Friday, March 24, 2017


Spring is officially here. If you are like me this is not great news. Ski season is over and yes, summer is coming but it's definitely not here yet. It may still be possible to find some great skiing if you know where to look, though that too will be quickly fading into into the mud. This time period has its own word in Russian, rasputitsa, and we all deal with this time of year in different ways, I like to get out of town to warmer climates and generally ignore the problem as much as possible. It can't however, be avoided in it's entirety so here are some ways use this time of year productively.

For those of us that are coming off of ski season (fatbike season, snowshoeing, etc) it can be a great time to take a few weeks to decompress. Don't worry about training, spend time with your other hobbies and catch up on reading! Reflect on your season and look at what you did well and what you want to improve on for the future. Create goals and discuss strategies to achieve them with your coach.This important physical and psychological break will help you reset and be ready to start fresh.

If you can't sit still or your priority is in the spring/summer you have to find ways to train. Many of us participate in endurance sport to get out of town. We relish time on the deserted country road or winding trail in the woods. Both of these options have some challenges during mud season. Drivers are not thinking of cyclists or runners on the road yet. Often the melting snowbanks and debris that have piled up change routes and force you to take a risky line. Be careful! No workout is worth tangling with a car. If you do choose to train on a paved road or path work into it slowly. If you are coming off of a winter of skiing or running on a treadmill your joints are not ready to pound pavement. Starting by mixing pavement and treadmill running, gradually building to primarily running on the pavement.

For those like me that are super excited to get on the trails DON'T. They are sopping wet and the rutts your tire tracks and footprints make take time and money to repair. Leave no trace, just like camping. Nobody likes ridding rutty trail just like no one likes trash at their campsite. It is much better to spend precious fundraised money on new trail instead of repairing easily avoided damage.

This leaves a couple options, train inside or find some pavement and possibly gravel. The trainer, treadmill, rowing machine are all excellent workouts. Work with your coach to come up with creative workouts that utilize these machines and minimize the tedium. The precision and mental toughness that can be developed during these workouts will be instrumental in keeping you focused during a competition.

Don't let rasputitisa get you down, mix it up and be patient, summer will come. Hopefully soon. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Routine on the Road

One of the most important aspects to saying fit and healthy is creating a routine. This is much less daunting when at home, in an environment that you are familiar with and can control. While on the road it is best to create a routine of flexibility. You need to take the opportunities that your schedule provides and plan ahead to do some exercise each day.

While traveling I commit ahead of time to a 10 minute strength workout every day. This is not much but I know I can find 10 minutes each day to workout. By making this easily attainable it ensures that I will do something each day. I hope to add some skiing to this to create a good week of exercising but trip itineraries can quickly get packed with activities so I will hope for more but be content with 10 minutes a day. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Coach Collaboration

Yesterday I gave a lesson to another coach in town. Initially I was surprised that he wanted to take a lesson from me. He's been coaching for quite a while. We have never worked together before in any capacity so it was a request that I was not expecting. As we got started I was not sure how it would go. A coach can have a pretty delicate ego. It was actually one of the best lessons I have given this winter. Not only was he receptive to my suggestions but we had great discussions about why I made those suggestions and how we could relate that information to our athletes.

Coaches spend a lot of time recruiting athletes and trying to differentiate themselves from other programs. This causes a lot of opportunities for collaboration to be lost. I was excited that this opportunity came up. None of us are the best at everything. Many other coaches can give us great insight into a part of coaching that they excel at. The short of it is no matter how much you have learned you can always learn more and everyone has something to offer us as we strive to be the best athlete or coach we can be.

“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”– John Wooden

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Year, New Goals

The week between Christmas and New Years was crazy! Trying to pack a week's worth of work into three days made it hard to prioritize working out. While I was bummed about this I had a great time with family and friends over the holidays so it was okay. Creating a workout routine has been challenging since my life has very little in it that is routine. This is the main challenge I have when trying to be consistent with exercise. Just need to keep improving my time management and prioritizing my health and fitness. This is the main personal objective for 2017.

The new year weekend was active so that was a good start. Some friends and I rented a yurt in the UP of Michigan had a great time skiing lake effect powder all weekend.  for new years we skinned up the mountain (Midwest for very large hill) and skied down the main run right to our yurt. It was the perfect way to start the year.