It’s been another week of beautiful training weather in Hanover. Everyone is settling into their classes and getting excited for the fall. Last Friday, we did a running time trial on the Appalachian Trail near Hanover with the women’s alpine team, which was a really fun experience. Sunday morning brought our first overdistance run of the term from Pomfret to West Hartford, Vermont. By that point, most of us were working through soreness in various muscles, but spirits were generally pretty high. Cami brought doughnuts to the end of the run as a reward for five members of the team running the time trial in under ten minutes (good work!).
The main focus for this week has been various tests that we do at the beginning and end of the fall to gauge improvement over the term. After our first normal lifting session on Monday morning, where we learned some new exercises, our afternoon session was the classic double-pole test. A quick warm-up with some short speeds prepared us for a hard double-pole up Tuck Drive (for those less familiar with Dartmouth geography, it’s a hill from the level of the Connecticut River to the level of the campus). Although some of us were worried about the large number of cracks, pinecones and pine needles on the pavement, everyone put in their best effort and we all survived the test.
I remember the first week of freshmen year being a total whirlwind of meetings, practice, classes, more meetings, lots of people… and more meetings. And, things haven’t changed much since freshman year.
We started the week off EARLY with our first lift session of the year at 7a Monday morning. It was mainly mobility testing, reminding us all that stretching and flexibility are important things to include in the training regimen. In addition to our mobility testing, we also tested our vertical jumps. This is typically not an area in which Nordic skiers thrive, but most everyone improved! And it was better than in the spring when we tested alongside the basketball players…
Monday afternoon we had a quick classic specific strength session where we were all reminded what muscles we often neglect but always use in double poling. And after that was a quick turn around to our opening ski team meeting of the year. It was a good chance to at least put some faces to names on both the men’s’ and women’s’ alpine and Nordic teams, as well as go over some logistical details.
Tuesday brought a beautiful day for our first interval session of bounding at oak hill, and it was threshold so nothing impossible but still a good opportunity to get our heart-rates up and work on some solid “ski-walking” technique. If you didn’t know what we were doing, you’d think we looked quite silly. And it feels pretty silly, but it translates pretty well to classic on snow skiing, and keeping in mind the end goal (RE: racing fast) always helps get us through these long fall months.