Posy Musgrave: A Typical Day of Cross Country Ski Training
November 28, 2013 14:41 pm
It’s now November and winter has finally arrived, which means I’ve finally got on snow. As cross country skiers we end up spending a lot of time cross training during the summer while we wait for the winter. This can involve anything from running and cycling to rollerskiing (summer training skis with wheels on – very entertaining to use in the UK) or strength sessions. Now that winter is here I can get back on skis again - it’s a great feeling after months of no snow!
Right now most of the senior team is here in Bruksvallarna, Sweden where we are training and preparing for the race season to begin. It’s only a couple of days until the first races which means I’ve started reducing the intensity in my training so I’m well rested. Easier training doesn’t mean no intensity though, so this morning I did a short interval session. I quite like doing this a couple of days before racing as it sharpens me up and gives an idea of what the race track will feel like at full speed. Even though we don’t go quite as fast as downhill skiers you can still get some good speed up on cross country skis.
So after a good breakfast I got bundled up (it’s currently -18!), headed and to the wax room where our skis are kept. We have a ski waxer with us who prepares the skis, which can be quite a big job as each person on the team has between 10 and 20 pairs of skis. After a quick warm up I started the main part of the session – 3 sets of 2 minutes skiing at full pace. Although these are quite short intervals (we have ski races up to 50km which take over 2 hours) they’re still pretty tough. I also ended up doing a little bit extra after I crashed on the second interval (in front of the entire Swedish team!) so I had to start it over again. Once the intervals were finished I skied the race loop once more to cool down and then headed inside. Unfortunately training wasn’t quite finished when I got inside. Before getting changed and having lunch I try to make sure to do a bit of stretching so I’m well recovered before the next session.
Next up is a big lunch and then a nap – life as an athlete seems to revolve around eating and sleeping a lot of the time! Before the afternoon session I had some time to relax so I caught up on some emails and read a bit before getting ready to go out into the cold again. For the afternoon the plan was to head out with the boys on the team for a quick jog and some strength work. Sometimes we have to get a little bit creative doing strength while we’re out on the road as you can see here!
The session we were supposed to be doing needed medicine balls, which we didn’t have, so we used these rocks instead. Then we headed inside for a bit rehab and yoga with our physio, who is out with us for these races, to stretch out again. Once training was done I had a session with the physio. She’s doing a bit of work with me on some flexibility and other issues so that I can hopefully stay healthy and injury free over the winter.
Once training and physio is finished it’s finally time to relax. We’re staying in some cabins not far from the ski tracks which are pretty much in the middle of nowhere so there isn’t a lot going on. The team all cooks together which makes for some fairly epic meals when there are 10 hungry skiers and tonight’s Mexican feast was no exception. Finally I watched a little bit of TV – luckily our wax tech is Swedish so we can watch all of the classic Swedish TV shows on like “Farmer Searches A Wife” (as good as it sounds!) before an early night ready for another day of training tomorrow.