean that I should be taking the long skis harder? This week was easy to go slow since I raced a half marathon the day before (and set a new PB by over a minute!), and needed the recovery. Next week will be the real challenge to hold myself back.
Anyone have any thoughts?